Meet Our Therapists

WILA’s excellent training programs attract an impressively bright, curious, and motivated group of clinicians. Since our founding, over 650 graduate students, psychology interns, and postgraduate fellows have studied at WILA and become exceedingly competent and compassionate mental health professionals.

Monique Alden, MA (SHE/HER)

MFT Postgraduate Fellow

Monique (AMFT139982) earned her Master’s in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University. Previously, Monique trained at Southern California Hospital, Culver City where she gained experience treating those living with schizophrenia, trauma, and a range of mood and thought disorders. Her therapeutic approach takes an integrative outlook that seeks to understand how resources, culture, childhood, the unconscious mind, and relationships work together to create the fabric of each client. Monique works with individuals, families, and couples.

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Ben Chandler, MA (HE/HIM)


Ben’s (AMFT# 139362)  curiosity and appreciation for the complexity of his clients’ unique experiences creates a trusting and open collaboration. This atmosphere of respect and understanding enables clients to explore the meaning of their experience and discover the root of their difficulties so that over time they may live with greater agency, flexibility, and ease. After a distinguished career in nonprofit management and philanthropy, Ben earned a Master’s in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles. He began his psychodynamic clinical training at Valley Community Counseling Clinic in North Hollywood and has worked with clients experiencing mood disorders, addiction, grief and loss, career & relationship transitions as well as issues relating to sexuality. Ben’s love of literature, art, and music enhances the creativity of his practice and allows his clients to discover the art of their own lives.

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Ji Choi, MA (SHE/HER)

PRE-DOCToral CAPIC Psychology Intern

Ji Choi is a Doctoral Candidate at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, Los Angeles where she also received her Master’s in Clinical Psychology. She has received a diverse training experience on issues pertaining to the LGBTQIA+ population while at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. She also has a background in neuropsychological assessment, helping individuals with TBIs and neurodegenerative disorders. Ji has experience in a wide variety of issues including depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship conflict, identity-related issues, and self-esteem, all with an understanding around the intersecting layers of identities and unique life experiences.

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Clarissa Dewhirst, Psy.D. (SHE/HER)


Clarissa Dewhirst received her Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University Santa Barbara. Clarissa previously trained at Mission Harbor Behavioral Health as well as the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission. She has experience treating adolescents and adults in individual, group, and family sessions. Her experience ranges from treating those suffering from mood disorders, addiction, trauma, as well as those suffering from dual diagnoses. Clarissa finds that establishing rapport and creating a warm, nonjudgmental environment for the client to work in to be the most effective treatment approach and one that allows both parties to do the best work in each session.

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Yeva Ghrjyan, Psy.D. (SHE/HER)


Yeva Ghrjyan completed her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, Los Angeles. Her clinical experiences include working with individuals across the lifespan struggling with trauma, mood difficulties, relationships, and sense of self. Yeva has worked with individuals, couples, families, and groups. She is especially interested in our history of intergenerational trauma, including cultural, familial, or systemic traumas, and finding meaning in their impact. Yeva believes candor, warmth, and acceptance create a therapeutic relationship based in genuineness and trust. She enjoys working from a psychoanalytic lens as she feels it deepens the therapeutic relationship. Yeva finds that therapy can help us become who we truly are in the presence of a connected other.


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Savannah Giannini-Cocio, MSW (SHE/HER)


Savannah Giannini-Cocio (ASW97411) received her Master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Southern California. She previously trained at Los Angeles Family Housing where she provided psychotherapy to a diverse population of those experiencing homelessness. In addition, she trained at Santa Clarita Veteran Services Collaborative where she also provided psychotherapy to Veterans. She has experience working with those who are dealing with depression, anxiety, childhood trauma, sexual assault, post-traumatic stress disorder, interpersonal relationship challenges/difficulties, loss and grief, and many other areas. Savannah uses a variety of approaches with her patients such as psychodynamic, CBT, and mindfulness-based practices. She believes compassion should always be the center of a therapeutic relationship with her patients in order to build trust and provide them with a safe space where they are able to find their voice, purpose, self-love, and ability to heal.

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Nikki Harris, MA (SHE/HER)

PRE-DOCToral CAPIC Psychology Intern

Nikki Harris is a Doctoral Candidate at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, Los Angeles where she also received her master’s degree in clinical psychology. She previously trained in psychodynamic therapy at Airport Marina Counseling Services and worked for two years in the therapy office at Pasadena City College. Nikki enjoys working from a psychoanalytic model, which she integrates with a trauma-informed, intersectional approach. She seeks to provide an open, nonjudgmental space to process intense feelings, increase self-understanding and form a strong therapeutic bond.

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Parker Head, MA (HE/HIM)

MFT PostGraduate Fellow

Parker is a Postgraduate fellow, having completed his MA in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University and his BA in Political Theory from Pomona College. His approach is psychoanalytically informed and rests on a belief in speech’s ability to give voice to one’s unconscious. Day-to-day life often leaves no room for this type of language. Therapy gives patients the time and space to listen to, and find words for, this unconscious voice. Symptoms, dreams, and even the familiar expressions one uses without thinking, are encoded messages from the unconscious. In this sense, therapy works to hear what was previously unspeakable.

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Katie Karsh, MSW (SHE/HER)


Katie Karsh (ASW102248) earned her master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California, and holds a master’s degree in Education from Stanford University. Katie has worked with diverse populations across multiple settings, including in schools, residential treatment facilities, and in community mental health. Most recently, she worked with students at USC’s Counseling and Mental Health center where she worked with issues of trauma, grief and loss, addiction, depression, anxiety, sex and sexuality, and personal identity development. She believes therapy is the most impactful way to change the world for the better by helping individuals heal wounds, support them to connect to their true selves, and empower them to live authentically.

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Baraneh Kazemi, MSW (SHE/HER)


Baraneh Kazemi earned her Master’s degree in Social Work at UCLA, with a concentration in child and family well-being. Baraneh offers a warm and collaborative space where clients can safely face challenges, reconnect with their strengths, and identify resources to live with more ease in body and mind. In her work with children, adolescents, and adults, Baraneh supports clients as they navigate anxiety, self-esteem, relationships, grief, loneliness, identity questions, intergenerational trauma, career goals, life transitions and other opportunities for self-understanding. Her curious and compassionate clinical approach is informed by her training in trauma-informed, psychodynamic, culturally-sensitive, attachment-based care with elements of cognitive behavioral and somatic therapy. She brings a deep awareness of the various systemic forces that impact our sense of self and is committed to providing equitable and empathetic care for all beings. She encourages clients to bring their whole nuanced selves into the room in order to reconnect with their core and connect more authentically with others.

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Alex Kuschner, MSW (SHE/HER)

SOCIAL WORK postgraduate fellow

Embracing psychoanalytic and psychodynamic perspectives to therapy, Alex Kuschner (ACSW105354) helps patients work through past and present challenges, deepen their self-awareness, and lead happier, more fulfilling lives. Alex meets patients where they are, moves at their pace, and provides empathic support throughout this transformative, and at times difficult, journey. Patients are never alone in this process, as Alex is an unwavering partner.

Prior to joining WILA, Alex worked at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington in Washington, DC as an inpatient clinical care coordinator where she supported adults and adolescents struggling with psychiatric illness, addiction, and cooccurring disorders. In a previous lifetime, Alex coached collegiate rowing, consulted for the government, and worked as an undergraduate admissions officer.

Alex earned an M.S. in Social Work from Columbia University in 2021. She also holds an M.A. in International Affairs from American University and a B.A. in History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University.

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Anna Lipton, MA (SHE/HER)


Anna received her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in psychological trauma from Antioch University Los Angeles and holds a B.A. in sociology from Occidental College. Prior to joining WILA, Anna worked as a high school mental health counselor and provided psychotherapy at ACTS (Antioch Community Therapy Services). Her clinical areas of interests include anxiety and depression, trauma/abuse/PTSD, relationship issues, substance abuse, grief and bereavement, phase of life transitions and identity issues. Anna encourages her clients to replace their self-judgment with curiosity and compassion. She believes that therapy is most effective when it is collaborative and supportive. 

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Sophia Makal, MA (SHE/HER)


Sophia Makal (AMFT135485 and APCC12559) earned her Master’s in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University, and she also holds a Master’s in Psychology from The New School and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University. Sophia completed her graduate training and continues to serve at Cancer Support Community Los Angeles (CSCLA), where she provides free individual and group therapy for people of various ages (6+) and backgrounds (genders, sexualities, races/ethnicities, religions, etc.) who are impacted by cancer. Prior to joining WILA as a therapist, Sophia spent 1.5 years acting as WILA’s Intake Coordinator, and she is pleased to continue serving this community. Sophia’s education and training have led her to develop an integrative treatment style that draws upon psychodynamic, mindfulness-based, and solution-focused practices and focuses heavily on a safe, trusting, and collaborative therapeutic relationship. Common themes that Sophia works with include grief, trauma, depression, anxiety, aging- and identity-related issues, relational issues, self-compassion issues, and coping with uncertainty. Sophia is particularly passionate about working with traditionally marginalized populations, and she is both LGBTQ+ affirmative and ENM and Poly aware.

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Steve Mason, Psy.D. (HE/HIM)

Postdoctoral Fellow

Steve earned his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He also holds a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Humboldt State University. Steve has worked in community, university and inpatient settings with individuals, couples and groups. He has a special interest in working with persons struggling with addiction and interest in personality and identity work. Steve takes a relational and process-oriented approach to therapy and believes that the healing work of integration is a life-long process.

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Colin Mattingly, MA (HE/HIS)

PRE-Doctoral CAPIC Psychology Intern

Colin Mattingly is a Doctoral Candidate at Antioch University Santa Barbara. He earned his B.A. in Philosophy from the University of California Santa Barbara and M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University Santa Barbara. Prior to being at WILA, Colin trained at Community Counseling and Education Center and New Beginnings Counseling Center. Over the course of his clinical training, Colin has worked with a diverse array of individuals struggling with a variety of mental health challenges. Cognizant of the vulnerability psychotherapeutic work requires, Colin’s therapeutic style is rooted in nonjudgment, curiosity, compassion, and respect.

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Pamela O’Leary, MA (SHE/HER)

PRE-DOCToral CAPIC Psychology Intern

Pamela is a Doctoral Candidate at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, specializing in clinical health psychology. She holds a master’s degree from the same institution and has valuable experience working with diverse client populations. Believing in the power of psychodynamic theory to uncover the roots of personal struggles, Pamela is dedicated to helping clients fully understand their past to inform their present and pave the way for a liberated future. She provides trauma-informed, empathetic care and establishes a secure, nonjudgmental environment for clients to process emotions, enhance self-understanding, and cultivate strong connections within their communities.

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Charlotte Pradié (SHE/HER)

MFT Trainee

Charlotte is a Master’s Candidate in Counseling Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute and holds a B.A. in Media Studies from Pitzer College. Before joining WILA, Charlotte provided psychotherapy at Being Alive, a Los Angeles non-profit organization serving people with HIV/AIDS. Charlotte brings an awareness of the many layers of psyche, culture, and identity that shape our way of being. She is interested in how people can better understand themselves, their relationships, and the world around them through deep inquiry and curiosity.

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Jack Sample, MA (HE/HIM)

PRE-DOCToral CAPIC Psychology Intern

Jack is a Doctoral Candidate at CIIS and holds a MA in visual anthropology from USC. Jack previously provided community based psychoanalytic psychotherapy in the Bay Area at RAMS Inc. and Envision Education. His experience ranges from the treatment of anxiety, mood disorders, psychosis, posttraumatic stress, and personality disorders. He has special interest in the exploration and integration of social, cultural, and spiritual experiences. Jack values an open, playful, and respectful approach to psychotherapeutic dialogue. He is committed to therapy’s potential to facilitate novel understanding, creative expression, and a greater sense of aliveness and agency.  

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Roseli Ribeiro, MA (SHE/HER)

PRE-DOCToral CAPIC Psychology Intern

Roseli is a Doctoral Candidate at the Pacifica Graduate Institute and a licensed clinical psychologist in Brazil. She has trained in a variety of therapeutic approaches such as transpersonal and analytic psychology, among others. These experiences aid in Roseli’s ability to work with the diverse needs of her patients. She values a multidisciplinary perspective on the human condition including cultural context, social and economic particularities, and social justice. Roseli has a particular interest in fostering creativity in her clinical practice by helping her patients develop ways of creative living. Roseli feels creativity to be a universal aspect of the human potential to experience life and health as a state of being alive.

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Navvab Tadjvar, MA

PRE-DOCToral CAPIC Psychology Intern

Navvab is a Doctoral Candidate at California Institute of Integral Studies and holds a Master’s in philosophy from San Francisco State University. Prior to joining WILA, Navvab worked at Richmond Area Multi Services Inc and Psychological Services center in San Francisco where he practiced psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Navvab is interested in how the process of psychotherapy can increase our sense of agency and bring us to understand and absolutely accept who we already are.

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Akasa Tseng, Ph.D. (SHE/HER)


Akasa (PSB94027639) holds a PhD in clinical psychology with an emphasis in depth psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. She has worked at a women’s shelter, integrative healing settings, community mental health clinics, and college counseling centers. Before joining WILA, Akasa presented her somatic voice work to conferences at Oxford University and other societies. She considers symptoms as the return of the repressed and unresolved, carrying messages from the instinctual wisdom of the unconscious. With deep listening and genuine care, Akasa helps individuals and couples work through various symptoms and concerns, such as depression, anxiety, personality issues, trauma, recurring patterns, relational conflict, life transitions, and identity crises. Trained in the psychodynamic tradition, she integrates psychoanalytic and Jungian approaches with somatic and cross-cultural perspectives. Akasa offers therapy as a journey of transformation to re-imagine new life stories with deeper self-knowledge, acceptance, meaning, and purpose.

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Tiffany Vlaanderen (SHE/HER)

PreGraduate MFT Trainee

Tiffany is a Master’s Candidate in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University Los Angeles and holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. She enjoys practicing from a psychoanalytic framework which she finds gives individuals an opportunity to come in genuine contact with themselves. Through engaging with another, she sees the therapeutic potential lies in drawing out what one is experiencing, has experienced and has potential to experience by creating expression and language together.

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Brege von Bleicken, MSW (SHE/HER)

SOCIAL WORK Postgraduate fellow

Brege von Bleicken (ASW105139) received her Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Rutgers University and her B.A. in Psychology at the City University of New York at Hunter College. Brege is excited to join the WILA team as she strongly believes in the core mission of equitable access to psychotherapy. She considers herself a lifelong learner and believes the best therapeutic relationship develops through trust, empathetic understanding, and teamwork. Brege has experience working with individuals of various backgrounds aged 14 to 85. The most common therapeutic themes she’s encountered in her training surround management of anxiety, depression, relational issues, phase of life changes, ADHD, eating disorders, grief, and trauma.

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All therapists at the Hedda Bolgar Psychotherapy Clinic at Wright Institute Los Angeles are pre-licensed Psychology Interns and Postgraduate Fellows under the supervision of licensed mental health professionals on the WILA Faculty. Our therapists hold either a Doctorate in Psychology or a Master’s degree in Psychology, Social Work, or Marriage and Family Therapy. All therapists are registered with the California Board of Psychology or the California Board of Behavioral Sciences or at WILA as part of a CAPIC Accredited Internship.