I am currently studying at Mount Saint Mary's University. A fun fact about me is that I recently took up pottery and now I can't stop making pots for my succulent! In ten years, I see myself working for a non-profit helping provide mental health services for underserved families headed by women. I wanted to work for CPLA because I like their mission in helping students and families gain access to mental health services via low-cost school based treatment options. I also really enjoyed the support that was shown throughout the interview and training process. There was a lot of support and genuine good vibes being shown to not only myself but my future co-counselors as well. I hope to change the world by genuinely supporting my clients throughout their therapeutic journey and being an authentic support system. When I was going through my own journey in therapy, I remember how calming and reassuring it felt when my therapist would genuinely care about me and my problems at the time. I want to offer the same support to my clients.
I am currently a student in the MFT program at California State University Fullerton. In my free time, I like to reading, walking daily, watch Marvel movies, and listen to Alternative Music, and Folk and Blues Music. A fun fact about me is that I grew up in Los Angeles and am a 6th generation Californian! I am also a medical biller who works for clinical psychologists and therapists. In 10 years, I will have a private practice here in Long Beach, CA. I wanted to work for CPLA because I was impressed with their approach to children, beginning with building rapport. CPLA makes me feel that they have my back. I would like to change the world by helping a child understand they deserve respect, understanding and the ability to be heard.
I am currently a student at University of Massachusetts Global (UMass Global). Some of my passions and hobbies include cooking, being outdoors, playing tennis and pickle ball. A fun story about myself occurred when I was 6 years old at Petco and my parents took me to Petco. I really wanted a fish but my parents weren't willing to buy one so before leaving the store, I reached into one of the tanks, grabbed a live fish with my bare hands, and put it in my pocket. Unfortunately, it didn't make it home. Before CPLA, I worked at a non-profit doing ABA therapy with children on the spectrum.
In 10 years, I hope to have my own private practice, continuing to help children while positively connecting the whole family unit. I wanted to work for CPLA because it is committed to providing compassionate care to underserved students in Los Angeles. I wanted to work in an environment that helps children and families who are socioeconomically disadvantaged or have limited or no access to resources that are otherwise disenfranchised, live more happy and satisfying lives. Big life changes are inevitable, but that doesn't make them any easier for children to manage. Structure and stability feel safe for children, so new experiences like divorce or attending a new school can be scary. CPLA has provided me with the opportunity to help children navigate and grow from these experiences, helping them to strengthen their "resilience muscle". There is something so inspiring about seeing someone realize they are capable. If I can empower one child to feel confident and see themselves in a new light, I can accept that I am helping to create change in the world.
I am currently a student at Mount Saint Mary's University. In my free time, I enjoy playing with my dog, cooking, baking, and spending time with friends and family. A fun fact about myself is that I am a certified Pilates instructor! In 10 years I hope to be a LMFT at my own private practice. I want to work with kids and give them the support that many people did not experience growing up. Being provided counseling at a young age can make a big difference in their lives. What I love about CPLA is the support and family feel CPLA has provided me. I love getting to know each one of my students and hearing their life stories. I hope to change the world one child at a time. I hope to change the world by giving children and others the confidence to believe in themselves and never give up. Many children go through life feeling alone, I want to change that.
I am currently a student at Saybrook University. Some of my passions and hobbies include Singing/playing piano, reading, running and playing with my 13 year old cat, Deanie. A fun fact about myself is that I am originally from a very small town in Northern Michigan and I recently got married there this past summer. I also work part-time as a home health aide at Mom's Home Care and I care for a lovely elderly couple twice a week. Working with older adults is one of my passions in life. I enjoy spending time with them and learning about their lives.
In 10 years, I hope to be working at a non-profit organization or practice that includes programs with older adults and I hope to be specializing in that population as well as focusing on grief and bereavement. I wanted to work at CPLA because most of my experience comes from working with older adults, so I was interested in expanding my horizons and working with other populations - such as children/adolescents - to gain more understanding and knowledge of working with other individuals that may have different needs. What I love about CPLA is the support. The support I received from both of my supervisors last semester was incredible. I felt like I was in good hands and was comfortable enough to be completely vulnerable at times, which included sharing the things I'm having trouble with and my fears/doubts about becoming a therapist. I want to make sure that the people I work with can learn to express their thoughts and feelings and are capable of growth and change. I want them to be able to give them a safe space to share whatever is on their mind and know that they are loved and cared for.
I am currently attaining my MFT degree at Pacific Oaks College. I really enjoy spending time with my family and friends watching a Dodger Baseball game! On my free mommy-time, I enjoy going on a Target spree while drinking an Iced Caramel Macchiato. A fun fact about myself is that I enjoy collecting Starbucks Tumblr's ! Before transitioning into Mental Health I was a Preschool Teacher for seven years. I really enjoyed teaching students their social and emotional skills all through play-based. I was able to provide a safe and fun learning space throughout the years for children; now it is time for me to create a therapeutic space for children.
In 10 years I see myself being a LMFT while maintaining PsyD in Educational Psychology. I chose to work at CPLA because it has allowed me to be who I am- a helper, a teacher, and a counselor while being in a school setting. I have worked in a school setting for the past 12 years in my teaching career; therefore, I have gained experience working with staff members, principals, teachers, school psychologist & behavioral therapist, and families. Now, I will be able to bring all my tools that I have gained in the past twelve years to CPLA students and families. If I could change one child's world that would be by allowing them to express themselves freely, by letting them know they are cared for and loved for by their family and friends, but most importantly by including the child. Also, by engaging, connecting, and relating to a child can make all the difference but yet brings collectiveness between the two. I believe it is important to allow the child to voice themselves while praising them for their bravery.
I am currently a student at Alliant International University. Some of my interests include interior design, using power tools, Pilates, and being with my husband and kids. A fun fact about me is that I am renovating my house and DIYing most of it! I am a part time speech therapy assistant which I really enjoy. In 10 years, I see myself in a private practice working with couples and families. I wanted to work at CPLA because I value its mission and I am deeply grateful for the intentional supportive environment offered and maintained here. I love the mission of CPLA and how passionate the leaders are about making an impact, it is inspiring because it is so genuine and heartfelt. I hope to change the world by helping people feel less alone, to feel connection and hope.
I am currently a student in USC's MFT program. If I'm not working I'm most likely spending time with my family, friends, and dog. You can also catch me going to concerts, watching sunsets or driving along the coast. I also enjoy traveling, going to different restaurants, and binging shows on Netflix. A fun fact about me is that I've gone cliff jumping! It was so fun and I want to do it again! Before starting grad school, I worked for a clinic where I supported the patient intake process and responded to patient inquiries, scheduling requests, and clinical provider requests. I also contributed to bi-monthly clinical consultation meetings and group supervision meetings. I hope to have my own center to provide holistic treatment for children with anxiety and depression. It would have different types of therapy (play, art, different types of talk, etc.), nutrition, meditation/yoga, reiki, and so much more!
I have always wanted to work with children and am aligned with CPLA's mission statement and vision. After talking to previous counselors who worked here, I could see how much they loved this organization, and I wanted to be a part of that. You can also see the dedication and passion that Therese and the rest of the team have toward this community. The support I received from both of my supervisors, the CPLA team, and my school site has been invaluable. CPLA has allowed me to make a difference in the lives of so many children and be a support system for them. This has been an amazing way to start off my career as a therapist, and I am extremely grateful to this community. It has allowed me to start changing the world: I want to help children be confident to use their voices and be proud of who they are. I want them to feel loved.
I am currently a student at Touro University Worldwide. I love spending time with my family, staying connected to nature and writing poetry. A fun fact about me is that I am learning to paint Alebrijes. In addition to my counselor role, I am also the Executive Director of a nonprofit in South Los Angeles and a Trauma informed Art Facilitator. In 10 years, I see myself always growing and learning and being able to hold loving and intentional space for people through therapy and ancestral healing . I want to have my own practice where I can offer preventive well being workshops to the BIPOC communities.
I wanted to work at CPLA because they see the WHOLE child and this matters. In addition CPLA's commitment to nurture hope was so important for me. There is also a strong community within the team and the love does not go unnoticed. I really have grown as a Therapist in CPLA and that is thanks to the support and valuable trainings I have received from CPLA. In addition, the staff at my site has made me feel so welcomed and have been so helpful, so I can provide the best possible care to the children and teens. I truly feel blessed here. It is my goal to change the world, even if it is just one child's. It is beautiful to be a witness of the free spirit of a child and be see their innate abundance, while knowing they have everything they need within to bloom and thrive. To be fully present and guide them to see this for themselves is my heart's wish.
I attended Pepperdine University and attained my MFT in December 2022. Some of my hobbies and interests include singing and playing piano or guitar, songwriting, dj'ing, designing and sewing clothes, running, dancing, and I love building things. A fun fact about me is that I released two albums and toured the world for 10 years singing in a rock band I created. I always thought music was an abstract way of helping people and thought I would try a non-abstract avenue...hence my degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.
In 10 years I would like to work with a group practice working with families and also music professionals. Also, I would like to have my own shelter to help at risk youth. I wanted to work for CPLA because of the opportunity to work with teens and their families utilizing a multitude of modalities including the incorporation of music. I love CPLA because of the excellent support, communication, and how the team functions as a team/family. I aspire to help children replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk, empowering them to be their "best self" and know that they can do anything they put their minds to if they are willing to do the work.
I am currently a student at Pepperdine University's MFT program. Some of my passions include being with friends and family, making music, and teaching. A fun fact about me is that I have been in multiple bands since the age of 13. I have been a preschool teacher for the past 3 years and I love it! Working in early intervention has been a passion of mine since I was a kid myself!
In 10 years I hope to be happy and healthy surrounded by friends and family, well traveled and working in early intervention with families in a school/private practice setting. I wanted to work for CPLA because I have had a passion for working with children and working in a school setting and CPLA was a combination of the two. After meeting the team, it was a done deal! I love the support and community that CPLA has built. I always have someone to turn to and they are willing and very experienced. All of the other counselors are so supportive and we have created a community, even through the computer! I hope to show children that they should never be afraid to be themselves. I want to provide confidence and safety for them and for them to do that things that fill them with joy.
I am currently a student at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. To start off, a fun fact about me is that I had the opportunity to study abroad in London during my undergraduate at California State University - Northridge, which gave me the chance to travel and explore and become aware of other cultures and the diversity around the world. In addition to being a counselor at CPLA, I'm a dog mom (and now "dog grandma" to 5 puppies!) and an aunt to my two amazing nephews. I am also an intake coordinator and office manager at my family's healthcare agency. In my free time, I love playing with my dogs, cooking, traveling, and going to Disneyland!
In 10 years, I see myself as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor with my own private practice, as well as working with other mental health organizations to provide additional mental health services to the community. I hope to change the way mental health is seen and understood and to remove the stigmas that may come along with mental health. I also hope to provide a safe space for individuals to allow themselves to become vulnerable, know that there are others that care for them and work toward becoming their best selves. During graduate school, I began to realize how beneficial and rewarding it can be for children to be provided that safe space and having someone that they can be vulnerable with and open up to. With CPLA, children and adolescents are provided with the opportunity to seek counseling at school, and I knew I wanted to be part of CPLA to help provide children and adolescents with that safe space. I love working with CPLA because there is an extensive amount of support that we receive as counselors from FSPs, supervisors, and other team members at CPLA. I also love the rewarding feeling of knowing we have made an impact on at least one child's life and provided them with the support they needed.
I am currently a student at Pepperdine University and am pursuing my LMFT. A fun fact about me is that I love music and have a large collection of vinyl records! Everything from Vivaldi's Four Seasons to ABBA to The Rolling Stones. In addition to being a CPLA counselor, I work as a consultant, consulting employers on the benefits they offer to their employees. Most of my job involves advocating on behalf of individuals with their health insurance claims and ensuring individuals have the coverage they need. I also have a certification in Inclusive Workplace Culture and consult employers on ways to make their companies more inclusive. I am very passionate about music and the outdoors. I enjoy going to concerts and the beach, or catching a movie screening at the Hollywood Forever. But really, most of my time outside of work is spent with family.
In 10 years, I hope to become an LMFT, making an impact in women's and families lives. Whether that is in private practice or working for a meaningful agency, we will see where the wind blows me. I wanted to work for CPLA because they embody the support and spirit I was looking for in a practicum site. CPLA makes me feel as though I can continue to grow and learn myself, while still making a difference in children's lives. I hope to change the world by helping children find and develop their inner resilience so they can go on to lead fulfilling lives.
I currently attend Pepperdine University and am a student in their MFT/LPCC program. To start off, a fun fact about me is that I am certified in scuba diving! In my free time, I love hiking, camping, cooking, doing yoga, and playing with my puppy, Obi. Before pursuing a degree in mental health, I worked in fundraising at my alma mater, Occidental College. In this role, I ran the student call center, managing up to 40 employees. Mentoring and guiding college students was a fulfilling and meaningful experience, and further cemented my passion for working with young adults.
In 10 years, I would like to work with adolescents and emerging adults with histories of trauma. Ideally, I see myself facilitating their personal evolution and growth journey. Though my current plan is to work in private practice, I am also open to other opportunities as they arise. I hope that, in 10 years, I am still learning, growing, and cultivating my clinical skills. I came to work at CPLA because I'm deeply passionate about helping young people set the stage for continued success and well-being throughout their life. I felt that being a CPLA counselor would be an excellent opportunity to provide the necessary support to students who may not have it elsewhere. I love working at CPLA because I really get to know my students I'm also grateful for all the trainings, workshops, and support I receive as I develop my clinical identity here at CPLA. As a counselor, I hope to bring a depth of understanding and self-acceptance to my students and future clients. If I can improve another's lived experience, even if it's in the smallest of ways, I feel that I will be making a positive difference in the world.
I am a current student at California State University, Fullerton. A fun fact about me is that a lot of people ask about how my parents chose my name (if they are from Dallas, if they like the football team, etc.) but my mom just really liked the name when she heard it and she decided that her baby would be named Dallas, regardless of the sex of the baby. In my free time, I like to watch Disney movies/shows, I like to read (especially horror books or psychology themed books) and I like to spend quality time with my cousins and friends. Apart from being a grad student, I am also a graduate advisor for the Psychology Dept. at my school, so I advise undergrad students regarding PSYC classes to pick for their degree and I help them with career planning and grad school questions.
In 10 years, I see myself having my License in MFT and I am either working for a great agency or I am doing therapy in private. I also see myself as a part-time lecturer at my university (CSUF) and I hope to be a mom by then. I decided to work at CPLA because I heard some good recommendations from some other grad students, but after meeting Therese at an intro practicum meeting and looking at the website, I knew this agency was the place that I wanted to be at for my practicum. Their approach to doing therapy is what I am looking for in a practicum. I like working at CPLA because I love the sense of community and support from the entire agency. I hope to change the world, even if it's 1 child's world, by being a person that others, or the child, can count on. I am big on upholding my word and doing something all the way when I make a commitment. If a child that I am working with needs someone to count on or listen to their concerns, I make it my responsibility to do everything in my power to be there for them.
I am a student at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. A fun fact about me is that I have been performing and teaching improv comedy for over 15 years. In my free time, I love to do wood-working, make music, and participate in improv comedy. When I'm not studying or counseling students, I do odd jobs to keep my creative side working while in pursuit of an MFT degree.
In 10 years, I would like to be licensed as a therapist, making small art projects and hopefully maintaining a small garden. I am terrible with plants but there is a desire there! I wanted to work with CPLA because I worked in education for 8 years. That time showed me the need for helping parents and children in their communication to help strengthen the family bond. I also like playing which is far easier to do at a school than at a Department of Mental Health or private practice. I love working at CPLA because I enjoy the diversity of clients that I get to work with. There are so many unique stories that I get to work with each day. I am getting such a broad range of clients that I already feel like I am being well prepared for my career as a clinician. I hope to change the world by changing the way individuals see themselves. I'd like to instill hope and foster the individuals value and worth that we all poses as created beings.
I am a student at Pepperdine University. A fun fact about me is that I am a twin! My twin brother lives across the country in New York. I love the outdoors and spending time in nature. On days off, you will find me at the beach or on a hiking trail. I am a huge Dodger fan, love to exercise and spend time with friends. I currently work part-time at a psychological and educational services company called cross country education.
In 10 years, I want to have a private practice where I work with adolescents and young adults. I also would love to have an outdoor ranch where children and adolescents can practice mental health, responsibility, and mindfulness. I wanted to work at CPLA I grew up in Catholic schools, so the population is familiar and important to me. I have always loved working with children, and the children that I work with often don't have access to services that I provide. I love the community, the mission, and the support that I get. Starting off as a therapist is a whirlwind and very difficult at times. CPLA has always been amazing at supporting me through the difficulties that come up. I see positive change in many of the students that I work with, and it is extremely rewarding to see how much of a difference that I can make in this field. I hope to be an example for those I work with. I have found that the smallest things can make the biggest differences. Being a mentor and just being a person that someone can go to can change their life in a positive direction.
I currently attend Pepperdine University. A fun fact about me is that my first language was actually Farsi even though I was born in California! If I’m not working I’m most likely with family or friends. I love spending time with the people I love. I also love to travel, try new restaurants, go to concerts, and binge watch different shows on Netflix/Hulu! I am also an MFT Trainee at Exodus Recovery. Here I have the opportunity to provide services to another population and hopefully make an impact there as well.
In 10 years I hope to be an LMFT working in private practice to provide mental health services to different individuals and communities. My goal is to create a practice that holds space for these individuals to feel safe, heard, and understood, to know they are not alone, and to give them tools to create a life well-lived. I wanted to work for CPLA because working with these students is so important. Being able to provide the support they need and knowing I can make an impact on a child’s life grasped my attention right away. CPLA also provides me with immense support myself from all different areas. This gives me the ability to confidently grow and learn while seeing these students each day. I love working at CPLA because of the immense amount of support I have from all different areas. This support has given me the ability to confidently grow and learn while seeing students each day. Also, being able to go in each day and give the students an opportunity to release whatever they need makes me feel as though I am providing them with a safe and understanding place. Even if it’s 1 child, I hope to open their minds to mental health and its importance. Helping them learn the tools they may need to go through everyday life.
I am a student at Medaille University's LPCC program. A fun fact about me is that I grew up in London, England and am the third generation of counselors in my family! In my free time, I like to do yoga, cooking, hiking, and art- plus my dog! I also work part time at a private practice in New York, where I recently moved from. I also work to support NYMHCA with their webinars.
In 10 years, I see myself hopefully running my own private practice! I wanted to work at CPLA because of the dedication, passion and feelings of love which was so apparent in Therese and the rest of the team- they are so committed to supporting their interns and working to help the lives of children and families. I love working at CPLA because of the supportive atmosphere of the team. I hope to help children gain confidence and in their own abilities, and to feel comfortable and safe in their own skin so that they are able to move into the world as self-assured individuals.
April-June Counselor Spotlights
I am a student at Pepperdine. I originally applied to Pepperdine to get an ABA Masters, but quickly realized MFT was a better fit for me and was luckily able to switch tracks. I am now going for dual-licensure and completing my final semester this summer; I can't believe it. It has felt like I've been in school for a long time and it has gone by quickly all at the same time.
I am also a freelance dog sitter and a part-time nanny to twin boys. One of my passions/interests is... old cars, just kidding!! I wish I had exciting hobbies, but the truth is I am a huge introvert and passionate about introverts. I love watching TV and movies. I enjoy reading, but at the end of the day, it's TV over everything.
What would I like to be doing in 10 years? This is a tough question to answer because there are many options in this field and many ways to combine my interests with therapy. I am open to experiencing different aspects of this field in order to find and create my fit within the mental health community. The next couple of years of being pre-licensed feels like the time to explore and really find my niche. In 10 years, I will be continuing to align my values with my career. I hope in 10 years, mental health and health care, in general, are not only adequate but really serving and helping populations most in need and deserving of care.
I saw Therese and Karen speak during a practicum class at Pepperdine. When Therese and Karen started to speak, I hoped they would consider me to train at CPLA. I loved their dynamic, their personalities, and their passion. Their banter with each other indicated that CPLA had a great working environment and the way they spoke about what it was like to work at CPLA made CPLA my top choice immediately. I also thought working with children in a school setting felt like the next gradual step for me because I have a lot of experience babysitting and nannying. I thought CPLA would be a great way to continue working with children but with the added mental health aspect. What is comforting to me about therapy is that the therapeutic relationship is the most important and effective aspect of therapy. I hope that I can impact children by giving them my complete time, attention, presence, and non-judgement during the session, and in doing so, validate them and their experience. I think children feeling accepted just as they are can be very healing for them.
It has been such a great experience being part of the CPLA community. I really enjoy the school I am based in and clients I get to work with. I am grateful for all of the supervisors I've been able to train with. Everyone is equally passionate and brings different perspectives, life and work experiences that have all impacted my professional work. I now have high expectations before going to another site because I want supervision and training to be as on-point as it is at CPLA.
I am currently studying at Pepperdine University, graduating in May 2022 with my MA in Clinical Psychology and an emphasis in Marriage & Family Therapy. My passions include mental health awareness and advocacy, accessible healthcare, sustainable living, helping people connect to their bodies, and many others. As for hobbies, I love reading, cooking, camping, weightlifting, and doing yoga. I consider myself a lifelong student because I am endlessly curious and wanting to learn more. You can usually find me reading a book or two…or three.
I actually quit my full-time job before starting with CPLA because I wanted to dedicate my last year of grad school to practicum and coursework (I feel very lucky to have been able to do this!) Before making the professional leap into mental health, I worked mostly in the entertainment industry. That industry is obviously quite different from this work, but it allowed me to learn from others, grow as a person, and finally pursue my current career path. In my spare time, I like to volunteer and practice self-care, which looks like hanging out with loved ones, eating delicious food, spending time outdoors, and moving my body.
In 10 years, I hope to be living in a cute little house covered with vines with my partner and a few dogs, working as a therapist with adolescents and adults (individuals and couples). But who knows! I’m a planner at heart, but I also want to keep my options open. I love connecting people to resources they need and I also love teaching, so I am considering working in multiple facets of the mental health field. At the very least, I want to show kids and young adults that help is out there. I also hope to show kids and young adults that safe and healthy relationships are possible and that they are capable of cultivating these relationships. As most of my clients know by now, I want to help them accept the notion that change is the only constant and that life can be uncertain but ultimately worth living.
I initially wanted to work for CPLA because my original goal was to be a high school counselor. We didn't have any emotional support at the schools I attended, and I wanted to be that person for children. I always felt that there was more to being a kid than just being a student, and there's much more to counseling than just focusing on academics!
I love working for CPLA because there is so much built-in support. I never feel like I’m going at it alone, and they truly honor and emphasize the training element of their agency. There are endless resources and opportunities to learn more, which is my favorite thing to do. Additionally, I have enjoyed being able to form honest therapeutic relationships with kids who might have never had this experience before. It is immensely rewarding watching children learn more about themselves and apply the skills they learn in counseling in their everyday life.
I earned my bachelor's degree from California State University, Fullerton in 2019 and am now getting my Master's in Clinical Psychology from the same institution. I am excited to be graduating at the end of this year! When I am not at my site I also work as a substitute teacher and a graduate course assistant for an undergraduate Abnormal Psychology course. When I am not working or in school I enjoy exploring outdoors, playing guitar, and spending time with my friends and family.
In 10 years, I hope to hold dual licensure as an LMFT and LPCC working in a community setting with children and/or individuals who require court mandated therapy. As a therapist, I hope that at minimum, I am able to be a compassionate and stable figure in the lives of those who need it most.
I have worked both clinically and non clinically with children and adolescents for the past seven years. I wanted to continue my work with this population and came across CPLA. While searching for a practicum site, it was extremely important to me that I was part of a company that was dedicated to not only helping others, but also to providing new therapists with the support and guidance needed to flourish professionally and make differences in the lives of others. I was drawn to CPLA because not only do they provide all of this, but they go above and beyond to make our work as therapists feel appreciated.
I love working for CPLA because of the wonderful support they provide for all of us Clinicians. Between the supervisors, FSP's and Director, even the most challenging of times feel manageable. There are continuous opportunities for us to learn and grow as therapists through consultations, monthly training, and student presentations, which are essential elements of creating compassionate and skillful clinicians. I also love that CPLA dedicates their time to work with underserved and low- income families. Being able to provide therapy to this particular population has been beyond rewarding and through this experience I have grown so much as both a person and a therapist.
In 2018, I received my B.A. in Psychology from Cal State University Long Beach. Currently I am continuing my education at Pepperdine University where I will earn my Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy.
I chose to work for CPLA after learning how much their mission and values aligned with my own professional goals. Some of those professional goals include working with children and young adults in underserved communities. It was also important for me to work in an environment where respect and unconditional support is emphasized. I have enjoyed the flexibility of being able to apply different modalities into my work as I believe therapy is not a one size fits all.
I am passionate about working in a field where I can help others become the best versions of themselves. Being a part of each client’s personal growth has been both rewarding and inspiring; everyday I am reminded that this career is truly where I am supposed to be. In 10 years, I hope to have grown into a stronger therapist and hope to continue making a positive impact in the lives of others.
I received my bachelors in sociology and child development. I am currently obtaining my masters in social work from Ohio State University. I wanted to work for CPLA for a variety of reasons however, the first thing that caught my eye was the mission and the population CPLA serves. I have a passion for providing counseling to students in a school based setting because not only can we work with families to provide interventions in the home but we also have the opportunity to work with teachers to give guidance in the classroom. Providing one to one mental health counseling allows me to empower students to create changes in their lives and having the opportunity to do that brings me joy. Some of my interests include working out, walking my dog Ollie, traveling and eating at new places/trying different kinds foods ! In my past roles I have been a First Grade teacher, a Counselor where I helped children with social emotional skills.I have also worked as a Foster Care Licensor where I helped families become licensed to become foster/adoptive parents. Each of my roles have led me to know and love working with children and families and I am grateful to have had these amazing opportunities. In 10 years I see myself happily working as a therapist for children, families and couples. My goal is to help every client I work with to view their life/challenges with a new perspective. I hope to give them the tools to feel successful without my guidance and ultimately feel happiness and peace in their life.
I received my BA in Human Development and Minor in Child Development from CSULB in 2018. I recently graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills. I received my MS in Marital & Family Therapy.
My number one favorite thing to do is spending time with my family. I also enjoy; crafting, walking my dog, and hiking when the weather is good. I am a mother to a soon-to-be 5-year-old, which keeps me pretty busy on top of the fact that I am a big introvert who loves to binge-watch shows in the comfort of my home. You'll see a bit of an extrovert in me when you catch me at Disney occasionally. Disneyland and California Adventure are one of my top ways to self-care! I enjoy the rides and the yummy treats while I am at the parks!
In 10 years, I see myself working to improve our underserved communities. I still see myself primarily working with children and families and maybe by this time I have also added working with women who have struggled with infertility, child loss, and postpartum depression as this is something I have been challenged with myself and hope to one day be able to help others cope with their grief. Aside from professionally, on the personal side I hope to have my own home and add another child to our family and also a few more four-legged babies.
I hope I am able to be a person in a child's life that reassures them that they are worthy and that they have so much to give and so much more to experience. If I am able to do this for a child then that would translate to how I would hope to change the world since this would help decrease the stigma on mental health and decrease suicide rates and increase healthy ways in which children can voice when they are struggling.
I wanted to work for CPLA because of a few reasons: a. I did not have a great experience with school staff when I was in K-12, and more specifically when I was in high school. I wanted to "be the change" that I wish I would have received because it was much needed. b. Working with kids was always something I envisioned myself doing, I didn't know in what capacity, but I quickly realized how much of an impact a counselor can have in a child's life. And c. I often think about my childhood which leads me to think about how it would have been great to feel fully supported by someone as I was discovering who I was and figuring out my identity in this big world. I feel passionate about being that person for children. As an adult looking back, I know I was cared for and loved, but it did not always feel that way. Receiving counseling in a school setting as children is beneficial in so many ways! Some of those include learning to express themselves, acquiring healthy coping skills, learning mindfulness techniques for when they are feeling stuck, feeling validated, feeling heard, and one of the biggest ones is learning to reach out when things feel like they are falling apart, CPLA gave me the opportunity to be this person to children and it is honestly such a privilege.
Additionally, while working for CPLA I have felt very supported and I love the community of counselors always sharing ideas and providing feedback to each other. I have also been very lucky to have such supportive supervisors that will hold your hand through the hard things that sometimes need to be done and then making sure you process if anything came up for you.
I am currently studying at Palo Alto University and working on my dual licensure (MFT & LPCC).
I spent 4.5 years working as a Behavior Therapist with children on the Autism Spectrum. I learned the ins and outs of behavior modification and how this can help decrease our everyday "problems". But I have always had a passion for discovering what goes on behind those behaviors. This passion led me to pursuing my Masters in Counseling and taking what I have learned in my own life and experiences and using that to help support others in their self-exploration.
I am (obviously) passionate about serving others. But in my free time, I am either spending time with my family and friends or working out in the gym. The body and the mind are muscles and they both should be worked on!
I hope to change the world (even if it's just 1 child's world) by spotlighting the importance of mental health and complete wellness. Humans are flawed, and we will always be working on ourselves. But if we focus on being the best versions of ourselves every chance we get, we will all see each other for who we truly are-- people who yearn for understanding and have the need to be loved and supported. My ultimate goal is to leave the lives I've touched, desiring and demanding to know themselves more so they can show up for those in their lives.
In 10 years, I see myself owning a private practice that focuses on total wellness. Meaning it will be a space that houses not only mental health therapy, but also nutrition and body wellness professionals as well.
I am a huge believer in advocating for those who are not spoken for; the children and communities CPLA serves deserve a space to express themselves, whether good or bad. I wanted to be a part of a team who placed high importance on this!
I love working for CPLA because it has given me a chance to touch the lives of impressionable children. Whether they are 5 years old or 13 years old, they have not only trusted me with supporting them, they have taught me to appreciate every moment I get on earth and to never take things for granted.
I am currently studying at Azusa Pacific University for my MFT degree. I currently work in retail and have managerial experience of over 5+ years. Recently, I was a manager at my retail job but decided to step down so that I could focus on my education. I was also a Girl Scout growing up. I am a very caring and passionate person who loves to help out my family and friends but also anyone in general. I try to go above and beyond to help anyone out if I can because I know what it is like to feel as though you do not have any support. Some of my hobbies/passions/interests are listening to crime podcasts, drawing, painting, and baking.
In 10 years, I see myself being more of an advocate for having more mental health services and resources provided in schools. My entire school career, I did not have a mental health counselor that I could have gone to about my mental health and I know a lot of schools do not have access to these sorts of resources. I hope to change the views on mental health and let others know that it is ok to want to work on their mental health and that just because you talk to someone about your problems or issues, it does not mean that you are crazy or something is wrong with you. I hope to show others that there are people out there who do care and support them, even if it's only 1 child's world that I change.
I wanted to work for CPLA because it provides mental health resources/services to children and families. This was really important to me because I truly believe that children are the future and in order to succeed, children and families need to be supported in every way whether that is academically, socially, and/or mentally.
I love working for CPLA because it allows me to be a support system to children and their families. I am able to relate to a lot of the different developmental stages our students may be currently going through and I am able to validate how they feel and show them that they are not alone and are not going to continue to be alone as they continue to grow in these areas.
March Counselor Spotlights
I am currently studying at Mount Saint Mary's University, located in Los Angeles, CA, attaining my MFT degree in Counseling Psychology. I am currently a Tools for Peace facilitator based in Los Angeles County. Tools For Peace is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and cultivating social/emotional awareness through mindfulness and meditation practice within Los Angeles Public Schools. Some things that nourish me are exchanging postcards and letters to others across the United States, Birdwatching, and Nature-walking, including hiking trails. Some of my interests are reading poetry and writing. I also like to spend time with my loved ones when I can.
I see myself working with students ranging from 14 to 24 years through school settings in ten years. I enjoy the idea of providing services at a location that may initially offer safety and comfort for many youth and young adults developing their sense of self. I also see myself engaging in community projects centered around mindfulness and meditation for youth and young adults across the country and the world. I hope to co-create a safer world for all to feel comfortable being themselves with guidance and support. I hope to normalize the practice of accepting and requesting help during difficult times- we all depend upon one another in many different ways. Recognizing and strengthening this interdependency is crucial.
What drew me to working with CPLA were their core values centered on nurturance and agency in improving the wellbeing of students across Los Angeles County. I found their work to be inspiring. I envisioned myself being led by several professionals dedicated to students' mental health – body and mind.
Working with CPLA provides this ample opportunity to learn more about myself in the service of others. I believe CPLA's level of support and advocacy for students' wellbeing emphasizes responsibility and care, which I find vital during these times.
I am earning my Masters degree in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in marriage and family therapy at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in downtown Los Angeles. I am passionate about mental and physical wellness so I take time to incorporate a combination of activities into my daily life such as yoga, hiking, and gardening, just to name a few! I enjoy traveling and exploring new places as well as spending time with my family, my friends and my big dog baby Georgie! I am a self proclaimed foodie! I love to eat at new places and try different foods, so it makes sense for me to be involved in the hospitality industry. When I'm not at my CPLA school site, I'm making awesome drinks and serving delicious food in the South Bay. I connect with my guests over a food experience. Past guests have included me in their food blogs and I have regulars who appreciate the overall experience they receive at the restaurant. I'm passionate about serving people in general. I wanted to be a part of the CPLA family because of the committed and genuine work that is being done with children and adolescents. CPLA recognizes the importance of giving students a safe space to be themselves and feel supported. I love working for CPLA because it has allowed me to grow as a person and a professional. My position at CPLA has gifted me many new relationships that I am forever thankful for and most importantly, it has given me the opportunity to be a role model for my students. I feel very supported at CPLA and am grateful for the people who take time to help me through my journey. In 10 years, I see myself teaching at the University level as a Doctor of psychology. I will be working in my community to make mental health resources more easily and readily accessible to people of all backgrounds while continuously advocating for mental health. If I could change even just 1 child's world, I would hope to have taught them to hone their skills to be able to push through the hardest times that we all experience in life and that they are reminded that their uniqueness is one of the most special things no one can take away from them.
I attend Antioch University and am graduating this week with a Masters in Clinical Psychology, specializing in Addiction & Recovery. I am in the marriage & family therapist (LMFT) track and the professional clinical counselor (LPCC) track. Some of my passions include being outdoors (traveling, hiking, camping, live music), yoga & dance, fostering dogs, and spending my free time with family and friends. Recently I have been working with a nonprofit to help provide Humanitarian aid to Ukraine, where my family and I are from. I currently work at a treatment center as a clinical liaison, advocating for clients and helping families find the right treatment for their loved ones who are struggling. I hope that I can ensure that children of all ages feel heard, respected, and valuable in this world. I strive to convey that to every single client that I work with.
I am passionate about working with adolescents who struggle with mental health and wanted to be part of the CPLA team to gain more experience from those working in the field in a school-based setting. CPLA has taught me so much, about connecting and working with clients. I continuously feel supported by the team. Therese does an amazing job of helping each member of CPLA feel encouraged and part of the team! I love working with my clients and connecting with other interns and supervisors to help problem solve together.
I am in the MFT Program at Fuller Theological Seminary. I came to work for CPLA to complete
my Practicum training, after realizing that the situation that I was previously in was not a good fit for me. I was granted the privilege of coming to CPLA where I have been placed around great people, and a
great site! I have found the clinical support to be phenomenal and the school that I am working at has
been awesome! They are friendly, professional and have been conscientious about safety. The families and students have also been supportive, and I couldn’t be happier!
As for my passions, I love cooking, baking and gardening. I am passionate about transforming my soul food recipes into gluten free delights. I am also passionate about justice.
I am enjoying my work with CPLA because they provide the care and support that I feel a new therapist needs to become a successful therapist. I have previously held positions of Juvenile Probation Officer, Director of Community Corrections Programs, Child Abuse and Neglect Case Manager, as well as other positions in Financial Services.
I am passionate about helping children to become the best version of themselves. Since I don’t know if I’m sitting in front of the next Pacquiao, Picasso, Serena, MLK, JFK, or the future leader of the Free World, I believe that each child should be treated as if they were the “King’s Kid’s” because in a way they are. I believe that each child has the potential to become someone great.
Having earned my bachelor's degree at CSUN with a major in psychology and a minor in child development, I am now attending the Chicago School of Professional Psychology where I will earn my master's degree as an MFT. Having the opportunity to further my education has been a blessing for me. Though it has been a long process, I am happy that I chose this career, and I could not have asked for better schools.
For the past three years, I have worked in an inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment center. It has been a rewarding experience and I have met many wonderful people. I am also a teaching assistant for my professor, which has been equally rewarding because we have built various mental health projects together. Prior to working at the treatment center, I worked for three years in a restaurant before becoming a behavioral therapist.
On my days off, I enjoy doing things that I love. For example, I enjoy cycling and strength training. I also enjoy going to aerial fitness classes since they help clear my head and provide a nice sense of self-care. Additionally, I like to go on hikes, watch scary movies, and spend time with my cats. They are a big part of my life and keep me happy (and busy!). I also love spending quality time with friends and family.
In 10 years, I would like to continue doing community work. I always had a passion for working with children, so I hope to continue doing so. A second interest of mine is working with women's mental and physical health (postpartum depression, postpartum psychosis, miscarriages, etc.). If possible, I would like to open up a center and offer individual and group sessions. In my personal life, I hope to raise a healthy family and have a house of our own.
Working with children and their families made it clear how much pressure, worry, and anxiety they experience. Life can be unpredictable sometimes, and I want to meet the child wherever he or she is and provide them with whatever support they need. Whether they need someone to talk to, to play with, or if I find that certain resources may be of benefit to them.
The career fair gave me a chance to learn about various sites. I immediately felt drawn to CPLA, as I am passionate about working with children. Furthermore, I appreciate that CPLA works with underserved communities, and I intend to continue this work. Looking at the CPLA website and becoming more familiar with their vision and mission statement, I knew that CPLA was the right site for me. Throughout my academic career, I have been taught to work through a family systems lens. CPLA has given me the opportunity not only to work with children, but also with their families. We receive outstanding feedback, but we are still allowed to retain a sense of individuality to allow us to grow as clinicians.
The best part of CPLA, for me, is the great amount of support we receive from them. I have never felt alone since I joined. There is always someone who can lend a helping hand should difficulties arise. In addition, I am incredibly fortunate to have been placed in a school that I love! The staff has also been very helpful and supportive.
February Counselor Spotlights
I am studying at California State University Dominguez Hills. I love singing and spending time with family and friends, being active with Pilates, swimming, and hiking, as well as doing whatever I can do to bring positive mental health to our communities to make them stronger and happier. I have been a bilingual elementary teacher, early childhood administrator, K-12 school counselor, adjunct professor at Pepperdine instructing teachers in how to work with second language students, and a happy and fulfilled mother. I look forward to treasuring my time working as a therapist with students in the future. I see myself continuing to work with children and families in mental health healing in addition to guiding others to do the same.
I have loving experiences working with elementary kids and I also believe everyone can grow stronger and happier with a spiritual connection, so CPLA has given me the opportunity to train with kind and caring supervisors, field support, administrators and teachers to bring compassionate healing to children and their families.
I am grateful to be in a program that offers valuable evidence-based training to me as well as providing compassionate needed services to families, especially to the children in those families. I am also grateful to be part of a supportive and compassionate team of supervisors, administrators, teachers, and field support who demonstrate kindness and integrity for the individual student’s health and happiness. With that support, I bring students a treasure chest of strategies to love and care for themselves, their families, and their friends.
I graduated from Pepperdine University with eligibility for dual licensure for MFT & LPCC.
I enjoy spending my free time with my family, especially my 5-year-old Son & 12-year-old fur baby (dog) Rhino. I also enjoy going to the beach, practicing Jiu-Jitsu, and traveling. My favorite self-care activities include indulging in old movies on Turner Classics, acupuncture, and massages.
When I'm not working for CPLA, I also work as an Intake Counselor for Del Amo Hospital, an inpatient psychiatric facility. I also hold an additional position as a Handle With Care Trainer, focusing on verbal de escalation to avoid physical altercations with patients. This trainer position perfectly compliments my martial arts background. When I'm not working I enjoy being a dedicated family member and supporting my family any way I can.
In 10 years, I hope to have a thriving private practice while also continuing to dedicate myself to community mental health with a focus on children and adolescents. My goal is to help children and adolescents develop the tools necessary to become a successful member in their community. To me, a successful member in their community means being able to help those in need while also tending to their own needs and facing the world as an undaunted human, capable of mastering challenges.
I wanted to come work for CPLA because I grew up Catholic and understand the community very well. I also remember what it is like to be school aged and having someone you can talk to about everything, can be a saving grace.
I LOVE working for CPLA because of the complete support. From Therese & Karen and all of the FSPs as well as the stellar supervision, I feel completely supported in every avenue.
I am currently attending Pepperdine Graduate University of Education and Psychology. I enjoy traveling around California with my wife, watching movies, and playing my weekly dungeons and dragons campaigns with my friends.
Before coming to CPLA, I worked as a Lead Case Manager at an apartment building that supported people who had experienced homelessness and were living with severe mental health challenges. I am very lucky that I am currently in a position where I can spend my time focusing solely on CPLA and school.
I love working for CPLA because they provide excellent supervision/training, advocate for both students and practicum interns, and, most importantly to me, will go the extra mile to make sure that a child is getting the help they need. A great example of this is when I was working with a student that had been experiencing suicidal ideation for several months and needed to move his meeting time to a day when my advisor was unavailable. I discussed the situation with Therese and within five minutes she agreed to be available for supervision on her day off if anything happened with the student.
CPLA helped me discover that I have a true passion for working with children. I see myself working with children not just in 10 years, but for the rest of my career. With CPLA having helped me discover a passion for working with children, much of my original career goals have changed. At some point, I would like to work with either insurance or county mental health programs to lower the barriers to high quality mental health care for all children and their families. However, if I could change the world of one child, it would be for them to truly believe that they have the resilience to get through hard times and that they are worth it.
I attend Fuller Theological Seminary. I am very involved with my local church and work on staff part-time as an administrator. In this role, I get to support the many families and children that attend our church! I love trying out new recipes, exploring new restaurants (I’m a huge foodie!), photography, and singing! In 10 years I’d really like to collaborate with non-profits that work to strengthen communities and serve the members of my community who are in need.
When you are truly seen and loved just the way you are, it will strengthen you to see what your purpose is in life. Once you know what your purpose is, you will be a gift that will bless your circle of support, your community and the world. This is what I hope to be able to help children see!
I LOVE the support I receive from the CPLA supervisors and my colleagues. They have provided incredibly helpful advice as I’ve navigated challenges as a new clinician. It has helped me grow tremendously! I have a passion for helping people going through difficult transitions and I want to help them see their strengths. CPLA offers me the opportunity to work with students who are making the challenging transition of going back to in-person learning!
January Counselor Spotlight
I graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a BA in Psychology and minor in child and adolescent development. I am currently attending Pepperdine University and will earn a MA in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy this spring. In my free time I love to exercise and go to the beach. I also enjoy reading and spending time with my family and friends!
I wanted to work for CPLA after learning about their mission of supporting at-risk youth and underserved communities. I enjoy working with children and adolescents, and I especially wanted to work in a school setting to provide mental health services to families who may not be able to access these services in their community. I love that CPLA allows counselors to have freedom to use different therapeutic techniques and interventions, but also provides extensive training and support. If there is ever a crisis or difficult situation, I know that I can always reach out to my FSP, supervisor, and other members of CPLA, for additional support and guidance. Aside from being a CPLA counselor, I also work part time as an assistant to the Clinical Training department at Pepperdine University, where I work with graduate students completing their internship.
If I could change one child's world, I would want to provide them with a safe space where they feel valued and supported. This is a crucial time in their development, and providing unconditional positive regard and empathy can make a lasting impact in their life!In 10 years, I plan to start a non-profit organization that provides counseling and holistic services to youth and young adults. I would like to continue providing affordable and accessible services, while focusing on early intervention.
I’m currently attending Pepperdine University and will earn a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy in June 2022.
I love gathering with friends and family, traveling, taking long walks with my dog, and taking care of orchids. I volunteer at various organizations and am currently the president of my high school’s alumni council and a trustee on its board. I’m committed to supporting the LGBTQ+ community and ensuring diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice remain a part of our conversations. I’m a mom of two teenagers and raising them influenced me to go back to school to become a therapist.
In 10 years I hope to be working in a group private practice helping parents improve their relationships with their kids, so they can better navigate today’s high-pressured academic environment and adopt healthy life skills. I also hope to help kids find their voice, believe in themselves, and feel empowered to improve their world.
I was drawn to CPLA because of its mission of providing counseling to underserved and low-income families in a school environment. The support from CPLA is amazing! From the leadership of Therese and her team, the FSPs, and experienced supervisors to the vital resources and training, CPLA is a fantastic organization for MFT trainees.
December Counselor Spotlights
Hello! My name is Terrie and I graduated from Biola University with a B.A. in Psychology and am now working on my Master’s in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy at Azusa Pacific University. One of the main reasons that I wanted to work for CPLA is because of my passion for working with children and adolescents in underserved communities. I also love how CPLA provides accessibility and awareness to mental health through school-based services. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be working for CPLA because of the guidance and constant support that I receive from my supervisors, FSP, and last but not least, my co-counselor. I absolutely adore my co-counselor, Nickella, so shout out to her!
I hope to change the world, even if it’s one child’s world, by providing them with a safe space where they feel seen and heard. Recently, I had a bunch of kindergarteners running up to me for hugs, screaming “We love you, Miss Terrie!” This was the moment that I knew that I was made to work with this population. I hope that I can continue to be someone who can have a positive impact in the life of children by continuously providing them with warmth and care that they deserve.
In 10 years, I see myself having my own private practice where I specialize in working with school-age children and their families. My hope is to continue to bring awareness to mental health and serve as a resource to underserved communities. I also would love to be in the process of starting my own non-profit organization geared towards encouraging and empowering the youth to pursue their aspirations.
On my free days, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family as well as making time for self-care. Within the past 2 years, I have been loving film photography so I’ve been capturing every moment that I possibly can on my film camera. I find it so exciting to wait to see how the photos turn out in the end!
I'm currently attending Pepperdine University. I'm passionate about human rights, science, and education. I like to hike or walk around my neighborhood, listening to tiny desk concerts, baking, dancing, vinyasa, and kundalini yoga practice. I also love spontaneous road trips with my friends, family, and my dog Panela.
I love working at CPLA because I have a lot of support from my FSP and supervisors. I have the freedom to be authentic but at the same time know that I'm not alone and that my team is there for me every step of the way. I didn't think twice about choosing CPLA as my practicum site. In 2019 I completed a master's degree, and my grant proposal was specifically about school-based mental health services in Hispanic communities of Los Angeles. I spent a year researching what causes the underutilization of mental health services in this community and solution-based approaches. The concept of familismo and stigma play a major impact on help-seeking behavior. Hispanics are at higher risk of developing psychopathology than other ethnic groups. However, we are least likely to use mental health services. The underutilization of mental health services in our community serves as a threat to children born in this environment since the risk for psychopathology experienced at an early age can be carried on to adulthood if early intervention does not occur. With early intervention in mind, I moved on to research the importance of school-based mental health services. I learned about CPLA a year later from a friend who was doing his practicum there at the time. When I returned to Pepperdine to get the specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy, I already knew what my top site was to get my hours and experience.
I think everyone has the power to impact someone else's life. You don't have to be in the mental health field to show empathy and kindness to another person. I think it starts with our willingness to make changes in ourselves and evolve mentally and spiritually. Being yourself and genuine with your intentions. In ten years from now, I see myself having my own practice but also dedicating time to a non-profit to be able to serve clients who can't afford private insurance.
My name is Joelle Russum and I am currently studying to get my MFT at California State University, Dominguez Hills. After teaching English abroad to children and teens in both Spain and Colombia, I decided that I wanted to support teens with their mental health needs. CPLA provided me with a wonderful opportunity to continue to grow!
I love working at CPLA because of the unconditional support that I receive from my FSP, all the way to the top of the organization. CPLA provides me with resources, great supervisors and interesting trainings/workshops!
In ten years I see myself working in both private practice and community mental health. I would like to support families through difficult life cycles and transitions. I hope to change the world by providing psychoeducation at schools and helping as many families as possible during a crisis.
In my free time I enjoy practicing yoga, biking by the beach and hiking in the mountains. I am passionate about traveling and knowing more about different cultures.
I previously attended CSU Northridge and graduated with a bachelor's in psychology. Now I am currently in my third year at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology working towards my master's in Marriage and Family Therapy. I am currently also working, and have worked for three years at an adult mental health inpatient and outpatient treatment center. My official title is Client Assistant, and my responsibilities are to work in the residences providing support for the clients. I also worked for some time in the psychiatry office helping with administrative duties before returning to school for my master's program. In addition, I also TA for my professor in helping with the community partnerships department. In my free time, I absolutely love reading! Anything from a dystopian series, to mysteries, and even romance. There is just nothing like the feeling of losing myself in a book. A few months ago I became motivated to try something new and I decided to attend aerial fitness classes. It has now become my new favorite hobby.
I first heard about CPLA through a practicum fair at school. I was immediately captivated by their mission and values, and working with children has always been an interest of mine. They also demonstrate an immense amount of support for their counselors, something I truly value during this journey. I love working with CPLA because I truly enjoy working with the students at the schools. Also, because of the monumental amount of support we receive from our FSPs, supervisors, directors and from other counselors as well.
In ten years, I see myself having my own private practice where I continue to work with children and families. My hope is to be able to reach the lives of as many children and families as I can. We live in such uncertain and difficult times that having a strong support system is crucial for everyone. I hope that I can make a change by being able to provide that much needed support, and a safe space for all the children I get to work with.
November Counselor Spotlights
I am studying at Alliant International University. I wanted to work for CPLA to gain experience with children and parents providing psychotherapy with a multicultural perspective. I love working for CPLA because I have known amazing people, very supportive supervisors, and kind counselors. I love to serve people and CPLA does great work helping people in need of mental health services.
I love reading, movies, sharing time with my family, and playing games with my 5-month-old son. I also work with my husband for the entertainment industry producing commercials and TV shows. We make the magic happen! In 10 years I see myself as a happy mother with two kids, my husband, and my family together. I will be running a non-profit organization to help families prevent CSA (Child sexual abuse) and working with order-mandated clients guiding treatments for perpetrators. I hope to change the world, even if it is just one child's world, by preventing that kid from being sexually, emotionally, or physically abused.
My name is Madeleine Friendly (yes that’s my real last name!). I completed my master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of Southern California in 2019. I have been working as an AMFT for two years, primarily with young adults struggling with relationships, addiction, and grief. In addition to working at CPLA, I am currently a therapist at a private practice in Calabasas.
After working with adults for a couple of years, I knew I wanted to get more training with children and teens, and I had heard great things about CPLA. I love working for CPLA because I feel I’ve been given freedom to try new things, learn, and grow, but with structure, support, and guidance from the CPLA team.
It is a privilege to work with kids at such a critical time in their development. I hope to be able to show kids that their thoughts and feelings matter. I feel inspired by the potential ripple effect of intervening with children so early on.
In ten years, I hope to be working in private practice helping people navigate difficult life moments, build better relationships, and become the best versions of themselves.
In my free time, I love reading, listening to podcasts, watching the Great British Bake Off, cuddling my dog, and going on walks.
I graduated from Washington State University with a BA in Elementary Education and an endorsement in English Language Learning (ELL). I am currently attending Pepperdine University’s master's program in Clinical Psychology, with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. To gain more experience, I decided to begin my practicum journey early and am currently serving CPLA as an LMFT trainee in a volunteer capacity until I can start accruing licensure hours in January. CPLA has been the perfect place to begin this journey as they have created a space for counselors to feel valued and continuously strive to provide us with the best learning experiences. With their support, we are better prepared to empower our clients and grow as future therapists. In addition, I value CPLA’s mission to serve the community by advocating for mental health awareness and offering support to youth who may not otherwise have the opportunity to seek counseling.
Aside from being a student, I also hold positions as a graduate teaching assistant at Pepperdine, a personal assistant, and recently concluded work as a Preschool teacher. In my free time, I enjoy cooking/baking, reading, drawing, yoga, and traveling! Before attending Pepperdine and joining CPLA, I had the opportunity to teach English at an elementary school in Athens, Greece, as a Fulbright Scholar. I hope to travel back as often as I can and continue to adventure around the world. In 10 years, I plan to be working in a group or private practice and hope to build a network of support within the community by leading workshops, parenting groups, and teaching as an adjunct professor to future LMFT students. I have a passion for working with children and families to bridge the understanding gap and creating a space for children to feel seen, heard, capable, and empowered to use their voices.
I went to the University of California, Irvine where I received my bachelor’s degree in Psychological Sciences where I graduated in 2020. I am currently at Pepperdine University at the Malibu campus completing my Master’s in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. I am in my 2nd year at Pepperdine and planning on graduating in June 2022. At Pepperdine, I am a Cohort Representative. I represent my cohort at bi-weekly meetings where I can provide and receive updates about administrative and program-related information. When I am not at practicum or completing homework, I love to spend time with my friends, go to the movies, and enjoy working out. I also enjoy reality tv shows such as Big Brother, The Amazing Race, and The Bachelor/Bachelorette.
I knew I wanted to come work for CPLA because I knew I wanted to work with children and teens. School can be such a tricky arena to navigate and I really wanted to become a friendly face and a helping hand to those who might need it. I love working for CPLA for its amazing supervision and support system. I feel so supported by my supervisors, FSP’s, and fellow trainees. Group supervision has been a great opportunity to continue to network and make connections with other MFT Trainees.
In 10 years, I hope to be a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist running my own private practice working with children, teens, and adults. If I could change one child’s world, I would want to provide them a safe place for them to be their truly authentic self where they never have to question if they have someone in their corner.
October Counselor Spotlights
I am studying at California Southern University. My heart is in working with children, and I just love being on a school campus and becoming part of the school community. I admire CPLA's vision to take services directly to students so a child knows there is always somewhere to go that is safe and someone to talk to that will listen. I feel so lucky to work here! I feel like everyone at CPLA cares so deeply about each and every child while also caring about each and every counselor. I don't know how they do it but they are always there to check in on you after a tough day or celebrate with you when a child takes a small leap forward. I also absolutely LOVE my co-counselor Chantherrie! Shout out to Ms. Terri!!!
Music and theater are passions of mine, along with yoga, hiking, puzzles, and board games. My family loves road trips to national parks, binge watching cartoons, and visiting the beach. As a hobby, I compose music, so I stay connected to my creative side. My last show was called Serial Killer Barbie, and it may be back on stage soon! I'm also a certified yoga instructor and crisis text line counselor, but I'm currently taking a break until I graduate. In ten years I see myself on a beach in Hawaii! Just kidding. I'd love to be working with schools, assisted living facilities, or community centers as a therapist integrated within other programs like yoga, drama, music, and art. I hope to change the world through kindness. I had a child this past week say to me at recess, "You know why I like you? Because you talk to me." I think if we could pause more and show up for each other in small ways, we can change the world one kind moment at a time!
I recently graduated from Pepperdine University with my master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy. In ten years, I see myself working in private practice with young adults and focusing on the treatment of depression and anxiety with a multifaceted approach using psychotherapy and physical fitness practices to help young adults achieve their fullest potential. I am passionate about health and exercise! I love doing yoga, Pilates, hiking,
reading, listening to podcasts, and meditating. All these interests are intertwined with my passion for improving mental health access to all!
I also work as a property manager for multiple commercial buildings and I teach Pilates!
I wanted to work for CPLA because of its incredible reputation for providing clinical training and supervision. I also am passionate about working with children and families and providing mental health services to at-risk and under-served populations. I hope that the clients I work with feel seen and heard. I love working for CPLA because of the guidance and support they provide while working to improve the mental health of youth. I believe that children are the future and if we can provide even one positive impact early on in a child’s life, you can change their world.
Hello everyone! My name is Emma and I graduated from CSUN with a B.A. in Child and Adolescent Development and am now working on my masters in Marriage and Family Therapy at Touro University Worldwide. I wanted to work for CPLA because I so deeply believe in their mission of making therapy accessible to children and families in underserved areas. I have always had a passion for working with children and families and as a former preschool teacher, I learned that being in a school environment and having interactions with both parents and children daily was where I felt the most challenged and the most successful. CPLA encompassed all of what I was looking for in terms of my traineeship and more. After speaking with Therese for the first time, I was so inspired by her and what she has created here at CPLA that there was no doubt I wanted to also be a part of it. My favorite part of working for CPLA is the endless amounts of support that is constantly available. Every person who works for CPLA is always there to assist in any way they can and offer guidance. In 10 years I would like to continue working with children and families while also finding ways, like CPLA, to make therapy more accessible. Some of my hobbies include playing sports, singing and playing guitar, and seeing live music any chance I can get!
I went to Mount Saint Mary's University to become a nurse. During my first semester in the nursing program, my twin brother got diagnosed with a mental illness. It was the first time I had been exposed to a mental illness, and since he is my twin, all I wanted to do was learn how I could better help and understand him. I took an introduction to psychology course, and the rest is history. I graduated in the spring of 2020 with a B.A in Psychology and minor in Sociology. I am now in the enlaces Marriage and Family Therapist program at Mount Saint Mary's University, expecting to graduate next year. In 10 years, I see myself as a licensed Marriage and family therapist and a high school counselor transitioning to becoming a professor. My goal is to be a high school counselor first, then go back to school to get my doctorate and become a professor and share my knowledge and experiences with others. I hope to change the world, even if it's one child's world, by being someone they can trust, being a person who brings them joy, peace, and love because there is a lot of challenges that come to us when least expected, I'd love to be a person that they can proudly fall back on.
I wanted to work for CPLA because it seemed like the perfect fit for me since reading about the organization and how supportive they are in this learning experience made me sure that this is somewhere that I would like to grow as a future therapist. From the second I saw the CPLA website, I fell in love with what they stand for. It is everything that I aspire to be as a therapist to strengthen a student's sense of self and help students emotionally process the changes they are going through. I love working for CPLA because of the unconditional support that there is. CPLA makes it a safe environment to be your true self, and if at any time you are having a hard time, they are always there to carry you when you fall, guide you and support you every step of the way, which is fantastic. CPLA feels like home, and I can't wait to grow more as a therapist with CPLA by my side.
Some of my passions are spending time with family, my friends, and my partner. I am also passionate about helping others find their inner strengths and be the best version of themselves. My hobbies are working out, try new food places, and do adventurous outings such as finding new hiking trails.