Browse through the below list for a brief description of each of our staff members. Click on a counselor's name to get their contact info.
Staff and Resident Counselors
Resident counselors are prelicensed mental health providers who have graduated from our three-year advanced clinical training program and demonstrate the competencies required for professional "residency" in our community. Staff counselors are prelicensed mental health providers who have completed two years of advanced clinical training and demonstrate the competencies required to be staff counselors in our community.Jayme Davis, MFT Registered Intern
Jayme Davis, MFT Registered Intern, graduated from Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology in 2010 with an MA in clinical psychology, and holds an MA in philosophy from SUNY Binghamton. In her third year of advanced clinical training at the Relational Center, she serves TRC as both the coordinator of outreach and education and as a faculty assistant. She has an interest in providing support to individuals who have survived childhood abuse and those navigating alternative family arrangements. As a professor of the humanities and film studies, Jayme is also attentive to issues facing professionals in higher education and is uniquely qualified to support academics. For the last three years, she has been studying relational Gestalt therapy and postmodern approaches to counseling. Jayme is interning in a private practice in West Los Angeles.
Jamila Dawson, MFT Registered Intern, specializes in coaching and counseling around sexuality, relationships, and self-image. Jamila brings to her work six years of experience as a sex-educator, providing workshops for some of the most well-known adult stores in Los Angeles including the Pleasure Chest, Babeland and the Love Boutique. Jamila became a highly skilled facilitator and teacher, helping countless partners and individuals enjoy a higher standard of safety, communication, and pleasure in their sexual lives. Inspired by her work as a sex educator, Jamila felt compelled to do more to assist people in developing vibrant and healthy relationships with their sexuality and decided to get her Master’s in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. As a sex-positive counselor, she has strong connections to the kink, polyamory, and sex-education communities in Los Angeles. Jamila received her Bachelor’s in Comparative Literature from U. C. Santa Barbara. She has lived and studied in Paris and teaches pleasure-based sexuality classes to mental health clinicians and to the general public. When not advocating for the importance of sexual wellness, she is lost in the great works of Golden Age Hollywood films and 19th Century literature.
Lumi Docan, MFT Registered Intern, is a counselor and a coach at The Relational Center. She received her Master's in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University and she also holds two certification degrees in LGBT Affirmative Psychotherapy and Spiritual Depth Psychology. She enjoys working with LGBT clients and also applying relational technologies to depth and mindfulness oriented work with a variety of clients. Lumi is applying a holistic approach when it comes to sorting out relationship challenges, finding and strengthening one’s voice and inner authority, being creative or struggling to live one’s own life. She is presently developing a series of workshops dedicated to the technology of self-transformation called “The technology of Change”. She also loves working with entertainment industry clients. Her extensive Hollywood career makes her comfortable understanding industry clients’ needs and the challenges that might arise in the process of being creative. Moreover, she enjoys working with immigrant clients, her being one as well.
email@example.com (323) 393-3265
Dan Fink, MFT Registered Intern, is a technician, counselor, and consultant. During the dot com movement of the nineties he worked as a computer and networking technician and by the turn of the century he was the manager of an information technology department at a large insurance company. Seeking to refocus his career on improving the well-being of others, he returned to academia and completed his Bachelors degree in Psychology with a focus on Cognitive Science at UCLA. Incorporating his technology experience with this degree, he went on do cognitive psychology research at UCLA. Striving to put these new skills to work in a community context, he continued his education and earned is Masters degree in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Applied Community Psychology from Antioch University in Los Angeles. Dan's desire for social responsibility led him to The Relational Center, where he is gaining hours of experience toward his Marriage and Family Therapist license, as well providing organization development consultanting and leadership coaching.
Monica Garfield, MFT Registered Intern, is a Los Angeles native. She earned a B.A. in Biology from UCLA and studied nursing at Mount Saint Mary's Collage. Following a career as a Registered Nurse with a special interest in geriatric home care, she studied mindfulness practices and painting in Thailand and India. Monica received a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Los Angeles with a specialization in Applied Community Psychology. She is currently working in Research and Development and is active in the leadership and development of engaged corporate communities at her place of employment. As a counselor at TRC, she is particularly interested in issues of self harm, using the harm reduction approach, and with utilizing art as a medium for connection and communication.
Jamey Hecht, MFT Registered Intern (#73628), is a counselor and a coach at the Relational Center. He holds a Master's in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University (2012), as well as a PhD in English and American Literature from Brandeis University (1995). As a psychotherapist he works with clients in a relational mode with a psychodynamic grounding. Concurrently with his work at TRC, Jamey is in his 3rd year of graduate psychoanalytic training at the New Center for Psychoanalysis, in pursuit of a second doctorate. He is the author of four books (three scholarly works and a poetry collection), and a Resident Artist in the Porters of Hellsgate Shakespeare company. Familiar with the challenges of the artistÕs life in a competitive city, Jamey enjoys working with actors, writers, painters, and musicians who are simultaneously pursuing a dream and coping with the struggles involved. He also specializes in working with academics (students, grad students, and faculty) before, during, or after their academic sojourn. Active in the Peak Oil community, he is sensitive to the experience of people concerned about world issues like climate change and energy scarcity. With Dan Fink, he leads a weekly MenÕs Group at TRC. His interests include gender, sexuality, depression, anxiety, and life transitions like entering a new decade of oneÕs age. He also works with couples, children, and families.
firstname.lastname@example.org (323) 557-7193
Evalie Horner, MFT Registered Intern, is especially passionate about supporting artists and writers, trauma survivors, and the LGBT community. As an undergraduate during the late 1990s, Evalie helped to pioneer C.U. BoulderÕs LGBT studies certificate, one of the countryÕs first programs of this kind. She has several publications in the field of LGBT studies, including a book chapter on counseling bisexual clients. Before completing an MA in psychology at Phillips Graduate Institute, Evalie earned an MFA in creative writing from Naropa University, also in Boulder, Colorado. Having recently returned to her practice after giving birth to twin girls with her wife Heidi, Evalie is uniquely positioned to relate to LGBT clients hoping to create and maintain relationships and families. She has also been particularly moved by her work with transgender clients, both those established in a new gender identity and those seeking support navigating the process of transition. As a recent graduate of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Level 1 Training for the Treatment of Trauma, Evalie frequently integrates both mindfulness and body awareness into her work. Her philosophy takes to heart the research demonstrating that it is the quality of the relationship between therapist and client that most strongly predicts growth, healing, and progress. Her approach is warm, respectful, and collaborative. She frequently draws on the here and now of what often become long-standing, intimate connections with her clients. She believes that these types of relationships are what heal us, as individuals, as a culture, and as a global community.
email@example.com (310) 600-5400
Natalie Landver, LMFT, received her Bachelor's Degree from Indiana University (IU), and her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Antioch University in Los Angeles. In addition to working at The Relational Center, she works in private practice, and also works at different middle and high schools. Natalie enjoys working with adults and adolescents. Her main areas of interest are anxiety, depression, relationship issues, pre and post marital relationship concerns, survivors of domestic violence, eating disorders, and grief. Natalie is inspired by a genuine desire to leverage her life experiences, education, instinct, and passion to serve the mental health needs of individuals (adults and adolescents), couples, families, and groups in the greater community.
Laura Laurent-Varava, MFT Registered Intern, graduated from Antioch University in 2010 with a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology. Laura has been training at The Relational Center since July of 2009, and continues to see clients and gain hours toward her Marriage and Family Therapy Licensure as an Intern. Laura is currently a faculty assistant for two foundation cohorts at The Relational Center. She is also a member of the Strategy Development Committee wherein she is identifying and developing her leadership and organizational skills. Laura is interested in postmodern theory, harm reduction, and is usually pondering the detrimental effects of social isolation. Additionally, Laura has recently begun work at Narrative Couples Center in Larchmont.
firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 667-1839
Karen Lewis, MFT Registered Intern, holds a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. She is a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern at The Relational Center and a graduate of TRC's clinical training program. Karen is also a member and co-founder of TRC's Relational Initiative Facilitiation Team (RIFT). Additionally, Karen works as a counselor at the Southern California Counseling Center, providing outreach services for people affected by domestic violence. Through her work, both locally and abroad, Karen has been instilled with acute awareness to the detriments of social isolation and the inhumanity of people being expected to navigate struggles without the support of other relationships. Karen is passionate about supporting others to create and fortify meaningful relationships and believes that increased connectedness leads to a healthier individual and community.
Erika Nanes, a registered intern in marriage and family therapy and professional counseling, received her M.S. in counseling from California State University, Fullerton. Her background as a writing professor and poet has made her especially interested in the way that language shapes perception, and she draws upon this interest to help people facilitate change by developing more flexible and creative stories about themselves. She is also trained to teach mindfulness, which she often integrates into therapy because of its ability, supported by extensive research, to build resilience and deepen the capacity for connection. Her personal experience as a caregiver and sibling of someone with special needs has taught her that social support is a core component of well-being, so she also collaborates with clients to help them develop and sustain that support. She is especially interested in working with adults, adolescents, and couples handling trauma and life transitions, as well as special needs families, but welcomes the opportunity to counsel and coach a variety of clients.
Laura Newman is an MFT Registered Intern and Staff Counselor at The Relational Center after having received her Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. Previously Laura received her B.F.A. in film from the University of Southern California. Laura’s career spans from production executive, to gallery owner, to licensed general contractor. She has spent several decades as a mentor, tutor and advocate for teens and members of the HIV/AIDS community. The Relational Center is a natural fit for Laura because it offers the opportunity for her and her husband Jim to build their practice of working together with couples. Counseling as co-therapists has fostered a dynamic and enriching experience for couples to nurture a sense of collaboration and interpersonal strength. In addition, Laura's counseling work with individuals and teens on supporting their personal growth has generated an authentic and mutually rewarding sense of both self and community. Laura also focuses on step-family issues, which she refers to as Re-formed family, with a focus on inclusion and dialogue.
email@example.com (310) 220-5221
Mandy Pifer, MFT Registered Intern, is a counselor, coach, and consultant at The Relational Center. She received her Master's in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University where she specialized in Applied Community Psychology. Along with seeing a variety of clients in a clinical, therapeutic environment, Ms. Pifer assists with TRC's Institute for Public Dialogue and is a member of the Strategic Development Committee. When not working at The Relational Center, Mandy is a volunteer with the City of Los Angeles Crisis Response Team; an active member of Ocean View Farms, a neighborhood farming collective located in Santa Monica, California; a Big Sister with the Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters; and a member of the Society for Community Research and Action. Ms. Pifer currently lives and works in West Los Angeles and enjoys gardening, watching documentaries, and playing with her cats and dog.
Caitlin Rose, MFT Registered Intern, has graduate degrees in both Psychology and Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University, and an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Sociology from Northeastern University. She began clinical training at The Relational Center in September 2009 after volunteering start-up support to the agency for over a year, and since then has been working with children, couples, families and adults from a relational approach. Her counseling work has also included providing low-barrier counseling and case management services to homeless youth in a drop-in setting, as well as providing harm-reduction counseling to HIV positive individuals. Caitlin also provides assessment and intake at a homeless shelter in Hollywood, working primarily with former foster and probation youth and other community agencies to ensure linkage to services. She is currently a trainer at The Relational Center, focusing on relational theory and harm-reduction. Her dedication to, and appreciation of, context and self-awareness informs her work with these hard-to-reach populations. She specializes in harm-reduction services to those with substance misuse and eating disorders, and approaches family-of-origin trauma from a contextual/appreciative inquiry perspective.
Rebecca Rufer, LMFT, graduated from Pepperdine University with a Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and has been working in the mental health field since 2006. Rebecca completed three years of advanced clinical training at The Relational Center. She provides counseling in both English and Spanish. Rebecca believes that building a strong relationship with clients is essential. As a therapist, she provides a safe, compassionate, and nurturing environment to help her clients feel better and to be able to share their thoughts and goals.
Keri@MixxLife.com (530) 356-5989
Keri Sills, MFT Registered Intern, is a relational counselor and mentor, special-needs teacher, podcast host, and faith-based non-profit co-founder. She graduated from Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology with an MA in clinical psychology, and holds a BA in psychology from the University of Southern California. Keri also had the privilege of studying with experts in European psychology at University College London in 2008. In her third year of advanced clinical training at the Relational Center, she serves TRC as counselor, mentor, and intake trainer as well as theory and praxis instructor. She deeply invests herself in the learning process of new counselors and encourages personal development as a cornerstone of the therapeutic support process. As podcast host of Fire Your Therapist, Keri targets “traditional” clinical psychology methods as outdated and harmful practices. She upholds relational values in her work as a counselor at TRC and offers spiritual advisement as co-founder of the faith-based non-profit MixxLife Inc. Keri also specializes in relational and educational therapy in her work as a teacher for students struggling with learning difficulties and autism spectrum disorders at Franklin Education.
firstname.lastname@example.org (000) 000-0000
Jim Tauber is an MFT Registered Intern, Staff Counselor and Board Member at The Relational Center after having received his MA in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. Previously Jim received his BA in Sociology from Boston University and a JD from Golden Gate University. Jim's life experience, including parenting 3 daughters, managing companies for over 30 years and his robust and ever-growing marriage to his wife and co-therapist, Laura Newman, helps to broaden his perspective and appreciation for his clients and the challenges we all confront. Jim's particular interest is utilizing experimental relational Gestalt therapy and humanistic approaches in counseling couples, step-families, children and individuals to assist each in fostering his/her authentic voice and developing a support system for daily stresses and challenges.
Penny Timmons, MFT Registered Intern, was born and raised in Montana. She received her BA in History and Political Science from the University of Southern California and holds Master's degrees in Psychology and Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. A graduate of The Relational Center's clinical training program, Penny is currently a faculty assistant at TRC and sits on the Board or Directors. As a counselor-in-residence at TRC, she continues to see clients and gain hours towards her MFT licensure. Penny sees a wide range of clients from all age groups and walks of life, but has a special interest in working with adolescents and families.
email@example.com (323) 821-3031
Kira Tirimacco, MFT Registered Intern, began her relationship with The Relational Center in September 2008 as a trainee, working towards completion of a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica (USM). Having resonated with the core principles and the relational model of therapy taught at The Relational Center, Kira chose to stay on and complete TRC's advanced training program upon graduating from USM in July of 2009; she continues her work there today counseling and providing support to individuals, couples, and families. Kira brings a breadth of life experience to her work as a relational therapist. Originally from a small town in Pennsylvania, Kira grew up in a very large and close-knit, Italian-Polish family. She completed her B.A. in Speech and Communications at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and pursued a career as an actor for many years, training and living in London, New York City, and eventually moving to Los Angeles for work in the film and television industry. Her own personal growth journey and lifelong interest in self-actualization led Kira to set out on a new path in 2004 when she began her studies towards a new career as a psychotherapist. While working towards her license as a Marriage and Family Therapist, Kira continues to hold a position at the Warner Bros. studio.
Jessica Weissbuch, MFT Registered Intern, moved to Los Angeles from Chicago in 2002 in order to pursue her dream of working in television production. As time passed, she realized her longing to work with people in a more meaningful way, and was compelled to work with youth in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community. In March 2010, Jessica earned her Master's degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University with a specialization in LGBT psychology. While studying at Antioch, Jessica began as a trainee at The Relational Center (TRC), and currently continues to gain hours of experience toward her Marriage and Family Therapist License as an Intern. Jessica is also gaining hours of experience working at Friends Community Center, in Hollywood with people struggling with addiction.
firstname.lastname@example.org (310) 951-4356
Golie Zarabi, MFT Registered Intern, is a Marriage & Family Therapist Intern and Hypnotherapist. Golie practices psychotherapy in both English and Farsi. She received her Bachelor's degree from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and her Master's degree in Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage & Family Therapy from Pepperdine University's Graduate School of Education and Psychology. In addition, Golie is a certified Hypnotherapist. Golie works with clients dealing with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, grief, relationship dissatisfaction, Bipolar disorder, certain addictions, and survivors of abuse. In addition, Golie works with families and couples.
Our counselors are supervised by a team of qualified clinical supervisors who have been trained in and teach relational theories and practices. Below is our core supervision team:Jami Winkel, LMFT