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Until further notice, all appointments are conducted via video. Contact your location's admin team for more information.

Isla Vista

Isla Vista

Isla Vista Location
Goleta Location

Acacia Isla Vista offers individual, group, and psychiatric services in two locations! Located within walking, busing, or scootering distance from UC Santa Barbara, near Caje (Isla Vista) and Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant (Goleta). Come into the office to experience a little slice of modern design.

Isla Vista Location

Goleta Location

Perfect Match
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Acacia has been a wonderful place for me to open up and continue my mental health care journey. I've felt welcome since the first time I walked in the office and my specific therapist is such a perfect match for me. Thanks Acacia!
Couldn't Be Happier
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So glad we found Acacia! The people are wonderful, and we couldn't be happier with the care we've received. Office manager [...] is awesome at making you feel welcome and working around your schedule, and they even makes billing a breeze. Plus, there's Charlie the Therapy Dog, who is always there with tail-a-waggin' to make you feel at home. We love how Acacia makes us feel like family...they're the best!
Tools I Needed
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When I file my dissertation and graduate from UCSB with my Ph.D., I will have two unlikely people to thank for my success - Dr. Robbyn Jackson and Dr. Keith Higginbotham. I say “unlikely” only because I had no idea in 2014 how much I needed regular therapy and how much Acacia would change my life. Through individual consultations and group work, I came to recognize that I wasn’t the only person struggling; that change required a level of commitment I didn’t know I needed to make; and that the change was lying dormant inside me. Keith and Robbyn were so supportive and nurturing over the last four years and they gave me/helped me unlock the tools I needed to succeed in school, with family, and in relationships. I love Acacia Counseling!
In LOVE
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I am just totally in LOVE with the entire staff at every single Acacia!!! Every person, be it the people working admin, business, dealing with putting in new lights, whatever. I just think you are all SOOOO awesome, and I LOVE this company!!!! It is honestly just beautiful!!!!!!
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Isla Vista Providers

Acacia providers have experience working with diverse clients in a variety of areas including anxiety, depression, stress management, relationship issues, attention difficulties, eating/body image concerns, identity exploration, trauma, and substance use issues.

Click on a provider to learn more about who they are and their individual specialties.

kristeniv

Dr. Kristen Strong

Director | PhD
esmithphoto - Emily Smith

Emily Smith

Lead Therapist | LMFT
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Dr. Jean Stultz

Therapist | LMFT
Juliet Photoiv

Juliet Betita

Therapist | LMFT
20150824-IMG_1049_ERAS - deniz doruk

Dr. Deniz Camsari

Psychiatrist | MD
Solomon

Solomon Ndungu

Therapist | LMFT
betsyphillipsiv

Elizabeth Phillips

Therapist | LCSW
Jennifer Cox Photoiv

Jennifer Cox

Therapist | LMFT
Rudi Lion Photoiv

Rudi Lion

Therapist | LMFT
andrewmon

Andrew Monasterio

Nurse Practitioner | PMHNP
katymiv

Katy Magnani

Therapist | LMFT
Jenna 3iv

Jenna Hess

Therapist | LMFT
clorindaiv

Clorinda Rossi-Shewan

Therapist | LMFT
Courtney Mazzola photoiv

Courtney Mazzola

Therapist | LMFT
susaniv

Susan Lauwers

Therapist | LMFT
cassyin

Cassy Brezner

Therapist | LMFT
LisaMoorePic - Lisa Moore

Lisa Moore

Therapist | LMFT
Self Portrait - Pallavi Kumar

Pallavi Kumar

Therapist | LMFT
profile picture - Victoria Terrill

Victoria Terrill

Therapist | LCSW
198A8367 - Hope Andreason

Dr. Hope Andreason

Psychologist | PhD
profile picuture - Jessica Torres

Jessica Torres

Therapist | LMFT
clwest

Cyndie Westerhoff

Therapist | LMFT
IMG-9034 - kelli sullivan

Kelli Sullivan

Triage Therapist | LMFT

Isla Vista Team

Each Acacia office is supported by a team of amazing staff members who will help you on your mental health journey. From scheduling your first appointment to navigating your questions about billing, insurance, and client rights, the admin team is here to ensure you get the care you need.

Click on a team member to learn more about who they are. Contact our office to discuss options.

katie

Katie Sabini

Office Manager
DSC_5352 - Acacia Isla Vistalivia

Livia Christen

Administrative Specialist

Isla Vista Services

All of our Acacia offices offer individual therapy, couple’s therapy, group therapy, and wellness events. Below are services offered specifically in Isla Vista!

Isla Vista Rates

At the time of session, you can pay with credit card, cash, or paypal although a credit/debit card is required to be on file.

*We accept Anthem Blue Cross, UCSHIP, Aetna, MHN, Cigna, and Optum insurances. Pricing of services will vary by plan and will be discussed prior to your first session. 


Please note, you are required to provide us with notice of cancellation at least 24 hours in advance. Failure to do so will result in late cancellation or missed appointment fee charge. Coordinate additional billing inquires with your Office Manager prior to your sessions.


Payments using our online service are for completed or ongoing sessions.

Contact your office front desk if you have additional payments you would like to make.

Dr. KRISTEN STRONG|#PSY30375

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Anxiety, Depression, OCD, ADHD & Executive Functioning, Autism Spectrum, Social Skills, Relationships, Self-esteem

therapeutic orientation

Person-centered, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Behavioral

about me

I am honored to be a part of the Acacia Counseling & Wellness team and to work with the Santa Barbara community. I am a licensed psychologist and obtained my doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from UC Santa Barbara in 2017. I completed a pre-doctoral internship at UNC Chapel Hill and post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University. I am happy to return to Santa Barbara and get to work with the diverse and wonderful population in this area.

It is important to me to foster a strong and collaborative relationship in therapy. You will find a real person in me, genuine in our interactions, caring, nonjudgmental, and encouraging. It is my goal that you feel comfortable and supported to open up, grow, and work on areas that are challenging for you. Whether it be worrying, feeling down, difficulties in relationships, self-esteem, stress, feeling lost, academic challenges, or low motivation, it is my hope that we can explore and work together to help you accomplish your goals.

I have received specialized training in treating individuals with anxiety, depression, OCD, ADHD, and Autism/Aspergers. I also work with students on relationship concerns, stress management, self-esteem, family difficulties, identity and diversity issues, life transitions, academic concerns, and learning disabilities. I will individualize therapy to fit your symptoms, needs, and treatment goals. I generally approach therapy from an integration of person-centered, behavioral, and cognitive behavioral (CBT) strategies, and I incorporate evidence-based strategies for your unique concerns. It would be my pleasure to get to know you and work alongside as you navigate college and adulthood.

Outside of work, I enjoy watching sports, hiking, spending time with friends and family, games, and exercising.

EMILY SMITH
SHE/HER/HERS|#LMFT119186

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Anxiety, Depression, Family Conflict, Life Transitions, Peer Relationships, Relationship Issues, Self Esteem, Stress, Women's Issues

therapeutic orientation

Person-Centered, Humanistic, Strength-Based, CBT

about me

I approach therapeutic healing from a holistic approach, knowing that the mind and body are intertwined together. With this in mind, my role is to help create an environment where you feel comfortable to explore how past experiences influence your current situation, as you are empowered to gain insight and control of your current circumstances.

I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and received my Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University’s School of Education and Psychology in 2017, as well as a Certificate of Alternative Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute, a school within Pepperdine’s Law Program. I graduated from Pepperdine’s Seaver College for my undergrad studies in 2011.

First and foremost, I always approach my clients with a humanistic approach, from place of unconditional positive regard and empathetic understanding. From there, I will offer an eclectic mix of interventions from CBT, DBT, Mindfulness, Gottman, among others, that would benefit your specific needs and situation.

In my downtime, I teach yoga and enjoy hanging out with my loved ones, friends, plants, and cat, Moana. Getting out in nature is one of my favorite pastimes - but I won't say no to a good Netflix binge either - it's all about balance!

DR. JEAN STULTZ | #LMFT95091

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

PTSD/Trauma, Mind-Body integration, Life transitions, Identity Formation, Peer Relationships, Gender & Sexuality, Disabilities, Fostercare & Adoption Issues

therapeutic orientation

Somatic Psychotherapy, Interpersonal Neurobiology, EMDR, Developmental Psychology

about me

COMING SOON

JULIET BETITA | #LMFT18740

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Multiculturalism

therapeutic orientation

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic

about me

COMING SOON

DENIZ DORUK CAMSARI
SHE/HER/HERS | #A170131

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Mood Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Suicidality, Neuromodulation
Additional Languages: Turkish

therapeutic orientation

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

about me

Every person has a unique story and therefore has unique treatment needs. I look forward to working with you at Acacia to tailor treatments that work for you, taking into account your past, present and future as well as your preferences and individual needs.

My journey to the West Coast started after finishing medical school in Ankara, Turkey in 2010. I first moved to Boston to work as a postdoctoral researcher at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital at Harvard Medical School where I was part of the team investigating the applications of neuromodulation techniques and quantitative EEG in neuropsychiatric disorders. I then moved to Rochester, Minnesota to complete my psychiatry residency at Mayo Clinic where I served as chief resident. At Mayo, I also participated in the research track program where I continued my research on quantitative EEG methods and transcranial magnetic stimulation, this time, to investigate the neurophysiological markers of suicidality in adolescents with an ultimate goal of contributing to the development of novel interventions to prevent suicide in this age group.

Over the years, my research has been published in more than 20 peer-reviewed articles and I have given national and international presentations on my research work. Clinically, I am interested in mood and anxiety disorders and I enjoy working with all age groups. It is a privilege to be part of the Acacia team and I look forward to working with you!

SOLOMON NDUNGU|#LMFT100741

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Behavioral Issues, Relationship Issues, Self-Harming , Life Transitions, Coping Skills, Family Conflict, Grief, Sexual Abuse, Domestic Abuse, Transgender, Racial Identity, Men's Issues

therapeutic orientation

Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), Humanistic, Imago, Interpersonal, Multicultural, Narrative, Person-Centered, Psychodynamic, Reality Therapy, Solution Focused Brief (SFBT), Strength based

about me

This is your time. To make a different choice, to learn more about yourself, to heal and most importantly to learn how to thrive. I practice in a psycho-dynamic way, using the most appropriate and beneficial modality that fits with the client and their need. I work collaboratively with a client to arrive at their personal goals in therapy. I have found life is a journey of learning how to live to the fullest with all the gifts that we possess and discovering others we did not know we had. I invite you to do exactly that.

I have worked with many clients on many of life's challenges. Anger management and domestic violence, grief, depression, life changes, suicidal ideation, substance abuse, bi-polar disorder and more. My clients have been from pre-teens to seniors, both genders, diverse races and all sexual orientations.

I am a multicultural therapist, with vast personal experiences and having learnt from many individuals. My graduate work and work with clients has given and continues to give great insight into how we all can live better, healthier lives with a sense of fulfillment and peace of mind. We can start from where you are and go from there. Take the step, call.

ELIZABETH PHILLIPS
WE/US/OURS|#LCSW64021

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Working with college students, somatic based work, anxiety, LGBTQ issues, relationship issues, career confusion, identity confusion, Additional language: Spanish

therapeutic orientation

ACT, mindfulness/meditation, strengths-based, solution-focused counseling

about me

I grew up in Boulder, Colorado and have extensive training/teaching expertise in the area of mindfulness/meditation/yoga/dance/somatic studies. My master’s degree in social work focused on movement/mindfulness/music as a means of doing somatic healing. I have been working as an LCSW for 16 years. I teach at SBCC in the Sociology Department and continue to teach movement classes.

JENNIFER COX | #LMFT108033

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Communication, Self-Esteem, Depression, Anxiety, Life Transitions, Grief & Loss, Relationships, Social Skills, Family Conflict, Career Confusion, Eating Disorders, Couples

therapeutic orientation

Client-Centered, Gestalt, Psychodynamic, Existential, Coaching, & Family Systems

about me

Hello and welcome. I’m glad you’ve taken the step toward the support of therapy. Being a therapist includes being a counselor, mentor, mirror, coach, and cheerleader. I feel honored to hold the unique stories and experiences of each individual. I endeavor to help identify what’s working in a client’s life, and to celebrate that, as well as what’s not working, and to make change with that. Life is a journey, a trip, a ride, with peaks and valleys. It’s our job to get to know this person we are, to find out what our work is, what joy looks like to us, to find out what’s in our toolbox and what we may need to add to it so we know how best to take this journey.

My journey has included education in many forms, from fasting in the wilderness to traveling and working. I have had many “mini-careers.” - As a waitress: which taught me a lot about teamwork, hard work, and the joy of community. As a wilderness educator and challenge course facilitator: which taught me an even greater love for the outdoors and taught me to step into uncomfortable, but ultimately rewarding, challenges. I attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, where I received a BA in psychology. I took some time to become a licensed therapist, trying on a couple of programs to see what fit. I attended Antioch University, Santa Barbara where I received an MA in Clinical Psychology.

My internship was in private practice and at Santa Barbara City College. I also taught courses through Santa Barbara City College Professional Development Center and the SPARC program to students, faculty and staff, and local businesses, related to communication, diversity, and life skills. As a therapist at Santa Barbara City College for four years, I felt fortunate to help support the college students there. Being a student and a young adult can be fun and exciting and there are often newfound freedoms. But it’s not always an easy time. There are many pressures, questions, concerns, and challenges that are not addressed, in our society and in our families. And in whatever time of life we're in, we all need support and guidance, mirroring and acceptance, kindness, and empathy.

I’m glad that I landed here at Acacia and I look forward to the journey and to welcoming you.

Rudi Lion | #LMFT48741

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Couples Therapy, Trauma/PTSD, Additional Languages: Swiss, German

therapeutic orientation

EMDR

about me

We all suffer at times. We all don’t like it. Therefore we do what we can to relieve the pain; we over eat, drink too much, watch excessive amounts of TV, or play video games, anything that lets us forget about our misery. It works. Unfortunately, only temporarily.

Think of your body and its minor and major scratches, sometimes even serious injuries. If you do not take care of these ailments, your body might still function but often at a reduced capacity. You might be too sensitive to touch in certain areas, not able to climb the mountain you dreamt of climbing, or you might feel a chronic, lingering pain somewhere in your body. Not taking proper care of your injuries leaves you with a body that is diminished.

This is true for your inner life as well. If you do not deal with your greater or lesser sorrows, you might experience yourself suddenly being provoked into either rage, where you become unnecessarily critical or defensive, despair and/or withdrawal without understanding what just happened.

“Wait,” you might say, “I know lots of people who never examine their lives and are just fine.” Yes, yes I know these people too. Do I believe that they are fine? Yes! And that’s it right there! Just fine! I want more out of this life than ‘just fine’. I want a deep and full experience. It is, after all, the only ride we might get. I believe that dealing with my own pain, sorrow, darkness has a direct correlation to my access to joy, pleasure and happiness. Joy and sorrow live on continuum, the deeper I dig, the higher I can fly. I want you to have the best life you can. My wish for you is to experience the freedom to access all emotions; to not have to shy away from certain ones because they bring up memories of an old unresolved agony.

The philosopher Socrates said ‘Self-knowledge is the highest form of knowledge.’ I agree. All of your relationships, be it with friends, lovers, spouses, children or co-workers are rooted in your relationship to yourself. You might have experienced trauma such as a severe accident, had an abusive or neglectful parent or a bully at school that still haunts your nightmares. These more or less traumatic life events cloud the mirror of self-knowledge, for the pain of acknowledging the trauma would be too great, or so you fear.

Here is where I come in. I help you polish the mirror, giving you access to the preciousness inside of you. I see my job as two-fold. First I listen to your story and help you connect the pieces; to weave a beautiful Persian rug from the different strands of your memoir. Insight into and understanding of your personal story can be tremendously beneficial. It will help you to understand your triggers, so the sudden, uninvited moments of withdrawal, rage or despair will happen less frequently and might even eventually vanish. Understanding your past, the environment you were raised in, the experiences that shaped you, are important pieces of information in discovering your authentic self.

Sometimes though, understanding your story is not enough. You need to create new pathways of action. If a certain trigger calls forth a certain response, often involuntarily, that leaves very little choice. I like to have choices, I like to be able to say YES or NO and give myself enough time to truly know which one it is. Wouldn’t you?

I was born and raised in Switzerland and moved here at the age of 25. You can speak to me in English, German and Swiss German and if you have come from another country, know that I understand the pain of missing one’s homeland. I look forward to meeting you.

Dr. Andrew D. Monasterio
He/Him/His | #PMHNP-BC95010503

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Medication Management, LGBTQIA+

therapeutic orientation

Supportive, Person-Centered, Strength-Based, Trauma Informed

about me

Hello and welcome to Acacia! I am a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner who provides psychiatric diagnostic evaluations and medication management. Originally from Tennessee but culturally identifying as a Californian, I blend my Southern hospitality, West Coast inclusivity, and home-grown empathy to create a warm, welcoming, and judgment-free atmosphere. I utilize a flexible, modern biopsychosocial approach to authentically connect with people so that I can fully understand their unique self, journey, struggles, and goals. With a keen awareness of the multitude of emerging and ever-changing stressors and challenges facing people these days, I greatly enjoy engaging with college students and encouraging their self-expression, empowerment, and growth. Helping them realize their strengths and potential during this exciting yet increasingly complex transitional journey is a deeply gratifying professional experience.

If I have the honor of being your provider, we will together develop a holistic, whole-person wellness plan tailored to your individualized needs and goals. Unlike the old-school authoritarian model of psychiatry, it will be a collaborative process in which we share information about risks, benefits, preferences, and values in exploring different options and finding what best makes sense for you. If medications are part of our plan, it will be guided by science and evidence-based practice combining my knowledge and experience in neurobiology and psychopharmacology with your expertise on you – you know yourself best! BACKGROUND

Certified as a Master Psychopharmacologist with Distinction by the Neuroscience Education Institute, I have a breadth of experience and training in multiple settings across the spectrum of mental health. Along with graduating summa cum laude at the top of my class and receiving several national awards, scholarships, and honors, I completed my externship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. With a focus on Personalized Medicine, I studied Precision Genomics at Stanford School of Medicine. For my postdoctoral education, I completed Harvard Medical School’s program in Trauma and Recovery.

Specializing in integrating innovative technology such as artificial intelligence in healthcare and education, I have also presented on multiple topics both academically and professionally. Noted for my passion and roles in advocacy, policy, and research, I have been invited to Washington, D.C., numerous times to serve on committees and meet Congressional leaders. Always dedicated to improving outcomes, I stay current with the latest developments in the field so that I can integrate and optimize evidence-based advances in diagnostic and treatment strategies in clinical practice. PERSONAL In my spare time, I enjoy spending quality time with my family (including our pups, Lilo and Stitch), the beach, traveling, sports (disclaimer: despite my newfound identity, I do not claim any West Coast team – go Titans!), and, true to my multicultural roots, any and all good food from coast to coast.

Katy Magnani
she/her/hers|#LMFT115459

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Substance Use/Abuse, Depression, Life Transitions, Relationship Dynamics, Communication, & Anxiety.

therapeutic orientation

Humanistic, Motivational Interviewing, Adlerian, & Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

about me

I grew up in Seattle and started out as a Photographer, moving to Santa Barbara to finish my BA at Brooks Institute of Photography. In 2012 I returned to school to become a drug and alcohol counselor at Santa Barbara City College, and ended up finding psychology and therapy as my passion. I completed my Masters in Clinical Psychology at Antioch, Santa Barbara in 2016 and worked at Santa Barbara City College as a therapist until completing my license in the Summer of 2019. I love reading, travel, yoga, scuba diving, and cats.

jenna hess
she/her/hers|#LMFT44695

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Relationship & family conflict, stress management, life-stage losses, life transitions, anxiety & panic disorders, sleep/insomnia, depression, couple/intimate relationship issues, self- esteem, multicultural issues, parent-child relationship issues, communication, women’s issues, infertility & pregnancy.

therapeutic orientation

Systems theory & contextual therapies, psychodynamic therapy, attachment theory, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based therapies, expressive arts therapy, play therapy with children & families.

about me

I am honored to be working at Acacia and to work alongside a team of genuine, caring professionals that truly believe in the work they do. I value environments and relationships which are inclusive and accepting of all individuals. I am a licensed marriage and family therapist with 16 plus years of experience working in a variety of settings and roles. I received my BA in Art and Psychology from Hope College in Holland, MI in 2002 and my MA in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University in 2004. In addition to working at Acacia, I am a senior adjunct professor at California Lutheran University in their MS in Counseling Psychology (MFT focus) program. I love working with students, adult learners, and those who work in academia. I have worked with students at all ages for many years am particularly attuned to the unique challenges and stressors that can come with this role and setting. Whether as a therapist or professor, I am passionate about helping people to better understand and break through barriers in their lives (whether contextual, relational, or individual), that are preventing them from thriving, to find a deeper sense of purpose and connection to others.

I believe most problems we experience in life, whether small or more serious, often come about as a reaction to multiple variables and the larger contexts/systems in which we exist. When problems are viewed within their larger contexts (cultural, environmental, familial, biological, etc.) they can often be understood as valid cyclical reactions to than ideal circumstances over time. In addition, I have come to believe that the source of healing is found in not just one, but many aspects of one’s being, including emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual.

It is because of this that I believe in taking a holistic and relational approach to healing and growth. It is also my belief and experience that the most life-giving and change producing relationships provide us with congruence, respect, support, and perspective as we seek freedom and meaning in our lives. Thus, it is extremely important for me to be genuine, honest, and congruent, and to develop a collaborative and non-judgmental atmosphere at the outset.

From there, depending on the best fit for my clients, I generally approach therapy from an integrative perspective combining contextual and relational approaches with psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, and mindfulness-based therapies.

And in my spare time, I love to read, run, bike, and spend time with my family in this beautiful city!

Clorinda Rossi-Shewan
she/her/hers|#LMFT114978

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Anxiety, Depression, Relationships, Sex, Sexuality, Intimacy Disorders, Attachment, Trauma & PTSD, Women’s Issues, LGBTQ, Autism Spectrum, Body Image, Self-esteem, Eating Disorders, Addiction, Career & Life Transitions,Mindfulness & Meditation, Cultural Issues & Immigration. Additional Languages: Italian.

therapeutic orientation

Psychodynamic, Gestalt, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Client-Centered, Attachment, Sex Therapy, Mindfulness, Solution Focused, Family Systems, Therapeutic Movement/Dance.

about me

I am originally from Italy where I initially trained as a professional dancer, and worked as a dance instructor. I moved to Los Angeles in 2006, and I graduated with a Master Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University LA. I am now a licensed psychotherapist, and my clinical training includes facilitating therapeutic group activities designed for children with special needs at Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services in LA. I also worked at Southern California Counseling Center in LA, where I provided psychotherapy to college students, adults, children, couples and families.

I combined my passion for psychology and movement/dance by joining the Dance For All (DFA) team at UCLArts & Healing, where I teach the DFA Facilitator Training, a therapeutic dance/movement curriculum originally designed for special needs, but easily adapted to a variety of populations. I am also a co-creator and facilitator at Let’s Dance It Out, a therapeutic dance/movement program for teens and adults with developmental disabilities in Santa Monica.

I moved to Santa Barbara in 2018, and I am very excited to be part of the Acacia Counseling and Wellness team. I am looking forward to working with college students and staff.

Courtney Mazzola
she/her/hers| #LMFT91290

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Trauma, Somatic Therapy, Diversity, Anxiety, Physical Disabilities/Visual Impairment, Health Concerns, LGBTQ+

therapeutic orientation

Integrative, Somatic Therapy, Mindfulness, Humanistic

about me

I am a somatic psychotherapist, recently relocated to Santa Barbara from San Francisco. Born and raised in the LA area, I grew up with a wide range of interests and influences. I strive to focus on personal and cultural empowerment, and I enjoy helping my clients enhance their communication, quality of life, and sense of self.

Blind from birth and almost always the only non-sighted person in any aspect of my life, I became familiar with adversity and being “outside the norm” from a very young age. This has taught me much, including that given the opportunity, there is very little I can’t do, I often just have to find a different way of doing it. This life experience in addition to my twenty years as a massage therapist, advanced degree in energy medicine, and master’s degree in somatic psychology are all part of the foundation my work draws upon. I value the whole person, and my approach involves integrating the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of an individual.

Outside of work, I am passionate about travel and adventure. I love getting to know people, cultures, cuisine’s, and the unexpected. Since my latest conquest of flying a plane, I’m not sure yet what I want to experience next. In the meantime, I’ll be exploring all the best food, coffee, and beach going SB has to offer; plus supporting those with vision loss to acclimate and reclaim their lives.

SUSAN LAUWERS
sh/her/hers|#LMFT78875

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Attachment, Addiction, Mindfulness, Life's transitions, Communication, Anxiety, Depression, Attention Issues

therapeutic orientation

Person Centered, Cognitive Behavioral, Attachment, Somatic, Mindfulness/Meditation, Neurofeedback

about me

We all have our stories; and mine, like yours, along with our choices, reflect why we are exactly where we are at this moment. I feel very fortunate to have lived a full life before I ever entertained the idea of becoming a therapist, and as a consequence, have experienced a wide variety of amazing life experiences that have contributed to my personal understanding of life outside of, as well as inside the academic world. Before landing in Santa Barbara, I was raised in the Midwest where I studied art and dance. I was also awarded a scholarship to study abroad so I continued my education in the fine arts in Belgium. Eventually I married a Belgian artist and we raised a family together in Santa Barbara. Through the trials and tribulations of my marriage and family relationships, my interest in psychology was peeked and I decided to study at Antioch University.

I have been a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since 2014, trained and experienced in working with people who have been diagnosed, identified and labeled with a broad scope of mental health terms. I know that you are more than a diagnoses, a label, and understand that these identity mental illnesses, trap people into having a belief about themselves that is most often not true.

When I meet with a client, I look to their health rather than focus on the problems they share with me and try to help them understand that they come fully equipped with innate wellbeing; that as Winston Chruchill once said “ The only thing you have to fear is fear itself; that your biggest problems don’t come from the outside world, they come from within. I find it extremely important that when people check in, they check their premise at the door, and realize that change is only a thought away. It is sort of like this: You know when you have a nightmare, and are so relieved when you wake that it wasn’t real? Well, often we can apply the same logic to every thought. Just like the nightmare, though it has meaning, it was just something you made up. Your thoughts are like the artist’s brush, they create a personal picture of the reality you live in. For me, Acacia is akin to an artist studio where all of us working collectively as well as, and most importantly, individually, each and every one of us can create our Masterpiece.

CASSY BREZNER
she/her/hers|#LMFT102950

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

I specialize in working with adults and teens that struggle with relationship struggles, codependency, substance use, depression, trauma symptoms & self esteem issues. My clinical training has allowed me to work with a diverse population in various settings such as Cottage Hospital, Casa Serena & Santa Barbara Unified School District.

therapeutic orientation

My approach is present and client focused. I believe therapy is a collaborative process. Together we will explore what is happening for you that may be bringing up unresolved issues from the past, old patterns, emotional blocks or stuck points for accomplishing your goals and living the life you want.

Together we can explore a new way to live! I use a strength based integrative approach, also drawing principles & techniques from Somatic Therapy, Attachment Focused Therapy, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. I am trained in EMDR.

about me

Coming Soon!

LISA MOORE
SHE/HER/HERS | #MFC39963

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Addiction, Anxiety, Behavioral issues, Breakup Recovery, Communication, Coping skills, Depression, Divorce, Fitness, Health, Overeating, Procrastination, Productivity issues, Relationship issues, Self-esteem, Stress, Substance use, Weight, Women's issues

therapeutic orientation

Attachment based, Coaching, Cognitive behavioral, Motivational interviewing, Strength based

about me

I work as a collaborative guide with my clients, and together we’ll take a look at the problems you face, the distress, and ideas for how to make changes. We’ll create a safe space where you can explore the problem, discover resources, and get relief from the feelings. We’ll talk about your experience, what might help, how to keep going when the going gets tough, and how to not give up on yourself. Therapy can provide you with the relief and skills you need, and it’s an honor to help with this journey.

I've been working as a licensed therapist for the past 17 years, both in organizations and private practice. I’ve also managed therapy programs and supervised interns. In my free time I enjoy trail running, my friend’s dogs (since I don’t have one, yet), philosophy, art, music, and meditation.

Pallavi kumar
she/her/hers| #LMFT119287

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Anxiety, Depression, Communication skills, Couples Therapy, Family Conflict, Grief, Life Transitions, Premarital/Marital Relationships, Multiculturalism, Parenting, Interpersonal Relationships, Racial Identity, Self Esteem, Spirituality

Additional Languages: Hindu, Urdu

therapeutic orientation

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Existential, Family Systems, Gestalt, Narrative, Multicultural, Psychodynamic, Solution Focused Brief Therapy

about me

Welcome! Taking the first step to heal and getting to know your self is challenging... but I am here for you! I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a graduate of Antioch University Santa Barbara. I have experience working with young adults, adults, seniors, couples and families at various sites in Santa Barbara.

I am passionate about mental health/well being and offer a safe, warm and inviting space in my sessions. My style is holistic, integrative and collaborative. I focus on empowerment while helping you reach your goal and find your inner voice. I firmly believe our emotional well-being is closely tied to everything we do, whether it’s making a life decision or pursuing a relationship. A well integrated mind, body and soul can help us find balance in life and move on from unfinished business.

As someone from a different cultural background I appreciate other cultures and understand how our culture can impacts us. It fuels me to be open to the experience of others and be a witness to their struggles/triumphs.

When I am not working, I can be found in my kitchen experimenting with recipes and spending time with family and friends.

Victoria Terrill
SHE/HER/HERs|#LCSW26103

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Anxiety, Depression, Family Conflict, Grief, Life Coaching, Life Transitions, Parenting/Co-Parenting, Relationship Issues, Self Esteem, Stress Management

therapeutic orientation

Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), Dialectical (DBT), Motivational Interviewing, Person Centered, Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), Trauma Informed, Strengths Based

about me

I am so honored to have the opportunity to work with Acacia and to assist motivated individuals and families in their personal journeys to increased life satisfaction. My background includes working in a variety of settings, including in the Court setting, hospital setting, school setting and nonprofit setting. I am also currently an adjunct professor with California State University, Northridge teaching and supporting graduate students. I am married and a mother to two sons, one in college and one in high school. I feel like I have firsthand knowledge, personally and professionally, of the challenges that come along with navigating the world as a college student or during other types of life transitions.

My therapeutic approaches include drawing from various modalities to assist you in meeting your personal goals. I consider myself a life-long learner and am always looking for ways to improve my practice and incorporate approaches that will assist my clients.

Since becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, my experience has taught me that the most important aspect of therapy, by far, is the connection you feel with the person you choose to share your personal struggles and vulnerabilities. Providing a supportive and non-judgmental space for you to share is the most important thing to me. I believe we can all grow through challenging experiences by increasing our self-awareness, reflecting, and understanding the role internal and external factors play in our daily life.

I hope to assist you by offering a different perspective and additional support that will provide some insight when you are feeling stuck. We all want to be able to share our personal truths and be accepted and understood. I will provide you with my genuine and authentic self as we navigate and explore ways to improve your life and meet your goals for therapy.

When I am not working, I enjoy exploring nature, being active in the outdoors, traveling, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

DR. HOPE ANDREASON
SHE/HER/HERS | #PSY32106

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Trauma, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Violence, Domestic Violence, Spirituality, Health Anxiety, Relationship Issues

therapeutic orientation

Trauma Focused, Multicultural, Feminist Therapy

about me

Welcome to Acacia. I am glad you found your way here. My name is Hope Andreason and I am a counseling psychologist with a specialization in trauma and a foundation in multicultural feminism. I have a passion for individual growth as well as social justice and I truly believe that although we have them, we are not our wounds. I received my PhD in Counseling Psychology at the University of Utah, where my passion for mental wellness was nourished and fueled. After completing my training in Utah, I moved to the east coast to fortify the roots of my treatment approach in dynamic therapy through an internship at the University of Rochester, NY. From there I made my way west to UC Santa Barbara to pursue a fellowship specializing in interpersonal violence, including sexual and betrayal trauma.

I believe that life is full of challenges, large and small, which introduce us to meaning through exposure to the vulnerability and the power of our humanity. Facing life’s challenges can lead to positive, life-affirming growth. Sometimes, however, confronting them leaves us feeling stuck, anxious, or fearful. Pushed to the edge of or beyond our limits, we may feel small, alone, unlovable, or unworthy. We may come to feel isolated and to question everything, including our meaning and purpose. At times like these, it can help to reach out for support and to remember that no matter how you feel you are not alone.

As a Counseling Psychologist, I am invested in understanding the biological and behavioral aspects of my individual clients in relationship to the social context within which we all function. I work toward the integration of care with a holistic view of wellness and health, and a commitment to seeing the whole picture as well as the specific distress. Given the current global climate, I cannot imagine a time when a holistic approach was more necessary. My specialization in interpersonal trauma allows me to recognize the ways in which traumatic experiences challenge my clients and leave them vulnerable to feelings of shame, fear and/or disconnection. My work begins with empathy and compassion and is carried through with rigorous, hope infused effort. It is my purpose to provide a space to discover and explore your unique pathway to healing and well-being.

JESSICA TORRES
SHE/HER/HERS | #LMFT97796

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Anxiety, Child or Adolescent, Coping Skills, Depression, Relationship Issues, Life Transitions, Self Esteem, Stress, Trauma and PTSD
Additional Languages: Spanish

therapeutic orientation

Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), Person-Centered, Culturally Sensitive, Trauma Focused

about me

Hello! My name is Jessica Torres and I am Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I completed my Masters in Clinical Psychology from California Lutheran University in 2012 and I have over 10 years of experience working in the mental health field.

My counseling style is pretty laid back. I view the therapeutic process as a collaborative journey between therapist and client. I like to focus on identifying your strengths and helping you to maximize them to overcome your obstacles. I'm here to help you sort through the things that are difficult right now, and offer you a safe place to be open and honest without fear of judgment.

I am fully aware of the amount of courage it takes to reach out and seek change. I commend you for taking this first step, and I look forward to accompany you on your journey!

Cyndie Lynn WESTERHOFF
SHE/HER/HERS | #LMFT123431

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Addiction, Coping skills, Depression, Dual Diagnosis, Life Transitions, Relationships, Stress, Women's issues

therapeutic orientation

Art therapy, CBT, Existential, Gestalt, Motivational Interviewing, Reality

about me

I spent a lot of time as an adolescent and young adult wondering about life. Something wasn't quite right, but I struggled to find answers on my own. My passion for therapy was born out of this need to discuss and explore and kick around ideas with another human, someone who could help me broaden my line of sight. Therapy is so much more than complaining or looking for advice; it's connecting with a person and opening ourselves up to a fresh perspective.

As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with my Master's degree from Antioch University, I want to meet you and help you become your best self. We will explore together and unfold how to bring more joy and satisfaction to your life!

When not in a therapeutic office, you can find me out roller skating or taking long walks on the beach, trying to get the most out of the CA sunshine!

KELLI SULLIVAN
SHE/HER/HERS | #LMFT44932

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Depression, Anxiety, PTSD/trauma, Substance use/addiction

therapeutic orientation

CBT, DBT

about me

I was born in Arizona but mostly raised here, in sunny California. I graduated from Laguna Beach High School, pre-reality show fame, luckily. My family is from the Mid West and we have long line of alums from University of Kansas. As a freshman I attended KU. Whoa, did I miss California! To my family’s dismay, I left KU and attended Santa Barbara City College and then UCSB! I was not invited to family Christmas that year, to say the least. It was such a difficult decision to make, knowing my family would be so disappointed. I suffered from panic attacks, depression and definitely numbed my feelings with drugs and alcohol. Luckily I landed one of my most beloved jobs at the Goleta Boys & Girls Club my senior year at UCSB.

My position and relationships there allowed me to travel with kids and teens to many national parks, local camping spots and lots of backpacking trips. This entire experience helped me to realize I wanted to go into counseling, helping teens and young adults find support and healing through others, through nature and mindfulness.

I completed my Masters at Cal State Northridge, completing my thesis in Nature and Mindfulness Therapy. I have now been in Santa Barbara for 27 years! I have only and always been a therapist is this amazing town, working at the Project Recovery, Domestic Violence Solutions, One to One Treatment and more recently, Clinical Director at Recovery Road Medical Center Intensive Outpatient Program.

I specialize in mood disorders, trauma and substance use disorder. I am highly skilled and absolutely love Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.

I have been married to a sweet, sweet guy for 15yrs, together for 20! We have two fun and funny daughters, one maltipoo, one leopard gecko, and one dwarf hamster. We love music, the beach, following my husband’s band where ever he may playing, and visiting family in Ojai often. I am so excited to return to Isla Vista and Acacia Counseling and Wellness!

KATIE SABINI | SHE/HER/HERS

OFFICE MANAGER

ABOUT ME

Hello there and welcome to Acacia Isla Vista! My name is Katie Sabini and I am the Office Manager of our clinic. I grew up in Santa Monica, CA before heading up north a bit for undergrad at UCSB where I studied Psychological and Brain Science as well as Applied Psychology. I've been working with Acacia for a little over 2 years now, starting my journey as a Mental Health Advocacy (MHA) intern in 2019. Following that, I was given the opportunity to lead our MHA program as an administrative assistant, and have eventually landed on my current title of Office Manager.

My favorite part about working at Acacia is being able to help people who have never been to a counseling center before navigating our process! I love speaking with new and current clients over the phone and doing everything I can to make things work as smoothly as possible. It's a big step to reach out and advocate for yourself and I seriously commend that! On top of that, I love the warm and welcoming environment that Acacia creates for all clients and employees. When you walk into our offices I hope you feel the same energy I do!

Outside of work, you can find me trying new restaurants, listening to true crime podcasts, baking, making art, and hanging outside.

What do you do to unwind after a hard day?

After a long or hard day, my favorite way to unwind is at our beautiful Santa Barbara beaches! Preferably with friends and yummy food! I also love going to hot yoga at Corepower to spend some time on my mindfulness and meditation.

What's your favorite word?

My favorite word is shenanigans, I think it's a ton of fun to say and just adds a little something extra to any situation!

Livia Christen | SHE/HER/HERS

LEAD ADMIN SPECIALIST

ABOUT ME

Hi everyone!! My Name is Livia and I am the Lead Admin Specialist here at Acacia Isla Vista/Goleta. I was born and raised here in Santa Barbara and decided to go to Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington for my undergrad education. When I was there I got my bachelors in Psychology with a minor in Speech Communication. I loved it up there but I had to return to SB! I started working for Acacia in 2021 after I graduated and I have loved it here ever since I started!

I'm excited to help anyone and everyone seek out the help that they want!

Was there ever a teacher that taught you something new about yourself?

My 6th grade teacher taught me how to be confident and get outside my comfort zone and I will always thank her for that!

What celebrity would you be interested in having dinner with and why?

I would love to have dinner with Princess Diana. I would be so intrigued to hear and discuss her time being involved with the royal family and honestly just talk to her about life.

INDIVIDUAL THERAPY

Also known as psychotherapy, talk therapy, or counseling, Acacia individual therapy is a collaborative process between you and your therapist, aiming to understand problems, facilitate change, and improve quality of life.

A staple of every Acacia office, we believe that individual therapy is an incredibly effective process of healing through self-exploration, skills training, and other various forms of change. Ask your therapist how they view the change process. Remember, not every therapist is a good fit and it is important for you to find an Acacia therapist who you feel connects best to your specific needs. If you don't get a good fit, don't fret. You can ask for a change and we will accommodate you!

The therapeutic process can range in length from a few sessions to several years and is appropriate for goals ranging from focused on solving immediate problems to facilitating self-growth and discovery.

Sessions generally last 50 minutes and provide a safe, caring, and confidential space where you can deeply explore the challenges in your lives and, with the help of the therapist, find effective responses and solutions. The process of therapy is largely determined by your individual needs and the nature of each problem but will likely involve exploration of emotions, beliefs, behaviors, internal conflicts, relationships, and both current and past experiences.

Individual therapy can be effective in helping you better understand, manage and express your emotions, learn to deal effectively with stress and anxiety, improve relationships, heal from past traumas, change behaviors that are counterproductive to your goals and values, gain confidence and self-esteem, work through difficult family dynamics, and many other situations. Individual therapy has been shown to be highly effective for many mental health conditions.

GROUP THERAPY | ISLA VISTA

Embodiment Skills

This group is oriented to participants struggling with trauma, anxiety, mild depression, body-image issues, PTSD or other dissociative experiences, and who want to strengthen their self-awareness and understanding of how to navigate the world in their body.

Group meets Mondays 6:00 - 7:30 PM
Led by Dr. Jean Stutlz

Until further notice, all appointments are via video. Contact your office to discuss this further.


All Acacia offices offer video therapy appointments*. Existing clients can discuss with their provider to switch appointments to video as a one-off or ongoing.
*Video service may not be covered by your insurance plan, it's important to know before finalizing your appointment.

VIDEO THERAPY

Video therapy, also known as telehealth or teletherapy, allows you to connect with a therapist without having to travel anywhere.

Similar to services you receive in person, video therapy sessions generally last 50 minutes and provide a safe, caring, and confidential space where you can deeply explore the challenges in your lives and, with the help of the therapist, find effective responses and solutions. The process of therapy is largely determined by your individual needs and the nature of each problem but will likely involve exploration of emotions, beliefs, behaviors, internal conflicts, relationships, and both current and past experiences.

ACACIA REACH

Acacia Reach is our video therapy services that allows everyone access to video services, even when there is no physical Acacia location nearby. Check out the link below to learn more!

COUPLES THERAPY

Would you like to explore relationship dynamics and change problematic cycles to improve interactions with others? If so, couples therapy might be just the thing for you! At Acacia, we allow you to decide how you would like to define 'couple'. It does not always have to be romantic in nature and it can be defined in multiple ways (parent-child, roommate-roommate, partner-partner).

In couples therapy, we will help you work through communication issues, loss of connection and intimacy, financial issues, affairs and betrayals, family issues, and more. Acacia therapists will work hard to understand each of you and we will not take sides. Rather, we will explore patterns and try to find healthy alternatives and positive change.

We also understand how life stressors and relationship issues can sometimes make sex a challenge. Sex therapy is used to help couples or individuals reach greater sexual/emotional intimacy and create a satisfactory sex life. Our therapists will work hard to understand your sexual drives, limitations, desires, traumas and more to help you find your sexual peace of mind.