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


La Jolla

Monday - Thursday | 8AM-7PM
Friday | 8AM-6PM

Acacia La Jolla offers individual, group, and psychiatric services. Located within walking or scootering distance from UC San Diego, near Rock Bottom Brewery. Come into the office to experience a little slice of modern design featuring a plant wall and a free Mind Spa.

Our La Jolla location is accepting appointments via video for all California residents!
Start video therapy or psychiatry now!

Genuine & Supportive
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Acacia is an absolutely amazing place to go for college students. The staff and counselors are all very welcoming, genuine, and supportive. The counseling services deliver specialized care and create a kind environment.
The Office Playlist
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They have a really good office playlist on spotify called "Acacia La Jolla" and as someone who is looking for office-friendly music I appreciate it! 🙂
Therapist Met All Of My Needs
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The Acacia clinic is very close and convenient for UCSD undergraduate and graduate students. Beyond convenience, the office staff are very friendly, kind and even use text-communication for setting up appointments. There's also the option for video conferencing if you can't physically come in. I have felt so much warmth at the clinic (very cool and newly renovated interior), and there's also a tranquility room you can check out. On top of that, there's free tea! and coffee! and water and cool sand to play with in the waiting room! My therapist has met all of my needs and goes above and beyond to provide me with the resources I need to thrive. Surely, this clinic has staff that can meet your specific counseling needs (including couple's counseling). 10 stars if I could!
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Cozy, convenient, close to campus 🙂

La Jolla Team

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.


Soraiya Khamisa

Director | LCSW

Delara Taie

Office Manager
Micah Headshot

Micah Caldwell

Therapist | LPCC

JoJo Lee

Therapist | LCSW
Tim Veal

Dr. Timothy Veal

Psychiatrist | MD
Bethany Dunnlj

Bethany Dunn

Therapist | LCSW
Aubrie Dodge

Aubrie Dodge

Therapist | LCSW
Courtney Funk

Courtney Funk

Therapist | LCSW

Dr. Michelle Pitts

Psychologist | PhD
Andrew Scott Photo

Dr. Drew Scott

Psychologist | PhD

Dr. Tahirih Moffett

Psychologist | PsyD

Alex Aiello

Therapist | LMFT

Amy Woh

Therapist | LMFT
Blenz Headshot 12.30.19lj

Rebecca Blenz

Therapist | LMFT

Hazel Hamann

Therapist | LCSW

Anna Hunnicutt

Therapist | LMFT
Amy Epnerlj

Dr. Amy Epner

Psychologist | PhD

Juliet Tran

Therapist | LMFT

Melissa Pérez

Therapist | LPCC
IMG_4722 - Tamara Halperin

Dr. Tamara Halperin

Psychologist | PsyD

La Jolla Services

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

La Jolla 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.



Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Gender Non-conforming, Culture of Origin & Identity Concerns, Multiculturalism, Life Transitions, Self-Esteem, Foster Care, Relationship Concerns, Anxiety, Depression

therapeutic orientation

Cognitive-Behavioral (CBT), Gestalt, Interpersonal, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)

about me

Welcome to Acacia Counseling & Wellness, La Jolla! I am honored to be your Director and feel incredibly privileged to serve the communities of La Jolla and San Diego. After spending almost four years helping students achieve their personal and educational goals at the University of California, San Diego, I am grateful to continue working with students in this capacity. My work at UCSD has attuned me to the needs of our students, and I look forward to bringing my knowledge and passion to this role. College represents an exciting and challenging time for many, and students often benefit from support along the way. It is my hope that Acacia will be viewed as a space of support, warmth, openness, and safety to those of you seeking mental health services.

I have spent the past several years working in diverse settings, including non-profit agencies, medical centers, and university campuses. I have worked with clients experiencing anxiety, mood disorders, medical issues (e.g., HIV+ young adults), life transitions, and relationship struggles. My work with persons at various life stages has deeply informed my therapeutic approach, which is direct, authentic, and empowering. At core, I aim to help those I work with identify strengths and learn how to use them. I also recognize the importance of providing culturally sensitive support, and strongly believe in the importance of viewing mental health in a holistic manner to address all areas of wellness. Additionally, I have a special interest in working with members of our LGBQIA+, Transgender and Gender Nonconforming communities, specifically those who may have other racial, cultural, and religious identities. My personal and professional understanding of the struggles that accompany intersecting identities motivates me to become increasingly involved in being both a support to and an advocate for members of this community.

Regardless of where you are in your journey, whether you are merely trying to get through the day or working on being your best self, I hope to have the opportunity to meet you and I look forward to embarking on this journey together!

delara taie | SHe/her/hers

la jolla office manager & lead office manager, support


Hello there! My name is Delara (Del) Taie and I am the Office Manager at our La Jolla location. I grew up in the suburbs of Maryland, going back to my birthplace, Tehran, Iran almost every summer since I was three years old. I transferred to University of San Diego in 2016 and there’s no chance of leaving the west coast any time soon. As a recent graduate, I was eager to gain knowledge about the mental health field. With some luck and destined timing, I found Acacia Counseling & Wellness and instantly knew that this is where I was supposed to be. My passion around advocating for mental health and wellness, in addition to my connection with the college population, drives my desire to offer my best in working with the Acacia team and the rest of the community. To know I’m surrounded by individuals both professionally and personally who genuinely care for supporting students through their time of growth is what gets me most excited to come in.

What do you miss most about being a child?

I miss thinking of the possibility that I can one day fly.

Name 3 things on your bucket list

Have my own art show.

Backpack around Europe.

Go bungee jumping off of Verzasca Dam in Switzerland so I can pretend I’m James Bond.



Racial/Cultural Identity & Issues, Substance Use/Abuse, Addiction, Interpersonal Violence & Trauma, Sexual Abuse, Men’s Issues, Life Transitions, Skill Building, Career & Employment Issues, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Additional Language: Spanish

therapeutic orientation

Person-Centered, Cognitive-Behavioral, Narrative

about me

Hey there! I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor with a passion for empowering others to achieve happier, more fulfilling lives. I provide my clients with a nonjudgmental, nurturing environment, while also challenging problem areas to spark positive development.

I originally hail from Milwaukee, WI and moved to San Diego in 2013 with my wife to pursue new opportunities, a warmer climate, and fish tacos. I have two cats (Bill & Loki) and spend my free time playing video games, camping (I’m trying to visit every National Park), and editing film. I received my Masters of Science from Marquette University in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in addictions counseling. Since then, I have worked in a variety of mental health settings, serving people from all walks of life. These have included children, adolescents, and adults, individuals with substance addictions, the homeless population, the recently-incarcerated, individuals suffering from severe mental illness, and immigrant refugees seeking asylum in the US.

I have experience and expertise in working with traumatic events, substance abuse/addictions, childhood and adolescent abuse, men’s issues, Latinx/Hispanic/Chicano issues, and cultural identity issues that include working with clients who are monolingual Spanish speakers. I’ve also worked with a wide variety of diagnoses and use evidence-based practices to provide you with the most effective treatment methods.

My goal as a therapist is to make sure you feel understood. I want to help you overcome personal obstacles, address systemic hurdles in your environment, and provide comfort. Therapy should work for YOU. To me, mental health must be treated like physical health. Just like you might with a doctor, it should be normal to get an annual checkup, address specific concerns when they arise and receive ongoing care for chronic issues. If I have the privilege of working with you, my hope is that you learn practical, useful tools that will provide healing and lead to you feeling more complete.

I look forward to meeting you and I applaud you for taking this step!



Eating Disorders, Social Anxiety, Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Substance Use Disorders, Schizophrenia, Immigrants and Acculturation Issues, Asian/ Asian American Mental Health issues, Life Transitions, Additional Languages: Cantonese, Mandarin

therapeutic orientation

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), Motivational Interviewing

about me

I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) and a National Certified Counselor (NCC). In the past several years, I have provided individual and group counseling in a multitude of clinical settings, including psychiatric hospital, partial hospitalization program, intensive outpatient program, and community outpatient clinic. Apart from being a team member at Acacia, I also currently work as a social worker in an intensive outpatient program. All these experiences have enabled me to work with a wide variety of diagnoses including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, mood disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder. I can leverage my expertise in evidence-based practices with a sprinkle of humor to provide guidance on your path toward change.

Growing up in an immigrant family, studying in multiple countries, and working with individuals with diverse background has shaped my lens as a mental health counselor. Life can be messy and it can make you feel “stuck”. I am passionate about helping my clients to work on exploring themselves more fully, building confidence, empowering strengths, and creating a meaningful life by getting “unstuck”. I see therapy as a collaborative project. You take captain seat while I will be your co-pilot along your side. We will practice some hands-on skills before you go up in the sky and cruise through your life journey. My goal as your therapist is to create a safe, nonjudgmental, and supportive environment for you to cultivate positive changes in your life.

In my free time, I enjoy watching my dog running around at dog parks, strolling in San Diego Zoo, trying out all the food vendors at local farmers markets, and being a blanket burrito at home.

DR. TIMOTHY VEAL | #124269


Anxiety, Depression, relationship issues, life transitions/career difficulties, mood & panic disorders, psychotic disorders i.e. bipolar, schizophrenia, personality disorders, substance abuse, PTSD, trauma related disorders, grief & loss

therapeutic orientation

Integrative approach involving components of object relational, cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic/psychoanalytic & motivational interviewing

about me

My name is Dr. Timothy Veal or Dr. Tim for short. As your psychiatrist, my goal is to work with you to achieve a sense of mastery or control over your psychiatric symptoms enabling you to find more joy, meaning and reduce unnecessary suffering. Apart from prescribing medications, I also do therapy and am currently in advanced training in psychoanalysis at the San Diego Psychoanalytic Center. My therapeutic approach is based on a psychodynamic framework which simply put means I seek to understand your psychological motivations and how they are manifesting as your symptoms. I see the use of medications as a small component to treating psychiatric conditions and feel that psychotherapy along with self-introspection in a nonjudgmental setting can produce the most change. As we work together, if medications are needed, I will discuss the risks, benefits, side effects and possible alternatives and whether or not long/short term use of medications would be beneficial.

I am originally from Boston, Massachusetts. I completed my undergraduate training in psychology at Clark University. Before deciding to go to medical school, I spent some time in biomedical research, completing my medical degree in June 2011. After medical school, I relocated to San Diego where I completed my general psychiatry residency with the US Navy. During my Navy service, I was fortunate to work in both the public/private/military sectors where I treated a wide range of patients with a wide range of mental health conditions.

As your doctor, my goal is to be a resource for you on your journey and give you the tools to become who you are and live your best life.

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”- Chinese Proverb

she/her/hers |#LCSW75068


LGBTQIA+, Relationship Concerns, Codependency, Anxiety, Depression, Life Transitions, Mood & Personality Disorders, Couples

therapeutic orientation

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Mindfulness, CBT, Motivational Interviewing

about me

My name is Beth and I am an LCSW, therapist focused on collaborating with you to gain self- understanding and to experience growth. I was born and raised on the East Coast but have also lived in Memphis, New York, and San Francisco. Before becoming a therapist I was a professor of Social and Political Philosophy at Vassar College. Currently I am finishing up a 2 year training program in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy at the San Diego Psychoanalytic Center.

I am especially passionate about working with the LGBTQIA+ community and college students and I have extensive experience working with these groups through my time as a therapist at City College San Francisco and FIDM San Diego. As a psychodynamic therapist, my goals in working with you extend beyond relieving symptoms to include helping you have more fulfilling relationships, have a more realistic self-esteem, and face life’s challenges with greater flexibility and freedom. My style is warm and interactive and my focus is on providing a compassionate and judgment free space for you to explore and work through whatever is causing you pain and a feeling of being stuck.

In my spare time I love listening to hip hop music, reading, watching movies, running, yoga, spending time in nature, and exploring different restaurants with family and friends.



Depression, Anxiety, Complex and Acute Trauma, PTSD, Life Transitions, Stress Management, Anger Management, Interpersonal Relationship Concerns, Social Anxiety, Self-esteem, Identity Concerns, LGBTQIA+, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Social Injustice, Family Systems Disruptions

therapeutic orientation

Strengths-Based, Person-Centered, Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma Focused CBT (TF-CBT), Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), An Individualized Mental Health Intervention (AIM HI) for Children with ASD, Family Systems & Gestalt

about me

As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I have the privilege of holding hope for people going through life’s challenges and working with those individuals who have decided to reach out for support. Whether this is your first time seeking therapy services or you’ve been involved in treatment in the past, college is a huge life transition that deserves the time and space to process all that is happening. Thank you for taking care of yourself by being here!

While my roots are on the East coast, I’ve grown professionally in San Diego since 2016. I enjoy so much about this great city and all that it has to offer. To practice my own self-care, I enjoy spending time outdoors in the sunshine either hiking/camping, going to the beach, practicing yoga or spending time with my fiancé and our two rescue pups. Indoors, I’m a big fan of good food, a funny show, and a solid night’s sleep. I also enjoy traveling both in and outside the country to be with loved ones and to discover new places!

Through a strengths-based, trauma-informed and person-centered therapeutic approach, we will establish realistic and attainable goals together. My clinical experience has afforded me the opportunity to work with a diverse population of individuals and families in a number of cities and settings, including nonprofits, schools, university campuses, hospitals and outpatient clinics. These experiences have all informed my current practice, which takes into consideration a person in their whole environment and all the external factors that contribute to our overall mental health and wellbeing.

My style as a therapist is warm, authentic, and goal-oriented. I believe in the power of human connection and feel that therapy is most effective when a genuine, trusting, and collaborative dynamic exists between myself and the individuals with whom I work. As your therapist, I will meet you wherever you may be on your journey and empower you to take the best next steps towards personal healing and growth. I look forward to meeting you!



Mindfulness, Trauma & PTSD, Life Transitions, Anxiety/Panic Disorders, Codependency, Self Esteem, Depression, Interpersonal Relationships, Stress Management

therapeutic orientation

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness, Positive Psychology & Solution Focused Brief Therapy, EMDR (coming soon!)

about me

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who is passionate about wellness and providing individualized approaches to address the whole person. I am excited to be a part of the Acacia team, while continuing in my other role as an emergency room and inpatient hospital social worker. In my free time, I love taking advantage of the beautiful city we live in and being outside with my pup Louie. I enjoy tennis, yoga, traveling and spending time with friends and family. I strive to be a lifelong learner, always reading a book or two and seeking new opportunities to grow my clinical skills.

For the past several years, I worked as an individual and group therapist for young adults experiencing some type of transition in their life. These amazing, resilient individuals, showed me how critical a holistic and personalized approach is for growth. Regardless of a diagnosis or circumstance, we each have a unique set of needs. That’s why we’ll work as a team to utilize strengths, while enhancing skills to address your goals in a safe, supportive environment.

I am in the process of an EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy certification and plan to use this regularly in my practice to attend to trauma. EMDR can also be effective in addressing many of our long held beliefs that can keep an individual feeling ‘stuck’. Wherever you may be in your journey, I look forward to meeting with you and hope to support you in your wellness.



Trauma, Anxiety & Mood Disorders, Substance Use, Insomnia, Personal Development, Veterans, Student-Athletes.

therapeutic orientation

Cognitive Behavioral, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, skills from Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure.

about me

I am a licensed clinical psychologist and am very excited to be part of the Acacia team! I received my Ph.D. from the University of Nevada and completed my internship at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Boston before returning to my home state of California to complete my postdoctoral residency at the San Diego Veterans Affairs/University of California San Diego psychology training program. All of my training has been accredited by the American Psychological Association.

I specialize in the treatment of a variety of psychological concerns utilizing research-supported therapies that align with cognitive behavioral theory, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). In addition, I have extensive experience utilizing evidence-based therapies to treat trauma (Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure), substance use (Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention and Motivational Enhancement Therapy), and sleep difficulties (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia). I focus primarily on offering these techniques because research has shown them to be highly effective, and I have seen my clients benefit firsthand. However, I also believe that treatment should meet your unique needs. Therefore, we will work together to form an individualized treatment plan specific to your goals.

In addition to focusing on your particular concerns, I believe it is critical to incorporate unique aspects of each individual’s identity into therapy in order to maximize effectiveness. These individual aspects include but are not limited to: cultural identity, sexual orientation and gender identity, socioeconomic status, physical ability level, important life roles (e.g., student, parent, athlete, veteran, etc.), and personal values.

I grew up in San Diego and completed my bachelor’s degree at UCSB. After graduating, I continued to work at UCSB providing supportive services for university students, specifically around substance use. My passion for that work prompted me to pursue a doctoral degree in psychology. I am elated that I can now provide therapy as a clinical psychologist.



Couples/Relationships Concerns, Grief/Loss, LGBTQIA identity development, Mood Disorders, Depression, Trauma, Life Transitions, First Generation College Students, Assertive Communication

therapeutic orientation

Humanistic, Person Centered, Strengths Based, Multicultural, Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

about me

Hello and welcome! I look forward to our work together and appreciate you exploring this bio. I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and raised primarily in Williamsburg, Virginia. I am a recent transplant in the San Diego area - my husband is a doctor in the United States Navy. Together we have a young son and a French Bulldog who occupy most of our time. I love to spend time out of doors, hiking, traveling, and trying new cuisine. In terms of professional training, I attended undergraduate at the University of Maryland, College Park before heading to the west coast for graduate school. I next went to UC Santa Barbara for graduate school with a Masters in Counseling Psychology and finished my Ph.D. in their combined Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology program. My focus was on underrepresented groups in counseling and college students. I finished my doctoral internship at Stanford University's counseling center before returning to the east coast to work at George Washington University. While back in DC I also spent time working at the Director level with the nonprofit Active Minds with the mission of reducing stigma around mental health concerns at colleges and universities. Prior to starting at Acacia, I served as the Director of Counseling Services at Touro University California for four years.

My approach to treatment is to first establish a trusting relationship between client and counselor. From this foundation of trust, we can work together to address issues as they arise. I tend to be person-centered and strengths-based, believing that people can find their own best answers when supported in an environment of warmth, unconditional positive regard, and empathy. I enjoy working with a diverse student population because of the growth potential that can happen at this critical stage of development. Utilizing a collaborative approach I can share what research and practice says might help and you can share what works best for you.

she/her/hers | #PSY31268


Young Adults, Adults, College Mental Health, Anxiety, Depression, Interpersonal Relationship Issues, Breakups, Multicultural & Diversity Issues, Family of Origin Concerns, Women’s Issues, Immigrant & Acculturation Issues, First Generation College Student Concerns, Grief & Bereavement, Life Transition Issues, Trauma, Stress Management

therapeutic orientation

Psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioral, Mindfulness & Self-Compassion Based Practices

about me

Greetings! Thank you for stopping by to read and learn a little about me. I’m a multiracial woman of African American, Caucasian and Persian descent. As you can probably imagine, I grew up in an ethnically and culturally diverse environment. I believe this provided life experiences which help me to relate to not only those who hold similar identities as me, but also with people who hold identities different from my own. I have lived in many different cities, some for adventure, and others to attend college. I previously worked as a neonatal intensive care registered nurse caring for ill infants. Although I enjoyed nursing, I knew my heart was really with psychology, so I returned to school to become a psychologist. My pre-doctoral psychology internship at the University of San Diego brought me to sunny San Diego. After that, I completed my postdoctoral residency at University of California, San Diego.

In my work with clients, I seek to provide a safe, warm, collaborative and inclusive space. I believe this is important to help you feel comfortable sharing and processing your concerns and worries so that you can make sense of them and better manage them. I am passionate about supporting clients who are struggling with marginalized identities. I’m deeply concerned about social justice issues and how they may impact one’s suffering. I approach my work with a holistic lens, integrating identities. I also integrate cognitive behavioral, mindfulness and self-compassion skills into therapy.

I love SoCal weather. So much so, that I often go to the beach to relax, nap, and bask in the sun. I also enjoy reading novels, including fiction and history. I consider myself a lifelong learner which is why historical books tend to captivate me. I am a lover of dancing and karaoke nights. I like spending time, joking around, and laughing with my family and friends. I hope to meet you soon and begin working together!

alexa aiello
she/her/hers| #LMFT114691


Psychosis, Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder,Depression, Anxiety, LGBTQIA+, Life Transition

therapeutic orientation

Client centered, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Motivational Interviewing

about me

Hi! I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, born and raised here in Southern California. As a therapist, I strive to create an environment in which people feel supported in addressing difficult topics and pursuing growth at a pace that is comfortable for them. Most of my experience comes from working with adolescents and young adults experiencing challenges including hearing or seeing things others don’t, unusual fears or thoughts, difficulty adjusting to life transitions, family stress, substance use, and more.

I received my B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Cognitive Science from UCLA, after which I attended the University of San Diego to earn my M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy. I have learned a lot over the years which has helped me guide clients through tough times, and what I find consistently in my work with others is that the inner strength and skills clients possess are what really help them achieve their goals. I’m there to help you find that strength (:

Self-care for me includes many different things. I love cooking, trying new restaurants, boxing, spending time with friends and family, and exploring what San Diego has to offer.

amy woh
she/her/hers| #lmft98301


Mindfulness, Grief & Loss, Social Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, Family & Relationship Issues, Women’s Issues, Body Image Issues

therapeutic orientation

CBT, Trauma-Focused/Informed, Psychodynamic, Solution-Focused, Client-Centered, Mindfulness

about me

UCSD Class of 2009, Master’s in Clinical Psychology at Pepperdine University. Worked with children and teens on “Skid Row” in Los Angeles. Worked with clients at end-of-life phase and most recently, private practice with adults and children.

I enjoy going on family outings in San Diego, exercising for mind/body benefits and practicing minimalism by researching how to desire less stuff.

One of my unrealized wishes is to be a contestant on Nailed It! the baking show (and hopefully win)!

Rebecca Blenz


Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Anger Management, Couples/Interpersonal Relationships, Mindfulness, Additional Language: German.

therapeutic orientation

Cognitive-Behavioral, Systems, Strength-based

about me

Welcome! I am very excited about the opportunity to accompany you on your personal journey toward greater wellness and fulfillment. The college years are a time of incredible growth and change, and can be both exhilarating and challenging. My goal is to support you in discovering your unique innate strengths and values so that you feel empowered to move your life in the direction you want.

Since receiving my master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Alliant International University, I have worked in a variety of settings to serve people with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, psychosis, homelessness, substance abuse, grief, and trauma. I have experience providing therapy to individuals, couples, and groups, with clients ranging in age from 15 to 80. I am very excited to work with a culturally diverse college population, including LGBTQ+ clients. Whether you wish to focus on the stressors and challenges specific to student life or address longer-standing mental health concerns, our sessions will be tailored to your individual needs. In addition to providing a warm, empathetic, trauma-informed presence, I incorporate evidence- based approaches such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, ACT, and mindfulness techniques to help you gain insight, learn coping skills, and increase resilience.

I am originally from the East Coast, and have spent extensive time abroad, including a summer in Mexico, two years in Portugal, and seven years in Germany. I love being outdoors, and some of my favorite pursuits include singing, hiking, camping, climbing, reading, crosswords, and spending time with my immediate family (which consists of a husband, a son, and two cats), as well as extended family and friends.

hazel/Christopher Hamann


Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Transgender, Gender Diverse, Nonbinary, Asexual, Identity Development, Sexuality & Intimacy, Racial & Cultural Identity Concerns, Trauma, Life Transitions, Size and Body-positive, Interpersonal Relationships, Intersectionality, Anxiety, Depression, Family of Origin Issues, Diverse Relationships
Additional Languages: Spanish.

therapeutic orientation

Psychodynamic, Person-centered, Strengths-based, Motivational Interviewing

about me

My passion lies in working with LGBTQIA+ communities. For the past 5 years, I have worked predominantly with LGBTQIA+ clients in schools, community mental health, and healthcare settings. As a queer, trans, and Latinx therapist, I know the importance of having a therapist who can understand and honor your intersecting identities. It’s my hope that through our work, you will find new pathways to freedom, growth, and balance.

Originally from Peru, I grew up mostly in Miami, FL and moved to San Diego after a decade in the Pacific Northwest. I have a BA in Women/Gender Studies and received my Master of Social Work from Smith College. I’m trained as a relational psychodynamic therapist and view our clinical relationship as a crucial starting point of healing. I use LGBTQ+-affirming and trauma-informed approaches with the aim of creating a safe space for you to share your experiences. I am also kink-aware, sex-positive, and use body positive approaches in my practice.

In my free time, I love being near the ocean, bicycling, spending time with my cat, and discovering new sights with my partner and friends.



Gender & Sexuality, Holistic Nutrition, Holistic Psychotherapy, Identity Issues, LGBTQ Issues, Life Transitions, Mind-Body Connection, Military, Relationship Issues, Self Acceptance, Self Esteem, Stress Management, Women’s Issues

therapeutic orientation

Integrative/Holistic Therapy, Mindfulness, Solution Focused, Client Centered

about me

Hi! I am so excited for you that you are taking a step on this path to self discovery and personal wellness…. It’s a fun, often challenging, and incredibly eye opening journey!

As a licensed psychotherapist (LMFT) and Certified Nutrition Consultant (NC), I encourage my clients to live creatively, healthfully, inquisitively and holistically. I love supporting clients in becoming their best, most creative, healthy and vibrant selves. I view each individual as a whole, and believe in the synchronicity between healing the mind and healing the body. As both an LMFT and NC, my focus in session is on mental health, specific nutrition, stress management and solution focused strategies to help my clients achieve their mental health goals. As a holistic psychotherapist, I believe that there are many different ways to support and help clients reach their full potential. Combining solution focused psychotherapy, stress management and nutrition allows me to work more deeply and effectively with my clients around holistic and integrative living and lifestyle choices. I provide an environment that treats the whole person, getting to the root causes rather than treating just the symptoms and ignoring underlying causes of mental health issues. My philosophy about mental and emotional health is that it is a key component in our overall health and wellness.

I have been licensed since 2009, and have extensive experience with adolescents, young adults and active duty service members and their families. I absolutely love working with individuals on areas of identity, especially LGBTQIA+ and adjustment to phases of life, as well as young adults and the process of figuring out who they are and who they want to become. While I am a solution focused therapist, I believe the theoretical orientation needs to fit the client, and I utilize a combination of integrative/holistic therapy, solution focused intervention, brief therapy and client centered therapy. I am constantly honored when clients choose to share their lives and struggles with me, and I am passionate about partnering with my clients on their path to personal wellness, whatever that looks like to them.

I am a NorCal girl through and through, born and raised in Santa Cruz. I seem to have been progressively working my way down the coast- Santa Barbara for ten years and now San Diego for the last eight years. While I love the sunshine and the beach, especially Dog Beach with my pup and my partner, my NorCal roots have instilled a true love of rain and I always get so excited when it rains in San Diego. I’ve been known to dance in the rain on occasion ;) I LOVE music- going to concerts, seeing lives shows and talking about music.

Dr. Amy Epner


Addictive Behaviors, Anxiety, Body Image, Career Issues, Chronic Illness, Depression, Eating Disorders, Hoarding, Life Transitions, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Parenting, Self-Esteem, Stress Management, Time Management, Weight Management, Women’s Issues

therapeutic orientation

Biopsychosocial Approach, Client-Centered, Cognitive-Behavioral (CBT), Exposure & Response Prevention (ERP), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Positive Psychology, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)

about me

Welcome to Acacia! I am privileged and excited to be a part of your therapeutic journey to wellness.

My path to a career as a psychologist has been a bit unconventional. With a plan to pursue a career in veterinary medicine, I completed my undergraduate studies in biology and communications at Cornell University. Yet, after a series of events in my own life, I decided I really wanted to work directly with people. I have always loved animals, but for me there is something extremely powerful and fulfilling about being able to listen to and help others. I decided to follow my heart and went on to earn my masters in psychology at Brandeis University and my doctorate in clinical health psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego.

My passion lies in helping young adults confront challenges and focus on the strengths in their lives. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to hone my therapeutic skills in a variety of clinical settings. Whether supporting individuals with HIV at the Center, advocating for students with challenges at Springall Academy, helping clients with disordered eating at The Center for Eating and Weight Disorders at SDSU, or assisting those with addictive behaviors at Practical Recovery, I have always strived to create a warm, open, supportive, safe, and inclusive environment.

When I am not at Acacia, I spend time volunteering with summer camps to help enhance the health and wellness practices for campers and staff. In my free time, I enjoy engaging in physical activity, completing sudoku and crossword puzzles, savoring chocolate, and most importantly, spending invaluable time with my husband, children, and rescue dog.



Depression, Anxiety/Social Anxiety, Self-Esteem, Multiculturalism, Asian/Asian American Mental Health, Identity Exploration, Stress Management, Interpersonal Relationships, Anger Management, Substance Use, Time Management/Organizational Skills, Life Transitions, Communication Skills

therapeutic orientation

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Client-Centered, Strength-Based, Solution-Focused, Mindfulness, Dialectical Behavior Therapy informed, Interpersonal

about me

I take a collaborative approach in the work that I do with clients and believe that you are the driver that steers the direction of your treatment, and I am the passenger that is there to support you on the road ahead. I will be there to gently challenge you in order for you to recognize the strength and resilience that lies within you. I believe that to achieve your goals, no matter how big or small they may be, it is important to break them down into smaller, approachable steps. We will work together to explore what your needs and goals are to help you gain skills to cope with day-to-day life and to improve your overall well-being.

I received my Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Sonoma State University and my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from UC San Diego. In my free time, I love to cook, bake, discover new music, binge watch trashy reality shows, and explore new places with my husband.



LGBTQIA+, Latin@/X Mental Health, Grief and Bereavement, Identity Development and Exploration, Multiculturalism and Social Justice, Family & Relationship Issues, Life Transitions, Trauma, Depression, Anxiety, Stress management, Self-Esteem

Additional Languages: Spanish

therapeutic orientation

Eclectic, Person-Centered, Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused, Strength-Based, Play Therapy

about me

Hello! My name is Melissa and I am a Bilingual (Spanish and English) Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. I have lived in San Diego most of my life. I grew up with the border town experience of traveling back and forth between San Diego and Tijuana. I received my B.A. in Critical Gender Studies, and Spanish Literature from UC San Diego. I graduated from SDSU’s Community Based Block (CBB) Program with a Master’s in Counseling, with a concentration in multicultural counseling.

As a Queer Bisexual Xicana, I believe in the importance of creating inclusive, supportive, and identity affirming healing spaces. As a therapist, I provide a genuine and warm approach. I want to create a therapeutic space where you can feel heard, accepted, and understood. I see you, the client, as the expert in your life and experiences. During our work together, you are allowing me the privilege of walking alongside you on your journey.

In my free time, I enjoy gardening and caring for butterflies during their life cycles in my garden, and spending quality time with my dog, my family, and friends.

Dr. Tamara Halperin


LGBTQIA+ affirming, Gender Identity, Sexual and Romantic Relationships, Substance Use/Addictive Behaviors, Mood Disorders

therapeutic orientation

Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), Interpersonal, Feminist, Multicultural

about me

Hello, and thanks for taking the time to see if we would be a good fit! I believe that therapy can benefit anyone, and finding a therapist you are compatible with is an important part of the process.

In therapy, I will work with you to identify the goals you want to focus on. I draw from several different therapy approaches so that we can find an approach and a rhythm that works for you. Developing and maintaining your sense of identity and autonomy are integral elements of therapy, and I hope you'll find that I keep these at the forefront of our work together in a warm and genuine way.I specialize in working with concerns around sexual orientation, sexual behavior/relationships, and gender identity, as well as with substance use and addictive behaviors.

I am originally from southeastern Pennsylvania, and I graduated with my PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Kansas in 2018. I've worked in university counseling centers for the past several years, andI love working with undergraduate and graduate students. In my free time, I enjoy cooking/baking, reading, exercising, playing video games, and hanging out with my cat, Pearl.


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.

mha program

Acacia Counseling and Wellness’ Mental Health Advocacy (MHA) Internship is a team of college students gathered by their passions in advocating for others. The MHA program advocates for mental health awareness through fundraisers, events, and other creative methods. Students collaborate with each other and with local establishments to raise funds for Acacia Counseling and Wellness’ ROOTS fund, a fund which aids local college students with the financial costs of utilizing mental health services. This awareness of challenges and concerns among mental health services is equally reflected in our interns’ passion projects.

Passion projects are events initiated by interns with the intent of advocating for underrepresented communities and proactively aiming to destigmatize notions of mental health. These events range from podcasts and published articles to art nights for de-stressing and presentations in regards to minority groups in mental health. Our team of interns welcomes a commitment to inclusivity, diversity, and mental health advocacy. We are understanding of growth in all its forms and are eager to encourage others in their growth as well.


Come relax and meditate in our Mind Spa. Intended to offer you a quiet getaway, you can reserve to study or just rest before or after your session. There is aroma therapy, books on practicing mindfulness, and comfy sitting.

Check in with the front desk to reserve the room.


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.


One of the secret gems of your personal change process could be group therapy. Group therapy is a highly effective and unique form of treatment and is appropriate for many of the same problems as individual therapy. It is well established as an effective treatment for many mental health issues including depression, anxiety, social skills/relationship building, and more!

Groups generally consist of 6-8 people, last 60-75 minutes and are led by a therapist who works to create a safe, collaborative, and confidential environment amongst group members. Groups are effective in helping individuals acquire better-coping skills, find support in their day-to-day difficulties, overcome anxieties about social interactions, explore past traumas, heal from internal feelings of shame and guilt, and modify problematic behaviors. Group members often report feeling relieved that others are going through similar problems and they often enjoy the experience practicing a new identity. For example, do you have problems asserting your needs? Group can be a great space for you to start practicing!

As groups inherently involve the interaction of members, groups are especially effective in helping individuals build, repair, and maintain more effective, supportive relationships with others. At Acacia, we believe in the power of group therapy and have significant experience in effectively running a range of different groups. Finally, in our groups, you can be assured that we will take precautions in not placing you in a group with someone who you might know on a personal level.

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, 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 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!