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

La Jolla

La Jolla

858.768.0028
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!
Convenient
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Cozy, convenient, close to campus 🙂
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La Jolla 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.

IMG_1724 - Leah W

Leah Wright

Director
Micah Headshot

Micah Caldwell

Therapist | LPCC
tahirihljj

Dr. Tahirih Moffett

Psychologist | PsyD
alexlj

Alex Aiello

Not Accepting Clients
keeganw

Keegan Wood

Nurse Practitioner | PMHNP
Blenz Headshot 12.30.19lj

Rebecca Blenz

Therapist | LMFT
Amy Epnerlj

Dr. Amy Epner

Psychologist | PhD
melissa

Melissa Pérez

Therapist | LPCC
IMG_4722 - Tamara Halperin

Dr. Tamara Halperin

Psychologist | PsyD
9667A4B7-1478-47F6-AD54-EC59D81884C8 - Jennifer Nguyen

Jennifer Nguyen

Nurse Practitioner | PMHNP
Nancy Wahlig pic - Nancy Wahlig

Nancy Wahlig

Therapist | LCSW
headshot - Christine Costello (1)

Christine Costello

Therapist | LCSW
Saleh Prodessional Headshot - Michael Saleh

Dr. Michael Saleh

Psychologist | PsyD
IMG_0737 - Sydney Schulz

Sydney Schulz

Therapist | LMFT
20200924_204905 (3) - Diane Ackroyd

Diane Ackroyd

Nurse Practitioner | PMHNP
Trinh Tran PsyD LP - Trinh Tran, PsyD, LP

Dr. Trinh Tran

Psychologist | PsyD
617C5BFB-6C87-4FB1-AE44-C9341F85F191 - Dom Marania

Dom Marania

Therapist | LMFT
Dean Khambattasc

Dean Khambatta

AMFT | Fee For Service $75
amywohlj

Amy Woh

Therapist | LMFT

La Jolla 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.

Headshot - Caitlin Somers

Caitlin Somers

Office Manager
Headshot high res - Madison Dingsdale

Madison Dingsdale

Administrative Specialist
prof - Christina Crane

Christina Crane

Administrative Specialist

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.

LEAH WRIGHT
she/her/hers|#LCSW80806

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Anxiety, Crisis Intervention, Depression, Hoarding, Life Transitions, Relationship Issues, Self-Esteem, Substance Use, Stress Management, Trauma and PTSD, Women's Issues

therapeutic orientation

Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), Culturally Sensitive, Dialectical (DBT), Feminist, Motivational Interviewing, Person-Centered, Solution-Focused Brief (SFBT), Strengths-Based, Trauma-Informed Care

about me

Hello! I’m thrilled to be a part of the Acacia, La Jolla and UCSD communities!

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and prior to Acacia served as the Director of Housing Programs and Services at a non-profit agency in Long Beach, CA. While there, I oversaw a rapid re-housing program for transitional age youth, a permanent supportive housing program for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness and an intensive outpatient mental health program. I also have experience providing outreach to individuals experiencing homelessness in Compton, Venice and Santa Monica, and intensive mental health care at a non-profit agency in Los Angeles.

I am excited to be back in San Diego, where I obtained my undergrad in Psychology at Point Loma Nazarene University and Masters of Social work at San Diego State University and started my career as a Case Manager and Grants Officer at Father Joe's Villages.

I am honored to support the team’s excellent services and partner in creating an understanding, hospitable and supportive environment that allows for trusting professional relationships. I believe this is the ideal environment to set goals, identify meaningful roles and strengths and alleviate distress to allow for even more joy, authenticity and success.

When I’m not working, I enjoy the beach, comedy, karaoke, and boxing classes.

MICAH CALDWELL
HE/HIM/HIS | #LPCC5913

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

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!

DR. TAHIRIH MOFFETT
she/her/hers | #PSY31268

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

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

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

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.

KEEGAN WOOD
HE/HIM/HIS | #PMHNP95006887

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

LGBTQIA+, Anxiety, ADHD, Depression, Bipolar

therapeutic orientation

Mindfulness-Based, Motivational Interviewing, CBT

about me

Keegan Wood is originally from upstate/western NY and started the first 16 years of his career as a professional musician. He then began pivoting towards education and was a tutor for the Princeton review teaching the SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT and specialized in stress reduction for test anxiety. During this time, he conducted an anxiety reduction study for individuals at an HIV wellness center. It was this experience that eventually led to nursing school and the field of psychiatry.

Keegan began his work as a nurse in a psychiatric hospital for the geriatric population. At this facility, Keegan developed his approaches to anxiety and medication management for acute patients and traumatic events. Despite being offered a residency at Harvard, he chose to follow his passion and accepted a position with the Los Angeles LGBT Center where he helped pioneer psychiatric care for the transgender population and instituted a psychiatric program to provide CBT for those with ADHD. After moving to San Diego, Keegan continued to work for community clinics and the homeless to provide care for those that need it most.

When asked why he is excited about working at Acacia, he replied, “I became passionate about helping the collegiate community when I was in education, and now I want to share my passion for mental health. College students are extremely inspiring and are actively creating their futures, but they are also under extreme levels of stress. I think it’s our responsibility to help any way that we can, so that we can all enjoy a future full of mental stability.”

Rebecca Blenz
she/her/hers|#LMFT114479

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

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.

Dr. Amy Epner
she/her/hers|#PSY18455

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

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.

MELISSA PÉREZ
SHE/HER/HERS | #LPCC7799

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

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
she/her/hers | #Psy30575

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Child and Adolescent, Young Adults, Anxiety, Anger, Behavioral Issues, Oppositional Defiance, Coping Skills, Emotional Disturbance, Family Conflicts, Multicultural/Diversity Issues, Life Transitions, Parenting, Self Esteem, Child Abuse, Trauma and PTSD

therapeutic orientation

Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), Trauma Focused/Informed (TF-CBT), Gradual Exposure, Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Multi-culturally Informed Interventions, Skills from Acceptance and Commitment (ACT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Strength-Based, Play Therapy

about me

Hi! My name is Dr. Tamara Halperin and I am a licensed clinical psychologist at Acacia. I moved to San Diego in 2013 to complete my doctorate at Alliant International University, and have since made San Diego my home.

Whether you are seeking guidance through the transition into adulthood and your independence, or are struggling with managing past stressors, you have already demonstrated incredible strength in reaching out for support. I am so glad that you are here!

I utilize a cognitive behavioral, integrative approach to therapy, with a trauma informed lens and an emphasis on evidence based therapies. It is of utmost importance to me to practice cultural humility in the care I provide. In therapy we will work together to explore the impact past experiences have on your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and relationships. Through this process, we will build upon the resiliency you already possess in order to create meaningful change.

I believe that finding a therapist who is the "right fit" for you is key to a successful therapeutic process. My treatment approach is warm, authentic, and collaborative, specifically tailored to creating a safe non-judgmental atmosphere. I'm excited to join you on this journey to navigate this chapter in your life!

JENNIFER NGUYEN
SHE/HER/HERS|#PMHNP-BC 95013028

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Anxiety, Bipolar disorder, Depression, Medication management, Schizophrenia

therapeutic orientation

Supportive Therapy

about me

Hi everyone! My name is Jennifer, and I am a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC). I am originally from Portland, ME. I studied counseling psychology at Emmanuel College in Boston before heading to “Music City” to earn my Master’s in Nursing at Vanderbilt University. My love for the beach, sun, and idyllic climate landed me in sunny San Diego! My favorite things to do include spending time with my cattle dog/shih tzu/poodle mix Oreo (Ori for short) and igniting my inner creative by using the fruits and veggies from my CSA box to pretend I’m starring on Chopped 😊

In the past, I’ve worked in psychiatric research studying the biomarkers of psychiatric illnesses at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA as well as having published a paper exploring the sex differences in leadership styles in young children titled “Sex Differences in Egalitarian Behavior in Early Childhood.” My most recent clinical experience includes working with justice-involved individuals experiencing homelessness and severe mental illness (SMI).

As a provider, I use my experience as a first-generation American and first-generation college student to practice with the utmost cultural sensitivity. I have a passion for providing quality and personable mental healthcare by using ethical and evidence-based tools. My approach includes using holistic and individualized care so we can work together to create a medication plan that works best for your unique situation. Join me while I provide a supportive, safe, nonjudgmental, and empathetic space for you to be yourself. I am looking forward to meeting you!

NANCY WAHLIG
SHE/HER/HERS | #LCSW16959

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Trauma & PTSD, Rape/Sexual Assault, Relationship Violence, Grief, Infertility, Adoption Issues, Depression, Anxiety, Stress Management

therapeutic orientation

Trauma Focused, Cognitive Behavioral, Person-Centered, Prolonged Exposure Therapy

about me

I realized that I wanted to work with individuals who had experienced trauma when I initially volunteered at a grassroots rape crisis center in Guam. This grew into a paid position as a staff member and then Director at the Palo Alto Rape Crisis Center. Not only did we provide 24 hour crisis services to individuals and the community, but we also worked at the state level to change and improve policies and procedures. I then moved to San Diego where I worked at UCSD with the sexual assault resource center.

I grew up on the East coast and graduated from Old Dominion University with a BS and a MPA and then graduated from San Diego State University with my Master in Social Work.

I love being outdoors, whether to run, mountain bike, hike or just to enjoy the beauty of San Diego. Recently, I have been challenging myself to be more like my dog. My dog will walk to the backyard, flop on the ground, roll over on her back, wiggle her body back and forth, exhale a huge sigh and then rest there with joy. She reminds me to be in the moment and to find pleasure in the simple things, although I’m not quite ready to flop on the ground.

CHRISTINE COSTELLO
SHE/Her/HERS | #LCSW94836

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Anxiety, Depression, Eating Disorders, Life Transitions, Self Esteem, Social Anxiety, Stress, Trauma and PTSD, Women's Issues

therapeutic orientation

Cognitive Behavioral, Cognitive Processing, Compassion Focused, Culturally Sensitive, Dialectical, Mindfulness-Based, Person-Centered, Strength-Based, Trauma-Focused

about me

Hello and welcome! I’m Christine, and though I earned my Bachelors in North Carolina and my Masters in Los Angeles, I’ve been a happy San Diegan since 2017. As a California Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I take a strengths-based and client-centered approach to the therapeutic work I do with individuals. I’ve had the opportunity to work with a diverse range of people in schools and community centers as well as in outpatient, intensive outpatient, and partial hospitalization levels of care. These valued experiences have informed my current practice, allowing me to take a holistic view of who my clients are as well as the context that they’re coming from. I utilize evidence based practices to address the individualized issues that my clients face to aid them in making steps towards their personal goals and overall wellness.

My goal as a therapist is to meet my clients precisely where they’re at, and to meet them with understanding, warmth and compassion. In therapy I aim to create a collaborative and accepting space from which clients can reflect on their lives and solidify coping skills that create some real change. With a background as a registered yoga teacher, I am passionate about utilizing mindfulness and self compassion to address self-criticism and alleviate suffering. I am also committed to assisting trauma survivors in moving towards a place of healing.

In my free time, I love reading, hiking, perusing farmer’s markets, practicing yoga and spending time with my two beloved cats Honey and Biscuit (as well as my human friends!)

DR. Michael Saleh
HE/HIM/HIS | #PSY31879

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Mood, anxiety, and trauma and stressor-related disorders, addiction and substance use, sport and performance (exams, presentations, musical performances, etc.) psychology, stress and anger management, relationship issues, crisis intervention, group therapy.

therapeutic orientation

Dialectical (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), Mindfulness-Based (MBCT), Strength-Based and Positive Psychology, Motivational Interviewing, Sport and Performance Psychology, Cognitive Processing (CPT) for Trauma, Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)

about me

Hi Everyone! Thank you for checking out my bio! I was born and raised in San Diego, CA where I attended the nearby La Jolla Country Day School. As a local, it is an honor to have the opportunity to promote the mental and physical wellbeing of students from all cultural backgrounds who have the potential to make or have already made remarkable contributions to the San Diego community.

To promote your wellbeing, I focus first on providing a safe, respectful, and non-judgmental space to help us develop a therapeutic relationship grounded in compassion and trust. I use humanistic and strengths-based approaches to treatment to discuss issues and concerns before introducing you to widely trusted evidence-based treatments to address them.

I built a clinical foundation at Alliant International University’s Los Angeles campus where I earned my doctoral degree in clinical psychology with a focus in health psychology. The majority of my training took place at organizations that treat individuals with moderate to severe mental illnesses. I was exposed to people and situations that put my skills to the test while having the opportunity to learn about a breadth of psychiatric and substance use disorders and how they uniquely affect people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Witnessing people’s recovery in these settings, despite significant past and current adversity in their histories, has been highly inspiring and valuable to me. My goal is to bring this same level of commitment and hope I offered to former clients’ recoveries to you.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family, friends, and my French bulldog whether it’s on a hike, at the beach, or in my local park. I maintain an active lifestyle that consists of playing soccer multiple times per week, working on my golf game, and doing strength training. Playing competitive sports throughout my formative years and into college piqued my interest in Sport and Performance Psychology. I learned that these principles can be applied not only to athletic performances, but to your performance in other areas of college life like exams, presentations, musical performances, and on-campus student group events/meetings. I also enjoy engaging in online mindfulness courses and practices to ensure I am attending to my own emotional and spiritual health.

I look forward to working with you to help you meet your mental health goals by supporting you in finding your path to healing and realizing your authentic self.

SYDNEY SCHULZ
SHE/HER/HERS | #LMFT119022

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Anxiety, Life Transitions, Interpersonal Relationships, Family of Origin Issues, Self-Esteem, Stress Management, Academic/Career Concerns, First-Generation College Students, Trauma, Depression

therapeutic orientation

Person-Centered, Mindfulness & Compassion Based, Strengths-Based, Relational, Multicultural, Trauma-Informed, Eclectic

about me

Hello! My name is Sydney and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). I grew up on the East Coast, where I earned my BA in Psychology at Temple University and my MA in Mental Health Counseling at Boston College. After too many years of cold and snowy winters, I decided to move to San Diego in 2016 for sunshine and a change of pace, and I haven’t looked back since! Some of the things I most enjoy are being outdoors and spending time in nature, practicing yoga, exploring trendy coffee shops (although I’m mainly a tea drinker), cooking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

Supporting college student’s mental health has been a long-term passion of mine. As a first-generation college student myself, I understand the complexities of navigating the college experience. While this time in life can be exciting and transformative, it can also bring many challenges. As a therapist, I see it as my role to come alongside you in navigating life and supporting you in creating the change you want to make in your life.

I believe the therapeutic relationship is the most essential healing component in therapy and in my work with clients, I seek to offer a warm, collaborative, trusting, empowering, and authentic dynamic. My approach to working with clients is person-centered, strengths-based, and trauma-informed, while integrating elements of mindfulness and self-compassion, and maintaining a social justice lens.

Wherever you are on your journey, I am glad you found your way here. I look forward to meeting you!

DIANE M. ACKROYD
SHe/her/hers | #NPF95016167

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Addictions and trauma; Depression and spirituality; Stress and coping skills; Relationship issues and grief

therapeutic orientation

CBT, Eclectic, Compassion focused; Jungian; Trauma focused

about me

My journey has been one of finding balance between my work and fun. I love connecting with people both professionally and personally. I will always share what I have learned in my personal growth that helps me to stay grounded and raise my consciousness such as my yoga and meditation practice, healthy eating, hiking, biking and spiritual practice. Exploring new activities was a big part of my life in NYC and I learned acting and ballet briefly while enjoying all the culture of that city. Now, I want to find a quieter side of my inner world by being close to the ocean, deserts and mountains.

DR. TRINH TRAN
SHE/HER/HERS | #PSY32413

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Child, Adolescent, and Families, Parent Guidance, Young Adults, Social and Generalized Anxiety, Depression, Stress Management, Attention Difficulties, Trauma, Immigrant and Acculturation Issues, Asian/Asian American Mental Health Issues, BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ Identity Issues, Interpersonal Difficulties
Additional Language: Cantonese

therapeutic orientation

Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), Culturally Sensitive and Multiculturalism, Dialectical (DBT), Humanistic, Relational, Positive Psychology, Strengths-Based, Trauma-Focused

about me

Hello! My name is Trinh and I am so glad you’re here exploring our bios and starting your wellness journey. I am originally from San Diego and attended UCLA for undergrad. Then, I ventured to Portland, Oregon to complete my doctorate degree at Pacific University. I most recently returned to San Diego after living in Minnesota for the past 5 ½ years to complete my pre- and postdoctoral training and employment. It’s great to be back in the California sunshine!

Personally, I like to think of myself as a friendly, compassionate, and down-to-earth individual, and I strive to translate these traits into my role as a psychologist. As an Asian American woman and first-generation immigrant, I have learned to explore and honor the intersectionalities between my different identities, which I believe have helped me to better relate to those who may hold similar spaces. Away from work, I enjoy spending my time with family and friends in activities that most often involve food, laughter, nature, and fun stories to be shared later. I also enjoy bike riding, strength training, hiking, singing in the car, traveling, and playing video and board games.

Professionally, I have tailored my training as a licensed psychologist working with individuals from diverse backgrounds and identities with a special interest and experience working with children, adolescents, and families. In my time fostering partnerships with my clients and the important figures in their lives, I found that my personality, strengths, and skills are best matched when working with young adults and addressing the unique challenges and changes they face as they embark on their journey into adulthood. I aim to provide culturally sensitive and strengths-based care to clients using a relational approach that integrates cognitive-behavioral therapy, positive psychology, and multiculturalism.

I would be honored to have the opportunity to build a healing, non-judgmental, and nurturing space with you to support you in fostering a happier and empowered life. The motto I often reference is to live happy, healthy, and well in whatever ways that are meaningful to you!

DOM MARANIA
They/him/hers/any | #LMFT124927

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

LGBTQIA+, Transgender, Trauma, Self-Esteem, Life Transitions, Suicidal Ideation, Emotional Disturbance, Anxiety, Depression, Child/Adolescent, Coping Skills

therapeutic orientation

EMDR trained, Person-Centered, Culturally Sensitive, Strength Based, Solution Focused, Narrative

about me

Hi! My name is Dom, and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). I am excited and privileged to partner with y’all in your journey of growth, and assist you in becoming the person you strive to be. I try to bring a warm, open minded, collaborative and supportive vibe to therapy to help you have an affirming space in your life where you can be you, talk about/process your stresses, while being able to move at your own pace. I work to bring light to one’s intersectionality in life, with an anti-racist and social justice perspective.

I am a queer, non-binary, Filipino+Japanese American person of color, and I was raised in a small town in northern California. I made my move to sunny San Diego for college, where I did my undergrad and grad programs at San Diego State University- Criminal Justice with a Sociology minor, and then Counseling (Marriage and Family Therapy). I grew up with a passion to help others, something I learned from my family upbringing.

I got into work as a therapist because I want to make change for the Queer Trans+ community, one which I am apart of and holds a dear place in my heart. I have done volunteer or therapeutic work with queer youth since 2013, while my most recent work as a therapist for the past several years was with a program that I helped build, which started in 2017 and specifically serves the queer youth community and their families.

I am trained in EMDR and hope to become certified; I enjoy finding the connections one’s current stresses have with their past life difficulties. I like to adapt therapy to fit each person I work with- you are the one who knows you the most!

I love to be around family and friends. I really enjoy spending time near the ocean, I find water to be very healing and rejuvenating. I have a passion for playing sports, running, and finding new ways to express my femininity, masculinity and androgyny. While I don’t have any animals currently, one of my favorite things is spending time with my friend’s fur babies and looking after them while their parents are out of town!

DEAN KHAMBATTA | #AMFT11311
Under Supervision

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

LGBTQ+ Counseling, Gender Diversity, Sex Positive, Kink Aware, Substance Use, PTSD/Trauma, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Acute Mental Health, Multiculturalism, Self-Esteem

therapeutic orientation

Person-centered, Strength-Based, and Trauma-Informed

about me

I am excited to be part of the Acacia Counseling and Wellness team! I am an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist #111311. I have over a decade of experience working with the LGBTQ+ community in a variety of capacities including peer support groups, queer focused sex education, community activism, and therapy. As a queer trans man of color, advocating for and supporting the LGBTQ+ community is close to my heart. I understand the importance of an intersectional multicultural approach that incorporates race, ability, socioeconomic status, individual experiences, and spiritual identity.

My approach to therapy is person-centered, strength based, and trauma informed. I firmly believe that you are the expert of your own experiences and that my role is to guide and support you through the therapeutic process. I partner with my clients to find the therapeutic approach that best meets their needs.

I received my Masters’ in Counseling with a Marriage, Family, and Child emphasis from Palo Alto University and my Bachelors’ in History of Art from the University of California, Berkeley.

amy woh
she/her/hers| #lmft98301

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

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)!

CAITLIN SOMERS | she/her/hers

ABOUT ME

OFFICE MANAGER

Hi all! My name is Caitlin Somers, and I am the Office Manager at Acacia’s La Jolla office. I grew up in Santa Rosa, CA, about an hour north of San Francisco. I attended UC Santa Cruz for college (go Banana Slugs!), and fell in love with the beach town way of life. I moved down to San Diego in September, 2020, and have enjoyed every minute here! After finding Acacia and seeing their dedication to providing accessible, quality mental health care to college students, I knew I had to find a way to be part of this amazing team! I am passionate about mental health, and love working with such a dynamic and caring group of individuals who feel the same way.

On the weekends you can find me trying out a new local coffee shop, swimming in the ocean, and trying to find the best California burrito in San Diego.

Who is your hero?

My mom <3

If a genie granted you 3 wishes right now, what would you wish for?

1) To speak, read, write and understand every language;
2) To make health care and higher education accessible to everyone;
3) To have an amazing singing voice

MADISON DINGSDALE | SHE/HER/HERS

Administrative Specialist

ABOUT ME

Hi there! My name is Madison, and I am an administrative specialist for the La Jolla office. I am a born and raised San Diegan and an alumnus of UC San Diego where I received my BA in Political Science. I then received my MA in Peace and Justice from the University of San Diego’s Kroc School of Peace Studies. I worked throughout graduate school at Acacia and could not have asked for a more supportive work environment!

I have a deep commitment to my community and Acacia allows me to serve in a way that I find vitally important. My background is in human trafficking prevention and a key aspect of that work is ensuring people’s mental health needs are met. Additionally, as someone who has utilized mental health services since I was a teenager, I understand intimately the trials and tribulations of scheduling and the questions that come with it. I’ve taken that experience and morphed it into a motivation to ensure others do not face the same obstacles.

When I am not working, I am rock climbing, hanging out with my dog and cat, reading a book, or entertaining friends with my partner at our home. I love a good fantasy novel and am always open to a good recommendation.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Everyone is on their own timeline. We all move through the universe in ways that are best for us and to live in constant competition with others in your own mind will not serve you.

Aside from necessities, what is one thing you could not go a day without?

My kindle. I read almost constantly and cannot fathom not having a book on hand.

Christina crane | she/her/hers

administrative assistant

ABOUT ME

Hi everyone! My name is Christina and I am an Administrative Assistant here at the La Jolla office. I graduated in 2021 from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Applied Psychology. I was apart of the internship that Acacia offers to undergrads (Mental Health Advocates Program) and I am so excited to be continuing with Acacia and being apart of the La Jolla Team!

I am originally from Michigan but have spent 8 years living in Southern California. I love hiking with friends, live music and trying out local coffee shops!

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

In ten years, I am hoping to have my license to become an LMFT and living in a cute beach community with tons of coffee shops!

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

It would definitely be a tie between breakfast burritos or pizza, I love them both.

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.

MIND SPA

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.

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.

GROUP THERAPY

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

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!