My work is firmly rooted in connecting with the humanity of each child, family or adult individual, who seeks treatment. I recognizes that seeking treatment is a courageous act to move from what is known and uncomfortable to a hopefully better future. Respectfully holding this in mind, I become a partner in helping you, your child or your family move toward feeling greater satisfaction in relationships and greater success
in pursuing goals.
Unique to my practice is a comprehensive perspective that includes consideration of the uniqueness of each individual, including motor and language development, sensory profile, emotional regulation, cognitive functioning, temperament, attachment history, and the ability to understand the intentions of others. Along with my broad knowledge base, I bring energy, passion, receptivity, collaboration and commitment
to my patients.
Dr. Debra Kessler
I hold dual licenses in psychology and nursing in the state of California. I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Vanderbilt University where I graduated Magna Cum Laude. I obtained my Masters of Nursing, Pediatrics at UCLA and my degree in Clinical Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology. I engaged in post doctoral training at the Child Development Institute, which specializes in the treatment of early childhood developmental challenges, while I concurrently completed my postdoctoral fellowship at the Reiss-Davis Child Study Center. In addition to my skills in traditional psychotherapy and play therapy, I have sought out additional training in many cutting edge and evidence based treatment approaches including sensory integration, Neurofeedback (Othmer method), EMDR, Floortime (DIR and Stanley Greenspan M.D.), Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy: Attachment Focused Treatment for Childhood Trauma and Abuse (Daniel Hughes Ph.D.) and Collaborative Problem Solving (Ross Greene Ph.D.). I have contributed to Infant/Child Mental Health, Early Intervention, and Relationship-Based Therapies: A Neurorelational Framework for Interdisciplinary Practice (a book written by Connie Lillas, Ph.D., Janiece Turnbull Ph.D.).
In collaboration with the family, I work to address a range of developmental and emotional issues including adoption/attachment difficulties, bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, autism/Asperger’s, ADHD, learning challenges, regulatory difficulties and other issues that interfere with a child or individual reaching their potential. When treating children, therapy is provided with the awareness that a child exists within the context of their family.Therefore, parent work and work on the relationship between the child and his or her family are critical features of treatment. Additionally, when significant behavioral disruptions present in the home, the needs of siblings are considered.
In addition to providing consultation to other therapists, I have a private practice in Pasadena, a family-friendly community adjacent to Glendale and La Crescenta. I also have a location in Santa Barbara, CA. I continue to passionately explore and pursue treatment approaches to benefit the children, families and adult individuals I care for and contribute to the field by lecturing and blogging on topics including resilience in grief, siblings, parenting and learning challenges.