Administrative Assistant

Ashley Shepard

Ashley is the administrative assistant on the Early Life team. She was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and moved to Utah to complete her undergraduate education. Ashley took a break from school in 2016 to serve an 18 month mission for her church in ...

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Ashley Shepard Ashley Shepard

Ashley Shepard

Administrative Assistant

Ashley is the administrative assistant on the Early Life team. She was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and moved to Utah to complete her undergraduate education. Ashley took a break from school in 2016 to serve an 18 month mission for her church in Portugal. After she returned home in 2018, she received her B.S. from Brigham Young University in Sociology. Ashley is recently married and lives with her husband in Saratoga Springs. In her free time, Ashley likes to develop new hobbies and talents and spend time with friends and family.

Cody Dorius

Cody was born and raised in Spanish Fork, Utah. His hobbies include biking, hanging with his dogs, or just relaxing while watching a movie. He has received his associates of science degree from Utah Valley University, and is currently finishing up hi...

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Cody Dorius Cody Dorius

Cody Dorius

Cody was born and raised in Spanish Fork, Utah. His hobbies include biking, hanging with his dogs, or just relaxing while watching a movie. He has received his associates of science degree from Utah Valley University, and is currently finishing up his last semester of his bachelors of arts degree at the University of Utah. Cody plans to work as a therapist once he is able to move on to his masters degree.

Megan Erickson

Megan was born and raised in Santa Rosa California. Growing up, she competed in equestrian sports at the national level, and still enjoys riding horses to this day. Her other hobbies include hiking, hanging with her dogs, or just relaxing with a good...

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Megan Erickson Megan Erickson

Megan Erickson

Megan was born and raised in Santa Rosa California. Growing up, she competed in equestrian sports at the national level, and still enjoys riding horses to this day. Her other hobbies include hiking, hanging with her dogs, or just relaxing with a good book or show. She has received her associates of science degree from Salt Lake Community College, and is currently finishing up her last semester of her bachelors of science degree at Weber State University. Megan plans to work in victims advocacy or another related field once completing her criminal psychology degree at Weber State.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Frances Thompson

Dr. Frances Thompson is a licensed clinical psychologist (UT#7538970-2501) with extensive training and experience working with children presenting with an array of emotional, developmental, social, and educational challenges. Dr. Thompson’s experti...

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Dr. Frances Thompson Dr. Frances Thompson

Dr. Frances Thompson

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Frances Thompson is a licensed clinical psychologist (UT#7538970-2501) with extensive training and experience working with children presenting with an array of emotional, developmental, social, and educational challenges. Dr. Thompson’s expertise lies in performing pediatric neuropsychological evaluations that assess for ADHD, personality abnormalities, learning disabilities, and other childhood developmental disorders. Dr. Thompson is also a certified youth trauma clinician and an expert in PCIT (Parent-Child Interactive Therapy). She is a favorite amongst local family law attorneys who seek down to earth, expert-level testimony in Utah’s District Courts regarding a wide range of areas pertaining to pediatric clinical psychology.

Dr. Thompson received both her Doctor of Psychology (PsyD.) and Master’s Degree (M.A.) in Psychology from Phillips Graduate Institute in Los Angeles, California, and completed her award-winning Internship and Doctoral Residency requirements at A Better Way Child & Family Services located in Berkeley, California. Prior to completing her graduate studies, Dr. Thompson graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Dr. Thompson is an active member in good standing with the Utah State Board of Psychology, Utah Psychological Association, and the American Psychological Association.

Clinical Mental Health Counselor

Vivian Vonk

Vivian has had several years of working in the mental health field. She has been trained in EMDR, Play Therapy, Child-Parent Relationship Therapy, Trauma-Informed Therapy, Interpersonal Violence, Motivational Interviewing, and Seeking Safety LGBTQ se...

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Vivian Vonk

Vivian Vonk

Clinical Mental Health Counselor

Vivian has had several years of working in the mental health field. She has been trained in EMDR, Play Therapy, Child-Parent Relationship Therapy, Trauma-Informed Therapy, Interpersonal Violence, Motivational Interviewing, and Seeking Safety LGBTQ sensitivity. Vivian has experience with Suicide Ideation and attempts, Chemical Dependency, Domestic Violence, Trauma and working with Homeless Young Adults. Vivian received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Roosevelt University in Chicago and a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health from Westminster College. Vivian utilizes therapies such as Dialectical Behavioral, Play, Child-Parent Relationship, Insight Oriented, EMDR and Cognitive Behavioral. She believes in the power of the relationship, focusing on attachment and creating safety through a trauma-focused lens while creating reparative experiences that allow for growth.

Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor

Jennifer Zeuschner

Jennifer Zeuschner was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. She completed her undergraduate studies at The Ohio State University In Cultural Anthropology. It was during this time her love for people became apparent. During her studies, she worked with ...

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Jennifer Zeuschner

Jennifer Zeuschner

Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor

Jennifer Zeuschner was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. She completed her undergraduate studies at The Ohio State University In Cultural Anthropology. It was during this time her love for people became apparent. During her studies, she worked with children with physical and mental disabilities. She then moved to Utah and attended the University of Phoenix where she gained her Masters of Science in Counseling Mental Health Counseling. Jenn is currently completing her Ph.D. in Counseling Education and Supervision.
Jenn has had the opportunity to work with a variety of population groups including children, and teens, severely mentally ill adults and children, persons on the autism spectrum, reactive attachment, adults and teens with addiction, mental health and substance abuse groups and community mental health and drug courts. She has received special training and certification in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, Motivational Interviewing, CBT, anxiety and depression, anger management, and play therapy.
In her free time, Jenn enjoys playing guitar, doing homework, working on her ceramics wheel, and hanging with her dogs.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Sarah Anderson

Sarah Anderson is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who received her Master of Social work from the birthplace of basketball, Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts. Sarah has always had a desire to help others. As an in-home therapist, sh...

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Sarah Anderson Sarah Anderson

Sarah Anderson

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Sarah Anderson is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who received her Master of Social work from the birthplace of basketball, Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts. Sarah has always had a desire to help others. As an in-home therapist, she discovered her talent for working well with children and adolescents. She found helping parents and their children can lead to strong relationships and confident children. Sarah believes that early intervention and prevention for children and teens is key for a successful future.

Sarah specializes in trauma-focused therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, and behavior therapy. Before joining the Early Life team, Sarah worked with teens in a substance abuse recovery program and was a clinician for sexually abused children and teens.

Sarah is originally from Logan, Utah and although she received her Bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University she will always consider herself to be an Aggie! Sarah returned to Utah from Massachusetts in 2014 to continue her career as a therapist. She enjoyed the east coast but missed the Rocky mountains too much!

Associate Clinical Mental Health Counselor

Candice Yeaman

“It is my goal to build a therapeutic relationship with each client that leads to a secure, safe, and supportive treatment experience. I work from a strengths-based approach and collaborate with my clients to reach their mental health goals. Provid...

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Candice Yeaman

Candice Yeaman

Associate Clinical Mental Health Counselor

“It is my goal to build a therapeutic relationship with each client that leads to a secure, safe, and supportive treatment experience. I work from a strengths-based approach and collaborate with my clients to reach their mental health goals. Providing care that is trauma-informed and culturally sensitive is important to me. I work to leave the therapeutic space open and let the client lead while helping my clients process past trauma and implement coping skills that they can use in their daily lives.”

Candice Yeaman, ACMHC, is an individual and couples therapist who enjoys working with clients of all ages. She has clinical experience working with children, adolescents, and adults that have experienced trauma. She has worked with women and adolescent girls diagnosed with eating disorders and men, women, and children diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as a result of witnessing and/or surviving Domestic Violence. In addition, Candice has training in Human Sexuality and welcomes clients from the LGBT community.

Candice is an Associate Clinical Mental Health Counselor. She holds a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Westminster College of Salt Lake City, Utah and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Columbia University in New York City, New York. Candice practices at the Salt Lake County and Utah County Locations.
Specialties:
Trauma/Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Sexual Assault, Crisis Management, Anxiety, Depression, Body Image Issues, Eating Disorders, Couples Counseling, Adjustment, Grief, Intimate Partner Violence, Mood Disorders, Anger Management, and Suicide Assessment

Primary Modalities:
Psychodynamic Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Brief Solution-Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing (MI), Mindfulness, Person-Centered Therapy, Play Therapy, Sand Tray Therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)

Director of Cognitive Education

Tessa Gjording

Tessa Gjording is the director of cognitive education at Early Life. She was born and raised in Oslo, Norway, and moved to Salt Lake City when she was 16 years old. She received her B.S. from the University of Utah in psychology and sociology and pla...

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Tessa Gjording

Tessa Gjording

Director of Cognitive Education

Tessa Gjording is the director of cognitive education at Early Life. She was born and raised in Oslo, Norway, and moved to Salt Lake City when she was 16 years old. She received her B.S. from the University of Utah in psychology and sociology and plans to complete her master's degree in the next two years in Health Administration. She has worked as a cognitive tutor at the clinic for 2 years, and through this, she has helped children with cognitive and academic difficulties. In her free time, Tessa rock climbs, hikes, volunteers for community organizations and spends time with friends and family.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Dr. David Judd

Dr. David Judd is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Dr. Judd is the President and CEO of the Early Life Child Psychology and Education Center in the Santa Clarita Valley in Southern California. He is a long-time resident of Valencia, CA, where he res...

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Dr. David Judd

Dr. David Judd

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Dr. David Judd is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Dr. Judd is the President and CEO of the Early Life Child Psychology and Education Center in the Santa Clarita Valley in Southern California. He is a long-time resident of Valencia, CA, where he resides with his wife and four children. He enjoys spending time with his family, watching or playing sports, especially basketball, and interacting with his friends. He actively participates in his local church. Both he and his wife, who is a Family Medicine physician, are committed to serving the people of the Santa Clarita Valley. Dr. Judd is excited to help families and individuals with their psychological and educational needs in and around the Valencia area.
David received his Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Phillips Graduate Institute. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Brigham Young University and his Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Utah. David’s previous clinical experience and training include individual, group, couples, and family counseling, along with testing and assessment services with both English and Spanish speaking children, adolescents, and adults. Over the past several years, David has administered over 100 educational, psychological, and psycho-educational assessments for school-aged children, adolescents, and adults. More recently, David has been able to coordinate, supervise, and conduct special education assessments for a group of charter schools throughout the Los Angeles area. As part of his work with the group of charter schools, David has attended numerous Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings in order to coordinate and advocate services for students with special education needs. In addition to assessment services, he has also conducted individual and family psychotherapeutic services for children, adolescents, and adults, including couples. David has worked in a variety of settings, including hospitals, community clinics, university counseling centers, detention facilities, and in private practice. While completing his pre-doctoral internship from 2009 to 2010 with the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) in Tarzana, CA, David was able to perform psycho-educational assessments and behaviorally based in-home therapy with children with Autism. David also has experience providing services to clients on issues related to substance abuse, domestic violence, depression, anxiety, cognitive impairment, personality disorders, relational difficulties, learning disorders, and Autism.
Dr. Judd is excited to provide a truly unique, culturally sensitive, scientifically dynamic treatment approach to the children, students, adults, and families located in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Elani Tuchman

Dr. Elani Tuchman is part of the Early Life Child Psychology and Education Center team in Valencia, California. From early on, psychology, and helping others, has always been a passion of hers. After minoring in psychology at Florida State University...

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Dr. Elani Tuchman

Dr. Elani Tuchman

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Elani Tuchman is part of the Early Life Child Psychology and Education Center team in Valencia, California. From early on, psychology, and helping others, has always been a passion of hers. After minoring in psychology at Florida State University, Dr. Tuchman received her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with a focus in Marriage and Family Therapy from Philips Graduate Institute in Encino, California. She continued her education at the California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles, California, where she earned a Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology, with an emphasis in working with families, couples, and children.

Throughout Dr. Tuchman’s educational training, she has worked in elementary and K-8 schools, providing individual therapy and group therapy to children of all ages. With a love for arts and crafts and board games, she is easily able to connect with her young clients while doing play and art therapy. Dr. Tuchman completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Pasadena Rehabilitation Institute where her training was focused on neuropsychology and behavioral medicine. Throughout her internship, she conducted neuropsychological assessments as well as psychological testing. Her training and education have highlighted the importance of testing to inform the best direction of treatment. With Dr. Tuchman’s extensive experience working with children and their families, as well as in psychological testing, she is a valuable part of the Early Life team.

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Donna Truong

Dr. Donna Truong is part of the Early Life Child Psychology and Education Center team in the Santa Clarita Valley in Southern California. Prior to her career in psychology, Dr. Truong was a grade school teacher. She completed her Bachelor's degree in...

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Dr. Donna Truong

Dr. Donna Truong

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Donna Truong is part of the Early Life Child Psychology and Education Center team in the Santa Clarita Valley in Southern California. Prior to her career in psychology, Dr. Truong was a grade school teacher. She completed her Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Women Studies and a Master's degree in Education from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has over 6 years of experience teaching elementary-aged children in low socio-economic areas of the San Fernando Valley. Dr. Truong has extensive experience as a master teacher and writing curriculum for charter schools. She assisted in writing the curriculum for “I’m Going to College,” a program dedicated to teaching and helping parents learn to save for their children’s college education.
Dr. Truong received both her Master’s and Doctoral Degree in Psychology from Phillips Graduate Institute in Los Angeles, California. She completed her first pre-doctoral internships at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Neuropsychology where she assessed patients for pre and post-surgical cognitive and personality assessments. She co-lead a Fibromyalgia therapy group and assessed stroke and brain tumor patients. Dr. Truong completed her second pre-doctoral internship at Mount St. Mary’s College where completed cognitive assessments for college women, lead group therapy sessions, provided educational services and saw her own patients in private sessions. Dr. Truong also has extensive experience working with children in during play therapy and family counseling. She is an active member of the Los Angeles Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association. As a parent of two and former teacher, Dr. Truong is empathetic to challenges parents face when navigating the school system. Having had experience working as a shadow for a child with Autism, she is also culturally sensitive to the family with special needs. Dr. Truong is well respected in her community.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Sharon Earle

Sharon Earle is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been working with children, adolescents and adults for almost two decades. She has worked extensively in the areas of Autism, ADHD, school counseling, depression, anxiety, chronic illne...

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Sharon Earle

Sharon Earle

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Sharon Earle is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been working with children, adolescents and adults for almost two decades. She has worked extensively in the areas of Autism, ADHD, school counseling, depression, anxiety, chronic illness, care-giving, grief and loss, and has also facilitated many support groups for cancer patients and their families. In addition, she has had many years of study in spiritual psychology and has taught meditation. She has an MA in Counseling Psychology from Ryokan College in Los Angeles. She was licensed as an MFT in 2006.
She is a skilled listener and clinician and gives people a profound experience of being fully heard. She feels that it is a privilege to support people wherever they are on their individual journey to experience more meaning, purpose, and success in their lives.
Her practice style is person-centered, collaborative and cognitive-based. She has an authentic, warm, and light-hearted demeanor, and believes that connection is the cornerstone of a satisfying life.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor

Quentin Dunne

Quentin Dunne is a licensed marriage and family therapist with a passion for helping children, adolescents and adults recover from trauma, grief, pet loss, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
He received his master’s degree in psychology from Calif...

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Quentin Dunne

Quentin Dunne

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor

Quentin Dunne is a licensed marriage and family therapist with a passion for helping children, adolescents and adults recover from trauma, grief, pet loss, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
He received his master’s degree in psychology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 2008 and became licensed in 2011. He is a certified cognitive-behavioral therapist through the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, but he also incorporates other modalities of healing into his approach as he believes in respecting the unique needs and gifts of each client. A member of the Ecopsychology Network for Clinicians and The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy, he believes the integration of natural landscape into the therapeutic process, through such practices as gardening and nature walks, can be deeply nourishing and nurturing.
Deeply committed to the values of human dignity and equality, he provides affirmative therapy to people of all ethnicities, spiritualities and sexual orientations. He considers himself very fortunate to have work that feels more like a calling than a career and believes the first step of healing and renewal lies within the client’s quiet but very real courage to come in for a session. If you believe therapy would help you or your child at this point in your life’s journey, he would be honored to meet with you.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Joanne Sabolic

Joanne Sabolic is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). She received her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from San Diego State University while training in the field of Biofeedback and Stress Management therapies for panic and anxiety dis...

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Joanne Sabolic

Joanne Sabolic

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Joanne Sabolic is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). She received her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from San Diego State University while training in the field of Biofeedback and Stress Management therapies for panic and anxiety disorders, depression, and pain management. Joanne earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology and Counseling from California State University, Northridge. Her professional experience includes both educational and private settings.
Joanne has extensive experience with special education high school students within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) with academic competence issues and IMPACT crisis counseling. Along with her extensive clinical private practice experience, Joanne has been an Adjunct Professor of Psychology for nine years at National University.
Joanne specializes in therapy with adolescents - teen issues: peer pressure and self-esteem; adults – individual, couples, maturity and aging issues; families; anger and stress management issues.
Joanne honors each client’s uniqueness and works collaboratively with her clients to decide which therapy fits their needs. She uses a blend of Cognitive Behavior therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Family Systems Therapy, Mindfulness, and Holistic approaches. Her use of empathy, genuine compassion and experience provides a safe environment for each person to find their strengths and courage to nurture change and personal growth.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Katie Asner Luckerman

Michelangelo's response when he was asked how did he craft David, this masterpiece of form and beauty?
Michelangelo offered this strikingly simple description: He first fixed his attention on the slab of raw marble.
He studied it and then “chippe...

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Katie Asner Luckerman

Katie Asner Luckerman

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Michelangelo's response when he was asked how did he craft David, this masterpiece of form and beauty?
Michelangelo offered this strikingly simple description: He first fixed his attention on the slab of raw marble.
He studied it and then “chipped away all that wasn’t David.”

And, just to be clear, you are so much more than a slab of marble! You are a masterpiece! You get the idea.

Let me introduce myself….  I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and my approach is client centered, as well as CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), IFS (Internal Family Systems) and ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy), and I use EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) with the couples that I work with. My role as your therapist is to help you "chip away" all that is not you, to support you in trusting yourself,  and to empower you to fearlessly open yourself up to new possibilities by accepting your unique qualities, no matter how strange or different they may seem. '"How do we do this Katie?" you may ask.  Gently. You and I collaborate, wherever you are emotionally, whatever your circumstances or state of mind, and together we work to find the best approach to address any present or ongoing concerns. As we build a mutual trust, we find a method that makes sense to you, allowing you a new voice, a newfound strength. Once you are comfortable and are ready to experiment with your new skills, you will start to notice what you want more of in your life and will "chip away" what is not useful, releasing outdated, destructive patterns of thought and behavior while adapting a greater sense of well-being and confidence.

I have specialized over the last 10 years in helping children diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and their families as a guide and a support, strengthening their connection while helping them to improve their communication. In my work with clients, I have found ACT and IFS is beneficial to children, teens, and adults who suffer from symptoms of Anxiety and Depression. These approaches allow the client to separate from the thought and feeling, giving a newfound perspective and value to their lives.  With couples I utilize the training I have had in  EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) and use this approach to support couples in helping them to understand their early attachments, the roles learned and took on as children and how we carry these roles into our relationships today where they are not supportive of our current relationships.

Let us begin and start "chipping"! Your authentic self awaits!

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Shari Manculich

Shari Manculich holds a B.S. in Business, Marketing, from California State University, Northridge, and an M.S. in Counseling, Marriage and Family Child Therapy, from the University of Phoenix. Shari has a business background in Consumer Packaged Good...

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Shari Manculich

Shari Manculich

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Shari Manculich holds a B.S. in Business, Marketing, from California State University, Northridge, and an M.S. in Counseling, Marriage and Family Child Therapy, from the University of Phoenix. Shari has a business background in Consumer Packaged Goods where she previously worked for a large Fortune 500 Corporation. Shari most recently worked as a School Based Therapist with William S. Hart Union High School District working with K – 6, Special Education students and school based referrals. In addition to Early Life, Shari has private practice experience where she works with children, teens, young adults, adults, Victims of Crime, Managed Care, and cash patients. Shari's modalities are primarily Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, and Family Systems Therapy. In her spare time, Shari enjoys training and competing in half marathons, Zumba dance fitness, and has recently started practicing Yoga. I am especially passionate about the school setting, working with both special education students with IEP’s and general education students and their families. My goal is to help my clients find solutions as well as a more peaceful and joyful existence. Shari is currently accepting new clients.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Denise Payne

My goal is to help you uncover your true potential and lead a life that is worth celebrating. We can work together to better understand and resolve challenges in your life. By applying complementary therapy approaches and techniques, we will unearth ...

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Denise Payne

Denise Payne

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

My goal is to help you uncover your true potential and lead a life that is worth celebrating. We can work together to better understand and resolve challenges in your life. By applying complementary therapy approaches and techniques, we will unearth long-standing behavior patterns or negative perceptions that may be holding you back from experiencing a more fulfilling and meaningful life. If you're looking for extra support and guidance through a challenging situation or you're just ready to move in a new direction in your life, I look forward to working with you to achieve your goals.

I work with a wide range of emotional and behavioral issues providing services that span from therapy for depression and grief counseling to parenting support, couples counseling and beyond. In a comfortable and supportive atmosphere, I offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each of my clients individual needs.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Dr. Deena Esmeirat

Dr. Deena Esmeirat is a licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes in working with children, adolescents and families. Dr. Esmeirat received her Doctorate of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Martial and Family Therapy from the California School of ...

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Dr. Deena Esmeirat

Dr. Deena Esmeirat

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Dr. Deena Esmeirat is a licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes in working with children, adolescents and families. Dr. Esmeirat received her Doctorate of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Martial and Family Therapy from the California School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Esmeirat also received her Masters degree in Marital and Family Therapy from the California School of Professional Psychology and her Bachelors degree in Psychology with an emphasis on Family and Child Psychology from Azusa Pacific University.

Since 2013, Dr. Esmeirat has worked with children, adolescents and families in the school setting in multiple school districts across Los Angeles and Orange counties. Dr. Esmeirat provides individual, group and family mental health services for a wide range of presenting concerns including adjustment difficulties, anger management, anxiety, behavioral problems, communication skills, conflict mediation, crisis, divorce, trauma, grief and loss.

In the Santa Clarita Valley, Dr. Esmeirat has served as a member of the clinical counseling team at the William S. Hart Union High School District, supporting both students and their families on a wide-range of topics, guiding them to their goals of both academic success and well-being.

In her clinical approach, Dr. Esmeirat works to establish a collaborative, warm, hopeful, safe and supportive therapeutic environment, inclusive and engaging of all members of a family dynamic. Dr. Esmeirat incorporates each client’s unique characteristics, elements of diversity and strengths in meeting clients where they are in navigating through the therapeutic process, working towards positive change.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Tracie Tweksbury

Tracie Tewksbury is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) as well as a certified addiction counselor (CATC -IV) who has been working in the mental health field for over 15 years.
She began her mental health work in the field of addiction w...

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Tracie Tweksbury

Tracie Tweksbury

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Tracie Tewksbury is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) as well as a certified addiction counselor (CATC -IV) who has been working in the mental health field for over 15 years.
She began her mental health work in the field of addiction working for some of the best-known and highly regarded treatment facilities in the Los Angeles area with a focus on the LGBTQ+ populations and the formerly incarcerated.

Tracie received her bachelor’s degree from Brandman University in Social Science with an emphasis on criminal justice and received her master’s degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University. She became a certified addiction treatment counselor in 2009 and became a licensed marriage and family therapist in 2016.

Tracie has extensive experience with addiction, ADHD, Autism, Depression, Anxiety, ODD, Conduct Disorders, Anger Management, as well as building social and academic competence. Tracie began her mental health training and experience working at some of the best treatment facilities in the Los Angeles area as well as local organizations such as The Child and Family Center of Santa Clarita, and the Hart School District. It was during her tenure with the Hart School District that she found her passion for working with teens.

Tracie is passionate about helping children, teens, adults, and their families become the strongest and best versions of themselves that they can be. She is especially focused on aiding teens to navigate the complicated and overwhelming situations that they face in today’s world. She is a client-centered therapist who utilizes many theoretical orientations and tools believing that treatment is not a “one size fits all” endeavor. She has extensive training and experience with psychodynamic play, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Seeking Safety (PTSD and Addiction Focused), and Solution Focused Therapy to name but a few. She believes that therapy is a collaborative relationship where healing starts by giving the client a place where they are heard, accepted, and supported while providing tools and education so the client can grow and thrive.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Ashley Duckgeischel

Ashley Duckgeischel is a licensed marriage and family therapist who has a deep desire to help adolescents, couples, and families navigate the challenges of life. She possesses the ability to meet people where they are, helping them feel heard and saf...

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Ashley Duckgeischel

Ashley Duckgeischel

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Ashley Duckgeischel is a licensed marriage and family therapist who has a deep desire to help adolescents, couples, and families navigate the challenges of life. She possesses the ability to meet people where they are, helping them feel heard and safe while starting the new relationship that begins in counseling.

Ashley graduated from Azusa Pacific University with her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. She enjoys working with adolescents, adults, families, and couples helping them to manage and overcome symptoms of anxiety, depression, trauma and personality disorders. Her experience of working for the Hart District gave Ashley a special love for working with students who have learning challenges, and severe emotional disturbance who daily experience stress, anxiety, depression, and trauma.
As each person is complex, Ashley’s goal is to assist those who are searching for practical help to find meaning and individual spirituality by applying their beliefs in their everyday lives. While increasing self-awareness and personal acceptance, she helps people at each stage of life gain a healthy, balanced perspective of who they are and realize their full potential. Ashley believes that meeting with her clients is a privilege and a calling. She aspires that each person she meets with will have a positive therapy experience.

Registered Associate Professional Clinical Counselor

Virginia Chavez

Virginia Chavez is a Registered Associate Professional Clinical Counselor who has worked with children and adolescence for nearly two decades.  She has a passion for working with children, adults, and couples as they find joy and harmony in their da...

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Virginia Chavez

Virginia Chavez

Registered Associate Professional Clinical Counselor

Virginia Chavez is a Registered Associate Professional Clinical Counselor who has worked with children and adolescence for nearly two decades.  She has a passion for working with children, adults, and couples as they find joy and harmony in their daily lives.   Ms. Chavez received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, at Davis, in Human Development and Education.  As a resident of the Santa Clarita Valley, Ms. Chavez began supporting students at two of the local Santa Clarita school districts, serving in their Special Education Departments.  During her time supporting students with learning disabilities, she found her love for supporting children and families and was drawn to the counseling profession.  Ms. Chavez received her Master’s Degree from the University of La Verne in School Counseling, with an emphasis in School and Family Based Counseling.  She has experience working with children, adults, and families experiencing grief, anxiety, depression, divorce, domestic violence, physical impairments, ADHD, Autism, and homelessness. She also currently serves low-income students as a School Counselor in a low socio-economic community in the San Fernando Valley.

As a parent of both a college and a high school student, Ms. Chavez is empathetic to current challenges children, individuals, and families are facing.  Her warm and supportive approach utilizes cognitive-based, humanistic, family systems, and play therapy.  She believes family, community, purpose, and connection are the cornerstones in finding fulfillment in life.  Ms. Chavez looks forward to providing a collaborative, safe, and supportive environment for children, adults, couples, and families in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Office Assistant

Traci McCarty

Traci is an administrative assistant in the California office.  Her career has always focused on helping people in some form from working with Comfort Keepers here in Santa Clarita, to assisting here at Early Life.  Traci has lived in the Santa Cla...

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Traci McCarty

Traci McCarty

Office Assistant

Traci is an administrative assistant in the California office.  Her career has always focused on helping people in some form from working with Comfort Keepers here in Santa Clarita, to assisting here at Early Life.  Traci has lived in the Santa Clarita Valley for the past 27 years and enjoys camping and spending time at the desert.  Most of all she enjoys spending time with her 2 yr old grandson.

Director of Education

Farnaz Salahi

Farnaz Salahi works at our Valencia, California clinic as our Director of Education Services in charge of the training and supervision of our in-home tutors. She works closely with our clinicians and psychologists with the goal of integrating cogni...

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Farnaz Salahi

Farnaz Salahi

Director of Education

Farnaz Salahi works at our Valencia, California clinic as our Director of Education Services in charge of the training and supervision of our in-home tutors. She works closely with our clinicians and psychologists with the goal of integrating cognitive, achievement, and emotional assessment findings into a cohesive, and effective specialized tutoring treatment plan. Farnaz has a Master’s of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology.

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