Who is Dona Laressa Desmond PhD, LMFT?
I specialize in Couples Therapy in the LA area. I work with all aspects of relationship, from dating to PreMarital to Marriage Counseling. Private practice since 1993. I see clients in my offices, at two locations, as well as via FaceTime and phone-sessions.
California Marriage, Family, Therapist License # MFT29944.
Degrees, Specialty Trainings and Certifications
Emergency Medical Technician-Medical Center Pre-Hospital Care, UCLA
Masters/Doctorate in Psychology ~ Antioch/AU
Couples Communication ~ Mentor: Dr. Alex French, UCLA
Gender & Relationship Dynamics ~ Mentor: Dr. Alex French, UCLA
Anger Management ~ 1 year internship at SCCC
Certified Professional Coach ~ COEC, Santa Barbara, CA.
Member International Coach Federation
Relationship Coaching for Couples
Technical Consultant~ Film and TV
Film ~ Woody Allen movie, "Scenes From A Mall"
TV ~ Naomi Judd Talk Show Pilot
TV ~ Oprah, Episode on "Infidelity"
Guest Therapist~ TV and Radio
CNN News ~ "Treatment of Panic Disorder."
KRLA Radio ~ "Issues of Life: Your Relationships."
Fox TV ~ "Impact of OCD Parents on Children."
MTV ~ "Effect of TV Violence on Teens."
NBC ~ “Crisis Therapy, September 11, 2001."
Trauma Recovery ~ Certified in the Mitchell Technique, UC San Diego
Red Cross Certification ~ Early Stage Disaster Management Red Cross Certification
Red Cross Certification ~ Crisis Debriefing for Emergency Services Personnel
Red Cross Certification ~ Crisis Intervention for Disaster Workers & First Responders
Additional Skill Sets
Emotional Intelligence: Testing and Enhancement ~ Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Method
Crossroads School, (Santa Monica, CA.)--Teaching Intern/Life Skills Program
Workshops--"Depression in the Workplace." FBI, LA Bureau
Workshops--"Stress Management in the Workplace." FBI, LA Bureau
CCI, Ekaterinborg ~ I taught American Psychology Techniques to Russian psychologists, psychiatrists and middle school teachers.
American Association of Integrative Medicine
California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
Association for Traumatic Stress Specialists
International Critical Incident Stress Foundation
International Association for Relationship Research
What makes me unique as a therapist?
Actually there are several unique qualities that I bring to my clinical practice. One interesting aspect is the way that I began my practice in the Los Angeles area. After graduation and internship, I launched my practice by doing house calls. The population that I initially served were those people who were homebound with PTSD due to trauma or anxiety disorders such as agoraphobia. Their fragile emotional state was such that they couldn't leave their home to attend therapy.The range of my client base extended from Santa Clarita to Santa Monica. During those home sessions, of course, it was often the case that other family members would be present, usually a spouse. It became efficient to include them in the sessions and via that I began to understand the contagious nature of emotions inside a relationship. As this process evolved I branched out into deeper theoretical and practical ways for helping couples.
Please note: I do not treat suicide, alcoholism, addictions, eating disorders, rape, compulsive gambling, domestic violence, child custody issues, high conflict divorce or any issues that involve the legal system. If you are having any kind of urgent situation please call 911 or your local police. The phone number for the suicide prevention hotline is 1 800 273 8255.
Dona Laressa Desmond, PhD, LMFT
Expert Couples Counseling & Life Coach