"27 years helping couples become their best ♥♥♥ "

PreMarital Counseling Los Angeles

Dona Laressa Desmond PhD


Woodland Hills CA 91364 • Culver City CA 90066 • West Los Angeles CA 90025 • Santa Monica 90404

Who is Dona Laressa Desmond, PhD, LMFT

I specialize in PreMarital Counseling and Couples Therapy in the LA area. Private practice since 1993. I see clients at my offices as well as via video and phone-sessions.  

Locations: West Side LA, Woodland Hills & Santa Monica, Culver City

License and NPI number

CA LMFT 29944

NPI number? Yes

Degrees, Specialty Trainings & Certifications

Emergency Medical Technician                       UCLA, Medical Center Pre-Hospital Care

Couples Communication                                            UCLA, Mentor: Dr. Alex French

Relationship Dynamics                                              UCLA, Mentor: Dr. Alex French

Anger Management                                                            SCCC, 1 year internship

Coaching                                                           COEC, Certified Professional Coach

Masters/Doctorate Psychology                   Antioch/AU, Psychology & Human Sciences

Trauma Training

Trauma Recovery                            Certified in the Mitchell Technique, UC San Diego

Red Cross Certification                                         Early Stage Disaster Management

Red Cross Certification                 Crisis Debriefing for Emergency Services Personnel

Red Cross Certification         Crisis Intervention for Disaster Workers/First Responders

Teaching USA

Crossroads School                                              Teaching Intern Life Skills Program

FBI, LA Bureau                          Taught workshop "Depression, Impact & Prevention"

FBI, LA Bureau                                       Taught workshop "Stress in the Workplace"

Teaching Abroad

Center for Citizen Initiatives       Taught American Psychology Techniques to European

                                              psychologists, psychiatrists & middle school teachers

Coach Training & Certification

Certified Professional Coach               College Executive Coaching, Santa Barbara, CA

ICF                                                                         International Coach Federation

Relationship Coach                                                                Coaching for Couples

Technical Consultant for Film & TV

TV                                                                           Oprah, Episode on "Infidelity"

TV                                                                              Naomi Judd Talk Show Pilot

Film                                                Bette Midler, Woody Allen,"Scenes From A Mall"

Guest Therapist for Radio & TV

CNN News                                                                   Treatment of Panic Disorder

KRLA Radio                                                          Issues of Life: Your Relationships

Fox TV Talk Show                                               Impact of OCD Parents on Children

MTV                                                                        Effect of TV Violence on Teens

NBC                                                    Crisis Therapy for Families Impacted by 9/11

Additional Skill Sets

Emotional Intelligence: Testing & Enhancement, ( Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Method)


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?

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. I launched my practice by doing house calls and field work with clients. The population that I initially served was those who were homebound due to PTSD or anxiety disorders such as agoraphobia. Their fragile emotional state was such that they couldn't leave their home to attend therapy.

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 in deeper theoretical and practical ways for helping couples.

The other population that I did field work with was people who had developed specific phobias such as flying, driving, elevators, etc. I went with these clients and did therapy with them in such places as airports, on planes, trains, freeways, in malls, hotels, grocery stores, etc. I accompanied them through their systematic desensitization as they regained their freedom to move normally in the world.

I saw couples at my office 3 days a week and did house calls and field work 2 days a week for 10 years. The range of my client base extended from Santa Clarita to Santa Monica. My clientele included housewives, celebrities, law enforcement, first responders, executives and business owners.

Since that unusual beginning I have developed a practice devoted to helping Couples in all stages of love from attraction, to dating, to living together, to engagement, to marriage. I no longer do house calls but am available to clients at my offices in West Los Angeles, Woodland Hills and Santa Monica.

I am happy to share my expertise with you. Email is the best way to reach me. Thanks!

About me

Dona Laressa Desmond, PhD, LMFT

PreMarital Counselor & Couples Therapist

$30 discount video counseling sessions