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 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
Crossroads School Teaching Intern Life Skills Program
FBI, LA Bureau Taught workshop "Depression, Impact & Prevention"
FBI, LA Bureau Taught workshop "Stress in the Workplace"
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!
Dona Laressa Desmond, PhD, LMFT
PreMarital Counselor & Couples Therapist
$30 discount video counseling sessions