Marriage & Family Therapist in Woodland Hills, CA

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Dona Laressa Desmond, Ph.D., LMFT

Dona Laressa Desmond, Ph.D., LMFT | Marriage & Family Therapist photo
Couples Therapy and Relationship Rescue
Expert Couples Counseling, 28 Years Experience.

$30 discount on video sessions and online counseling.

Everyone deserves to be happy and safe in their relationship and I am committed to helping you achieve that. I'm available to help you with relationship problems that you may be struggling with. My goal is to help you with your relationship so that you can leave therapy and live your life. When you come to my counseling office you will feel two things rather quickly: Safe and Understood. I'll help you find solutions that are unique to your situation. I assist Couples in all types of committed relationships. It's my pleasure to help you diffuse tensions and increase communication.

I help Couples in all stages of love ~~ dating, living together, committed, engaged, married, and in long distance relationships. I help Couples stop power struggles, prevent break-ups and improve communication. I work in a very concrete and clear way, always focused on your uniqueness and keeping you moving toward solutions.

The course of love is often unpredictable. Despite good intentions and heartfelt efforts it can be hard to get on the same page. I understand the kinds of frustrations that lead people to seek counseling for their relationships and I'm here to help you. It takes strength and hope to seek therapy, My experience has shown me that when a Couple is ready to make positive changes and once they find an experienced therapist that they have good chemistry with it becomes possible for substantial improvements can take place rather quickly.

I will help you resolve misunderstandings, ease frustrations and stop emotional damage. I can show you how to solve problems together and restore emotional trust in each other. If bad patterns of behavior or anger are undermining your relationship I will help you change them. I am available to help you fix your relationship before things go too far.

I am an interactive therapist. I will dig in with you and help you figure it out, while simultaneously generating best case scenarios. Then I will assist you in figuring out real time ways to implement and sustain better ways of relating to each other. Wouldn't it be nice to feel emotionally safe and relaxed in your relationship?

My office is a calm, neutral environment. You will be free from distraction and able to let your guard down so that you can concentrate on making needed improvements. I will help and guide you every step of the way at the same time being sensitive to your needs and respectful of your feelings.

When you become a client of mine you can rest assured that I will listen, connect and interact with you. You won't feel alone; you'll know that you have an experienced Couples Therapist working with you to resolve your issues and fix your relationship.

I would be happy to assist you in your relationship goals. I am experienced in counseling both traditional and non traditional relationships. Email me and let's see how I can help you.

Warm regards
Dona Laressa Desmond, Ph.D., LMFT
Practice Areas/Issues Treated
 Counseling / Therapy  Life Transitions
 Adoption  Loneliness
 Anger Management  Marriage & Family Therapy
 Anxiety and Panic  Marriage Counseling
 Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)  Men's Issues
 Body Image Issues  Online / Video / Teletherapy
 Caregiver Issues  Premarital Counseling
 Chronic Illness  Psychoanalysis
 Coronavirus/COVID-19 Issues  Relationship Issues
 Couples Therapy  Self-Esteem Issues
 Depression  Seniors and Elder Care Issues
 Divorce  Stress Management
 Family Conflict  Trauma and PTSD
 Gay or Lesbian Issues  Women's Issues
 Grief and Loss  Work and Career Issues
 Life and Wellness Coaching
 Certified Emotionally Focused Therapist (ICEEFT)  Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.)
 Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
Who is Dona Laressa Desmond?
I specialize in helping adult couples in the LA area. Private practice since 1993.
I treat clients in my offices as well as via FaceTime and phone-sessions. I have offices in West LA and Woodland Hills.


Psychology Degrees, Specialty Trainings and Certifications...
Emergency Medical Technician-Medical Center for Pre-Hospital Care, UCLA
Masters/Doctorate in Psychology (Antioch/AU--Psychology and Human Sciences)
Communication (Mentor: Dr. Alex French UCLA)
Gender Studies & Relationship Dynamics (Mentor: Dr. Alex French, UCLA)
Anger Management (1 year internship at SCCC)

Coach Training...
Certified Professional Coach (COEC, Santa Barbara, CA)
Member of ICF (International Coach Federation)
Skill sets - Life Coaching for Couples and Executive Coaching

Technical Consultant ~ Film and TV...
Film-- Woody Allen --"Scenes From A Mall"
TV-- Naomi Judd Talk Show Pilot
TV-- Oprah-episode --"Infidelity"

Guest Therapist - Radio and Television...
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 Counseling for stranded families impacted by September 11, 2001"

Trauma Training...
Trauma Recovery: (Mitchell Technique-- UC San Diego)
Red Cross Certification: Crisis Debriefing for Emergency Services Personnel
Red Cross Certification: Crisis Intervention for Disaster Workers & First Responders
Red Cross Certification: Early Stage Disaster Management

Additional Skill Sets...
Emotional Intelligence: Testing and Enhancement, (Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Method)
Executive Coaching: College of Executive Coaching (Santa Barbara, CA)
I am extensively trained in NLP, (Neurolinguistic Programming )

Crossroads School, (Santa Monica, CA.)--Teaching Intern/Life Skills Program
Workshops--"Depression and Stress Management in the Workplace." FBI, LA Bureau
Center for Citizens Initiative-- Taught American Psychology Techniques to European Psychologists, Psychiatrists and Middle School Teachers
I have expertise with many dynamics that impact couples. I specialize in Couples Therapy, Marriage Issues, PreMarital Counseling, Relationship Struggles, Communication, Intimacy, Conflict Resolution, Infidelity, Co-Habitation Adjustment, Anger, Arguing, Resentment Recovery, Pregnancy, IVF Support, etc. I definitely do work with couples who are in recovery from substance abuse as long as there is at least 1 year clean and sober.

There are some issues that I don't work with such as ~ domestic violence, rape, suicide, crime, high-conflict divorce, custody issues, eating disorders, gambling problems, sex or internet addiction, active alcoholism & drug addiction.  Additionally, I don’t counsel any issues that involve the legal system.
If those are among the issues that you’re dealing with I can try to find you a referral. 

I am an out of network provider for most major PPO's. Email me and I'll translate that for you! Thanks

Email me for my 2021 hours of operation
Affiliations ...
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
Payments Accepted
Check, credit cards, pay pal. Prepaid Package deals available.
Hours:Week-end and evening appointments available
Cost/Session:Email me for fee options and package deals
License:MFT #29944
Helpful Links
20301 Ventura Blvd
Additional Location
2001 South Barrington Ave