If you are experiencing depression, anxiety, worry, grief, need help with anger management or self-esteem. You are NOT alone.

 

These are some of the issues that our clients experience. Individuals, families and couples often face challenges in their daily lives and find it difficult to maintain healthy relationships. These issues are much more prevalent with the addition of a special needs family member. 

 

The Ed Asner Family Center offers various approaches to therapy:

Therapy is offered by a licensed clinician such as a Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT), Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) or an Associate Marriage Family (AMFT) These clinicians are trained to assess and offer professional help when challenges like these arise.  Our clinicians meet weekly with couples, families or individuals to address their ongoing needs. Clinicians explore with the client productive ways to get back on track and encourage positive change.

 

"Based on our own experiences as parents of children with special needs, we know how difficult and cost prohibitive it is to find quality mental health services with people who are trained to work with individuals with autism. We have begun to fulfill a desperate need in our community. A place of excellence for families to thrive in."

 

- Matthew and Navah Paskowitz-Asner

 

 

Family Therapy 

This program is designed to help all family members in the special needs household, including grandparents or caregivers. The family will learn how to comfortably express their feelings, find better ways to communicate with each other, to solve problems effectively, identify and understand special needs and to better address struggles in the home, school, workplace or out in the community.  While defining clear goals and ways to support those goals, clinicians work closely with all family members.  Sessions are focused on teaching the skills necessary to encourage the family as a whole to be better communicators and focus on a healthier way of living and a higher quality of life for the entire family.

 

Individual Therapy

Counseling for the Caregiver

Focus is placed on supporting the caregiver. Caregivers often feel overwhelmed, overextended, or alone. Oftentimes this is a step parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or extended family member who is unsure how to handle the intense behaviors, sensory difficulties or emotional issues that accompany caring for a special needs child or adult.  The caregiver is supported during private one-on-one counseling sessions. By getting the support you need, depression or anxiety can be reduced and replaced by understanding and self-care.

 

Sibling Art Group or Individual Therapy Session

We are taking a unique approach in working with siblings through a creative avenue.  This group is run by our mental health director, Chrisa Sadd, LMFT along with Avivah Paskowitz, the daughter of the founders.  Ms. Paskowitz is a very talented and creative sibling in a special needs family.  She knows first-hand how to navigate this world. This program offers support for the sibling of a special needs child/adult.  Often the sibling wonders why everything is focused on their brother or sister and not on them.  They might feel that they don’t get enough time to do the things they want to do. Siblings may feel guilt or anger towards their brother or sister for always being the center of the parent’s attention. The participant will be able to express feelings through games and activities while attending group sessions, as well as finding comfort and support with a community of likeminded peers.

Chrisa Sadd, LMFT

Chrisa Sadd, LMFT has been working with the special needs community since 2003.  She has extensive experience working with families, siblings, caregivers, children and young adults.  For many years she worked as a behavior analyst, social skills teacher, including working at VISTA DEL MAR. Providing psychotherapy services for the special needs community and others.  “I love the work that I do.  Helping others is a part of my heart and soul.  It is truly rewarding when you can see another person's life change for the better."

Michelle Tapia, LMFT

Michelle uses her natural empathy to help clients learn to overcome their anxieties, codependency issues and conflicts with a solution-focused and cognitive behavioral method of therapy.  She has experience working with individuals and couples from the entertainment industry, with a focus on film and television crew members.  She is LGBTQ friendly, open, honest, non-judgmental, and, most of all, there for her clients.

Desiree Gonzalez, LMFT

My name is Desiree Gonzalez and I am passionate about working with adolescents and families. I specialize in child and adolescent development, trauma and substance use. I love working with families, parents and individuals who are motivated to become better versions of themselves. I am enthusiastic to be a part of the Ed Asner Family Center and encourage anyone who is curious to learn more about mental health to seek self care and self awareness.

Jeffrey J. Annon, Associate MFT

Jeffrey was born and raised in Hawaii as you can tell from the aloha shirts he wears.  He uses his laid back style to connect with children, teens and adults to create a safe and trusting therapeutic environment. He has a masters degree in both research and clinical psychology and is registered with the Board of Behavioral Science as an Associate MFT.  Jeff has been working with kids and teens most of his life as a martial arts instructor (aikido) and this past year as a school counselor in the Los Angeles parochial school system.  He is a recent addition to The Ed Asner Family Center and is excited to be working with this underserved population.  He is under the supervision of the mental health director Chrisa Sadd, LMFT.