About Us

Julieann Myers, MSW, LCSW, MAC, EMDR and CSAT Certified
Jules1Ms. Myers has more than 26 years experience working with adolescents and adults with Mood Disorders, Addictions, Trauma and ADHD.  She is a nationally recognized speaker and trainer in the area of Adolescent and Family Treatment and Addictions. While her style is active and engaging, clients will appreciate her extensive training and education that is apparent in her work.  She has a “personal authenticity” that is often referred to as part of her success with clients.  She has a breadth of experience working in Corrections, State Health and Human Services, Inpatient and Outpatient Addiction Programs, Community Based Agencies and has developed two successful private practices, with the most recent being Julieann Myers- Center for Healthy Change.  She is masterful in choosing only excellent therapists to work with her in her practice.  She takes great pride in the team, and insists upon utmost professionalism and measurable outcomes for clients.

  

Laurie Chapman, LMFT, EMDR Certified
Laurie4Laurie Chapman has provided therapy and consultation services for the past 16 years. Her client base includes individuals, couples, families, athletes, and non-profit corporations. She provides services to individuals and families across a myriad of issue areas and has developed specific expertise in the areas of women’s issues, performance enhancement, couples in transition, grief and loss, trauma, military families, stress-management, and adolescence. Her athletic base includes working with nationally ranked competitors in long distance running, track and field, figure skating, and cycling. She is an EMDR certified practitioner and has extensive training in Strategic and Solution-focused therapeutic interventions. Laurie graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) with a degree in psychology and a minor in business and has a Master’s Degree in the Science of Counseling from San Diego State University. She competed as an All-American distance runner in college and was a competitive athlete with the Santa Monica and San Diego Track Clubs until retiring several years ago. In addition, Laurie has 10 years of experience in executive management with San Diego Youth Services, a non-profit corporation, and currently serves as clinical consultant for the organization. A frequent expert guest on the lecture circuit, Laurie has been featured on San Diego’s Fox 5 and KFWB news stations, and she is a featured therapist on the Oprah Winfrey Network. The techniques Laurie uses are derived from cutting edge therapy models and include EyeMovement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Brief Strategic Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, and Family Systems Therapy. These models focus on the enhancement of individual strengths and the removal of old thought and communication patterns that prevent people from achieving what they desire. Our work together will feel like a partnership and the end result will be a problem solved.
Rafael Cortina, MFT, MBA
Rafael brings a wealth of skill and meaningful experience to our team.  Rafael is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and as a  bilingual/bicultural therapist he has delivered clinical and consultation services in both Mexico and the United States. He has over 14 years of diverse experience serving individuals, couples, families and groups. Rafael has a Masters of Arts in Counseling Psychology and a Masters in Business Administration from National University in San Diego, and he is a Certified Gestalt Therapist and a Certified Gestalt Couples Therapist.  His experience includes diagnosis and treatment of  Mood Disorders (Depression and Bipolar), Anxiety Disorders, Addiction, Grief and Loss, Dual Diagnosis (Substance abuse and a mental health disorder), Trauma, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender issues, HIV/AIDS Counseling, Dream work, Couples therapy and Gestalt oriented psychotherapy.  He is a former Lead Faculty member at the Humanistic Institute of Gestalt Psychotherapy.  Rafael has also served as a Marriage and Family Therapist at Sharp Mesa Vista Outpatient Dual Diagnosis Program, as a Staff Therapist at the LGBT Center, as a Bereavement Counselor at San Diego Hospice, and as a Lead Clinical Psychiatric Social Worker at Bayview Behavioral Health Campus.  A popular speaker on the national and international circuit, Rafael also enjoys providing inspirational, clinical and professional development workshops, training and technical assistance.
Kathryn (Katie) O’Brasky, LCSW
 Katie01Katie brings 25+ years of experience as a licensed Clinical Social Worker to the Center for Healthy Change. Her therapeutic style is to create a safe environment to explore painful emotions and destructive relationship patterns. She is both direct and nurturing so that the client can get honest feedback in a supportive, protected space. Katie’s career has included working carefully with children, adolescents and adults. Her strengths include: significant experience with clients dealing with depression, anxiety, addictions, codependency, out of control sexual behavior/sexual health and trauma. Katie believes that therapy is a collaborative process, viewing her roll as assisting the client to identify sources of pain and the road blocks to happiness. Katie draws from a combination of therapeutic approaches, including family systems, psychodynamic, psycho-educational, cognitive and cognitive behavioral therapy. Katie has been trained in EMDR (Eye Desensization Reprocessing, TRM (trauma resiliency model) and Post Induction Therapy (how childhood relational trauma causes unhealthy relational dynamics in adulthood). She is also trained in Doug Braun-Harvey’s model of treating out of control sexual behavior and teaching sexual health. Katie also has significant experience in inpatient settings and in Employee Assistance Programs, wherein she worked with client companies to solve company and employee issues. Additionally, Katie treats family dysfunction, women’s issues, parenting, ADHD and school issues.
Michelle Vercelli, LMFT
Through many years of experience in working with children, adolescents and their families, Michelle has found that the most effective way to provide treatment is to do so in a non-judgmental, caring and warm environment.  As a mother of a special needs child, she brings a unique skill-set of personal experience as well as professional experience.  Michelle works with the whole family unit and not just the child in dealing with the child’s behavsior and diagnosis.  “Water the flowers not the weeds” is a phrase she uses often because it resonates with families.  Children yearn for praise from their parents and their attention is one of the biggest motivators for their behavior.  So often, parents pay negative attention to their child’s poor behavior which in turn reinforces it.  Michelle specializes in special needs children and their families in both a school and hospital environment.  She can provide treatment for many childhood disorders including, depression, anxiety, and behavioral issues- teaching children and families effective communication, limit setting, problem solving, social skills, mindfulness and positive self-talk.
Dana Davis, MA, LMFT, EMDR Certified
Dana1Dana Davis brings over 19 years of intensive therapeutic experience to the Center.  Her approach to counseling provides a safe supportive environment to gain insight and awareness, to acquire new resources and tools, and to create opportunities for positive growth and change.  Dana uses an array of evidence-based, proven techniques and theories to help clients reach their goals, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, Mindfulness, Lifespan Integration, Parenting by Connection and Positive Psychology modalities. Her role as a therapist is to reinforce an individual’s strengths and resources while shifting destructive patterns to lead a person to a higher quality of life.  Dana loves the work she does and seeks out opportunities to continually improve the quality and depth of her services.  She concentrates primarily on adults, teens and couples, with an emphasis on relationship issues, parenting, grief and loss, women’s issues, trauma, depression and anxiety as well as general stress management.
Paul Cardenas, MSW, Managing Partner
With over 30 years in leadership development, Paul is a master trainer, program evaluator and organizational development specialist. At the Center he helps clients build personal and professional capacity by helping them to strengthen their organizational culture. Team building, strategic planning, funding streams, measuring outcomes are all part and parcel of his work. Increased productivity, improved customer loyalty, resolution and prevention of conflict are all outcomes that can be expected. Paul also serves across the nation designing and conducting program evaluation systems for organizations seeking to better understand their progress. At the Center he provides one-to-one advising and technical assistance to individuals building their businesses and careers. Paul also provides a wide range of technical assistance to philanthropists and non-profit organizations engaged in the helping professions. He is a graduate of California Polytechnic University and the UCLA Graduate School of Social Welfare.
Katy Joy Freeman, LMFT, Mindfulness Instructor, Yoga Alliance Approved Instructor
 For the past 17 years Katy Joy has been helping others improve their mood, self-care habits, and positive coping skills.  She has worked with Individuals, couples, families, and groups to promote well-being and personal empowerment.   Katy Joy has success working with a variety of issues including Mood Disorders, Food Addiction, Relapse Prevention, Divorce Support, Caregiver Stress, Grief and Loss, Stress Management, ADHD, Health Challenges, Women’s Issues, and Adjustment Issues.  She specializes in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which includes practical breathing and meditation exercises to reduce stress and increase an overall sense of well-being. Her compassionate and positive approach assists others in improving their mental, physical, and emotional health.  Her Mindful Living Workshops provide a nurturing environment to gain awareness, insight, and tools to live a happier, healthier, and balanced life.

Lauren Lee Walker, JD, MS, IMFT

Lauren graduated from UCLA with a degree in Art History and then continued at UCLA to obtain her law degree.  She practiced law as a civil litigator for 8 years in San Diego before deciding to pursue a career as a therapist.  Lauren completed her Masters degree in Marriage & Family Therapy at San Diego State University in 2017. During the first year of her Masters program, Lauren provided counseling services to a diverse client population at the Center for Counseling & Community Engagement.  During the second year of her program, she worked as a Therapist Trainee at Narrative Initiatives San Diego, a nonprofit organization that provides counseling services in the Center for Health and Wellbeing in Hillcrest.  While at NISD, Lauren worked with individuals, couples, and families facing a variety of challenges including life transitions, anxiety, depression, and relationship difficulties.  Lauren has been providing counseling services to clients since August of 2015.  She is also a trained doula, and enjoys working with women and families through the transitions accompanying pregnancy and childbirth.  She views the therapeutic relationship as a collaborative one and seeks to support clients in accessing and developing their own skills and strengths to overcome their challenges.  She is obtaining specialized training and is being  directly supervised by Julieann Myers, LCSW, MAC, EMDR and CSAT Certified.

Lauren Sitzmann, Executive Assistant and Neurofeedback Technician

Lauren is the newest member of our team.  She assists in many areas of the Center’s activities and also delivers Neurofeedback services using the the “BrainPaint” technologies.  Her background includes working with young women to develop communication skills, self-reliance, life-skills, personal fitness and healthy eating.  Lauren graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Health Promotion- Human Physiology from the University of Iowa, minoring in Mass Communication.  Stop in and say hello – she’ll surely brighten your day.

Del Mar, Cardiff & San Diego Locations