Alliant Couple and Family Clinic offers a variety of ICEEFT-trained Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) with diverse backgrounds to serve you. Our MFTs range in experience level and rates, and our trainees and associates receive excellent supervision from licensed leaders in the San Diego EFT community.

  • Marriage and Family Therapist Trainees (MFT Trainee) – have completed more than a year of their 2-year Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Alliant International University, have completed at least the first level of EFT training, and are supervised by licensed MFTs and EFT leaders, including Dr. Scott R. Woolley.
  • Associate Marriage and Family Therapists (AMFT) – hold a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, have completed the required pre-degree clinical hours and are working towards their state licensure, and are supervised by EFT leader Dr. Lisa Palmer-Olsen.
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) – have completed all of the state-required clinical hours and passed state licensure exams.
  • Supervisors – licensed MFTs who are practicing and approved by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT) to supervise MFT Trainees and Associates.

Marriage and Family Therapist Trainees

 

Kore Busath-Haedt, MFT Trainee
Supervised by Dr. Tannaz Minokaden, LMFT 43607

Kore holds a B.A. in English and a minor in Professional Writing for Civic Engagement from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is currently completing her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Alliant International University, planning to graduate in 2021.

Prior to pursuing a career in mental health, Kore worked as a corporate communications advisor, providing strategic counsel for companies in crisis situations such as bankruptcies, sudden management changes, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, and reputational attacks. Kore now applies these skills to her work helping individuals, couples and families move through periods of transition, challenge, or distress.

Kore has also been a registered yoga teacher (RYT-200) with Yoga Alliance® since 2015 and, as such, brings mindfulness and somatic awareness into her work as a therapist. Kore believes deeply that all people are capable of change, growth, evolution, and healing when met with compassionate care. She works through a client-centered, trauma-informed and attachment-based lens to provide inclusive therapy to clients from a diverse range of backgrounds. 

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Phoebe Carmichael, MFT Trainee
Supervised by Dr. Tannaz Minokaden, LMFT 43607

Phoebe holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Psychology from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts degree in the Couple and Family Therapy Program at Alliant International University. Her professional experience encompasses mental health, addiction, and working with underserved populations. Phoebe hopes to create an environment where individuals, couples, and families can safely give voice to their struggle, work through conflict, reconnect, and grow toward healthier relationships and lifestyles.

Phoebe believes in the value and effectiveness that attachment-based techniques can provide in fostering emotional healing for individuals and their families. She understands the significance of developing a trauma-informed and culturally sensitive environment where people from diverse backgrounds and experiences can feel safe to share their stories and participate in a restorative therapeutic process.

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Stefano Casillo, MFT Trainee
Supervised by Dr. Jason Linder, LMFT 104856
Languages: English and Spanish

Stefano holds a B.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of San Diego. He is currently completing his Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Alliant International University, planning to graduate in the Fall of 2021. His professional experience in the field of psychology has involved working with individuals, couples, and families of various backgrounds throughout the San Diego community. As a couple and family therapist, he understands the importance of creating a safe environment where effective therapy can promote wellness.

Stefano seeks to learn about each person’s story by providing a space where everyone can be heard. He is actively committed to developing healthy relationships, inspiring meaningful communication, and remaining unconditionally supportive throughout the healing process. It is Stefano’s mission to help people resolve their conflicts and struggles by building a strong foundation, centered on trust, respect, and support.

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Dale Coleman, MFT Trainee

Supervised by Dr. Jason Linder, LMFT 104856

Dale earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at San Diego State University. She is currently completing her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Alliant International University.

Before dedicating herself to a career in mental health, Dale served in the United States Air Force, which offered her insight into a variety of cultures and dynamics. After her enlistment, she continued to gain knowledge by working as a counselor at mental health rehabilitations in San Diego. There she collaborated towards overcoming challenging events and experiences, performed crisis interventions, and conducted care advocation. Also during these years, Dale was further inspired by her own therapy process.

Through her involvements thus far, Dale has grown a strong appreciation for the value of a therapeutic space. She hopes to be able to offer this to many individuals, couples, and families who are seeking healing and growth.

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Montserrat (Montse) Chavarria, MFT Trainee

Supervised by Dr. Allison Brownlee, LMFT 89484
Languages: English and Spanish

Montse holds a B.S. in Psychology with a specialization in Developmental Psychology from the University of California San Diego. She is currently pursuing her masters and doctorate in Marital and Family Therapy at Alliant International University – San Diego.

She has had professional experience working at UC San Diego as a counselor supporting young adults, adults and their families through their emotional experiences and their life challenges. While at UC San Diego, she also worked with local community programs helping children build better communication and coping skills. Her personal and professional experience has led her to want to pursue her career in helping individuals while assisting them toward reaching their goals. Montse aims to provide a comfortable, and welcoming environment for individuals, couples and families by utilizing a client-centered, trauma-informed, and an attachment-based lens.

Montse personally values her role in allowing clients to feel safe and secure to explore, express and develop different ways to find their journey to healing and find their inner strength. She is passionate about working with diverse populations and multi-cultural communities.

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Cindy Fisher, MFT Trainee

Supervised by Mary Cipriani LMFT 32742

Born and raised in NZ, Cindy earned her first Bachelor’s degree in Human Movement Science from Southern Cross University NSW, Australia. She is currently completing her traineeship in MFT at Alliant International University.

She continued her studies to become a specialized rehabilitation neuromuscular therapist, with a decade of professional experience helping people heal from physical trauma. Additionally, she graduated with honors from the University of Phoenix with a B.A. in Human Services while starting a family in San Diego. 

Parenthood shifted her focus from healing physical injuries to supporting mental health awareness and transformational growth of the whole person. Cindy views life through the lens of connection to our self, family, culture, and spirituality. Her nurturing heart centered approach is rooted in attachment based Emotionally Focused Therapy, somatic awareness, and trauma informed Internal Family Systems. She helps individuals and couples attune to their innate inner wisdom and find meaningful connection to themselves and with others. 

A mother of two elementary aged children, she understands the complexities of juggling the layers of life. She can often be found mountain biking with her husband and kids, connecting with nature through art, and tramping (the Kiwi word for trail hiking) in local wilderness and national parks.

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Sarah Herring, MFT Trainee
Supervised by Dr. Allison Brownlee, LMFT 89484

Sarah is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Alliant International University. Sarah uses a client centered approach that is trauma informed with an attachment lens. She is interested in working with families, individuals, and couples.

Having a keen interest in culture and diversity, Sarah has worked and lived abroad in England, South Africa, Sweden, and Indonesia.  Her multicultural perspective is the underpinning of her approach to guide and support people in bettering their lives.

Prior to pursuing her Master’s degree, Sarah taught math, English, Swedish, history, and religion to socioeconomically diverse students. She provided academic strategies for students with learning differences such as dyslexia, and ADHD leading to improved academic outcomes.

Moreover, she taught multicultural students from Syria, Africa, Italy, South America, and Poland who faced staggering personal issues such as homelessness, food insecurity and cultural bias. Sarah addressed self-esteem issues by helping students conquer difficult tasks and master emotional regulation.

Sarah has also worked as a shelter monitor for the homeless exploring the causes of homelessness and how to intentionally work with service organizations to help individuals.  Through these experiences she has gained an understanding and insight into proven solutions that can end homelessness. Importantly, Sarah has learned how to interact sensitively and appropriately with the homeless population to garner trust and develop rapport.

Sarah has a holistic approach to helping people.  She has been a yoga and mindfulness teacher helping individuals reduce stress through effective mind and body practices.  Sarah has created workshops to teach mantras, meditation, and breath techniques helping individuals of all ages and backgrounds mitigate stress and tension. Innovatively, Sarah has taught meditation and trauma-informed yoga to the homeless population helping to reduce the physical and emotional discomfort of being homeless.

 

Associate Marriage and Family Therapists

 

Mariah Rideaux, M.A., Registered Associate MFT (AMFT 108437)
Supervised by Dr. Lisa Palmer-Olsen, LMFT 37577

Mariah earned an M.S. in Child Development and an M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy from San Diego State University. While studying Child Development, Mariah was introduced to Attachment Theory, which proposes the idea that humans need to be in relationship with others as a means to survive. At the time, Mariah worked as a preschool supervisor at The Ronald McDonald House where she utilized an attachment-based approach to serve children and families undergoing medical treatment at Rady Children’s Hospital. Through this work, Mariah realized how vital a safe and secure relationship is for healthy development and trauma recovery.

While pursuing her second master’s degree, Mariah was re-introduced to Attachment Theory, this time from an adult’s perspective, through a model called Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). Mariah feels as though EFT helps provide reasonable explanations to an adult’s behavior when they lack a sense of safety and belonging. This explanation helps to soften blame and can aid individuals in learning to experience vulnerability as a foundation for healing and bonding.

Mariah wholeheartedly believes in knowing how it feels to be a client. She has completed several years of her own therapy, which has helped her understand Attachment Theory and trauma from both the therapist and client perspective. Mariah strives to create a safe, secure environment with each client as the first step in helping them along their journey of self-discovery and healing. She is excited to continue growing her skills as an EFT therapist here at the Alliant Couple and Family Clinic!

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Laura Castro, M.A., Registered Associate MFT (AMFT123055) 

Supervised by Dr. Lisa Palmer-Olsen, LMFT 37577 

Laura (she/her) earned her M.A. in Marital and Family Therapy and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Marital and Family Therapy from Alliant International University. She also holds an M.A. in Strategic Communication and a.B.A. in Communication. She decided to pursue a career in mental health after retiring from the United States Navy in 2018. During her time in the Navy, Laura played a key role in the implementation of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and served as an equal opportunity advisor.  

Laura is passionate about diversity and inclusion and provides care through an LGBTQIA+ – affirming, multicultural, attachment-based, and trauma-informed lens. She believes all families, relationships, and identities are valid and primarily works within the framework of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

 

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists & Supervisors

 

Jen Siladi, LMFT 125969

Clinical Coordinator

website

Jen was born and raised in Ireland and earned her B.A. in Psychology from University College Dublin. She moved to San Diego in 2016, graduated with her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Alliant International University in 2019 and became a licensed marriage and family therapist in 2021. In her role as clinical coordinator, Jen oversees the day-to-day activities of the clinic. Jen enjoys working with individuals, couples and families using Emotionally Focused Therapy. 

 

Dr. Yamilka Urquiza-Mendoza, LMFT 112227
Languages Spoken: English & Spanish
Visit my personal website.

I earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL, graduating Summa Cum Laude, and my Master’s of Art in Marriage & Family Therapy from Alliant International University-San Diego, with an additional certificate in Latin American Family Therapy. I also completed my Doctor of Psychology degree at Alliant. I am a AAMFT Supervisor and a Professor at the Alliant Graduate Department of Marriage and Family Therapy. I have specialized training in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and working towards certification in Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP).

I believe it is a basic human need to feel secure in our relationships. We all want to feel connected and know that our experiences matter to the people we love. It is important to know that when we are in pain someone will be there to care for us.

I have experience working with individuals, couples, and families experiencing distress from a variety of life challenges. I am committed to helping you restore and heal by undoing your aloneness. I am committed to providing a safe place for you to share your unique story and experience healing in a safe relationship. We are not meant to tackle life’s challenges alone. I invite you to come share those with me, for when we share, our burden becomes light.

 

Dr. Scott Woolley, LMFT 37622
Executive Director & Supervisor

Scott R. Woolley, Ph.D., is a founder and director of the San Diego Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy and the Training and Research Institute for Emotionally Focused Therapy (TRI EFT). Dr. Woolley has trained therapists in EFT in many areas of the world, including Canada, Chile, Finland, Great Britain, Guam, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Taiwan, The Netherlands, and throughout the U.S. He works closely with Dr. Susan Johnson, founder of EFT.

Dr. Woolley holds the rank of Distinguished Professor and served for nearly 17 years as the system-wide director of the couple and family therapy masters and doctoral programs at Alliant International University. He earned a B.S. in economics and an M.S. in marriage and family therapy from Brigham Young University, and a Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy from Texas Tech University. Dr. Woolley is an AAMFT clinical member and approved supervisor and a certified EFT therapist, supervisor, and trainer. He maintains a small private practice in San Diego County.

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Dr. Lisa Palmer-Olsen, LMFT 37577
Clinical Director & Supervisor
Visit my personal website.

Lisa Palmer-Olsen, Psy.D. is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego California. She is a Certified EFT Therapist, Trainer, and Supervisor, and is a Founder and one of the Directors of the Emotionally Focused Couples Training and Research Institute at Alliant International University. Lisa completed her dissertation research on how to train and teach Emotionally Focused Couples therapy to professionals. Dr. Sue Johnson, the founder of EFT and Dr. Scott Woolley were part of her dissertation committee.

Dr. Palmer-Olsen’s primary clinical and research interests are in the areas of couple and family therapy; specifically with those couples and families dealing with trauma and attachment related struggles. She is an AAMFT clinical member and approved AAMFT supervisor.

Dr. Palmer-Olsen is also co-founder and clinic director for the Alliant Couple and Family Clinic (ACFC). As the clinical director, Dr. Palmer-Olsen supervises and teaches the EFT model, as well as works with couples and families herself.

As a student of Alliant International University, Lisa had the opportunity to train under family therapy founders Dr. Jay Haley and Dr. James Framo. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Colorado State University, and Master’s and Doctoral Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy at Alliant International University.

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Mary Cipriani-Price, LMFT 32742
Supervisor
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A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Clinical Supervisor, and Assistant Professor at Azusa Pacific University, Mary’s personal mission is her passion to change the divorce statistics and help couples create a deeper and more meaningful connection that will last their lifetime. She is also passionate about helping individuals and families live to their greatest potential. Mary earned her M.S. in Counseling and Human Relations at Villanova University and completed an advanced training certificate, doctoral level, in Marriage, Family and Sex Therapy with the Marriage Council at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry. Mary has been in the counseling field for 30 years with a focus on couples counseling, individuals, and families. She continues her training in Couples Therapy from Susan Johnson and has trained with the Couples Institute, John Gottman, EMDR, Domestic Violence, and Sex Therapy. She is currently a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) and the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT).

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Jason Linder, M.A., LMFT 104856
Languages Spoken: English & Spanish

I earned my MA in Counseling Psychology in Latin America. I am a bilingual Spanish-speaking, licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, certified Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing practitioner, and Doctoral Student at the California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego.  I am passionate about improving relationships, serving under-served populations, and providing quality services in Spanish. I also have special training in EMDR trauma therapy and mindfulness. I was disappointed and profoundly affected by seeing a lot of wasted potential, for example, many of my intelligent, capable peers from elementary, middle school, and high school lost their lives to drugs. Also, I have witnessed firsthand too many people struggle in their family and couple relationships. There is too much divorce and relationship discord in this world. Clearly, schools should be teaching about parenting and relationships, before algebra and plant science. This is where I come in. I’m most passionate about relationship therapies, and EFT is the best one! At ACFC I have the privilege of working with top EFT practitioners, and an amazing team of colleagues who work closely together to support each other personally and professionally. Couldn’t get much better than this!