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Meet the Team

Kendra Penski

MSW, LCSW #27142

Kendra Penski is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has been in the field providing therapy to clients for over 10 years. Kendra has extensive experience working with individuals and couples. She also has spent several years providing counseling to active duty military and their partners. In addition to her private practice, Kendra also works part time with the VA providing counseling to individuals with PTSD, depression and anxiety. This work has given her a keen ability to understand the military culture and to learn ways to best help this unique population. Having family members and close friends who have served in the military has also led to her increased understanding of some of the challenges our military members face as well as the families that support them. Kendra has worked with clients from varying backgrounds and has experience with a multitude of issues including relationship issues, anxiety, depression, stress and transitional life issues.

Kendra is a certified provider in both Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure Therapy, both of which are empirically supported treatments for victims of trauma and PTSD. Kendra graduated from San Diego State University with her Masters in Social Work. She is an active member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) as well as the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT). Kendra serves as the Area Chair for the Human Services program at University of Phoenix and also teaches course in counseling at the University. Additionally, leads the University of Phoenix Honor Society and psychology club.

“I am excited that you have taken steps to reach out for help. I love helping people work towards their journey and guiding them in achieving the life they deserve to live.” Kendra is in the field because she has a deep passion for helping others live their life to the fullest. Her compassion and understanding easily radiate through her work.

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Laura Schairer

Ph.D., PSY 30017

Dr. Schairer is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. She has been providing therapy to clients for over 5 years. Dr. Schairer has extensive experience working with individuals and couples. She also spent three of her training years providing psychotherapy in VA hospitals. In addition to providing treatment for common issues in veterans such as relationship issues, anxiety, depression, stress, and PTSD, Dr. Schairer also received specialized training in health psychology. She has helped many clients adjust to medical illness, including multiple sclerosis, cancer, renal failure, acute injury, loss of limbs, and spinal cord injury (among others).

Dr. Schairer generally works from a cognitive behavioral perspective which integrates elements of other highly effective therapies, including dialectical behavior therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and mindfulness. Dr. Schairer has specific training in motivational interviewing, a widely researched method for helping people achieve behavior change (e.g. stopping smoking) as well as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for sexual dysfunction, insomnia, and chronic pain. She also has experience helping people behaviorally manage chronic diseases such as diabetes. She is able to provide Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure Therapy for clients with PTSD. Dr. Schairer graduated from Yeshiva University in New York City with a PhD in Clinical Psychology with Health Emphasis. She recently moved to San Diego and has become an active member of the San Diego Psychological Association.

“I feel honored to be able to sit with people through some of the most difficult experiences of their lives and help them navigate their way through those experiences in a way that lines up with their values so they can become the best versions of themselves.”

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Celia Gamboa-Wood

MSW, LCSW #29286
Celia is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been providing therapy for clients for over 15 years. Celia has extensive experience working with individuals and couples.  She has spent most of her career providing psychotherapy for issues such as anxiety, depression, anger management, life transitions, marital issues and PTSD. Celia has received training in cutting edge trauma treatments such as, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), and Prolonged Exposure therapy for clients with PTSD.  Celia has spent the last 5 years providing treatment at Wounded Warrior Battalion helping Marines and Sailors. She graduated from East Carolina University with her Masters in Social Work. Being a military spouse has given Celia direct experiences along with a unique ability and understanding of the military culture which enables her to better understand the challenges our military service members and their families face. Celia is also multicultural, with ability to provide therapy in both English and Spanish. “My approach is non-judgmental while being challenging and direct. I look forward to the opportunity to assist you in achieving your goals.”
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James Carr

MSW, LCSW #64826

James Carr is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. He has been providing therapy to clients in different settings for over 10 years. James has an extensive background working with individuals, families, and groups. James practices an integrated trauma-informed approach, utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and present-based mindfulness skills. James has advanced training in the Comprehensive Resource Model, which supports healing from complex traumas. He also has advanced training in Mindfulness Based Self Compassion, which helps decrease secondary emotions related to trauma experiences, such as shame, disgust and self-worth. 

James has helped many individuals and families use their strengths to overcome challenging situations such as trauma, divorce, issues with self-esteem, and children with severely emotionally disturbed diagnoses. James also spends time working in a hospital setting providing therapy to individuals and groups, including veterans and active duty service members who are dealing with complex trauma, depression, anxiety, and grief and loss. James received his Masters degree in Clinical Social Work from Barry University in Miami, FL and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW

“I believe that as people we all wish to be happy, healthy and free of suffering and the most important way to achieve this is in the presence of others. To feel safe, witnessed, heard, and accepted is the basis of human relationships. To create this solid foundation, we also need to connect to ourselves in a meaningful and authentic way.”

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Candice Beaton

MSW, LCSW #86047

Candice Beaton is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who brings her passion for helping and empowering others to her practice. Candice has been in the mental health and social work field for over 7 years where she has gained experience working with civilians and veterans alike. She has counseled clients with trauma, post traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety throughout her work at the VA and various other treatment settings.

Candice received her Masters of Social Work from Boston University where her focus was on mental health, veterans, and trauma focused treatment. Candice implements evidenced based therapies into her practice including Cognitive Processing Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.

“There are always a million reasons to not do something that you know can change your life for the better. When you make that difficult choice to improve your life, I will be there to help guide and support you.”

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Sarah Walls

MSW, LCSW #84669

Sarah Walls is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has been working in the mental health field for over 7 years and has a passion for assisting people to heal while experiencing life full of value and purpose. Sarah has extensive experience providing therapy to women and men who experience trauma, depression, and anxiety. She has also spent time working with Veterans at the VA and has extensive knowledge of military related issues. Sarah also spent time within the Women’s Clinic focusing on women’s related issues including postpartum and maternal health.

Sarah Walls graduated with her Masters of Social Work from San Jose State University. She has been trained in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive based therapies, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy, all of which use a mindfulness based approach to treatment.

“I am honored to be a part of your journey towards healing and valued living.”

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Vanessa Imus

MS, R.D.

Vanessa Imus is a Registered Dietitian who provides adjunct nutritional counseling for anyone interested in finding out how food is further influencing their mental health. Food has such a HUGE impact on how you feel day in and day out. Eating the wrong foods for your body can cause fatigue, poor mental function, digestive issues, anxiety and depression, among countless other symptoms. Vanessa enjoys helping others identify which foods are working for them and which are working against them. She teaches clients how to make changes to manage a healthy diet in a way that works best for them. Having earned a Master of Science Degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University she is nationally and state licensed as a Registered Dietitian. Vanessa currently offers medical nutrition therapy to our San Diego clients remotely and to the local Seattle folks in person. Vanessa is excited to share nutrition and lifestyle remedies to help you feel and perform optimally through all of life’s challenges!

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Rhonda Warren

Client Care Coordinator

Rhonda is a dedicated, customer-focused administrative professional with 10 years of experience in the health industry. Rhonda provides support to our clients by answering their inquiries by phone/email, scheduling and supporting them administratively in their therapeutic journey. Rhonda offers exceptional support in administrative health insurance, patient registration, and billing. “Providing a positive experience with every person I interact with, fulfills me. It is not a job; it is a passion.”

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