Who is Dona Laressa Desmond PhD, LMFT?
I specialize in helping Couples and Individuals in the LA area. I work with most aspects of relationship, from attraction to dating to living together to engagement to marriage. With Individuals I help with anxiety, distress, emotional struggles and changing unhealthy patterns. Private practice since 1993. I see clients at my offices in West LA, Woodland Hills, Culver City, Santa Monica as well as via FaceTime and phone-sessions. I am also a Certified Professional Coach.
CA LMFT 29944
Degrees, Specialty Trainings & Certifications
Emergency Medical Technician Medical Center Pre-Hospital Care, UCLA
Masters/Doctorate Antioch/AU, Psychology & Human Sciences
Couples Communication Mentor: Dr. Alex French, UCLA
Relationship Dynamics Mentor: Dr. Alex French, UCLA
Anger Management 1 year internship at SCCC
Trauma Recovery Certified in the Mitchell Technique, UC San Diego
Red Cross Certification Early Stage Disaster Management
Red Cross Certification Crisis Debriefing for Emergency Services Personnel
Red Cross Certification Crisis Intervention for Disaster Workers/First Responders
Crossroads School Teaching Intern Life Skills Program
FBI, LA Bureau Taught workshop "Depression, Impact & Prevention."
FBI, LA Bureau Taught workshop "Stress in the Workplace."
Center for Citizen Initiatives Taught "American Psychology Techniques" to European
psychologists, psychiatrists & middle school teachers
Coach Training Certifications
Certified Professional Coach College Executive Coaching, Santa Barbara, CA.
ICF International Coach Federation
Relationship Coach Coaching for Couples
Technical Consultant for Film and TV
TV Oprah, Episode on "Infidelity"
TV Naomi Judd Talk Show Pilot
Film Bette Midler, Woody Allen,"Scenes From A Mall"
Guest Therapist on Radio and TV
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 Therapy for Families Impacted by 9/11 "
Additional Skill Sets
Emotional Intelligence: Testing & Enhancement, ( Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Method)
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
What makes me unique as a therapist?
There are several unique qualities that I bring to my clinical practice. One interesting aspect is the way that I began my practice in the Los Angeles area. I launched my practice by doing house calls and field work with clients. The population that I initially served was those who were homebound due to PTSD or anxiety disorders such as agoraphobia.
Their fragile emotional state was such that they couldn't leave their home to attend therapy.
During those home sessions, of course, it was often the case that other family members would be present, usually a spouse. It became efficient to include them in the sessions and via that I began to understand the contagious nature of emotions inside a relationship. As this process evolved I branched out in deeper theoretical and practical ways for helping couples.
The other population that I did field work with was people who had developed specific phobias such as flying, driving, elevators, etc. I went with these clients and did therapy with them in such places as airports, on planes, trains, freeways, in malls, hotels, grocery stores, etc. I accompanied them through their systematic desensitization as they regained their freedom to move normally in the world.
I saw couples at my office 3 days a week and did house calls and field work 2 days a week for 10 years. The range of my client base extended from Santa Clarita to Santa Monica. My clientele included housewives, celebrities, law enforcement, first responders, executives and business owners. Eventually, I also went abroad and taught American Psychology techniques to European Psychologists.
For over 2 decades now I have specialized in Couples Therapy. I'll be happy to apply all the areas of my expertise to assist you.
Positive Problem Solving for Couples
Fertility & Pregnancy issues
Infidelity Recovery for Couples
Marriage Rescue & Program
Relationship Struggles with Intimacy
Coaching for Men
Individual Counseling for Men
Sex Therapy for Couples
Intimacy Reboot for Couples
End Power Struggles
Individual Therapy for Women
I definitely do work with couples who are in recovery from substance
abuse/addictions as long as there is at least 1 year clean & sober & an
ongoing participation in recovery such as AA, etc.
Active Drug Addiction
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder
Child custody issues
Dept of Child Family Services issues
Internet porn addiction
Crime related issues
💛 Issues that I don't treat 💛
Please note: I do not treat suicide or domestic violence or any issues involving the legal system. If you are having any kind of urgent situation please call 911 or your local police. The phone number for the suicide prevention hotline is 800 273 8255 or https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org
My other sites
💛 Issues that I work with & specialize in 💛
I don't work with clients who are in danger of harming themselves or others. Additionally, I don’t counsel any issues that involve the legal system.
$30 discount on video sessions during COVID if needed