Who is Dona Laressa Desmond?
I specialize in helping adult couples in the LA area. Private practice since 1993.
I treat clients in my offices as well as via FaceTime and phone-sessions. I have offices in West LA and Woodland Hills.
As you will have seen on my website I have expertise with many dynamics that impact couples~ Couples Therapy, Marriage issues, PreMarital Counseling,Relationship Struggles, Communication, Intimacy, Conflict Resolution, Infidelity, Anger, Arguing, Resentment Recovery, Pregnancy Issues, IVF Support, etc.
There are some issues that I don't work with such as ~ domestic violence, rape, suicide, crime, high-conflict divorce, custody issues, eating disorders, gambling problems, active alcoholism & addiction.
I don’t counsel any issues that involve the legal system.
If those are among the issues that you’re dealing with I can try to find you a referral.
I definitely do work with couples who are in recovery from substance abuse as long as there is at least 1 year clean and sober.
Psychology Degrees, Specialty Trainings and Certifications
Emergency Medical Technician-Medical Center for Pre-Hospital Care, UCLA
Masters/Doctorate in Psychology (Antioch/AU--Psychology and Human Sciences)
Communication (Mentor: Dr. Alex French UCLA)
Relationship Dynamics (Mentor: Dr. Alex French, UCLA)
Anger Management (1 year internship at SCCC)
Certified Professional Coach (COEC, Santa Barbara, CA)
Member of ICF (International Coach Federation)
Skill sets - Life Coaching for Couples and Executive Coaching
Technical Consultant ~ Film and TV
Film-- Woody Allen --"Scenes From A Mall"
TV-- Naomi Judd Talk Show Pilot
TV-- Oprah-episode --"Infidelity"
Guest Therapist - Radio and Television
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 Counseling for stranded families impacted by September 11, 2001"
Trauma Recovery: (Mitchell Technique-- UC San Diego)
Red Cross Certification: Crisis Debriefing for Emergency Services Personnel
Red Cross Certification: Crisis Intervention for Disaster Workers & First Responders
Red Cross Certification: Early Stage Disaster Management
Additional Skill Sets
Emotional Intelligence: Testing and Enhancement, (Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Method)
Executive Coaching: College of Executive Coaching (Santa Barbara, CA)
I am extensively trained in NLP, (Neurolinguistic Programming )
Crossroads School, (Santa Monica, CA.)--Teaching Intern/Life Skills Program
Workshops--"Depression and Stress Management in the Workplace." FBI, LA Bureau
Center for Citizens Initiative, Ekaterinborg- Taught American Psychology Techniques to European Psychologists, Psychiatrists and Middle School Teachers
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?
Actually 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. After graduation and internship, I launched my practice by doing house calls. 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.The range of my client base extended from Santa Clarita to Santa Monica. 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.
Please note: I do not treat suicide, alcoholism, addictions, eating disorders, rape, compulsive gambling, domestic violence, child custody issues, high conflict divorce. or any issues that involve 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
1 800 273 8255.
My Business Listings
NOTE ~~ For Business Consulting Services and Executive Coaching
Dona Laressa Desmond, PhD, LMFT
Couples Therapy, PreMarital and Marriage Counseling