West Los Angeles


Santa Monica 90404

Woodland Hills


Couples Therapy, Marriage & PreMarital Counseling

Dona Laressa Desmond PhD, LMFT

Woodland Hills CA 91364     West Los Angeles CA 90025

Call: 1-310-281-3051

Helping Your Relationship

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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.


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 Training

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."

Teaching Abroad

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 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.

About me

Couples Communication

Individual Counseling for Men

Couples Conflict Resolution

PreMarital Counseling

Fertility & Pregnancy issues

IVF Support

Relationship Enhancement & Love Reboot

Couples Therapy

Marriage issues and Marriage Counseling 

Marriage Rescue Program

Relationship Struggles with Intimacy

Infidelity Recovery for Couples

Coaching for Men

Sex Therapy for Couples

Individual Therapy for Women

Abandonment Issues

Insecurity issues 

Power Struggles


Co-Habitation Adjustment 

Anger Management,Arguing

Trauma Support

Resentment Recovery 

Relationship break-up help


Coaching 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.



Domestic Violence

Active Drug Addiction

Active Alcoholism

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder

Legal Issues

High-conflict divorce

Child custody issues

Dept of Child Family Services issues

Paranoid Personality

Bi-Polar Disorder

Eating Disorders

Gambling problems

Sexual addiction

Internet porn addiction


Smoking addiction

Compulsive Shopping

Crime Sex offenders

Rape or Stalking



💛 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

Email is the best way to reach me

I look forward to hearing from you.

Warm regards,

Dona Laressa Desmond PhD



My other sites

💛 Issues that I work with & specialize in 💛

Dona Laressa Desmond, PhD, LMFT

Couples Therapy, PreMarital and Marriage Counseling

Dona Laressa Desmond PhD therapistm Los Angeles 90036

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.