West Los Angeles


Woodland Hills, CA


Couples Therapy & Relationship Rescue

Dona Laressa Desmond PhD, LMFT

Woodland Hills CA 91364     West Los Angeles CA 90025

Call: 1-310-281-3051

Helping Your Relationship

mobile friendly too

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)

Coach Training

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 Training

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

About me