Marriage and Family Therapy

Pre-Masters Traineeship


Randy Christopher, M.A. – Clinical Director

Diane J. Lee, M.A. – Internship Program Director

Stisha Vaughn, M.A. – Off-Site Placement and Contract Coordinator

Doreen Jansen, M. A. – Intake Coordinator

Melissa Volchok, M. A. – Intake Coordinator


The Family Therapy Program is a specialized training program for beginning therapists. Trainees in this program see a varied clientele for individual, couple and family therapy. Although the program emphasizes a family systems perspective in clinical practice, students receive extensive training in psychosocial assessment, DSM diagnoses, and the clinical application of Bowen and other supportive interventions, systems, and theories. Trainees in this program will work as co-therapists when seeing clients at the Counseling Center. Clients are seen at our center, residential treatment centers, outpatient facilities, schools, and in other settings as arranged by the Counseling Center. All sessions at center are recorded to maximize training, supervision and client care. Students receive group and peer supervision and one hour of training each week. Phillips Graduate University School Counseling students (MFT/PPS) are able to acquire fieldwork supervision hours for both academic programs.

Students meet on Friday mornings (9AM-12PM) for training and group supervision. The first two meetings may be all-day training sessions (9:00AM-4:30PM). Trainees may see clients on Friday afternoon and/or other day or evening times during the week.

Openings available: 8

Program Director and Clinical Supervisor: Dann Grindeman, MA.,LMFT (818) 386-5621, or email


Traineeship Application


The Latino Family Therapy Program is an integral part of the Spanish-speaking services provided by the Counseling Center to the predominately Latino communities in the San Fernando Valley. Trainees need to know conversational Spanish since the therapy and supervision are conducted in Spanish. Trainees participating in this program will be able to raise their proficiency in Spanish and learn clinical use of the language. Clients of the program are seen through a collaborative approach that includes co-therapy care, direct observation of treatment sessions and the use of reflecting teams. Clients are seen at our David H. Fox Counseling Center, residential treatment sites, schools, head starts, and in other settings as arranged by the Counseling Center. There are two major emphases in the program; first, the clinical application of family systems theories with Latino clients and families, and second, the cultural integration of family dynamics and personal behavior in clinical assessment and practice.

Trainees meet Thursday evenings (5PM-9PM) for training, clinical in vivo observation, and group supervision.
Additional daytime, evening or Saturday hours are required to schedule clients, 8 hours minimum.
Individual supervision required for trainees seeing 10 hours of clients per week.
There is a fee for individual supervision.

Openings available: up to 8

Program Director and Clinical Supervisor: Adriana Cervantes, M.A., LMFT,

Traineeship Application


The School-Based Child Therapy Program has been an ongoing program at the Counseling Center for over 35 years and provides counseling services to local schools. The program specializes in child therapy from different theoretical perspectives such as Behavioral, Cognitive Behavioral, Postmodern, and Humanistic/Existential, within a systemic perspective of the child’s school and family. This program focuses on a collaboration of ideas, lessons and activities which help trainees work with children and adolescents, both individually and in groups, through issues that include divorce, grief and loss, anger management, bullying and self-esteem. One component of this program is The Social Skills/Violence Prevention Program, through which therapists provide social skills training to groups of children as well as individual counseling to children and their families. Throughout the year, therapists will be trained in assessment, DSM diagnosis, treatment planning, session note writing, and legal and ethical issues.

Students meet in the summer on Tuesdays for training (9AM-1PM). In the fall and spring, students meet on Mondays (2PM-5PM) or (4PM-7PM) for training and group supervision, as well as one six hour day during the week at their assigned school.

This program provides children and family hours for MFT as well as MFT/Art Therapy students.

Openings available: 8-10

Program Director: Fereshteh Mazdyasni, M.A., LMFT (818) 386-5676, or email

Traineeship Application


The Postmodern Therapy in a Clinical Setting Program is a specialized training that engages collaborative, client-centered therapy in a diversity of clinical settings. Postmodern therapy leads with a resource-oriented lens, viewing clients as full of possibility, identifying client strengths and working collaboratively toward solutions in the client’s life. Trainees will learn to develop specialized ways of listening and questioning that generate preferred client change and transformation. Supervision will focus on the practical application of narrative and solution-focused practices in working with individuals, couples and families in the clinical setting. Throughout the year, trainees will learn to effectively communicate with peers from different theoretical orientations when discussing assessments, DSM diagnosis, treatment planning, documentation and legal and ethical issues. Trainees will work with clients as co-therapists with other trainees and interns and as reflecting team members. Counseling sessions are recorded and reviewed in supervision. Clients are seen at our center, residential treatment centers, outpatient facilities, schools, and in other settings throughout the Los Angeles area, arranged in collaboration with the Counseling Center.
Supervision and training will be Monday (11AM-2PM).

Openings available: 8

Program Director and Clinical Supervisor: Christina Kousakis, M.A., LMFT (310) 736-5665, or email

Traineeship Application

CO-OCCURRING DISORDERS: Chemical Dependency and Addiction in Clients with Mental Health Diagnoses

Trainees are given the opportunity to gain skills in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of alcoholism, chemical dependency and process addictions with special emphasis on the treatment needs of those with one or more addictions and co-occurring mental health diagnoses. Training focuses on building assessment and treatment skills through structured case presentation in supervision group, where trainees are encouraged to work collaboratively with other trainees in designing treatment and relapse prevention plans. Trainees have an opportunity to work with substance abusers, their partners and families. Trainees are encouraged to work in treatment dyads with other trainees and interns in the program to help build skills.

Estimates are that three out of ten persons diagnosed with a mental health disorder also have a substance use disorder some time in their lives and about 64% of drug abusers in treatment also meet the criteria for a mental health diagnosis. Mental health practitioners can no longer afford to dismiss the needs of such a large treatment population without severely limiting their skills set. Students will learn to treat mental health and addiction issues concurrently to provide competent and appropriate client care.

Supervision group is scheduled for Tuesdays (10:00AM-1:00PM). Counseling sessions are recorded and then reviewed in supervision, as are session notes and case files. Clients are seen at our center, residential treatment centers, outpatient facilities, schools, and in other settings as arranged by the Counseling Center.

Openings available: up to 8

A minimum of one year’s sobriety is required of those who identify as recovering from alcohol, drug and/or other behavioral dependency/addiction.

Program Director and Clinical Supervisor: Kim Nakae, M.A., LMFT (310) 666-1813, or email

Traineeship Application


The Early Childhood Therapy Program in a Preschool Setting is a specialized training for therapists who want to work with young children and their families. This program serves children ages 2-5 in the San Fernando Valley. Children and their families will receive services at private preschools. Therapists will be providing counseling in a preschool setting. Some of the private preschools are located in the Latino/Hispanic community of the San Fernando Valley. While therapy with the children, and consultation with staff and faculty is provided in English, many of the parents are monolingual, therefore, our services in these preschools are offered in both English and Spanish.

The therapists in this system-based child and family therapy program will be trained in basic assessment and interventions for families with children. The training introduces the therapist to child therapy in the preschool classroom, using Play Therapy and Social Skills in assessment and intervention. As a part of providing services to the child, the therapist may also provide individual and couples therapy for the parents. Attention to developmental milestones from birth to five, cultural awareness, family strengths and parenting skills are emphasized. Therapists will also have the opportunity of providing parenting classes and assisting in Mommy and Me classes.

Participants will receive weekly trainings in various modalities including family systems, postmodern and cognitive behavioral therapy as well as psychosocial assessment, and DSM diagnosis. There will be special emphasis on attachment and early child development, along with individual and couples therapy. Group supervision will be provided, with ongoing on-site consultation. This program provides children and family hours for MFT and MFT/Art Therapy students.

Students meet on Mondays (2PM-5PM) for training and supervision. Therapists see children and families at preschool locations during the week. Therapists will be asked to go to their preschool once a week, on the same day each week, for 5 hours. Two days a week may also be provided for those students who may be wanting more hours and an extra unit of supervision.

Openings available: up to 8

Program Director and Clinical Supervisor: Robin Graham, M.A., LMFT (323) 533-8227, or email

Traineeship Application

NOTE: Interested applicants may attend any program training session with pre-approval of the program director.

For application information: call the Intake Coordinator at (818) 386-5615

Open House Dates
Interested in applying for one of the counseling center traineeships?
Come to the traineeship open houses to get an inside look at what training and supervision will be like for the upcoming year.

Monday, January 29:
Post Modern: 1-2pm – Christina Kousakis (
Early Childhood: 2-3pm – Robin Graham (
Co-Occurring: 3-4pm – Kim Nakae (
School-Based: 4-5pm – Fereshteh Mazdyasni (

Thursday, February 1
Latino Family: 5:30-7:30pm – Adriana Cervantes (

Friday, February 2:
Family Therapy: 11-12pm – Dann Grindeman (

Please email the program director if you plan on attending their open house. We encourage you to go to as many open houses as you can.

Important Dates For You To Remember:

January 17, 18 & 20, 2018: Trainee info/lunch sessions for Phillips Graduate University students.
January 26, 2018: Trainee interview sign-up sheets posed just outside the Student Lounge. (You must turn in your application before signing up for an interview)
February 10, 2018: Deadline for turning in applications and signing up for interviews
February 12-February 23, 2018: Trainee interviews
March 2, 2018: Trainee decision letters go out via email
March 12, 2018: Last day for students to accept/decline traineeships
April 6, 2018: Contract signing for all trainees
May 10, 2018: Mandatory Orientation 5pm-7pm