Who is Dona Laressa Desmond PhD, LMFT?
I specialize in Couples Therapy in the LA area. I work with all phases of relationship, from dating, living together, engagement to marriage. Private practice since 1993. I see clients at my offices in Santa Monica, Culver City, West LA & Woodland Hills, as well as via video therapy and phone-sessions.
CA LMFT 29944
Certifications, Specialty Trainings & Degrees
Emergency Medical Tech UCLA,Medical Center Pre-Hospital Care
Masters/Doctorate Antioch/AU, Psychology & Human Sciences
Couples Communication UCLA, Mentor: Dr. Alex French
Relationship Dynamics UCLA, Mentor: Dr. Alex French
Anger Management 1 year internship at SCCC
Trauma Recovery Certified in Mitchell Technique, UC San Diego
Red Cross Certification Early Stage Disaster Management
Red Cross Certification Crisis Debriefing for Emergency Personnel
Red Cross Certification Debrief Disaster Workers & First Responders
Crossroads School Teaching Intern Life Skills Program
FBI, LA Bureau Taught "Depression, Impact & Prevention"
FBI, LA Bureau Taught "Stress Management in the Workplace"
Center for Citizen Initiatives
Taught American Psychology Techniques European psychologists, psychiatrists, policeman & middle school teachers
Coach Training & Certification
Certified Professional Coach
Santa Barbara College Executive Coaching
ICF International Coach Federation
Relationship Coach Training Coaching for Couples
Technical Consultant for Film & TV
TV Oprah, Episode on "Infidelity"
TV Naomi Judd Talk Show "Pilot"
Film Bette Midler, Woody Allen,"Scenes From A Mall"
Guest Therapist for Radio & 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, (specializing in Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Method)
The Gottman Method
Emotional Focused Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Brief Strategic Solution-Based Therapy
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.
I am happy to extend my knowledge and wisdom to help you in your relationship and marriage.
Email is the best way to reach me
I look forward to hearing from you.
Dona Laressa Desmond PhD
CPC CA LMFT
$30 discount on Video sessions during COVID if needed