Meet our therapists


Dr. Candace Ward-McKinlay, Ph.D

Candace McKinley

Dr. McKinlay has over 20 years of experience in private practice working with a wide variety of people and issues.  She has helped adults, adolescents, couples and families who are stressed, depressed, anxious and ready to find new ways of dealing with acute or ongoing concerns or issues.  Dr. McKinlay has worked with school districts, psychiatric clinics and hospitals to develop programs that best serve populations with a variety of difficulties coping with every day stressors. Dr. McKinlay received her B.A from San Diego State University and her M.A and Ph.D from Alliant International University.

Lic. No. PSY7379

Although a native San Diegan, Dr. McKinlay spent the last few years in the Northeast where she was able to hone many of her skills including EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Response) for trauma management and a wide variety of special education skills. Dr. McKinlay has experience with active military, retired military and family members of military individuals. She has found her skills with EMDR invaluable for helping military members with trauma, nightmares, sleep disorders and other highly emotional issues. She is particularly interested in working with service members as one of her own family is currently on active duty with the US Navy.

Dr. McKinlay works with her clients to formulate a mutually agreed upon solution based, goal oriented treatment plan. She uses a Cognitive behavioral approach which combines past experiences with growth in the present. She knows that every client is a product of their past and present which promotes growth toward a healthy future.

Schedule an appointment today

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Hannah Swinney, LPCC

Hannah Swinney

Hannah is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor who is new to the San Diego Area. She moved from the Bay Area and Central Valley and has experience working with children, adolescents, and adults of all ages in a variety of settings. Hannah specializes in working with individuals who have physical and/or mental disabilities, co-occurring conditions, and extensive/complicated trauma histories. Hannah is passionate about multicultural practices in counseling and is very experienced in working with individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures. She received her B.A. in Psychology and M.S in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling, both from California State University of Fresno.

Lic. No. LPCC7673

Before obtaining her license as a Professional Clinical Counselor, Hannah worked in underserved communities in roles such as counselor, advocate, and responder/crisis de-escalator. Seeing and hearing trauma has fueled her work as she makes it her priority to be present for those who need space, safety and support. She trusts in the potential of all human beings to promote their own healing with the appropriate tools and support and she feels personally honored when people allow her to be part of their courageous journey in healing.

Schedule an appointment today

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Bertram Barth, MSW, LCSW

Bertham Barth

Bertram Barth is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 40 years of experience working with adults suffering from crisis reactions, mood conditions, personality problems, and severe mental illnesses. He is experienced as both an individual and group therapist. His approach begins with a trusting alliance between client and therapist, fosters self-understanding and perspective, and builds on successful steps in reaching the goals we identify. Bertram holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from USC.

Lic. No. LCSW8566

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Erin Robertson, LMFT

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Erin has six years experience treating children, teens, and adults—specializing in areas of anxiety, depression, ADHD, and addiction. She received her Associates Degree from Grossmont Community College in Child and Family Development, Bachelors Degree from SDSU in Child and Family Development, and Masters Degree from National University in Counseling Psychology. Erin has provided therapy in various settings including a local inpatient hospital for two years, a crisis house in the community for four years, and Healthy Developmental Services—working with children ages 0-5, for two years.

Lic. No. LMFT112847

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Dr. Suzanne Mihlon, PsyD

Suzanne Mihlon

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” ~Carl Rogers  

Dr. Suzanne Mihlon is a licensed clinical psychologist with over 20 years of experience in healthcare. She was drawn to the study of psychology when she was first introduced to Humanistic Psychology in high school. She draws on the foundational theories of humanism such as empathy, unconditional positive regard, and authenticity as well as existential psychology, believing that people’s lives have purpose, value, and meaning. This theoretical foundation, combined with her work experiences, education, and clinical training, have led to a collaborative approach to treatment with her clients, and the incorporation of other therapeutic approaches and theories such process-experiential, emotion-focused, cognitive-behavioral, neurobiology and somatic theories as well as mindfulness and yoga. Dr. Mihlon has particular interest in treating grief and loss and helping women of all ages to find their life purpose and reach their highest potential.  

Lic. No. PSY30422

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Josie Cannon, LMFT

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Josie is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 20 years in both social service and private sector assisting families and individuals. Josie has worked with a vast range of individuals from minors and their families in the foster care system to individuals using Employee Assistance Programs (EAP).  

Lic. No. LMFT115218

Josie earned her Associates Degree in Administration of Justice w/ Specialization in Law Enforcement, at Miramar college and went on to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development from San Diego Christian College. (formerly known as Christian Heritage). Josie then earned a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Southern California Seminary.

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Michelle L. Foy, LCSW

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Michelle Foy is a local, bilingual Spanish/English, psychotherapist who has extensive experience working with San Diego families, children, and adults of all ages in various settings. Michelle has a unique background in physical therapy and integrates neurodevelopment into her treatment perspective. She received an Associate of Science Physical Therapist Assistant from San Diego Mesa College, Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences Psychology and Master of Social Work, both from San Diego State University.

Lic. No. LCSW64462

Schedule an appointment today

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Sheryl Aronson, LMFT

Sheryl Aronson

Sheryl Aronson has been a Marriage, Family Therapist for over 25 years, specializing in relationships and women self-esteem workshops all over Orange County, California. She was a featured guest/relationship expert on the Montel Williams Show and The Berman Sisters television show in Los Angeles. She has written articles on relationships for the Orange County Metropolitan Awareness magazine and Beach Cities/Valley magazine. Recently she has also published her self-help articles in The Hollywood 360 plus her personal blog on her website.

Lic. No. LMFT23161

Sheryl has also lectured throughout Orange County on topics such as Understanding Your Book of Love, Women and Self-Esteem/I Come First, and The Formula for Creating Positive Change. With the publishing of her memoir, Ms. Aronson will be lecturing on Surviving Breast Cancer/The Spiritual Journey.

Sheryl has a BS in Broadcasting and Film from Boston University and a MA in Psychology from California State University, Northridge.

Schedule an appointment today

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Jeremy Vargas, LMFT

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Jeremy Vargas has 6 years of clinical experience of serving a blended population of teens and families coping with grief, loss and transition and couples struggling with marital discord. His early clinical work took place in a community based counseling center to the local population of Pleasant Hill California. There he gained experience with victims of domestic violence, severe anxiety, depression resulting from the loss of loved ones, and attachment disorders. He has since received training in both inpatient and outpatient settings working with individuals and families of those afflicted with severe psychiatric disorders. He received his B.A in Psychology from the University of California Riverside, and his M.A in Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. 

Lic. No. LMFT116863

Jeremy’s approach to working with any unit of treatment is that the therapist must meet the client where they are at, and allow them time and space to acclimate to treatment while acting as a guide, mentor and facilitator of treatment. His strong leadership and humanistic approach puts his clients at ease so they can explore problem areas and set attainable goals. He believes in establishing a clear objective for treatment that supports the client in overcoming personal barriers and steady symptom reduction. He takes a solution focused model that challenges each client’s fundamental premise for why their problems occur.

As a testament to his commitment in building a stronger community, Jeremy has worked diligently as a martial arts coach for the past 3 years utilizing his knowledge of the arts to help others reach their potential through rigorous training and self-exploration.

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Babette Kout, MS, LMFT

Babette Kout

Babette believes there are many paths to healing and is trained to use Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and Seeking Safety for trauma recovery. Additionally, she utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Strength Based, Gottman, Systems Theory, and Expressive Arts Therapies as appropriate for individual needs.

LMFT #117026

Babette works diligently to provide a safe, respectful, non-judgmental and collaborative therapeutic environment for clients who are experiencing anxiety, depression, bipolar, trauma history, personality disorders, chronic pain, addiction issues, grief/loss, shame/guilt, relational conflict, LGBTQ, and other life transitional challenges.

Before coming to Fusion Care Group, Babette broadened her experience by working at residential AOD (alcohol and other drug) recovery homes. She has significant experience working with veterans, criminal justice and homeless clients. She also spent a number of years at an outpatient clinic learning to manage symptoms of severe mental health disorders.

Babette received her Master’s Degree from University of Phoenix.

Schedule an appointment today

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Nadine Katibloo, LMFT

Nadine Katibloo

Nadine has more than 25 years of experience working with children of all ages, especially adolescence and their families. Although she was licensed in 2007, her road to becoming licensed was a long one. Born and raised in Iran, she completed her high school in England and came to America when she was 16. Having lived in three different countries, Nadine believes that culture is a very important part of everyone’s journey. She loves to continually expand her knowledge of different cultures and always seeks to be educated by others about their culture.

LMFT #44322

Nadine has worked in a domestic violence shelter and treated victims and their families. She also worked with adolescence in schools, foster homes and group homes before settling on outpatient. She ran many different groups for teens and enjoyed teaching them independent living skills and worked tirelessly with their parents to help them communicate better with their child.

Nadine received her M.A Degree from Pepperdine University and her Bachelor Degree from Loyola Marymount in Communication Arts. She has experience treating anxiety, depression, adjustment disorders, transitional stress, and truly enjoys going through her client’s journey with them. Her methods are short term solution focus therapy where the client returns to their normal level of functioning as soon as possible.

Schedule an appointment today

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Dr. Kim Nguyễn Pierce, PhD

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Dr. Kim Nguyen Pierce is a licensed Clinical Psychologist with over 20 years of experience providing culturally sensitive interventions to children, adults, and multigenerational families.  She has a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, a Masters in Psychology and a Bachelors in Gerontology.  Her treatment perspective comes from life span, attachment and developmental theories in combination with practical cognitive behavioral interventions and targeted parenting skills that focuses on solution based treatment outcomes.  Dr. Nguyen Pierce is conversant in Spanish and Vietnamese.

PSY #17774

Schedule an appointment today

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Courtney Painter, LMFT

Courtney Painter

Courtney is a native San Diegan and started her professional journey in education supporting San Diego youth and families with academic achievement, behavior modification, community outreach and family support. Recently she worked with transitional age youth, diagnosed with mental health disorders, identify and achieve academic and occupational goals. After obtaining a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, she gained clinical experience working with transitional age youth, adults, couples and families at outpatient and inpatient treatment facilities. 

Lic. No. 121094

Courtney became a Marriage and Family Therapist after her own therapy experience changed the way she viewed herself and the world. As a therapist, she believes in the therapeutic process and that all people have the potential to create a life worth living. This journey is a marathon. At some point, we’re all working on something. It’s ok to ask for help. It’s ok to be human. Courtney works with clients to develop individualized goals and align therapeutic work to client’s strengths. Courtney has experience working with trauma, substance use, grief and loss, life adjustments, common mental health diagnoses such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and PTSD, and relational distress within intimate relationships, parent-child relationships and family systems.

Courtney is an avid Brene Brown fan and enjoys traveling, unique food, authentic healthy relationships and reruns of The Office.

Schedule an appointment today

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Christian Urias, LMFT

Christian Urias

Hello, my name is Christian Urias. I am a Mexican-American Bilingual therapist with 7 years of experience working with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds. I started my clinical experience working at a day-treatment program where I learned and trained in crisis interventions and worked with adolescents with depression, anxiety disorders, self-harm issues, autism, grief, anger issues, behavioral problems and self-esteem issues.  

Lic. No. LMFT#121650

I then continued to grow my clinical experience in an Outpatient Therapy clinic. I worked with children and families of diverse cultural backgrounds with issues related to trauma history, self-image issues, depression, anxiety, self-harm, domestic violence, LGBTQ issues, financial stress, drug use, etc. I have received training in EMDR, CBT, suicide prevention, anxiety and depressive disorders, TBRI (Trust Based Relational Interventions), Motivational Interviewing, TF-CBT.

One of my goals is to create a safe and trusting environment where clients can feel supported and heard. I am committed to helping clients through life’s difficulties, I am committed to helping clients use their personal power in order to achieve their goals and make improvements in their lives.

I was raised in Tijuana, Mexico and moved to San Diego in 2007. I’ve really grown to love living in San Diego. I love cycling, basketball, travelling, being in nature and spending time with friends and family. I recently started learning more about cooking and enjoy it a lot.

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Lisa Lucius, LMFT

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Lisa began her experience getting her BA degree in psychology at CSU, while working with abused and neglected children at Childhelp USA.  After receiving her Masters degree, Lisa went on to work mostly with teens and families where she learned Evidence Based Practices for helping clients with PTSD.  Lisa finally went on to work with adults doing group therapy at a Partial Hospitalization Program in Long Beach and online therapy in West Hollywood. 

Lic. No. LMFT#46743

Lisa has honed her skills using DBT, CBT, and Mindfulness techniques to address Depression, Anxiety, and other mood/thought disorders in her clients. Lisa practices non judgement and cooperation allowing clients to feel comfortable. She has experience working with LGBTQ issues.

Schedule an appointment today

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Kelly Harrison, LMFT

Kelly Harrison

In counseling, I use compassion and acceptance. Many of our problems have been present for many years and probably will not go away overnight. If there was an easy answer or simple solution, we probably would have resolved it long ago. Often times attempting to figure it out and fix ourselves, can compound our pain and leave us feeling stuck. Using compassion, we can acknowledge our pain and be kind to ourselves. When we are compassionate towards ourselves, we can access inner resources and respond in ways that move us towards a life that we care about. 

Lic. No. LMFT#123094

In therapy, I use self-compassion and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to support clients in opening to emotions; being kind to ourselves especially in difficult moments when we need it the most; realizing that we are not alone on our journey; discovering our deepest values; and building a life based on what we deeply want.

I like working with adult individuals and incorporating mindfulness, yoga, centering prayer, and other contemplative practices in therapy. In addition to being a licensed psychotherapist, I have a background in teaching yoga/ meditation and a master’s degree in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. I find that our wisdom traditions and spiritual practices can help us find compassion to accept ourselves and live a life that matters.

Schedule an appointment today

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Cristina Zamora, LMFT

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Bilingual therapist with 10 years of experience working with local social services agencies providing individual, family, and group counseling to a culturally diverse population of clients and families. Worked closely with domestic abuse survivors,  school-aged children, and teenagers who experienced trauma, anxiety, depression, and adjustment disorders. Received Bachelors of Arts in Social Work from SDSU and a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from National University. 

Lic. No. LMFT#119198

Before obtaining licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist Earned clinical hours at a shelter for immigrant minors, and with local High School and Middle schools providing School-Based therapy. On a personal note, as an immigrant from Mexico, I have overcome language, financial, and cultural challenges, which I couldn’t have overcome without support from family and my community overall. I’m overjoyed to serve my community in strengthening individuals’ mental health to reach their potential.

Schedule an appointment today

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Jennifer Velazquez, LCSW

Jennifer Velazquez

Jennifer is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 10 years of experience in therapy and social work. Jennifer received her Bachelor’s degree in Child and Adolescent development from University of California State, Fullerton and her Masters’ degree from USC focused on children and families with a sub-concentration on military families.  She spent many years working with foster youth, homeless population and end of life.  Jennifer enjoys working with a wide variety of people, backgrounds, needs, and strengths.   

Lic. No. LCSW 94580

Schedule an appointment today

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Gina Drew, LPC

Gina Drew

Gina Drew has been providing individual and group counseling services to children, adolescents, families, and adults for over 25 years. She has worked with diverse populations in the field of education/special education, correctional settings and within the social service sector. 

Gina is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Arizona. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Illinois State University and her Master’s Degree in Counseling from National Louis University.

Her expertise includes adjustment disorders, depression, anxiety, emotional/behavioral challenges, grief and loss and interpersonal conflict.

 

Lic. No. LPC10989

Gina has personal experience with grief and loss and recognizes the complexities of single parenting. Gina integrates individual goals and philosophies into her treatment approach in order to achieve positive results in collaboration with her clients. She has the unique ability to find balance and gain perspective in challenging situations. By providing a safe space, Gina will focus on her client’s strengths and their ability to grow and create their own desired outcomes.

Gina’s professional and personal philosophy is that at any given moment you have the power to say, “This is not how my story is going to end”.

Schedule an appointment today

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