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Mental Health and Counseling Experience

1992-PRESENT | Child and Family Therapist, Private Practice, Berkeley, CA 

Providing individual and family therapy to children as young as three years old, teens, adults and geriatrics. Specializing in assessing, diagnosing and treating children with emotional and behavior problems such as, adjustment disorders, anxiety, depression, ADHD and post-traumatic stress syndrome. Also, crisis management and short-term, solution-oriented therapy treating adults with codependency, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Extensive history counseling individuals with diverse backgrounds and nontraditional families, including gay/lesbian/bisexual, adoptive and foster families. 

1995-1997 | Clinical Supervisor, Seneca Center's Building Blocks, Oakland, CA 

Provided weekly individual and group supervision to M.F.T. interns learning behaviorally oriented interventions for children with ADHD, oppositional-defiant, mood and anxiety disorders. 

1995-1996 | Therapist, Kids Connection, Summit Medical Center, Oakland, CA 

Lead an eight week group for 6-12 year olds affected by chemical dependency in their families. Taught problem-solving skills and how to contend with difficult situations using strategies based on Narcotics Anonymous. 

1991-1994 | Program Director, Circle Preschool Day Treatment, Piedmont, CA 

Administrated county-funded mainstream day treatment program for children with emotional and behavioral disabilities. Coordinated intake and outpatient services with county and community mental health agencies, trained and supervised teachers and therapists. Designed and supervised individual, group and family treatment plans based on child’s current problems with an emphasis on concrete behavioral goals and objectives. Wrote grants, maintained county mental health and State Preschool records according to stated funding requirements and guidelines. Participated in Alameda County Children's Mental Health advocacy and planning committees. 

1988-1991 | Child Therapist/Preschoool Teacher, Circle Preschool, Piedmont, CA 

Planned curriculum, taught and managed mainstream classroom of 20 children, conducted classroom assessments, lead group activities and coordinated parent conferences. As a child therapist, conducted individual and family intakes, conceptualized and implemented individual treatment goals, conducted biweekly play therapy sessions and monthly family therapy sessions, maintained case records according to MediCal guidelines, lead monthly parent support groups and child abuse training for preschool staff, and co-lead biweekly case conference meetings. 

1984-1986 | Counselor, Berkeley-Albany YMCA Kids Club, Piedmont, CA 

Taught school-aged children in after-school and summer programs. Planned curriculum including field trips, art and recreational activities. 

Volunteer Service

2006-2013 | Board Member, SchoolCARE, Albany, CA 

Co-chaired Needs and Allocation committee. Met with principals, teachers and liaisons, developed and analyzed needs assessment questionnaires, negotiated priorities with stake-holders and help distribute $300,000 annually towards enrichment programs at five school sites. Wrote appeal messages bringing in over $16,000 worth of donations in a three week period. 

2003-2005 | President, Marin Elementary School PTA Albany, CA 

Planned and directed monthly parent meetings, coordinated publication of a school newsletter, oversaw 40 volunteer committee chairs and provided ongoing support to parent, teacher and elementary principals on fundraising, parent education and PTA sponsored enrichment activities. 

2002-2004 | Parent Education, Albany Community Garden, Albany, CA 

Recruited guest speakers and organized parent meetings on educational topics about diversity, temperament, violence prevention, learning styles, effects of media and technology on children.  


1986-1988 | Principal Investigator, Civic Center Child Care, San Francisco, CA 

Designed and directed a study for the California Department of Personnel Administration on effects of employer-based child care on employee productivity, absenteeism and job satisfaction.  

1984-1986 | Researcher, Louise Rush Child Care Consultants, San Francisco, CA 

Designed and conducted needs assessments, cost benefit analyses and comparison studies for corporate and government child care programs. 

Education, Certification and Licensure

B.A. Child Development, Smith College, Northampton, MA (1984, Cum Laude)
M.A. Clinical Psychology, The Wright Institute, Berkeley, CA (1986)
California State Early Childhood Education Teachers Credential (1990)
Marriage and Family Therapy License, MFC29378, California Board of Science Examiners (1992)

Required coursework for clinical supervision of MFT interns (2008) 

Professional Organizations

Clinical Member of CAMFT (California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists), since 1985

Clinical member, EMDR International Association, since 2017
Clinical Member, East Bay CAMFT, since 2015 

© 2017 by Deborah Essex, MFT

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