MEET THE STAFF

David Plotkin, Ph.D.
David Plotkin, Ph.D.
Director / Clinical Psychologist

Direct office phone: (310) 470-9994
Dr. Plotkin received his doctorate in clinical psychology from UCLA and was a member of the UCLA Anxiety Disorders Behavioral Research Program, under the direction of Michelle Craske, Ph.D. Presently, Dr. Plotkin is the director of David Plotkin, Ph.D. and Associates and is also a clinical instructor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA Semel Institute and Hospital. He teaches and supervises psychiatry residents in the administration of cognitive behavioral therapy at the UCLA Anxiety Disorders Outpatient Clinic. In addition to his clinical and teaching positions, Dr. Plotkin has conducted research and coauthored studies in the areas of panic disorder, social phobia, and substance abuse.
*CA License PSY 19818

Nicole Barab, A.C.S.W.
Nicole Barab, A.C.S.W.
Associate Clinical Social Worker

Direct Phone: 323-813-1291

Nicole Barab is a registered A.C.S.W intern under the Supervision of Dr. Plotkin. Nicole received her Master’s Degree in Social Welfare (MSW) from New York University, and her Bachelor’s Degree from Kenyon College.

For two years Nicole interned in child and adult outpatient psychiatry at Mount Sinai-Beth Israel Hospital and King’s County Hospital Center in New York City. Since moving to Los Angeles, Nicole has interned at David Plotkin Phd and Associates, and at Southern California Counseling Center, working with individuals, couples, children and families.

In addition to her passion for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Nicole is also interested in learning additional evidence-based approaches for helping individuals process trauma, and is currently getting her trauma certification in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR).

With her clients, Nicole’s approach is integrative and collaborative, focusing on the client’s strengths and their individual goals for treatment within a safe and empathic environment.”

Bram Conley, M.A., L.M.F.T.
Bram Conley, M.A., L.M.F.T.
Associate / Licensed M.F.T.

Direct Phone (310) 621-5940
Bram is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor with many years of professional experience. He holds Masters degrees in Counseling and Psychology and completed post-graduate training in cognitive behavioral and mindfulness based psychotherapy. His professional experience includes positions as a clinician and supervisor in higher education, community mental health agencies, and in private practice. Bram is valued by his clients for his compassion, for his ability to be “with them” in their healing, and for having the skills and knowledge to help them make profound changes in the way they feel and live.

Bram received an M.S. in Psychology/Family Therapy from Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia and an M.A. in Counseling from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He was Counselor/Associate Professor at Ocean County College in Toms River, NJ for 14 years and Director of Adult Outpatient Programs at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services in Los Angeles for 10 years.

Mayra Diaz, M.S.
Mayra Diaz, M.S.
Associate / Associate M.F.T.

Direct phone:  (818) 473-0945 

Mayra Diaz is a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist under the supervision of Dr. Sara Lederer. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UC, Santa Barbara and her Masters degree in Counseling with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from California State University Northridge. Mayra has provided therapy to adults, children, family, couples, and groups at various organizations, including the San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center, Friends of the Family, and Amanecer Community Counseling Service. She has experience working with anxiety and mood disorders, trauma, and relationship issues. She has been trained to provide several evidence-based practices, including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, Seeking Safety, and Problem-Solving Therapy.
Mayra is bilingual in English and Spanish and provides therapy that is considerate of multi-cultural concerns. She incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy, positive psychology, and mindfulness into her practice to help clients cultivate self-compassion and increase well-being. Mayra aims to help clients understand and communicate their needs and alter the unhealthy patterns within their relationships.
IMF 85963″
Renee Garett, L.C.S.W.
Renee Garett, L.C.S.W.
Associate / Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Direct Phone (424) 286 2664
Renee Garett is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker providing therapeutic services to adults, children, adolescents, and families. Renee graduated Suma Cum Laude from the University of Southern California where she earned her Bachelors Degree. She then continued her education at the University of California, Los Angeles where she completed her Masters Degree in Social Welfare (MSW).
Renee has worked in various capacities as a therapist; at the Child and Family Guidance Center, at Women Helping Women Counseling and Support Services, at Lamp Community, and in private practice. Renee previously worked as a Clinical Supervisor and the Co-Coordinator of the Adolescent and Child Therapy Program at the Maple Counseling Center in Beverly Hills. Renee has been trained and certified in several evidenced based treatment models (i.e. Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Seeking Safety, and Managing and Adapting Practice-for children experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and disruptive behavior disorders). Renee also specializes in supporting clients through difficult life transitions as well as working with youth.

Renee is currently a Part-Time Lecturer at the UCLA School of Social Welfare and a clinical supervisor to unlicensed therapists.

Sonia Greaven, Ph. D.
Sonia Greaven, Ph. D.
Associate / Clinical Psychologist

Direct Phone (818) 797-4653

Dr. Sonia Greaven specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for adults, adolescents, and even young children suffering from anxiety disorders such as OCD, Panic, Agoraphobia, Separation Anxiety and Phobias. Dr. Greaven has clinical and research experience working with individuals suffering with depression, bipolar disorder and those adjusting to life transitions, such as the birth of a child or preparing to go away to college. Dr. Greaven’s clinical interests extend to supporting professionals working in high stress environments including attorneys, medical and business professionals. Dr. Greaven has conducted research and coauthored studies in the areas of adolescence, health psychology, mood disorders and life transitions.

Dr. Greaven grew up in Canada, where she attended McGill University, and then earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Dalhousie University. While English is her first language, Dr. Greaven is also able to offer treatment in Spanish and in French.

CA License PSY20962

Carolyn Kim, M.A., L.M.F.T.
Carolyn Kim, M.A., L.M.F.T.
Associate / Licensed M.F.T.

Direct Phone (424) 532-0020

Carolyn received her Master in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University and a BA in Literature from UC San Diego. Her passion for psychology and wellness began in her early 20s when she studied meditation and mindfulness in Northern California. Her knowledge and experience of mental health grew to include research-backed and empirically studied treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure and response prevention therapy. She gained this experience as a research assistant at UCLA for Dr. Bruce Chorpita’s study on the effectiveness of current mental health technologies for children and adolescents. In addition, she obtained her graduate and post-graduate clinical training at the renowned treatment center for eating disorders, Monte Nido Eating Disorders Treatment Centers, as well as the outpatient treatment facility for eating disorders in Santa Monica, A New Journey (now Rosewood Centers for Eating Disorders). She is also the lead therapist at the Westwood Institute for Anxiety Disorders and treats patients presenting with multiple co-occurring disorders, including severe obsessive-\compulsive disorder, social anxiety, specific phobias and eating disorders.

Carolyn’s experience also extends to bringing mental health care for at-risk populations suffering from a broad and diverse set of mental illnesses. She worked with grade school children at Para Los Niños in addition to the long-standing non-profit organization, The Southern California Counseling Center.

Altogether, Carolyn has direct experience working with adults and couples suffering from depression, anxiety, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, substance abuse, ADHD, self-injurious behaviors, bipolar and related disorders and insomnia. She can also help clients find balance and fulfillment in the wake of complex life transitions.

CA Licensed no. 90023

Andrew Lavick, M.A.
Andrew Lavick, M.A.
Associate / Associate M.F.T.

Direct Phone: (818) 600-2105

Andrew Lavick is a registered MFT Intern under the supervision of Dr. Plotkin. After graduating with a BA in Psychology from UCLA, he earned a Master’s degree in Marriage, Family, & Child Counseling as well as a MBA from the University of Southern California. Andrew has also attended trainings at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy and the Awakened Potential seminars at Lifeforce Education. He incorporates these and other treatment approaches to best meet the individual needs of his clients

Prior to joining David Plotkin and Associates, Andrew spent 20+ years as a Management Consultant, providing compensation related recommendations to Fortune 500 companies. After transitioning his career to pursue his true passion, Andrew spent three years at Jewish Family Service, working with adult and elder populations and their families. In addition, he facilitated a men’s Holocaust survivor support group and has been a co-facilitator for an Alzheimer’s caregiver support group.

Andrew is also active in the community. He is currently interning at a counseling center in the San Fernando Valley that provides psychotherapy for those with limited financial resources. Additionally, Andrew is a weekly volunteer at the Sova Food Pantry in Van Nuys.

Rebecca Locken, L.C.S.W.
Rebecca Locken, L.C.S.W.
Associate / Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Direct Phone: (323) 744-4974

Rebecca is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Master’s degree in Social Welfare (MSW) from UCLA. Certified in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), she is a diplomate and member of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and is trained in several other evidenced- based therapy models as well, including Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Seeking Safety, and Managing and Adapting Practice.

Rebecca served as a Therapist, Intake Supervisor and Clinical Supervisor at Child and Family Guidance Center where she specialized in working with children, adolescents and families in both English and Spanish. Rebecca has extensive experience treating depression, anxiety disorders and trauma as well as helping clients of all ages cope with a variety of challenging life transitions and stressors.

While the needs of each individual client vary, Rebecca favors a non-judgemental, empathic approach, collaborating with clients to achieve positive change.

LCSW61839

 

Stephany Luk, Psy.D.
Stephany Luk, Psy.D.
Associate / Licensed Psychologist

Direct Phone (424) 999-8884

Dr. Luk obtained her doctorate degree in forensic psychology from the California School of Forensic Psychology and has worked in both clinical and forensic settings. She has conducted research in personality assessment, and has training in personality, cognitive, and risk evaluations. Her field training included providing CBT and relapse prevention treatment to clients suffering from extreme anxiety and mood disorders. Dr. Luk received specialized training in cognitive-behavior therapy for chronic pain patients, as well as training in assessment and psychotherapy with clients who are considering or have completed bariatric weight loss surgery. In addition, she obtained special training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which targets dysregulated and overwhelming thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

In her practice, Dr. Luk specializes in:

• treatment of anxiety and mood disorders, including panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, specific phobias, depression, and bipolar disorder.
• chronic pain management
• sleep disturbance
• bariatric therapy, pre- and post-surgery
• cognitive remediation therapy

Dr. Luk integrates two empirically-based treatments—cognitive-behavioral therapy and mindfulness—in order to connect thoughts with behavior and emotion patterns, evaluate effectiveness and values, and control impulses and urges.

Mona Navarro, Ph.D.
Mona Navarro, Ph.D.
Associate / Clinical Psychologist

Direct Phone (310) 863-6979

Dr. Navarro received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Southern California, with a specialization in children, adolescents, and families. As a developmental psychopathologist, her education focused on how cognitive/neuro factors influenced the developing brain.  In her clinical work, Dr. Navarro utilizes bio-psycho-social models of intervention when working with adolescents and adults.  Her internship was at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in Adolescent Medicine. Dr. Navarro completed a two year postdoctoral fellowship in the Stress and Mood Program at UCLA and then became the director of the Youth Depression & Suicide Program.  She oversaw a number of research grants and a drug trial on SSRIs for treatment resistant depression.  These research experiences then implemented a family focused and in-home treatment program combining techniques from cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT), dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT), and Multisystemic Therapy (MST), to target teen suicide.

Dr. Navarro has also been a clinical instructor in the Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA Semel Institute and Hospital.  She also taught and supervised psychiatry residents in the administration of cognitive behavioral therapy for children and their families.  In addition, Dr. Navarro was also an adjunct professor in the department of psychology at both UCLA, USC, CSULA, CSUN, and Santa Monica College.  She taught Introduction to Psychology, Abnormal psychology, Neuropsychology, Statistics, and Child Development.

Dr. Navarro’s research and treatment interests include working in the area of emotional/behavioral dysregulation, anxiety, depression, substance use, ADHD, NLD, various medical conditions (e.g. IBS, Chrons , Diabetes) and other family based issues. She has conducted research and coauthored several studies in the areas of childhood depression & anxiety, PTSD, substance use, and ethnic identity.  In addition, Dr. Navarro conducts training seminars on how to implement evidence based protocols when treating adolescents, gang youth, and their families.  Parent Training and Contingency Management are areas of training Dr. Navarro provides to her families.

Valerie Sadon, L.C.S.W.
Valerie Sadon, L.C.S.W.
Associate / Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Direct Phone:  (818) 906-4990

Valerie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, specializing in the treatment of anxiety, depression and chronic pain in adults. She earned her BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan and Master in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Southern California.  She received her clinical training at Peace Over Violence, LA Department of Mental Health’s Edmund D. Edelman Clinic, and OPCC where she specialized in treating severe and persistent mental illness, trauma and co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders. Valerie uses techniques with scientifically-proven effectiveness with her clients, including: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Mindfulness-based approaches. Valerie draws on over 10 years of experience working with diverse populations to empower clients towards meaningful change, reduce physical and emotional pain, and improve overall well-being.

Sanam Shamtobi, Ph.D.
Sanam Shamtobi, Ph.D.
Associate / Psychological Assistant

Direct Phone:  (626) 657-7155

Dr. Shamtobi received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The California School of Professional Psychology with an emphasis on Health Psychology and family and couple’s work. As a result, she has been extensively trained in both Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Systemic Therapy, which allows her to collaborate with clients in creating a safe, caring, and goal-oriented environment with a strong emphasis on the client’s wellbeing and broader social context (i.e. occupational stressors, family and social life). Her graduate level research focused on physical and emotional responses people experience when exposed to racist imagery, and she wrote her dissertation on the impact of parental trauma on children and how anxiety and depression manifest throughout generations.

 Dr. Shamtobi has received the majority of her clinical training in private practice and counseling center settings, making her adept at providing services to a broad range of clients in terms of age, gender, sexual orientation, multicultural background, and presenting concern. She is resourceful and spends time continually educating herself on the issues that impact her clients the most. Dr. Shamtobi believes in creating space for her clients to show up as they are, meaning there is never any pressure to “be happy” or present in any way other than what is genuine in the moment.

Michael Shiffman, Ph.D.
Michael Shiffman, Ph.D.
Associate / Associate M.F.T.

Direct Phone:  (310) 445-2160

Dr. Shiffman is a registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist.  He received his doctorate in sociology from UCLA with specialties in social psychology and gender studies.  His doctoral dissertation was on early family trauma and post-traumatic effects among adult children of alcoholics.  He recently received his MA in psychology and completed a traineeship at a community mental health clinic in Van Nuys, California.

Michael has substantial somatic and mindfulness training and integrates them in his clinical practice.  He is a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) and a certified NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM) practitioner.  One of his specialties is trauma resolution and integrates neurophysiological and neuroaffective regulation in his practice.

Michael started mindfulness meditation training in 1995 under the guidance of Shinzen Young and currently with Rev. Hye Wol Sunim.  Michael founded LA Dharma in 1999 and co-founded the Insight Center in 2006 where he teaches somatic regulation and mindfulness meditation.

Michael’s clinical style is relational and intersubjective.  He integrates mindfulness with cognitive behavioral therapy, under the supervision of Dr. Plotkin.

Nicole Shoumer, M.A.
Nicole Shoumer, M.A.
Associate / Associate M.F.T.

Direct Phone: (818) 639-1448

Nicole Shoumer is a registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, working under the supervision of Dr. Sara Lederer and Dr. David Plotkin.  Nicole received her masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles, with an emphasis in spirituality and depth.

Nicole has worked with both adults and children in several different environments.  She has a substantial amount of knowledge in and passion for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She also received in depth psychodynamic training at Airport Marina Counseling.  Having worked with a wide array of people, from those struggling with addictions to those with severe anxiety and Schizophrenia, Nicole offers comprehensive knowledge of the unique challenges individuals face in their day to day lives.
Being an adaptable therapist is important to Nicole, as she finds it necessary to tailor herself to the needs of each client, and meet everyone where they are at emotionally.  Nicole is able to hold a safe and secure environment, where one may feel understood and at ease in her presence.
Lauren Swigert, M.A., L.M.F.T.
Lauren Swigert, M.A., L.M.F.T.
Associate / Licensed M.F.T.

Direct Phone 424-210-7027

Lauren is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy at Pepperdine University. Lauren has provided individual, family and group therapy at Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services and Partnership to Uplift Communities (PUC) Charter Schools. She also worked with individuals, couples and groups in Kaiser Permanente’s Addiction Medicine department.

Lauren was awarded an MFT Stipend by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health in 2011. Before transitioning to a career in the mental health field, Lauren worked in the entertainment industry, representing screenwriters and directors for film and television.

Lauren works from a strength-based, solution-focused approach that provides clients the opportunity to be the expert on their own lives and to steer the course of treatment according to their needs.

Judy Victor, M.A., L.M.F.T.
Judy Victor, M.A., L.M.F.T.
Associate / Licensed M.F.T.

Direct Phone (323) 793-6419

Judy Victor received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from New York University.

For several years, Judy interned at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, working with individuals and couples, as well as co-facilitating a weekly process group for women. Judy also interned for Burbank Family Services where she counseled at-risk teenagers in a transitional high school in Burbank. Currently, Judy is a Resource Associate at Teen Line, which is associated with Cedars- Sinai Hospital.

Judy is passionate about the possibility of healing and growth through the therapeutic process. Her motivation
comes from a deep belief that every person needs and deserves a place where they feel safe and heard without fear of judgment. Utilizing Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Judy collaborates with her clients to create a therapeutic plan for each client to maximize their potential for healing.

Terry Wohlberg,MA, L.M.F.T.
Terry Wohlberg,MA, L.M.F.T.
Associate / Licensed M.F.T.

Direct Phone (310) 622-4414

Terry is a Clinical Instructor at the UCLA Women’s Life Center in the David Geffen School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and the California State Regional Coordinator for Postpartum Support International. She
earned her Master’s Degree from Phillips Graduate Institute and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

Terry’s areas of clinical focus include women’s mental health and women’s reproductive mental health (depression and anxiety during pregnancy and the postpartum period, traumatic birth experience, perinatal loss, and infertility). In addition, she has experience and a special interest in helping adults with anxiety (Generalized Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic, Social Anxiety, and Specific Phobias), depression, insomnia, life transitions, past trauma, and new onset and chronic illness. Terry also has specialized training and experience in loss and grief counseling and is a graduate of the Behavior Therapy Training Institute through the International OCD Foundation.

Terry integrates a variety of therapeutic modalities into her practice including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based therapy, trauma resiliency model (TRM) and reflective parenting. Her approach is collaborative, strength-based and tailored to meet the unique needs and goals of each person, within a safe and caring relationship.

Terry is affiliated with several professional organizations including

  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (Clinical Fellow)
  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America
  • California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (Clinical Member)
  • Maternal Mental Health Now
  • 2020 MOM
  • International OCD Foundation
  • Postpartum Support International

*CA License LMFT 21154