MA, AMFT, APCC
Associate Staff Therapist
Kayla Fernandez is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor, who uses a strengths-based approach to help her clients achieve their goals. Kayla brings warmth and compassion into the therapy room to create a safe, trusting environment where clients can do deep work and exploration. Kayla works with children, adolescents, adults, couples and families on developing effective communication, useful coping mechanisms, and increasing self-esteem. She specializes in working with those struggling with anxiety, depression, personality disorders and complex trauma. She has worked with adults and children from a variety of backgrounds and offers a culturally sensitive perspective and is an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Kayla has a bachelor’s degree in Human Development from California State University, San Marcos, where she studied the bio-psycho-social development of the entire lifespan. She then completed her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at Azusa Pacific University in San Diego. Kayla began her training working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum by providing behavioral strategies to improve communication, and she also worked in various community mental health sites such as The Help Group, where she specialized in treating treatment refractory children, adults and families with acute trauma and complex backgrounds and diagnoses. Kayla helped to provide wraparound care to these complex patients, and often worked within multi-modality treatment teams, assuring that these clients received the highest quality care possible.
Kayla utilizes a trauma informed approach along with Narrative, CBT, and DBT modalities in her private practice. She has training in the CASE Approach for assessing for safety and is also trained in Motivational Interviewing, an evidence-based approach that is designed to strengthen personal motivation for and commitment to a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person’s own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion.
Kayla also has a passion for working with couples, and has received certification in Gottman Level 1, which helps couples compassionately manage their conflicts, deepen their friendship and intimacy, and share their life purpose and dreams based on the Sound Relationship House Theory. Kayla has completed Behavioral Tech’s Foundational Training in DBT and continues her specialization in this modality as a primary therapist and skills class leader on Dr. Wallach’s team at SoCal DBT, as well as in her private practice within Dr. Wallach’s group practice.