About the Therapist, Ofra Obejas
Registered Play Therapist #T3434 (Association of Play Therapy)
My Approach to Therapy
Witnessing the personal transformation in the therapy room feels nothing short of magical.
A common explanation about how psychotherapy works used to go along these lines: “Psychotherapy is a science and an art. We don’t know exactly how it works, but it does.” Now, with neurobiology research, we know more. There are methods underneath the magic. At any point in the session, if asked, I could explain what I’m doing and why. Sometimes this involves explaining what is happening in the brain and the rest of the nervous system. Other times, it’s summarizing patterns I notice, re-evaluating them, and suggesting ways to change them.
Psychotherapy is about healing. The four elements that lead to healing are:
- being heard
- being understood
- being accepted
- being supported and encouraged
The therapist uses these elements to create an environment where clients can tolerate their feelings and thoughts without being overwhelmed. This helps them gain insight into causes for their ideas and behavior. With guidance and support, therapists encourage clients to attempt more adaptive solutions.
"Witnessing the personal transformation in the therapy room feels nothing short of magical."
Degrees & Practicum
Training & Certificates
Star View Adolescent Center, Torrance, 2007-2009.
Residential treatment for Severely Emotionally Disturbed teenagers. In 2 years, I observed every diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual (DSM IV-TR).
Aviva Family and Children Services, Hollywood, 2009-2011.
Residential treatment for teenage girls removed from home and probation youth. Individual and group treatment for childhood abuse, anxiety, depression, attachment, social skills, and communication disorders.
St. Francis Children Counseling Center, South Gate, 2012-2013.
Outpatient, school-based and home-based treatment for elementary-school aged children and their families. Treatment modalities included Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Alternative for Families CBT, sand tray, and play therapy.
Private Practice (2014-ongoing).
Orange County Sexual Assault Network, 1989-1992: survivor support group, crisis hotline. This is where I learned how helpful support groups are, and that helping people heal from trauma is a great feeling.
The Gathering Place, Torrance, 2017-ongoing: grief and loss support groups to children, teens, and adults. On-call community crisis response.
Helping people in their grief recovery informed my practice with children, because many events in a child’s life are experienced as a loss, even when not strictly meeting the definition. These can be as devastating to a child as a death of a loved one can be to an adult, e.g, the cat who ran away; friendship break up; loss of belief, as in finding out about childhood myths.
How do I begin?
You can schedule a 15-minute phone consultation using the self-booking calendar.
Why can’t I schedule a full session, only a phone call?
Existing clients can schedule any type of session during available hours. Prospective clients can only schedule a free 15-minute consult call. Before scheduling a first full session, I want to make sure that I am the right therapist for you. A good fit between client and the type of issues the therapist can treat is crucial to the success of treatment.
Also, during consult, I will address medical insurance. If I cannot address your therapy needs or if I do not take your insurance, I will try to find a referral for you.