Kourtney J. Klepfer, M.S.W, ACSW (#21743) - Program Therapist and Neurofeedback Practitioner
Kourtney brings both her personal and professional experience with eating disorders to those in need of support and healing. As a passionate clinician in the treatment of eating disorders, Kourtney has been active in the field for over six years. She has treated individuals and families in acute residential and outpatient settings providing individual and family therapy, support, guidance and case management. Kourtney also has vast experience working with groups and conducting a variety of groups including multi-family groups, process groups, body image group, aftercare groups and many more. She believes that while one can heal through their interpersonal strength and understanding they may also heal from the powerful stories and strength of others.
Kourtney feels that building a connection with her clients and meeting them where they are in their recovery process is an important aspect in the beginning parts of their treatment and healing. She also feels building upon one’s strengths and forming a strong support system that will promote long-term recovery is very important in sustaining one’s recovery. Kourtney’s approach focuses on helping the individual and/or family develop a better understanding of their self, how they relate to the world around them and what function their eating disorder serves in their life. She also focuses on helping the individual develop skills necessary to obtain 100% recovery and foster their inner growth.
Kourtney earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree from Saint Joseph’s College and her Master’s of Social Work degree from Indiana University. She initially joined Healthy Within’s team in 2007, and was the Program Director of the Intensive Outpatient Program and individual therapist from 2007 to 2009. She has presented seminars on the education, treatment and prevention of eating disorders at local conferences and schools. From 2009-2011 Kourtney worked as a Case Manager at a Residential Treatment Facility for eating disorders on the East Coast. She is licensed as an Independent Clinical Social Worker in the State of Massachusetts. Kourtney is thrilled to be re-joining her team at Healthy Within! She is available to answer any questions you may have about your treatment, loved one, or programs provided at Healthy Within, and she is open to scheduling assessments as soon as possible for yourself or loved one.
Patty Schroeder Psy.D Reg. Psychological Assistant to Dr. Kakaiya, Program Therapist (PSB 35069):
Dr. Patty Schroeder is an individual and group therapist at Healthy Within. Her passion for helping women recover from eating disorders and poor body image led her to pursue a career in psychology. She earned a Psy.D. degree in Clinical Psychology at Alliant International University in 2009, and the focus of her doctoral dissertation was media's impact on adolescent girls with eating disorders. She has been with the Healthy Within Foundation since 2002 facilitating the weekly ANAD support group.
Kate Henry, M.A., Neurofeedback Practitioner, Prevention Specialist, & Family-Based Treatment Coach.
Kate is passionate about helping others achieve wholeness in all areas of their lives. Her warm and cheerful energy help make her someone her clients feel safe with. Kate believes in treating each client on a unique, individual case-by-case basis. She creates a strong, safe relationship with all of the children and families she works with.
Kate is a trained Neurofeedback practitioner at Healthy Within, providing 2-3x weekly neurofeedback training (NFT) sessions to children, teens, and adults, utilizing the BrainPaint® system. Through her experiences with clients, Kate has witnessed many amazing and PERMANENT changes occur for her clients including improved sleeping patterns, diminishment of nightmares, decreases in depression and anxiety, improvement of relationships and communication with family members, improved concentration/motivation/creativity, and so much more. As a recipient of NFT herself, Kate has experienced FIRST HAND, the amazing and lasting effects and is more than happy to discuss her own experiences with any inquiring parties.
Kate is a passionate advocate for mental WELLNESS and prevention. Since 2010, she has been organizing and facilitating Healthy Within’s long-standing Full of Ourselves Leadership Program for Girls (FOO). Kate is available to come out to your girl-scout troop (or any organized group of adolescent or teen girls) and present an interactive talk on issues such as self-esteem, bullying, friendships, changing bodies, media awareness, etc.
Finally, over the past years here at Healthy Within, Kate has worked with MANY families in the re-feeding and re-stabilization of their child with an eating disorder. Using the structure of the Family-Based Treatment Method for eating disorders (AKA Maudsley), Kate is available for individual family coaching sessions in which she will help guide, coach, and re-align the parents and family members to more effectively and successfully support their child through the recovery process.
Kate received her Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Alliant International University, San Diego and her Bachelors degree in Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has been with Healthy Within since 2010! Over her time here, as a Marriage & Family Therapy Intern (IMF #65224) under the supervision of Dr. Divya Kakaiya (PSY 14052), Kate has worked with many individuals and families, and facilitated several groups. Her areas of specialty included young children, OCD/Anxiety issues, Dialectical Behavioral Treatment, assertiveness training, and prevention. Now that she has completed her hours, Kate is currently studying for her licensing exam to obtain her California License in Marriage & Family Therapy in the Spring of 2013.
Katie Erreca Psy.D. PSY 25101
Dr. Katie Erreca is a licensed Clinical Psychologist whose approach to therapy is one of warmth, openness, and collaboration. Dr. Erreca was awarded her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the APA accredited California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University- San Diego in 2010. She is dedicated to providing a safe place for self-discovery and healing. Her warm, cheerful, and humorous nature provide a welcoming and calming environment for all her clients. She brings a unique perspective to Healthy Within as her clinical experiences range from college counseling centers to outpatient psychiatric facilities.
Dr. Erreca began her clinical work at a recovery center serving adolescents struggling with addiction and emotional problems. She then worked at a transitional facility and crisis home for severe mentally disabled individuals. These placements helped her develop an appreciation for the value of group therapy as well as fostered a personal sense of responsibility to help her community. Dr. Erreca completed her final internships and Post-Doctoral Training at Cal State University in San Marcos where she performed psychological evaluations as well as conducted short and long-term individual and couples therapy.
Dr. Erreca’s variety of experience is complemented by her diversity in clinical approaches. Dr. Erreca often incorporates Neurofeedback into her treatment approach, finding it a healthy and safe option for increasing performance and aiding in mental healing. Whereas talk therapy can be thought of as helping our "mental software," Neurofeedback, a brain based approach, works to heal our "mental hardware." She finds Neurofeedback an excellent option for those who are seeking an alternative to medication. Dr. Erreca also conducts psychological evaluations and incorporates testing measures together with traditional therapy to help facilitate each client’s insight as well as provide a unique individualized treatment plan.
At Healthy Within, Dr. Erreca meets with children, teens, adults, couples, and families. She is experienced in providing short and long-term psychotherapy to individuals with a variety of concerns including depression, anxiety, grief and loss, eating disorders, relationship issues, body image concerns, self-harm behaviors, spirituality/religious issues, chronic pain, low self-esteem, and family problems. In addition, she treats individuals with PTSD, OCD, and phobias.
One of her favorite quotes: "Only as high as I reach I can grow, Only as far as I seek I can go, Only as deep as I look I can see, Only as much as I dream I can be." – Karen Ravn
Amber Learn, Psy.D. PSY 25444
Dr. Amber Learn is a licensed Clinical Psychologist who works with teens, adults, and families to overcome life’s many challenges. She knows that all clients enter treatment with unique strengths and she helps them pull from those strengths to make positive change. Her warmth and compassion help create a safe environment as clients work through difficult life events. She works to empower clients to make changes that increase self-awareness, re-direct damaging patterns, create new perspectives, and learn new coping skills to create a more balanced and healthy life. She knows that eating disorders and other mental health issues do not define an individual and she believes that working through these issues allows the client to actively reengage in their own life. To that end, she utilizes a holistic approach and works from a mind-body-social perspective.
Dr. Learn earned her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in 2010. Upon graduation, she received the Outstanding Doctoral of Psychology Award for her exemplary clinical work, academic success, and research contributions. She is experienced in providing short- and long-term psychotherapy and group psychotherapy. Her areas of clinical focus include: disordered eating, disturbances in self-esteem and self-image, self-harm, obesity, health and wellness, anxiety, depression, anger management, impulse control disorders, OCD, trichotillomania, dermatillomania, relationship troubles, parent-child conflict, and academic underachievement. She often works from a Cognitive-Behavioral and Family Systems orientation.
Throughout her career, Dr. Learn has worked in a variety of settings that have helped foster her holistic approach to treatment. She has had experience in residential treatment programs, medical centers, private and public schools, outpatient community clinics, and university settings. She has also worked with the UCSD Clinical Trials Department where she conducted pharmaceutical research with populations suffering from Schizophrenia, Bi-polar Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and ADHD.
In an effort to keep current on empirical treatment approaches, Dr. Learn is a member of several professional associates. She is a professional member of the American Psychological Association, International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals, and the Trichotillomania Learning Center. These organizations help inform her practice and advocate for mental health issues throughout the country.
One of her favorite quotes is by Viktor Frankl who said, "Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom."
Raakhee Gonela Psy.D
Dr. Gonela comes to San Diego only a year ago after an exciting move from the Midwest with her husband and two children. She brings with her over 12 years of clinical experience, a fresh perspective, and great enthusiasm and genuine care for her patients. As she works towards obtaining her California license, Raakhee will be conducting neurofeedback using an innovative technique for brain training for peak performance, sleep irregularities, anxiety, OCD, ADHD and Aspergers.
In terms of background, Raakhee graduated from the University of Michigan with her Bachelor’s in Psychology. Her journey continued in England where she completed a Yale-affiliated Master’s through the University College London at the Anna Freud Institute. Her doctoral degree was obtained at the Argosy University in Chicago, Illinois. Throughout these early training years, Raakhee’s focus remained largely on underprivileged, underserved populations, including victims of sexual and emotional trauma, working in residential/foster care settings and violence shelters. She was also able to conduct research for her doctoral dissertation while living in India. The thesis focused upon the status of women in India throughout history, as well as their views of marriage, family, etc.
Upon returning to her hometown of Columbus, Ohio in 2001, Raakhee joined a private practice and became very interested in the development and nurturing of adolescent women and girls. She was fortunate to learn about and treat a myriad of issues, related to self-harm behaviors, eating disorders, social issues, abuse, etc. She spent 10 years in this practice prior to coming with her family to San Diego. It was here that she was able to hone in on her passion of working with women of all ages, collaborating with patients in their journey through life and wellness, helping them to flourish and feel empowered. Further, she was also an active member of a women’s league devoted to special needs children throughout Columbus, Ohio. She was able to spear-head a sports program for this population, specifically tennis, and provide parenting groups for the organization.
As a practitioner, Raakhee believes strongly in the blending of psychodynamic and ecological perspectives. She aims to help individuals identify their core needs and how their ever-changing world impacts one’s core. Strengthening the “self” from the inside-out then promotes stability and security despites life’s changes or ambiguity. Moreover, the patient begins to compartmentalize elements that impact their sense of self, thereby promoting longstanding results. The collaboration between patient and therapist is critical, as this becomes the foundation for treatment. Eventually, the patient becomes empowered to trust themselves and make adjustments to turmoil and/or stress.
Raakhee is extremely eager and thankful to be joining such a dynamic group of devoted women and men, and hopes to embody the philosophy and mission of Healthy Within.
Deborah Ogburn, MA - Expressive Arts Therapist:
Deborah Ogburn is a specialist in the use of the arts-visual arts, dance, music, writing and drama-as a catalyst for change. Having struggled with emotional eating, yo-yo dieting and negative body image for nearly 30 years, she is passionate about helping others use the arts to recognize and express the underlying emotion that triggers ED. Deborah studied at the Expressive Arts Institute of San Diego and completed her master's degree in Expressive Arts Therapy, Coaching and Consulting at European Graduate School in Switzerland. A member of Creative Change Associates, she facilitates expressive arts programs for organizations throughout San Diego County. She is a former board member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA) and a juried member of the San Diego Artist's Guild. In addition to Healthy Within, Deborah is on staff at Alvarado Parkway Institute for Behavioral Health in La Mesa and she has a private practice in South Park.
Yvonne Negron, L.Ac. - Licensed Acupuncturist
Yvonne Negron graduated with honors in 1993 from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, in San Diego, California. In 1997, Yvonne completed a post graduate course at the Beijing Hospital of Traditional Medicine. Since then, she has continued to expand her knowledge by attending seminars, classes, and conferences in the fields of Oriental medicine, personal growth, holistic health, and eating disorders. She is licensed by the Medical Board of California and is a designated Diplomate through both the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and the National Board of Acupuncture Orthopedics. As a licensed acupuncturist, Yvonne believes that well-being is achieved through a balance of mind, body, and spirit. Her San Diego private practice is dedicated to helping clients strengthen each of these areas. She integrates Chinese medicine, acupuncture, nutritional support, and warm, personalized insight, to enhance mental and emotional well-being for all of her clients. Yvonne's specialized clinical focuses include pain management, women's health, depression, anxiety and the treatment of eating disorders. She is a member of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP), and has treated eating disorders in private practice and as a member of an intensive outpatient program treatment team since 2005.
Laura Swan, Yoga Instructor:
Laura Swan is a Marriage and Family Therapist Trainee currently obtaining her Masters in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara. Laura brings a genuine warmth and care to her practice as a therapist, as well as an overall holistic and integrated approach to psychotherapy and her classes. She is an experienced Registered Yoga Teacher who focuses on the therapeutic, spiritual, and healing aspects of yoga and movement. As a Reiki teacher and practitioner, she also uses energy medicine techniques and has an extensive background using both conventional and alternative healing modalities to treat depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and body image concerns. Laura has specialized in working with children, at-risk teens, and women, and leads workshops and trainings on the effectiveness of evidence based yoga techniques for the treatment of various women’s and children’s issues. As a yoga teacher and passionate women’s circle facilitator, Laura has guided women’s healing circles and yoga retreats throughout the U.S. and internationally. With a love and fascination for the world’s varied healing traditions, she received her B.A. in Comparative Religion from Boston University, where she integrated cultural anthropology and comparative religion, with an emphasis on Eastern philosophy and healing modalities. In psychotherapy and as a private yoga therapist, Laura combines this love of the world’s healing traditions with her training in psychology, nutrition, yoga, meditation, and Reiki to bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to her clients and classes.
Soleil Hepner, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Practitioner, Faculty
Soleil specializes in merging the Body with the Mind. Throughout the 80s and 90s, Soleil worked in the fast-paced world of High-Tech. Being one of the few woman in management in those growing years of the industry brought High Stress. Those years of stress physically manifested in chronic back pain, migraines and even a bout with cancer. Burned-out and frustrated, in 2001, Soleil left High-Tech to find a more authentic and healthier life. Soleil discovered Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy™ and has since used this Mind-Body approach to help clients ease pain, deepen relationships, and build a life well lived. Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy™ recognizes that the body and mind are not separate, and thus physical and emotional challenges are profoundly connected. Operating under the assumption that the body is a repository for all life's experiences, both positive and negative, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy opens tensely held parts of the body so that pent-up feelings, fears and resistances are revealed and the insights gained are then put into action. Soleil offers privates, groups, and workshops and has been a national speaker for a variety of health care associations and high-tech corporations. Since 2005, Soleil has been on faculty at the prestigious Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy™ Center, offering workshops and trainings in the US and Canada.
Yogesh Kakaiya, M.S. - Vice President Operations and Business Development:
As the co-owner of the program, Mr. Kakaiya brings with him a strong business background and a keen awareness of the essential needs of the eating disorder program. He is responsible for day to day operations management and is the director of Business Development. Mr. Kakaiya's specialty is marketing. He is an active member of the Healthy Within team and as the father of a teen girl and a very sensitive boy, and having been at eating disorder conferences for the last 12 years, he is acutely aware of the tyranny of the body obsessed society we live in. He trains regularly with the Foundation volunteers and is actively engaged in promoting the message of health within to all he comes in contact with. He is a member of Dads and Daughters Organization and believes in empowering women and girls in achieving their highest potential. He is actively involved in his daughter's life and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with her in July of 2005.