Therapeutic interventions tailored to treat you.
Beginning therapy can be both an exciting and difficult step. Change is never easy and people are often experiencing significant distress when they choose to pursue therapy. Receiving individualized and empathetic care is at the core of what Wellness Therapy of San Diego aims to provide. Rooted in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the treatments utilized at the practice have been shown to be effective in treating a number of issues including depression and mood disorders, anxiety, trauma, addiction, marital distress, and psychosis. Although your situation may be difficult to cope with, our team has supported clients as they learned to overcome their most painful experiences, emotions, and thoughts. By learning how to cope more effectively and using new skills, you can take action to live the life you want—and therapy can help you get there.
Kelly Anderson, Ph.D.
I am a licensed clinical psychologist with American Psychological Association (APA) accredited training from graduate school through my postdoctoral residency. I received my Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Texas Tech University and completed my internship at the Durham Veterans Affairs in North Carolina before returning to my home state of California to complete my postdoctoral residency at the San Diego Veterans Affairs/University of California, San Diego psychology training program.
The programs I was involved in for graduate school and internship trained me as a generalist. This means I obtained both clinical and research experience working with clients with a number of presenting issues, allowing me to effectively treat a diversity of psychiatric concerns. Much of my training is based on the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) model and therapies that grew from this theory (e.g., Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy). My skill in using these treatments continued to grow during my postdoctoral residency, which specialized in treating individuals with serious mental illnesses such as psychosis, Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, severe depression and anxiety, and substance abuse.
Importantly, my APA accredited training required attaining and mastering the use of therapies that have been shown to be highly effective through extensive research. Therefore, when working with clients, I select tailored treatments demonstrating that have been found to work well in effecting change for the particular concern my client is struggling with when they come to therapy. I believe my commitment to using the most relevant strategy for each individual, helps clients gain a sense of wellness and power over their concerns.
An aspect I find to be critical in delivering treatment is considering the diverse background and individual differences of each client. No two clients are exactly the same and that means that no two plans for treatment can be the same. Because of this belief, I worked to obtain specialized training culminating in a very unique expertise—individualizing CBT in a way that the therapy remains effective without sticking to a “one size fits all” model of delivery. More specifically, I use my training with evidence-based treatments as a framework to tailor therapy to each person with whom I work. I take a whole person approach to treatment and go further than focusing on symptoms and problems. This allows the space needed to consider the context of each client in regard to their background, life experiences, goals, and personal values. This perspective makes treatment all the more effective.
Returning to Southern California several years ago gave me the chance to integrate and apply these invaluable training and learning experiences when working with my current clients. Receiving training throughout the country and working with a wide number of disorders has largely contributed to my ability to work effectively with diverse clients. I have found this to be especially important given the abundant diversity here in San Diego.
To learn more about Dr. Anderson's background and training click here.
Ebony Rice, MFT-Associate
I received my BA in Psychology from Grambling State University in Louisiana. After moving to California and settling in San Diego, I obtained my graduate level education from Argosy University and hold a Masters in Counseling Psychology/Marriage and Family Therapy. I chose an MFT degree as I find that I enjoy working not only with individual clients, but family systems as a whole. My education provided me specialized training in working with both families and couples, which is not offered by all master level degrees. Knowing the importance in working with a family as a unit, versus just the child or one spouse, pushed me to obtain this specialized training. My primary orientation is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), though I use individualized techniques to meet that need of each client in respect to his/her/their specific needs in therapy.
Along with my educational background, I bring many years of professional and personal experience. As a supervisor with Child Protective Services (CPS) for the last 18 years, I have had the opportunity to work with children and their families, from many cultural backgrounds and ethnicities, those with developmental and physical disabilities, and foster children and their families. In these situations it is most typically only the child who is referred to services or only the child’s needs that are identified. However, I have learned that true change only happens when the family is treated as a whole. The family system and needs of the family as a unit must be addressed for meaningful change and growth. Further, I have special interest in working with teens and young adults who are impacted by the use of social media and the effects this can have on communication and forming relationships. Having raised two sons of my own as a single mother, the importance of addressing the concerns presented by social media and the potential negative impact this can have on our children is not lost on me.
It addition to working well with families, I also specialize in treating couples for a variety of difficulties that may affect a relationship. I have experience and skill in working with couples experiencing stressors that vary from typical day-to-day life stressors, to providing parenting skills and coping with parenting stress, to the impact of Postpartum Depression on the individual and the relationship. As is with families, it is my belief that if there are intimacy issues in a relationship, all partners need to engage in treatment to improve the relationship rather than merely treating one individual in the relationship.
After living in San Diego for the past 19 years, I have become familiar with the needs of the San Diego community at large. Having come from such a different environment growing up and living in the south for my education, I have found that I am able to adapt to and understand the needs of the very diverse community that calls San Diego home. For many cultures, therapy is taboo and discouraged. One of my goals is to help support clients from all cultural backgrounds and aid them in changing their beliefs about therapy so that any person in need feels comfortable obtaining services that support them through making meaningful changes.
I am currently working to obtain my hours for licensure as an MFT. At this time, I am supervised by Dr. Kelly Anderson in all services provided to my clients. Although being a supervisee in no way changes the relationship between my clients and myself, supervision ensures that the very best treatments and strategies are being used with each of my clients.
How can I benefit from therapy?
A number of benefits are available from participating in therapy. Therapists provide support, problem-solving skills, and assist you in learning enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship concerns, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and trauma. Many people also find that therapists can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, couple’s issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution and at Wellness Therapy of San Diego, treatments have been found to be effective through empirical research. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
Develop the skills needed for improving your relationships
Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
Learning new ways to cope (with stress, anxiety, depression)
Improving communication skills
Changing old behavior and thought patterns and developing new, more helpful ones
Discovering new ways to solve problems
Improving feelings of low self-worth
Do I really need therapy?
Everyone goes through tough situations throughout life and at times, we manage that stress well while at other times we do not. Even if you have successfully navigated other difficulties, getting extra support if you are having difficulties with coping may be useful. You may learn new ways to modify already existing skills so that they are more effective. Additionally, empirically supported treatments, like those used at Wellness Therapy SD, have been shown to have long lasting benefits, giving you the tools you need to not only improve your current emotional state but to also be aware of future triggers, modify damaging patterns in behaviors and thinking long term, and build the resilience and confidence you need to face future challenging situations.
If you are still not sure if therapy is right for you, try setting up a one time consultation with a therapist. Let the psychologist provide you with insights and feedback about if therapy may be a good fit or how they can help. At that point you may have more information to decide if you would like to attend therapy more regularly.
What are the reasons people usually go to therapy and and how do I know if therapy is a good fit for me?
People have many different reasons for deciding to participate in psychotherapy. Some choose this option as they are going through a major life change (unemployment, divorce, pregnancy, traumatic event), or because they are not handling stressors as well as they would like. Some clients are looking to get clarity on goals or values and learning the skills to make effective choices in their lives. Others people are looking for support and new skills around coping effectively with concerns such as depression and mood disorders, anxiety, substance abuse, relationship problems, low self-worth, or other serious concerns. Therapy can help meet the needs of many individuals using a tailored approach to treatment that allows each client to thrive in a safe, confidential environment.
Individuals are usually ready for therapy when they are ready to change. Change is difficult for anyone at anytime and sometimes there is a right time to start therapy. If you feel ready to view situations from a different perspective, to challenge old patterns of thinking or behavior, and have the time and resources to attend regularly - now might be the right time for you to start therapy!
What can I expect from therapy?
As each person has different issues and goals for therapy, the process looks a bit different for each individual. Wellness Therapy SD does not use a "one size fits all" model. Instead each person is assessed on an individual basis and treatment plans and goals are set based on a specific client's needs. More generally, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue, and report progress throughout the course of therapy. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term (approximately 8-10 sessions) for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult or long-standing issues. This is decided collaboratively between you your therapist. Whether short-term or longer-term therapy is the best fir for you, the best way to progress through issues is to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly).
Therapy is a process and change can be difficult. It is not expected that issues will resolved in the first session. However, you get more results - and faster- when you are actively participate in therapy. Open, honest communication in session and application of skills outside of your regularly scheduled sessions help to move people towards their goals. Homework is often a crucial component of therapy and your therapist may ask you to complete assignments between sessions (e.g. writing down thoughts, reading helpful books/articles, changing behaviors in your personal life) to aid in attaining goals.
What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
It is well established that the long-term solution to mental and emotional problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.