Meet Our Therapists

& Counselors

Our qualified therapists & counselors fall into the following professional categories:

LICENSED CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST

Our Clinical Psychologists are licensed professionals who hold a doctorate degree in psychology (Ph.D., Psy.D., Ed.D.) and their work may include administering and interpreting cognitive and personality tests, diagnosing mental illness, creating treatment plans, and conducting psychotherapy.

LICENSED MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPIST 

Our Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists are seasoned professionals that have attained a Master's Degree or higher in psychology or a related field and are experienced in treating a variety of issues in counseling. Marriage and Family Therapists work with a specific emphasis in addressing relational issues when counseling individuals, couples, and families. 

REGISTERED  ASSOCIATE  MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPIST: 

Our Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapists have attained their Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology or a related field  and have experience counseling individuals, couples, and families. Registered Associates assume a counseling role under the supervision of a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. 

REGISTERED ASSOCIATE PROFESSIONAL CLINICAL COUNSELOR:

Our Registered Associate Professional Counselors have attained their Master's Degree in Psychology or a related field and have experience counseling individuals from a variety of backgrounds. Associate Professional Clinical Counselors at Family Focus also work with couples and families and assume a counseling role under the supervision of a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist.

PRACTICUM STUDENTS/TRAINEES:  Our practicum students and trainees are counseling students in their last year of graduate school attaining their Master's Degree and counsel under the supervision of a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist.

 

Mark Triboulet, M.A.

Executive Director & Clinical Supervisor

LICENSED MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPIST  #96352

Sitting at the crossroads of life, not knowing which direction to take or perhaps cemented in the very spot where we stand, seems to be where many find themselves today.  With the weight of past traumas, present stress,  frustrations, and future worries of what’s to come, we attempt more and at some point our shoulders begin to give from the burden that we cannot carry alone.  We find ourselves feeling hopeless, helpless, and broken, or in need of new direction.

As a therapist, my goal is to provide a safe environment where clients have the freedom to work through their pain,fears and the unknown of what burdens them.  I approach counseling from an open and honest format, meeting clients where they are with genuine empathy and care.  My goal is to instill hope and empowerment with each client as we walk shoulder to shoulder through your goals and desired changes.

I have experience working with individuals, couples, families and groups with issues including: trauma, addiction, depression, anxiety, self-injury, anger management, grief or loss and pre-marital and marital counseling. I also have six years of experience working with adolescents in residential psychiatric treatment centers.  

Education:

– Masters of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology – Southern California Seminary

– Masters of Arts Degree in Christian Ministry – Southern California Seminary

– Bachelor of Arts Degree in Child Development – Point Loma Nazarene University

– Currently working towards a Doctorate in Psychology – Southern California Seminary, CA

Groups:

– Anger Management

– Teens

JOHN SOUTHWARD, M.A.

Clinical Supervisor

& Director of Pastoral Care & Counseling

LICENSED MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPIST   #47967

“Pain is often the unwelcomed herald of needed change.” My goal is to create a safe environment for needed change that allows my clients to explore difficult areas in their lives. Using a non-judgmental approach to therapy, we explore together in freedom. You get to be ‘who you are’ to discover the points of change towards experiencing freedom and peace in your life. Since we are mind, body and spirit, I see that it is important to consider all these areas in moving my clients towards their goals. I am committed to serving the Christian community through a biblically integrative model and the larger community through ‘being Christ’ to others who do not know Him.


I have been at Family Focus Christian Counseling for over 12 years. As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, I work with couples, families and individuals with issues including: conflict resolution, anxiety, depression, grief & loss, anger management, family conflicts and pre-marital counseling.


I am also the Director for Pastoral Care & Counseling, a non-profit organization that conducts court-mandated Domestic Violence Groups in East County and South Bay areas. I also facilitate groups in the El Cajon area.
Education:
– Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology
– Master's Degree in Biblical Studies
– Bachelor's Degree in Human Development

Certifications:
– 40 Hour training & Certification in Domestic Violence Treatment
– Prepare-Enrich Trained and Certified

Groups:
– Attachment Styles: How Attachments affect our three most vital relationships
– Anger Management

Speaking:
– The Heart of a Man (about men and their emotions)
– Anger: Are You In Control?

 

MALLORY MOON, Psy. D.

LICENSED CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST #31108

Are you feeling isolated or experiencing difficulty in relationships? Are you feeling stuck in the same patterns and feel that you can't escape? These are issues that many face and it is my passion to help you walk through these trials to healing. As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with years of experience in the fields of counseling and psychology, I am trained to utilize a variety of tools to accurately assess and treat the underlying issues that contribute to many of the struggles you may be facing.

I am most passionate about emotional healing with every client I work with.  I see a variety of clients from adolescents to the elderly and utilize a cognitive behavioral approach, along with interventions that will motivate you towards reaching your personal goals. I also integrate a Christian faith-based approach with clients that request this as part of their therapeutic process.

Education:

– Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology – Southern California Seminary, CA

– Masters of Arts Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy – Southern California Seminary, CA

– Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology – San Diego Christian College, CA

 

JUDITH RIVERA, M.A.

LICENSED MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPIST  #111379

I consider it a sacred endeavor to come alongside you in a journey towards the unique and beautiful masterpiece you were created to be. My calling as a therapist emerged from a Christian upbringing in which hope and purpose stood out as central ingredients to life. Knowing that circumstances can often leave us feeling hopeless and broken, my approach in assisting you will draw from faith-based concepts that will enable you to return to an empowering place of truth and clarity. As a strong believer that God has uniquely and wonderfully designed each of us, my approach will further remain strengths-based. That is, another important goal will be to assist you in discovering the unique strengths you possess by design, and the capacity to redirect your life and reach your fullest potential. There is no one out there with your unique design, strengths and calling. When you suffer and stop operating in your true self, the world suffers the loss of all of that which you were created to become. Finally, it's my strong belief that all truth and goodness is a gift to be embraced, so I will diligently seek to utilize the best evidence-based mental health interventions to assist you in arriving at a place of wholeness and peace.

 

My professional and ministerial experience includes working with individuals in all stages of life and from a variety of backgrounds.

 

I intentionally focus on working with individuals to process, grow and/or find relief in the following areas: trauma, depression, anxiety, stress, women's issues (in all seasons & stages), parenting dynamics, attachment, boundaries, spiritual healing, professional growth, dating and relationships.

 

EMDR Trained:

Certain events in our life require interventions that address not just our minds and emotions, but provide relief in our bodies as well. The effects of trauma clearly manifest beyond the emotional and into the realm of the physical. For instance, we experience these effects as body-consuming anxiety, post-traumatic stress, sleep disorders, and many other symptoms. EMDR is an extensively researched and holistic approach to therapy, designed to alleviate the distress caused by traumatic memories, in all areas of our being. As a certified EMDR provider, I'm excited to share more about this structured and integrative approach with you, during the consultation process.

 

My education includes a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Psychology from Azusa Pacific University (summa cum laude). I further hold a B.S. in Psychology from Regent University (summa cum laude).

 

Bilingual

Being fully bilingual, I am able to work with you in Spanish.

 

I look forward to assisting you or your family. 

 

 

EMILY VANNORTWICK, M.A.

REGISTERED ASSOCIATE
MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPIST  #82911
Supervised by John Southward, LMFT #47967

It has been my joy to work as a counseling professional  for over 7 years. I understand from personal experience the struggles that come with feeling isolated, depressed, anxious, and overwhelmed. The thought of sharing these feelings with our closest friends, let alone a perfect stranger, can be a source of anxiety in and of itself! I know the kind of courage it takes to acknowledge that the ways we’ve been trying to handle things on our own just aren’t working anymore and it may be time to bring in additional support. 

 

My educational experience includes a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Psychology from Azusa Pacific University. I have experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and couples struggling with a variety of mental health concerns. I work with a specific emphasis in anxiety and distressing life events. My experience in working with clients struggling with the physical and emotional impact of trauma or distress includes training in EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. This evidence-based therapeutic treatment reduces physical and emotional distress associated with troubling life experiences and allows individuals to pursue the same healing for their minds that they would for a physical injury requiring attention and healing. I’ve witnessed incredible stories of transformation with clients through the use of this therapeutic approach in the context of an authentic and safe therapeutic relationship. 

 

There is no single approach to therapy that works for everyone. Keeping this in mind, I consider it an immense privilege to walk alongside my clients as we work together to find the best way to move toward positive growth, healing, and fulfilling relationships with others.  

 

I am currently serving at Family Focus Christian Counseling as a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist under the supervision of John Southward, LMFT #47976.

 
 

JENNIFER OSBORN, M.A.

REGISTERED ASSOCIATE
MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPIST #98285 
Supervised by Mark Triboulet, LMFT #96352

Are you hurting and want to overcome your pain or obstacle in life? Are you having trouble with emotion regulation or problems in your relationships? Therapy is about change. I am passionate about seeing people healed and set free from emotional pain, trauma, unwanted behaviors, low self-image, and broken relationships. I approach therapy in a non-judgmental manner in which I come alongside an individual and explore the goals they have for themselves. The method I embrace focuses on both strengths and potential growth areas through an edifying relationship.

I want to come alongside you by providing a safe environment in which healing and change occur. I consider it a privilege to do therapy with individuals who are willing to work towards their goals in order to see transformation take place in their own lives and relationships with others.

My experience and training consists of working with those who struggle with depression, anxiety, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, relationship conflicts, interpersonal effectiveness, low self-image, abuse, trauma, and single or dual diagnosis. I am also trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), EMDR for trauma, and Prepare/Enrich for marital/premarital counseling.

STEPHANIE VELEZ, M.A.

REGISTERED ASSOCIATE
MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPIST  #91806 
Supervised by John Southward, LMFT #47967

I am a warm and compassionate professional therapist with a Christian world view approach to counseling.  I offer tools that are both Psychological and Biblical that can assist people through their life transitions, stressful circumstances, and changes.  

 

I believe we all desire to be loved and accepted for who we are.  Often during our lives we experience disconnection, isolation, turmoil, loneliness and a need to find meaning.  It is my goal as a therapist with the power of God's word to assist my clients to better understand their experiences, assist in the changes necessary to live the way they were meant to live, and to have the relationships they desire.  

 

I have worked with older male and female adults suffering from depression with Union Pacific Asian Communities.  My work has also included interning at Family Focus Christian Counseling which enabled me to work with adolescents, adults, and couples. I was a ministry leader for the Rock Church Single Parent Family Ministry teaching and providing biblical guidance to parents and children.  I have also completed a 40-hour Domestic Violence training.

     

I hold a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from San Diego State University and a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology from Azusa Pacific University.  I am currently serving Family Focus as a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. 

 

 

 

ARIEL BOVAT, M.A.

REGISTERED ASSOCIATE
PROFESSIONAL CLINICAL COUNSELOR  #APCC6421
Supervised by John Southward, LMFT #47967

Healing is possible, relationships are messy and past experiences often contribute to present day functioning. My method of counseling provides a safe place to help clients move towards holistic healing, one step and one day at a time. Holistic healing takes into account the whole person, heart, mind, body and soul. 

 

Since the world is broken and trauma occurs, many carry that brokenness and trauma in their bodies and their minds. Inevitably that brokenness and trauma shows up in people’s lives and relationships. My goal is to help my clients maneuver that brokenness to a journey of healing. 

 

I use an integrative approach to therapy by incorporating clinical and research-based observations through a Christian foundation, with a Biblical lens. All that to say, I counsel all of my clients with a sincere and genuine care for their mind (how they think) and behavior (what they do). Because I am a Christian, I am commanded to comfort others, to encourage others, and to build others up. This means that I meet my clients exactly where they are, without judgment and with compassion. Also, because God saved me and brought me to Christ later in life, I have a lifetime of experiences that allow me to empathize with my clients in such a way that builds that very important counselor/client relationship, which is crucial to healing. I want to know my clients so I can help my clients. 

 

I am an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor with a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. In August 2019, I will complete a second Master's Degree in Theological Studies. My education allows me to be both clinical and Biblical.  

 

KEEGAN STARR, B.A.

PROFESSIONAL CLINICAL COUNSELOR TRAINEE

Supervised by John Southward, LMFT #47967

Through many experiences during my life, God showed me that my heart lays in helping those who are hurting. It is through this compassion that I counsel and, more importantly, see that every man, woman, child and family who walks through my door is uniquely capable of becoming the person(s) they are meant to be.  Just as every person is unique in this manner, I recognize that everyone also has a different set of strengths, weakness and circumstances to consider. I view the counseling process as a collaborative adventure where I come alongside you, who is the only expert of your life, in exploration, growth and overcoming challenges that you face, and I believe in developing the counseling session in a manner that best suits the needs of each client.

I work with individuals, couples, family and children. I have many years of experience working with adolescents and teens throughout my life. I have also worked with victims of domestic and sexual abuse, and I currently facilitate domestic violence rehabilitation programs.  

As a follower of Jesus Christ, I believe that healing is rooted in having a Christ-centered approach and, when requested, will maintain and utilize a biblically-integrated approach of counseling.  

I would like to personally thank you for taking your time to read this. I consider counseling others a tremendous privilege and blessing.

 

Education:

-Bachelor of Arts Degree in Community Psychology

-Master of Arts Degree in Professional Counseling in Progress (Graduate December, 2019).

Certifications:

-40 Hour training and Certification in Domestic Violence Treatment.

 
 

BRIANNE BERKEBILE, B.A.

MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST TRAINEE

Supervised by John Southward, LMFT #47967

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” (John 1:5, NLT).

When challenge presents itself and life gives us opportunities to grow, sometimes we forget there is a light in us that cannot be extinguished. During those times - where our own selves stand in the way of accomplishing our goals, life circumstances leave us feeling lost, or our relationships feel broken – we do not need to buy the lie that our light has gone out.

 

In therapy,  I look forward to walking alongside individuals as they decide to trade their personal struggles for freedom, strength and joy. I strongly believe that saying “yes” to counseling is a brave choice that those who are not faint of heart make for themselves and their loved ones. To enter one’s struggles is not easy, but it is admirable and worth it. Safety, responsibility, authenticity, empathy, openness and a growth-mindset are just some of the elements I will uphold myself  within the therapeutic process. A personal goal of mine is that those I am serving will always sense that they are able to be honest and cared for with compassion and truth when they are confiding in me.

 

My experience includes working with individuals and families where there is substance abuse, child abuse and neglect, developmental delays, grief and loss, violence, trauma, self-injury, eating disorders, depression and anxiety. My most in-depth and extensive experience involved working with adolescents who were facing hardship. In addition to that, I have certified training in Applied Behavioral Analysis and have background using it to treat children and adolescents with an emotional disturbance or who are on the Autism Spectrum.

 

Education:

Kent State University – B.A. in Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies

Liberty University – M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy (in progress)

 

RIKAH THOMAS

OFFICE MANAGER

Rikah Thomas, our Office Manager, has been a part of FFCC since January 2012. Her role and responsibilities support our two sites and therapists in the day-to-day operations of FFCC, which she does with professionalism and a joyful countenance. She works as our bookkeeper, HR, Administrative Assistant, and as a support person to our clients. 

 

In her personal life, Rikah is an award-winning artist, a mentor, teacher, and author. She enjoys inspiring hearts and minds through words and art as she shares her life's journey through her books and oil paintings. 


Rikah’s first book, Heavenly Ink, a compilation of poetry and prose, is still in publication and she is currently completing her second book, Be at War: A Marriage Tale which is schedule to be released in July 2019. She continues to enjoy life with her husband, children, friends, dogs and parakeets. Her passion is to love well, have fun, and help others see what a treasure they are. Rikah enjoys all things thought provoking or simply entertaining - books, movies, songs, plays and good T.V. shows.


Rikah is an active member of Kingdom Writers Association and has been a member of the Christian Writers Guild for several years. She is a pastor's wife and has served the Lord for over 30 years. Rikah continues to minister alongside her husband, Peter, and received her Biblical Studies training from Liberty University. 

Check out Rikah’s website for updates, blogs, and upcoming book information or to commission an art piece. Her books are available at Amazon.com.

www.rikahthomas.com

500 Fesler Street, Suite 208
El Cajon, CA 92020

Tel: 619.440.4211

Fax: 619.440.4205

 info@familyfocuscounseling.org

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