Meet Our Staff
Our qualified therapists & counselors fall into the following professional categories:
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.
EMILY VANNORTWICK, M.A.
LICENSED MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPIST #120571
I understand from personal experience the struggles that come with feeling isolated 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 recognize how challenging it is to pursue additional support when our current ways of coping are no longer working for us.
I work with a specific emphasis in treating 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 as well as Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I use a relational and Client-Centered approach in therapy to support others in pursuing the same healing for their minds that they would for a physical injury requiring care and attention. I’ve witnessed incredible stories of growth 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 work with each client to find the best way to move toward positive growth, healing, and fulfilling relationships with others.
-Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Psychology - Azusa Pacific University
– Optum (UHB/UHC)
JENNIFER OSBORN, M.A.
LICENSED MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPIST #117433
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.
MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPIST #132055
Supervised by Emily VanNortwick LMFT #120571
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 under the supervision of Emily VanNortwick, LMFT#120571.
SHARON MEINS, M.A.
REGISTERED ASSOCIATE PROFESSIONAL
CLINICAL COUNSELOR #APCC10828
Supervised by Emily VanNortwick, LMFT #120571
If you are in a relationship and are finding yourself stuck in negative patterns that are blocking you from feeling understood and connected, it can be challenging to find a sense of security and hope. When the distress and tension mount, safety and well-being can feel elusive. I work with couples and individuals using therapeutic methods that help promote healing both within the person and between people. Sometimes trauma is at the root of these patterns, so if this is true for you, we can work together to make sense of what feels confusing, disorganizing, and sometimes overwhelming.
I have advanced training in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples and am currently continuing my training as I pursue certification. I also have training in Trauma Informed Stabilization Treatment (TIST), which is helpful for individuals who have been traumatized to gain a sense of self-agency, emotional stability, and connection within.
My approach is warm, compassionate, and relational. My hope for you is that you will find therapy with me helpful in finding the resources inside that you didn't even know you had. I invite you to reach out to me to begin your journey.
- MA in Counseling - Townsend Institute at Concordia University Irvine
- BA in Literature - UCSD
- Elementary Education Teaching Credential - University of San Diego
RACHEL LEE, M.A.
MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPIST #131042
Supervised by Emily VanNortwick, LMFT #120571
I strongly believe that as humans, we have a God-given desire to live in relationship with one another and feel seen and valued. When stress and hardships get in the way and we struggle with connecting to others and ourselves, it can feel overwhelming and hopeless. Sometimes we just need a little extra support or a gentle helping hand to get back on our feet and moving toward brighter horizons. I truly look forward to meeting you wherever you are in your life journey and working together to figure out the best plan for you and your situation.
I have experience working with children and adults struggling with anxiety, bullying, relational/family issues, and other mental health concerns. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Child and Family Development with a certificate in Early Care and Education from San Diego State University and a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology from Azusa Pacific University. I am currently serving at Family Focus Christian Counseling as a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist under the supervision of Emily VanNortwick, LMFT#120571.
MADDIE JACOBS, B.A.
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST TRAINEE
Supervised by Emily VanNortwick, LMFT #120571
My mission is to empower individuals through meaningful conversations that provide hope and healing. I am passionate about creating a safe space for people to share their stories, struggles, and successes. By listening deeply and authentically, I encourage my clients to recognize their strengths and build resilience in order to thrive in every area of their lives. I believe in the power of connection, understanding, and empathy. I am committed to helping people find peace, joy, and hope in their lives. I strive to create an environment where individuals feel safe to express themselves and work on achieving their goals. I aim to unravel the complexities of life with a compassionate heart while helping young people find clarity and purpose, and I am on a mission to help people thrive and reach their full potential. I am passionate about bridging the gap between mental & spiritual wellness. I care deeply about helping young people discover their purpose in life through counseling and mentorship.
I received my Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from San Diego Christian College. I am a counselor in training and am currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology as well as a Masters Degree in Christian Counseling at Southern California Seminary. I am currently training as a Practicum Therapist at Family Focus Christian Counseling under the supervision of Emily VanNortwick, LMFT#120571. As a Practicum Therapist at Family Focus, I am currently able to offer reduced rates and low fee services to support those that would not otherwise be able to afford therapy.
Director of Operations
Rikah Thomas has been a part of FFCC since January 2012. Her role and responsibilities support our therapists in the day-to-day operations of FFCC, which she does with professionalism and a joyful countenance. She transitioned into the role of Director in 2022.
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.