MEET THE TEAM

LICENSED CLINICAL TEAM

DarenCasagrande_2019-9639.jpg

DAREN

CASAGRANDE

Founder & LMFT92438

Feeling like deep down you're a piece of trash or that your life would be ruined if others knew what you were really like is no way to live. Every day having this incredible inner struggle just to get through your day grows old pretty quickly. Feeling like you know a lot of people, yet feeling alone starts to just feel really hopeless after a while. I know it seems impossible because you've tried all the things that you know or have read to do, but relief from your suffering is entirely achievable if you're ready to collaborate on finding the solutions that truly work for you.

I truly wish I had the power to magically heal people, but alas I'm as human as everyone else. In truth, I am a collaborator and you are the one that does most of the heavy lifting of changing your life. My job is to care about you, provide compassionate honesty, help you stay motivated, and teach you the skills you need at the right time in the process to heal yourself. You're in control and you can always say no to what I suggest. I try to approach this work with humility and respect for you because I believe you are strong and already have what you need to heal within you. Let's unlock it today! Learn more about how I think by checking out our blog >> 

Edward.jpeg

EDWARD

BABAYAN

Licensed MFT119969

Many of us harbor deep fears of not being good enough to find joy, acceptance, and love. We needlessly compare ourselves to others who have “succeeded,” while continuing to believe that escape from this daily malaise is impossible. We may meander through life chasing poor substitutes for meaningful connection and growth, leaving us ultimately unsatisfied. Often this may lead us to anger and frustration over why our lives ended up like this. We ask ourselves, "What am I doing wrong?" "Will I ever find solace from this debilitating monotony? I'm here to tell you that the trajectory of your life isn't meant to follow this path.​

As a therapist, my goal is to build genuine, humorous, and non-hierarchical relationships with the people I serve. The relationships act as a source of experimentation and discovery, enabling individuals to voice their desires, fears, and vulnerabilities to someone who will witness them. ​

What I hope to provide is a simple and yet expansive experience of how to relearn to be honest with oneself and with others, in a constructive and compassionate way, in order to help you find the passion filled life you deserve. ​

Hoping that this first step is one that will lead to more authentic living and joy.

timothy-headshot -1.png

TIMOTHY

MASTERSON

Licensed LCSW25456

Many who suffer from anxiety and depression experience the symptoms you might expect. A sizable majority, however, also seem to battle daily with their “internal critic" - a seemingly separate entity residing in their mind that seems intent on robbing them of any joy or sense of real accomplishment in their lives. For some, this has  resulted in feelings that their mind is at war with them and leading them on a path towards self- destruction. The internal critic often reinterprets one’s own mistakes (real or imagined) and turns them into unpardonable sins that are deserving of relentless mental clobbering of the self. Many of us also struggle with what is known as “catastrophizing” - a process in which a given situation is eventually going to turn into... well... a catastrophe for which he or she is going to be held mercilessly responsible. A common thread for many individuals who struggle with an internal critic is that stopping themselves from either worrying about an impending catastrophe and/or relentlessly beating themselves up seems virtually impossible – ultimately, an existence of what seems like perpetual suffering.


If this sounds like your struggle, I welcome the opportunity to work with you. I've been humbled to learn that many have felt safe enough with me to even share about issues they have never felt comfortable talking about with anyone prior to coming into therapy. In my view, this level of safety and trust is a critical starting place to effective therapy. I believe the things that weigh us down the most become much lighter when they see the light of day and are handled with the utmost care by the right person. Surprisingly, some of my best (albeit unwitting trainees) were the troubled adolescents I provided direct care to when I started out in the field 30-plus years ago. The most valuable lesson that I learned: the best way to affect positive change in the lives of these young people was to build a positive working rapport with them. Interestingly, they had far less use for me prior to my investing in building any relationship with them.


As your therapist, I am dedicated to providing you with as much healing as I can from past trauma. In addition, I am also invested in your developing coping strategies that either keep your internal critic quiet, or at the very least getting him or her to be a far less intense presence when showing up, as well as keeping it to a much shorter visit.

Photo Forr Clarity (1) (1)_edited.jpg

DR. KRISTINA
REYNOLDS

Licensed PSY30153

I help men and women ages 18-45 who have found themselves lost within a terrifying and chaotic world to gain the strength, discipline, and willingness to make change toward living an authentic life.  I offer compassionate honesty and understanding that will challenge you to work toward your greatest potential despite the fears that may keep you stagnant.  As we make progress toward our goals our mood increases and research has related this to happiness.

Life can be overwhelming and often we feel misunderstood, judged, not good enough, inferior, and even worthless and burdensome.  How could we not feel this way sometimes given the external pressures we face by society, family, friends, and this is in addition to our own internal voice?  Why would we continue to take risks when it is so clearly dangerous, and it is?

As a therapist, I do not pretend I know you better than you know yourself.  No one does. I don’t assume I can magically fix your life; that would be a foolish claim.  What I can offer you is a relationship of trust, respect, and honesty.  I’m not going to simply tell you what you want to hear and send you on your way.  It can be all too easy to find this approach.  In order to help you, you may feel worse before you can feel better.  This likely means you are on the right path.  Not only am I comfortable with the darkness, I will walk through the depths of hell alongside you until you are ready to leave.  There is comfort there.
 

Picture profile.png

DR. LOURDES

MEJIA

Licensed PSY31830

Life can have many unexpected twists and turns that can make it overwhelming. You may feel lonely and isolated with your own fears, worries, and sadness. This is not a journey you need to take alone. Seeking help is a strength towards self-exploration, growth and healing.


I am passionate about helping people from all walks of life. I am an empathetic and culturally-informed therapist, who is an excellent listener and provides with a safe space that fosters a strong therapeutic relationship. I meet you "where you are." I believe
therapy should be a no judgement zone for you to feel comfortable opening up to a neutral party in confidence. I strive to provide the tools that will empower you to navigate life’s ups and downs in these uncertain times.

 

Even though life can seem hopeless and overwhelming, together we can create your short and long term goals towards a better you and a fulfilling journey.

professional headshot.jpg

DR. LANIQUE

RUFFIN

Licensed PSY31878

I help busy professional people of color between 21 and 50 who feel invisible or overwhelmed, resolve their trauma, anxiety, and feelings of “not being enough” by giving them an authentic space to connect, show up for themselves, and be heard.

It is my guess that you have hidden parts of yourself for too long, attempting to be seen, valued, humanized. In our work together, we will celebrate the parts of you that have been hidden and overlooked. We will develop the skills to ensure you show up authentically in every room, and unapologetically take your power back. 

Smaller Work Head Shot.jpg

DR. LINDSEY

AYALA

Licensed PSY31913

 I support people who feel defined by their complex trauma(s) or life adversities to understand that (while impactful) these experiences do not have to define them or their future. I believe that building confidence in their ability to understand and have control over their mental health is achievable and realistic. I support individuals in reaching their life and relational goals through the co-creation of a compassionate, attuned and reflective therapeutic relationship that allows people to explore and establish their own strengths and abilities. I provide explorative questioning and curiosity that allows individuals to think deeper about their own thought and emotional processes and to understand themselves in support of change. 

In my clinical experience and within my own life, I have truly found that any path towards healing involves an attuned, compassionate relationship. As a therapist, I often find myself honored and deeply humbled to be invited into the pain and experiences of others. I love the feeling of deep connection that comes when I am invited into the vulnerable and tender parts of people's lives and I enjoy showing people the dignity and honor they deserve when they are courageously showing those parts of themselves to me.

As your therapist, I will be compassionate, understanding, and empathetic, while providing balanced pushes towards looking inward to find one's strength and abilities. As your therapist, I will work with you to move forward within sessions in a way that allows you to fulfill your goals and find balance. 

ASSOCIATE AND INTERN CLINICAL TEAM

IMG-5569_edited.jpg

MICHELLE

WRIGHT

Associate MFT110382

​To be in a space where we can feel understood is critical to healing. While having pain is human, having someone to help you improve your life and eliminate pain is essential.


If you often feel weighed down by feelings of anxiety or depression; or whether you are facing a life crisis, relationship challenges or personal issues; come talk to me. Together, we will work on strategies that allow you to address the root causes of your difficulties and build meaningful social connections. I believe that each person’s experience is unique, personal, and important.


As your therapist, I am dedicated to improving your quality of life. I compassionately create the safe space for your journey and help you find your way through the crisis. Whether your past haunts you or your life overwhelms you, I will guide you in developing healthy ways of coping and achieving more balance in your life.

Supervised by Daren Casagrande, LMFT92438

KEN

MCNEILL

Associate PCC6865

Are you tired of struggling with your mental wellness on your own? We all have ups and downs in our lives. But wouldn't it be great to feel a reassuring undercurrent of serenity and resilience, no matter what is happening in your outer world?

What you want is equanimity, and the way to get there is by turning your focus inward, and becoming the courageous leader of your own internal family of mind parts.  Along the way, you will rediscover your capacity for awareness, creativity, and compassion.

As your therapist, I take the time to research, test, and integrate ancient wisdom with modern neuroscience for treating psychic imbalances of all types in a sustainable way. Allow me to help you experience the freedom and possibilities of a clear mind.

Supervised by Daren Casagrande, LMFT92438

SARAH

BORO

Intern Social Worker

Imagine walking through life in twelve inches of mud. Yeah, I can’t either. Depression and other mental health issues often mimic struggles that present us with an overwhelming sense of being stuck and trudging along, day after day. My goal as a therapist is to help you navigate through the sludge of life and eventually take steps out of the mud and onto solid ground. 


Empathic by nature, I am passionate about the well-being and success of my clients and will work alongside you to achieve your mental health goals. As part of my social work masters program at Fordham University, I am interning at Clarity Counseling. My coursework at Fordham is providing me with the necessary foundation to put my passion to work for you. As I progress in my degree, I know we’ll grow together and have the support of my supervisors, Kevin Cavazos and Daren Casagrande along the way. Their experience, coupled with my burgeoning skillset in social work, will facilitate a safe space in which you can learn to traverse the mud of life and take control. I look forward to working with you.

Supervised by Kevin Cavazos, LCSW91675

JADE

SUSTACEK

Associate PCC5626

Do you ever feel like you are going through life wearing a mask? Maybe you feel like you are pretending to be someone you are not, acting like everything is okay, when in reality everything is falling apart. Or are you feeling tired and burnt out from trying to impress those around you? 
 

At times, it can be difficult to verbalize or even understand what you are feeling. I believe that having a safe space where you can explore your thoughts, feelings and identity is the foundation to experiencing freedom within yourself.  This type of groundwork will allow us to work together so that you can learn new skills and new ways of thinking to experience relief and embrace who you are. 

 

As your trusted therapist, I am here to listen to you and advocate for you. Through my experience working with people from all different walks of life, I am confident that by working together we can create meaningful goals. I desire to teach you practical skills to support you in achieving these goals. Remember that you are capable and I am here to help!

Supervised by Daren Casagrande, LMFT92438

DR. CHYNA

HILL

Associate CSW98010

I help high functioning adults who are highly productive on paper but struggle with interpersonal relationships to find a sense of balance and purpose that is independent of productivity by helping them discover activities in life that bring them joy and encourage better life satisfaction.

I also help students of color who are pursuing higher education or graduate degrees at PWI (publicly white institutions) permanently resolve their anxiety and feelings of imposter syndrome by helping them identify the source of these feelings and providing the most present, non-judgmental experience of being heard and listened to that they have ever experienced.

Supervised by Daren Casagrande, LMFT92438

SUMIT

SEN

Intern Marriage/Family Therapist

Self-introduction coming soon!

Supervised by Daren Casagrande, LMFT92438

ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM

HASSAN

BARNETT

Office Manager

Hassan is a UC Davis Alumni, who double majored in Psychology and Communications. He's pursuing a career as a Marriage and Family Therapist, who can answer how the coping mechanisms children use in response to trauma shape their subsequent relationships.

If you were to ask Hassan why he's proud to work at Clarity, he'd say that he's always been passionate about providing accessible resources to his communities, and working at the front desk of the office gives him an opportunity to talk to others, listen for their needs, and meet their needs personally.

He believes that It's easier to know exactly what to offer, when someone can tell you directly what they're looking for, but continuously learns to listen for what someone might need and might not be able to express. He's HIPAA certified, manages referrals an appointments, and validates insurance and payment plans.

ROCIO

GONZALEZ

Business Operations Manager

I came from the non-profit, social services background where everyday there is an opportunity to make change and uplift others. For that reason it is with great pleasure I joined the Clarity team. Being surrounded by a group of people who encourage  growth and guide people to overcome obstacles is both energizing and exciting for me. I enjoy being in a space where I know clients we help are getting closer to their life goals. As the business operations manager my focus is on getting clients access to care by expanding our resources to the community.   

BACKGROUND

A Note from the Founder

I started Clarity Counseling in 2019 with one thing in mind: to help people with depression and anxiety feel meaningful relief from pain and suffering as efficiently as possible.

After 10+ years working in non-profit and for-profit mental health organizations I grew frustrated that it took so long for people to experience relief from suffering related to treatable mental health disorders. This isn't to say that faster is always better, but when it comes to significantly reducing suffering - faster did seem important if the results were genuine and lasting.

After attending a training intensive from Dr. David Burns (Stanford University) and putting the approaches into practice I quickly realized the incredible power of his methods (TEAM-CBT) and their ability to add a critical dimension to my therapeutic practice. I continue to advance in the different levels of certification in his method. Those skills in conjunction with a unique session structure comprise what makes Clarity different.

I would be honored if you would be willing to entrust myself or my team with your mental health and I sincerely believe you will be happy with the results if you're motivated to put the work in outside of session.

Wishing You Well,

Daren Casagrande, LMFT92438

Summary of my years of experience:

  • 10+ years of continuous practice as a clinician (both with adolescents and adults)

  • 5+ years of management experience

  • 3+ years of organizational consulting

STILL UNCERTAIN?