From a young age, I felt a calling toward helping others. When determining a career path for my life, I knew that I wanted to do something meaningful. I chose to pursue becoming a therapist so that I could have a positive impact in the lives of others. I have had the honor and privilege to both experience and witness the beneficial effects that therapy can bring in helping a person grow and overcome obstacles in their lives. I am truly inspired by the power of the human spirit, and our ability to be resilient. It is my goal to empower my clients and promote resilience in their lives.
Education, Training, and Achievements:
On my journey toward becoming a therapist, I received my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California Santa Cruz. During my time at U.C. Santa Cruz, I participated in an internship which allowed me the opportunity to provide supportive services to foster children. In addition, I had the opportunity to serve as a Teaching Assistant in Clinical Psychology for distinguished faculty. I was also fortunate enough to gain experience as a Research Assistant on a study conducted by faculty, which was ultimately published in the journal: Analysis of Social Issues and Public Policy (file:///Users/jhupf/Research%20Assistant%20Study-Haney.webarchive).
I received my Masters Degree in Clinical Pschology from Pepperdine University. During this time, I was also awarded Psi Chi membership with the National Honor Society in Psychology for outstanding scholastic achievement and excellence. I am proud to say that I was passionate about my education and career goals, so I put my all into graduate school, and graduated with honors with a 4.0 GPA. My achievements reflect my drive to excel in my career so that I can learn how to best serve my clients.
I received my clinical training at Pepperdine University’s Community Counseling Center where I worked as an MFT Trainee, providing low cost therapy to the community. I worked with a broad population and treated clients presenting with a variety of issues from depression, anxiety, substance abuse, abuse/trauma, family difficulties, and many others. During my work at the clinic, I was privileged to witness the rewarding progress of my clients improvement through learning skills and strategies to better cope and improve their lives. Some of the work I did at Pepperdine’s Community Counseling Center is discussed in an article in Colleague magazine entitled, “Night Watch, Social Service in Practice.” To read the article, please visit the following link: http://colleague.pepperdine.edu/2011/07/night-watch/
I gained valuable training experience while working at the Free Clinic of Simi Valley. During my internship at the clinic, I was able to receive specialized training in Play Therapy and worked with children ranging from 3 years old up to adults, using experiential techniques. In addition, I was also trained in working with trauma, and introduced to somatic therapy, which is a form of therapy aimed at relieving and resolving the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental and physical trauma-related health problems by focusing on the client’s perceived body sensations (or somatic experiences). These specialized training techniques combined with the broad client base, proved to be an invaluable training experience in order to become a well rounded therapist, to better serve my clients.
I have also attended many valuable workshops, in order to further my professional development. For example, this past year, I attended an all day workshop on Substance Abuse, since this is an area which affects many people in our society. I have also attended many trainings through my professional organization over the past few years, on topics ranging from psychiatry and medication, to counseling couples, and experiential therapy. I believe that attending trainings helps me to be a better therapist, therefore, I value these types of learning opportunities which can best serve my clients.
I am now working as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Intern in private practice in Westlake Village. I have been practicing in the field of mental health for the past 6 years, treating a variety of presenting problems and providing therapy to the community. In addition, I have served a three year term on the Board of Directors for the Ventura County chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists as their Prelicensed Representative and am receiving a “Volunteer of the Year” award to recognize my contributions to the Board.
On a personal note, I am a 43 year old mother of two beautiful children, ages 9 and 11. I have been happily married to my wonderful husband and father for the past 13 years. I mention these aspects of my life to convey that I understand the journey of parenthood and marriage, and to reassure you that in addition to my professional training, I have the important life experiences that help me to be able to relate to my clients on their own journey in raising children, finding balance, and maintaining healthy relationships.
Since I am a parent myself, I take a special interest in serving parents and children who may be struggling in some way. I can appreciate how important it is to feel that the home environment is happy, healthy, and stable. A sense of family can provide so much fulfillment and meaning in life, and if something jeapordizes that stability, it can create a feeling of deep concern. I aim to help restore that harmony and stability by providing effective strategies to address the concerns and find ways to improve family functioning. I also help new parents adjust to the transition of having a baby and develop healthy ways to foster your child’s development.
I also work with couples, as well as individuals in their pursuit of self improvement. As a therapist, I believe in creating a trusting environment where you can feel safe to explore your concerns, gain insight, and take action to improve your life.
Please feel free to contact me to schedule an appointment. I look forward to hearing from you!
Jessica L. Hupf, LMFT