Meet Our Therapists

Erin Salyer, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker located in Bakersfield, CA

Erin Salyer is a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in adults with serious mental health disorders. She previously worked as both a case manager and therapist for Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services for 12 years treating adults with chronic and persistent mental health disorders. She also treated adults with substance use concerns. She also provides faith-based counseling from a Christian worldview. Erin completed a year-long specialized training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) which is the best evidence-based practice for borderline personality disorder as well as other emotion regulation disorders. She worked with a specialized DBT team for 5 years teaching the components of mindfulness, reducing distress, managing emotions, and improving relationships. She has also received specialized training in CognitiveBehavioral Therapy (CBT) from the creators of CBT. The cognitive Behavioral theory is an evidence-based practice for depression and anxiety. She has additional training in treating trauma and PTSD using Seeking Safety and Prolonged Exposure Therapy.

Education:

  • California State University, Bakersfield – Master of Arts in Social Work

Specialization:

  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Treating both major and minor depression and anxiety

Languages:

  • English

Gina M. Billson, MA, LMFT

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist located in Bakersfield, CA

Gina Billsonis a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has more than 20 years experience in providing mental/behavioral health support and psychotherapy to children, adolescents, families, and couples. Gina began her career as a mental health case manager at a local children and family counseling clinic where she worked closely with the client and their treatment team.  After two years of case management, she went back to school for her Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy at Phillips Graduate Institute. After becoming a Licensed Therapist, Gina has worked in private practice with children, families, individuals, and couples. In addition to private practice, she worked for the Kern High School District as a Student Mental Health Clinician.

Graduate School:

  • Phillips Graduate Institute

Languages:

  • English

Treatment Preference: 

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma
  • Anger
  • Childhood disorders
  • School behavioral concerns/support
  • Parenting
  • Adolescents
  • Couples
  • Crisis Debriefing

Mesha Muwanga, LMFT

Mesha Muwanga is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in working with children and couples. In addition, she is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional certified by the International Association of Trauma Professionals (IATP); and as such is experienced in treating trauma and symptoms related to trauma. Mesha is trained in several therapeutic approaches such as CBT, DBT, solution focused, and narrative therapies which she uses to reduce psychiatric symptoms and help clients reach their desired goals. 

Mesha has experience in treating clients with:

  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Trauma
  • Addictions
  • Marital issues
  • Children experiencing issues related to school, self-esteem, bullying, educational difficulties, identity, suicidal ideations, defiance, and conduct issues.  
  • The severely mentally ill experiencing psychosis, homelessness, and substance use. 

Mesha takes a special interest in providing premarital counseling and does provide services as a Christian counselor for those interested.

Shahzad Chaudhry, LMFT

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist located in Bakersfield, CA

Shahzad Chaudhry is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in working with children and adolescents, with a varied background including work in group homes, Child Protective Services, children’s outpatient services, inpatient and residential facilities, and medically-focused behavioral health programs. He is currently the Program Manager for the Kern Medical Behavioral Health Integration services and for the previous 9 years, he was the adult outpatient clinic supervisor of the UCLA-KERN Psychiatry Residency Program. Additionally, Shahzad is an adjunct faculty member for National University, as well as an Associate Faculty member of University of Phoenix, both with a focus on teaching courses in Counseling, and Psychology. He completed his year-long doctoral internship focusing on specialized training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy/Exposure and Response Prevention (CBT/ERP); which is the preferred treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). He is also trained in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT); which is useful for improving parent-child attachment and addressing parenting issues, especially for younger children (2-8 years old).

Graduate School:

  • Master of Science (MS), Counseling Psychology, California State University, Bakersfield, CA
  • Master of Arts (MA), Clinical Psychology, Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, CA

Specialization:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy/ Exposure and Response Prevention (CBT/ERP) for OCD and other anxiety-related disorders, such as PTSD
  • Parenting issues from a behavioral and PCIT (Parent-Child Interaction Therapy) focus, especially for parents of young children

Languages:

  • English

Sharon Brandon, LMFT

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist located in Bakersfield, CA

Sharon Brandon is a trauma specialist trained in EMDR therapy.  Sharon is also a parent training specialist.  She has worked within the local community providing counseling services for over 20 years.  She is a domestic violence & sexual assault expert having worked at the Alliance Against Family Violence & Sexual Assault.  She worked at the county level and in private practice delivering mental health services and with Bakersfield City School District working as a School Counselor.  Sharon worked almost 5 years for Kaiser Permanente where she worked extensively with anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD & Trauma, depression, grief, occupational problems, aging, depression, codependency, relationships, & people-pleasing tendencies.  Sharon is experienced in working with children but prefers to work with parents to assist them in gaining knowledge & confidence in their ability to raise strong, loving, and responsible children.  She has wide-ranging experience working with parents and is a certified parent trainer in Active Parenting & Guiding Good Choices.  Sharon is an eclectic therapist who utilizes the best of several therapeutic approaches including life experience.     

Education: 

  • California State University, Bakersfield—Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • California State University, Bakersfield—Master of Science in Counseling
  • California State University, Bakersfield—Pupil Personnel Services (PPS)   
  • EMDR Institute:  Fully trained in 2016. 
  • EMDRIA:  Certification by November 2019

Specialization:

  • EMDR Trauma
  • CBT & The 3 Principals
  • Parent Trainer
  • Mindfulness Based Practices
  • Person Centered Approach

Languages:

  • English

Sylvia White, LMFT

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist located in Bakersfield, CA

Sylvia White is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in couples therapy and treating mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. She has worked as a therapist for twenty-five years and is an eleven-year faculty member at the University of Phoenix, teaching all phases of therapeutic counseling.

Languages:

  • English

Contact Us

Address

8329 Brimhall Road, Building 800, Suite 804,  Bakersfield, CA 93312
Phone: (661) 431-1555

Address

6313 Schirra Ct. , Suite 1, Bakersfield, CA 93313
Phone: (661) 323-6410

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