DBT Therapists at DBT Los Angeles
Our team of dedicated DBT therapists is committed to providing you with the best and most effective treatment experience possible, and to help you achieve your goals. We take great pride in the high level of training and experience that our team offers.
All of our DBT therapists are extensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and have multiple years of experience providing comprehensive DBT, which includes individual DBT sessions, DBT skills groups, and coaching. Our staff therapists are also trained in a variety of other evidence-based treatments, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Seeking Safety, Prolonged Exposure Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
Michael Roy, MSW, LCSW
Michael Roy, MSW, LCSW, is the founder and executive director of DBT Los Angeles, and is also a DBT therapist. Michael has more than 25 years of experience as a director, administrator, and therapist serving a wide range of mental health and addiction populations. Michael is well-known as a leader in the DBT community, starting the first comprehensive DBT residential treatment center for Borderline Personality Disorder on the West Coast.
Michael was intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) by Behavioral Tech, Marsha Linehan’s training institute, and received advanced intensive DBT training by Charles Swenson, MD, an internationally known DBT trainer. Additionally, Michael received training in advanced DBT topics by Dr. Marsha Linehan and Dr. Seth Axelrod, of Yale University. Michael is twice intensively trained in Mentalization-Based Therapy (MBT) by its developers, Dr. Anthony Bateman and Dr. Peter Fonagy. Michael is also trained in the combined DBT and Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET) protocol by Melanie Harned, the developer of the model.
Michael has numerous years of experience running both outpatient and residential DBT treatment centers. He is a recognized expert in the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder, substance abuse and addictions, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders, including PTSD.
Alina Gorgorian, Ph.D.
Executive Clinical Director, Director of Training and Development
Alina Gorgorian, Ph.D., is the director of training and development at DBT Los Angeles and Clearview Treatment Programs, where she ensures all staff is trained in the latest evidence-based treatments. She is also clinical director of Clearview Women’s Center for Borderline Personality and Emotional Disorders in Venice Beach, Calif, a nationally known residential comprehensive DBT program.
Dr. Gorgorian was intensively trained in DBT by Behavioral Tech, and leads regular DBT trainings and courses for the staff at DBT Los Angeles and all of Clearview’s programs. She also provides DBT trainings to clinicians, both nationally and internationally. She is trained in a variety of other evidence-based therapies, including CBT, ACT, and CBASP.
Steven Rudoy, Psy.D.
Dr. Steven Rudoy received his Psy.D. in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University, focusing on the treatment of severe mental illness and implementation of evidence based practices.
He completed two training rotations through the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. His first was in the Aftercare Research Program, a treatment laboratory focusing on the treatment of young adults with first-episode psychosis, employing cognitive remediation training, skills building, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Next, Dr. Rudoy completed a year-long training rotation through the Youth Stress and Mood Clinic, specializing in the treatment of severe mood and emotion dysregulation in children and teens. Through this opportunity, Dr. Rudoy was introduced to DBT as part of a comprehensive team, studying the efficacy of comprehensive DBT for the treatment of severe emotion dysregulation in adolescents with features of Borderline Personality Disorder. Through this study, a collaboration between UCLA and the University of Washington, Dr. Rudoy received extensive training in the assessment of BPD and was involved in regular consultation regarding treatment implementation and clinical management.
Dr. Rudoy completed an APA-accredited internship at Pacific Clinics, Southern California’s largest community mental health agency. Through this experience and during postdoctoral training at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, Dr. Rudoy honed his specialization in the treatment of chronic and severe mental illnesses, personality disorders, substance use disorders, as well as program development and supervision.
Dr. Rudoy served as Program Coordinator at Gateways Forensic Residential Services, overseeing two residential facilities for individuals with both mental illness, substance use disorders, and frequent interaction with the legal system. In this role, Dr. Rudoy served as the primary training supervisor and oversaw the day-to-day operations of an acute residential setting serving high risk clients.
Dr. Rudoy has continued to develop his skill in the application of DBT and CBT through continued trainings through Behavioral Tech, LLC and an outpatient DBT program. Dr. Rudoy has treated clients with varying presentations using evidence-based practices, and has experience both in the implementation of treatment protocols, as well as in training clinicians to carry out effective treatments with specific client populations.
As clinical director, Dr. Rudoy oversees the clinical program for mental and substance abusing clients, facilitates DBT skills groups, and provides training and education on DBT and other evidenced based treatments to program staff.
Charles Swenson, MD
Charles Swenson is the DBT consultant for DBT Los Angeles, and provides weekly consultation and periodic training to the DBT therapists at the outpatient center.
Dr. Swenson graduated from Harvard University and received his MD from Yale Medical School. He is an internationally recognized trainer, program implementation specialist, and expert in DBT and Borderline Personality Disorder. Dr. Swenson has been pivotal in developing all of the DBT programs at the DBT Center of Los Angeles, as well as Clearview Treatment Programs.
Dr. Swenson previously worked with Dr. Marsha Linehan and Behavioral Tech, and now consults nationally and internationally on DBT therapy. He also provides trainings to clinicians worldwide. Dr. Swenson is an associate professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts.
Nicole Riddle, Psy.D.
Associate Clinical Director and Family Program Coordinator
Dr. Nicole Riddle received her Psy.D. in clinical psychology from PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium in Palo Alto, California. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship in Behavioral Medicine at Harbor UCLA Medical Center.
During her fellowship, she provided individual therapy, inpatient and outpatient medical consultation, brief neuropsychological assessment in the inpatient medical setting, supervised doctoral candidate students, and co-facilitated a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) course for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health clinicians.
Dr. Riddle trained in evidence-based therapies, including Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), CBT, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), as applied to working with patients diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, post-partum depression, chronic pelvic pain, and eating disorders in both outpatient and inpatient medical settings.
Dr. Riddle received additional training in CBT, as well as individual and group DBT therapy, at the Palo Alto Veteran’s Administration. She participated as a clinician on the Marin County Mental Health DBT clinical team, provided DBT-informed treatment as a pre-doctoral intern at Boston Medical Center’s forensic inpatient psychiatric hospital, and participated as a clinician in the DBT for Binge Eating Disorder study at Stanford University Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic.
Dr. Riddle is trained as a National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA-BPD) Family Connections leader.
Dr. Riddle is bilingual in Spanish and English and is a current member of the American Psychological Association.
At Clearview, Dr. Riddle facilitates DBT skills groups, provides individual therapy using DBT, and works with patients suffering from eating disorders. Dr. Riddle also runs an ongoing DBT skills course for families of clients at Clearview Women’s Center.
Associate Clinical DirectorDr. Sandra Powers received her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Hartford in West Hartford, Conn. Her clinical training and research concentrated on evidence-based treatments and group therapy. Dr. Powers completed her clinical internship at Yale University, where her intensive training focused on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for Borderline Personality Disorder. There, she provided individual and group therapy using DBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and existential therapies in an intensive outpatient setting. She also created an outpatient follow-up DBT treatment program and supervised advanced graduate students.
Dr. Powers received intensive training in CBT for anxiety disorders at the Yale Child Study Center. She is a member of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT). Her clinical interests include evidence-based practice, group therapy, personality disorders, and depressive disorders.
As associate clinical director, Dr. Powers oversees the clinical program at outpatient services and provides mindfulness, DBT, and process-oriented group therapy, as well as DBT- and CBT-informed individual therapy. Sandra also leads the DBT consultation team meetings at outpatient.
DBT Therapist and Skills Group FacilitatorKate Roahrig received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2012 from Pepperdine University. Kate is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
Her deep interest in psychology sparked during her undergraduate studies at Indiana University, where she majored in psychology and worked in substance abuse treatment at Tara Treatment Center. While there, she co-facilitated the men and women’s process groups and worked closely with clients through their recovery using the 12-step model.
During her master’s program, Kate trained as an in-home outreach counselor with Valley Trauma Counseling Center. She conducted therapy with families and individuals of all backgrounds who were involved with the Department of Children and Family Services and suffering from emotional, mood, psychotic, and personality disorders.
Kate also worked with John Briere, Ph.D., and Randye Semple, Ph.D., studying the genetics of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in patients admitted to the trauma units at LAC+USC Medical Center. She conducted clinical interviews with trauma patients and administered assessments, over a structured time period, to track the potential for and development of PTSD. Through these experiences, Kate developed a thoughtful understanding of the human experience and the clinical needs of individuals.
Kate has been a member of the Clearview Women’s Center team since 2012, starting her work as a community counselor and moving into the position of house manager. As house manager, Kate worked closely with the treatment team to ensure each client’s experience upheld Clearview’s mission and values.
Kate has been a DBT Therapist and Skills Group Facilitator at Clearview for several years. She facilitates DBT skills groups and CBT groups, and provides individual therapy and skills coaching utilizing DBT. Kate is trained as a National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA-BPD) Family Connections leader and co-leads the family program offered at Clearview.
DBT Therapist and Skills Group FacilitatorMolly Ackerly received her Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) from Columbia University in New York and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Molly is an Associate Clinical Social Worker (ASW) through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.Molly focused her clinical training on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and other evidence-based treatments. While at Columbia University, Molly completed the DBT Training Program and Lab under the supervision of Dr. André Ivanoff, president of Behavioral Tech.
Molly completed her intensive DBT training in 2016 with Randy Wolbert and Gwen Abney-Cunningham at Columbia University. Additionally, Molly received clinical training in exposure therapy, functional analysis, suicide risk assessment and protocol, chemical dependency, Complicated Grief Treatment (CGT), Motivational Interviewing, and cognitive behavioral advanced clinical methods.
As a DBT intern at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Conn., Molly provided individual psychotherapy to adults with substance use disorders, eating disorders, personality disorders, depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. She also sat on a multidisciplinary DBT consultation team, co-led DBT skills groups, and led dual-diagnosis groups. While at Silver Hill, Molly also worked as a residential counselor in the Transitional Living Program to provide milieu skills coaching to adults and adolescents with co-occurring disorders.
Molly also previously worked at Four Winds Hospital in Katonah, N.Y., as a milieu manager and mental health worker. At Four Winds, Molly provided DBT milieu skills coaching and crisis de-escalation to adolescents with severe mental illness in an acute care setting.
At Clearview, Molly facilitates DBT skills training groups, CBT groups, and relapse-prevention groups, and provides individual DBT therapy.
DBT Therapist and Skills Group FacilitatorCharlotte Wickham received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from University of California San Diego.Her clinical interests are the study and practice of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Her clinical training has focused on evidenced-based practices in outpatient, intensive outpatient, and partial hospitalization settings. Additionally, she has attended several classes at the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center that helped enhance her clinical work.
Charlotte previously worked at Harbor UCLA’s Adult Outpatient Program, intensively training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy as well as several other evidence-based therapies, including Prolonged Exposure Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy.
While at Harbor, she participated in a DBT consultation team, led a DBT skills training group, and practiced individual DBT therapy. She also received intensive training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and facilitated a CBT group for anxiety and depression, as well as training in psychodiagnostic assessment with adults and conducted assessments for outpatient adult psychiatry populations.
Prior to Harbor UCLA, Charlotte worked at the UCSD Eating Disorders Center for Treatment & Research, where she gained experience working with women and men with a variety of eating disorders, as well as Borderline Personality Disorder. There, she gained experience with inpatient, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs while utilizing a variety of modalities, including DBT and CBT.
At Clearview, Charlotte provides individual therapy and facilities ACT, behavioral activities, and mind/body wellness groups.
Courtney Kent, LCSW
DBT Therapist and Skills Group Facilitator
Courtney Kent received her Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Georgetown University. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.
Her clinical interests are the study and practice of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Her clinical training has focused on evidenced-based practices in outpatient, intensive outpatient, and partial hospitalization settings. Additionally, Courtney has attended class at the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center.
While in graduate school, Courtney interned at Family Services of Santa Monica (FSSM) and The Gathering Place. While at FSSM, she gained experience working with women, men and children with a variety of diagnoses, including Borderline Personality Disorder. Courtney attended various trainings while at FSSM, including: Trauma Focused CBT (TFCBT), Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). While at The Gathering Place, Courtney gained experience doing Bereavement counseling in individual and group settings with individuals from 5-85 years old.
Courtney previously worked at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, where she received extensive training in various evidenced based therapies, including CBT, Seeking Safety, Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) and Crisis Oriented Recovery Services (CORS). Additionally she participated in a DBT skills training through Behavioral Tech. While at Didi Hirsch, she facilitated the following groups: Grief Support, Transitional Aged Youth (TAY) and Healthy Relationships. Additionally, she supervised peers in IPT group supervision.
At Clearview’s Outpatient Treatment Center, Courtney received a DBT Foundational Training and an online Behavioral Chain Analysis & Validation training through Behavioral Tech, Marsha Linehan’s training institute. Courtney provides individual therapy and facilitates: DBT, CBT, Relapse Prevention, Codependency and Motivational Interviewing & Commitment groups, as well as conducting individual therapy sessions and skills coaching.
Lucy Swank, ACSW
DBT Therapist and Skills Group Facilitator
Lucy Swank received her Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) from Columbia University in New York and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Economics from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA. Lucy is an Associate Clinical Social Worker (ACSW) through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.
Lucy focused her clinical training on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and other evidence-based treatments. While at Columbia University, Lucy completed the DBT Training Program and Lab under the supervision of Dr. André Ivanoff, president of Behavioral Tech.
Lucy completed her intensive DBT training in 2017 with Randy Wolbert and Gwen Abney-Cunningham at Columbia University. Additionally, Lucy received clinical training in exposure therapy, functional analysis, suicide risk assessment and protocol, chemical dependency, motivational Interviewing, and cognitive behavioral advanced clinical methods.
As a DBT intern at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, CT, Lucy provided individual psychotherapy to adults with substance use disorders, eating disorders, personality disorders, depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. She also sat on a multidisciplinary DBT consultation team, co-led DBT skills groups, and led dual-diagnosis groups.
Lucy also previously worked at St. Christopher’s Inc., a therapeutic boarding school, in Dobbs Ferry, NY as an intake coordinator.
At Clearview’s DBT Center, Lucy facilitates DBT skills training groups, Recovery Skills groups, and Relationship Skills groups. Lucy also facilitates WRAP and Skills Rehearsal groups for PHP clients. Lucy provides individual DBT therapy. Lastly, Lucy is responsible for coordinating family weekends three to four times a year.
Kotra Ajir, M.D.
Dr. Kotra Ajir received her MD from the New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York in 1992. Her four-year residency training in psychiatry took place at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance. During that time, she developed an interest in pharmacogenetics, how different ethnic groups metabolize medications, and published a paper on the pharmacogenetics and pharmacodynamics of Adinazolam.
In 1996, Dr. Ajir completed a one-year fellowship in substance abuse at UCLA and the West L.A. Veterans Administration Medical Center. She was the principal investigator on several studies sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). She was also the study physician for several studies run by LAARC and served as the physician at MATRIX Institute, an outpatient treatment program for drug and alcohol dependence.
In 1997, Dr. Ajir started a private practice in psychiatry, while she continued research, and was an attending psychiatrist on the Substance Abuse Unit at the UCLA-Neuropsychiatric Institute. She specializes in dual diagnosis and treats mood, anxiety, and personality disorders.
At Clearview, Dr. Ajir functions as the psychiatrist at Clearview Center for Addictions and Mental Health Disorders and is an integral part of the treatment team. She conducts comprehensive psychiatric assessments, and provides ongoing psychopharmacological management and consultation.
Kara Johnson, MA, LMFT
Kara Johnson received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) through California’s Board of Behavioral Sciences.
Kara’s clinical training focuses on utilizing evidence-based practices in residential, intensive outpatient, and outpatient settings. She has concentrated much of her experience on working in dual diagnosis residential treatment, including her clinical traineeship at Tarzana Treatment Center. Kara provided individual therapy, crisis intervention, and facilitated groups including DBT, CBT, and Seeking Safety at Tarzana Treatment Center and other dual diagnosis treatment centers. Kara also provided comprehensive DBT to adolescents and young adults at other Los Angeles based DBT programs.
Kara has extensive training in DBT and has clinical experience providing individual DBT therapy, facilitating DBT skills groups, providing phone coaching, and being an active member of a DBT consultation team. She completed two DBT Foundational Trainings in 2017 – one through Behavioral Tech with Drs. Jennifer Sayrs and Elizabeth Dexter-Mezza and the second one with Dr. Charlie Swenson.
In 2016, she completed a DBT Advanced Intensive with Drs. Kelly Koerner and Charlie Swenson. Kara has also completed two 5-Day DBT trainings in 2017 and 2018 with Dr. Shari Manning on exposure, trauma, and case conceptualization. Additionally, Kara has post-masters training in CBT and Motivational Interviewing. She is a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.
Kara is currently working at Clearview’s Dual Diagnosis program as a Program Therapist. In addition to providing individual therapy, she facilitates DBT skills training groups and CBT groups. She is trained as a National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA-BPD) Family Connections leader and currently co-facilitates the Family Program.
Susan A. Horvat, MA, APCC
Susan Horvat received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology (Eagan, MN) and her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and Literature from St. Cloud State University (St. Cloud, MN). Susan is an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor (APCC) through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) through the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
Susan completed her intensive Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) training in 2016 with Dr. Sharing Manning, former President and CEO of Behavioral Tech, through Treatment Implementation Collaborative’s Core Clinical Training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Additionally, Susan has received training in exposure therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), assessing and managing suicide risk (LRAMP), Good Psychiatric Management for Borderline Personality Disorder, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC).
In 2014, Susan was hired at Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center (HVMHC) in Red Wing, MN, to organize a DBT program and in 2016 she was able to get the program state-certified through the Minnesota Department of Human Services. While at HVMHC, Susan also provided individual psychotherapy to adults with anxiety, depression, substance use disorders, personality disorders and mood disorders. She sat on a multidisciplinary DBT consultation team, co-facilitated DBT skills training groups and served as Goodhue County Truancy Liaison.
At Clearview’s Outpatient Center Susan provides DBT skills coaching and individual therapy. She also facilitates groups (i.e., DBT, Skills Application, Recovery Skills, Mindfulness, Self-Compassion) and helps coordinate family weekends three to four times a year. Her primary clinical interests include evidence-based treatments such as Mindfulness, Self-Compassion, DBT and EMDR.
Zoe Cohen, MSW, ACSW
DBT Therapist and Skills Group Facilitator
Zoe Cohen received her Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) from Columbia University in New York and her Bachelor’s Degree in History and Environmental Studies from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Zoe is an Associate Clinical Social Worker (ACSW) through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.
Zoe focused her clinical training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and other evidence-based treatments. While at Columbia University, Zoe completed the DBT Training Program and Lab under the supervision of Dr. Andre Ivanoff.
Zoe completed her intensive DBT training in 2018 with Randy Wolbert and Gwen Abney-Cunningham at Columbia University. Zoe received additional clinical training in exposure therapy, functional analysis, suicide risk assessment and protocol, alcohol and chemical dependency, motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral advanced clinical methods.
As a DBT intern at NYC Health + Hospitals at Rikers Island, Queens, Zoe provided individual psychotherapy and group skills training to incarcerated male individuals with substance use disorders, personality disorders, depression, anxiety, psychotic disorders and other mood disorders. Zoe was also part of a multidisciplinary DBT consultation team, co-led DBT skills groups and provided milieu coaching.
Zoe also previously worked for the NYC Department of Education as a school social worker at a middle school in the Bronx, NY.
At Clearview’s Outpatient Center, Zoe facilitates intensive DBT skills groups and Skill Application groups. Zoe also facilitates WRAP and weekend planning groups for PHP clients.
Brooke Aschidamini, MS, RD, CISSN
Brooke Aschidamini, MS, RD, CISSN, is the nutritional therapist and dietitian at DBT Los Angles. She works with clients to help them create healthier relationships with food, their bodies, and themselves.
Brooke specializes in eating disorders, mind-body awareness, and behavioral change.