Client Reviews Dona L Desmond PhD LMFT

PhD LMFT

Client Reviews Dona L Desmond PhD LMFT

PhD LMFT

Professions: Counselor, Marriage & Family Therapist, Mental Health Counselor
License Status: I'm a licensed professional.
Primary Credential: LMFT
Secondary Credential: Couples Therapist - 26 years experience.
Billing and Insurance:

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Accepting New Clients
Weekend Availability
Evening Availability

Offices

20301 Ventura Blvd
Suite 336
Woodland Hills, California 91364

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My Approach to Helping

CLIENT REVIEWS AND TESTIMONIALS FOR COUPLES THERAPIST Dona Laressa Desmond PhD, LMFT

Welcome! 26 years experience helping Couples in the LA area. My goal is to help you enhance & improve your relationship so that you can leave therapy & live your life. I provide Couples Therapy and Marriage Counseling as well as PreMarital Counseling. As a Relationship Therapist I help couples in all stages of love -- Dating, living together, committed, engaged, married & I also help couples with Infidelity Recovery,. I am available to help you enhance your emotional life together or, if you're struggling, I can help you fix your relationship before things go too far.

To see all of the ways that I can help you please visit my extensive website for Couples Therapy and PreMarital Counseling.

CLIENT REVIEWS AND TESTIMONIALS .....
"...I'm really grateful we found you to help us out. This is the toughest time we’ve been through in our marriage. Thank you again for your help." Clients ~~~ Northridge, CA

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"...Hello Dona, it was very nice meeting with you yesterday. We really felt comfortable with you and look forward to the work we will do." Clients ~~~ West Hills, CA

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"...You have been so helpful! Thank you so much! We will follow up with the suggestions you gave us. Again your help is so appreciated!  You have reminded us that there are good people out there, and have helped us feel supported and confident about reaching out for help." Clients ~~~ Glendale, CA

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"...I was interested in couples therapy for my fiancé and myself due to experiencing a difficult time due to an infidelity issue which I recently found out about.  I got laryngitis and completely lost my voice from crying so much this close to our wedding next month. Thank you for helping us with this and showing us some hope and conflict solving tools." Clients ~~~ Culver City, CA

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"...My husband and I went through infertility for 3.5 years, having 4 IUIs, 2 surgeries, 3 IVFs and 2 miscarriages.  Now we're waiting to be picked through an adoption agency. I know it will happen eventually it is all just a matter of time.  Anywhooo, it' s been really hard on me as you know since my sisters pregnant again. I just feel so sad for me and my hubby.We really needed a therapist to help with the emotional load which was tearing us up. Your calm guidance and understanding is a god send. We appreciate what you're doing for our marriage." Clients - Marina Del Rey, CA
"...As you know my boyfriend and I have been going through a lot lately and we need this therapy because we can't seem to understand or let go of our hurt. Last nights session was a lift. Thanks you for listening and helping us. We appreciate your ideas." Clients ~~~ Studio City, CA

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"...We were referred by our son’s therapist to Dona Desmond. He recommended her as a couples therapist for my wife and I. We never compromise on anything plus I can't do right whatever I do. It just saddens me for everything to be a battle. My wife says our marriage is too much pain & she thinks I hate everything which is unbelievable to me. We have marriage counseling twice a month because of my travel schedule. Dona is fair to us both and works with our schedule. We have been getting better and I think its because she helps us communicate in her office. It is a slow go but we both feel a light and some hope." Clients ~~~ Agoura Hills, CA

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"...I'm relationship savvy, but I still went through amazingly confusing times in my relationship. Dona grounded me when I felt like a plastic bag in the wind. What I liked was her experience and perspective, and how she applied it to me. I work in film so I'm also a stickler for authenticity." Clients ~~~ Hollywood, CA

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"...Thanks for your help. We feel comfortable with your knowledge and professional attitude. Our sessions with you are amazing. My girlfriend feels the change now and ditto for me." Clients - Brentwood, CA

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"We just met with Dr Dona for 6 weeks of premarital counseling. We really appreciate how thorough she was in going over all the aspects of a strong marriage with us plus helping us with some issues that we always struggled with. So glad she could be our counselor." Clients ~~~ Encino, CA

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"...Very helpful. Good therapist. Productive experience." Clients ~~~ West Lake Village, CA

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“…Our premarital sessions were awesome. We loved her menu of things to discuss that we hadn't really focused on before. We really found value in sitting with her and recommend her." Clients ~~~ Culver City, CA

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“…We recommend our counselor Dona Desmond for premarital counseling sessions. My partner and I (together 6 years now) are psyched to start a new part of our lives together. We got engaged this summer. I often (because of my childhood) thought about specific therapy to help us get further along in communication. My parents got divorced when I was 9 (confused me about marriage) so I wanted someone experienced to help me past blind spots.
We asked Dr Dona for premarital counseling then met with her that week. She was specific about the areas we needed, also the main components of happy marriages that can last. We really like her, especially how detailed she can be on certain topics so we learn the why and how. It’s comfortable for us (actually the time flies). We went for the 6 session deal package (half way through now). I feel stronger about how to manage my fears plus my partner is being less critical. We’re really happy with the process. I recommend it if you're planning to get married." Clients ~~~ West Los Angeles, CA

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“…My fiancé & I are in a really good place most of the time. No major grief on the horizon but premarital counseling was something we put on our list because we thought it would be helpful to spend time with an expert to get some tools or tips for the long view. We did the 6 sessions package. It was amazing! It gave us so much to talk about during the week along with all sorts of things we never actually discussed before. Dr Dona was very organized, clear in her approach, honestly it was surprisingly informative. Really enjoyable counseling experience. We looked forward to our weekly sessions. It was like a date night, after sessions we got a coffee & talked for hours. We decided that if we ever need marriage counseling in the future we know who we’ll turn to. Good experience. Definitely recommend it.” Clients ~~~ Playa Del Rey, CA

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“…My fiancé and I were looking to improve our communication. Dona was able to see us late during the week which worked out fine. We are in our 40's now and this will be a second marriage for each of us. Obviously we never got it right so this time we want to find a formula to succeed. We are using the premarital approach to lock down a formula we can agree on for future times of stress. Now 3 weeks into the process we're both feeling optimistic. I think the premarital sessions help us be more stable during rough moments. Dr Dona is very perceptive but always kind and she's really skilled about relationships so we are thinking we can maybe get it right this time now that were learning new skills for communication." Clients ~~~ Brentwood, CA

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“…Me & my fiancé met with Dr Dona to explore premarital counseling. We've been together since college & engaged for 3 months. Our wedding is a year out but we've been going through some very tough problems recently that have built up for a while. We were planning on seeking premarital counseling anyway but later on closer to the wedding, sadly things have been spiraling & we felt we needed to address some issues urgently. We wrote Dr D & she set us up for a session on a Sunday. For me I was relieved that she understood our situation quickly & gave us advice that was gentle. That’s a big thing for my fiancé because he had a counselor in college that ragged on him so he was worried about that, but she gave us some insights in a kind way. After we worked through our recent conflict she did the Pillars of a Happy Marriage with us & that was awesome. We recommend her & really recommend premarital counseling now.” Clients ~~~ Santa Monica, CA

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“…My fiancé & I needed serious help. Engaged in September, everything’s still been a struggle ever since. Our fights are terrible, he's always breaking off with me. We’ve been together 2 years & always say how much we love each. He says our problems are my problems trusting him since he had a mental affair with a girl from his past that I found out about when I checked his phone. We were hoping to find someone that can give us hope & guidance before he says my resentment will kill things forever. He's also depressed because he feels guilty. I'm mad at him for being mad at me. My parents want me to leave him which isn't helping me. He hasn't told his parents but I think he should. We're totally stuck & the wedding is in 3 months. We both thought if we got counseling maybe both we could fix our relationship. I thought about premarital counseling for ages but my fiancé wasn’t sure about it, then I saw an episode of Dr Phil where he recommended premarital counseling to someone with a similar problem.
"We found Dr Desmond through a Google search & she responded back quickly. We asked her if we could get a combination of premarital counseling & some couples therapy for our other problems. Our counseling with her was helpful because after that first one I felt so much hope that we could get through it. She's easy to talk to, plus taught us things we needed. She was able to see us at night after work so that made things possible for us. It’s not perfect yet but we feel we’re lifting back up to how we should be. I can almost start thinking about the wedding again without freaking out.” Clients ~~~ West Hills, CA

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“…I reached out for premarital therapy because my fiancé & I were having some problems.  It’s been a lot recently, especially because our wedding is in seven months. My fiancé is from Ecuador but we met when he was here on vacation. Everything was over the top for us, I truly feel he’s my prince, but now that he’s here we’re finally close everyday with a lot of problem triggers over small things. I feel I cant do anything right for him, then we argue before bed almost every night. Our road to the wedding is a battlefield because his mom thinks I’m spoiled, my mom is begging me to postpone the wedding. I felt like at this point we needed an outsider’s perspective who is not our families to see if we can fix things. We signed on for 6 sessions of premarital therapy with Dr Dona, now were on session 3. Its helping us already at least to stop fighting before bed. I’m trying to see his point that I disrespect him when I interrupt a lot. He's trying to see my side that I need him to still be romantic with me and be the man I fell in love with. He’s being nicer to me since we have have an agreement on how to communicate better so we argue less. I am excited for more session. I like the way Dr. Dona makes us each feel safe about our points of view. She's not judgy at all but is teaching us to make things better so we're feeling some good that we found the right counselor for us." Clients ~~~ Chatsworth, CA

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“…Me and my girlfriend have been together about 4 years now. We are having a lot of arguments and disagreements lately I just want to work on getting us back happy because I really love this girl and am truly planning on being with her forever. I want to marry her for her birthday next year so we can start our new life together. We also have a 7 month old child together. After our daughter was born things got bad for us. No sex, fights such loud yelling that I don't want my daughter to see anymore. We used to be golden, I don't know why we can’t even talk without arguing now. My girlfriend makes me feel like the villain but I need us to be like we were with her not mad all the time. I wrote Dr Dona about all this and we went in for premarital counseling 2 times a week at first then because of sitter issues we had to go every other week. Things are improving with my girlfriend. She says I understand her better. Her stress with the baby isn’t better yet but I’m hoping. She made me write this review because she needs me to do more to help out. Other things are improving though. We’re glad to get help.” Clients ~~~ Woodland Hills, CA

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“...We contacted Dona Desmond looking for an emergency session. We got into a really bad fight about the wedding plans, honestly the worst ever. She had a special package for our situation. Helped me with an anger issues & we came back for work on our communication with some sessions. Too much wedding stress! So far it’s helpful. We found value there.” Clients ~~~ Calabasas, CA

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“...We're recently engaged. My fiancé & I have both had good experiences in therapy so I'm on board for some counseling. Our first meeting with Dr. D was good, she's warm, caring, knowledgeable about the stuff we’re going through. My challenge is my work schedule so sessions are hard for me but she is willing to work with that, seeing us on Sundays, so far so good. She also does evening sessions and has stayed late to see us at times. We feel good about this therapy experience so we both definitely recommend her for relationship improvement and also for communication.” Clients ~~~ Santa Monica, CA

Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With

Couples Communication
Couples Therapy
Premarital Counseling
Marriage Counseling
Intimacy Improvement
Letting Go of the Past
Relationship Rescue
Problem Solving as a Couple
Time Management and Intimacy
Conflict Resolution for Relationships
Enhanced Listening
Resentment Recovery
Intimacy
Needs vs Wants
Privacy and Taking Personal Space
Trust
Collaboration in Relationships
Clashing Values
Making a Fresh Start
Honoring Agreements
Infidelity and Cheating
Online Affairs
Affair Proofing Your Marriage
Trauma Healing
Anger Release
Healing from the Past
Sex and Passion
Sex Therapy for Couples
Second Marriages
Mid-Life Romances

Image Gallery

Services I Provide

  • Coaching
  • Consultation
  • Family Therapy
  • Individual Therapy & Counseling
  • Marriage, Couples, or Relationship Counseling
  • Online Counseling / Phone Therapy
  • Premarital Counseling

Ages I Work With

  • Adults
  • Elders

Languages

  • English

Groups I Work With

    Couples Therapy, PreMarital Counseling, Marriage Counseling, Relationship Help, Couples Conflict Resolution, Intimacy Reboot, Infidelity Recovery for Couples,

Client Concerns I Treat

  • Abandonment
  • Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions
  • Adoption / Reunion Issues
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Attachment Issues
  • Blended Family Issues
  • Body Image
  • Breakup
  • Cancer
  • Caregiver Issues / Stress
  • Child and/or Adolescent Issues
  • Codependency / Dependency
  • Communication Problems
  • Depression
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Emotional Overwhelm
  • Emptiness
  • Family of Origin Issues
  • Family Problems
  • Fear
  • Forgiveness
  • Grief, Loss, and Bereavement
  • Inadequacy
  • Inattention, Impulsivity, and Hyperactivity (ADHD)
  • Individuation
  • Infidelity / Affair Recovery
  • Irritability
  • Isolation
  • Jealousy
  • Life Purpose / Meaning / Inner-Guidance
  • Midlife Crisis / Midlife Transition
  • Mood Swings / Mood Disturbance
  • Polyamory / Nonmonogamous Relationships
  • Posttraumatic Stress / Trauma
  • Pre-Marital Counseling
  • Rejection
  • Relationships and Marriage
  • Self-Actualization
  • Self-Care
  • Self-Compassion
  • Self-Confidence
  • Self-Criticism
  • Self-Doubt
  • Self-Esteem
  • Self-Love
  • Sensitivity to Criticism
  • Spirituality
  • Stress
  • Trust Issues
  • Values Clarification
  • Women's Issues
  • Worry
  • Worthlessness

Types of Therapy

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Anger Management
  • Art Therapy
  • Body-Mind Psychotherapy
  • Clean Language, Symbolic Modeling, and Metaphor Therapy
  • Client-Directed Outcome-Informed Therapy (CDOI)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Collaborative Couple Therapy (CCT)
  • Collaborative Therapy
  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)
  • Conflict Resolution Therapy
  • Contemplative Psychotherapy
  • Core Process Psychotherapy (CPP)
  • Critical Incident Stress Management
  • Depth Therapy
  • Depth-Oriented Brief Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Dreamwork
  • Emotion Focused Couples Therapy
  • Emotion Focused Therapy
  • Emotional Freedom Technique
  • Emotional Transformation Therapy (ETT)
  • Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy
  • Emotionally Focused Therapy
  • Energy Psychology
  • Existential Psychotherapy
  • Family Attachment Narrative Therapy
  • Family Constellations
  • Family Systems Therapy
  • Focusing
  • Guided Therapeutic Imagery
  • Humanistic Psychology (humanism)
  • Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT)
  • Integration of different therapy models
  • Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP)
  • Internal Family Systems (IFS)
  • Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
  • Journal Therapy
  • Jungian Psychotherapy
  • Lifespan Integration (LI)
  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
  • Mindfulness-Based Interventions
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
  • Nonviolent Communication (NVC)
  • Other - Not Listed Here
  • Parent Work
  • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
  • Person-Centered Therapy (Rogerian Therapy)
  • Poetry Therapy
  • Positive Psychology
  • Positive Psychotherapy
  • Possibility Therapy
  • Pragmatic / Experiential Therapy for Couples (PET-C)
  • Process Oriented Psychology
  • Psycho-Physical Therapy
  • Psychoanalysis / Modern Psychoanalysis
  • Psychodrama
  • Psychodynamic
  • Psychosynthesis
  • Radiant Heart Therapy
  • Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT)
  • Reality Therapy
  • Redecision therapy
  • Relational Life Therapy
  • Relational Psychotherapy
  • Relationship Enhancement Therapy
  • Self Psychology
  • Self-Acceptance Training
  • Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)
  • Somatic Psychotherapy
  • Systems Theory /Therapy
  • Thought Field Therapy (TFT)
  • Time Line Therapy
  • Transactional Analysis
  • Transpersonal Psychotherapy
  • Trauma Relief Unlimited (TRU)
  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
  • Voice Dialogue
  • Yoga Therapy
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