Dona Laressa Desmond PhD, Counseling in Woodland Hills, California, 91364

Dona Laressa Desmond


Dona Laressa Desmond


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

I don't currently accept insurance, but I can provide documentation if clients wish to submit to an insurance company for "out of network" benefit coverage

Fees: There are two ways that therapists can deal with health insurance. One is if they are "in network providers." The other is if they are "out of network providers." The difference in these two will determine what and how much you pay out of pocket for therapy. For an explanation about how these differ and how I handle insurance as it relates to my clients email me.

REDUCED FEES...The way that I handle sliding scale fees is by offering a number of prepaid package deals as well as some sessions that are shorter than 60 min. To see these you can go to the Fees Page on my website which has a link under my photo.

INITIAL CONSULTATION...Should you need an initial free consultation before scheduling a session with me we can do it via email.
Free Initial Consultation
Accepting New Clients
Weekend Availability
Evening Availability


20301 Ventura Blvd
Suite 336
Woodland Hills, California 91364
2001 South Barrington Ave
Suite 301
Los Angeles, California 90025

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My Approach to Helping

22 years experience ~ Solution Focused Relationship Expert


Communication expert helping you get closer

It's so easy for good love to slide into bad patterns. Life gets busy, communication falls off and suddenly there is a barrier between you. I understand how that happens. I'm here to help you move past conflicts, get on the same page and feel closer to each other.

Relationships have a powerful impact on our emotions whether we are dating, living together or married. When love is off course it can distract you from focusing on other areas of your life.

Frustrating power struggles and unfruitful communication increase when a Couple gets out of sync. I'm here to help you reverse that trend and get into a loving zone with each other.

I can help you prevent or undo emotional damage, solve problems together and learn gentler communication. All of this will reinvigorate your connection so that you experience each other in new and more positive ways.

As a Couples Therapist I will give you a safe place to explore, vent and grow. We'll define the challanges and focus on solutions. I'll honor your feelings while helping you get unstuck.

Lack of trust, differences in personal rhythms and vulnerable mood patterns can often cause confusing resentments to form a wall which separates and frustrates leading to unhappiness in the relationship. It's not always easy to fix this on your own and sadly the passage of time doesn't always heal the differences between people.

If you find yourself in this spot I can help you. You will know that you have an experienced Couples Therapist working with you to improve your relationship. If you're struggling with issues of trust, communication or in emotional distress email me, let's see how I can hep you.

I counsel all relationship issues including the non-traditional. I have an unflinching fascination with all facets of human nature and I am happy to extend my expertise to you. Bring me your relationship issues; I will help you sort things out and find solutions.

I also offer special emergency sessions on Sundays in Santa Monica, CA 90404.

I look forward to speaking with you. Email me for fastest contact. Feel free to visit my personal website for extensive info on who I am and what I can do for you. (The link to my website is above under my picture.)

Warm regards,
Dona Laressa Desmond PhD
Couples Counseling Los Angeles

More Info About My Practice


My fees are as follows: ($10 discount for cash or check)
$ 92.50 ~ 30 minute session
$138.75 ~ 45 minute session
$185.00 ~ 60 minute session if payment is via Pal Pal or Credit Card

Insurance ~
I am an out of network provider for several major insurance PPO's. For an explanation of what this means email me. I'll be happy to translate it for you!

Remember that payments made to your therapist usually go toward your deductible.

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
Needs vs Wants
Privacy and Taking Personal Space
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
Long Distance Love
Understanding the Opposite Sex

Image Gallery

Services I Provide

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

Ages I Work With

  • Adults
  • Elders


  • English

Groups I Work With

    Relationship Rescue
    Couples Communication
    Angry Relationship Recovery
    Resentment Release and Letting Go of the Past
    Marriage Counseling and Enhancement
    Intimacy Improvement
    Premarital Counseling
    Long Distance Relationship
    Infidelity and Affair Proofing Your Marriage
    Second Marriage
    Conflict Resolution and Fighting Fairly
    Sex Therapy for Couples
    Trauma Healing
    Communication and Problem Solving
    Enhanced Listening Skills
    Gender Styles in Communication

Client Concerns I Treat

  • Abandonment
  • Abortion / Post Abortion Issues
  • Abuse / Abuse Survivor Issues
  • Academic Concerns
  • Addictions and Compulsions
  • Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions
  • Adoption / Reunion Issues
  • Agoraphobia
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Attachment Issues
  • Blended Family Issues
  • Body Image
  • Breakup
  • Cancer
  • Career Choice
  • Caregiver Issues / Stress
  • Child and/or Adolescent Issues
  • Codependency / Dependency
  • Communication Problems
  • Control Issues
  • Creative Blocks
  • Depression
  • Divorce / Divorce Adjustment
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Emotional Overwhelm
  • Emptiness
  • Family of Origin Issues
  • Family Problems
  • Fear
  • Forgiveness
  • Grief, Loss, and Bereavement
  • Habits
  • Health / Illness / Medical Issues
  • Helplessness / Victimhood
  • Identity Issues
  • Inadequacy
  • Inattention, Impulsivity, and Hyperactivity (ADHD)
  • Individuation
  • Infidelity / Affair Recovery
  • Internet Addiction
  • Irritability
  • Isolation
  • Jealousy
  • Learning Difficulties
  • LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) Issues
  • Life Purpose / Meaning / Inner-Guidance
  • Men's Issues
  • Midlife Crisis / Midlife Transition
  • Mood Swings / Mood Disturbance
  • Multicultural Concerns
  • Other - Not Listed Here
  • Panic
  • Parenting
  • Phobias
  • Polyamory / Nonmonogamous Relationships
  • Posttraumatic Stress / Trauma
  • Power
  • Pre-Marital Counseling
  • Prejudice / Discrimination
  • Rejection
  • Relationships and Marriage
  • Self-Actualization
  • Self-Care
  • Self-Compassion
  • Self-Confidence
  • Self-Criticism
  • Self-Doubt
  • Self-Esteem
  • Self-Love
  • Sensitivity to Criticism
  • Sex Addiction
  • Sexual Assault / Abuse
  • Sexuality / Sex Therapy
  • Shame
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Social Anxiety / Phobia
  • Spirituality
  • Stress
  • Trust Issues
  • Values Clarification
  • Women's Issues
  • Worry
  • Worthlessness
  • Young Adult Issues

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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