For more information call (310) 739-7344
Hi! Welcome to my practice. My name is Brette Genzel-Derman, Psy.D, M.S.W.
As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who specializes in working with children, adolescents and adults I believe in the importance of an accurate assessment before treatment begins. In gaining a thorough picture of a person's cognitive, academic and social-emotional functioning, a therapist is better prepared to work with a client on the goals they set for themselves. Often times clients may have a feeling that something is "wrong" with them but not know what or why. A thorough assessment of an individual's strengths and weaknesses can be quite validating. It can also offer a client the opportunity to view their area of difficulty within the context of the whole person they are. My approach to the assessment process is geared toward helping clients have an accurate understanding of themselves and how they function in the world. I also believe it's important to assist clients in accepting themselves for who they are, at the same time as providing specific recommendations to facilitate growth, recovery, and healing.
Working with adolescents has become a passion of mine. I believe the first step in engaging teens is finding a way to connect to them. While a lot of therapeutic groups are formed around a child's difficulty or deficit, I believe it is important to come from strengths-based perspective. For this reason I developed Acoustic Youth. This group therapy program brings teens together around a common interest in music and encourages them to work through individual therapeutic issues with the support of their peers. This empowering program allows teens to feel good about creating and recording unique songs. Acoustic Youth is likely to be successful with teens who have not responded well to traditional therapy, struggle to verbally articulate their emotions, and would benefit from additional social support.
My website has been designed to help you learn about me and get an understanding of the services I offer. To find out more about the innovative group treatment modality I developed for teens please go to the Acoustic Youth section. In the Testing/Assessment section you will gain a thorough understanding of how psychological assessment can be helpful.
Education and Clinical Background
Clinical Training and Experience
While completing my Doctorate degree I worked part-time as a foster family social worker at Homes of Hope in West Covina, California. In the eight years that worked at this agency I gained significant clinical experience working with abused and neglected children. As a testing clerk at California State University Los Angeles (CSULA), I conducted psycho-educational assessments with children and adults. As a practicum student at the Child and Family Guidance Center (CFGC) in North Hills, California I was trained in psychodynamic and attachment theory. Providing individual and group therapy to children, adolescents and their families I cultivated my skills in treating trauma and integrating play therapy into my approach. Furthering my expertise in child and adolescent therapy, I completed an internship at the Glen Roberts Child Study Center, in Glendale, California. Here I learned to incorporate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy into my work with children who presented with anxiety, depression, and behavioral problems. As an intern at California Hospital in downtown Los Angeles, I received training in adult assessment and short-term psychotherapy and gained experience working as part of a multi-disciplinary team of health professionals. I obtained advanced training in trauma and child abuse when I returned to CFGC to complete my post-graduate training. Working with victims of physical and sexual abuse, domestic violence and neglect I gained expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD. As part of the Crisis Team I received specialized training in the assessment and treatment of suicidal, homicidal and high risk youth. I also gained experience in group psychotherapy and facilitated a latency age boys sexual abuse group and an adolescent girls sexual abuse group.
I have remained on staff at CFGC as a clinical psychologist for the past 18 years. My responsibilities have included psychological assessments and sexual abuse evaluations, as well as individual, family and group treatment. I have been the Coordinator of the Assessment of Sexual Knowledge (ASK) program for the past 14 years. This program trains staff on how to conduct extended forensic evaluations on children who present high risk behaviors suggestive of sexual abuse. The purpose of this program is to clarify the origins of a child's advanced sexual knowledge and/or behavior and provide treatment recommendations to facilitate healing. As part of this program, I developed an abuse prevention group therapy program for children and their parents called Safety Heroes. Over the years I have recognized the important role that creative arts can play in facilitating healing. As a result, I developed The Therapeutic Creative Arts Program at CFGC in 2015. The goal of this program is to provide innovative group therapy modalities in order to increase resiliency in children. I launched Sonic Teens in the Spring of 2015. This pilot program incorporated song-writing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and mentoring by 15-time Grammy winning singer/songwriter, Dave Grohl. Since 2015, I have co-developed three other therapeutic creative arts groups at CFGC which utilize evidenced-based treatment interventions and the arts to help children increase emotional expression, social connections and coping strategies.
I cultivated my skills in psychological testing working as a contractor for ten years at Children's Institute Inc., in Los Angeles, California. I also contracted with Village Family Services for several years providing high quality psychological assessment services. The experience of working at non-profit community mental health agencies has provided me with significant clinical experience in the assessment and diagnosis of complex trauma, ADHD, anxiety, depression, learning disabilities, disruptive behavior problems, developmental disabilities, substance abuse and personality disorders.
I hope you find this information helpful and I look forward to working with you in the future.
If you would like to make an appointment for a psychological assessment or sign up for Acoustic Youth please contact my office at 310.739.7344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.