Meet Our Therapists in Pasadena, CA

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BREN M. CHASSE, LMFT

Therapist in Pasadena, California

Bren is a leading therapist in Pasadena, California, who specializes in working with clients that have experienced trauma. In conjunction to her psychodynamic approach, Bren is certified in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), which allows clients to rapidly process the trauma of their past and regain a feeling of control over intrusive traumatic memories, feelings of dissociation or disconnection with their body, and re-establish a feeling of being fully embodied.  In addition to being EMDR certified, Bren has trained at the master level in Attachment-Focused EMDR (AF-EMDR), and is an Approved Consultant by the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA). Bren places great value on the neurophysiology of trauma. Specifically, Bren believes that effective trauma work requires a concrete understanding for the bidirectional impact of trauma on the brain-body connection, particularly through the vagus nerve.

Complimenting her work with trauma, Bren specializes in working with children and families experiencing high-conflict divorce, family violence, and those with DCFS and family court involvement. Further, Bren has worked extensively on high-profile cases, that, by their very nature, require a level of understanding of the legal system that can, otherwise be challenging to find within the field of psychology. Additionally, Bren has been a guest lecturer at several universities, clinical organizations, and the Department of Mental Health (DMH).

Bren is a licensed marriage and family therapist who provides in-person and telehealth sessions. Bren works with individuals of all ages and has specialized training in working with children 0-5 years of age. Bren provides her clients with a safe space to explore their past experiences, gain greater insight into the impact of those experiences, strengthen their relationships, increase resilience, and heal the painful wounds of their past.

Karina Castaneda

KARINA CASTANEDA, AMFT

Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Pasadena, California

Karina is a bilingual Spanish-speaking associate marriage and family therapist in Pasadena, California, specializing in infant and child development, including work with at-risk youth, neurodivergent disorders, and developmental delays. Working from an attachment-based lens, Karina is passionate about supporting families and children experiencing conflict and a variety of stressors, including high conflict family dynamics.

Karina has a strong appreciation for the relationship between the body and the brain, thus integrating mindfulness, self-regulation, and other somatic-based modalities into her work.  Karina is trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) which she interweaves along with mindfulness practices and somatic-based training in her work with children of all ages, adults, couples, and families.  Karina is currently facilitating several process groups, including a weekly process group for survivors of sexual abuse, and two social skills groups; one for elementary school-aged children and a process group for teens.  Karina is currently providing in-person and telehealth services, and is supervised by Bren M. Chasse, LMFT94662.

Spenser Sussan

SPENSER SUSSAN, AMFT

Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Pasadena, California

Spenser is an associate marriage and family therapist in Pasadena, California, specializing in LGBTQ+ Affirmative Therapy.  Spenser is a sex-positive therapist, supportive of all lifestyle and relationship paths inclusive of monogamy, ethical non-monogamy (ENM), kink, and the LGBTQ+ population.​ ​Spenser previously worked for COLORS LGBTQ+ Youth Counseling Center.  During her time there, she worked with LGBTQ+ children and families to both help them process their feelings and interweave affirmative-based parenting.  Spenser believes providing a safe and affirming environment is critical to providing clients with the space necessary for them to begin to process past trauma and address the challenges preventing them from building the life and affirming relationships they seek.

Spenser works from a psychodynamic and attachment-based lens, while integrating Internal Family Systems (IFS), mindfulness, trauma-informed somatic based therapies, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).  Spenser is comfortable working with a variety of presenting issues, including clients struggling with complex trauma, relational challenges, and grief and loss.  

Spenser enjoys working with individuals of all ages.  Additionally, she has experience working with couples and families, and is currently facilitating several process groups, including a process group for the LGBTQ+ community, a Women’s Sexual Abuse Survivors group, and a Teen Girls Sexual Abuse Survivors group.  Spenser is currently providing in-person and telehealth sessions, and is supervised by Bren M. Chasse, LMFT94662.