We live in a time that challenges the idea of the traditional family.

Bren M. Chasse, LMFT of Anchor Psychotherapy is a Therapist in Pasadena working with expertise in child & family therapy. Today, family structures are both dynamic and complex—and with a complex design, often come complex challenges.  I believe good mental health is essential to the success of any family composition, and mental wellness begins with our ability to weave a thread through the defining moments we experience in our lives in order to create a coherent narrative.

Effectively working with families requires an appreciation and understanding for the fact that each of us bring with us to every interaction all our past experiences, and the fundamental belief system that is born from those experiences.  In other words, the family unit is both a functioning system and an assembly of individuals that have unique needs, goals, beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and pasts, all of which play a role in how we communicate, interact, and connect with each other.

The Impact of Trauma on Children & Families

When an individual experiences a traumatic event, the impact of that trauma is experienced not only by the primary victim, but by the entire family.  The experience of trauma can be additionally complicated if the primary victim is a child.  I am an expert in the treatment of psychological trauma and I work not only with minor children that have experienced tragedy, but also work with their families to help everyone process their feelings, make meaning of their experience, bear witness for the primary victim, and develop the ability to move forward as a stronger family unit.

Chasse, B. M. (2021, March 1).  The art of effective co-parenting.  GoodTherapy

Chasse, B. M. (2020, April 13).  School-Based Violence: A call to action for trauma-informed care.  GoodTherapy

Chasse, B. M. (2020, April 10).  Breastfeeding vs. Formula: Learning what works for you and your baby.  GoodTherapy.


Therapeutic Monitoring of Supervised Visitations

The primary purpose of supervised visitation is to support the on-going relationship with a non-custodial parent in a safe, impartial, structured, and appropriate environment for the child.  I have a unique appreciation for the intersection between family law and mental health, which allows me to facilitate a safe and educational learning experience for non-custodial parents who may otherwise struggle to meet the physical, emotional, and developmental needs of their child.

Conjoint & Family Reunification Services

The effects of extended parental absence can negatively impact a child’s development, capacity for healthy attachment, and overall family dynamics—and the younger the child is at the time of separation, often the more devastating the consequences. Family reunification therapy works with children and their parents in an effort to process feelings and issues stemming from a separation, and focuses on re-establishing the bond between parent and child.

As the therapist, my primary goal is to re-introduce a parent back into a child’s life in a safe, supportive, and clinically appropriate manner.  The process of family reunification can be stressful for all parties involved—and, yet, it can only be effective if all parties are fully committed to the process.  My goal is to provide adequate support for all family members so as to allow for each family member to engage fully in the services.

Child Advocacy

One important role of any effective child and family therapist is the ability to advocate for children—and I am passionate about this role.  Child advocacy typically occurs in either a legal or educational setting, and I have extensive experience working in both.  I have more than a decade of experience working with court-involved families and working collaboratively with the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) in an effort to ensure that the interests of children affected by divorce, conflict, violence, abuse and neglect, and trauma, are not lost in the legal shuffle.  I have a comprehensive understanding of the family court system and have consistently been successful in supporting children and families through difficult cases and family reunification efforts.  I have experience testifying in high-profile cases and am sensitive to the unique challenges inherent in such cases.

The impact of mental health challenges on the academic world of a child can be significant and, if mishandled, can have devastating consequences on a child’s academic trajectory.  Additionally, it’s not uncommon for a child’s behavior in the classroom to be misinterpreted by well-meaning educators or school staff.  For this reason, it is important that child and family therapists work collaboratively with a child’s school to determine how to best meet the needs of each individual student.  Including a psychotherapist in Student Success Team (SST) meetings, Individualized Education Plans (IEP), and 504 Plan development, ensures the goals set for your child are appropriate, achievable, and sensitive to the individual needs of that child.  I routinely collaborate with local schools to provide support to children and their parents when a child requires additional support in order to be successful in their academic setting.

Intimate Partner Violence

High-conflict families are at high risk for intimate partner violence, child abuse, and child neglect.  I have more than 15 years experience working with both survivors and aggressors.  I have a comprehensive understanding of the cycle of violence and the way in which power and control are established, as well as the profound impact violence has on a developing child.  In addition to the importance of providing psychoeducation, my clinical work is rooted in empowering my clients. I honor that my clients are the experts on their own lives and I am sensitive to the fact that breaking the cycle of violence takes time.  With my support, we are able to assess for safety together, explore relational goals, and develop a strong sense of self, which is rooted in one’s own personal power.

Therapy for Children 0-5 Years Old

Often infant or child mental health is dismissed with the assumption that young children are resilient and will simply bounce back from any significant stressors they may encounter early in life.  While children are often incredibly resilient, they can still be deeply impacted by difficult life experiences and it’s not uncommon for children to need additional support in order to process those events.  The mental health of a young child helps to inform and guide their development, so early intervention is all the more critical for children of this age—and the social-emotional development of your child during this critical age period will help to inform your child’s ability to engage in a secure attachment and healthy relationships across the lifespan.  So, the stakes are high for our little humans, and it’s important we meet them where they are!

Working with the 0-5 population requires not only specialized training, but requires a fundamental understanding and appreciation for the age and stage limitations of such a young child.  Because young children often don’t have the language to explain what they are thinking or how they are feeling, they will show us their internal word through their play.  As a 0-5 clinician, it’s my responsibility to enter into that world, with invitation from the child, and support their process, increase their resilience, and facilitate healing.