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As a licensed psychotherapist in Los Angeles for over 30 years, I enjoy working with a diverse multi-generational clientele of individuals and couples. They often seek therapy because they feel stuck, in pain, depressed, anxious, or emotionally confused. They may be feeling overwhelmed by life stressors, or conflict in their relationships, home or work life. Sometimes clients come to therapy in transition, with a desire to expand themselves, make changes, and create richer more meaningful lives. 

I approach therapy in an interactive, collaborative, way, helping my clients identify their needs and goals, understand their feelings, and gain greater awareness of themselves and their relationships. In therapy they may expand their strengths, resilience and esteem, and develop skills for better managing their feelings, their relationships, and the stressors in their worlds. I am there to connect, understand, facilitate and support them in their life challenges.

As I therapist I  integrate Insight work with Systems Work, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, Recovery Work, and Trauma Resiliency work as needed. I work with a sensitivity , appreciation and respect of personal, cultural, ethnic, class  and religious/spiritual differences and I am LGBTQ affirming.

As a seasoned therapist, I bring to my work years of professional training and experience, growth and learning from my own varied life experiences, and profound gratitude for those who have mentored, guided, and inspired me, and gifted me with their wisdom and experience. And, I continue to believe that change, self-discovery and new life adventures are possible at any age.

SUNY Binghamton AA, UCLA BA Psychology  Antioch University- Philadelphia urban satellite: Masters in Counseling, California Graduate Institute, Ph.D Clinical Psychology


Early Training

I have been studying and working in the field of mental health my whole life. In the summer before university, I participated in a pioneer training program in Behavioral therapy at  Philadelphia State Psychiatric  Hospital. While in college at UCLA, I worked in parent education in two preschools , and in Family Therapy Research. I was also involved in a women’s therapy collective where I received training and supervision and became skilled in Transactional Analysis  and Feminist Therapy. I was also fortunate enough also to train with Jeanette Rainwater in Gestalt Psychology. I also studied writing and its use as a therapy tool.


Education & Experience

Personal Experience

My interest in the arts, meditation and mindfulness, and various events in my life have significantly impacted my work as a therapist.

  • I started studying meditation in my 20’s and later trained in yoga, imagery, and mindfulness. I use this training in my work, and in my personal life.

  • I studied writing at Santa Monica College and with Holly Prado, and continue in a monthly group. I have conducted Life Writing workshops.

  • I began sculpting and drawing at multi-generational art classes with my daughter, and I continue to take classes and work on my own. I have a deep love of music, and have studied piano and mandolin. My love of music, visual arts, writing, film and theater has given me a deep compassion and admiration for people involved in the arts and I enjoy working with them.

  • I parented a multicultural adopted child (now grown) providing me life lessons about parenting, developmental stages, class and cultural differences, adoption, grief and loss, and healing.

  • I survived and thrived after 2 episodes of cancer, giving me the personal insight and understanding of what it means to experience life disrupting conditions and rebuild a vital adventurous life.


Part of the adventure for me involves off the beaten track travel, hiking, spending time with family and friends and my two dogs Barnie and Roscoe, Broadway Shows – preferably on Broadway, spending time in Mexico, and some day walking the Camino in Spain.


After completing my BA  in Psychology at UCLA, I participated in work/training programs in Substance Abuse Therapy at Long Beach General Hospital  and then at Eagleville Hospital in Philadelphia. While in Philadelphia, I completed my Masters in Counseling at Antioch University Urban Satellite Campus with a strong emphasis on Multi-cultural and Urban issues, and Family Systems.  I had the opportunity to study with Aaron Beck in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Salvadore Minuchin, Peggy Papp, and other family therapists.  

Bachelors in Psychology, Masters in Counseling, Substance Abuse Training, Family Therapy Training 

Vocational Counseling Experience

After completing my Masters in Psychology, I returned to Los Angeles, and worked in the field of Vocational counseling and Vocational Rehabilitation with Jewish Vocational Service, United Way, and Transitional Living Center.

Marriage and Family License, Ph.D in Clinical Psychology

I became licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist in 1979, started my private practice in 1985, specializing in issues for Women in Transition, Couples Counseling, and Addiction Recovery. At the same time I worked on a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology at California Graduate Institute (Now Chicago Institute). My training included Self Psychology, Object Relations, and a strong Cognitive Behavioral Component.


In the 1980’s I started teaching workshops, and seminars and gave presentations to schools and agencies such as UCLA Women’s Center, Loyola Marymount, Santa Monica College,, Canadian Counseling and Guidance Association, Ryoken College, Women in Business, Women in Sales, AAUW, Mattel Toys Health Enhancement Program and Women in Management. Topics included: Effective Communication, Building Self Esteem, Preventing Job Burnout, Balancing Work, Love and Family, Intimacy Issues in Addiction, Parenting Adopted Children, and Making Peace with Food. I am currently available for speaking and consulting opportunities.

Current Training and Experience

I continue to train in mindfulness and meditation, and received a certificate in Mindfulness and Psychotherapy. I also completed beginning and advanced training in Trauma Resiliency Training, working with trauma and PTSD, and applicable to anxiety, and stress and life challenges.

I am a provider for the Association of Pet Loss and Bereavement.

I am a Mentor/Therapist for the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

I bring to my work as a therapist my own years of training and experience and my belief that throughout our lives we can work through and overcome lifelong pain and life challenges, learn new skills , expand and improve  our lives and relationships, and live juicy meaningful lives.



Individual therapy, Couples/Relationship Counseling, Addiction Recovery Counseling, Life Coaching, Help for the Helping Professional

Individual Therapy

Clients may come to my practice seeking long term or short term therapy for  issues such as:  mood struggles and a need for regulation, unresolved early issues interfering with their lives now, a crisis of change in their lives, addiction, or the addiction of a loved one,  loss and bereavement, conflicts in their personal or work relationships, a desire to improve or expand relationships with family or friends or develop an intimate relationship, or reactivity to external life stressors and problems in daily living.

I enjoy working with a diverse cliental of adult men and women of different ages, cultures, ethnic backgrounds, spiritual orientations and life styles. I am LGBTQ affirming, and welcome lesbian, bi, trans, queer and questioning clients.

Some special areas of Training and Interest:

  • Anxiety, panic, - trained in CBT, mindfulness and trauma resiliency work

  • Women’s growth and development, life changes, esteem identity

  • Depression, lack of motivation, lack of focus, joy, connection

  • Life transitions, phase of life changes, identity issues, aging

  • Grief , loss, bereavement, including pet loss

  • Chronic or life threatening illness. Care for the caregiver

  • Trauma, PTSD – completed Level 2 Trauma Resiliency training, working on Certification

  • Career identity, changes and challenges – everything from surviving in the corporate world, to developing in creative fields, and overcoming creative blocks. Coaching, goal setting, procrastination

  • Parenting: including fertility issues, single parenting same sex parenting, multi-cultural parenting, and working with the adoption triad

  • Addiction Recovery – for individuals in recovery from substance abuse, eating disorders or other dependencies, and the people who love them. Co-dependency Issues.  I am 12 step and Rescue Recovery friendly

  • Therapy and Mentoring for Helping Professionals

Couples Therapy

Couples Therapy/Relationship Counseling

Couples come to therapy for many reasons. Often they are stuck, unable to communicate or support one another, experience conflict and discord, or want to change and improve their relationship but don’t know how,  In some cases they come to therapy needing to discover if and how they can stay in the relationship, or how and when to leave. They may need help dealing with issues with their children or extended families, or have issues with parenting.  Sometimes they have experienced a life transition such as empty nest or issues in aging and health, or a crisis such as a death in the family, an affair, or partner (or self) abusing substances.

Sometimes couples seek counseling for better understanding, growth, and connection, whether it be before committing to each other, or during the marriage – because they want a good relationship to be even better.

I work with couples to help them better understand themselves and each other in the relationship, improve communication, work through conflicts, improve parenting skills, and learn to deal with differences. We work together to strengthen and revitalize the relationship and adapt to life changes.


 I also do relationship counseling and mediation for other adult family, friend or business relationships.

How I Work

How I Work

The connection between therapist and client is unique.  It requires a safe environment and a connection where openness and trust can develop. Not always easy. For some people, the therapy relationship provides an opportunity to be seen and heard in a way that was never possible before, leading to healing, and discovering new ways to know and understand themselves and others in their daily lives.

I appreciate the challenges of talking to a therapist and building a relationship. I work interactively and collaboratively, respecting differences in client backgrounds, cultural differences and personal needs and goals. I think my own urban background growing up in Philadelphia contributes to my down to earth style and enjoyment in interacting with all types of people.

Some general information: Sessions are 50 minutes, unless we arrange a longer session. Please arrive 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork if you do not download the forms and bring them in.  All payments are due at the time of services unless we arrange otherwise.  I accept private pay in the form of cash and check made out to Lisa Frankel. I am a provider for Cigna and Aetna. If you want to use your insurance, please call or go on line and find out if you have a deductible and after this is met, what your co-pay is. If you private pay, I provide a super-bill you can send it and be reimbursed for a percentage of the fee.



If you are interested in setting up an appointment or want to know more about therapy, please fill out this form, e mail me or call me, and we can set up a free 20 minute phone consult.

Lisa Frankel, Ph.D MFT 

310 398-9385

2990 South Sepulveda Blvd.

Suite #203

Los Angeles, CA 90064



Psychotherapy Guidelines

Intake Forms

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