GPALA Board of Directors:
Eddie Hunt, President
Eddie Hunt is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California (MFC53544). He earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Providence College in 1996, and a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles in 2010. He is currently immersed in EMDR training and working toward certification as a Group Therapist by the International Board for Certification of Group Psychotherapists.In 2010, he began his private practice internship under the supervision of Andrew Susskind. He also trained at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Southern California Counseling Center, and the Center for Healthy Sex. He is the President-Elect and past Treasurer of the Group Psychotherapy Association of Los Angeles and a member of AGPA and CAMFT. In 2014, he completed the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Certificate Program at the Los Angeles Institute and Society for Psychoanalytic Studies. Prior to graduate school, he worked in the entertainment industry for 10 years, which affords him the ability to empathize with the challenges and struggles particular to that business.
Vanessa is a Licensed Psychologist in private practice in Beverly Hills and Los Feliz. Dr. Spooner completed her doctoral studies at the George Washington University in Washington, DC and moved to Los Angeles in 2009 to finish her training at the Wright Institute. She specializes in anxiety, eating disorders, and group therapy. In addition to her role as current president, Vanessa serves as the representative to Affiliate Societies Assembly of the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA). BeverlyHillsAnxietyCare.com•
Mia Perry Bowick, Secretary
Mia holds a Masters Degree in Applied Theatre Arts from the University of
Southern California and trained at the Drama Therapy Institute of Los Angeles. She is currently working on her second Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Mia has been facilitating theatre and Drama Therapy groups for over 6 years with a variety of populations, including addiction, dual- diagnosis and trauma, throughout Southern California and New York. Most notably,
Mia had the opportunity to travel to Kigali, Rwanda where she put her unique skills
to work assisting survivors of the 1994 genocide. Currently, Mia is facilitating
groups in a variety of treatment centers in the Los Angeles area and is serving on the
board of Expressive Arts Therapists for LACAMFT.
Mia’s groups are interactive and experiential offering participants the opportunity to further explore patterns and relationships, uncover and share emotions and find new modes of self expression. www.miaperrybowick.com
Cori Rosenthal, Social Chair
Cori Rosenthal is a Marriage and Family Therapy Intern in private practice at the Center for Relational Healing under Marnie Breecker, and at the Women’s Clinic and Family Counseling Center. She specializes in working with eating disorders, anxiety, depression and partners of sex addicts. She is trained in the Trauma Resiliency Model and as a mindful eating teacher. Cori upon techniques from Cognitive Behavior, Gestalt, Psychodynamic therapies, as well as mindfulness and mindful self-compassion in her work with adolescents, individuals and groups. CoriRosenthal.com
Kristine Johnson, Membership Chair
Kristine is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (#90129) in private practice in West Los Angeles. She received her Masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University and did her training at the Women’s Clinic and Counseling Center, and Cedar Sinai’s peer to peer crisis Teenline. In her practice she sees a variety of individuals, couples, and families. Kristine has previously led a Women’s Empowerment process group and will be offering a new group in the coming months. She focuses on second stage life transitions, including divorce, remarriage, parenting teens and adult children, grief and loss, and career changes. She also works with adult children of alcoholics and drug addiction and with those who are coming out of rehab and need continued support for their recovery.
Lisa Powell, Curriculum Chair
Lisa is a Licensed Psychologist with specialized training in addiction, family, and trauma. Lisa has been practicing since 1997, initially in New York City and more recently in Los Angeles. While in New York, she primarily worked with women receiving intensive, long-term residential treatment, as an alternative to incarceration or early release from prison. Here in Los Angeles she is in private practice and has provided consultation services for several residential and intensive outpatient treatment programs. Lisa utilizes a mix of Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Attachment Focused Therapy including Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), Somatic Experiencing (SE), and group therapy. Lisa currently runs two mixed-gender, adult process groups.
Allyn Rodriguez, Annual Conference Chair
Allyn is a Licensed Psychologist in private practice in Northeast Los Angeles seeing individuals, couples, and groups. She received her Masters and Doctoral degree from Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, where she worked primarily with chronically mentally ill clients. She completed her internship and post-doctoral work at Louisiana State University’s Psychiatry Department working in both inpatient and outpatient treatment centers. Allyn’s primary clinical interest is in the connection between complex trauma and mental health, particularly for individuals who have been diagnosed with co-morbid conditions, and specifically Borderline personality disorder. She works from an integrated, trauma-focused perspective, using multicomponent and/or sequential therapies for different symptom sets and populations–including but not limited to psychodynamic, cognitive, and feminist approaches. Allyn has ongoing groups in her private practice including DBT skills and co-ed interpersonal process.
John Peloian, Outreach Chair
John is licensed clinical psychologist (PSY27345) providing individual, couples and group psychotherapy in a private practice setting in West Los Angeles, Ca. John currently runs one mixed-gender, adult process group, and one Men’s process group. He has recently received his Certification in Group Psychotherapy (CGP). John acquired his M.A. in psychology from Pepperdine University, and a Doctorate of Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He completed his training at the Saturday Center for Psychotherapy in Santa Monica, Ca. In addition to group therapy, his areas of interest include cultural identity, addictive behavior, and the creative process.
Michael is a psychotherapist in private practice in Encino, a Certified Group Psychotherapist, a Life Fellow of the American Group Psychotherapy Association, and Clinical Supervisor and Coordinator of the Group Therapy Program at the Maple Counseling Center in Beverly Hills. He has been leading therapy groups in his practice since 1984 and is an Institute Group leader at the AGPA Annual Conference. Michael has been the Practicum Coordinator for the Wagner Human Services Training Program at the University of Judaism, a clinical supervisor for the San Fernando Valley Counseling Center and the Antioch University Los Angeles Counseling Center, and is visiting faculty in group therapy at the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology. He supervises group therapists who are working towards becoming certified and teaches the Principles of Group Therapy course through GPALA every year. He is a past president of the Los Angeles Group Psychotherapy Society (now GPALA), and is a recipient of the AGPA Affiliate Societies Assembly Award and the LAGPS award for outstanding contribution to the advancement of group psychotherapy. MichaelFrank.com
Cindy Weathers is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC81539) in private practice in Los Angeles, California. Cindy is passionate about working with adolescents and young adults in her private practice. She is a Certified Group Psychotherapist (CGP) and facilitates a co-ed young adult group as well as a co-ed adult process group. In addition, she is trained in the Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM) and utilizes this model in order to support clients with a history of trauma. She also facilitates a weekly parenting group at Paradigm Treatment Center in Malibu, CA. Cindy has worked in a variety of therapeutic settings, including but not limited to: outpatient clinics, a psychiatric urgent care, as well as residential care. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University at Albany, and a M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University.website: cindyweatherstherapy.com
Marvin, an Licensed Clinical Social Worker, is a Diplomate of the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work and a Certified Group Psychotherapist. He has engaged in the full-time private practice of psychotherapy since 1960. For almost all that time he has been an enthusiastic advocate of group psychotherapy, and has maintained six on-going groups in addition to a full schedule of individual sessions. His writings have been published in many journals including the American Journal of Psychiatry and the American Journal of Psychotherapy, and include two chapters in the acclaimed book, 101 interventions in Group Psychotherapy. Marvin also holds an MFT license from the state of California, is a Licentiate Member of the Royal Society of Health of Great Britain, and was President of the Group Psychotherapy Association of Southern California for two successive terms. MKaphan.com
Oliver Drakeford, Social Media Chair
Oliver Drakeford is a Registered Marriage Family Therapist Intern who completed his training at The Maple Counseling Center in Beverly Hills. His approach to therapy is influenced by his enthusiasm for psychodynamic theory, which was ignited while studying for his Master’s in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University. After graduating, he pursued this interest with a year long certifications from the Los Angeles Institute and Association for Psychoanalytic Studies (LAISPS), and the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis (ICP). Oliver regards group therapy as a powerful form of treatment and enjoys working with adolescent groups and multifamily groups at Paradigm, a residential facility for teenagers in Malibu. In 2017 her was the recipient of the Donald T Brown Memorial Scholarship Award for Group Psychotherapy from The Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health, and has become a regular attendee of GPALA trainings. Oliver enjoys working with individuals and families struggling with addiction, mood disorders, anxiety, self-harm and depression. and is supervised in private practice by Keith Rand, CGP, FAGPA. www.oliverdrakeford.com
Lindsay has a background in Advertising, Media and Marketing. After taking a break from her career to stay at home with her children Mason and Ryder, she decided to rejoin the workforce part time. Her role as GPALA administrator was the perfect fit – allowing her to work part time and still be home for her kids. She joined GPALA in 2013 as staff administrator and is a valuable contributor to our marketing efforts. Lindsay has also expanded her role to include managing our website. GPALA is very fortunate to have Lindsay as part of our team!
Legacy Advisory Board:
Elaine received her MSW from UCLA in 1970 and her PhD from The Sanville Institute in 1981 where she has been Clinical Consulting Faculty. She was Coordinator of the Adolescent Group Psychotherapy Training in the Department of Psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from 1972-1994. Dr. Leader is Co-founder and Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Young People/TEEN LINE (TeenLineOnline.org) since 1980 and has been in private practice in Los Angeles since 1970. Dr. Leader regularly conducts trainings on Adolescent Group Psychotherapy and is also a consultant to law enforcement, adolescent-serving agencies and the media.
Elinor Dunn-Grayer, MSW, PhD, BCD, CGP
Ellie earned her Bachelor of Science in Public Health Administration from the University of Michigan in 1954, and went on to earn her Masters in Social Work from UCLA in 1958 and her PhD from the Sanville Institute (formerly Calif. Institute for Clinical Social Work). Ellie served as faculty at the Sanville Institute and served on the Board of Directors of the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA). She currently has her private practice of consultation in Sherman Oaks and joins our team of instructors every year to teach the highly popular Principles of Group Therapy course through GPALA. Come and learn from Ellie at our next Principles course!
(See Marvin’s bio above in the GPALA Board of Directors)
Lissa is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with private practice locations in Marina Del Rey and Northridge. She received her MSW from UCLA in 1989 and has been leading adult therapy groups for approximately 20 years. Lissa has also supervised parallel group therapy programs for children. She has specialized in trauma, anxiety as well as life stage and childhood issues. Lissa currently works with adults, children and adolescents in both individual, couple, and family treatment as well as group treatment. In addition to her current Legacy Advisory Board position at GPALA, Lissa served as an ongoing member of the Board of Directors for The Los Angeles Group Psychotherapy Society and the Chair of the Continuing Education Committee for many years. She was also a member of the Training Institute.
Ken Unmacht, PsyD, FIPA
Ken is a psychoanalyst who has been in private practice in Brentwood since 1981. He received his JD degree in Law from USC, MA in Psychology from Cal State Northridge and his PsyD from Los Angeles Institute for Psychoanalytic Studies (LAISPS). He specializes in psychoanalytic psychotherapy for individuals and groups and has been affiliated with LAISPS since 1998, teaching principles of psychoanalytic group therapy in their extension division. Dr. Unmacht has also been a member of the Group Psychotherapy Association of Los Angeles (previously LAGPS) silence 1983. He has facilitated psychotherapy groups for separated and divorced men and women, drug addicted veterans (Brentwood VA Hospital), individuals suffering from PTSD, and individuals with depression.
Miguel Ramirez, MSW
Miguel received his MSW from UCLA in 1972. He has extensive experience running both adolescent and multi-family groups for the Los Angeles County Probation Department for the Girls’ Family Treatment Program from 1973-1975. He has done clinical training for NIMH to the Nicaraguan government post earthquake disaster in 1974. He co-led an Adolescent group with Dr. Elaine Leader as part of the Adolescent Group Psychotherapy Training program in the Department of Psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from 1978-1992. Miguel is also a Co-founder of the Center for the Study of Young People/TEEN LINE (TeenLineOnline.org) since 1980 and and continues to provide clinical back for this program. He also had extensive group experience in the Adult Outpatient Department with young adults, the chronically ill and for the Partial Hospitalization program at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Thalians Community Mental Health Clinic from 1975 thru 2012. Miguel has also participated as a mitigation expert for California death penalty cases since 1991to the present. He has done private practice and provided supervision and consultation while at the Thalians Community Mental Health Clinic,