GPALA Board of Directors:
William Whitney, President
William Whitney is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC#90961) with a private practice in Pasadena, California, where he works with individuals, couples, and runs process groups. He previously served as a GPALA Board Member between 2012-2016 in the capacity of Newsletter Editor.
Eddie Hunt, Past 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.
Sheila Kendall, Secretary; Social Media Chair
Sheila is an Associate Clinical Social Worker (ASW89642) providing psychotherapy services to tweens, teens, adults, and couples in Pasadena and Eagle Rock private practices under the clinical supervision of Natasha Morisawa, LMFT and Stacy-Colleen Nameth, LCSW (respectively). Sheila earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Redlands and completed her Master’s Degree in Social Work with a focus in Adult Mental Health and Wellness at the University of Southern California. Her graduate training includes clinical internships at the Los Angeles Air Force Base and the Department of Outpatient Psychiatry at Kaiser Permanente LAMC, where she developed the foundation of her style best described as Trauma-Informed, Attachment oriented Psychodynamic, Somatic and Mindfulness-based.
Truett Wright, Treasurer
BIO and Image Coming Soon
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.
Amanda Lomanov, Annual Conference Chair
Amanda works in private practice in Northeast Los Angeles with individuals, couples, and groups under the supervision of Dr. Allyn Rodriguez while she completes requirements toward licensure as a Clinical Psychologist. She received her Master’s and Doctoral degree from Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University in New York City, where she clinically focused on underserved populations with developmental trauma. She completed her internship at Nassau University Medical Center, a county hospital in Long Island, NY, working in both inpatient and outpatient treatment centers. Amanda’s primary clinical interest is in the relationship between early family dynamics and personality structure, as mediated by complex trauma. She works from an integrated, trauma-informed perspective, using multicomponent and/or sequential therapies for different symptom sets and populations, including relational psychodynamic, dialectical behavioral, cognitive, and somatic-based approaches. Amanda has ongoing groups in her practice, including a DBT skills group scaffolded by the Trauma Resiliency Model.
Matt Calkins, Outreach Chair
Matt is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Certified Group Psychotherapist. He received his B.A. in Literature from Occidental College in 1996 and taught English in a special education high school prior to receiving his Psy.D. from Alliant International University – Los Angeles. Matt completed his clinical training at the Saturday Center for Psychotherapy, after which he maintained a small private practice while working in community mental health settings. From 2008-2019, Matt worked as Director of Counseling at Occidental College. Currently, he is in full time private practice in Pasadena where he provides individual and group psychotherapy to adults and teens.
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
Stefani Roscoe, Inclusion and Diversity Chair
Stefani Roscoe is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker providing psychotherapy primarily to children and families in need of support with their relationships. After earning her MSW at New York University, she worked in various community mental health organizations and residential facilities as a means to assisting families and supporting her community. This experience built her expertise and comfort in working with all types of trauma, which she continues to provide. Stefani is committed to the health and well-being of children, specifically with adolescents and the zero-to-five population. Stefani’s training with Brazelton Touchpoints, Nurturing Parenting Programs, The International Association of Infant Massage and play therapy allows her to focus on strength based models and improving attachment with children and their parents. Stefani currently works in private practice in Los Angeles in addition to providing clinical supervision in a community mental health setting. In addition to the individuals, couples and families Stefani sees in her private practice, she also facilitates groups inducing women’s process, teen process and help the helpers.
Shannon Magnis, Digital Content Chair, Ph.D, CGP
Shannon Magnis is a Licensed Psychologist in private practice in Venice Beach and Larchmont seeing adolescents, adults, couples and running mixed gender process groups. She completed her doctorate studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute and was psychodynamically trained at the Maple Counseling Center in Beverly Hills. She has a special interest in working with trauma and the creative process.
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
Henry “Enrique” Ortiz, Events Co-Chair
Henry “Enrique” Ortiz, Psy.D. is a psychologist with a private practice on the west side and the east side of L.A. Licensed since 2004, he specializes in working with upwardly-mobile Latinos and other people of color. His interest in the intersectionalities of race, color, class, and gender informs his work in helping his clients. This focus stemmed from growing up in a Mexican-American working-class family on the east side of Los Angeles and becoming the only member of his family to go to college and join the middle class. His journey includes becoming a successful tech entrepreneur after graduating from business school at USC, traveling to over 50 countries, and being an award-winning photographer. He uses his experiences to help others break through their unique barriers to achieve their personal and professional goals. Enrique can often be found enjoying his favorite way to celebrate his culture – salsa dancing. In his practice, he is a Gestalt therapist, who integrates psychodynamic therapy, mindfulness, and differentiation-based couples therapy. He does prefer to be called by his nickname, “Enrique.”
Christina Dixon, Membership Chair
Christina Dixon is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice in northeast LA. She is also licensed in the states of Texas and Maryland and provides video sessions to clients in those states. Christina received her BA in Psychology from the University of Maryland and her Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan. She works with adults experiencing everyday stressors, depression, anxiety and trauma. In addition, she specializes in working with military/first responders and their families, people employed in helping professions, and individuals with chronic illness. She is trained in EMDR, iRest yoga nidra and trauma conscious
Vahe Vartan, Events Co-Chair
Vahe Vartan is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. He is in private practice under the supervision of John Peloian, PsyD, CGP in West Los Angeles, just on the edge of Santa Monica. He works with adult individuals, couples, and groups. Vahe is passionate about group process work and its ability to facilitate profound interpersonal experiences. In addition to GPALA, he is a member of AGPA and frequents both local and national group psychotherapy trainings and conferences. He is very excited to serve on GPALA’s board. VartanTherapy.com
Evan Perlo, Social Chair•
BIO and Image Coming Soon
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 GroupPsychotherapy Training in the Department of Psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from 1972-1994. Dr. Leader became a Co-founder and Executive Director of the Center for the Studyof Young People/TEEN LINE ( TeenLineOnline.org ) in 1980 and had been in private practice inLos Angeles since 1970. Although Dr. Leader retired as Executive Director in 2015 she continues her involvement with Teen Line in her role as Founder. 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!
Tanya Moradians, MSW, PhD, LAGPA
Tanya Moradians received her MSW from USC in 1972 and her Ph.D. from the Sanville Institute in 1981. She was a member of the Sanville Clinical Faculty during its early years. Since 1977 she had been a Board member of the LAGPS – the Los Angeles Group Psychotherapy Society – (that organization that was approved by AGPA as the organization to confer the Certification on group psychotherapists. In 2010, LAGPS and the Group Psychotherapy Society merged together to became GPALA). She was on the board from 1977 to 2010 when the 2 organizations merged. She was a presenter in the Principles Course and taught Co-Therapy with Tom Kennon, Ph.D., now deceased. In 1978, she became a Certified Group Psychotherapist after taking a 2-year class offered at that time for group therapists to become certified.
Dr. Moradians was given an honorary faculty appointment at UCLA Neuro-Psychiatric Institute, Department of Psychiatry for teaching psychiatric residents Group Psychotherapy as they matriculated through the inpatient Psychiatric unit at UCLA-NPI, now Semel Institute. She also taught family systems to the psychiatric nurses who observed family sessions. She currently has a private practice specializing on geriatric patients and takes Medicare for payment.
Diane R. Griggs, LCSW
Diane has more than 35 years of experience providing services to vulnerable populations using holistic, culturally attuned and social justice approaches. At one time during her career Diane facilitated ten groups weekly at two mental health agencies. She is most proud of her facilitating, since the mid-80s, a group for parents with youth demonstrating aggressive sexualized behaviors which is often criminalized. Diane co-founded a school-based program, in which staff and interns co-facilitated groups in the Santa Monica Malibu School District; a program that continues 25 years since its inception. Diane has taught group work in several post graduate programs including the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, Department of Social Welfare. Diane is the newest LAB member and honored to serve as Chair.
(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,