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Scripps Ranch Team~In Office & Telehealth available

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Elana McCormick, AMFT


Associate Marriage and Family Therapist Supervised by Megan Baldwin, LCSW

Elana is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist who received her Masters in Counseling with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from California State University, East Bay. Elana has 4+ years of clinical experience in high school and inpatient settings, working closely with adolescents with various diagnoses including depression, anxiety, trauma, and substance use. She works from a collaborative, person-centered, and strength-based approach while supporting clients to be in charge of their own lives. Her empathy, warmth, and patience help create a safe, non-judgmental space for all ages, where clients can process and heal. Elana works closely with her clients to tailor therapy to their needs and what works best for them.

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Dallas Fotinos, LPCC


Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor 

Toddlers, teenagers and everything in between Dallas has worked with kids for over the past ten years. Dallas enjoys supporting kids and teenagers with uncovering their inner worlds and emotions and finding ways to communicate this to those around them. Dallas understands the uniqueness of individuals and the constellation of supporters around them leading her to understand the importance of communication and collaboration with the team. Dallas operates from an attachment based perspective incorporating aspects of child development, neurodevelopment, play and art. Dallas joined the team in 2023 and looks forward to working with you and your family! 

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Shannon Lopynski, APCC 


Associate Professional Clinical Counselor Supervised by Jennifer Leader, LMFT

Hi, my name is Shannon Lopynski, a licensed School Counselor and Associate Professional Clinical Counselor. I am a proud Virginia Tech Hokie, as I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Human Development in 2017. Following Undergraduate School, I went on to earn my Masters in Arts and Education specializing in Counseling from The George Washington University in 2019. For over five years I have worked as a clinician meeting the diverse needs of children, adolescents, adults, and families, working with a variety of different backgrounds, cultures, and socioeconomic status’. My clinical approach is trauma-informed, solution-focused, and strengths-based, focusing on the whole person. I have experience treating a wide range of issues including but not limited to, executive functioning challenges, anxiety, depression, anger, bullying, suicidal ideations, grief and family changes. I believe everyone can benefit from a safe place to process their thoughts, emotions and behaviors and identify goals to make healthy future choices. Clients can expect me to provide a warm, open, and engaged relationship to address life’s hopes and challenges and help them reach their full potential!

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Abigail Long, LMFT


Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist 

Abigail loves to work with youth to help express themselves, manage life’s challenges, and fulfill their potential. Abigail knows the value and importance of collaborating with the youth’s family & support system to further strengthen resources to meet the youth and family’s needs. Abigail has experience providing services to youth in school-based (elementary, middle, and high school) and office settings. Abigail has treated a wide range of issues including anxiety, depresssion, poor academic performance, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, suicidal ideation, self-harm behaviors, anger, disruptive behaviors, bullying, peer/relationship issues, screen dependence, substance use, sexuality and gender identity issues, trauma from physical/sexual abuse, grief, and family issues. She uses treatment modalities including: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Solution-Focused, Person-Centered, Narrative, Strengths-Based, Art Therapy, Play Therapy, and Family Systems. Abigail creates a sense of empowerment and acceptance for clients during the therapeutic process to put their best self forward. Her personal and professional philosophy are one and the same - “Do everything out of love.” Abigail Long obtained a Master of Science in Counseling with specialization in Marriage, Family and Child Therapy from University of Phoenix in 2012 and became a licensed therapist in July 2018. Abigail joined our Scripps Ranch team at Grow Through Life Counseling in 2022 with a shared passion for treating youth and families.

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Sara Jaques, APCC


Associate Professional Clinical Counselor Supervised by Jennifer Leader, LMFT

Sara received her Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling from Adam's State University, Colorado in 2018. She has worked in a variety of settings such as public schools, residential treatment centers, to pro bono community health agencies. Sara has experience with a varied demographic: children and adolescents from economically challenged backgrounds, families, and adults who have struggled with disorders such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, panic attacks, ADHD, autism substance abuse, as well as bipolar disorder. She enjoys using cognitive behavioral therapy as well as a solution- focused approach. Sara uses her compassionate personality to develop a trusting and meaningful relationship with her clients. She believes in the power of healing through human connection, and strives to ensure your present pain doesn't make you forget about your future purpose.

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Joel Gamache, LMFT


Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Joel is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) licensed in the state of California. He earned his Master of Science in Marriage, Family, and Child Therapy from the University of Phoenix in 2016. He has experience providing therapy for the psychological effects of chronic pain and intense acute pain, San Diego's homeless population, pre-teens and teens in the juvenile justice system prior to providing therapy to children, teens, and families in the county clinic setting. In this setting he served those who experienced trauma, developmental trauma, child abuse, and developmental delays. He has a psychdynamic therapy style and primarily focuses on improving family communication to resolve difficulties. Joel is a veteran of the United States Navy and is thankful to have service members and their dependents within the population he serves. He has been serving the San Diego community for 13 years within the fields of nursing, hospice volunteering, and psychotherapy.

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Chanda "Candi" Kizer, AMFT


Associate Marriage and Family Therapist Supervised by Jennifer Leader, LMFT

Candi has worked with a vast array of populations and is passionate about using a strengths-based, person-centered approach to caring for and treating her clients. By using this approach, Candi encourages her clients to internally initiate the healing process and to reach their therapeutic goals. Candi is experienced working with individuals, couples, families and adolescents. She has focused strengths working with clients suffering from trauma, depression, anxiety, boundary setting, codependency, adjustment challenges, identity, crisis intervention and LGBTQIA+ issues. Candi is trauma informed and culturally aware making her a caring and supportive therapist. She is focused on ensuring that individuals feel safe to discover their true selves, develop resilience and are able to navigate their futures in healthy and optimistic ways.  Candi graduated from National University with her Master’s of Counseling Psychology degree and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from National University. Candi joined Grow Through Life Counseling in 2022. 

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Jennifer "Jen" Leader, LMFT 


Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Clinical Manager and Supervisor

Jen has experience working within the military community, schools, Inpatient, Intensive Outpatient (IOP), Partial Hospitalization (PHP), and outpatient settings. Jen is experienced working with individuals, couples and families experiencing a range of issues including: anger, anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder, depression, self-harm behaviors, learning disabilities, self-esteem, life transitions, trauma and more. She takes a client-centered, strengths-based approach to create a collaborative and positive experience while empowering her clients to make healthy changes. She is experienced using Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma Focused-CBT, Brief CBT for suicide prevention, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Jen thoroughly enjoys working with diverse populations in order to assist her clients reach their full potential. She earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling/Marriage, Family, and Child Therapy from University of Phoenix and Bachelor’s degree in Animal Physiology, Neuroscience and Psychology from University of California San Diego. Jen has over 17 years of experience working with all ages. Jen joined the Scripps Ranch team as Clinical Manager and Supervisor in 2021. 

Scripps Ranch Leadership Team

Clinical Manager: Jennifer Leader, LMFT 

Clinical Supervisor: Jennifer Leader, LMFT 

Scripps Ranch Location

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