Support Team

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Liliana Gomez

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Intake & Billing Specialist

Liliana is an administrative professional with over 20 years combined experience working in different sectors from public to non-profit in San Diego. Having always had an interest in child development and child rearing, Liliana has taken courses through Theoria Technical College and the Center for Babywearing Studies which contributed to her leisure job title of Certified Babywearing Dance Instructor. Liliana feels like she is where she was meant to be working all along, as she is excited to utilize her empathic strengths to assist and applaud those seeking and offering mental health services.

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Barbara Vance

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Billing Specialist

Barbara Vance started with us in 2021 as Billing Specialist at Grow Through Life Counseling. She is perpetually curious, with a desire to make a difference in the lives of children and teens. Barbara has a Bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley in Native American Studies. She is also a Certified Resource Teacher in Elementary Special Education, from the University of Hawaii, Manoa. Barbara has spent much of her career working in customer service in the hospitality industry. She enjoys interacting with people of all ages and backgrounds, having travelled often. Barbara enjoys learning new things and looks forward to being of service to the counseling community.

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Sarah Vita

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 Lead Intake Coordinator

Hello, my name is Sarah and I am from San Diego, CA. I have my Bachelors in Communication from Cal State University, San Marcos. I am currently on the path of gaining my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy with Touro University Worldwide. I have always been an advocate for mental health and find helping people very healing and fulfilling. I am a certified yoga instructor and have a strong passion for anything health and fitness related. I hope to one day take my knowledge of health and wellness within the body and incorporate that with healing of the mind. 

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Janette Etchings

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Intake Coordinator

Janette Etchings joined our team as an intake coordinator in September of 2020. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychological Science from California State University, San Marcos. She is currently applying for graduate school to pursue her Master’s Degree in Psychology with the goal of becoming a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Art Therapist. Janette has over four years of experience working in the field of Memory Care encouraging residents to experience purposeful and meaningful engagements. Her compassionate and nurturing personality makes others feel comfortable and accepted. Janette has spent the last 5 years teaching painting classes to encourage others to express their artistic abilities. She has a passion for creativity through art and believes it is an integral part of the healing process.

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Shakera Yusufi

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Human Resource Director 

Shakera Yusifi joined Grow Through Life Counseling in 2019 to support clients and therapist in providing great care and assisting in billing on boarding processes. Shakera brings with her her talent for working compassionately with people and addressing their needs. Shakera has previous HR experience at a Client Support Manager for EA Health Corp with complex organization and support tasks. Prior to this, Shakera was the Head Neurophysical Training at the Drake Institute in Vista, CA. She provided direct care as well as managed a team of technicians in assessing and treating ADHD, Autism and other Learning and Processing Disorders. Shakera is passionate about helping others.

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Megan Baldwin, LCSW

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Clinical Administrator

Megan is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the state of California. She graduated in 2015, from San Diego State University, with a Masters of Social Work degree. She specializes in working with children and youth experiencing grief, loss, life stressors, anxiety, and low self-esteem. In practice, Megan believes in using a strength-based perspective and a client-centered approach. She has received training in Trauma-Informed Care and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. At Grow Through Life Counseling, Megan is excited to offer counseling to you and your family with hopes of making it a healthy, successful, and meaningful life. Megan is currently support our clinical managers with administrative tasks as our Clinical Administor

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Kara Kohnen, LMFT

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Clinical Director of Growth 

Kara Kohnen is the Clinical Director of Growth at Grow Through Life Counseling and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego with over 21 years of experience working with children, teens and families in behavioral health. Kara's current role is focused on helping grow our team. She began Grow Through Life Counseling for specialized treatment of children, teens and families. Her areas of expertise include: parenting, behavior modification, ADHD, Learning Disorders and high functioning Autism. She enjoys working with younger patients and frequently works with families as part of the treatment process. She has been a clinical supervisor of pre licensed clinicians for the past 11 years and has taught in graduate programs.  In 2017, Kara wrote two books to help parents explain the benefits of treatment and the therapeutic relationships of children starting and in treatment and to help teens actively engage in the process and to promote suicide awareness and prevention. Kara supports the clinical management team and support team as the Director. Kara enjoys networking, meeting with other mental health providers, community outreach and speaking at schools and in communities of topics about:  pediatric mental health awareness, teen mental health and suicide prevention.