therapistCynthia D. Baker, PhD

Dr. Baker has over 15 years experience working as a therapist, professor, supervisor, consultant and researcher in child, family, and adult mental health. Over her career and in her private practice, she has helped hundreds of children, adolescents, adults and their families work through challenging times to learn how to connect more deeply to one another and to ultimately live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives. In her research career, Dr. Baker has served as Principal Investigator on over 20 NIH-funded grants and contracts (total value over $20 million) to develop and evaluate curricula, programs and products related to mental health education, services and research. As a child mental health and development expert, Dr. Baker gives presentations and lectures throughout the United States. Areas of clinical expertise include early childhood mental health, attachment, adolescent and adult depression, postpartum depression and anxiety, bereavement, and divorce and co-parenting. In her private practice in Newport Beach, Dr. Baker works with adults and couples as well as young children, teens and families.  

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, University of Michigan, 1999
M.A. in Clinical Psychology, University of Michigan, 1996
B.A. in Economics, University of California, Berkeley, 1991

Full Professional Licensure, State of California, 2001- present (PSY18435)

Additional Training & Past Positions
Senior Scientist & Advisor, Danya International, Inc, 2002 - 2014
Clinical Assistant Professor, Dept of Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine, 2000- 2002
Clinical Director, Mood Disorders Program, Child Psychiatry, Harbor-UCLA, 2000-2002
Postdoctoral Fellow (APA Accredited), Child Psychiatry, Harbor-UCLA, 1999-2000
Power Fellow, University of Michigan, 1998-1999
Internship (APA Accredited), Center for the Child & Family, Univ. of Michigan, 1998-1999
Intership (APA Accredited), Psychological Clinic, Univ. of Michigan, 1996-1998

therapistSusan Halim, MA, MS, LMFT

Ms. Halim specializes in maternal, child, and family therapy and parenting support.  Her extensive clinical experience includes working as a school counselor to children exhibiting emotional, social, behavioral, and learning issues as well providing therapy to expectant parents, new mothers, and families with young children and adolescents in both mental health agency and private practice settings.  Susan is a psychodynamic therapist who was trained in the Mindful/Reflective Parenting model while employed at the Well Baby Center in Los Angeles. Susan has specialized training in perinatal depression and anxiety, early childhood development, childhood anxiety and behavioral issues, ADHD, trauma and attachment issues, and grief and loss.  Holding a second degree in Intercultural Communication and having a former career as a college-level advisor to international students, scholars, and their families, Susan is also skilled at helping families and individuals navigate cultural and transitional issues that may arise.  Susan is also a parenting consultant and founder of Mindful Families (mindful-families.org), an organization that offers workshops for parents who are seeking to decrease stress, increase parenting effectiveness, and deepen their connection to their child.


M.S. in Counseling, California State University at Fullerton, 2013
M.S. in Intercultural Communication, University of Hawaii, 2001
B.A. in Comparative Literature, California State University at Long Beach, 1995

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT 98692)

Additional Training & Past Positions
Mindful Parenting Instructor, UCI Samueli Center, 2016 - present

Elementary School Social-Emotional Skills Guidance Assistant, Irvine Unified School District, 2016 - present

Elementary School Counselor, Outreach Concern, Santa Ana, CA 2015-2016
Lead Group Facilitator, Well Baby Center, Mar Vista, CA, 2013-2015
Mariposa Women & Family Center, Orange, CA, 2011-2013
International Student & Scholar Advisor, UC San Francisco, 2002-2007
American Studies Instructor, Outreach College, Hawaii, 1999-2002
International Student & Scholar Advisor, Univ of Hawaii, 1999-2002
Elementary School English Language Instructor, Iwate, Japan, 1995-1997


Sarah Escalante, LCSW

Ms. Escalante is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with over 7 years’ experience providing psychotherapy to preschool and school-aged children, adolescents, and adults in outpatient and school settings. Having received extensive additional training and certifications, Sarah practices several evidence-based psychotherapies, including Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), Play Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), and Positive Parenting (PPP). Specialized training has also prepared her to work with toddlers who have experienced early childhood trauma. Her clinical specialties include depression and anxiety, trauma, adjustment, divorce, grief and loss, attachment, interpersonal relationships, early childhood mental health, child/adolescent disruptive behavior, and parenting. Sarah provides a safe space in therapy through empathy and compassion and she tailors each client's treatment to their specific individual needs. She is dedicated to assisting her clients in meeting their goals, improving their lives, and making lasting changes toward wellness.


B.S. in Criminal Justice, California State University Long Beach, 2015

M.S.W., California State University Long Beach, 2018


Licensed Clinical Social Worker (102796) 

Additional Training & Past Positions

Department of Mental Health Outpatient Clinician, Helpline Youth Counseling 2018-2021

Mental Health Specialist/ School Social Worker, ABC Unified School District 2017-2018

Department of Mental Health Outpatient Clinician, Western Youth Services 2016-2017

Youth Mental Health First Aid Certification, 2017

Monitored Visitation Specialist, Orange County Child Abuse and Prevention Center 2014-2016

Triple P (Positive Parenting Program), 2021

Seeking Safety Training, 2021

Mental Health for Young Children with Developmental Delays Training, 2020 

Trauma Response in Infants Training, 2020

Brain Development of Young Children Training, 2020

Individual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Training, 2020

Interpersonal Psychotherapy Certification, 2020

Child-Parent Psychotherapy Training, 2020

Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Training, 2019

Managing and Adapting Practice Therapist Status, 2019

Play Therapy Training, 2019

Liz Wenger, MA, LMFT

For more than 10 years, Ms. Wenger facilitated individual and group psychotherapies for children and adults with emotional, behavioral and psychological difficulties in inpatient, outpatient, and community settings. In her private practice, she now specializes in psychotherapy with children, couples, adults and families. Her psychotherapeutic approach is individualized to each client but she typically combines cognitive behavioral, psychodynamic, and existential approaches. Clients benefit from her warm, nonjudgmental, but direct, practical, and heartfelt demeanor. Her areas of clinical expertise include mood disorders/depression, anxiety, divorce/blended families, couples,  career/school concerns, parenting, peer issues and relationship concerns. From children to adults, couples to the whole family, Ms. Wenger helps her clients to develop coping tools, resolve maladaptive patterns keeping them stuck, and ultimately to become more in tune with themselves and live their lives more authentically.


M.A. in Transpersonal Psychology, John F. Kennedy University, 2001

B.A. in Business Management, Cal State University Long Beach, 1990


Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT 108544)

Additional Training & Past Positions

Family Therapist, Advances and Breakthroughs in Mental Health, Huntington Beach, CA 2015-present

Group Facilitator, College Hospital, Costa Mesa, CA 2009-2015

Assistant Program Director, College Hospital, Costa Mesa, CA, 2001-2007

High School Therapist/Psychology teacher, ContraCosta High School, Orinda, CA 1999-2001

Ashtanga Yoga Instructor, San Francisco and Costa Mesa, CA, 2000-2004

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