BAKERSFIELD BEHAVIORAL STAFF
MBA, LMFT, Division Chief Executive Officer
Yessica Avancena, MBA, LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in children, adults and blended family structures. She is also the current Division CEO of Aspire Behavioral. Her work experience includes both private clinical practice and County Mental Health/Hospital roles where she was in leadership and management. She is a psychotherapist that is UCLA-trained in Mindfulness Application Practices which have been shown to be effective to treat ADHD, Anxiety and Mood Disorders as well as overall stress reduction. She has received additional training in the areas of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, which utilizes awareness and mindfulness concepts along with progressive relaxation and guided meditation techniques for symptom reduction. Trained in alternative healing methods such as guided meditation, essential oils, and Reiki healing energy, she uses an empathetic and client-centered approach to change, which meets the individual where they are for a holistic approach to healing. She is bilingual in Spanish/English and bi-cultural with extensive knowledge of Hispanic culture.
Executive Director, LMFT
Rachel earned three baccalaureate degrees in Psychology, Religious Studies, and Philosophy, followed by a master’s in Counseling Psychology from California State University, Bakersfield. She is currently working towards an additional M.S. in Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh. Rachel provides services to adolescents and adults focusing on the utilization of evidence-based practices and explorations in existential and mindfulness concepts. She believes that humans have the power to be who they desire to be and, through deep reflection and questioning, they can cultivate true meaning.
Barby Rodriguez, B.A., M.S., LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Barby grew up in Bakersfield and attended CSUB earning Bachelor’s Degrees in Business, and Psychology with a Minor in Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies, followed by a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology. She has been working in the community to support mental health needs for over six years. She has enjoyed working with a variety of different ages, populations, and needs. Barby is a big fan of orcas and pasta.
Brooke Porter, MS, AMFT received her Bachelor’s Degree in 2014, and her Master’s in Counseling Psychology from California State University, Bakersfield in 2019. Brooke has been practicing in the mental health field since 2014, and has a variety of experience working with adolescents, young adults, adults, couples, and families, including working with individuals who struggle with substance use, mood disorders, anxiety related disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, grief and loss, and more. Brooke has been formally trained in E.M.D.R. and is a trauma-informed therapist. Additionally, she has experience with evidence-based practices such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational interviewing, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Brooke provides empathetic and client centered care to help others reduce presenting symptoms and reach their mental health goals!
Chelsea Acosta is one of our receptionists you’ll see at our front desk, usually in the evening, at Aspire Behavioral Health. She was previously an office manager for a private medical practice specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology after graduating UEI with a certificate in medical billing and insurance coding. Originally, Chelsea had plans to become a registered nurse, but after taking a coding and administrative management course she realized she enjoyed the administrative side of the medical field more, as she’s able to be the voice for patients.
Marriage & Family Therapist, Trainee
Hayley Halbrook, B.A., M.A., is a recently graduated Marriage and Family Therapist, trainee. Hayley earned her Baccalaureate in Psychology from California State University, Bakersfield followed by a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Antioch University, Santa Barbara. Hayley has provides services to adolescents, families and adults focusing on the utilization of evidenced-based practices. In addition, she has served children and adolescents of varying developmental stages, abilities and backgrounds as a behavioral intervention specialist. Hayley enjoys art and creating in her spare time as well as incorporating art into her therapy practices with clients.
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