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SIMI VALLEY STAFF
Yajaira Alvarez Executive Director of Behavioral Health Services, MS, AMFT

Yajaira Alvarez

Executive Director of Behavioral Health Services, MS, AMFT

Yajaira Alvarez earned her Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology with an emphasis on Child, Adolescent and Family Studies, and Sociology. She went on to earn her MS in Counseling Psychology at California State University of Bakersfield. Yajaira’s first interest developed when working with teens and families at the Boys and Girls Club. She found a passion for aiding families with limited resources and helping them build a stronger foundation to help increase insight, awareness, recognizing abilities, and developing a sense of self.

Since, she has developed a multicultural approach when working with individuals and families. She understands that cultural identity affects how people view mental health illnesses and the world, which is a crucial factor to integrate into therapy. Her therapeutic approach is always tailored for the benefit of the individual. She is diverse in working at different levels of care, different populations, individuals of all ages, different life circumstances and stressors, and finding the best approaches to help individuals succeed, achieve and heal. She implements a variety of evidence-based approaches related to cognitive behavioral, dialectical behavioral, person-centered, and experiential therapies, in combination with trauma-informed techniques. She is a firm believer that individuals are the drivers of their life and will walk along with them to help them navigate the world toward the road of healing and recovery.

In her downtime, she enjoys the outdoors: hiking, gardening, kayaking, jogging, and playing with her animal companion, Coco. Yajaira’s self-care also consists of downtime: movies, chips, and ice cream sandwiches to de-stress after a long day.

Shannon Thompson Administrative Assistant

Marina Katrjian

Therapist, ACSW

Marina Katrjian, MSW, ACSW, is an Associate Clinical Social Worker with a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California, with an emphasis on individuals, families, and communities. In clinical practice, Marina strongly believes in a multidimensional approach to therapy that involves exploring each individual’s biological, psychological, social, and spiritual needs. Compassionate to commit the desire to come alongside others to assist them in healing from trauma, building self-worth, improving communication in their relationships, and reaching their goals. Marina’s dedicated and empowerment-focused therapeutic approach is to evaluate each person within their environment and provide support and practical feedback to help clients effectively address personal life challenges. She is an active learner and researcher of evidence-based practices and interventions to improve the quality of social work services. She is versatile and an active, highly involved therapist, combining experience, education, creativity, and a sense of humor with a down-to-earth, realistic approach to counseling with focused and energetic

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