Welcome! I am Stephanie Farugia. I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapy Associate working under the supervision of Elizabeth Cobb, LMFT-A, LPC-S. I received my M.A. In Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University, located in Los Angeles, CA, in 2019.
Before attending my masters program I worked in the theatre and film arts industry and received my bachelors degree from the University of Southern California. My arts background continues to influence my current work in that I love to use creativity and the expressive arts whenever possible to facilitate introspection. Sitting on a couch and talking isn’t for everyone, especially for younger folks, so I like to have hands on materials and interventions to regulate our bodies and inspire insight and problem solving.
As I work with all ages, my work may look different session to session. However, no matter the age or reason to come to therapy I want to empower my client’s self-esteem and identity development by highlighting their strengths and exploring new methods of learning, self-care and relationship building. Our hour per week is just one hour, so I want to help you explore your interests, your goals, and celebrate the ways in which you put your unique stamp on this world.
With my child clients, I work from a play-based model. Children learn and express themselves best through play as it is the brains safest and most effective way to integrate information. As such, my therapy room is filled with toys needed to expressively play and regulate the body. Through play, children can give me insight into their world, and I in turn can validate and help problem solve. I also love to incorporate the mind-body connection, so I provide language and tools to better articulate how their mind, heart and body are feeling.
For adolescents and teens, I find that many feel powerless and stuck, so I try to give them as much autonomy in the room as possible, letting them lead with their interests. After we build a safe and trusting relationship, I incorporate coping tools and empowerment exercises to facilitate the ownership of their happiness and who they want to be.
For teens and children, I believe that the most powerful method of change is the environment. Therefore, I very much value incorporating the family into the therapeutic process. Who we grow up with very much influences the way we see ourselves and the way we are able to love and be in relationship with others.
This is true for adults as well. How did the people you grew up around influence the way you love yourself and others? While we cannot change the past, we can learn about it and grow from it. I am there with you in that journey of self-discovery, taking a look into what you couldn’t choose and transforming it into what you can choose now. We explore your needs, your strengths and new ways to create a happy and fulfilling life.