Marriage and Family Therapist
LMFT, CLINICAL LEAD
Hi, I’m Stephanie!
Welcome! I am Stephanie Farugia. I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
I received my M.A. In Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University, located in Los Angeles, California, in 2019.
Before attending my master’s program, I worked in the theatre and film arts industry and received my bachelor’s 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 kids, 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, children, teens, adults, couples and families, 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.
For my child clients, my work in rooted 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. In addition, parent involvement is so important. I love to incorporate Theraplay, a modality that uses play and the parent-child relationship to work on behavioral and emotional regulation goals.
Teens and Adolescents:
I find that many teens 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, distress tolerance skills and empowerment exercises to facilitate the ownership of their happiness and who they want to be.
Our past remains influential in our present and in our future. I use an attachment-centered approach wherein we explore your upbringing, your family of origin and process the challenges that have led you to my office. I am trained in EMDR, a trauma-focused modality that uses bi-lateral stimulation to reprocess our traumatic memories and repair our relationships with ourselves. In addition, I am working towards my Perinatal Mental health certification, in hopes to help child bearing individuals and their families through the mental health challenges of fertility and birth.
Couples and Families:
I believe that the family is a system that works together. However, as we go through life, many things can change the system and before we know it, we are functioning in a way that no longer serves us. With my couples and my families, I want to help foster everyone’s sense of autonomy, meaning “Am I living a full life that serves me and my family? Am I getting my needs met?” as well as their sense of belonging, “Do I feel loved enough? Supported enough?” Together we work through communication styles, love languages, attachment styles, to foster healthy boundaries, love and nurture, and mutual respect.
I am proud to be entering my second year as Practicum Director for BPC. BPC is a training clinic. Each year we take on several psychology students during the course of their master’s degrees to train under our supervision. These students are carefully selected by myself and Brittani Persha based on their education, expertise, and previous experience. These students spend a considerable time with us, training and shadowing our caseload. This provides a wonderful opportunity to provide additional support for our patients as well to train the next generation of therapists who will service the community upon licensure. Therefore, from time to time, when I see it is beneficial to the client, I will include one of these psychology students to team a client with me consistently as a co-therapist.
There are many benefits to having two therapists instead of just one! Here are a few:
– Increased social skills practice
– The opportunity to be validated and supported by more than one person
– Additional insight and expertise
We are happy to answer any questions about working with co-therapists.