OUR Team

Alan Gordon, LCSW

Executive Director

Alan Gordon is a psychotherapist in Los Angeles, CA, specializing in the treatment of chronic pain. Alan is an Assistant Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California, has authored publications on the treatment of chronic pain, and has presented on the topic of pain treatment at conferences and trainings throughout the country. He served as the chair for the 2013 Mind-Body Conference at USC, and co-created the Treatment Outline and Training Protocol for the Psychophysiologic Disorders Association.

Derek Sapico, LMFT

Associate Director

Derek Sapico is a psychotherapist in Los Angeles, CA. He has been working with chronic pain patients for the duration of his career, and has presented on the topic of pain at universities throughout California. He is the Clinical Director of the USC MFT Program, and an active board member for the Psychophysiologic Disorders Association (PPDA). Derek spent five years as the lead therapist at the California Headache and Pain Center, and has authored protocol on the treatment of pain for various organizations.

Melany Cohen, LMFT, CHT, JD

Melany Cohen is a psychotherapist and certified hypnotherapist, specializing in the treatment of chronic pain. Her own positive experience with hypnosis inspired her to make a life-transforming decision. She gave up her law career so that she could pursue her true passion to become a healer and motivator. She incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy, guided imagery and mindfulness-based stress reduction to support patients in their recovery process.

Daniel Lyman, LCSW

The complex dynamics that exist between the body and mind can yield unexpected physical and emotional turmoil. Daniel G Lyman, LCSW is a psychotherapist in Los Angeles, CA who specializes in the treatment of those complex dynamics and their relation to chronic pain. He earned both a master’s degree in Social Work and in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. Daniel also specializes in working with the LGBT population, including couples and family issues. He has guest lectured at the graduate level, and led workshops and trainings at local colleges.

Amber Murphy, LCSW

Amber Murphy uses an integrative approach to treat chronic pain sufferers. She integrates psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral and trauma informed approaches while incorporating the practice of mindfulness to assist patients in overcoming their pain. Having recovered from psychogenic pain herself, Amber has unique insight into the mind-body connection and understands the fear and frustration that often accompanies it.

Danielle Szasz, LMFT, JD

Danielle Szasz practiced law at several internationally-known law firms for 6 years before leaving the legal world to pursue her true calling as a psychotherapist. Danielle borrows from cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, interpersonal neurobiology, and depth psychology models to support patients in their recovery from chronic pain. She has extensive personal and professional experience with practicing and teaching mindfulness and self-compassion and has used these skills to great success in helping patients thrive.

Alex Bloom, LCSW

Alex Bloom specializes in psychotherapy for individuals struggling with chronic pain. Recognizing the connection between mind, body and emotions, Alex helps to empower his patients so that they may understand and ultimately overcome the underlying causes of their physical distress. His approach to therapy utilizes a variety of techniques, with focus on a psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral model.

Amy Wood, LMFT

Amy is passionate about the connection between the mind and body and the importance of holistic treatment approaches to psychotherapy. Amy has great respect for clients suffering from chronic pain and brings curiosity and sensitivity to her work. Utilizing a therapeutic approach that integrates cognitive behavioral, narrative, and mindfulness models, Amy helps individuals explore their hopes, identify obstacles, and initiate practices that empower change.

Valerie Sadon, LCSW

Valerie Sadon is a licensed psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of pain, anxiety, and depression using techniques with scientifically-proven effectiveness, including: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Mindfulness-based approaches. Valerie draws on over 10 years of experience working with diverse populations to empower clients towards meaningful change, reduce physical and emotional pain, and improve overall well-being.

Tim Norton, LCSW

Tim Norton utilizes a mindfulness-based behavioral approach to treating chronic pain and mind-body disorders. Apart from receiving direct training from Alan Gordon, he has a strong background in both Dialectical Behavior Therapy and sex therapy. Tim works with his clients to set tangible goals, and helps them acquire the skills they need to achieve them. His methods emphasize self-acceptance and non-judgment.

Mariclare Dasigenis, LCSW

Mariclare Dasigenis, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, utilizes an eclectic approach coupled with compassion to treat chronic pain. Mariclare brings to the treatment setting extensive experience working with families, children, and adults who have experienced trauma. She has received training in psychodynamic approaches to recognize and understand the way unconscious patterns manifest in the body. Using an combination of psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, and mindfulness approaches, Mariclare assists clients in building understanding and insight to improve their lives and heal.

Kristin Borella, MFT

After an extensive career in the entertainment industry, Kristin brings her unique understanding of high stress and pressurized professional environments to her work with clients who are experiencing chronic pain, anxiety and depression. Kristin’s collaborative approach is rooted in psycho-dynamic, narrative and mindfulness based strategies. She has an extensive background in complex trauma related to sexual assault and gender-based violence. Kristin graduated from USC with a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and is currently pursuing her Masters in Gerontology at USC.

Ed Walton, MSW

Having faced chronic pain and subsequently overcome it, Ed Walton brings a deep level of personal understanding to the recovery process. In this way, he helps his patients improve their lives by addressing the pain from an experiential angle as well as drawing upon the strengths of his formal trainings and education. Incorporating all relevant modalities of therapy (including psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and mindfulness), Ed customizes a specific approach to each patient’s individual needs in order for them to resolve chronic pain and return to the life they want.

Christie Uipi, MSW

Christie Uipi specializes in the treatment of mind-body pain. She guides patients through a holistic approach to treating their pain, and helps them develop a deeper understanding of its progression and purpose. Using a foundation of psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral therapies, Christie treats patients with the same care and compassion with which she hopes they learn to treat themselves.

Natasha Rosow, MSW

Natasha Rosow treats chronic pain and related psychophysiological barriers to wellness using a combination of psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness-based stress reduction. She tailors treatment to each individual’s unique needs and emphasizes self-compassion as essential to healing and personal growth. Natasha’s approach is trauma-informed, and she has specialized training in working with survivors of interpersonal violence and abusive relationships.

Callie Klebanoff, MSW

Callie Klebanoff, Registered Associate Clinical Social Worker, received her master's degree from the University of Southern California. Callie is an eclectic therapist and treats pain holistically, integrating psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral and mindfulness based therapies to tailor treatment to each client's needs. Callie believes therapy is a collaborative conversation that is based on curiosity, deep empathy, and radical acceptance of what is and what can be changed. In addition to exploring dynamic patterns, providing relaxation exercises and mindfulness meditation, Callie helps her clients develop self-compassion and the deep self-awareness needed to empower positive changes and healing.

Chelsea Moyer, MSW

Chelsea Moyer has an extensive background in working with the connection between the body and the mind, both personally and professionally. She works relationally and experientially to support her clients in gaining personal insight into the mind body connection to promote healing on a deeper, more holistic level. Chelsea believes therapy functions optimally as a collaborative experience in which the therapeutic relationship meets the unique needs of each client. She utilizes an integrative approach to psychotherapy, pulling primarily from mindfulness and psychodynamic modalities, in an effort to promote more expansive self-awareness, authentic self-compassion, and improved self-care: the catalysts to change.

Kaya Abrams, MSW

Kaya Abrams brings a strength-based approach to the treatment of clients’ pain. Her clinical background includes working with clients managing anxiety and depression and believes deeply in fostering the client/therapist alliance as an important component in the recovery process. Her clinical practice integrates cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and psychoeducation.

Tori Smith, MSW Intern

Tori Smith is currently a graduate student at the University of Southern California. She brings a holistic approach to the treatment of chronic pain with an emphasis placed on cognitive behavioral, psychodynamic, and mindfulness based therapies. Tori helps her clients develop the skills they need to reach and maintain their goals, and focuses on the importance of self-compassion throughout the healing process.

Shira Hefter, MSW Intern

Shira M. Hefter treats chronic pain and other debilitating symptoms through the mind-body approach. Her insight allows her to identify patients’ unique needs, which she uses to generate innovative action plans. Having been an elite athlete, Shira is familiar with the pressures that high-achieving personalities feel, often leading to anxiety, pain, and other symptoms. Her authenticity and openness allows for a safe space, in which patients can feel comfortable sharing their experiences and making personal discoveries. Shira is currently in her final year of graduate school at the University of Southern California and will obtain her Master of Social Work in May 2018.

Medical Advisory Board

The Medical Advisory Board of the Pain Psychology Center is a multi-disciplinary group of physicians who are among the most respected and experienced in their fields. These physicians, elected by our Board of Directors, serve in an advisory capacity to the Pain Psychology Center team.

David Schechter, MD

David Schechter, MD is Board Certified in Sports Medicine and Family Medicine, with a credential in Pain Medicine. He has served on the faculty of the USC School of Medicine since 1990, and has published and presented widely on the topic of musculoskeletal pain. Voted Top Doctor by US News and World Report, Dr. Schechter is a leading physician in the field of psychophysiologic disorders. He currently practices in Beverly Hills and Culver City, California.

Dr. Howard Schubiner, MD

Dr. Howard Schubiner, MD is board certified in pediatrics and internal medicine and is the director of the Mind Body Medicine Center at Providence Hospital in Southfield, MI. He is a Clinical Professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine and has authored over 60 publications in scientific journals and books. Dr. Schubiner has conducted research on psychophysiological disorders and is currently working on a large grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the effects of emotional expression therapy for fibromyalgia.

David D. Clarke, MD

David D. Clarke, MD is President of the Psychophysiologic Disorders Association, Clinical Assistant Professor of Gastroenterology Emeritus and Assistant Director at the Center for Ethics at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and a Faculty Associate at Arizona State University. He is board-certified in Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine and practiced Gastroenterology in Portland, Oregon from 1984 to 2009. Dr. Clarke frequently lectures on psychophysiologic disorders both nationally and internationally, and he has appeared on over 100 TV and radio broadcasts.