Jovonne Simpson, A.S.W.

Psychotherapist Hermosa Beach and San Pedro

Psychotherapist ~ Children, Adolescents, and Families

My Approach to Therapy

I have four years of experience working with children, youth, adolescents, and families struggling with mental illness that include anxiety, depression, and trauma, in addition to behavioral health struggles such as Autism and other developmental disorders. My philosophy is: there is no such thing as a bad child. Children are influenced by external factors that trigger unhealthy behavior. Therefore, in using Strength-Based Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Solution Focused Therapy I have found to be the most effective to help empower and give children, adolescents, and families the tools they need to be navigators of their own treatment and success.

Specialty Experience:

Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Abuse

When the general public thinks about domestic violence, they usually think in terms of physical assault that results in visible injuries to the victim. This is only one type of abuse. There are several categories of abusive behavior, each of which has its own devastating consequences. Anger management techniques, coping with trauma, psycho-education and 1:1 individual counseling are used with my clients to teach them about the dynamics and effects of domestic violence. I explore with my clients using a Power and Control wheel during my sessions, to teach my clients about the overall pattern of abusive and violent behaviors which are used by a batterer to establish and maintain control over their partner. I facilitate Support groups; link my clients to Community and Legal resources to help empower female youth and women to achieve safety and self sufficiency.

Mental Illness
I have worked with seriously emotionally disturbed adolescents (SED), and other high risk behaviors including suicidal, physically and verbally aggressive cases, as a Primary and Rehabilitation Therapist, by providing four hours of group therapy daily in an acute locked down psychiatric facility. Despite being gravely disabled and presenting with self harm and dangerous behaviors towards others (DTO), adolescents with these diagnoses benefit with 24 hour care within a multidisciplinary team of professionals for the most effective treatment and recovery. Utilizing client-centered clinical skills and age appropriate interventions, I help build and foster healthy therapeutic relationships with my clients, by working collaboratively with my team.

 

Children & Adolescents
I work with children in numerous ways by keeping them engaged in activities such as Play Therapy, Sand Tray, Art Mediums, and Drawings to name a few. I provide support to adolescents by creating a safe and warm environment in order to build trust and rapport. I use self disclosure of myself, reflective and active listening skills, positive reinforcement, and unconditional positive regard to help keep my clients engaged and successful thus alleviating mental/behavioral health struggles that interfere with their functioning in their daily lives.

 

Anxiety & Depression
While depression and anxiety are two different mental health struggles, their symptoms, causes, and treatments can often overlap. This is because many people with anxiety also develop depression and vice versa. The most important quality that anxiety and depression share is that they are both very treatable conditions. In working with children and adolescents with anxiety, they respond best to down regulation techniques such as listening to relaxation music, practicing deep breathing exercises while paying attention to each breath, and mindfulness activities that train their brain to focus and be calm. By down regulating my clients, who struggle with anxiety, using Mindfulness modalities, they are able to be grounded and self soothe.

 

Depression
Depression is a serious mental health problem that causes persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities. Although depression can occur at any time in life, symptoms may be different between children and adolescents vs. adults. Issues such as peer pressure, academic expectations and changing bodies can bring a lot of ups and downs. Signs and symptoms include a change from an individual’s previous attitude and behavior that can cause significant distress and problems at school or home, in social activities or other areas of life. When treating depression I use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helping my clients change negative thought patterns by reframing them to positive ones, through simple guidance and encouragement while meeting them where they are at. I also discuss the importance of Self Care and different Self Care methods that overtime will help improve their mood, self esteem, and confidence in themselves.

Professional Experience:

Lead 4 hours of group psychotherapy daily to male and female adolescents ages 14-18, in an Inpatient psychiatric residential facility.

JBA Institute- Behavior Therapist
Provided Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy and principles to children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the home and school settings.

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford- Clinician
Facilitated individual and play therapy to acute pediatric patients to help manage and de-escalate physical and verbally aggressive behavior.

Foothill Community Health Center-Behavioral Health Clinician
Provided individual, group therapy, and group psycho-education to culturally diverse at-risk elementary aged youth K-6th grade throughout multiple East San José school settings.

Gardner Family Care Corporation- Mental Health Counselor (Intern)
Facilitated a psycho-educational group to adolescent’s ages 11-14 addressing suicide, self-harm, domestic violence, eating disorders, and substance abuse.

Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence – Crisis Intervention Advocate (Intern)
Implemented safety planning and collaborated with other agencies to survivors of domestic violence and their children to linkages to housing resources such as emergency shelters.

Education

San Jose State University
Master of Social Work

University of California, Santa Barbara
Bachelor of Arts, Sociology

Licenses & Professionals Affiliations:

Associate Clinical Social Worker # 62754 (California Board of Behavioral Sciences)-Supervised by Alicia MacGowan, LCSW (LCSW#21303)
National Association of Social Workers (NASW)

 

“Someone once told me that education is the key to success. I use not only my education, but my personal and professional knowledge, skills and experiences in my sessions to better meet my client’s needs. Asking for help is the first educated step you’ll take on our journey together to explore different treatment options that works best for you.”

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