Katherine (Kate) Turnbull, MA

Katherine (Kate) Turnbull, MA
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFT 123483)


I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy Associate in the Institute’s Child and Adolescent Specialty Practice (CASP) and a member of the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) team.   I am also on the Health and Wellness team.  I bring a creative, compassionate, and deeply present spirit to my work with children, adolescents, families, and adults.

I use mindfulness, body-centered approaches, and a trauma-informed lens when working with clients.  I help youth and their families grow their capacity to be present with what is happening in the moment, even if the present moment experience feels intolerable.  At the same time, I also support clients to make mindful choices and decisions regarding relationships, life transitions, or self-care in order to create healthful change in all aspects of their lives.

In essence, when working with children and their families, I am both a member of the orchestra and the metronome.  I join clients in the bright, chaotic, mournful, joyful music of their lives while also providing a steady, comforting rhythm underneath the ebbs and flows.  My background in the performing arts supports a sense of playfulness so everyone in the room can both experiment with our own instruments and try new ones we hadn’t considered before.  My personal and professional training in mindfulness grounds us throughout this new and therefore sometimes uncomfortable journey.  Every session is co-created with the aim of providing clients with the resources, adaptability, and determination to make lasting change in their lives.


I provide support for growth in the following areas:

  • Disability
    • Sibling support, including safety at home
    • Family and couple systems
    • Future planning
  • Mindfulness
  • Chronic illness and chronic pain
  • Trauma and resilience
  • Identity questions
  • LGBTQ+ affirming therapy
  • Self-compassion
  • High anxiety over-achievers
  • Highly sensitive people
  • Emotional dysregulation

Additional information about my specialties:

  • I am passionate about supporting children, adolescents, and adults who are siblings to a person with a disability. This relationship is often complex and filled with feelings of delight and protectiveness as well as resentment and possibly fear.  I provide a space where siblings can allow all their feelings to be present, and I can help parents build sibling support into the family system.
  • I value being able to support youth who are struggling with chronic illness and chronic pain – including support for coping with their symptoms and the many feelings that come with chronic illness.
  • I use a somatic (body-centered) and educational approach when working with trauma. Building resilience when working with trauma cannot be rushed and I help clients to trust their pace.  I help clients hear the alarm bells in their own nervous systems and provide tools and resources to soothe their nervous systems.  This work ultimately decreases the impact of triggers and increases a client’s capacity for the highs and lows of life.

Presentations and Workshops:

  • Building Immediate and Long-term Sibling Capacity, Inclusion Collaborative State Conference, San Jose, CA
  • Embracing the Whole Family Story (keynote), Honestly Autism Day, Baltimore, MD
  • Supporting the Support: Sibling Realities in the Past, Present, and Future, Alabama DisABILITY Conference, Orange Beach, AL
  • Giving Attention: Weaving Mindfulness into Family Life, Alabama DisABILITY Conference, Orange Beach, AL
  • The Longest Family Relationship: Launching Siblings of Children with Disabilities to Well-being Across Lifespans (keynote), Childhood Inclusion Institute, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Working with Now: Mindfulness Training for Young Children with Self-Regulation Challenges, Childhood Inclusion Institute, Chapel Hill, NC

Advanced Training:

  • DBT Onboarding Training for Therapists Joining Existing DBT Teams with Patricia Gieselman
  • Inner Kids led by Susan Kaiser Greenland (using mindfulness with children, teenagers, and families)
  • GATE training (therapeutic model for working with gang-affiliated clients)
  • Trauma Resiliency Model (body-centered skills for working with trauma)

Prior Experience:

  • Southern California Counseling Center
  • Clare Foundation
  • Numerous residencies in schools, acute-care facilities, and residential facilities as a teaching artist


  • Masters, Integrative Counseling Psychology, California Institute of Integral Studies
  • Masters in Fine Arts, Acting, The University of San Diego/The Old Globe Theatre
  • Bachelors of Arts, Theatre and American Studies, University of Kansas


To support clients to locate and heed their own exquisite inner knowing.  As this relationship to the client’s own wisdom develops, clients are able to stay more present with big and uncomfortable feelings, offer compassion to self and others, develop sound judgment when making choices, and build relationships and community with healthy boundaries and a sense of ease.

Pronouns: She/ Her / Hers

Email: KTurnbull@InstituteforGirlsDevelopment.com

Phone: 626-585-8075 ext. 125

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