Sally Rivas Duffy, M.A.

Sally Rivas Duffy, M.A.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT 120985)

Welcome!

I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the Institute’s Child and Adolescent Specialty Practice (CASP). Children and teens have so much to say!  Yet they’re still building skills to effectively express their needs, feelings, and thoughts. So child and adolescent therapy looks very different than traditional adult therapy. I love finding ways to help each child and teen express and grow – ways that work specifically for them. I value finding ways to help children and teens feel safe, seen and heard.

To build trust and collaborate in helping youth improve their lives, I bring together various approaches, including person-centered, attachment-based, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) oriented models. I use a multidimensional approach to fit the needs of each client and family – including play therapy, art, bibliotherapy, mindfulness, and CBT.  To foster connection, growth, and skills with adolescents, I use therapeutic games, mindfulness, and CBT methods. I am trained and certified in several Evidenced-Based modalities including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). I’ve received specialized advanced training in play therapy, CBT, and family systems approaches.

People often ask me what led me to become a therapist – specifically a child therapist. I tell them I have always been fascinated by children, their development, and the way they see the world. Before earning my Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, I worked in preschool settings and earned my Bachelor’s degree in Human Development with a specialization in Early Childhood Education. I knew I wanted to do more work with families and help intervene early with the caregiver and child relationship. My drive to better understand this relationship dynamic – including a child’s brain development and how early attachments and wounds shape us into the adults we are today – led me to my career as a psychotherapist.

All of my services are available in English and/or Spanish.

 Specialties:

  • Anxiety
  • Attachment difficulties
  • Depression
  • Trauma and resilience
  • Immigration
  • Issues regarding cultural identity and stress
  • Mindfulness
  • Identity questions
  • Self-compassion
  • Highly sensitive people
  • Social Skills
  • Emotional dysregulation

Additional information about my specialties:

  • My clinical experience also includes working with children and families from diverse backgrounds and populations in underserved communities of color. I work with children and adolescents who have experienced grief and loss, immigration, issues regarding cultural identity and stress, attachment difficulties, anxiety, depression, PTSD, bullying, and issues related to social skills.
  • I have gained tremendous experience working as a bilingual assessor and therapist in community mental health outpatient settings. I have provided care in school-based, home-based, and office-based settings providing therapy in both English and Spanish.

Presentations and Workshops:

  • Girls’ Empowerment Group
  • Anger and Social Skills Group for Boys
  • Setting Boundaries and Limitations for Parents

Advanced Training:

  • Trauma-Focused CBT- Certified by The Help Group
  • Seeking Safety – Certified by Foothill Family
  • Managing and Adapting Practice (MAP) – Certified by The Help Group
  • Structural Family Therapy – Trained by The Help Group

Prior Experience:

  • The Help Group
  • Foothill Family
  • Partnerships to Uplift Communities (PUC)

Education:

  • Master of Arts, Marriage and Family Therapy – University of Southern California
  • Bachelor of Arts, Human Development, Specialized in Early Childhood Education – Pacific Oaks College

Mission:

To help clients become more aware of their feelings, thoughts and needs and to learn healthy coping skills to self-regulate. I believe that if we want to heal and be ourselves, we need to feel safe, seen, and heard. 

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Email: SRivasDuffy@InstituteforGirlsDevelopment.com

Phone: 626-585-8075 ext. 127

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