A Path to Happiness
A Path to Happiness
is to provide people with an opportunity to be the best version of themselves. We are all unique, and when we allow that uniqueness to shine, we become lovable, productive, successful and happy people. Why do we sometimes fail to reach our potential? Not because we do not want to be happy and successful. Rather, it is because of obstacles that block our ability to live the life we want. It is because we have developed poor coping strategies, anxiety, depression, or self-doubt. As a teenager I struggled with all four of these obstacles, but through the process of my own therapy, I discovered that I could create the life I wanted. Because of my success, I decided to help others clear their own paths to happiness. If you feel like you are not on the path to creating fulfillment and joy in your life, call me. I can help.
First, I believe we are all a part of systems, and that it is impossible to change without acknowledging what role we play in our family systems. If a person tries to change without understanding what system s/he is altering or pushing against, the chances of him/her succeeding are very slight because there will be a pull, whether externally from the people in his/her life or internally from the messages s/he received throughout his/her childhood to return to homeostasis. For example, when I am referred a child who is acting out in school, if I simply try to help the child change his/her behavior without understanding where it is coming from, I will not be successful. The same is true for adults. Even though many adults I work with have physically moved outside the family they grew up with, they often will continue to play the role they played in their childhoods. This concept can be acted out in many ways. First, a client may react to the current people in his/her life such as his/her spouse with the assumption that his/her spouse views him/her in the same way his/her parent(s) did. Second, a client is likely to pick friends and/or a spouse that is similar to his/her parent(s) in order to be able to perpetuate the same system dynamics s/he grew up in. Third, if a client has children s/he is likely to create the same family system with his/her children. This is why we believe when working with children it is extremely helpful to not only work with the child, but with the parents as well.
Second, I believe that every person has the potential to create happiness for themselves, and the desire/ability to contribute to the world. I believe all people are innately good, and want to be able to live a life that has meaning. I believe that by making our clients more aware of the choices they are currently making in their lives, they will have the ability to make different choices. Many people feel trapped in their lives and are lead by the “shoulds” that were engrained in them since childhood. When the “should” is removed from someone’s vocabulary, s/he is able to live authentically and find his/her purpose.
Furthermore, when someone is living authentically, s/he is also able to create relationships with others based on fulfillment. Luquet (2000) said, “it is not that one partner has what the other one needs, but rather that what one needs is what the other partner most needs to grow into to, to become whole and fully functioning.” In other words, a person cannot connect to others before s/he is aware and confident in who s/he is. Confidence comes from within, and can be fostered or dampened by a child’s role models. Many individuals did not receive a sense of themselves growing up, and therefore must build their identities later on. It is common for people to rely on their relationships to fill this void, but it is impossible for a person to connect to others if they expect these others to meet the needs that were never fulfilled in childhood. This is why intimacy can only be created when one whole and fully functioning self meets another. To be intimate is to not project past relationships onto the other person, and in the same moment the other person is able to reciprocate. It is the ability to completely connect to another person without loosing sight of yourself or the other person’s individual way of being.
Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy
Phillips Graduate Institute
Encino, CA 91337
Student Representative to the Faculty
Bachelor of Arts, Major: Psychology
Los Angeles, CA 90041
Member: Psi Chi, National Honors Society in Psychology President’s List
December 2007 - present
Jesse Giunta, M.A.
18321 Ventura Blvd #515
Tarzana, CA 91356
License No.: MFC 45164
Private Practice: provider of success coaching and psychotherapy for children, teenagers, adults and families. Co-leader of adolescent, young adult and parenting groups. Provider of workshops and teen education seminars in the community.
June 2003 - 2009
College Counseling and Tutoring
Tutor for study skills, paper writing, (ages 8 - adult).
August 2005 - December 2007
Melissa Mose, M.A.
23622 Calabasas Road #104
Calabasas, CA 91302
License No.: MFC 32575
Intern in a private practice (intern registration #48386) for a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (ages 5- adult).
September 2004 - May 2005
Phillips Graduate Institute – Child Therapy in a School Setting Program
5545 Balboa Blvd.
Encino, CA 91316
MFT trainee at Coldwater Canyon Elementary School and Imagine Academy (ages 5 - 16).
June - August 2002
1855 Fair Oaks Pasadena,
Intern for outpatient treatment facility for teens who struggle with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other emotional challenges (ages 11-18).
March 2005 - present
Peer Counseling Training for Counselors and Students
Group facilitator for faculty and students at Thousand Oaks High School and Newbury Park High School
January 2005 - present
Adolescent Group Therapy
Group facilitator of a teenage group with multiple issues such as drug abuse, eating disorders, self-injury, anxiety and self- esteem (ages 14-18)
September 2003 - present
Young Adult Group Therapy
Group facilitator of a young adult group with multiple issues such as drug abuse, eating disorders, self-injury, depression and anxiety (ages 21+)
“How to Change Your Teen’s Attitude”
Group facilitator of a parenting group for parents of adolescents
“Self-Mutilation: How to Deal with Cutters”
Workshop for professionals at Phillips Graduate Institute
“Self-Mutilation Amongst Our Teens”
KPFK Radio Show, co-anchored a program with Rabbi Mintz
“Cutting Through the Pressure”
CBS Special Edition, co-anchored a television show on self- mutilation with Catherine Anaya, CBS anchor woman
“Cutting Through the Pressure”
Los Angeles Family magazine article, interviewed about my diagnosis and treatment for self-mutilators
July 2014 - present
Success Coach Training
College of Executive Coaching
September 2010 - present
Marriage & Family Therapist Supervisor
Currently supervising an intern and leading consultation sessions for other professionals
September 2004 - present
Consultation/Training Psychotherapy Group
Focused on child and adolescent issues, led by Toni Cicatello, M.A.
Therapeuitc Yoga Training
36 hour program in order to provide individual therapeutic yoga sessions led by Cheri Clampett, E-RYT500
Gottman Method Therapy
Completed Level 1 Training led by John Gottman, Ph.D & Julie Gottman, Ph.D
June 2005 - June 2006
Gestalt Training Group
Led by Moon Kerson, PhD and Bill Rolfe, PhD
Phillips Graduate Institute Alumni Association
California Association of Marriage and Family Therapy
Available upon request.