Anxiety is the most common psychological issue in the U.S. It is highly manageable, if not treatable, with the right support and tools. Some symptoms include excessive worry, difficulty concentrating, heart racing, and shortness of breath.

My approach when managing anxiety is to take small steps to lead to big changes. We will work to interrupt negative thought patterns, manage physical symptoms through a variety of techniques, and discuss the underlying root of the anxiety.

Life Transitions for Teens and Young Adults

Changes come at you in full speed at this time of your life. What do you want to do as a career? Do you want to pursue higher education? Are you ready to be in a relationship? Are you in the RIGHT relationship? Is your social circle helping or hurting you? These are all common questions that can be tackled in our sessions.

We will work to discover and understand your life goals and make strides towards reaching them by using solution focused and forward thinking strategies.

Relationship Issues

Romantic relationship issues can occur at all ages and during all stages of life. Sometimes, a couple needs a little bit of help to work through issues surrounding communication, boundaries, infidelity, open relationships, etc.

At other points, an individual may need to seek help outside of a relationship to process attachment issues, trauma from previous relationships, fear of committing, to name a few.

When working with relationship issues, we tend to learn the pattens of your romantic relationships (past and present) and understand what is healthy in the relationship and what is not. With this information at hand, we work to tackle major relationship issues through a step by step process.

Behavioral Issues

For parents with children and teens, behavioral issues are incredibly common.

When managing behavioral issues, I like to work with both the parents and the child (or children), I work with parents to create a plan on how to reduce negative behaviors, and increase positive ones. I spend time in-session with the child or teen to understand the root of these behavioral issues.

Men’s Issues

Men’s issues tend to be overlooked by the media. It seems we have a harder time giving men the space to be emotional, to be sad, to cry, to be anxious… I have extensive experience working with men, particularly in their 20s regarding issues surrounding emotionality (and accepting it!), feeling whole and comfortable with their identities, and dating.

We will work step by step to see how you’d like to define who you are as opposed to how social media and our society has defined you, to help you live your best and most fulfilled life.


Depression causes symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. It can make you lose interest in previously enjoyable activities, and shell up from the world.

My approach when working with depression is to help you understand that depression is a part of your life, but not all of your life. Depression can be managed and even cured. We will take small steps to reintroduce enjoyable activities, help you see your talents and strengths, and learn coping mechanism to use when you are feeling down or sad.

Chronic Illness

Chronic illnesses are conditions that lasts longer than three months and can typically be managed but not cured. Chronic illness tends to call for lifestyle changes, which can leave you feeling angry, resentful, or anxious.

After being diagnosed with a chronic illness, you may experience feelings of fear, confusion and loss. My approach is to help navigate through those feelings as well as help you structure your best and most balanced life with your health needs in mind.


Trauma can occur after experiencing a severely distressing event.  Sometimes we do not have the reserves to cope with that level of stress or we have difficulty processing the emotions surrounding those events. Trauma can occur after experiencing abuse, war, illness, immigration, car accident, along with many countless others.

We will work to process the trauma, and understand and change thinking and behavior patterns surrounding it, as well as engage in active treatment in and outside of our weekly sessions to reduce symptoms.

Group Therapy

Teen Anxiety Group

Teens today face more stress than any generation before! The teen group focuses on anxiety which can be mental (worrying, thoughts racing, etc.) and/or physical (sweating, shortness of breath, etc.). In this group, we will learn how to manage anxiety using a variety of different techniques and exercises.

This group will be held every week for ten weeks at the office in La Crescenta, CA. If you are interested, please contact me via telephone or through a submission on the “Contact me” page. Start date to be determined.


Chronic Illness in Young Adults

Living with chronic illness can be incredibly challenging. Young adults living with chronic illness, have the additional stress of navigating where they want their lives to go, relationships, and self image in comparison to their peers. This group serves as a space to discuss these issues and learn a variety of coping strategies to manage chronic illness related stress

This group will be held every week for ten weeks at the office in La Crescenta, CA. If you are interested, please contact me via telephone or through a submission on the “Contact me” page. Start date to be determined.

Lara Abounayan, Marriage and Family Therapist Associate (#107180) employed and supervised by Lara Mekhitarian (#78395)

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