My name is Dr. Manjit Walia, and I am a licensed Psychologist with the California State Board of Psychology (PSY23225). As an active, empathic and experienced psychotherapist, I strive to help patients resolve long-standing issues and achieve current goals.
I mainly use cognitive behavioral therapy (or cognitive behavioral therapies or CBT) which is a psychotherapeutic approach that aims to solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure. The title is used in diverse ways to designate behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, and to refer to therapy based upon a combination of basic behavioral and cognitive research.
There is empirical evidence that CBT is effective for the treatment of a variety of problems, including mood, anxiety, personality, eating, substance abuse, and psychotic disorders. Treatment is often manualized, with specific technique-driven brief, direct, and time-limited treatments for specific psychological disorders. CBT is used in individual therapy as well as group settings.
CBT was primarily developed through a merging of behavior therapy with cognitive therapy. While rooted in rather different theories, these two traditions found common ground in focusing on the "here and now", and on alleviating symptoms. My approach to therapy addresses practical issues in the "here and now," and also works to uncover and make meaning of the unconscious aspects of our lives. I emphasize the importance of relationships as fundamental to good emotional and mental health, and help my patients find a healthy balance of independence, relatedness with others, and personal freedom.
When to turn to a psychologist:
Life can present us with many challenges and difficulties that we are not prepared to deal with. Although family and friends may be supportive and desire to be helpful, they may be limited in their ability to be objective. Sometimes it is helpful to have the assistance of a trained professional , such as a psychologist, to guide you through your lifeís journey with itís challenges, obstacles, and hurdles. A psychologist can assist you in learning about yourself and help you acquire alternative coping techniques to the problems you are facing.
Seeking out therapy is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce or work transition. Working with a psychologist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, and general life transitions.
If you are experiencing
- anxiety, irritability and restlessness
- conflicting family relationships
- difficulties with interpersonal relationships
- an overwhelming and prolonged sense of sadness
- preoccupation with a loss or traumatic event
- persistent self-doubt and insecurity
- being easily rejected and hurt
- being lost in your personal and/or career path
- involvement with DCFS/court system
We can work together collaboratively in a supportive, non-judgemental environment to increase your self awareness and improve the quality of your life.
Couples therapy helps couples learn to understand and work through conflicts addressed above to strengthen their relationships. I can help couples develop the skills to improve their communication with one another, negotiate differences, problem solve and argue in a more effective way.
Anger, infidelity, sex, finances, communication problems can contribute to distress in intimate relationships. Couples counseling can reconcile points of disagreement, and foster a more satisfying relationship.
A familyís pattern of interaction may negatively impact an individual, child, or adolescent and therefore may need to be part of the therapy. I can help the family recognize that the treatment plan is not just about the person, but also the set of relationships in which the individual is involved.
Therefore family therapy can be quite effective in helping the patient in the context of their family.
Parenting Skills & Education:
I can provide parents the developmental education and guidance needed to manage their childís emotional and behavioral concerns. I work closely with the parent unit to set realistic short/long term goals and guide parent(s) in managing their everyday challenges.
Areas of Expertise
I received my professional education from the University of New Orleans, Louisiana (B.A. & Masters) and Doctor of Psychology from California Graduate Institute of The Chicago School of Psychology in West Los Angeles.
I have over 17 years of clinical psychotherapy experience in various mental health settings. However, the majority of my professional experience (11 years), assessment and treatment of child abuse and neglect, is with Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. I successfully completed a post-doctoral fellowship in psychological testing/assessment at Child & Family Center. I am also trained in assessment and treatment of perpetrators and victims of violent crimes. I am trained in working with domestic abuse victims and my doctoral disseration focused on cultural aspects of domestic abuse. However, my vast experience is working with victims of child abuse and neglect. I received formal training in providing services to victims of sexual assault (rape, sexual assault, child sexual abuse) at Valley Trauma Center.