Cheryl is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Her experience consists of
working with diverse populations from a broad range of socio-cultural backgrounds
including first-generation and underserved populations. Cheryl is comfortable working
with a wide range of issues andconsiders herself a generalist. She has a strong interest
in providing support for survivors of child abuse, complex trauma, domestic violence,
and sexual assault. Additional areas of interest are working with building self-love,
relational issues, depression, and anxiety. Providing a safe place for individuals, couples
and families to heal and grow is an honor that fuels her work and passion for the field.
She views her line of work to be a privilege to be present with others as they share their
innermost thoughts and feelings, their experiences, culture, and views on life.
Working in middle schools has brought a fondness for teens and the ability to provide disability assessments to support accommodation in school if needed. Working with young adults at Sac State has been particularly fun and allowed Cheryl to remain up to date with current trends and media. Working with survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and perpetrators of violence has been challenging but meaningful work.
Cheryl believes in the importance of being authentic and genuine, culturally sensitive, nonjudgmental and responsive to her clients. Her approaches in treatment are informed by Psychodynamic therapy, Person Centered, Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT), and mindfulness-based therapies. She utilizes her experiences and skills from working in multiple settings with different levels of care ranging from community in-patient co-occurring treatment programs to providing support for teens in middle schools.
KAREN A. MILLER, Ph.D.
HILLARY SANDOVAL, MA
Licensed Clinical Social Worker #18602
TRICIA BRANDES, MA
Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist #111337
(Supervised by Shelley Tirsbeck, LMFT #85396)
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist #92095
Gretchen Blake is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 25 years of direct clinical
experience providing behavioral health care for diverse populations. She has worked with
children, adolescents, adults, families, and groups in psychiatric and medical outpatient,
inpatient, and crisis settings for a large health care organization. Gretchen has worked
extensively assessing and treating anxiety, depression, mood disorders, substance use,
and co-occurring disorders. She has helped clients cope with situational problems,
parenting, school problems, post partum issues,work stress, life changes, divorce, grief,
loss, illness and end of life issues. She has worked in a palliative care program helping
patients and their families cope with advanced illnesses. She is trained in a variety of
treatment approaches including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and
Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), and psychodynamic psychotherapeutic approaches. Gretchen uses strengths based, developmentally appropriate, and culturally sensitive approaches to her practice. She works closely with her clients to determine meaningful and attainable goals of care, and implements interventions based upon current best practices and evidenced based standards of care.
Gretchen is committed to providing a safe and accepting environment to her clients. She seeks to understand her clients in terms of their lifestyle and experiences. She focuses on helping clients build self compassion and understanding of how lived experiences, loss, grief, and relationships have effected them. Gretchen is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all her clients.
Gretchen has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from San Francisco State University, and a Master's of Social Work, with a clinical concentration, from Sacramento State University. She completed a post-Master's clinical training fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine, Child Study Center, sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health. Gretchen is committed to improving the health and wellness of the community, has served on local non-profit community boards. In addition to her clinical practice, Gretchen is a faculty member at Sacramento State University, Division of Social Work where she teaches Advanced Behavioral Health Practice and serves as a Field Liaison.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, PSY 32141
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, PSY 25471
Chelsea completed her undergraduate degree in psychology at University of CA Irvine, her masters program in clinical psychology at the University of Indianapolis Athens Greece campus, and her doctorate at the California School of Professional Psychology. She completed internships at Turning Point Community Programs, Yolo County Mental Health, and several private practices. Chelsea's post-doctoral training occurred at two locations: C.O.R.E Medical Clinic where she specialized in dual diagnosis with mental health and addiction, and also a local private practice where she was able to strengthen her foundation of deep individual therapy. For 3 years after licensing, Chelsea co-owned and was clinical director of a group practice and post-doctoral training site. Recently Chelsea worked for 2 and a half years at Kaiser Permanente where she was involved in helping to grow the Thought Disorder Program within the Outpatient Psychiatry Department. While there she worked on an integrated treatment team that provided psychotherapy, medication management, group therapy, recreational therapy, family support classes, and crisis management for psychosis on an outpatient basis. Chelsea is excited to bring her years of experience to the excellent clinicians of the Vantage Point Psychotherapy team.
A love of learning and a dedication to providing new information to her clients, continues to inspire Chelsea to grow as a therapist. She is a long-standing member of the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis (ISPS-US). Chelsea has also presented on voice hearing, extreme experiences, and psychosis at several national and international professional conferences over the past 3 years.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist #50128
Dr. Miller integrates different approaches to therapy and has experience in using DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy), ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy), mindfulness, interpersonal approaches, attachment, and family systems theories. She believes that some of the biggest shifts begin within the therapeutic relationship and then extend out into daily life. Therefore, much of the work centers on what is happening in the room. All clients have the ability to make changes in their lives and she uses the therapeutic relationship to encourage that change.
Karen completed her undergraduate degree in theater arts with a minor in psychology from California State University, Monterey Bay. She gained experience with youth and teens in group home and continuation school settings. Karen went on to gain her master’s in counseling with an emphasis in college student services from Saint Mary’s College of California. She worked
with a variety of college students, including first-generation students and veteran students, on transition issues, anxiety, depression, and family struggles. Karen continued her education at Purdue University in Indiana and earned her PhD in Counseling Psychology in 2019. She’s worked in a variety of settings including partial hospitalization programs and college counseling
centers. Karen is excited to join Vantage Point Psychotherapy and bring to the team her experience and her passion for supporting the growth of clients.
Dr. Katie Polsky is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who specializes in
the treatment of Eating Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Disorders,
Anxiety Disorders, and LGBTQIA+ communities. She has an integrative approach,
in that she is well-versed in several treatment modalities. One of her passions is
teaching and training doctoral students and interns. She developed Vantage Point's
California accredited training program (CAPIC) and enjoys supervising.
Dr. Polsky graduated with honors from the University of California, Los Angeles. She completed her Doctor of Philosophy from the California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles, acclaimed for its focus on clinical training. Dr. Polsky completed her pre-doctoral internships at the California Institute of Technology Counseling Center and the Maple Counseling Center in Beverly Hills where she received extensive training in psychodynamic psychotherapy with individuals, couples, families, and groups and participated in outreach services to college students. Her Postdoctoral residency was at APA accredited Humboldt State University Counseling Center where she received specialized training on the Eating Disorder Assessment Team, and with, survivors of sexual assault.
Dr. Polsky’s clinical work began in 2001 at two eating disorder treatment centers; Center for Discovery and Adolescent Change and Oceanaire Residential Eating Disorder Facility. In 2007, Dr. Polsky joined Summit Eating Disorder and Outreach Program in their Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) as a clinician. In 2010, she became the Clinical Director of New Dawn Eating Disorder Program in Sausalito in charge of IOP, Partial Hospitalization, and re-opened the Residential Treatment Program in San Francisco. Eager to expand her knowledge about Anxiety and OCD, especially knowing the overlap between Anxiety and Eating Disorders, she joined the Anxiety Treatment Center in Sacramento and obtained specialized training in Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for OCD and Anxiety Disorders.
Dr. Polsky started Vantage Point Center for Psychotherapy in 2012 with a desire to bring comprehensive, specialized, and integrative treatment to individuals that suffer from Eating Disorders, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, Trauma, and Anxiety Disorders. She brings a non-judgmental, client-centered, and empowering approach to therapy and as such, is a strong supporter of diverse communities. She continues to enrich her knowledge by attending monthly consultation groups. Dr. Polsky is dedicated to mentoring the next generation of therapists in Sacramento and trains local professionals and presents at national conferences. She is a board member of the Sacramento Valley Psychological Association, and member of California Psychological Association, International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation (IOCDF.org), and the Academy of Eating Disorders (aedweb.org). Furthermore, she is involved in political advocacy for mental health therapists and on behalf of clients on important issues such as parity, insurance, and inclusion.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist #85396
Director of Operations
KATIE POLSKY, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, PSY 23342
SHELLEY TIRSBECK, MA
Shelley's approach to therapy is integrative and client centered, drawing on Psychodynamic, Relational, Cognitive-Behavioral, Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). Shelley earned her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA, an American Psychological Association accredited program. She completed her clinical trainings at the Effort, a community mental health center, St. John’s Shelter for Women and Children, and Sage Psychotherapy an Intenstive Outpatient Program for Anxiety. Additionally, Shelley has specialized training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP).
She co-facilitates a weekly Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Process Group with Dr. Katie Polsky.
Shelley is a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT), the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation (IOCDF), and the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA).
Shelley is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who primarily specializes in anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders. She also oversees the business operations for Vantage Point.
Shelley works with individuals, couples, and children and is qualified to treat a broad range of presenting problems including: anxiety, OCD, trauma, depression, grief/loss, LGBTQI issues, and relationship difficulties. She works well with clients from diverse backgrounds and has experience working with clients who are dealing with oppression and/or discrimination. Shelley's goal as a therapist is to help people improve their lives and to build loving, supportive, and fulfilling relationships.
DEBORAH MILLER-FROH, MA, RYT, CMT
Dr. Karen Miller is a licensed psychologist who specializes in working with people experiencing anxiety, depression, eating disorders, life transitions, career issues, grief/bereavement, gains and losses, self-esteem and body image issues, and trauma. She works collaboratively in order to empower clients to be their best selves. She uses a client-centered approach to counsel and address clients’ unique challenges from developmental, cultural, and psychological viewpoints.
She strives to create a safe space for clients to explore the roadblocks that get in the way of living a healthy, balanced life, and to identify strengths that they can build upon. She helps clients to see what is in their control to change and where it may help to practice acceptance.
Hillary is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Her areas of focus
include anxiety, OCD, eating disorders, low self-esteem, depression, and
trauma. Additional areas of interest include adult children of alcoholics, and
individuals struggling with complex family issues that have left people
feeling stuck and overwhelmed. Hillary works with older teens and adults.
Hillary earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and her Master’s degree
in Counseling Psychology from the University of San Francisco.
Hillary feels honored to help individuals through their healing and growth process.
Her approach to therapy is collaborative, active, and empathic. Her treatment approaches are informed by Psychodynamic therapy, mindfulness-based therapies, as well as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP).
She draws from her experience of having worked in different levels of care including partial hospitalization (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP). While at Summit Eating Disorders and Outreach Program in Sacramento (now Eating Recovery Center), she provided therapy, assisted in therapeutic meals and meal outings, while working collaboratively on a treatment team.
Hillary also worked in an IOP for anxiety disorders-specializing in OCD at Sage Anxiety Treatment Program. In the Intensive Outpatient Program, she provided individual therapy, facilitated Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) groups, mindfulness groups, process groups, and outpatient therapy.
Hillary is a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT), and the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation (IOCDF).
BRINN LANGDALE, MA
REBECCA SOLIDAY, MS
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist #105852
GRETCHEN BLAKE, LCSW
We are very pleased to have three (4) advanced doctoral practicum students in our training program from Alliant International University. Dr. Katie Polsky, PhD and Dr. Chelsea Mackey, PsyD currently supervise Larry Wasson, MA Kelly Daddow, MA and Damian Brunt, MA, and Laura Pluckham. We have two advanced doctoral students, Elio Gutierrez and Kendra Barcenas from California Northstate University.
PSYCHOLOGY PRACTICUM STUDENTS
CHERYL SAMUELSON, MS
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist #47987
Tricia is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has worked with a broad
spectrum of clients for twelve years. Tricia has experience working with a range of
presentations in age and struggle. She has worked with children, teens, young adults,
adults, couples and older adults facing a variety of challenges including depression,
anxiety, OCD, grief and loss, co-parenting, eating disorders, relationship issues and life
transitions. Tricia has facilitated group therapy for children, teens and adults with an
array of struggles. Tricia’s early work included a year of internship working in both a
university counseling center and an agency focused on therapeutic support for
individuals and families navigating grief and loss. Tricia went on to gain experience
working for community counseling centers doing individual and couple therapy as well
as crisis assessments and teaching co-parenting classes. Tricia has worked in a private practice setting and most recently spent seven years specializing in the treatment of eating disorders at the intensive outpatient level. She has worked collaboratively with medical and therapeutic teams at all levels of care. Tricia’s practice is currently focused on treating young adults, adults and couples.
Tricia’s clinical approach is influenced by Attachment Theory, Psychodynamic psychotherapy and Relational psychotherapy. Tricia also uses elements of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Mindfulness as they fit with each unique presentation. Tricia believes the therapeutic relationship is key in providing a solid foundation for individual learning and growth. Tricia aspires to create a safe place for each individual to forge a path of healing and move toward a more vibrant life.
CHELSEA "BAGIAS" MACKEY, Psy.D.
Tammy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who brings with her over 12 years
of clinical experience working with a variety of populations. Her areas of focus and
expertise include complex childhood trauma/PTSD, interpersonal effectiveness issues/
struggles in getting overwhelmed with relationships, self-harm, and emotional
regulation issues, as wellas working and treating individuals with Borderline
Personality Disorder and dissociation. She is passionate about helping people put
the pieces back together again.
Tammy earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology as well as a Master’s in Psychology, both
from Chapman University. She also works well with many issues and enjoys working with adults
struggling with Depression and Bipolar Disorder. She worked in an outpatient program for many years serving a variety of populations. Tammy is intensively trained by Behavioral Tech in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and DBT-PE (prolonged exposure) and in the treatment of complex trauma and dissociation. She oversaw the DBT Programs in her last position and enjoys running DBT groups as well to help clients utilize skills to navigate overwhelming feelings and develop coping skills to better navigate challenges with relationships. She also has a repertoire of various empirically based treatments to help her clients to reduce suffering.
Tammy remains informed with the latest research and training as a member of both the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation and Behavioral Tech.
TAMMY ROVANE, MA
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist #91168
Alliant International University
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist #85597
Dr. Chelsea Bagias is a licensed psychologist who specializes in working with people experiencing psychosis, schizophrenia, voice hearing, bipolar, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and relationship issues. She helps clients, family, and friends to understand their loved ones in a new way. She combines psychodynamic psychotherapy, humanistic approaches, attachment based treatment, positive psychology, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy styles into her work with individuals. She has a long history of helping clients find what is lovely about themselves, and in so doing, rejuvenating the person to seek out the life they want. She firmly believes all people can recover from even debilitating issues and through the sharing of successful research and outcome studies, helps instill belief in ones own recovery.
Deborah is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in Anxiety
Disorders, Trauma/PTSD, and Dissociative Disorders.
Deborah’s clinical approaches are influenced by Attachment, Psychodynamic,
Relational, Somatic theories, and Mindfulness. She uses evidence-based treatment
methods such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR),
Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT),
and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Deborah has specialized training in
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, an approach that works to unlock the intelligence of the
body and resolve the effects of trauma and PTSD. When appropriate, she also utilizes
Deborah earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, attended the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, and went on to earn her Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University in the Bay Area. She is also a yoga instructor with an interest in helping those with anxiety and trauma inhabit their bodies in safe and nurturing ways. Deborah has clinical experience working at HOPE Counseling Center, a non-profit counseling center in Sacramento as well as Sage Anxiety Treatment Program, an Intensive Outpatient Program for anxiety disorders and OCD where she conducted both individual and group psychotherapy. She has taught at Sonoma State University and Sacramento State University.
Deborah is a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation.
Rebecca is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is bilingual in English and
Spanish and has years of experience providing therapy in both languages. She enjoys
working with children, teens, and adults from diverse backgrounds, particularly Latinx
and/or LGBTQ+ people. She specializes in providing services to people who have
experienced trauma, and is passionate about helping clients learn to set boundaries
and assert their needs with others.
Rebecca obtained her Master’s degree in Counselor Education from Sacramento State
University, Sacramento in 2013. She became a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
in 2018. She has diverse professional experience as a bilingual therapist, including: a
private practice with people of all ages; in the San Juan school district with youth and
families dealing with behavioral issues; and at WEAVE, with people of all ages and genders who had experienced family or partner violence, sexual violence, or sex trafficking. Rebecca has had a lifelong interest in understanding others’ experiences, which is what drove her to study and become bilingual in Spanish as well as pursuing a career as a therapist. She is a member of CAMFT (California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists) and regularly engages in opportunities to learn more about others’ experiences, from Latinx cultures and individuals, to LGBTQ+ identified people and people with disabilities.
Rebecca believes that therapy should be a positive experience, and for that reason she uses a Person-Centered approach. This means that the most important thing for her is to create and maintain a safe space in therapy sessions, where the client is the expert in their own life. Rebecca supports each client in identifying their challenges and goals for therapy, recognizing the strengths that they already have, and developing new skills to help move forward. She understands that each of us is different, and for that reason she uses a mix of different approaches besides standard talk therapy. For instance, with children and teens she prefers to incorporate play therapy because research and past experience have shown that this therapy works better for youth than simply talking. With people of all ages, she offers to incorporate art therapy and also various forms of meditation and reflection, including self-compassion.
(Biografía de Rebecca en español)
Rebecca está certificada en terapia matrimonial y familiar. Ella es bilingüe en inglés y español y tiene años de experiencia dando terapias en ambos idiomas. A ella le gusta trabajar con niños, adolescentes y adultos de diversas comunidades, en particular gente Latinx y/o LGBTQ . Especializa en prestar servicios a las personas que ha experimentado algún tipo de trauma, y se apasiona por ayudar a los clientes poner límites a afirmar sus necesidades con los demás.
Rebecca obtuvo su Maestría (Master’s) del programa de Counselor Education de Sacramento State University en 2013. Se hizo certificada en terapia matrimonial y familiar en 2018. Tiene diversas experiencias profesionales como terapeuta bilingüe, incluyendo: una práctica privada con gente de toda edad; en el distrito escolar de San Juan con jóvenes y familias que lidiaban con asuntos de comportamiento; y en WEAVE con gente de todas las edades y géneros que ha
experimentado la violencia de familias o parejas, la violencia sexual, o la trata sexual. Rebecca ha tenido un interés de por vida en entender las experiencias de los demás, que le motivó a estudiar hasta llegar a ser bilingüe en español y también hacerse terapeuta. Ella es miembro de CAMFT (California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists), y con regularidad busca oportunidades de aprender más sobre las experiencias de los demás, desde las comunidades Latinx hasta la gente LGBTQ+ y gente con discapacidades.
Rebecca cree que la terapia debe ser una experiencia positiva, y por eso ella utiliza un enfoque centrado en la persona (“Person-centered”). Eso significa que lo más importante para ella es crear y mantener un lugar seguro en las sesiones de terapia, donde el cliente es el experto en su propia vida. Rebecca apoya a cada cliente a identificar los retos y sus metas para terapia, reconocer las fortalezas que ya tiene, y desarrollar nuevas habilidades para seguir adelante . Ella entiende que cada uno somos diferentes, y por eso usa una mezcla de otra técnicas aparte de sólo hablar. Por ejemplo, con los niños y adolescentes, ella prefiere incorporar terapia de juego porque las investigaciones científicas y sus propias experiencias le han mostrado que esa terapia funciona mejor para los jóvenes. Con gente de toda edad, ofrece incorporar terapia de arte y tambien varias formas de meditacion/reflexion, incluso el auto-compasión.
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Vantage Point Center for Psychotherapy, 425 University Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95825
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