Del Mar - Community Psychiatry

Del Mar

12835 Pointe Del Mar Way
Suite 1
Del Mar, CA 92014

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Please contact our new patient intake line to check provider availability: 855-427-2778

Scott Cologne, M.D.

Scott Cologne, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist and sleep specialist. He completed his psychiatry residency at Washington University in St. Lou … Read More

is, Missouri, followed by a sleep medicine fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is particularly interested in insomnia, as well as underlying depression and anxiety disorders. He has co-authored a book chapter on insomnia for physicians. Dr. Cologne uses a comprehensive approach to psychiatric well-being, incorporating psychotherapy and medication that is tailored to the individual.

Robert M. Gerstle, Ph.D

Robert M. Gerstle, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist who has been in private practice and public service since 1976. Dr. Gerstle treats children, adul … Read More

ts, and older adults. He specializes in children and family therapy. He performs psychological evaluations for all ages. He uses psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral and mindfulness in his psychotherapy.

Additionally, Dr. Gerstle is a Vietnam combat veteran and offers a unique perspective when treating veterans’ issues. Dr. Gerstle’s evaluations are respected by schools, the courts, families and other professionals. He is often called to testify in court as an expert witness on psychological matters. He has earned Master’s degrees in both Education and Psychology, as well as a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

In addition, Dr. Gerstle loves baseball and is a loyal Padres fan. He enjoys spending time with his family, his dog, hiking, and going for walks on the beaches of San Diego.

Erin Grimes, Ph.D.

Dr. Grimes has practiced in San Diego as a licensed clinical psychologist for 6 years. She loves what she do and has a special interest in working wit … Read More

h clients on their relationships and identity and how to create change and growth through challenging life experiences. Dr. Grimes specialized in marital and family therapy in her doctoral training and enjoys working with families. Her post-doctoral work has focused on specializing in working with women with PTSD, women with eating disorders and the way in which family dynamics play a role in managing eating disorders, as well as in working with people who suffer from chronic health problems, including cancer, pain conditions, and neurological disorders. Finally, Dr. Grimes loves to teach graduate students, both in their classroom studies and in their clinical training settings. She has done this since she completed her doctoral degree in 2008 and her students have taught her quite a bit!

With a background in a variety of settings, including private practice, hospitals and classrooms at the University of California in San Diego (UCSD), as well as teaching and supervising doctorate students from across the Country and working at specialty outpatient clinics, including the Gifford Clinic, Eating Disorder Bariatric Clinic at UCSD and for the San Diego Veteran’s Hospital treating patients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, I love what I do and draw from all of these professional experiences in my current private practice.

Finally, my experience as a wife and a mother have taught me quite a bit about personal growth, relationships and how to develop and respond to stress as life presents its joys and challenges along the way.

I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and English from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2001 and my doctorate degree in Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in 2008.

My Approach
Dr. Grimes’ approach to therapy focuses on working with the client to meet the individual or family where they are in order to connect with their needs. With compassion and education and the belief that clients have the ability to independently make change happen, Dr. Grimes works with clients to strive toward improved functioning and well-being. Dr. Grimes offers individual and family therapy services, as well as couples counseling.

Three core treatment approaches are used in my practice, these are discussed below:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Focuses on changing unproductive belief systems and patterns of thoughts.

Parenting Education and Communication Skill Building
Develop strategies to more effectively communicate in relationships in order to improve relational health and happiness. Coaching and skills to help parents feel more effective and more successfully manage their roles as parents and meet the needs of their children.

Insight-Oriented Therapy, Family of Origin work
This theoretical approach focuses on understanding the factors and early-life experiences, that contribute to one’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. In developing insight into these areas, one can create change by creating new meanings and breaking old patterns of beliefs and behaviors.

Managing Traumas
Acceptance, letting go, and grief work as an ongoing process and one that promotes growth and moving forward while decreasing depression and sense of loss. This work involves cognitive and behavioral strategies as well as processing feelings of guilt, shame, sadness, and pain associated with trauma and loss.

Specialty Areas include

  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Family Therapy
  • Couples’ Therapy
  • Grief Work
  • Chronic Health Problems
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Eating Disorders
  • Addiction

Steven P. James, M.D.

Steven P. James, M.D. has an enduring interest in helping patients with mood and sleep complaints. These dual areas may appear complex and involve mu … Read More

ltiple medical and psychiatric conditions. Finding solutions requires understanding the patient and the impact of these problems on their quality of life and satisfaction. Compassion for suffering, engagement of the whole individual, and up-to-date medical knowledge are the elements of successful treatment.

He has appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America and local television, presented at medical congresses in North America and Europe, and published in scientific journals on the topic of mood and sleep disorders.

Dr. James trained in Psychiatry at The New York Hospital/Cornell University/Westchester Division followed by a Psychopharmacology fellowship at Stanford University and Research fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Upon completion of training, he held research and teaching positions at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the University of Southern California Medical School. After leaving his academic career, he pursued his interest in research and psychopharmacology within the pharmaceutical industry for over 20 years at several companies including Eli Lilly and Company, Merck Serono, and Allergan.

Steven P. James is a Fellow of both the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM)

Areas of Expertise:

  • Mood and Sleep Disorders
  • Treatment-Resistant Depression
  • Neuropsychiatry
  • Psychobiology Research

Kristin Lulich, DNP, PMHNP-BC

Kristin Lulich, DNP, PMHNP-BC is a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, providing care to children, adolescents, and adults … Read More

. She received her BSN at Washington State University, MSN from the University of San Diego and is currently a Doctor of Nursing Practice candidate at the University of San Diego. Her experience has encompassed a variety of settings and specialties including inpatient, outpatient, crisis stabilization, consult-liaison psychiatry, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). She has a strong belief in holistic care and creates individualized treatment plans using combinations of pharmacotherapy and individual therapy as well as complementary and alternative approaches such as mindfulness, meditation, and nutrition.

Ann Massion, M.D.

Ann Massion, M.D. is board certified in and practices adult psychiatry with a particular interest in mind-body approaches, mindfulness-based stress m … Read More

anagement, anxiety disorders, and spiritual issues in healing.

She graduated from medical school at Mayo Medical School (part of the Mayo Clinic) in Rochester, Minnesota and completed her psychiatry residency at the University of Massachusetts in Worcester, Massachusetts where she also trained and did research with Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. who pioneered the development of mindfulness-based stress reduction programs in mainstream medical settings.

After completing her residency, she joined the University of Massachusetts faculty where she worked for over 20 years doing clinical work, teaching and research. She has worked with a wide range of people in different settings, both outpatient and inpatient.

“My approach is to try to meet people where they are, to foster wholeness by looking at the ways in which we exile parts of ourselves, and the ways in which we can call ourselves home. My hope is that this work will enable people to enlarge the possibilities for being alive.”

Preeti Mathur, M.D.

Preeti Mathur, M.D. is a board certified Adult Psychiatrist. She has completed her residency at Westchester Medical Center, New York Medical College, … Read More

NY. She was appointed to the position of Chief Resident, during the final year of her residency.

Dr. Mathur has worked at the San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital for three years and has a rich experience in managing a wide range of complex psychiatric disorders. Her philosophy is to treat her patients in a comprehensive manner and integrate various issues like family dynamics, abuse, relationship problems, physical health, cultural, sexuality, and substance abuse issues. It is extremely rewarding for her to see her patient’s progress and reach their full potential. She is also fluent in Hindi and Urdu.

She enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends. Her hobbies are singing, cooking, traveling, and being involved in community activities.

Dr. Mathur’s patients describe her as considerate, empathetic, and dedicated doctor who goes above and beyond to ensure the best patient care. It is extremely rewarding for her to see her patient’s progress and reach their full potential.

Ruth McKercher, Ph.D.

Ruth McKercher, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist practicing in San Diego. She received her Ph.D. in 2003 from the San Diego campus of California Scho … Read More

ol of Professional Psychology. Ruth has been working in the field of mental health since 1989. Her work first started in clinical research and has taken her to residential treatment facilities for teenagers, crisis centers, psychiatric hospitals, community clinics, clinical trial coordination and back to private practice. Her primary practice has been in the treatment of mood disorders–depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders. Over the years, she has had a special interest in Manic Depressive illness. Her dissertation was on the role of insight in the self-report of manic symptoms for those individuals experiencing a manic episode. Dr. McKercher uses experienced based practices whenever possible when working with individuals in therapy. She is familiar with the 12-Steps and works with those committed to their recovery. She has received training in Cognitive Therapy, Contemporary Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Sand Tray Therapy, Family Therapy and holds a certificate in Older Adult Mental Health. She is currently receiving training in EMDR.

Suicide is always of interest to psychologists working with people who suffer from depression and mania. Prevention of suicide has been a primary focus of her work with individuals. Ruth is also interested in the effects on community and family when a loved one, friend or acquaintance is lost to suicide. She actively participates in Survivors of Suicide Loss (SOSL).

She works with adults of all ages, and adolescents.

Joyce Prince, LMFT

Joyce Prince, LMFT graduated from California State University Fullerton in 1982 and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Although she special … Read More

izes in working with addictive behavior she has a diversified background. She works with individuals, couples, seniors, and children age 14 and older.

Joyce has been working in the addiction field since the mid-’80s in outpatient settings, private practice, partial hospitalization, inpatient, and residential treatment facilities. Her expertise includes dually diagnosed patients. In therapy, her treatment modalities include CBT, DBT, and insight-oriented therapy. She employs behavioral therapy to help stop the negative, destructive behaviors and then combines DBT and insight therapy to examine and resist the impulse to act negatively toward oneself or others. She has been trained in mediation which helps with her couples work as well.

Joyce has 8 years experience tutoring and is currently instructing grade school children in piano keyboards. Her years of working as a tutor/teacher and her experience helping to raise her step-grandchildren give her a unique perspective on working with children and families, specially blended families.

  • Areas of Expertise
  • Anxiety
  • Depressive Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Co-Dependency
  • Victims of abuse
  • Substance abuse or addiction
  • Eating disorders
  • Grief and loss/ Bereavement
  • DBT
  • Couples therapy
  • Chronic pain or illness
  • CBT
  • Dual Diagnosis
  • Blended Families

Art Rosengarten, Ph.D.

  • Telemedicine: No
  • Languages:

Art Rosengarten, Ph.D. has over 30 years of experience in North County San Diego working in private and group practice settings. His approach with ind … Read More

ividuals and couples is eclectic, warm, penetrating, and illuminating. He is grounded in many mainstream therapeutic philosophies, and additionally, has training and experience in Jungian psychology and active imagination, as well as mindfulness and various awareness approaches to personal and interpersonal problems, stemming from many years of Buddhist study and meditation practice. He received his doctorate at the California Institute of Integral Studies in 1985, and also has a Master’s degree in Integral Counseling from the California Institute of Asian Studies. As an undergraduate he was a double English major.

Dr. Rosengarten is the author of three books on spirituality and Jungian psychology, and has been an Adjunct Psychology Professor at a number of Universities in the area. Additionally, he has expertise in the areas of addiction and recovery, marriage & family therapy, as well as in-patient and residential treatment experience with young adults suffering major mental illness. Dr. Art did his Post-doctoral Fellowship at Alvarado Parkway Institute in La Mesa where he received advanced training in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Chemical Dependency, Men’s and Women’s Issues. He now lives in Solana Beach, and has two children who have recently graduated from the University of California.

Sheila Xi Cai, M.D.

Dr. Sheila Cai graduated from Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine. She practiced as a pediatrician for a few years in Shanghai, China be … Read More

fore moving to the US to attend graduate school at Arizona State University for a Master of Science in Nutrition. After graduate school, Dr. Cai completed a general psychiatry residency at Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS), and then a two-year fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the same institution. She is board certified in both general psychiatry and child & adolescent psychiatry.

Dr. Cai has worked in various clinical settings throughout her career. She served as the medical director for a residential treatment center and worked in an adult inpatient psychiatric hospital as well as psychiatric consultation services for a medical facility. She was a faculty member of MIHS Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Training Program, where she taught psychopharmacology and supervised fellows for over 12 years. Dr. Cai is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix Campus, and Clerkship Director of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Before Dr. Cai relocated to San Diego, she was the Medical Director for Behavioral Health at the Children’s Rehabilitation Services in Phoenix, an integrated pediatric multi-specialty clinic. She has extensive and diverse experience in treating patients with complex medical and psychiatric conditions.

It is her belief that the essence of psychiatric treatment should focus on therapeutic alliance, integrated biological, psychosocial, and wellness approach to achieve optimal function for her patients.

Steven B. Alden, PmhNP

Steven B. Alden, PmhNP is a Board Certified Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner (PmhNP). He graduated with honors (STTI) with his Master’s degree … Read More

in Nursing Science from California State University San Marcos and his Bachelor’s degree from Loma Linda University. His career has spanned over a decade with experience in managing the critically mentally ill as well as emergency patients throughout the lifespan with a focus on mood and psychotic disorders including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Steven is trained in a variety of psychotherapeutic and pharmacological treatment modalities with the ultimate goal of achieving balance, harmony, and a return to a previous high functioning level in the community and home setting.

Steven also treats opioid and alcohol use disorders with Suboxone and other evidenced-based practice methods to achieve current and future sobriety, a return to health and wellness and improved daily life.

Carly Blalack, LCSW

Carly Blalack, LCSW graduated from the University of California Irvine receiving her BA degree in Psychology and minor in Education in 2005. In 2007, … Read More

she graduated with honors from the University of Southern California with her Masters of Social Work, School Social Work Credential, and Pupil Services and Attendance Credential. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Carly has experience working in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, and community agencies. She specializes in working with children, adolescents, adults, and families. She believes in providing a comfortable space where clients of all ages can feel valued, respected, and acknowledged. Carly finds joy in helping others to see their own strengths and using those strengths to find a better sense of self. She believes that working in conjunction with the client to create and understand their own life goals is the purpose of the therapeutic process. “When you walk into my office, I want you to feel like you can be yourself without judgment. This is where your true work can begin.”

Carly has experience treating a variety of issues including:

  • Life Transitions
  • Depression
  • Grief/Loss
  • Bipolar
  • Addiction
  • Trauma
  • Anxiety
  • Issues in School or Work environments
  • ADHD
  • Parenting
  • Behavioral Challenges

Carly utilizes tools from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, Play Therapy, and Family Therapy.

” Together we will start where you are and get you to where you want to be.”

Ramin Shahla, M.D.

Ramin Shahla, M.D. is married with 2 children. After finishing medical school, Dr. Shahla completed his first two years of training in psychiatry at … Read More

the University of Maryland, and the last two years at Louisiana State University. Dr. Shahla completed his training in 1998 from Maryland and Louisiana State universities.

From 1998 till 2003, Dr. Shahla worked as an outpatient psychiatrist, with the last three years as one of nine regional medical directors of the Louisiana Office of Mental Health. After one year of experience in Canadian mental health, Dr. Shahla returned to New Orleans and had a busy practice, which was interrupted by Hurricane Katrina. As a result, he moved to San Diego.

Dr. Shahla’s practice philosophy is helping his patients reach their fullest potential. He has found a combination of the following activities most beneficial for optimum integrative mental health:

  • Healthier lifestyle including a healthy relationship,
  • Diet, exercise, etc
  • Addressing drug and alcohol abuse
  • Medications and exploring maladaptive coping skills and behavior

Dr. Shahla is licensed and regulated by the Medical Board of California.

April L’Heureux, LMFT

My hope is to give you an experience of yourself in our sessions, that is different from your experience the rest of the time. You will be able to int … Read More

ernalize the experience of peace, safety, courage and confidence so that you can carry it into your life outside of our time together.

My desire for every person who comes into my office is to help you come to the point where guilt, shame and anxiety are no longer the controlling factors in your life and are replaced by courage, love and trust. When you are firmly rooted in love and compassion for yourself, you are capable of facing and achieving more than you can even imagine.

Many people express a sense of knowing what they want to do but not feeling capable of carrying it out. This is often a result of unconscious anxiety and defenses, which create a barrier between what we know intellectually and what we feel experientially. My primary theoretical orientation is a research-based, Emotionally Focused Therapy, with emphasis of study and practice on ADEP-Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy-a continuation of CBT.

Based on early experiences in life, we often learn that certain emotions are “bad” or “off-limits.” When these taboo feelings are activated, they may trigger conscious and unconscious anxiety, causing us to become disconnected and split off from parts of ourselves. Using Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) we can monitor and regulate anxiety, in order to gain greater access to our true selves and the healing properties of being deeply, authentically connected.

The focus of EFT is bridging the disconnect between the intellect and intuition through the deep experiencing of long-suppressed emotions such as anger, joy and grief. Using these principles we can together identify and break down unconscious defenses and anxiety, allowing you to become free of the harmful, self-protective strategies that cause feelings of isolation, numbness or confusion and contribute to the development of unhealthy relationships that fail to meet your true needs.

This powerful approach can restore your capacity to experience joy and intimacy in relationships and can transform a sense of helplessness into a state of strength, mastery and vitality.


  • Anxiety, Panic Disorder, OCD
  • Depression and Mood Disorders
  • Couples Therapy
  • Codependency
  • Mindfulness and Mindfulness Cognitive Therapy
  • LGBTQ Issues
  • Abuse and Trauma
  • Grief, Loss, Bereavement


  • Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Psychodynamic Therapy
  • Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)



I take a very active role as a therapist. I actively monitor and regulate anxiety within the session so that we are not reinforcing in our sessions the very patterns you wish to break. I will also point out unconscious defenses that are arising within the session.

By regulating anxiety and relating to one another without defenses, we can develop an authentic connection and your true healing can begin. I want to help you become free from the feeling that your love for yourself is contingent upon your success, performance, perfection or external circumstances. I want to help you come to a place in which the real, uncensored, struggling, hurt you is loved exactly as you are. Paradoxically, when we accept ourselves as we are, that is when true transformation begins.

Our work together will bring you out of your head and into your heart—that is into your intuition. Our intuition is like a compass that guides us and helps us navigate the waters of our lives. When we take a strictly rational approach to the world it cuts us off from this invaluable navigational tool.

The deductive approach to life is almost universal in our culture, but it ignores a huge chunk of rich human experience—arguably, some of the most important aspects of life.

The worst part is that this form of thinking is so commonplace that it is invisible to most of us. We don’t see the perils in our system of thinking so we assume it must be that we are broken or there is something wrong with us.

Together we will begin to learn to regulate anxiety through bringing awareness to the body and breath as well as through thoughts and feelings. We will begin to release the blockages that have been preventing you from feeling present, connected and alive.

Through a mindfulness-based approach to therapy we will begin to gradually draw you into a different kind of existence, a way of being in which you are more present and aware of your experience, rather than addicted to your thoughts, attachments and illusory sense of control. As the former system melts away, you will begin to embody a more authentic, alive and peaceful self.

In addition to my 20+ years of clinical work, I enjoy creative writing, dance classes, singing, the beach and playing the Cello. I am fascinated by neuroscience and theoretical physics and like exploring philosophical, spiritual and metaphysical questions. I am drawn to learning about other cultures and speak French. I have taught school at the elementary level before graduate school, and lectured at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles. I performed in two Operas and sang with the Los Angeles Master Chorale.

I attended University of Texas, Antioch College and Phillips Graduate University.

Jason Richardson, Psy.D

Dr. Jason Richardson’s specialty is helping people in transition. More specifically, helping people get clear on what they want, what is important … Read More

to them, and how they can achieve their ideal life. His straight forward approach to therapy and life directly stems from his unique background as a World Champion professional athlete with an MBA and Doctorate in Psychology.

Jason is a sought after motivational speaker and trainer. He is the Author of the book, “It’s All BS! We’re All Wrong, And You’re All Right!”, which Belief Systems and how one’s beliefs (and changing them) have a direct effect on one’s outcomes and overall happiness in life.

If you are a business professional that seems to be stuck, a student working through some tough times, or a parent that feels like you are failing your family, Jason is ready to get in the trenches and work with you until you find yourself smiling on the other side.

Maria Sadeghi, Ph.D.

Maria Sadeghi, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist with expertise in behavioral medicine, women’s issues, addictive disorders, and family the … Read More

rapy. Dr. Sadeghi has over a decade of experience working as a clinical director at various outpatient and residential programs. Previously, she worked as the clinical director for an eating disorder program in Carlsbad, California, as a program director for a dual diagnosis residential program in Berkeley CA, as a clinical director for a health-based psychological services agency in Auckland, New Zealand, as a chief of psychology for the state of Idaho, and as an assistant professor at Central Washington University.

Dr. Sadeghi has been described as a master therapist due to her ability to connect with clients, conceptualize problems, and offer strategies to overcome those problems. She graduated from the University of Idaho with a Ph.D. in counseling psychology in1998 and a master’s degree in clinical psychology in 1993. Dr. Sadeghi’s clinical experience has focused on working with clients who have a variety of persistent mental health issues as well as addictive behaviors. Dr. Sadeghi helps her clients to work through the emotional difficulties that underlie the problems they are experiencing. She is also skilled at psychological assessment, diagnosis, and crisis intervention. Her approach to therapy integrates a variety of modalities including existential, interpersonal, humanistic, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Dr. Sadeghi is committed to providing comprehensive and personalized care that optimizes the discovery of self and recovery from emotional and behavioral dysregulation.

Kristen Clayton, LCSW

Kristen Clayton, LCSW graduated from UMASS Amherst with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 2006 and Master’s Degree in Social Work in 2009 from … Read More

San Diego State University. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a member of the National Association of Social Workers.

Kristen believes everyone can find happiness, love, and balance in their lives. Her approach is compassionate, yet direct and tailored to comfort. She promotes an environment of shared learning and safe communication.

Kristen’s focus is helping children, adolescents, adults, and families achieve their highest level of functioning by offering education, strategies, and perspective to assist in personal growth. Throughout her career as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, she has had the privilege of working with a variety of clients. She offers couples work and individual therapy for mild to persistent symptoms. Kristen is experienced in relieving challenges with depression, anxiety, behavioral challenges, OCD related behaviors, ADHD and substance abuse. She works in both inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities, hospitals and schools. Her diverse background allows her to extend a unique approach. Her backpack of tools includes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Family therapy. Kristen’s certification in EMDR for those struggling with trauma will occur within this year.