DEBBIE LEE, MA, MFT

DEBBIE LEE, MA, LICENSED MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST #84279

ABOUT ME

I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a Bachelor of Arts from UC Berkeley and a Masters in Counseling Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS).  


I never thought I would become a therapist. I always liked talking and listening to people and I often found myself as the confidant of friends and strangers but I always thought that was more of a hobby than a career. During my undergraduate years, I took as many psychology classes as my Mass Communications major would allow and I even volunteered as a peer counselor, but it was not until I had been working in the corporate world for a few years that I realized that psychology was more of a passion for me. I think going through a deep depression and turning to therapy to help me through that difficult period also inspired me to want to offer the same kind of support to others.


So I took a leap of faith, left my corporate job, and went back to graduate school to get a Masters in Counseling Psychology. My time at CIIS was a deep journey of learning and self-discovery, which only confirmed my decision to be become a therapist. I spent my practicum and intern years working with all types of clients at a Gestalt counseling center, at an elementary school, as a school counselor, and in private practice. I was also a founding member and an active member of Bay Area Gestalt Institute (BAGI), a non-profit organization and community of Gestalt therapists.


Throughout this time, I was in individual and couples therapy as a client discovering and healing parts of myself and my relationship. I truly believe my personal experiences in therapy have taught me as much, if not more, as my academic training for I cannot ask my clients to go where I have not been willing to go myself.


Right around the time I became a licensed therapist, I went through another big life change. I became a mother for the first time and this was not an easy transition for me. I struggled with who I was now that I was a mother. With that, I went through an intense period of grieving my old life while also falling deeply in love with my child and discovering myself as a parent.


Then came another big change. My husband and I had been living in the Bay Area for over 10 years but after much consideration, we decided to move to Los Angeles, to be closer to family. I closed my private practice, moved to LA, and due to life circumstances, ended up being a stay at home mom. I had worked so hard and sacrificed so much to become a therapist and I was finally licensed but my main priority was to be with my son. Since then, I have had another son and life with two children is busy.


I still feel passionate about being a therapist and did a year long training with GATLA but since becoming a mother I have developed a new area of interest, supporting mothers and parents. I am currently offering support groups to mothers since I know I could not have gotten through my transition into motherhood without the support I received in various mommy groups.   

I hope that gives you a taste of who I am as a person, therapist and mother and hope to hear from you soon.