"We must be the change we want to see in the world." -- Gandhi

Dr. Staci Emerson
Dr. Staci Emerson
7080 Hollywood Blvd.
Suite 502
Los Angeles, CA 90028

2900 Bristol Street
Suite A207
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

(310) 225-5220



Adolescence can be a peculiar time, in some ways, and in other ways, it’s the most spiritually alive and vital time in one’s life. Unfortunately, there are few places left in Western culture that still honor the passage between youth and adulthood as a momentous and wondrous time. Adolescence is often viewed as a time of confusion, oddity, and danger, during which risky behaviors and rebellion flourishes. Most adolescents experience the pressure to become adults before their brains have developed sufficiently, rendering them incapable of the judgments and choices they face on a daily basis. Teens often internalize this pressure and develop negative self-images and negative beliefs about the value of their lives and hope for their futures. Depression and anxiety and the self-sabotaging behaviors that stem from them are often the result. Often, adults notice troubling behaviors, such as self-mutilation, substance abuse, talking back, poor attitude, poor school performance, or isolation from family and/or friends, but they fail to understand that these behaviors are mere symptoms of perceptual distortions and deep pain.

When a person has a runny nose, most of us acknowledge that the mucus is not the illness, but the sign of a virus, hidden deeply within the body. Similarly, problem behaviors are the symptoms of much deeper pain, often buried inside of a teen. Hormone fluctuations, physical development and a multitude of challenging life circumstances that adolescents face can cause mood swings, perceptual distortions and tremendous stress. Treating these symptoms is complex and should be conducted with expert knowledge and insight.

My holistic approach to treatment with adolescents takes into account all the systems of functioning for a teen. I respect and honor the process of development in kids and help put this development into perspective for kids and their parents. In addition to traditional methods of therapy with adolescents, I work with kids regarding balancing their hormones and brain chemistry through nutrition, supplementation and regular movement therapy. I help kids understand their perceptual distortions and find creative new ways of managing their problems through empowered, proactive and conscious choices. Often, I work with parents in order to help kids, as many problems can be remedied with the proper understanding and compassionate responses from a teen’s support system.

Seeing a psychologist can be intimidating and vulnerable for adults, but it can be downright petrifying or humiliating for teens. My style takes this tremendous challenge into consideration. I really respect kids. I understand and like them. Working together with kids and their families takes a cooperative effort, but it doesn’t have to be painful or fearsome in the least. On the contrary, sometimes a few adjustments in key areas can make all the difference in the world for both the adolescent as well as their entire family.

310.225.5220  •   DrEmerson@Yahoo.com