Empowering Individuals with Learning Differences to Succeed—Academically, and Beyond!
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Morrissey-Compton Staff Psychologists

quoted textI wanted to reach out and thank you again for helping me with my professional testing. I searched far and wide and no one would help me or give me good advice. When you offered to help my whole outlook changed and I felt a bit more courageous to keep going. Thank you for helping me reach my dream!!"

quoted textFour years has passed by quickly and now I am a Cal graduate. I received my BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science with highest honors Saturday. I want to thank you for being my advocate and believing in me. I would not be where I am today if it had not been for your diligent work on my behalf. I was able to receive the accommodations I needed at Cal without any question or problem—so different than what we had to go through in high school. I will always be very grateful for your assistance."

quoted textWe will always be grateful to Morrissey-Compton's excellent staff psychologists. They gave our son the confidence and skills to develop into an extraordinary young man. Now it is time for us to pay it forward!"

Surina Basho Surina Basho, Ph.D.
Director of Research in Learning Differences, Executive Function Psychologist

Dr. Basho has expertise in cognitive neuroscience, executive function, and learning differences. While earning her Ph.D. in Child Development from Tufts University, Dr. Basho worked with renowned executive function expert Dr. Lynn Meltzer, conducting neuropsychological assessments, individualized intervention for students, and research in the classroom. She also co-authored a chapter with Dr. Meltzer in the book, Executive Function in the Classroom: Fostering Strategic Mindsets across the Grades and Content Areas (2010). At Morrissey-Compton, Dr. Basho is currently building a research program around executive function and learning disabilities in children; providing one-on-one individualized educational therapy to students; training teachers and schools in how to integrate executive function into the classroom for all students; and providing educational talks to the parent community.

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Laura Guthridge Chyou Laura Guthridge Chyou, Ph.D.

Dr. Laura Guthridge Chyou is a Bay Area native and completed her B.S. in Psychology at Santa Clara University. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA. During her time at Boston College, Dr. Chyou conducted research on children's peer relationships, particularly how children respond to interpersonal challenges within their friendships and how their response styles affect their social and emotional wellbeing. She also completed research examining the role of friends as bystanders and potential allies in dating violence prevention efforts among college aged adults. Additionally, a central focus of Dr. Chyou's clinical work has centered around understanding best practices in providing mental health services to underserved individuals, families, and communities. Dr. Chyou served as a co-facilitator and member of the Diversity Committee both at Boston College and at the Massachusetts General Hospital Health Center in Charlestown, MA. She also founded and co-chaired a consultation and support group for Spanish speaking clinicians at Boston College. Dr. Chyou completed her predoctoral internship at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford and Children's Health Council in Palo Alto, CA. She has strong clinical training and experience in working with children and adolescents experiencing depression, anxiety, ADHD, and traumatic stress. Dr. Chyou also enjoys working with young children in play therapy and assisting parents and families in supporting youth with mental health challenges. Dr. Chyou studied Spanish in college and throughout her graduate training. She has experience providing therapy and assessment services to Spanish-speaking children and families and is passionate about the importance of increasing the accessibility of mental health treatment to the Spanish-speaking community.

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Julia Clark Julia Clark, Ph.D.

Dr. Julia Clark has particular interests in psychological assessment and in working with children with disruptive behavior disorder behaviors and their families. After receiving her B.A. in psychology from Whitman College, she worked as a research project manager in the psychology department at Stanford for two years. She then attended the University of New Orleans and received her M.S. in Applied Developmental Psychology, and completed her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Louisiana State University. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Institute. During her internship year, she provided therapy and assessment services to adults, children, and adolescents hospitalized for psychiatric concerns, and worked in a partial hospitalization treatment program with children and adolescents. Throughout her graduate training, Dr. Clark has worked across a variety of settings, including a pediatric clinic, an inpatient psychiatric unit for adolescents, a summer day treatment program for children with ADHD, and the departmental psychological services center, completing comprehensive psychological evaluations. Dr. Clark is trained in using a range of evidence-based treatments and assessment measures for both children and adolescents, including CBT, DBT, ACT, motivational interviewing, behavioral management training, and functional family therapy. She is a Bay Area native and is glad to be back and spending time with family and friends.

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Janet Dafoe Janet Dafoe, Ph.D.
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Dr. Dafoe completed a B.S. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Child Psychology at Stanford University. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Stanford University Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Dafoe then worked at the Children's Health Council from 1985 until 2005. She served as a staff psychologist, a diagnostician on the young child, school-age, and adolescent teams, and conducted complex evaluations of adolescents. Her specialty areas include Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Asperger's Disorder, school-related issues, and special education law for parents, school administrators, teachers, and probation officers. Dr. Dafoe has conducted numerous workshops on ADHD for school administrators, teachers, and probation officers. She is on the Steering Committee of the community Advisory Committee for Special Education in the Palo Alto School District, and leads an ADHD support group for parents of Palo Alto students. She served on the Board of Trustees of the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology for 15 years, on the Board of Directors of the Children's Center of the Stanford Community for three years, and is currently President of the Board of Trustees of the Mental Research Institute of Palo Alto. In addition, Dr. Dafoe has been a Girl Scout Leader for 12 years, winning the Outstanding Leader Award for Santa Clara County.

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Kate Ekman, Ph.D. Kate Ekman, Ph.D.

Kate Ekman is a clinical psychologist specializing in treatment of children and families. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Psychology in 2009. After three years in various roles including teaching abroad and counseling children on the inpatient psychiatric unit of Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., she came out west to begin graduate training in clinical psychology. Kate graduated from the Wright Institute in 2017 and completed her postdoctoral residency on the Kaiser Richmond Child & Family Team in 2018. Kate specializes in psychodiagnostic assessment, treatment of child anxiety, cognitive behavioral therapy, play therapy, and trauma-based interventions. Her approach is Family Systems oriented, believing that treating the child often requires healing the family dynamic and improving communication.

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Jennifer Nehme, Psy.D.

Dr. Nehme is a postdoctoral fellow with a strong interest in providing psychological assessments and evidence-based treatments for children, adolescents, and caregivers. Dr. Nehme received her masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University, and during her masters studies she worked at Harbor UCLA's Cognitive Behavioral and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Clinic conducting clinical research on DBT outcomes in a community-based setting. Dr. Nehme then earned her doctorate from Pepperdine University where she received intensive clinical training in community, forensic, and hospital settings. She completed her predoctoral internship at Stanford University's Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Children's Health Council, where she received thorough training in conducting comprehensive psychological assessments, and providing evidence-based treatments to medically fragile children, including adolescents and young adults with eating and feeding disorders.

Dr. Nehme is committed to providing culturally-informed evidence-based treatment to meet the needs of each individual and their family. In addition to providing cognitive and emotional assessments, specific areas of therapeutic interest include helping children and adolescents struggling with anxiety, trauma, and depression, as well as Autism Spectrum Disorder. Additionally, Dr. Nehme empowers caregivers through support and parent coaching.

In her spare time, Dr. Nehme enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, dining, and reading.

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Zach Rosenberg Zach Rosenberg, Psy.D.

Dr. Zach Rosenberg specializes in child and adolescent therapy and assessment. Dr. Rosenberg earned his doctorate at the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium, where he received clinical training providing therapy and psychological assessment to children and adolescents in Bay Area schools and community mental health centers, such as CHAC and StarVista. As a doctoral student, he also worked in the Prevention and Intervention Lab at Stanford University's Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, where he completed diagnostic assessments for adolescents with mood symptoms. Dr. Rosenberg recently completed his predoctoral internship at the APA-accredited Southern Arizona Psychology Internship Center (SAPIC). There, he continued his therapy and assessment training with children and adolescents in a community mental health setting, and additionally worked at the University of Arizona's Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques (SALT) Center as a therapist for college students with learning challenges. Dr. Rosenberg routinely utilizes a CBT approach to therapy, and is especially interested in treating children and adolescents with depression, anxiety, and trauma. Dr. Rosenberg is a Bay Area native who enjoys watching Warriors, Sharks, and Giants games, hiking, listening to music, and spending time with friends and family.

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Mark Westerfield Mark Westerfield, Psy.D.

Dr. Mark Westerfield is a licensed clinical psychologist who focuses on neuropsychological assessment of children and adolescents. Dr. Westerfield graduated from Tufts University with a B.S. in Biopsychology with honors. Following his undergraduate degree, he worked as a behavioral counselor at the Manville School of Judge Baker Children's Center, a therapeutic day school affiliated with Harvard Medical School. He next earned his Psy.D. from William James College in Newton, MA and was a student in the Children and Families of Adversity and Resilience (CFAR) program, a course of study that focuses on delivering evidence-based and culturally-competent evaluations and treatments to underserved populations. He completed his APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship at The Brenner Center, where he provided comprehensive neuropsychological assessments to children and adolescents throughout the greater Boston area. As part of this internship, he conducted individual therapy with clients across the lifespan at Charles River Community Health. Dr. Westerfield has also been a consultant to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (now Eliot Human Services), completing evaluations of the trauma-focused CBT and early childhood mental health consultation programs. He has particular interest in evaluating children and adolescents who may be on the autism spectrum, and is trained in the ADOS-2 and ADI-R. He joined Morrissey-Compton as a postdoctoral fellow in 2018 and became a staff psychologist in 2019. Dr. Westerfield is a Bay Area native who enjoys playing soccer, reading, cooking, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

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Heidi Wheeler Heidi Wheeler, Psy.D.

Dr. Heidi Wheeler has a background in family psychology and psychoeducational assessment. Upon earning a BA in Psychology with high honors from the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Wheeler pursued her MA and PsyD from Azusa Pacific University, where she was recognized for her interdisciplinary work and commitment to applying her clinical knowledge in an international context during her two-year predoctoral internship at the American University of Beirut Medical Center. As part of her clinical training, Dr. Wheeler also completed rotations in the child trauma and child psychological assessment clinics at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Wheeler served as the head of the assessment department at Smart Kids with Individual Learning Differences (SKILD) in Mansourieh, Lebanon, where she trained and supervised a team of clinical and educational psychologists in psychoeducational assessment and therapy. She is also a respected writer and speaker throughout the Levant and has consulted on matters of war and refugee trauma in international contexts. Dr. Wheeler recognizes the importance of and is dedicated to providing technically sound, trauma-informed evaluations for ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse children and adolescents. When she's not knee deep in report writing, Dr. Wheeler enjoys cooking, reading fiction, traveling, and spending time with her family.

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Morrissey-Compton Educational Center, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) corporation.