Meet Our Therapists

Alison Marie Mertz, ASW

CA ASW #88725

Supervised by Suzanne Vargas, LCSW #79703

Alison Marie Mertz is an Associate Clinical Social Worker (CA #88725) who specializes in working with LGBTQIA teens, adults, and seniors.  I seek to provide warm, inviting, collaborative therapy within an intentionally anti-oppressive context.  I use humor, body-centered (somatic) techniques, and the strength of our client-therapist relationship to explore and invoke personal and collective change.   I am a graduate of UC Berkeley’s Master of Social Welfare program and a student in Widener University’s Advanced Training in Affirmative Therapy with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Communities.

Some core beliefs that inform my work include:
I believe that people evolve, with their own unique qualities and resiliencies, in relationship with the systems around them.  I believe that healing must include meeting basic needs for health, housing, nutrition, and community. I believe in health at every size. I believe that the effects of colonization and systemic oppression are felt deeply- mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally – by all of us, but especially by those most impacted.  I believe healing and change are possible and attainable.  

Let’s work towards it, together.

Alison works with teens, transitional age youth, adults, and older adults.

Her fee is $130 for individuals and she accepts Cigna.

Book an appointment with Alison here.

Kari Tuggle, ASW

CA ASW # 93858

Supervised by Suzanne Vargas, LCSW

My therapeutic approach is integrative and holistic pulling from my background as a humanistic psychotherapist and Registered Dieitian. I believe that individuals and families are innately able to heal, have many assets, and are the experts of their own experiences. I build on this belief to help clients uncover their unique strengths and resiliency to work towards a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

Compassionate, empathic, and encouraging, I strive to create a welcoming space, where you can explore your individuality, process your unique challenges, and develop new skills and insights. Our work together is tailored to you, often drawing from strengths based, solution-focused, cognitive-behavioral, and mindfulness-based modalities. Whether you are struggling with an eating disorder, experiencing depression or anxiety, caught in addiction, or navigating a life transition, I will walk by you in your journey of growth and healing.

Kari works with teens, transitional age youth, adults, and older adults as well as couples and families.

Her fee is $140 for individuals and $160 for couples/family therapy and she accepts Cigna.

Book an appointment with Kari here.

Lea Siegel, LCSW

LCSW # 100234

I’m a bilingual and bicultural licensed therapist who is committed to working with diverse populations to overcome their mental health issues. I adapt a trauma-informed holistic approach to mental health treatment, recognizing people are affected by multiple factors in their life and environment. I work with people collaboratively to help them formulate and reach their therapeutic goals. I integrate cognitive behavioral techniques with other evidence based practices to help people confront and change their harmful thinking patterns to overcome their mental health symptoms. 

I have experience working with couples, and individuals ranging from children to older adults of diverse cultural, racial, and socio-economic backgrounds as well as different sexual orientations and gender identities. My specialties are in treating depression, anxiety, trauma (including sexual assault), relationship/family dynamics, and chronic illness. I provide treatment for people in both English and Spanish. I have my masters in social work from UC Berkeley, and my license number is #100234. 

Her fee is $140 for individuals and $160 for couples/family.

Book an appointment with Lea here.

Christine Pess, LMFT

CA LMFT #123428

I have a Masters in Integral Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. I am trained in numerous types of therapeutic approaches, and I use my holistic background to personalize a method most appropriate for each client. Over the past 6 years I have worked clinically with adolescents, couples, adults and elders.

I see therapy as a process of changing how we think and feel about our lives. I strive to create a comfortable, accepting and encouraging space, and I believe that the quality of the relationship between therapist and client is essential to the work. Common reasons to pursue therapy include, but are not limited to, anxiety, depression, grief, sleep issues, health issues, relationship difficulties, identity exploration and making meaning of one’s life. I enjoy supporting my clients in recognizing and healing from the negative patterns of their lives with the goal of creating more authentic and enlivened futures.

Her fee is $130 for individuals and $150 for couples.

Suzanne Vargas

Clinical Director LCSW 79703

I am very passionate about creating safe, supportive, and non judgmental relationships with others. Seeing people evolve into more authentic, compassionate individuals who give themselves permission to live as themselves is so inspirational and rewarding. I love working with other clinicians, professionals and people who care about wellness and compassion.

My therapy style is to listen to you, show you that you matter, and strive to understand you and your goals. We focus together on where you want to be, and together I teach you proven techniques to make your life what you want it to be. I am level 2 Gottman Couples Therapy Method trained and utilize these methods in all my couples work.

I specialize in working with couples, people struggling with anxiety or work perfectionism, individuals exploring themselves (spirituality, career, passions, sexuality/gender) and teens. I am a licensed clinical social worker #79703 that has been doing clinical work for 9 years. I have my masters in social work from the University of South Carolina. 

Her fee is $150 for individuals and $180 for couples/family.

Contact Me