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Counseling Staff

SHCS Associate Director 

Allison Peters, Psy.D.

Dr. Allison Peters, received her M.A. and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles, and her B.A. at UC San Diego.  Before coming to CSUSM, Dr. Peters worked clinically with children, adolescents, adults and the elderly in various settings including community mental health centers and in her training at the USC, Cal State Dominguez Hills, and Mount St. Mary’s University student counseling centers.  She was active in program development and administration in community mental health.  She was an instructor of clinical psychology courses at the graduate level and served as the Practicum Training Director for the Clinical Ph.D. and Psy.D. programs at the California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles.  

Her passion is working with young adults and college students with concerns about anxiety, depression, relationship challenges, transitions, self-esteem, formation of identity, as well as self-injurious thoughts and behaviors. She works from an eclectic perspective, with a belief that the best therapy is ultimately about self-discovery that is best nurtured in a safe and supportive space, free of judgement and guided by the client.    

CA Lic. PSY24321

Clinical Psychology Staff

Toni Cafaro, PhD

Dr. Toni Ann Cafaro is a clinical psychologist who graduated from the California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego (Ph.D.).  Her undergraduate degrees include a BA in Psychology from California State University, Fullerton and a BS in Computer Science from American Technological University.  Dr. Cafaro is an active member of the San Diego Psychological Association, is a Past Chair of SDPA’s Arts Committee, and a member of various committees within SDPA. 

She is also a member of the American Psychological Association and the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.  Before pursuing her interests in psychology, Dr. Cafaro worked as an aerospace programmer.  Along with her work at CSUSM, Dr. Cafaro has also worked in the San Diego area in private practice.  Her areas of interest include mood disorders, gender issues, grief and loss, life transitions, artistic performance and creativity.  Dr. Cafaro utilizes cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic perspectives.  She also provides HeartMath biofeedback for stress reduction and increased focus. 

John Robertson-Howell

Dr. John “Jay” Robertson-Howell, received his Psy.D. and M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Argosy University – Seattle and his M.S. in Social Work from University of Texas – Austin.  He completed his pre-doctoral internship at the University of Washington Counseling Center and has received formalized training in two community mental health clinics, a male adolescent inpatient facility and an alternative high school.  Before joining Cal State San Marcos Student Health and Counseling Services, Dr. Robertson-Howell worked for seven years at Seattle University’s Counseling and Psychological Services. He is a generalist clinically and has expertise, training and experience in college developmental and mental health concerns.  He utilizes an integrative approach for psychotherapy drawing upon psychodynamic, interpersonal, developmental and different cognitive-behavioral therapies.  Areas of special interest include anxiety and depression, mindfulness, men and masculinity, gender and sexual identity, alcohol and substance abuse, couples counseling, multicultural issues, and grief and loss.

CA Lic. PSY 25920

Dr. Lissa Lim

Dr. Lissa Lim,  is a bilingual counselor. She earned her B.A. and M.A. in Psychology at CSUSM, and her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She has experience working in university counseling centers, community mental health, rape crisis centers, and private practice. She has also taught in the Psychology Department at CSUSM, and co-founded the CSUSM Gender Equity Center.

Dr. Lim’s has experiences providing bilingual therapy in English and Spanish in individual and group therapy. She specializes in trauma, Latin@ mental health, and multicultural issues. Her theoretical orientation is Integrative, rooted in Feminist-Multicultural, Interpersonal, and Person-Centered therapy. What this means for clients is that she attends to the ways relationships shape and affect us, attend to experiences of power and oppression and focuses on empowering clients to heal in ways that are consistent with their values. She also emphasizes empathy, compassion, and authentic connection, and uses a Trauma-Informed perspective when working with all clients. Dr. Lim loves working with students of diverse backgrounds and believes everyone has the power to heal and grow.

Dr. Tamara Savage


Dr. Tamara Savage graduated with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1993. She worked primarily in the Washington State area before moving to San Diego.  Dr. Savages' s varied experience includes working at the University of Tennessee's Student Counseling Center, Jewish Family Services, and Western State Hospital. Her interests include young adult populations, women’s issues, sports psychology, domestic violence, rape/sexual assault, relationship issues and the supervision and training of graduate level psychology students.  Presently, Dr. Savage is the coordinator of the Clinical Training Program at the CSUSM Counseling Center.

CA Lic. PSY 17552

Dr. Carlene Smith

Dr. Carlene Smith is a clinical psychologist who graduated from Cornell University (B.A.), Roosevelt University (M.A.) and City University of New York (Ph.D.).  Dr. Smith interned at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York.  She started her professional career in a hospital-based mental health center specializing in learning disabilities, child and adult psychiatry. 

Dr. Smith worked in the San Diego area for many years in private practice before working at CSUSM.  Her professional interests include depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, learning styles, cross-cultural considerations in psychotherapy, gender issues, and process organizational consultation.  Dr. Smith has taught undergraduate and graduate level psychology courses at a number of institutions including City University of New York, CSUSM, National University, San Diego State University and Livingstone College.

CA Lic. PSY 13047

Dr. Kara Kornher


Dr. Kara Kornher, Psychologist and Learning Disabilities (LD) Specialist with Disabled Student Services, serves as CAPS' primary testing supervisor in addition to providing clinical supervision for interns. Dr. Kornher received her B.A. in Psychology from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, and her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the School of Professional Psychology at Wright State University in Ohio. She moved to California to complete a pre-doctoral internship at UCSD's Psychological & Counseling Services. Her diverse professional experience prior to coming to Cal State San Marcos in 1996 includes working in a correctional facility, university counseling center, community mental health clinic, crisis center, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and Scripps Hospital. Areas of professional interest in addition to psychological assessment include women's issues and humanistic psychology.

 Post-Doctoral

 Lindsey Robertson

Dr.  Lindsey G. Robertson, recently received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Biola University's Rosemead School of Psychology, after completing her pre-doctoral internship at Virginia Commonwealth University's counseling center. Now she is back home on the west coast and excited to have joined CSUSM's SHCS team as the 2017-18 post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Robertson had done short-term, long-term, couples, and group therapy work with adults of all ages, from a variety of cultural backgrounds, primarily in university and outpatient hospital settings.

Dr. Robertson believes everyone has a right to a respectful, affirming, and transparent therapy experience. She also strives to deepen a sensitivity to diversity and contextual factors, acknowledging the interactive influence these have on our relationships, well-being, and experience of the world. As a therapist, Dr. Robertson loves working with university students. She feels that it's a privilege to partner with her clients in addressing their goals, helping them live more fully in a world that's often full of both injustice and goodness, suffering and joy. She does this by fostering compassion, curiosity, and honest conversation, creating an environment where clients can be themselves, honestly face their emotional experiences, explore their values and strengths, deepen their relationships, try new things, and celebrate healing experiences. Over and over, Dr. Robertson has seen this kind of collaborative work produce relief, healing, and hope. Some clinical interests include family and relationship issues, depression, grief and loss, childhood abuse and trauma, dissociation, faith/religious issues, gender and sexuality identity, ADHD and learning differences, coping with visible and invisible disabilities, and therapeutic assessment.

Supervised by Dr. Peters and Dr. Cafaro.

Mental Health Educator

Cheryl Berry

Cheryl Berry, M.A., received her master’s degree from Boston University, where she provided educational counseling to minority students matriculating across ten undergraduate colleges.  Before coming to CSUSM, Cheryl had oversight for policy, programs and budget for Federal and State health agencies.  Her professional career includes experience in public health at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA); and behavioral health at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), where she managed prevention and early-intervention grant programs focused on minority health with State agencies, colleges and universities, and community-based organizations.  Her professional interests include:  eating disorders, suicide prevention, and stigma reduction.  Cheryl is a certified trainer for Mental Health First Aid, ASIST and safeTALK.   

 Pre-Doctoral Psychology Interns

 Brittany Greenbaum

Brittany Greenbaum, MA is a pre-doctoral intern at Student Health & Counseling Services at CSUSM. She is a clinical psychology doctoral candidate at Alliant International University, California School of Professional Psychology. Brittany has experience in short and long-term therapy and has worked in a variety of settings including short-term residential programs, the Family Justice Center, the VA, and private practice. She has experience working with severe mental illness as well as with individuals who are struggling with depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, and PTSD.

 Brittany’s primary clinical focus is trauma recovery, specifically recovery from sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking, and childhood abuse. She utilizes compassion-focused therapy along with Cognitive-Behavioral, Acceptance-Commitment, and Psychodynamic tools. Brittany believes that wellness and healing occur with kindness and respect and she works to foster these attributes within her patients. She promotes intellectual curiosity, loving-kindness, and value-based living.  

Supervised by Dr. Peters and Dr. Savage. 

 Brooke Adams

 Brooke Adams, M.A. is a pre-doctoral intern at Student Health & Counseling Services at CSUSM. She is a clinical psychology doctoral candidate at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Washington, D.C. Campus. Brooke received her BA in Communications from University of Southern California, and has pursued an interest in communications, psychology and holistic wellness since 2000. Brooke has experience in short and long-term therapy and has worked in a variety of settings including the VA, community mental health, neuropsychological assessment, college counseling centers, and private practice. She has experience working with individuals and couples who are struggling with anxiety, depression, grief, identity development, stress management, life transitions, disordered sleep, and PTSD.

Brooke envisions a world in which everyone has access to the professional relationship, growth and skills cultivated in counseling. Brooke’s primary clinical interests include interpersonal relationships, mood, trauma, neuropsychology, and attention and sleep disorders. She focuses on wellness through an existential and humanistic lens while using Mindfulness Based Interventions, as well as, Psychodynamic and Family system tools. Brooke believes that good health, curiosity and joy are one’s innate disposition, which can be buried by stressors, circumstances and life challenges. She seeks to cultivate a sense of consciousness and ease while helping her clients stay present to their experience and map out their path ahead. She promotes a strengths based exploration, respect and room for dreaming big. An examined life is one worth showing up for. 

Supervised by Dr. Peters and Dr. Robertson-Howell.

 Laura Thode

Laura Thode, M.A. is a pre-doctoral intern at Student Health and Counseling Services at CSUSM. She received her B.A. in Education from the University of Costa Rica and earned her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) at Alliant International University, San Diego.

Laura is a bilingual intern and has provided services in English and Spanish in community mental health, counseling, and behavioral health centers. She has worked clinically with children, transitional age youth, adults, adolescents, and couples. Her therapeutic areas include anxiety, depression, relationship concerns, identity development, adjustment difficulties, stress management and cultural challenges. Laura’s approach to therapy is integrative, incorporating cognitive behavioral, psychodynamic, and acceptance commitment therapy. Her work is based on the belief that change is possible, and she promotes a safe and caring environment to help clients reach their potential.

Supervised by Dr. Peters and Dr. Savage.