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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 judgment and guided by the client.  She has a passion for clinical training and clinical supervision. She is the Training Director for the Psychology Internship in Health Service Psychology at SHCS. Dr. Peters provides clinical supervision to Psychology Interns.

CA Lic. PSY24321

 

Clinical Psychology Staff

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 psychology 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. Dr. Robertson-Howell provides clinical supervision to Psychology Interns.

CA Lic. PSY 25920

 
Dr. Juan Alvarez

Dr. Juan Alvarez, is a bilingual counselor who provides student services in English and Spanish. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Washington State University, and his B.A. in Cognitive Science at the University of California, Irvine. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Student Health and Counseling Services at California State University San Marcos, and an American Psychological Association accredited psychology internship in Health Service Psychology at the University of Northern Colorado Counseling Center.

Dr. Alvarez is passionate about college mental health and has worked in college mental health centers in Washington, Idaho, Colorado, and California. He specializes in providing multi-culturally competent services to students. He is a generalist clinically and has experience working with a variety of presenting concerns typical of the college student population, including anxiety, depression, identity development, relationship issues, transitions, and sexual identity. Dr. Alvarez has experience providing individual, group, and couples therapy. He utilizes an integrative approach drawing from humanistic psychology, cognitive-behavioral therapy, narrative therapy, mindfulness, and self-compassion.
Dr. Alvarez provides clinical supervision to Psychology Interns.

 
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. Lim provides clinical supervision to Psychology Interns.

CA Lic. PSY  30077

 
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. Dr. Savage provides clinical supervision to Psychology Interns.

CA Lic. PSY 17552

 
Dr. Ryan Stevenson

Dr. Ryan Stevenson, received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and his Masters of Social Work from the University of Utah. He completed his psychology internship at the UC – Santa Barbara’s Counseling and Psychological Services and his post-doctoral fellowship at UC – San Diego’s Counseling and Psychological Services. He has experience working in university counseling centers, community mental health, rape crisis centers, and private group practice. Prior to joining CSUSM’s Student Health and Counseling Services he worked at UCSD, the VA in San Diego, and on a clinical trial treating veterans with PTSD. He also taught a course called Strategies for Academic Success for three years in graduate school and he enjoys helping students with these skills in therapy and in campus workshops.

Dr. Stevenson has experience providing individual, group, and couples therapy. He utilizes an integrative approach drawing from interpersonal, mindfulness, feminist-multicultural, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Areas of special interest include PTSD/trauma, working with veterans/service members, anxiety, depression, mindfulness, multicultural issues, men and masculinity, conflicts around religion and spirituality, performance psychology, and substance abuse. Dr. Stevenson enjoys working with students from diverse backgrounds and providing a safe space for healing and growth. Dr. Stevenson provides clinical supervision to Psychology Interns.

CA Lic. PSY 27441 

 
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 psychology 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. 
Dr. Kornher provides secondary clinical supervision to Psychology Interns
 

Post-Doctoral

 Kevin Choi

Dr. Kevin W. Choi received his Psy.D. in Psychology at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA and received his B.S. degree in Psychology with a Biology Emphasis from the University of California, Davis. Prior to joining the CSUSM SHCS team as the 2018-2019 post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Choi completed his psychology internship at the University of Nevada, Reno and has experiences with providing brief individual and group psychotherapy to adults from culturally diverse backgrounds in university counseling centers and community mental health clinics.

Dr. Choi’s clinical approach to psychological wellness is informed by his training and interests in feminist-multicultural, interpersonal, client-centered, and contextual behavioral frameworks. He is also committed to being an ally to those with marginalized status by attending to the impact of power, discrimination, and oppression on their personal growth and development. Dr. Choi firmly believes in the power of healing through relationships and that people have the ability to grow in the direction of their values when they are provided with a warm, supportive, and nonjudgmental environment that fosters acceptance, authenticity, compassion, empowerment, and self-discovery. Some of Dr. Choi’s clinical areas of focus and interests include mood disorders, first-generation college students, intersection of identities, men’s issues, relationship concerns, and stress management.

Supervised by: Dr. Peters and Dr. Alvarez

 

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. 
 

 Psychology Interns

 Emily

Emily Roberts-Parker, M.A. is excited to be a psychology intern on the Student Health and Counseling Services team. She is a clinical psychology doctoral candidate at Alliant International University, California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego. She received her BA in Psychology and Women and Gender Studies from UC Davis. She has experience working with college students, children, and older adults in specialized and generalized settings including San Diego State counseling center and UCSD Eating Disorders Center.

Some of her clinical interests include anxiety, body image issues and eating disorders, gender and sexual identity, depression, and focusing on multiculturalism. Emily’s approach to therapy utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness based practices, and Psychodynamic tools. Emily has a passion for working with college students and strives to promote a healing and safe space for students.

Supervised by Dr. Peters and Dr. Robertson-Howell

 
 Ben

Ben Ross, M.A. is a psychology intern at CSUSM Student Health & Counseling Services.  He is a clinical psychology doctoral candidate at American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University Southern California. Ben has worked in diverse settings including Jewish Federation and Family Services, the A.U.T.A.P.S. clinic where he did therapeutic psychodiagnostic assessment, and private practice.  He has experience in conducting short and long-term psychotherapy with individuals struggling with a range of psychological difficulties including but not limited to anxiety, depression, grief, phase of life issues, identity formation, and personality disturbances.  In addition to these clinical interests, Ben has a particular curiosity in music performance anxiety and its impact on the collegiate music student. 

Ben strives to foster an interpersonal therapeutic environment in which his patients have an outlet to express parts of their mind that they have not yet voiced.  Expression of these inner thoughts and feelings can allow the individual to feel relief from stress that can otherwise manifest in painful psychological symptoms.  Ben primarily operates with a psychodynamic approach, though he draws from existential and humanistic schools as well.

Supervised by Dr. Peters and Dr. Savage

 
 Jenna

 Jenna Suway, Ph.D. is a psychology intern at Student Health and Counseling Services at CSUSM. She received her Ph.D. in Human Development with a certificate in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science from the University Maryland, College Park. She then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. Dr. Suway’s focus in her doctoral and post-doctoral training was on anxiety research for at risk and clinical populations. In receiving some clinical training in her post-doc, she fell in love with clinical psychology and decided to go back to graduate school to receive a doctoral respeicalization in clinical psychology. Dr. Suway is currently in the clinical respecialization program at the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) at Alliant International University, San Diego.

Dr. Suway has been involved in clinical trial research with individuals with Social Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She has worked clinically with children, adolescents, and adults in short and long-term therapy, and has experience working with those struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, transitions, and drug and alcohol concerns. Dr. Suway’s theoretical orientation is integrative drawing upon developmental, humanistic, psychodynamic, interpersonal, and cognitive-behavioral therapies.

Supervised by Dr. Peters and Dr. Stevenson