Christina Zandi



Meet The Team


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Vanessa Patterson,


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Christina Zandi, M.A., LMFT


Christina Zandi is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been in private practice since 2010 and working in the mental health field since 2005. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Biola University and her Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology with a Child and Family emphasis from Chapman University. She sees individuals, couples, families and adolescents in her practice. Her specialties include treating eating disorders from a body positive perspective, depression, anxiety, personal growth and identity, codependency issues, relationship issues and trauma. In addition to private practice, Christina provides clinical supervision and training to Associate and Trainee MFT’s as well as serves as the Membership Chair on the Orange County Chapter of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP). She has worked in all levels of care in eating disorder recovery as well as substance abuse recovery. She has experience providing mental health services and program management within the education system and Department of Mental Health agencies working with a wide range of emotional disturbances. She is an insight oriented therapist who draws from psychodynamic, humanistic and attachment frameworks to help clients dig deep into themselves and their history to find the answers they need to live a more authentic, fulfilling life. 


Ali Zandi PsyD, LMFT


Ali is a dual Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist. Ali earned his doctorate from Azusa Pacific University in Clinical Psychology and graduated with Distinction for Clinical Competency. He earned his Masters's degree in Clinical Psychology from Chapman University. He also earned his Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Chapman University. Ali has worked in a variety of settings including college counseling centers, outpatient community clinics, and his private practice. Ali is an LGBTQ+ affirming clinician. His areas of specialty include addictive behaviors, ADHD, trauma recovery, and psychological testing. He provides testing for ADHD, Autism, and Psychological  Disorders. Ali utilizes an eclectic approach to therapy that draws upon Psychodynamic Theory, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Interpersonal Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). In addition to his work with clients, Ali has served in leadership positions within the behavioral health field.  


Vanessa Patterson, M.A., LMFT

Vanessa Patterson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been treating clients since 2005. Vanessa immensely enjoys building relationships with and working with her clients and has had her own private practice since 2010. Concurrently she spent 10 years working in a community mental health agency providing treatment to low income families, working in conjunction with the Department of Mental Health and various local school districts, and running the agencies two largest programs. Vanessa also provides mentorship and supervision to new therapists on their journey to licensure. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Biola University and her Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology with a Child and Family emphasis from Chapman University.


Vanessa sees individuals, couples, families, adolescents, and children in her practice. One of her specialties is working with parents of children ages 0-5 and helping them navigate these wonderful but challenging years as well as treating perinatal and post-partum anxiety and/or depression that so often accompanies the early years of motherhood. She is certified in PCIT (Parent/Child Interaction Therapy) and works closely with parents of preschool and elementary age children drawing from the latest neuroscience related to a child's developing brain. Vanessa is a nationally certified cognitive behavioral therapist specializing in the treatment of trauma, anxiety, depression, grief/loss, life transitions and relationship difficulties. She also draws heavily from psychodynamic, attachment, and narrative frameworks to help her clients achieve their treatment goals.


Kara Connell, M.S., AMFT


Kara Connell is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist with over 20 years experience working with children.  Kara began working in mental health in 2012, to pursue her passion of helping individuals connect with themselves and others in an authentic and meaningful way. Kara holds a Bachelor of Science in Child and Adolescent Development from California State University, Fullerton and her Master of Science in Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy from The University of Phoenix.  Kara offers therapy services to individuals, adolescents, families and couples. Her specialties include: personal growth and identity, depression, anxiety, addiction, body image issues and eating disorders, relationship issues, and grief. Kara meets the specific needs of each client by integrating a variety of therapeutic principles and philosophies including: humanistic, solution focused, cognitive behavioral therapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy.  Kara reminds clients that they are worthy by creating a safe space for clients to find their strengths and courage to confront and make sense of difficult emotions and experiences.  


DeAnna Tavakoly, M.A., AMFT 102746 


DeAnna Tavakoly is a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (102746) providing services under the supervision of Christina Zandi, LMFT. DeAnna earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Chapman University and earned her Master of Arts in Couple and Family Therapy from Alliant International University. She completed her traineeship at Phoenix House, where she gained experience working with dual-diagnosis clients recovering from substance use disorders. DeAnna has gained experience working with diverse populations in a variety of different settings; including adults with a history of trauma, adolescents, couples, multicultural families, LGBTQIA+, geriatrics and adults struggling with substance and process addictions. DeAnna has gained experience treating a variety of presenting issues including anxiety and depressive disorders, trauma-related disorders, self-harm, impulse control, disordered eating and unhealthy relationship dynamics. 


DeAnna provides clients with the experience of being genuinely seen and heard while cultivating change through insight and the application of new skills. She strives to integrate evidence-based practices, such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), with an attachment lens and psychodynamic approach in order to assist clients on their journey towards building resiliency and maintaining long-term, sustainable change. She is honored to have witnessed the courage, authenticity and resiliency found in the individuals and families who strive for healthier relationships with others and themselves.


Ana Arellano, M.A, AMFT 121729

Ana Arellano Ramos, M.A., EMDR, AMFT #121729
Ana Arellano is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist who is
providing services under the supervision of Vanessa Patterson, LMFT.
Ana earned a Bachelors degree in Psychology from California State
University, Fullerton and a Masters in Clinical Psychology with an
emphasis in Marriage and Family therapy from Pepperdine University.
Ana has completed her hours working for community mental health
clinic where she focused her experience on supporting individuals
experiencing a variety of symptoms and provided the understanding of
the origin of behaviors, as well as coping skills to encourage clients to
continue their journey in mental health. She also has experience-
supporting couples restore trust and common ground. Ana has also
been trained to provide EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization
Reprocessing) for individuals suffering from traumatic experiences that
interrupt their ability to move forward or feel fulfilled. She believes that
holding space for clients and providing a positive and healing
environment should be a priority when offering support to individuals,
children, or couples. Ana allows for clients to express their experiences
and emotions, while utilizing Psychodynamic, Attachment theory, as
well as Schema Therapy to fulfill treatments goals.


Danielle Robbins is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist who is passionate about helping individuals, couples, children and families through a creative and compassionate lens. Danielle completed her Bachelor’s of Art at the University of Oregon in Photography and Allied Arts, and gained her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy with Art Therapy at Antioch University Seattle. Danielle is passionate about communication through creative expression, and has utilized her Art Therapy training in a range of clinical settings working with children, adolescents, families, couples and individuals. Danielle completed a year of Art Therapy research in her Master’s program analyzing and measuring the benefits of self-care through therapeutic creative expression.  Danielle has worked in non-profit organizations as well as community mental health treatment centers providing individual, couples, and family therapy to clients struggling with substance abuse, co-dependency, eating disorders, body-image issues, anxiety, depression, and trauma.   

   Danielle believes in meeting each unique individual where they are at by incorporating a variety of relevant therapeutic modalities into her practice including: humanistic, attachment-based therapy, emotionally focused therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and dialectical behavioral therapy as well as creative arts therapies. Danielle believes that empathy and active listening are key principles that help her clients to feel heard, seen, and safe.

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