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Leila
Pirnia

Leila Pirnia

Phone:  (323) 540-4482

Email:  pirniatherapy@gmail.com

Website: www.pirniatherapy.com

At A Glance:

Specialties and Certifications

 

  • Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist 

  • Registered Associate Professional Clinical Counselor

  • Neurodiverse Parenting Specialist

  • Neurodiverse Couples Specialist

  • Kids and Teens Therapist

  • Cassandra Syndrome Specialist

  • Austism, PDA, ADHD, OCD, 2e, and Anxiety Specialist

 

Life Experience

 

  • Associate Psychotherapist at Neurodiverse Couples Counseling Center and Autism Parenting Therapy Center. Training with Dr. Harry Moto, Clinical Director and Founder.

  • Clinical training - The Center for Professional Counseling of Los Angeles.  Trained from a psychodynamic, depth-oriented clinical theoretical orientation, integrating alternative modalities as needed such as family systems theory, attachment theory, and CBT/DBT/ACT. 

  • Clinical training - Outreach Concern. Work with children, teens, and families as a school-based mental health therapist at multiple school sites. Handle a diverse caseload of students with behavioral, social, emotional, and academic needs. Incorporate a strengths-based orientation to foster academic growth and help students reach their personal potential, both inside and outside the classroom. 

  • Graduate Research Associate working alongside Dr. Shelly Harrell in her Culture, Wisdom, and Resilience Lab. Development of a unique application designed specifically for mental health therapists to enable them to incorporate quotes from thought leaders into their therapy practices, promoting greater wisdom, insight, and resilience among their clients.

  • Prior President, CFO, COO, and Founder of various tech companies, startups, and non-profit organizations. Learnings from the corporate world helped shape my passion for understanding people’s behaviors, motivations, and drives. These experiences have equipped me with a unique perspective and skill set that I bring to my work as a mental health therapist.

 

Education

 

  • Bachelor of Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis on Marriage & Family Therapy, Pepperdine University

Main Areas of Focus
Parenting Neurodiverse Children, including Autism, PDA, Anxiety, ADHD, OCD, Giftedness, and Twice Exceptional (2e)

 

As a parent, you seek insightful solutions for your unique child rather than labels and generalizations.

 

You may have long recognized that your child differs from other children. Despite seeking answers in parenting books and receiving advice from friends and family members, you have yet to find lasting solutions to your child's behavior. In fact, some of the advice may have even caused setbacks or worked as temporary band-aids, at best.

 

You may be in awe of your child's unique talents in certain areas, but at the same time, perplexed by their inability to complete certain basic tasks. You may observe uneven patterns in your child's development, leaving you uncertain about how to set appropriate expectations. You may wonder how much to push your child to their full potential and when that pushing may be jeopardizing their mental health or pushing them farther away. You may notice that teachers, friends, and family unfairly judge your child, leading to a negative impact on their self-esteem and sense of worth.

 

It's possible that you have already enrolled your child in various programs or interventions, but you are still searching for a more comprehensive understanding of how to best support your child and your family. You may be hesitant to seek help, out of concern that a professional may not be able to perceive your child's uniqueness and individuality in the same way that you do.

 

Meanwhile, this struggle with meeting your child’s needs can be taking a toll on your relationship with your partner and other children. You’ve been struggling to meet everyone else’s need in the family at the expense of your own and you recognize you need a better strategy. 

 

“Beneath every behavior there is a feeling. And beneath every feeling there is a need. And when we meet that need rather than focus on the behavior, we begin to deal with the cause, not the symptom.” 

 

When working with families, I strive to integrate a personalized, emotion-focused approach with evidence-based research and best practices. This approach allows us to create a meaningful connection and work together towards positive change. I create a comprehensive and tailored plan of action that takes into account your family’s and your child's unique strengths and challenges, without solely relying on labels and diagnoses. I work with parents every step of the way and help them discover the “why” beneath their child’s behavior and guide them toward positive changes. 

 

I offer specific guidance to help parents engage with their children in ways that tap into their intrinsic motivation for growth and success. My approach is founded upon evidence-based neuropsychology, curiosity, thoroughness, and clinical integrity, to help your child and the family reach their full potential. 

 

In our work together, you will come away with a nuanced and individualized roadmap that is tailored to your child's unique needs, allowing you to make current and future decisions that are suited to their individuality. I am a firm believer that therapy has the power to unlock the world-changing potential of the neurodiverse mind, and I am committed to helping your child achieve their full potential.

Parenting a PDA or Highly Feeling Kid

Has your child been called oppositional or defiant? Do they have meltdowns, tantrums, or aggressive behaviors when something doesn't go their way? Understanding PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance or Pervasive Demand for Autonomy) can help you make sense of your child's actions.

 

PDA kids are deeply feeling, sensitive kids. They live in a near constant state of fight or flight, which can make even the smallest obstacles, changes in routine, or basic expectations seem like too much to handle.
 

In my work with children facing PDA tendencies, I recognize their struggle as a  nervous system regulation issue. By approaching their experiences with empathy, understanding, and a focus on regulatory perspectives, I empower parents with specific tools and techniques to navigate these challenges. Together, we embark on a journey to help these kids re-regulate, teaching them skills that enable them to return to a state of groundedness and calm amidst life's uncertainties.

Other Areas of Focus

 

  • High Achievers

  • Tech Executives, Corporate Executives

  • Midlife and Life Transitions

  • First Generation, Immigrants and Children of Immigrants

  • Trilingual: Farsi (Persian), Spanish, and English

 

Clients

 

  • Individuals

  • Couples

  • Families

  • Teens/Kids

 

Modalities

 

  • Psychodynamic/depth-oriented psychology

  • EFT (emotion focused therapy for couples)

  • IFS (internal family systems)

  • CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) including ACT and DBT

  • Family Systems Dynamics

  • Solution focused therapy

 

License

 

  • Registered Associate Marriage & Family Therapist, MFTA #138180

  • Registered Associate Professional Clinical Counselor, PCCA #13526

  • California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT)

  • Psi Chi, the international honor society in psychology.

  • Current Member California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists (CAMFT) and former Finance Committee Board Member

  • Supervised by Dr. Harry Motro, LMFT #53452

  • Employed by New Path Couples Therapy, Inc.

 

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