Who We Are
The mission of VCC is to facilitate integrative psychological and spiritual growth and wellness. We are located in downtown Ventura, providing affordable mental health services to residents of Ventura and surrounding areas.
We envision a world in which mental health services and spiritual practice are not a luxury only some can afford, but an essential part of healthcare available to all.
Ventura Community Counseling is staffed by the following clinicians:
I received my Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University. Before joining Ventura Community Counseling in 2016, I worked for Ventura County Behavioral Health as well as non-profit and private organizations providing therapeutic services to adults, children, and families. My work focused on treating a wide range of disorders including anxiety disorders. Many years of personal and professional experience with treating anxiety allows me to connect with individuals suffering from anxiety and help them overcome their fears that are holding them back from living the life they want to live.
My work with Ventura Community Counseling focuses on treating anxiety related disorders utilizing Mindfulness principals with the integration of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I feel strongly about the connection between the mind and body and the importance of treating a person as a whole which is why I offer a holistic treatment approach to treating anxiety. I will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan to meet your needs!
For almost ten years, I’ve worked closely with parents of babies and young children as they build healthy, secure attachments. As a preschool teacher, parent educator and group facilitator, I’ve seen how early relationships can be complicated by trauma, postpartum mood disorder, or by parents feeling ill-equipped to meet their babies’ needs. In 2014, I became a certified parent-infant coach.
As a therapist, I continue to work with families as well as with individuals looking to improve relationships, heal trauma, and find meaning in daily life. I earned my Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, where I studied depth psychology. This perspective values both conscious and unconscious activity, such as dreams, imagination and creativity.
My training includes work with adults, couples and adolescents at the Community Counseling and Education Center in Santa Barbara and with babies, toddlers and parents at the Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center in Oak View. At VCC, I see adults and couples in an intimate office in downtown Ventura and conduct parent-child work at a beautiful, sunlit playroom in Oak View.
I often work with individuals who suffer from trauma, depression, grief and loss (including death, divorce and relocation), alcohol and drug dependency, and who desire fulfillment, connection and a sense of deep purpose.
Living with chronic pain challenges you every day. From the moment you wake up, you have thoughts about how painful the rest of your day will be. Throughout the day, you find yourself getting irritated quickly at yourself and at those around you. Activities you once enjoyed, might now be causing excruciating pain. Yet, you are a fighter, you keep moving, you refuse to let go of those daily activities that seem to work as a double edge sore at this stage in your life. And this is why I’m here, to help you become aware of your internal strengths and assist you in developing a toolbox kit with different strategies that will help you cope with chronic pain and the relational issues that come with it. In my role as a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, I’ve helped individuals develop a different perspective on the way this experience pain, I’ve assisted them in creating a mind body connection, and encouraged positive thinking with the end goal of increasing quality of life.
I received my master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University in Santa Barbara, California. My experience in Mindfulness, Positive Psychology and Cognitive Behavior Therapy allows me to work with individuals, families, and group.
Shannon K. Huckestein lives by the phrase, ‘with awareness comes change.’ Using a positive psychology perspective and a solution-focused approach, she creates a road map for her clients’ to conscious awareness. Shannon’s passion is personal growth, as well as the desire to guide others to move forward with their goals. As a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, a certified Health Coach, and a certified Positive Discipline Parenting Coach, she specializes in eating disorders, parenting skills, and family therapy. Given her own personal experience earlier in life as a young adult, she also works with clients who need guidance transitioning from teenager to early adulthood.