73 N. Palm Avenue, Suite F5 VCC@VenturaCommunityCounseling.com 805-791-9700

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 (VCC) offers Individual Therapy, Couples Therapy, therapy for Children and Adolescents, and Group Therapy


The Marriage and Family Therapist Interns below provide therapy services at Ventura Community Counseling.


Yesenia Larios

Professional PicI 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!

Melissa Lumley

I received a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. I started my training at Bridge Counseling in Las Vegas Nevada. At Bridge Counseling I learned a great deal about working with individuals who struggled with not only mental health issues, and day to day life issues, but who battled with addictions to substances such as alcohol and prescription medication. I learned that these symptoms were just the tip of the ice berg. It was at Bridge Counseling where I gained training and knowledge in mindfulness based practices. Research has found that mindfulness can actually cause the brain to change in significantly positive ways, bringing about a more satisfying life.

Eventually, I received a license as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor in Nevada. Life brought me back to California where I continued helping individuals struggling with addiction problems. Feeling called to pursue a license in Marriage and Family Therapy, and follow my passion for working with families and couples, I was fortunate to gain experience working with families in the foster care system. It is in working with families, children, and couples that I have gained knowledge and training in Attachment Therapy, trauma, human development, child development, and parenting. I have specialized training in attachment theory, including how attachment theory and mindfulness approaches intersect. My study of attachment theory informs my work with clients, helping them to better understand their relationship patterns and develop healthier and more authentic connections with others. The combination of life experience, education, soul searching, addiction counseling, family, and child therapy have brought me to where I am today. It brings me so much joy to help people see life through new eyes and with a different perspective. To guide people to a feeling of hopefulness when all felt loss, and a feeling of being understood without judgment. I hope to provide a safe container filled with hope, compassion, and understanding, for the purpose of healing and growth.

Lexi Heinzer

I received my M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. I have gained experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and families. My passion is helping families and couples through transitions and difficulties within their interpersonal relationships. I will join you on a journey to promote effective problem solving skills, active listening, growth, trust building, respect, and healing. I focus on pulling out strengths and building on those. Therapy is a process in which we learn together how to make small changes, in order to begin the upward arrow in the direction of happiness. Relationships can be the biggest support in ones life, or the biggest sore. Let’s work together to make your relationships something that you can cherish.

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.

I use Gottman techniques and approaches as well as Family Systems in order to help individuals gain insight into how their behaviors may be impacting the conflict within their system. This valuable insight is then used to learn ways to replace negative conflict patterns with positive interactions.

Each member of the system is going to explore the feelings of being emotionally connected, having a deeper relationship, and feeling trusted. I focus on making everyone feel authentically heard and help those express their emotion to one another.

Mary Sanchez

I received my M.S in Counseling Psychology (Marriage and Family Therapy) with a specialization in Family Mediation, at California Lutheran University.

I began my training at CLU Community Counseling Center, where I saw individuals, couples and children, helping them in many aspects in their life. Such as, anxiety, depression, sexuality, maladaptive patterns etc. I also provided teen CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) groups, process group, and classroom based CBT interventions at a children’s middle school. Teens learned about their feelings, regulating skills, self- care, negative thing styles, coping skills, and many other things. Teens were provided a safe place to share about their thoughts and worries.

Later I transitioned to a Non-profit organization working with families in the foster care system. Especially working with birth parents in the process of reunifying with their children. In this organization I facilitated family therapeutic visits, individual therapy, as well as group therapy (psychoeducation on trauma, attachment, milestones/stages, self- care, grief and loss etc.). In addition, working with kinships and seeing the other side of the coin, while providing psychoeducation and support.

Throughout my experiences, in the field I am a big advocate for exploring our attachment, and making sense of our past. Not only for ourselves and our relationships, but for our children and generations to come. There’s a difference between dwelling on the past, and exploring it with a purpose.

Together we can explore unconscious beliefs, patterns and wants. Knowing our unconscious patters beliefs etc. can help us break generational patterns with our children. I provide a safe, caring and compassionate environment in which you can identify and explore these issues. The goal is to provide you with insight and tools, to navigate life’s current stress.

When working with clients I emphasize Attachment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, Family System, and other Multidisciplinary approaches.

Bilingual Spanish/ English

Yesenia Garcia

I am a current undergraduate student at California State University Channel Islands where I am working on completing a B.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Spanish with a Certificate in Spanish Translation. I will be graduating this upcoming May 2018 and hope to further my education by attending graduate school in Fall 2018 to obtain a M.S. Counseling (with an Option in Marriage and Family Therapy) with an Emphasis in Latino Counseling. My hope is that through this education and experiences like the opportunity I have today to join Ventura Community Counseling as an Intern, I will become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).

I possess a strong believe that while therapy may be challenging for many, it is a way to heal our inner pain and a tool that will help us guide a healthy life-style. From a very young age I knew I wanted to go into therapy and have seen therapy as a way to better one’s lifestyle by helping us gain control and empowerment in our inner self. Growing up in a society where therapy has always been looked down upon, has served to only encourage my desire of becoming an LMFT to better help the individual in need who may be struggling with themselves to seek therapy.

While I have little experience in therapy given that I am only an undergraduate, I strongly believe that my work at VCC will help guide my future goals and accomplishments by providing me with hands on experience on what it’s like to create and facilitate a support group. Although I will not be seeing clients, I am extremely excited to join the team and help with the support group titled, “Managing Interpersonal Relationships.” My goal is that through such support group clients will feel the sense of belonging, trust, and that they gain a better understanding and skills as to how to manage their interpersonal relationships.

Jacquelyn Toth

KPX_5728I believe therapy is a courageous and often daunting step to take toward healing. Whether a person is looking to recover from painful experiences or struggling to reclaim their sense of self and purpose in life or in relationships, therapy is a sacred and special collaboration between the therapist and client.  As your therapist, I offer a warm and compassionate approach to our meetings and guide us to create a safe and powerful place for healing to take place. I bring a uniquely extensive background of clinical experience spanning over 20 years and continue to work with individuals recovering from sexual, physical, or family trauma (like divorce, illness, or abuse), addiction and codependency, a broken relationship or family, or a loss of identity due to significant change in one’s life. I often work with individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, and grief, or those who feel lost in the margins. My clients range from adolescents, teens, and adults seeking individual, family, or couples therapy.

I hold a Masters in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in depth psychotherapy from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Depth psychotherapy widens the frame of a person’s story to include what is relevant from the past, present, and imagined future. It also pays attention to not only what is seen and heard, but what is alive in the deep sea of the unconscious, which holds valuable resources for healing and managing life. I work with clients to gently explore the unconscious through the development of a strong therapeutic relationship where the client’s unique story is allowed to emerge at its own pace. My additional training and experience in Yoga Therapy, Career Counseling, DBT, and community mental health is incorporated with depth-oriented tools like dream work, stories, art, and body awareness to explore connections between physical and emotional symptoms and to re-align the relationship clients have with wounded pieces of themselves.