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Meet our wonderful team!  Our TalkaWhile team is comprised of trained and experienced clinicians and staff that are equipped to provide the needed therapy for "The Family."  Our team collaborates and works together to serve the family as a whole, through individual, couples/co-parenting, child and/or family therapy.  Each family member has distinct and separate personal challenges and struggles when living and interacting with a child with special needs and our therapy team is passionate about understanding each member's role and engagement with one another to empower each one to better deal with current and future challenges.    

Our Team

Meet our wonderful team!  Our Talk-a-While team is comprised of trained and experienced clinicians and staff that have a breadth of knowledge to provide the needed therapy for "The Family."  Our team collaborates and works together to serve the family as a whole, through individual, couples/co-parenting, child, parent-child interactive and family therapy. We specialize in supporting children, adolescents, and adults with a large range of social and emotional challenges including anxiety, depression, grief and loss, trauma, relationship and parenting issues, and life transitions.


We also focus on serving families that have children/adolescents with special needs including physical, developmental, behavioral/emotional, and sensory challenges including autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, ODD, learning difficulties and processing disorders. 

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Karina Tamayo, LMFT

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist 93557 

Director of Clinical Services

"Growing up with a sister with special needs and now working with many of these children has taught me that the simple pleasures and moments in life are experienced by slowing down, and seeing the world through a different lens.  I am grateful  every day for the opportunity to work with the special needs community because their unique perspectives, approaches, and outlooks make our schools, community, and world a better place." 

Karina, a co-founder of Talk-a-While, is responsible for the direct clinical management and oversight of our services and programs provided to our families.  She received her Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University.  She was born and raised in East Los Angeles in a large and loving Mexican family, and graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor of Art’s degree in Psychology.  Her passion for working with young children, adolescents, and their families stems from her upbringing in an inner-city community and from her awareness as a young child of the positive impact early intervention services, strong mentorship, and mental health support can have for families.  Her treatment approach is rooted in mutual respect, collaboration, and understanding her patient and family’s respective ethnic and family cultural background.  She strongly believes in the importance of establishing a strong therapeutic alliance, using evidence-based practices, and a strength-based approach in treatment.  She is often described as a natural with young children, is approachable, and easily connects with children of all ages who have been diagnosed with special needs.   

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Ashley Stokke, PsyD

Director of Psychological Assessment 26941

"I value and thoroughly enjoy working with children and their families.  Each family deserves to have a safe place to go that offers support, education, advocacy and a wide array of therapeutic services.  I truly believe in helping children develop their voice as they reach successes and overcome challenges, and look forward to supporting families in their unique journeys."

Ashley is a Licensed Psychologist who received her PsyD and Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from John F. Kennedy University.  She attended the University of Minnesota where she received her Bachelor of Art's degree in Psychology and a Minor in Sociology.  She has extensive experience providing evidence-based therapy for families, children, teens, parents, and the elderly.   

She has a wide-breadth of knowledge treating issues such as anxiety/depression, phase-of-life transitions, end-of-life, neurocognitive impairments and dementia, and substance abuse.  Her most recent work includes conducting psychological and psychoeducational assessments, and developing treatment plans to address various diagnosis including learning and behavioral issues, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, mood and personality disorders, anxiety, ODD, PTSD, gender dysphoria and psychotic disorders.  She enjoys co-leading group work with parents, social skills groups for young children, and support groups for families during life-transition stages.

            

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John "Yianni" Gianopulos, AMFT

Associate Marriage & Family Therapist 134724

Supervised by Karina Tamayo, LMFT 93557

“It took me a while to discover that there is an inner child in all of us, whose wants, needs, and voice matters. I enjoy working alongside children, teens, and adults to honor their inner worlds and help them find the care, support, and strategies they need to thrive.”

Yianni is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT) with a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University. He has worked as a therapist in the school and non-profit clinic settings, and has years of experience volunteering with children, teens, and adults in churches, schools, and summer camps. Having been raised in both the USA and Greece, he has a deep appreciation for the impact culture has on our values, communication styles, and relational dynamics. With a previous career in science and engineering, he is also familiar with the demands of Silicon Valley tech life. Yianni uses psychodynamic, person-centered, and family systems approaches in his work, and with children makes use of play therapy, bibliotherapy, and social & emotional coaching. His style is warm, attentive, and nonjudgmental, with a knack for connecting with children and adults alike.

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Amelia Glogowski, MSSA, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker 87881

"I believe that we thrive most when we are supported as unique individuals within our social context—i.e. within our families, friendships, and communities. That's why I love working not only with children and teens but also with caregivers, couples, and families. It is a privilege to work at an organization that honors both the individual and their social community, and to get to walk alongside families as they grow. "

Amelia is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who received her Master's of Social Science Administration (MSW equivalent) from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio.  She also attended the University of Chicago where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Comparative Human Development.  Prior to Talk-a-While, Amelia worked with children, teens, caregivers, and families in their own homes to help solve problems related to chronic disease management, the parent-child relationship, depression, anxiety, problematic sexual behavior, oppositional defiance, school avoidance, substance use, and more.  She also has experience working with couples.  Amelia sees the therapeutic relationship as the cornerstone of good therapy.  She is passionate about evidence-based practices but is flexible and attentive to what works for specific individuals.  She believes that all individuals and families have strengths that can be utilized in treatment.  Likewise, she believes that being neurodivergent comes with both strengths and challenges, and that neither one cancels out the other.

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Cassandra Monfared, AMFT

Associate Marriage & Family Therapist 116018

Supervised by Karina Tamayo, LMFT 93557

"After working over a decade in the mental health field, I found two concepts to be true: unconditional positive regard is one of the most healing ingredients of psychotherapy, and thoughts are powerful! Unconditional positive regard is the acceptance of the client, no matter what they do or think, believing that each client is inherently good. Thoughts and beliefs drive human behavior. Teaching clients the power of their thoughts and beliefs is advantageous to living a happy and healthy life. By targeting negative thoughts and beliefs, clients' thoughts become more adaptive and positive, and clients are able to move forward beyond their own mind's limitations. Clients become more at ease, more confident, resilient, and successful in their daily and future lives."

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Cassandra received her Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University and is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist supervised by Karina Tamayo. She has worked in a variety of settings including an elementary school, bereavement center, and private mental health practices as well as an Intensive Outpatient program. Cassandra’s therapeutic approach is eclectic, including various approaches such Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), Person-Centered Therapy and Psychodynamic Therapy. Cassandra molds therapeutic sessions for each unique client. She has a warm, accepting and likes a good joke. Cassandra works with a variety of clients with issue, such as depression, anxiety, grief, relationship challenges and self-esteem as well as generalized anxiety, transitions and more.

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Gabriel Perfecto, AMFT

Associate Marriage & Family Therapist 102337

Supervised by Karina Tamayo, LMFT 93557

"I believe that we thrive most when we are supported as unique individuals within our social context—i.e. within our families, friendships, and communities. That's why I love working not only with children and teens but also with caregivers, couples, and families. It is a privilege to work at an organization that honors both the individual and their social community, and to get to walk alongside families as they grow. "

Gabriel is a San Jose native who received his B.A. in Psychology at San Jose State University and M.A in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of San Francisco. Early in his career, he worked as an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapist supporting children and adolescence diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum disorder (ASD). After graduate school, he immediately worked with populations with severe mental illness and criminal justice history within the capacity of Full Service Partnership and Intensive Outpatient Programs in Santa Clara County. His experience covers a wide variety of clientele throughout the lifespan including clinical topics such as: mood disorders, trauma, substance use, relational/couples work, parenting skills, psychosis, high risk behaviors, suicidality, and crisis intervention. Gabriel primarily utilizes a person-centered/humanistic approach along with an eclectic background of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)/Trauma-Focused-CBT/CBT for psychosis, Motivational Interviewing, Solution-Focused, and Gottman Method in creating a connection with his clients and families.

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Ann K. Suzuki, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker 16712

"Having grown up a shy and anxious girl, I have learned to appreciate the value and importance of having a voice.  This is why I have a passion for empowering children, adolescents, parents (and adults) to effectively use their voice.  This voice is essential to developing healthy relationships and self-assuredness and, thus, a happy and fulfilling life."

Ann received her Master's degree in Social Work from San Jose State University, and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.  Prior to her social work degree, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from U.C. Santa Barbara.  She has over 30 years of clinical experience providing therapy to various age groups including children, adolescents, and adults. She has extensive experience working with adolescents and the challenges of their stage such as anxiety and stress, mood management, eating disorders, depression, peer relationships when transitioning from middle school to high school, and high school to college.  She enjoys working with parents through individual therapy and providing support group work for parents to better understand the family dynamics and external stressors that affect their children and teenagers.

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Danna Torres, LMFT

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist 123525

"Therapy is an open and inviting space where families and individuals can explore their worries, fears, goals, motivations and lack thereof.  In today's hardworking society it can be a challenge to give ourselves the space to express ourselves and process experiences without feeling like it's a weakness.  Having worked with a wide range of clients, I would love to be part of your journey to personal growth and family connectedness."

Danna was born and raised in the Los Angeles Area.  She attended Mount St Mary’s University in Los Angeles where she graduated with a M.S in Counseling Psychology and an Enlaces certification. ¡Enlaces! is a certificate program that is embedded into the Marriage & Family Therapy (MFT) program where clinicians are trained to apply and practice specific cultural frameworks and psychological terminology to support populations within the Spanish-speaking community.  Danna found her passion for behavioral work when she worked as an ABA interventionist, working in home and school-based settings with children diagnosed with ASD, ADHD, ODD and Conduct disorder.  Her clinical work has included supporting clients struggling with executive functioning, ADHD, anxiety, depression, interpersonal relationships and ASD.  She uses a combination of CBT and a person-centered approach when working with clients, meeting them where they are in the therapeutic process.  This creates a safe and trusting environment for work and progress to take place.

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Zoila Wichmann, LMFT

 Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist 113586

"All family members should have a space that is safe and nonjudgmental to better understand hurts and recognize positive and negative family cycles.  With time and support, parents and children can develop positive communications for a healthy family system where there is appropriate boundaries with empathy and compassion for all."

Zoila received her Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University, and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.  Prior to her therapy education, she received her Master's degree in Education from U.C. Berkeley and worked as a teacher where she learned that many students were unable to be present and focus within classrooms because of environmental stressors, past trauma, undiagnosed socio-emotional issues or learning disorders.  She has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, and families within a school-based setting, and worked with families who have children with special needs.  She enjoys couples and co-parenting work to create constructive and healthy communications, and develop realistic goals and expectations.  She works from a strength-based model, highlighting positive skills that each individual family member brings, while encouraging the development of new skills for individual and family growth.  She uses various therapy modalities with children, such as play and bibliotherapy, to foster connections and allow for expression and growth.

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Maritza Tamayo-Sarver, JD

Gottman Institute Bringing Baby Home Program, Certified Educator

CEO & Director of Business Operations

"Listening to our families and developing our services to ultimately strengthen each and every family that comes to our Center is important for me.  I am so fortunate to be part of this professional team who believes that healthy relationships make us stronger, and to be surrounded by inspiring families that make our community much brighter ."

Maritza, a co-founder of Talk-a-While, oversees the day to day operations of our Center to ensure the implementation of our vision, including employee/client relations, billing, payroll and general operational reporting.  She is also responsible for the hiring and management of administrative staff, policy/process implementation, and will assist with clinical recruitment.  In addition, she engages in promoting and developing partnerships and business relations with local organizations to better serve our families.

Support Staff

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" I am grateful to be part of this incredible center that supports individuals and families to develop healthier relationships with themselves, their family, and the community at large."

Maria Ambrosio

Office Manager

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