Tasha Oswald, PhD
Founder & Director of Open Doors Therapy
Licensed Psychologist (#30423)
Dr. Tasha Oswald is a passionate autism therapist, researcher, and advocate. That’s why she founded Open Doors Therapy in Palo Alto, CA. Tasha has over 15 years of experience working with neurodiverse individuals and their families. She has Level 2 IFS Training. She graduated with a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Oregon. Then, she went on to work at the UC Davis MIND Institute, a world-renowned research and treatment center for neurodevelopmental disabilities for 5 years. Tasha has specialized training in developmental and clinical psychology, as well as cognitive neuroscience.
As an autism therapist and respected autism expert, Tasha works with teens and adults who are neurodiverse with autism traits or a diagnosis. She finds it an honor and a joy to play a role in helping them gain skills, confidence, and inspiration to move forward in their adult life. Tasha truly enjoys getting to know her clients as individuals. And, she deeply values their uniqueness and all that they bring to this world!
Tasha is passionate about facilitating groups for high-functioning individuals with autism. She has created a unique group therapy opportunity to best suit the needs of her clients. First, she begins by selectively matching clients to a group of other individuals who have similar challenges, skills and interests. This fosters a sense of connection between group members so they will feel more comfortable together. Then, she teaches social skills, self-help and self-advocacy skills, and coping strategies to help her clients navigate life on the autism spectrum.
She is also dedicated to working with parents and other caregivers who wish for a brighter future for their teenager or adult child with autism traits.
Alex Smith, MS
Client Care Coordinator
As the Client Care Coordinator, Alex is the first person of contact when you reach out to schedule an appointment.
Alex received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Azusa Pacific University. Then, she went on to receive her Master's degree in Child Development and Family Studies with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy from Purdue University.
She has prior experience working in the mental health field as a therapist and understands that taking the first steps in starting the therapy process can be scary. So, Alex will be right there with you to support you as you navigate the beginning of your therapy journey.
Erica Lee, PsyD
Licensed Psychologist (#30005)
Dr. Erica Lee is a licensed psychologist and licensed marriage and family therapist, with a Psy.D. from Azusa Pacific University. She has 11 years of clinical experience. 6.5 of these years include working with neurodiverse clients. While she has worked with both typical and neurodiverse clients, her passion is helping individuals with autism overcome emotional issues and the challenges they face which are related to their autism.
Erica works with teens, adults, individuals, parents, families. She also facilitates group therapy. She has treated a variety of emotional issues including anxiety, depression, trauma, family or interpersonal conflict, adjustment difficulties, and others. Since all individuals are unique, her treatment style varies depending on the age and personality of an individual, the issues the person is struggling with, and how much structure a person prefers. Initially, regardless of treatment style, her focus is always first on compassionately connecting and understanding someone. So, she will listen and work hard to truly understand a person's experience and perspective of the world. Then, she will use the information they share to inform their treatment, providing gentle and empathic guidance to help a person develop new skills, or help them to consider new options for interacting with the world.
During autism therapy, she uses various theories and treatment models, often including elements from Roger, Adler, Bowen, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Given an environment where people feel understood and accepted, she believes there is no limit to their potential for healing and growth.
Personally, she a gentle, kind, and compassionate person, with a quiet, reflective temperament. In her free time, she enjoys visiting with friends and family, reading, and enjoying the outdoors. Erica believes all of us are always learning and growing in many ways socially and emotionally, relationships make growth happen. As an autism therapist, she strives to create a safe and nurturing therapeutic relationship that promotes this learning. She truly believes this can lead to incredible, positive change in one's life.
Lauren Perez, LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (#90753)
Lauren Perez is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has a master’s degree in Counseling from California State University Fullerton. As an autism therapist, she is passionate about working with neurodiverse clients and their families. Lauren has 7 years of experience helping clients of all ages who have autism and other special needs. She uses a variety of different counseling approaches in individual, group, and family therapy, and is skilled at tailoring her therapeutic approach to meet the needs of her clients.
Lauren is a certified trauma therapist and a trauma-informed yoga teacher. She is trained in EMDR and TF-CBT. So, she specializes in using a trauma-informed lens to help her clients and their families during trauma treatment.
With vast experience implementing evidence-based modalities, Lauren skillfully applies Play Therapy, Sand Tray, Art/Creative interventions, motivational interviewing, solution-focused therapy, among others. She is compassionate, intuitive, and quickly builds rapport with clients.
When Lauren works with clients she looks at all the factors that are causing them pain and stress, then she teaches them coping skills to help them overcome adversity and discomfort. Lauren works with her clients to learn new social and self-advocacy skills to increase social, personal, academic, and career success all while honoring their culture and experience.