Tasha Oswald, PhD (she/her)
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, and Neurodiversity School.
Tasha identifies as a heterosexual, cisgender woman of Puerto Rican and European decent, born and raised in California.
Tasha has over 15 years of experience working with neurodivergent individuals and their families. She is Level 3 IFS Trained. 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 neurodivergent 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.
Cindy Brown, LPCC (she/her)
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (#5455)
Cynthia “Cindy” Brown is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. She has a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Walden University. Cindy identifies as a member of the LGBTQI community as a cis-gender Lesbian woman.
As an autism therapist, she is committed to working with neurodiverse clients and their families. Cindy has over 8 years of experience assisting clients in developing positive choices and healthy coping skills for their lives. Cindy is skilled at customizing her therapeutic approach to meet the individual needs of her clients.
Cindy is trained in TF-CBT, Cognitive Processing Therapy and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. She has extensive experience implementing evidence based modalities and applies Expressive Arts, person centered approach, narrative and motivational interviewing among others as she works with clients. Cindy recognizes the group experience not only helps the individual in group but builds a sense of community for the entire group.
Cindy believes it is a privilege to work with people as a therapist. Her passion helps her quickly build rapport with clients. She is compassionate, creative and happy to have the opportunity to work with clients.
When Cindy works with clients, she takes a holistic view of all the possible factors that are causing stress and discomfort for the client. Then she works with clients to build a “clinical map” to address areas identified by the client. Through this process she and clients become a team. This allows Cindy to assist clients in learning coping skills, help clients overcome strong negative feelings, increase self advocacy and increase successful experiences in their lives.
Erica Lee, PsyD (she/her)
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 (she/her)
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.
Danielle Sheppard, LPCC (she/her)
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (#444)
Danielle Sheppard is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. She has a master’s degree in Clinical Counseling from San Francisco State University with a specialization in career counseling and rehabilitation. She is also a Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP) and a certified Job and Career Transition and Development Coach (JCTC/JCDC). Danielle identifies as a cis-gender woman, Jewish heritage, mother of 2, and as a member of the LGBTQI community.
As a clinician, she is committed to working with neurodiverse clients and their families. Danielle has over 16 years of experience assisting individuals in taking the driver's seat in their own lives, empowering them to be more present and mindful in their lives and in their relationships with others, learning to observe themselves and how their actions are perceived by others.
Danielle specializes in strengths based and solution-focused approaches, mindfulness and narrative therapy, while utilizing a person-centered approach to meet the needs of each individual or family. She recognizes that every person or couple is different in terms of goals, aspirations, and the pursuit of happiness, and that everyone’s path to peace of mind is different. As such, she strives to help each of her clients realize their strengths, values, and ultimate potential. Danielle loves to help individuals see and express the strengths they often overlook in themselves, and finds it an honor to be witness to their journey.
Danielle approaches each client or couple as a unique story to hear and to learn together. She takes a holistic approach to therapy, often encouraging her clients to incorporate meditation and mindfulness into their work together. Danielle’s clients often rave about her natural intuition, down to earth, non-judgmental approach and love her balance of warmth, kindness and ability to provide life changing insight.
Alex Smith, MS (she/her)
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.