Our Teachers

Faith Mischel-Golden

Faith-Mischel-Golden_NEWOne hundred years from now
It won’t matter
What kind of car I drove
What kind of house I lived in
How much money I had in the bank
Nor what my cloths looked like
BUT
The world may be a little better
Because, I was important
In the life of a child
~ Forest Witcraft~

The above poem is what Ms. Golden has lived by the majority of her life. Her major in college was a natural one for someone who always loved kids, Home Economics with an emphasis on Child Development. When she graduated, she graduated with her degree and lifetime teaching credential in Home Economics. After graduation, Ms. Golden continued her course work with epidemiology and health science classes to fulfill her interest in all things medical, which she inherited from her father. When her course work was finished in this area, she took on a self-taught obstetrics course to become a natural childbirth Lamaze teacher, a course she taught for 12 years while she raised her son and daughter.

When a fellow Lamaze teacher asked her, Ms. Golden took a job working with pregnant and parenting mentally disabled adults and found the work so fascinating that she went back to school to get a masters degree and credential to teach Early Childhood Special Education.

Ms. Golden taught special needs adults and children for over 20 years and worked with over 2400 families, spending the last 10 years with Los Angeles Unified School District. In 1998, Ms. Golden left the school district to open It´s Aparent, Parenting and Behavior Specialists in Calabasas so she could work with individual families and parents with parenting skills and behavior issues and to empower them to be the parents to their children that they always wanted to be. She also wanted to help all families whose children had special needs to navigate the special education system, and to make a difference in the life of a child. In January 2012, Ms. Golden moved It’s Aparent to Encino and expanded the Special Education part of the business with the Hand-in-Hand Special Education Guidance Program. She and her husband, Avery, added three more grandchildren that same year to to their family, making a total of four grandchildren, three girls and a boy.

Diana Lynn Barnes Psy. D LMFT
Diana Lynn Barnes Psy. D LMFTDiana Lynn Barnes, Psy.D LMFT, Center for Postpartum Health, is an internationally recognized expert on the assessment and treatment of perinatal mood disorders. A frequently interviewed consultant to the media as well as an international trainer and presenter on all facets of perinatal depression, Dr. Barnes’ has used her own experience with a life-threatening 3 year struggle with postpartum depression to educate women and their families, clinicians, physicians and other health care providers about assessment and treatment practices, and the critical need for early intervention

Diana Lynn Barnes, Psy.D. has written a number of academic papers on various facets of assessment and treatment. She co-authored with George Parnham, legal defense counsel for Andrea Yates, a position paper for the PSI website entitled, “Perinatal Mood Disorders: The Legal Arena and Women’s Reproductive Mental Health Specialist.” Her papers have appeared in publications including The Journal of Systemic Therapies, The Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association, and The Psychotherapy Networker, a publication of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Dr. Barnes is currently completing three home study courses for Western Schools in Boston.

She is often asked to review other authors’ manuscripts on maternal mental health and in 2005, Dr. Barnes wrote the forward for Eyes without sparkle, by Elaine Hanzak, In 2007, her own book, The journey to parenthood: myths, reality and what really matters, co-authored with Leigh Balber, was published by Radcliffe (Oxford). This book arose out of the class that Dr. Barnes teaches for expectant parents at both Tarzana Hospital and Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in the Los Angeles area. Dr. Barnes has also completed a training manual for clinicians and childbirth educators called “Transition to Parenthood: A course for Expectant Parents: Exploring the psychological and emotional journey of pregnancy and the postpartum period.”

In addition to a busy clinical practice that specializes in women’s maternal mental health, Diana Lynn Barnes, Psy.D is a nationally known forensic expert in women’s reproductive mental health and regularly consults with defense counsel on cases of infanticide, pregnancy denial, neonaticide, and child abuse. She has been involved in cases in Florida, Wisconsin, Texas, and California. Dr. Barnes is also an assistant adjunct professor at Pierce College and Valley College in Los Angeles. Her work as a psychotherapist who specializes in maternal mental health has been featured in several different television segments, most recently, a segment for KCET public television on a nationally syndicated show called “Life and Times.”

For the last two years, Dr. Barnes has been consulting with Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Valencia, California, to implement a comprehensive pregnancy and postpartum screening program, which she designed for the hospital. This “model” program will bring together hospital, community and health care providers in a collaborative effort to identify women at risk for mood disorder during their pregnancies, treat them, and follow-up in the early postpartum months so as to eliminate symptoms and return them to functioning.

Diana Lynn Barnes, Psy.D is a fellow of the American Psychotherapy Association, and a clinical member of Postpartum Support International, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Dr. Barnes is the 2007 recipient of the Jane Honikman Award for her outstanding service in the field of child-bearing illness and maternal mental health.

Mauricio Baker-Mason
Mauricio 0572Graduted Wesleyan University, Class of ’89, with a B.A. in Psychology. He currently works as a Service Coordinator with the Early Start Program at the North Los Angeles County Regional Center coordinating services for developmentally delayed and “at-risk” infants and toddlers. His 24 – Year career has encompassed work in traditional and experiential education with both youth and adults of diverse abilities. A significant part of Mauricio’s career includes program development, implementation and management. He is the father of three teens.
Vicki Schmidt RN, MFT, LCCE

Baby lying on soft cover.Ms. Schmidt has spent her entire adult life promoting the physical, emotional, psychological and general health of families. This has included working as a family therapist, a registered nurse, and teaching prepared childbirth classes.  After receiving her bachelor’s degree in nursing from UCLA, Ms. Schmidt worked for several years with high risk pregnant moms, as well as new mothers and babies at UCLA Hospital. In addition to many years of hospital nursing, she has had vast
experience in the home health field. Vicki earned her Masters Degree in Family Therapy and has been practicing as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for over 18 years.
As a mother of a young adult that has special needs, Ms. Schmidt understands the emotional, medical, and physical support that parents and families deserve and is passionate about working with others to provide this to them. This has included processing any ongoing grief issues, parent education, and ways to move forward with day-to-day issues that go along with having a child with special needs. She also enjoys assisting parents in learning to balance the requirements of special need children while still meeting the needs of the whole family. For several years Vicki was part of a multi-modality therapeutic team at a child development center in Encino. She worked with the parents of children receiving early intervention services, and she also helped develop and run a social skills group for school aged children. Ms. Schmidt is also currently a Lamaze certified childbirth educator (for over thirty years now) as well as being a faculty member on two Lamaze affiliated teacher training programs.


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