Gina Polesetsky, M.A., LMFT
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California, #133468. I earned my M.A. in clinical psychology with an MFT emphasis at Pepperdine University. Building on my past work as an educator, I began my journey as a therapist working with children and adolescents at a school-based site, and with individuals, families, and couples at a community mental health agency. In addition to my MFT and clinical experience, I have completed Level 1 and Level 2 training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy — to enhance my work with couples, and EMDR Basic Training — to offer an additional evidence-based tool when working with trauma. I am also trained in ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), which I find to be a good fit for working with a variety of issues, particularly anxiety and life transitions.
Therapy is my third career — like most people, I didn't quite find my calling after four years of higher ed. I began my journey working as an educator for three years teaching English, theater, and coaching cheerleading for junior high and high school students. The demands of parenting while teaching (I don't know how teachers do it!) led me to transition into the world of entrepreneurship and creating a boutique social justice oriented entertainment agency that I led for 20 years. My agency specialized in representing speakers and entertainers for events with colleges, universities, corporations, community groups, and the military. During much of that time, I also served as the president of Girls Fight Back, an organization dedicated to addressing violence, sexual harassment, and sexual assault prevention for women, girls, and the communities in which they live. As part of my work with Girls Fight Back, I developed programs designed to teach the skills of empowerment and healthy boundaries to youth, college students, and corporate audiences. In addition, I have been serving my community as a Humanist Chaplain since 2016 —performing wedding ceremonies, end of life celebrations, and engaging in chaplain work with prisoners. As I flow through life, I am grateful to use what I have learned along the way in my work as a therapist.
Equally important to my career journey, I draw from my experience as a Latina woman in a multicultural marriage, a person who has lived through childhood trauma, who has experienced divorce and single motherhood raising a neurodivergent child, as well as remarriage and the beautiful complications of being a stepparent and co-creating a blended family. Most importantly, I am a person who knows that life, sometimes . . . it’s complicated. And, that’s ok.
In my free time, I enjoy travel adventures, playing the piano and the banjo, reading, playing board games, video games, and puzzles of all kinds, painting, volunteering in my community, watching classic movies, maintaining a daily yoga and meditation practice, and spending time with my partner, our kids, and our three sincerely awesome dogs.
Recent media appearances below: