Shannon Lerach, Ph.D.

Shannon Lerach was born and raised in San Diego, California, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of San Diego with Majors in Interdisciplinary Humanities and Philosophy, and a Minor in Psychology. She then received her Masters and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology graduating Magna Cum Laude from the California School of Professional Psychology and became a Licensed Clinical Psychologist.

Shannon has spent her professional career working for a variety of county, non-profit and charitable organizations, including Kearny Mesa Juvenile Hall, Juvenile Forensic Services, The Chadwick Center for Children and Families at Rady’s Children’s Hospital, and the Fred Finch Youth Center. Her professional career has focused on serving the underserved and disenfranchised, and she has specialized in working with children and adolescents and their families who have experienced abuse and trauma.

Most recently, Shannon spent a year dedicating her time and energy working in Liberia, a war-torn country that is still recovering from a 14-year civil war that ended in 2003, providing trauma-focused therapy to women who had experienced sexual violence, children, and former child soldiers and ex-combatants.

In 2012, Shannon returned to her hometown of Solana Beach to live and open up a private practice, where she works as a trauma-specialist working with children, adolescents, adults and families utilizing therapeutic approaches including Child-Centered Play Therapy, Attachment-informed therapy, family-systems therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDRIA Certified), Mindfulness and parental coaching. Shannon will officially receive her Registered Play Therapist Certification in December 2014 through the University of California, San Diego.

Additionally, Shannon specializes in supporting families going through divorce and custody disputes, providing a variety of forensic and clinical services, such as 730 Evaluations, co-parenting, mediation, individual and family therapeutic services, to help ease transitions and minimize trauma for changing and blended families.

Shannon has had the good fortune to have hands on training by leaders in the field of psychology, including Dr. Yanon Volcani & Dr. Gary Landreth for Child-Centered Play Therapy, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk in Traumatic Stress Studies, Dr. Dan Siegel on the topic of Mindsight and Neurobiology, Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. on the topic of Whole-Brain Integration for Children & Adolescents, Dr. Constance Dahlenberg in the field of family violence and child abuse, Dr. Don Viglione in Personality Assessment, and Dr. Russel Gold & Dr. Neil Ribner in the field of Child Custody Evaluations and Mediation.

Shannon was appointed to the San Diego County Mental Health Board in July of 2014 and serves on the board of the Live Well San Diego Lions Club. In her spare time Shannon loves international travel, taking photographs and making intricate photo albums, and providing volunteer counseling services abroad. Shannon is a triathlete, surfer and outdoor enthusiast and lives happily in Solana Beach with her four spoiled dogs.


Every person must choose how much truth he can stand.
— Irvin D. Yalom, When Nietzsche Wept

Shannon Lerach surrounded by the children she provided trauma-informed counseling services to on Peace Island in Liberia.

Shannon Lerach surrounded by the children she provided trauma-informed counseling services to on Peace Island in Liberia.

Shannon Lerach with one of her trauma-focused recovery groups in Liberia.

Shannon Lerach with one of her trauma-focused recovery groups in Liberia.

Shannon Lerach using the Mirroring Technique to treat phantom limb pain at the Group of 77 in Liberia.

Shannon Lerach using the Mirroring Technique to treat phantom limb pain at the Group of 77 in Liberia.

Shannon Lerach (front row on right) with Dan Siegel (back row, third from left) and other participants in the Mindsight Immersion Weekend, 2013.

Shannon Lerach (front row on right) with Dan Siegel (back row, third from left) and other participants in the Mindsight Immersion Weekend, 2013.

Education 

  • The Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute, Boston, MA., Certificate Program in Traumatic Stress Studies (October 2014 - May 2015)
  • University of California, San Diego, Registered Play Therapy Certification Program (2010-present), Completion of Certificate in December 2014
  • The Center for Bilingual Multicultural Studies – Centro Bilingue, Cuervanaca, Mexico, Spanish Language Bilingual Certification (October 2010)
  • California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, Magna Cum Laude (August 2008): Dissertation Title: An Investigation into the Psychological Constructs of Adolescent Female Offenders who Prostitute as Compared to Other Adolescent Female Offenders
  • California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, M.A. in Clinical Psychology (December 2006)
  • University of San Diego, Bachelor of Arts, Majors in Interdisciplinary Humanities, Philosophy, Minor in Psychology, Magna Cum Laude (May 2003)

Licenses

  • Licensed Clinical Psychologist, PSY23705 (2010-present)
  • Registered Psychologist, RPT2008177 (2008-2011)

Certifications

Additional Training 

  • 12 Whole Brain Strategies for Children and Adolescents: Revolutionize Treatment for Anxiety, ADHD, Emotion Regulation, Executive Function & Other Challenging Behaviors with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., October 2014
  • You Can Heal Your Heart After Grief: Finding Peace After Break-Ups, Divorce, Death and Other Loses by David Kessler, October 2014
  • EMDR & The Art of Psychotherapy with Children by Dr. Robbie Adler Tapia, August 23-24, 2014
  • Psychology and Family Law by Dr. Russell Gold, January 2014-May 2014
  • Mindsight Immersion Weekend by Dr. Dan Siegel, The Lifespan Learning Institute, June 21-23, 2013
  • EMDR Basic Training Parts 1 & 2, EMDR Institute, January 11-13, 2013 & June 28-30, 2013
  • Business Essentials in Private Practice, Relationship Training Institute, May 2012
  • Gangs: Latest Trends and Strategies, San Diego Country Department of Education, January 2012
  • Cycle of Violence for Adolescents and Adults, Association for Advanced Training in the Behavioral Sciences, January 2012
  • Helping Young Children Flourish, Association for Advanced Training in the Behavioral Sciences, January 2012
  • A Mind at a Time: America’s Top Learning Expert Shows How Every Child Can Succeed, Association for Advanced Training in the Behavioral Sciences, January 2012
  • Attachment Parenting, Grossmont College Foster, Adoptive, and Kinship Education Program, August 2011
  • Child Parent Psychotherapy by Patricia Van Horn, September 2009
  • MMPI-2/MMPI-2-RF by Yossef S. Ben-Porath, Ph.D., November 2008
  • Mood & Behavior Issues in Children & Adolescents, June 2008
  • Threat Assessment & Prevention, March 2008
  • Youth and Young Adults: Violence Assessment, Prevention & Threat Management, January 2008
  •  Why Children Hurt Themselves, September 2007
  • Clinical and Ethical Issues in Mandated Abuse Reporting, September 2007
  •  Topics for Licensure: Domestic Violence, Spring 2007
  •  Theory & Practice of Psychotherapy: Child Play Therapy by Dr. Yanon Volcani, Spring 2006
  • Family Violence: Child Abuse by Constance Dahlenberg, Fall 2006
  • Using Mindfulness in Psychotherapy, Spring 2005
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy & Borderline Personality Disorder, Spring 2006

Professional Activities and Memberships 

  • Psi Chi, The National Honor Society in Psychology
  • American Psychological Association, Member
  • San Diego Psychological Association, Member
  • Society for Personality Assessment, Member
  • California Psychological Association, Member
  • The American Psychology and Law Society, Member
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Member