Wes Pederson, Ph.D.
Dr. Pederson (PSY 26040) is a licensed clinical psychologist and co-founder of The Wise Mind Institute. He offers individual and group psychotherapy to adults and adolescents as well as training and supervision to post-doctoral interns. With advanced training and experience in existential-humanistic therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Radically Open DBT (RO-DBT), he specializes in the treatment of substance abuse, chronic depression or anxiety, disorders of over-control or under-control, and long standing life and relationship issues.
The primary focus of his work is the process of self-realization, or embodying one's authentic self in the deepest and most effective sense, which has been the focus of his research and personal practice for many years.
Chris Harrison, Ph.D.
Dr. Harrison (PSY 23743) is a licensed clinical psychologist and co-founder of The Wise Mind Institute. He specializes in the treatment of dual diagnosis disorders and offers training and supervision to the Institute's post-doctoral Psychological Assistants.
Chris has served as an Adjunct Faculty member at the California Institute of Integral Studies and Sofia University. He’s the former Clinical Director of The Sequoia Center, an alcohol and drug addiction treatment facility. Chris began his work with addictive class disorders at the Stanford University School of Medicine, where he helped to develop and deliver a smoking cessation protocol for a National Cancer Institute funded study on nicotine dependence in adolescents.
In addition to his interest in addiction research and treatment, Chris is passionate about helping others to explore and implement practical methods to cultivate peace and wellness in daily life.
Alison Alderdice, Psy.D.
Dr. Alison Alderdice (PSY 28838) is a licensed clinical psychologist and earned her doctorate from the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium. She has provided therapy in diverse training settings including: Palo Alto VA, Stanford Eating Disorders Clinic, Notre Dame De Namur University Counseling Center, Community Health Awareness Council, and Egan Junior High School. Her pre-doctoral internship was at Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center in Brooklyn, NY.
Alison’s therapy is guided by DBT, existential-humanistic therapy, and CBT. Her work is flexible and collaborative, based on her patient’s needs and preferences in concert with her knowledge and insights. The common theme throughout her work is an emphasis on mindfulness and compassion. Alison’s therapeutic style is client-centered, warm, sincere, and non-judgmental.
Alison specializes in work with adolescent girls and young adult women. Her dissertation was on the pressures girls face in the US and how those pressures influence girl-to-girl aggression and bullying. This topic combined her passions for understanding and promoting health and resilience in girls and women and for examining how marginalization impacts mental health. Alison is deeply committed to honoring all forms of human diversity in her work and promoting equality and dignity through psychological services.
Jennifer Mason, Ph.D.
Dr. Jennifer Mason (PSY 27581) is a licensed clinical psychologist and earned her doctorate from Palo Alto University. She has provided individual and group therapy in a variety of training settings including the Gronowski Center in Los Altos, Goodwill Wellness Center in San Jose, the Homeless Veteran Rehabilitation Program at the Menlo Park VA, and the Fargo VA in North Dakota. Prior to joining the WMI team, Jen served as Assistant Director at the Gronowski Center. She completed specialized certificate training in neuropsychological assessment as part of her graduate training and is completing certification in existential-humanistic psychotherapy at the Existential-Humanistic Institute in San Francisco. Before choosing to complete her graduate training, Jen worked within the corporate arena in the Bay Area for over 10 years.
Jen characterizes herself as a life-long student of the “human condition.” Rather than “fixing” a person or “curing” a diagnosis, she seeks to create strong partnerships with each client she works with to help foster more adaptive ways of navigating the inherent difficulties of living. Any number of concerns may prompt an individual to seek therapy. From confronting issues such as loss, anxiety, despair, anger, and interpersonal problems, to facing significant life decisions or struggling with work-related stress, many factors can prevent a person from engaging in their lives more fully. Creating a safe place to explore, understand and respond to whatever concerns an individual is faced with is crucial when embarking upon the therapeutic process. This is the environment Jen hopes to engender with every client she encounters. Utilizing a warm and flexible interpersonal style, Jen provides short-term and long-term therapy to adults and draws from a variety of modalities including attachment, contemporary psychodynamic, existential-humanistic, gestalt, and DBT, depending upon the needs of the individual.
Cindy Sauln, Ph.D.
Dr. Cindy Sauln (PSY27677) is a licensed clinical psychologist and earned her doctorate from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. She has provided therapy in a variety of training settings including Goodwill Counseling Center in San Jose, Community Health Awareness Council in Mountain View, on-site at Springer Elementary School, Blach Middle School, and Mountain View High School as well as in her own private practice in Los Altos and Redwood City.
Cindy holds many professional certifications and her work is guided by her advanced training in existential-humanistic therapy and spirituality studies, along with training in behavioral therapies (DBT and CBT), dream studies, and mindfulness practices. She has a love for helping clients of all ages who are seeking change and symptom relief to successfully navigate periods of crisis and transition in their lives. Depression, anxiety, grief, low self-esteem, spirituality, issues of attention and mindfulness, substance abuse recovery, parenting teens and adult children, and teaching organization and planning skills are all within her scope of practice. She often works with other professionals who may be part of a treatment team, such as other therapists, psychiatrists, and school resources to ensure the best outcome for her clients.
Prior to becoming a therapist, she spent 25 years as an executive in the computer industry while raising her own family, which adds to her understanding of some of the unique needs and challenges of Silicon Valley clients. Her personal values of kindness, compassion, collaboration, and service are at the core of her therapeutic practice. She is committed to helping her clients to live more fulfilling and happier lives.
Karin Sponholz, Ph.D.
Dr. Karin Sponholz (PSY 21407) is a licensed clinical psychologist. She earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Dr. Sponholz has provided individual, couples and group psychotherapy in a variety of settings including Notre Dame De Namur University (NDNU) and the University of Southern California (USC). Prior to joining the WMI team, she served as the Director of Counseling, Health, and Disability Services at NDNU.
Karin’s therapeutic style is client-centered and guided by the following modalities: Existential-Humanistic, Jungian, Psychoanalytic, and DBT. She is deeply committed to creating a safe place for people to explore and gain insight into their issues.
Karin specializes in the treatment of trauma, depression, anxiety, relationship issues, identity development, and issues related to life transitions. In addition, Karin is passionate about training and providing supervision to interns of all levels.
Pronouns: she, her, hers
Benjamin Evare, Ph.D.
Dr. Benjamin Evare earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Palo Alto University. His clinical training has included a diversity of settings including community mental health clinics, government agencies, and schools. He completed his pre-doctoral internship at Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC) in Mountain View, CA where he worked with clients in a range of developmental stages, including children, adolescents, adults, and families. He is currently registered as a Psychological Assistant (PSB94022876) practicing under the supervision of Dr. Chris Harrison (PSY 23743).
Ben believes that therapy, at the core, must be grounded in fostering compassion for self and others. He believes that many of us have critical internal thoughts that prevent us from reaching for our deepest goals. Drawing from an attachment perspective, he believes that fostering self-compassion gives one the strength to take risks. He has found that mindfulness practice can be a powerful part of the change process and can allow us to observe and detach from unhelpful streams of thought. Layered on top of Ben’s orientation of compassion, he believes that DBT skills provide an avenue through which clients can effectively manage emotions, take steps towards reaching their goals, and live a life with the integrity of one’s values in alignment with daily living.
Ben’s research and clinical experience have been in the areas of compassion, mindfulness, empathy, emotional competence, attachment, caregiving, and parenting. Through this experience, he has come to value the nuances of tailoring therapy to the unique needs of each client. Ben believes that through practice we can foster new patterns that, when repeated, can lead to a more fulfilling life.
Michael Miyasato, Psy.D.
Dr. Michael Miyasato earned his M.A. and Psy.D. from John F Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, CA. He has provided therapy services in a wide range of settings including community mental health clinics, schools, forensic day programs, probation, and several non-profits. He completed his pre-doctoral internship at Girls Incorporated of Alameda County in Oakland, CA focusing on adolescents, young adults, and their families. His dissertation focused on how to improve mental health services for Asian Americans. Michael is currently a registered post-doctoral Psychological Assistant (PSB 94022816) at The Wise Mind Institute, under the supervision of Dr. Wes Pederson (PSY 26040).
Michael believes that therapy is rooted in acceptance and understanding. Life can be difficult and we aren't always given the support and tools needed to navigate it. He believes that, at their core, all people are doing their best to succeed and create a life worth living. However, there are many obstacles that get in the way of our progress toward this goal. Michael sees his role in therapy to be like a co-pilot; sometimes teaching and offering direct guidance, other times simply accompanying his clients through difficult times so they aren’t making the journey alone.
Michael’s approach to psychotherapy is based in authenticity and compassion. From this foundation, he provides his clients with the necessary skills and insight to improve their lives. He believes in being flexible and collaborative; focusing on his clients’ goals while integrating his own wisdom and insights. Through a combination of pragmatic skills drawn from DBT and other disciplines, and compassionate acceptance, he is committed to helping his clients develop the strength and inspiration to thrive.
Annalisa Siagura, Ph.D.
Annalisa Siagura, Ph.D., is currently registered as a Psychological Assistant (PSB 94023083) at The Wise Mind Institute practicing under the supervision of Dr. Christopher T. Harrison (PSY 23743).
She is fluent in both Italian and Spanish. Dr. Siagura completed her internship at Girls Incorporated of Alameda County in Oakland providing assessment and therapeutic services to children, adolescents, and families who are Spanish speaking only and facing cultural stressors. She developed expertise as a therapist in PTSD, depression, parent-child conflict, suicidal ideation, and anxiety disorders.
Dr. Siagura also specialized in neuropsychological assessment at “La Sapienza University of Rome – Sant’Andrea Clinical Hospital” in Italy and as a Visiting Research scholar at The Taub Institute – Columbia University, NY. She defended her Ph.D thesis with a research project in collaboration with the Psychiatry Department at University of California San Diego investigating the thermal fluctuations and facial emotion expressions during a gambling task related to risk-taking behavior. Over the last two years, she worked with Autistic and Developmental Disabilities population using Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) as a Critical Intervention Specialist.
Dr. Siagura enjoys the combination of therapeutic approaches that include scientific foundations. One of her ultimate goals is to guarantee psychological services to people who live in poverty and to promote wellness across different countries.