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.

Alison Alderdice, Psy.D.

Dr. Alison Alderdice (PSY 28838) is a licensed clinical psychologist and clinical director of the Berkeley office of The Wise Mind Institute. She 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.

Headshot 1.jpg

Molika Loshi, Ph.D.

Dr. Molika Loshi (PSY 29588) 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 California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, Goodwill Counseling Center in San Jose, the Student Counseling Center at the University of Washington in Tacoma, the Student Counseling Center at Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA, as well as in her private practice in Seattle, WA.

Molika’s approach to therapy is client-centered and integrative. She blends compassionate mindful therapy with several other approaches including Existential-Humanistic, Psychodynamic, Systems Psychology, DBT, CBT, and Biofeedback. While working with clients, she strives to foster an open and safe therapeutic environment that is based on mutual trust.

Molika tailors treatment to the specific needs of her clients, with her overall approach aimed at helping people lead full and meaningful lives. She has expertise in working with individuals struggling with stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as life transitions, relationship dissatisfaction, chronic pain, and the impact of trauma, and loss.

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

Ben Head Shot 2.jpeg

Benjamin Evare, Ph.D.

Dr. Benjamin Evare (PSY 29833) 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.

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 (PSY 29831) 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-profit organizations.  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’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. 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 their journey alone.

Michael practices comprehensive Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Radically-Open DBT (RO-DBT). In addition, Michael provides family therapy and parent coaching for parents of young adults and teens. Michael also specializes in working with Asian Americans and their families; addressing issues that are unique to them. 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.

Leryn Profile Small 3-25-2018.JPG

Leryn Messori, Psy.D.

Leryn Messori, Psy.D. (PSY 31190) earned her master’s and doctorate degrees from Antioch University Santa Barbara, a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of New Mexico, and bachelor degrees in English and Theater from Chapman University. Leryn moved to the Bay Area in 2015 to complete her pre-doctoral internship with Girls Inc. of Alameda County working in the San Leandro School District.

As a graduate student, Leryn worked as a residential counselor and a co-occurring disorder therapist for adults, performed cognitive and personality testing with the Department of Rehabilitation, supported clients in community mental health, and worked for two years as a substance abuse counselor for adolescents on probation in Santa Barbara. She is also a certified addiction specialist (CATC-V). Through these diverse settings, Leryn discovered her passion for helping people face difficult life transitions. Whetherit is a teenager leaving home for college, a young adult conflicted about their identity, or an adult facing a career change, Leryn loves supporting people in connecting with their values, weighing pros and cons, and making life choices that maximize their chance at happiness and meaning. 

Leryn’s therapeutic style is client-centered, focusing on fostering a relationship based on empathy, collaboration, and acceptance. She is passionate about being on the journey with her clients while they navigate the road to greater fulfillment by offering her expertise and providing a non-judgmental environment. Leryn specializes in working with adolescents, families, individuals in early adulthood, and adults using interventions informed by cognitive-behavioral, dialectical-behavioral, mindfulness, and existential-humanistic therapies. 

Susan_Pearson_Headshot_18E2757_Hi_Res (1).jpg

Susan Pearson, Psy.D.

Dr. Susan Pearson is registered as a Psychological Assistant (PSB94024078) at the Wise Mind Institute under the supervision of Dr. Wes Pederson (PSY 26040). She earned her doctorate from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University. She has provided therapy in diverse training settings including San Jose Adult Rehabilitation Center - Salvation Army, Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley, and East Palo Alto Charter School. Her pre-doctoral internship was at the Neurobehavioral Testing Unit of Orange County Health Care Agency in Santa Ana, California.

Her style is compassionate, warm, and free of judgment. She welcomes clients into a partnership to explore loss, anxiety, depression, anger, and the challenges that come with being human, so that they can live their best possible life. Because every individual brings a unique situation to therapy, Susan tailors therapy to fit his or her or their unique experience. She incorporates modalities that include Dialectical Behavior Therapy, existential-humanism, and Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy. Her advanced training in existential-humanistic psychology has prepared her to compassionately accompany people through their pain to their passions and potentials to live an authentic life. Here advanced training in Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy has prepared her to guide people to discover their own internal knowing, so that they can confront difficult situations and find creative solutions. 

Her research has focused on how mindfulness and spirituality contribute to happiness, especially self-actualization, satisfaction with life, and the experience of positive and negative emotions. Her therapy reflects her interest in finding opportunities for mindfulness and spiritual experiences in day-to-day living. 


Herman Sandhu, Psy.D.

Dr. Herman Sandhu is a registered Psychological Assistant (PSB94024129) at The Wise Mind Institute under the supervision of Dr. Karin Sponholz (PSY21407) and Dr. Ben Evare (PSY 29833). Herman earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from Alliant International University (San Francisco, CA). He also holds a B.A in philosophy from The University of California, Santa Cruz in 2006. In 2017, Herman completed his pre-doctoral internship at The Ann Martin Center (Emeryville, CA), where he gained extensive training in Psychoanalytic theory and technique and provided psychotherapy to clients and families coping with a variety of mental and emotional health challenges, including emotion regulation, substance abuse, complex and developmental traumas, loss and bereavement, and suicidality.      

Herman has worked in a number of different settings during his training. While at The University of California, San Francisco, Herman was part of a clinical research team that explored the neuropsychology of schizophrenia and helped patients gain access to innovative treatments, aiding their ability to achieve functional, fulfilling, and meaningful lives. While at The San Francisco and Santa Rosa VA, Herman treated veterans whose service spanned from the Korean War Era to veterans recently returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Herman provided individual and group therapy to these veterans, many of whom struggled with PTSD, substance abuse, relationship problems and isolation. Moreover, Herman also trained at Garfield Neurobehavioral Center (Oakland, CA) where he assessed and treated patients suffering from both neurological and psychiatric disorders. At Walden House (San Francisco, CA), he provided psychotherapy to men reintegrating into the community after long-term incarceration. 

Herman’s approach to psychotherapy is integrative and adaptive to the specific needs of each client. His technique draws from his training in Psychoanalytically-Informed, Cognitive Behavioral, as well as Acceptance and Mindfulness-based therapies. Furthermore, Herman’s research interests include creativity, peak-performance, the psychology of music and the enhancement of social interaction. His doctoral dissertation explores the benefits of improvisational theater training and how present-centered states of consciousness such as Flow State and Mindfulness can enhance the quality of people’s daily social interactions.        


Scott Goode, Ph.D.

Dr. Scott Goode is registered as a Psychological Assistant (PSB94025027) at The Wise Mind Institute under the supervision of Dr. Ben Evare (PSY29833).  He earned his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute.  Previously he was a research scientist in developmental genetics.  Dr. Goode has provided psychological assessment and psychotherapy in both inpatient and outpatient settings, including Bellaire Behavioral Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital, and West Oak Hospital in Houston, Texas, and Sofia Counseling Center at Sofia University in Palo Alto. 

Scott’s approach to therapy aims to understand the unique contexts, needs, and situations of each individual.   Scott believes that healing and fulfilling our authentic self comes about through integrating mind and heart.  Scott works with people of all ages seeking to overcome a variety of challenges, including anxiety and depression, relationship and family difficulties, career goals and conflicts, low self-worth, and trauma, addiction, and codependency.  Scott combines a variety of approaches, including psychoanalysis and psychodynamics, spiritual psychology, existential-humanistic, cognitive-behavioral and DBT among others, according to the unique needs of each individual.  With patience and courage we can overcome our setbacks, thrive, and live a strong and inspired life.       


Louiza Livschitz, Psy.D.

Dr. Louiza Livschitz is registered as a Psychological Assistant at the Wise Mind Institute under the supervision of Dr. Loshi. She earned her Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium.

 She has provided individual, couples and group psychotherapy in a variety of diverse training settings including: Santa Clara University Counseling Center, Mountain View High School, various community mental health centers and Stanford’s Prevention and Intervention Research lab. Her pre-doctoral internship was at University of California, Santa Cruz Counseling Center. Prior to graduate school she worked as a first responder for victims of sexual assault, volunteered at a suicide hotline for many years, and worked in a day treatment program.

 Dr. Livschitz is a cisgender, heterosexual, Jewish female, who was born in Ukraine and immigrated to the United States as a child.  As an immigrant herself, she deeply values the impact that family-of-origin and culture have on identity development, interpersonal relationships, and how one views the world. Her dissertation research focused on examining the relationship between academic stress and physical health symptoms in young adults
and how cultural factors impact that relationship.

Louiza primarily practices from a relational psychodynamic orientation, while integrating aspects from other modalities such DBT, CBT, and ACT based on each client's unique presenting problems. She believes that some of the ways people developed to cope with difficult experiences in early life no longer adaptively serve them; therefore, she helps client’s gain insight into those patterns and develop new ways of being in order to make positive changes. Her clinical interests include life transitions, relationship issues, identity and interpersonal development, grief/loss, anxiety, depression, and trauma work.

Pronouns: she/her/hers


Yvette Rico, Psy.D.

Dr. Yvette Rico is a registered Psychological Assistant at The Wise Mind Institute under the supervision of Dr. Karin Sponholz (PSY21407). She earned her B.A in psychology (with a minor in art) at San Francisco State University and her Psy.D. in clinical psychology from the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium.  During her graduate training, she provided psychotherapy at Stanford's Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Notre Dame De Namur University, and La Clínica Latina (a community health setting that provides psychological services in Spanish).  In 2019, she completed her pre-doctoral internship at University of Texas Health, San Antonio, where she worked with individuals across the lifespan at both an outpatient clinic and a psychiatric hospital.

Grappling with emotional struggles during one's lifetime is a common experience but can often feel isolating.  Yvette strives to create a warm, empathetic and accepting space in which she and her clients can process, explore, and navigate the client's difficulties. She also works to empower clients to move forward, flourish and live in a way that is aligned with their values.  Yvette is dedicated to working alongside clients in a collaborative way, using a strength-based and holistic approach. 

Yvette's work in the past has centered predominantly on anxiety, depression, interpersonal difficulties, self-esteem, identity, and trauma.  Yvette is guided by the awareness that people are often having understandable reactions to difficult situations.  She takes an interpersonal approach, while flexibly integrating different modalities such as DBT, CBT, psychodynamic and ACT.  She is bilingual and provides therapy in both Spanish and English.  

Yvette really enjoys drinking chai, watching Golden Girls and painting designs on her shoes.  She's a Hufflepuff. 


Joanna Pena

Joanna is the Office Manager at The Wise Mind Institute. For the past 6 years she has been working in the same capacity for tech start-ups.

In addition to Office and Administration Operations, Joanna has experience in Human Resources with tech start-ups. Prior to working with start-ups she worked at eBay as a Client Services Account Manager where she managed online marketing campaigns for 3,500 clients including Top 500 Internet Retailers and small-to-medium sized companies. There she built partnerships and improved cross-functional collaboration to provide a robust customer service experience and growth with metric driven goals and strategies.

Joanna is a Southern California gal and when not unraveling complicated issues or processes, she’s either spending quality time with family, attempting to learn the latest and greatest Smartphone or de-stressing over a Donkey Kong or Super Mario Bros Nintendo video-game.