My clinical specializations are sexual issues and personality disorders. With both, I help clients to work through various related traumas, addictions (whether sexual in nature or not), depression, grief, and anxiety. When it comes to my clinical sexual specialization, I help clients grappling with impulsive behaviors including sex and porn addictions. Many of my clients are working though difficulties with arousal and/or various sexual dysfunctions such as erectile dysfunction and rapid ejaculation. I also work with individuals and couples to improve communication and functioning within their sexual relationships.

Outside of sex therapy, I also work at Westside DBT, a clinic that specializes in helping clients suffering with borderline personality disorder. My clinical experience also includes many years working at the Suicide Prevention Center as well as the student counseling center at the University of Southern California. I am passionate about Psychology and psychotherapy. I read anything I can get my hands on, from the Freudian classics to the latest in neuroscience, sex therapy as well as didactic literature on current integrative treatments such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy, EMDR and ACT.  I enjoy creating an environment of trust and compassion in the treatment room – essential ingredients in facilitating self-awareness, psychoeducation and ultimate healing for my clients.



CM website picInitially trained as an actress in New York, my passion has been studying human behavior and what makes people feel alive. When I decided to star in my own life instead of one on the stage, my enthusiasm was directed towards body/mind psychology.

This exploration began in 1998 and led me to study the body-centered psychotherapeutic process of Core Energetics, energy healing, and completing my Masters in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University. Under the supervision of Dr. Pelka, I work with individuals and couples who struggle in relationships and with their sexuality. I have helped clients heal from various forms of sexual addictions and sexual dysfunctions in order to reclaim or newly achieve happy and healthy sex lives.

In addition to my background in the entertainment world, I worked in the corporate world for many years in both the financial and legal industries. Hence, I am equally comfortable working with artists and corporate professionals.

With 10 years of experience working with clients challenged with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addictions and personality disorders, my work is informed by somatic psychology, relational gestalt, EMDR, solution-focused therapy, and contemporary psychoanalysis. A central goal of my practice is to assist people in embodying and listening to their true selves.

Vanessa Harvell, M.A.

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Healing and transformation is accessible to everyone. My focus in therapy is to provide a safe and supportive space for individuals, couples and families to address relational and sexual issues. At Psychotherapy Works, I help clients struggling with various sexual issues including sexual dysfunctions, libido concerns, sexual addictions and more general couples’ sex therapy.

For the last 10 years I have worked in several clinical settings helping diverse populations address mental health, sexual and relational issues. I have experience supporting both the LGBTQ and straight community in addressing gender identity, sexual education and intimacy/sexual concerns.

I am a graduate in Psychology from Pepperdine University with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. I have trained in sexual and couples therapy at UCLA through the AACAST, American Association of Couples and Sex Therapist program. I have also had extensive training in trauma therapies (Seeking Safety), crisis intervention/prevention and Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction training program.

I have a strong personal practice in meditation and I will often incorporate mindfulness techniques into our work. However, I know that there is no one way to find the path to healing and resilience. As a result, I utilize an integrative approach combining tools and interventions from many therapeutic methods including attachment, sensorimotor/body-mind, CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy), psychodynamic, narrative and family systems therapies. Through our collaboration and strong therapeutic relationship we can achieve a better quality of life for you and yours.