Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology
Education: MA, LMFT
Industry Expertise: psychotherapist
Alexis Garza-Kjorvestad is a licensed marriage and family therapist with two master’s degrees from Pepperdine University: one in clinical psychology with a dual emphasis in marriage and family therapy and licensed professional clinical counselor, and one in psychology. She went to Vanguard University of Southern California for her undergraduate studies in psychology. Garza-Kjorvestad has over 20 years in the human services industry. Her first career was in law enforcement as a 911 operator/police dispatcher. She completed a one-year internship at the Norwalk Sheriff’s Station and was a 911 operator/police dispatcher at a college and university for several years. After, she switched careers and started out as a counselor for blind adults 55 and older at the Dayle McIntosh Center for the Disabled for two years. She worked as a special education aide II for the Garden Grove School District and completed a one-year internship at Hospice Care of California and an internship as a therapist trainee at Turning Point Center for Families. At Affinity Recovery in Orange County, as an associate marriage and family therapist, she treated individuals with co-occurring severe mental health and substance abuse disorders for two years. She was a clinical supervisor and clinical therapist for three years, at the Los Angeles Centers for Alcohol and Drug Abuse (LA CADA) in Santa Fe Springs, California. At LA CADA, she had a passion for working with interns, associates, and trainees from the social worker and marriage and family therapy programs of different universities and colleges. She empowered them to use their strengths and therapeutic skills to aid patients struggling with severe mental health issues who were also in treatment for substance abuse. She worked extensively with the LGBTQ population, minorities, individuals who are homeless, those recently released from federal prison or from incarceration and are court ordered, those charged by the Department of Children and Family Services, those with extreme trauma, and those with severe mental health disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and bipolar I/II, among others. She was an adjunct instructor for two years at North Orange Continuing Education where she cherished the experience of teaching students with mental health diagnoses and developmental disorders at a college level. She is currently a licensed marriage and family therapist at LifeStance Health and specializes in in working with individuals who struggle with communication, college issues, those with disabilities, chronic pain, anxiety, addictions, life transitions, nearing end of life, depression, relationship issues, family issues, needing LGBTQA support, and children’s emotional and mental health issues. She uses a holistic, solution focused, art therapy, strength-based, person-centered approach to connect, guide, and support people to enhance their functionality, increase engagement and communication, create ways to manage the seemingly unmanageable, and provide a safe space to work through life’s issues. Professor Garza has been teaching at Pepperdine online since 2020 and has enjoyed teaching and engaging students in the Multicultural Counseling and Couple and Family Therapy I courses.