Expert Details

Expert in Marriage & Family Therapy, Individual Counseling, Behavioral Health, Autism Care, Social Behavior and Psychology

Expert ID: 738595 California, USA

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Expert pursued several degrees including a bachelors degree from UCLA in sociology with extensive courses in cultural anthropology, a master’s degree in psychology, with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy, from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and a doctorate degree in human behavior from American Premier University with a capstone on conflict resolution: the power of good thoughts, good words and good deeds. She proceeded to obtain her professional board licensing in California, Montana and Washington State. During her intern and training years, she worked with autism spectrum disorder, foster families, children and family therapy, Orange County’s Postpartum Wellness Program, inpatient mental health and substance abuse hospitalization, for insurance companies, and auditing clinics for the County of Orange Health Care Agency. She also served as a research assistant at UCI’s Psychology and Social Behavior Lab conducting field studies for underserved youth in the county of Orange in California. During her professional development she learned the ins and outs of the mental health system, the strengths of the western mental health system along with the gaps and weaknesses. As an international speaker, she takes pride in reducing the stigma of mental health needs by providing educational seminars. She has presented with Ferry Corsten in Amsterdam, ADE with DJ Dave Clarke, in Ibiza for AFEM, to UCI Psychiatric Symposium, UCI OBGYN department, Lupus LA- Orange County Branch, and March of Dimes. Alongside her service work, she provides consulting services and is a legislative advisor.

Education

Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 2007 Degree: BA Subject: Sociology Institution: UCLA
Year: 2009 Degree: MA Subject: Pscyhology Institution: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Work History

Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2014 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Clinician, Clinical Supervisor and EAP provider Department: Mental Health
Responsibilities:
● Individual, family and couples counseling
● Work/school stress management, crisis intervention and EAP counseling
● Strong cultural diversity training and counseling with Iranian-American, Middle-Eastern, Latin-American and South-Asian cultures
● Discharge planning and referrals for the best level of care such as community resources, RTC, outpatient level of care, PHP/IOP, inpatient behavioral health and inpatient rehab
● Trained in Solution-Focused Therapy, Trauma Focused CBT and Crisis Intervention
● Provide counseling in Farsi and Spanish
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2020 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Clinician and Consultant Department: Therapy
Responsibilities:
● Individual and family counseling for adolescents in English and Spanish
● Consultant on policy, procedures and best practices
● Provide group therapy for Gaggle safety team
● Insight and procedure for crisis intervention protocols
● Provide information on the product development for Gaggle Therapy’s national launch
● Aid in setting up HIPPA Compliant platform for teletherapy
● Assist in credentialing and contracting with public sector and private sector mental health insurance plans
● Educate on cultural competency needs, trauma training and technical training
● Conduct second round clinical interviews for prospective mental health providers
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2018 to 2021 Employer: State of Montana Title: Legislative Advisor and Suicide Prevention Researcher Department: Representing District 19
Responsibilities:
● Driving state-wide research for suicide prevention for technology innovation, as Montana has been identified to have the highest suicide rates in the nation up to calendar year 2019.
● Gathering extensive research, data and funding information to create a mental health app for suicide prevention for the state of Montana.
● Became licensed as a mental health provider and moved to Montana in the year of 2020 to conduct in-person interviews and research to the identified populations at risk including farmers, youth and veterans.
● Consulting on providing telehealth solutions to meet the needs of the rural/frontier nature of Montana to reduce the gap of access to care
● Conducting interviews with stake-holder organizations for farmers and veterans, as well as, representatives from Montana State University.
● Conducted a 1 hour interview alongside Sen. Bogner with the farmers, veterans and youth – as they have been identified as having the highest rates of suicide in the state of Montana
● Collaborating with local mental health providers to further understand the needs of those most vulnerable to suicide and further identify stigma around mental health services and treatment
● Weekly meetings with Senator Bogner on ways to incorporate mental health initiatives and tools in the K-12 school system for educational reform bill being presented in January 2021
● Weekly meetings with Senator Bogner on mental health insurance policies, procedures and guidelines for public sector and private sector accounts to aid in reform of mental health plans for the state of Montana for healthcare reform bill being presented in January 2021
● Scheduled to be a proponent of updated education and health insurance reforms in the upcoming legislative session in January of 2021
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2015 to 2016 Employer: University of California, Irvine Title: Research Assistant Department: Psychology and Social Behavior Lab
Responsibilities:
● Collaborated with RA and Senior PRA
● Abstracted Data from patient charts
● Recruited and enrolled study participants
● Administered participant interviews and prepared assessments
● Prepared samples for analysis by various instrumentation
● Tabulated research data
● Recorded results of experiments
● Interviewed human subjects participating in clinical testing
● Prepared research manuscripts and research presentations
● Developed and maintained research databases
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2019 to 2019 Employer: Magellan Health Title: Care Manager Department: Concurrent Review
Responsibilities:
● Authorized and reviewed utilization of eating disorder, mental health and substance abuse services provided in inpatient and/or outpatient care settings
● Collected and analyzed utilization data
● Provided member assistance with eating disorder, mental health and substance abuse issues
● Participated in special quality improvement project
● Monitored inpatient and/or outpatient level of care services related to eating disorder, mental health and substance abuse treatment to ensure medical necessity and effectiveness
● Provided telephone triage, crisis intervention and emergency authorizations as assigned
● Performed concurrent reviews for inpatient and/or outpatient care and other levels of care as allowed by scope of practice and experience
● Developed discharge plans in conjunction with providers and facilities and oversee their implementation
● Performed quality clinical reviews while educating and making appropriate interventions to advance the care of the member in treatment
● Provided information to members and providers regarding eating disorder, mental health and substance abuse benefits, community treatment resources, mental health managed care programs, and company policies and procedures, and criteria
● Collaborated with Physician Advisors to discuss clinical and authorization questions and concerns regarding specific cases
● Participated in quality improvement activities, including data collection, tracking, and analysis
● Maintained an active work load in accordance with National Care Manager performance standards
● Worked with community agencies as appropriate
● Proposed alternative plans of treatment when requests for services do not meet medical necessity criteria
● Participated in network development including identification and recruitment of quality providers as needed
● Advocated for the patient to ensure treatment needs are met
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2018 to 2019 Employer: Beacon Health Options Title: Clinical Care Manager Department: Central Night Services
Responsibilities:
● Focused on initial inpatient and residential admission for psychiatric and chemical dependency patients
● Made patient assessments and determined appropriate level of care
● Completed crisis calls for member in English and Spanish and coordinated a safety plan
● Coordinated benefits and transitions between various areas of care
● Identified ways to add value to treatment plans, ongoing care and discharge planning
● Worked will all 50 states: regulations, mandates, policies and procedures for best practices
● Trained in state specific medical necessity criteria for Medicare, Medicaid and Medi-Cal
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2017 to 2017 Employer: United Behavioral Health Title: Autism Care Advocate Department: ABA Department
Responsibilities:
● Created patient assessments and determined appropriate levels of care
● Obtained information from providers for outpatient treatment requests
● Determined if additional clinical treatment sessions are needed
● Managed outpatient mental health cases throughout the entire treatment plan
● Administered benefits and reviewed treatment plans
● Coordinated benefits and transitions between various areas of care
● Identified ways to add value to treatment plans and consulting with facility staff or outpatient care providers
● Worked well in a fast-paced environment and embraced challenges
● Achieved and documented measurable results
● Demonstrated ability to think and act quickly while working with a diverse member population
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2016 to 2017 Employer: United Behavioral Health Title: National Afterhours Care Advocate Department: Central Night Services
Responsibilities:
● Focused on initial inpatient and residential admission for psychiatric and chemical dependency patients
● Made patient assessments and determined appropriate levels of care
● Completed crisis calls for member in English and Spanish and coordinated a safety plan
● Coordinated benefits and transitions between various areas of care
● Identified ways to add value to treatment plans, ongoing care and discharge planning
● Worked will all 50 states: regulations, mandates, policies and procedures for best practices
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2014 to 2015 Employer: St. Joseph/Mission Hospital Title: Utilization Review Coordinator Department: Behavioral Health Unit and Chemical Dependency
Responsibilities:
● Obtained initial precertification and authorization for acute inpatient psychiatric admissions, inpatient detox and inpatient rehabilitation chemical dependency admissions
● Administered concurrent reviews for inpatient, PHP and IOP programs
● Reported on concurrent reviews for continued inpatient stays including CIWA and COWS protocol
● Reported on 5150, 5250 and 5270 holds
● Completed discharge planning based on medical necessity and best level of care for patient needs
● Attended daily rounds with psychiatrists, nurses and social workers for daily progress and updates for concurrent reviews
● Demonstrated strong leadership and group cohesiveness qualities to ensure highest quality of care and accuracy in reporting to insurance agencies
● Knowledgeable with medical necessity requirements for all major insurance companies as well as Caloptima and TARS
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2013 to 2014 Employer: Orange County Health Care Agency Title: Compliance Auditor Department: Authority and Quality Improvement Services
Responsibilities:
● Audited county and contracted clinics to collect and analyze data to ensure the practices are in compliance with insurance and documentation regulations
● Administered reports that present the statistical findings and trends observed to prioritize areas of improvement that have been identified
● Refined organizational and management practices that aid in the analysis and evaluation of programs, policies and operational needs
● Developed and implement policies, procedures, goals and objectives of federal, state, and local regulations for Medi-Cal and Medicare billing for mental health services
● Conducted trainings to all clinic staff serving adults and older adults in the County of Orange on compliance, documentation, and quality improvement
● Aided in revising the county’s mental health plan as well as implement the methods and procedures designated in the plan
● Carried reliability review meetings discussing findings in our audits, identified alternative solutions, projected consequences of proposed actions and implemented recommendations in support of our policy and procedures
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2011 to 2013 Employer: Orange County Health Care Agency Title: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Department: Orange County Postpartum Wellness Program
Responsibilities:
● Directly worked with supervisor towards the development of the program and hiring of new staff
● Trained staff on policies, procedures, documentation and implementation of services
● Demonstrated strong work and leadership ethics by volunteering for projects, taking on cases when other programs were short staffed, and assisted in development and implementation of new programs
● Facilitated and administered presentations and psycho-education of postpartum depression to medical staff, social services, March of Dimes, and stakeholders
● Provided case management services and evidence-based treatment in Farsi and Spanish to individuals and couples in a home visitation program
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2010 to 2011 Employer: Child Guidance Center Title: Marriage and Family Therapist Intern Department: Therapy
Responsibilities:
● Completed Medi-Cal documentation and Medi-Cal standard of medical necessity
● Provided case management services with collaborative agencies
● Facilitated weekly teen process group
● Trained in PCIT and TFCBT
● Tailored treatment plans for individual and family sessions using a variety of evidence-based practices such as trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, parent-child interactive therapy, and family systems theory in Farsi and Spanish
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2009 to 2011 Employer: Our Small World Title: Foster Care Social Worker Department: Foster Care
Responsibilities:
● Provided case management with all collaborative agencies involved with foster youth
● Administered family counseling for foster youth and foster family
● Aided the transitional aged youth to enroll in college and/or work placement
● Monitored and administered reports on visitations with biological parents
● Facilitated parent and group training on behavioral reinforcement techniques and communication tools in Spanish and English
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2006 to 2007 Employer: CalPsychCare Title: Therapist Department: Behavior Therapist and Parent Intervention
Responsibilities:
● Developed treatment plans for youth and adults with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disabilities
● Trained in Discrete Trial Training Behavioral Technique
● Provided in home behavioral intervention and discrete trial training for patients
● Trained caregivers on using interventions and assigned weekly treatment goals
● Assisted patients during situational crisis and aided parents on crisis management
● Psycho-educated consumers on autism and linkage to resource/referrals in the community

Government Experience

Years Agency Role Description
Years: 2018 to 2021 Agency: State Senator Kenneth Bogner, Representing District 19 Role: Legislative Advisor Description: Driving state-wide research for suicide prevention for technology innovation, as Montana has been identified to have the highest suicide rates in the nation up to calendar year 2019.
Gathering extensive research, data and funding information to create a mental health app for suicide prevention for the state of Montana.
Became licensed as a mental health provider and moved to Montana in the year of 2020 to conduct in-person interviews and research to the identified populations at risk including farmers, youth and veterans.
Consulting on providing telehealth solutions to meet the needs of the rural/frontier nature of Montana to reduce the gap of access to care
Conducting interviews with stake-holder organizations for farmers and veterans, as well as, representatives from Montana State University.
Conducted a 1 hour interview alongside Sen. Bogner with the farmers, veterans and youth – as they have been identified as having the highest rates of suicide in the state of Montana
Collaborating with local mental health providers to further understand the needs of those most vulnerable to suicide and further identify stigma around mental health services and treatment
Weekly meetings with Senator Bogner on ways to incorporate mental health initiatives and tools in the K-12 school system for educational reform bill being presented in January 2021
Weekly meetings with Senator Bogner on mental health insurance policies, procedures and guidelines for public sector and private sector accounts to aid in reform of mental health plans for the state of Montana for healthcare reform bill being presented in January 2021
Scheduled to be a proponent of updated education and health insurance reforms in the upcoming legislative session in January of 2021

International Experience

Years Country / Region Summary
Years: 2018 to 2021 Country / Region: Europe Summary: Presentation on stress management and breathwork, International Music Summit, Ibiza, 2019
Panelist on mental health needs for artists, Amsterdam Dance Event, Amsterdam, 2019
Panelist on mentally managing the next 6 months, Amsterdam Dance Event, virtual, 2020
Ask the doctor Q and A segment regarding mental health needs, Beatport, virtual, 2020
Panelist for educators and youth to identify warning signs of distress during pandemic, Gaggle Webinar, virtual, 2020
Panelist for The Mental Health Report Discussion, Beatport, virtual, 2021
Panelist for Music Connects Us Report, Scottish Electronic Music Conference, virtual, 2021

Co-Chair of the Association for Electronic Music, Mental Health Advocacy Group – US/UK 2018 - present

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
Community support and advocacy for mental health awareness and stigma reduction
● Co-Chair of the Association for Electronic Music, Mental Health Advocacy Group – US/UK (2018 - present)
● Peer Mentor, UCLAAlumni Association, Irvine 2015 - 2016
● Vice President of Iranian American Mental Health Society, Irvine, 2011 - 2013
● Board Member of Employee Advisory Committee, Orange County Health Care Agency, Santa Ana, 2012 - 2013
● Secretary of Psych Society, University California, Los Angeles, 2005 – 2007
● Iranian Student Group, University California, Los Angeles, 2005- 2007
● Model United Nations, Irvine Valley College, 2004 - 2005
Licenses / Certifications
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, MFC
Department of Health, Olympia, WA – April 2021

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, MFC
Board of Behavioral Health, Helena, MT – May 2020

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, MFC
Board of Behavioral Sciences, Sacramento, CA – December 2012
Publications and Patents Summary
17 presentations & conferences

Language Skills

Language Proficiency
Persian Fluent/Native
Spanish proficient

Fields of Expertise

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