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Samantha Houda, LCSW

Samantha Houda, LCSW


Licensed in CA #64860
Insurances Accepted: Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna, Health Net/MHN
I believe in the practice of mindfulness and offer resources for clients to use in between sessions along with other homework/activities.

My Therapy Style

My initial approach is to create an open and comfortable atmosphere by using open ended questions, engaging, having the client share about what’s important in their lives, their culture, background, hobbies. From there, explore reasons for coming into therapy - longstanding struggles, more recent/situation, history of trauma, are we in a crisis and are there safety concerns. This helps gauge the treatment interventions.

As a feedback-informed, goal-oriented therapist, I would use the cognitive behavioral skill of exploring thoughts and feelings and how those may shape unhealthy/unwanted beliefs about themselves or others. In the meantime, build their internal resources/strengths by teaching distress tolerance. I believe in the practice of mindfulness and offer resources for clients to use in between sessions along with other homework/activities. We will come up with a treatment plan with goals and objectives with homework/activities and check in on progress at each session.

Two common approaches I practice are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Solution-focused therapy.

CBT helps clients increase their awareness of the trigger for their thinking patterns and the works to identify the impact that has on their beliefs, feelings of oneself/others, their behaviors and subsequently how this interfere’s with their relationships/interpersonal experiences. We will practice various skills to help catch unhelpful thinking patterns and learn ways to correct that way of thinking and minimize distress. I also teach and guide meditations that can and are encouraged to be practiced in between sessions.

Solution-focused therapy helps clients make changes by constructing solutions rather than focusing on problems. I find solution focused to be future-oriented approach for formulating, motivating, achieving, and sustaining desired behavioral change.

Education & Training

BA - Psychology, San Diego State University

MSW - Social Work, San Diego State University

Get to Know Me

Why did you become a mental health professional?

From a young age, I wanted to be apart of building and strengthening resilience.

What are your interests outside of work?

I live a very active health minded lifestyle - I spend my free time outdoors, nature, exercise, healthy eating, arts and culture and with friends and family. I thrive off of learning, adventure and self growth.

What is one thing you do daily that supports your well-being?

Journal, daily mindful exercises, every day I do some form of physical exercise, maintain connection with others, maintain my own mental health by seeing out support.

What book have you read more than once?

Brene Brown's Braving the Wilderness, I revisit chapters and sections to deepen by connection.

Favorite organization/non-profit?

NAMI has helped so many family members, loved ones and individuals struggling with mental health/mental illness

How do you recharge?

Reading, long runs and bike rides, going to movies, doing solo activities, spending time with family and friends.

Do you have any pets?

I was incredibly fortunate to have grown up with large and small animals and have such a strong adoration and connection with animals and the responsibility we have to our animals. I have since been unable to have an animal of my own but I will in the near future.