Born and raised in Manhattan Beach, I attended Mira Costa High School before going on to Dartmouth College for my undergraduate studies. After four wonderful years on the East Coast, I was eager to return to California for graduate school. Having established my private practice in the South Bay, I embrace the opportunity to work and live in the very community that has shaped who I am both personally and professionally.
I graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. I then earned my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University.
I engaged in research focusing on self-differentiation, relationship satisfaction, couples therapy, and sex therapy while in graduate school. As a clinical intern at the USC Counseling Center, I worked with a diverse group of undergraduate and graduate students. I provided short-term individual therapy using a variety of clinical approaches, including short-term psychodynamic therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. As an intern at the Southern California Counseling Center, I worked with a culturally diverse clientele ranging in age from three to seventy. I conducted both short-term and long-term individual psychotherapy – in addition to family and couples therapy. I completed my final pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral training at the Saturday Center for Psychotherapy in Santa Monica. Over the course of this two year training program I provided long-term, insight-oriented psychotherapy to adults, adolescents, and couples.
Stemming from my interest in the person-of-the-therapist and the personal qualities of therapists that impact the effectiveness of psychotherapy, my doctoral dissertation investigated the impact of graduate school on therapists’ emotional development.
Additionally, during my graduate program I assisted in research focusing on self-differentiation, relationship satisfaction, and couple and sex therapy. I aided in the development of the Crucible Differentiation Scale®, a reliable and valid instrument for measuring self-differentiation, and helped my supervisor conduct the Kentucky School of Choice Research Study funded by John Schnatter.
I have been a dedicated member of several professional organizations since I began my career in psychology, including:
“I have worked closely with Kelly for over two years, during which time I have come to know her warm personality and effective clinical skills. She is a compassionate, astute therapist, particularly with teens and couples, and has been a pleasure to collaborate with.”
“Dr. Mothner is an incredible psychologist. I have had the pleasure to train and work with her for several years. I have learned a lot from her and know that her clients are receiving excellent care. Dr. Mothner meets her clients with a great deal of compassion and empathy while utilizing her excellent intuition to challenge clients to grow.”
“As a stellar alumni of the PhD program at CSPP and my research assistant for five years, I have seen Kelly develop into a highly competent and compassionate therapist. Her commitment to lifelong personal and professional growth speaks to her dedication to being the best possible therapist she can be for her clients. If someone is looking for a therapist in the South Bay, Kelly is without a doubt the psychologist I would refer to!”
— Dr. Susan Regas, Ph.D.
“Dr. Mothner is highly empathic, insightful and skilled. I had the pleasure of collaborating with her for over a year and can attest to her warmth, intelligence and ability to connect with others. Dr. Mothner knows how to balance professionalism and tailoring a personalized approach to each of her clients and their individual difficulties. She is an exceptional clinician and well suited to meet your needs.”
— Owen Petersen, Psy.D.
I consider the match between client and therapist to be an important component to successful therapy. While in my office, I will work with you to explore and confront the emotional and interpersonal challenges that are bringing you pain or holding you back. Starting therapy for the first time or deciding to begin working with a new therapist can often feel intimidating. Knowing this, I make it my mission to ensure that my clients feel comfortable and safe in my office from the first moment we meet.
My office is centrally located in Hermosa Beach and I provide counseling and therapy services to teens, adults and couples in Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, El Segundo, Torrance, and across the South Bay.