Dr. Elyssa Cacali is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, she was fortunate to find her passion at an early age. While attending high school she met with the Lost Boys of Sudan and began advocating for those seeking asylum from Darfur Sudan. From there, Dr. Cacali’s passion for psychology and social justice has only continued to grow.
Dr. Cacali completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Irvine. She went on to earn her Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Clinical Psychology at Pepperdine University. As a doctoral student, she earned a number of competitive pediatric extern placements. These included, but were not limited to, her neuropsychology externship under Dr. Sharon O’Neil at the Childrens Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), where she received intensive training in neuropsychological testing to assess child development and cognitive function. Dr. Cacali also facilitated counseling groups within CHLA’s Division of Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery to support young girls with craniofacial anomolies, helping them to increase overall confidence. Outside of CHLA, Dr. Cacali completeted externships at Lanai Road Elementary School, Pepperdine Community Counseling Center, and with Children of the Night, a non-profit organization where Dr. Cacali provided trauma therapy to children rescued from sexual exploitation. Dr. Cacali’s doctoral dissertation research focused on effective bullying interventions as a social justice issue. To this day, she still tries to develop new and effective ways to combat bullying.
Dr. Cacali completed her doctoral internship at Western Youth Services in Fountain Valley (“WYS”). WYS is an APA-accredited, county contracted community mental health setting. While there, she continued to grow her pediatric practice, working with children and adolescents between the ages of 3 to 21. She continued her postdoctoral training at Western Youth Services furthering her specialization in trauma treatment and psycho-educational and developmental evaluations.
Dr. Cacali is passionate about working children and adolescents with a variety of mental health diagnoses. She is currently working towards her certification in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (“EMDR”) treatment in order to further her knowledge and skills in trauma treatment. She enjoys testing and interpreting assessments, and is committed to assisting clients and families find the right treatment for their needs.
Dr. Cacali has worked with diverse populations and diagnoses, and is proud to advocate for her clients. She works to develop meaningful relationships with clients and their caregivers. Furthermore, Dr. Cacali believes that clients can exceed their goals when they know their strenghts and use them strategically to make progress. She therefore empowers children and their families to identify and utilize their strenghts throughout the therapy process.
Dr. Elyssa is licensed to practice psychology in California (#PSY-31467).