Evidence-Based Therapy Provided with Compassion

"The strength of mindfulness is that it enables us to hold difficult thoughts and feelings in a different way-with awareness, balance, and love. This, rather than trying to annihilate painful feelings or eradicate negative patterns of thinking, is what heals us."

~Sharon Salzberg

 Stay safe with social distancing amid COVID-19! Telehealth, or videoconference, available.

Are you a young adult or professional experiencing stress, burnout, a life adjustment, issues with work or school, problems with self-esteem, perfectionism, relationship distress, depression, anxiety, trauma, or substance abuse? Are you feeling stuck? I can help you learn how to reclaim your life!


About Me

I obtained a doctor in psychology degree from Pepperdine University's APA-Accredited doctoral program in clinical psychology after completing my master's degree at Columbia University and my undergraduate degree at Santa Clara University


I have worked in a multitude of settings including an intimate partner and sexual violence center, a substance abuse center, and the department of mental health as part of a mobile crisis outreach team. I also have experience at community counseling centers, an adolescent psychiatric hospital, and the VA. I completed my Internship at an APA-Accredited Internship program and my Postdoctoral Residency in Clinical Psychology at the VA Los Angeles Ambulatory Care Center.


My education and experience has allowed me to cultivate a well-rounded and sophisticated skill set in working with diverse individuals, including BIPOC and members of the LGBTQIA+ community, who have a range of issues including stressdepression, anxiety, phobias, social anxiety disorder, panic attacks/panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), trauma/posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance abuse/addiction. 


I work with adults of all ages (18+) and especially enjoy working with emerging adults (ages 18-25) and young professionals including CEOs and other executives, doctors, lawyers, people in tech, etc. 


  I am a Licensed Clinical Psychologist (PSY 30196) and see clients as a part of Golden Hour Therapy.


I am an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University, Graduate School of Education and Psychology and teach the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders. 

I am also a board member of the Southern California Chapter of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS).





I strongly believe in evidence-based practice, and specialize in third-wave cognitive-behavioral therapies (CBT) such as dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and compassion-focused therapy (CFT), that emphasize a mindfulness- and acceptance-based approach. 


I also draw from my experience with mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), mindful self-compassion (MSC), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), and mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP).  


Third-wave cognitive-behavioral therapies emphasize mindfulness- and acceptance-based interventions, which help people learn skills to handle difficult thoughts and feelings. Values exploration-determining what sort of person you want to be-and taking action to make your life better are also important components of these approaches. 


I can help you learn how to relate to your distress in a new way, with a sense of acceptance and compassion, and build not only a life worth living, but one filled with happiness, peace, and joy.

Please know that whatever you may be struggling with, you are not broken; you are fundamentally, unconditionally whole, and in possession of everything that is needed to engage in a meaningful life.

My Approach

Guided Meditations
A Meditation on Welcoming the Guests - Carissa Gustafson
00:00 / 00:00
Lovingkindness Towards Oneself - Carissa Gustafson
00:00 / 00:00
Lovingkindness Towards Others - Carissa Gustafson
00:00 / 00:00
A Meditation on Forgiveness - Carissa Gustafson
00:00 / 00:00
Choiceless Awareness - Carissa Gustafson
00:00 / 00:00
Mountain Meditation - Carissa Gustafson
00:00 / 00:00
Facing Fear with Compassion Amid COVID-19
00:00 / 14:39

Services & Fees



I offer individual therapy at the rate of $250 per session,  each of which are approximately 60 minutes long, with evening and weekend appointments available. 

A limited number of reduced fee slots are reserved for those experiencing financial hardship.


I am not affiliated with any insurance companies. If you are interested in using your insurance, please contact your insurance company directly and inquire if they provide partial reimbursement for an out-of-network Psychologist for the following service codes: 90791 Psychiatric Diagnostic Evaluation & 90837 Psychotherapy. Also, inquire if you have a deductible that needs to be met. I will provide you with a  monthly superbill to submit for reimbursement. You may also be able to use a health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA) to pay for therapy.

I require a credit card to be on file and have a full fee 24-hour cancelation policy. 





Therapy Packages
I offer a 7-week package that guides you through my book on ACT.
I offer an 8-week mindfulness package based on MBSR.
Mindful Self-Compassion
I offer an 8-week mindful self-compassion package based on MSC.
Mindfulness at Work
I offer an 8-week on-site mindfulness at work package to help improve employee wellness and performance.


As a result of COVID-19, I am currently seeing all clients through telehealth, or videoconference, until further notice.
Kajima Building
(Top of the building reads California Bank & Trust)
Golden Hour Therapy
250 East 1st St
Suite 300
 Los Angeles, CA 90012
I am located in Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) and conveniently located near the University of Southern California (USC)
I also see individuals located throughout the state of California remotely through telehealth or videoconference.
 There is parking available in the building, the Kajima Building Parking Lot. It is cash only for a fee of $1.50 each 20 minutes and a flat fee of $6 or $7 after 5:00pm and on the weekends. Parking is also available at the Aiso Parking Lot, which is just across the street (101 North Judge John Aiso St Los Angeles, CA 90012), for a fee of $1 each hour for the first two hours or a flat fee of $3 after 5:00pm. There is also metered parking available on the street. 

If you park in the Kajima Building Parking Lot, you will enter the building on the 2nd floor lobby. The Kajima building can also be accessed from 1st street or via the stairwell near the restaurant Fuga. 

After 6:30pm and on the weekend, you will need to check-in at security on the 2nd floor so they can use their key card to grant access to the 3rd floor. If you have any trouble you can call security at 213-212-1431. 
Contact Me
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© 2020 Carissa Gustafson, Psy.D.  All rights reserved.