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Jillian Ziesmer, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #119608, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor #7658

Let your healing, growth, and authenticity begin through the therapeutic experience

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"It is a joy to be hidden, and a disaster not to be found." D.W. Winnicott

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The Therapeutic Experience

My Approach to Therapy

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I am here to help you find a deeper understanding of yourself, cultivate personal growth, and improve your relationships. In a collaborative relationship with the client, I explore family dynamics, relationship patterns, and underlying feelings and unconscious drives that impede a sense of well being. Some of the issues I treat include depression, anxiety, substance abuse, recovery, trauma (emotional, physical, sexual), suicidal ideation, grief/loss, cancer survivors, LGBTQ, and pre-marital counseling/relationship/marital issues. I help clients explore their feelings, past experiences, present situations, and hopes for the future. Life can be overwhelming at times and can seem unbearably lonely and confusing. Sometimes we can find ourselves feeling lost, misunderstood, and unsure about our path. Other times we find ourselves unable to clearly express our feelings or even understand our own feelings. I am here to help you explore, untangle, process, and discover your truth.


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My background

My background includes two master’s degrees (an MA in Psychology and an MA in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy) from Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology. I also have a bachelor's degree in Psychology (BA in Psychology) from California State University Dominguez Hills.

I received extensive training in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy at The Maple Counseling Center for working with individual adults, as well as training in working with couples using Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and an informed approach in Emotion-Focused Therapy. 

My experience and training with individuals, couples, and groups also includes chronic mental illness and severe psychopathology at Exodus

Recovery Inc in a locked psychiatric facility as well as outpatient; acute mental illness at Resilience Treatment Center at levels of IOP, PHP, and residential; substance abuse at Forward Recovery at IOP, residential, and detox; supervising adolescents on a crisis hotline at Teen Line at Cedar Sinai Hospital; individual and couples

counseling in private practice under the

supervision of Margaret Hickman, LMFT 87976; suicide crisis counseling at the Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center; and working with individual adults and couples at Meridian Counseling. I have training in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and I am informed in and have experience with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT), as well as mindfulness meditation and


Additionally, I served as president of the Maple Alumni Association, for which I organized and hosted events for psychotherapists featuring respected professionals in the field of mental health.

I also have experience as a preschool teacher, an early interventionist, a social skills interventionist, and a behavior interventionist working with children with special needs using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).

I was featured on two podcasts discussing the topic "Managing Anxiety and Depression during the Pandemic" (Speaking Up for Mental Health podcast at The Maple Counseling Center and Guiding Compass podcast episode 43: Coping with COVID-19 at Meridian Counseling).

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Individual Therapy

In a collaborative relationship, I work with clients to explore and uncover feelings, thoughts and behaviors that impede one's well being, functioning, development, and growth. I offer a safe and supportive therapeutic relationship with empathy and unconditional positive regard to facilitate growth and change. I help clients increase self-acceptance, self understanding, authenticity, self-worth, and healthy relationships. Through the therapeutic relationship, clients gain insight and a deeper awareness of dysfunctional patterns, negative thought processes, family of origin issues, and a deeper awareness of underlying feelings. Additionally, clients will gain an awareness of how their feelings and emotions are experienced in their body. I help clients explore and increase purpose and meaning in their life, while also increasing their capacity to make choices. I will be an ally, offer increased support, be present, and nonjudgmental.

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Couples Therapy

My background training in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and experience with Emotion Focused Therapy allows me to provide a safe space for couples to address communication issues, discover patterns in their relationship, work through dynamics in the here and now as they are presented in the therapeutic setting, and develop more trust to deepen their bond. By exploring current emotional issues, as well as discovering feelings that may not have been in awareness, a deeper understanding can be gained about how this has informed behaviors in the relationship. Discussion of each partner's family dynamics and attachment styles can shed light on vulnerabilities in the relationship. Unpacking the interactional and communication dynamics in the relationship can bring more insight into unhelpful or dysfunctional patterns that have been formed. Learning and practicing effective communication skills can help each partner to better express their feelings, needs, and wants, while also being heard and understood. Expressing fears and vulnerabilities with more effective communication and learning how to respond in a way that reflects an understanding of what is being communicated can help change the dysfunctional patterns of interacting and communicating. By discovering patterns in the relationship and learning effective communication skills, negative patterns can be changed and a deeper trust and bond can help the relationship grow.

Get in Touch


I work with individuals and couples in the state of California via tele-health. Sessions are conducted on the phone or over video. Sessions last 50 minutes, and can be once per week or multiple times per week. There is a 24-hour cancellation policy, which means that cancellations under 24 hours or no shows are charged the full session fee. Payment is collected via credit card. Fees are discussed during the initial free 15-minute phone consultation. Sliding scale fee accepted.  

Contact me by email at


My profile is on Psychology Today and LinkedIn.  

I invite you to listen to my guest speaking appearance on managing depression and anxiety during COVID on the Guiding Compass podcast #43 Coping with COVID-19 at Meridian-Counseling podcasts and "Managing Anxiety and Depression during the Pandemic" on the "Speaking Up for Mental Health" podcast at The Maple Counseling Center.

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Contact Me

I love helping my patients develop the tools they need to cope with all of life’s challenges. Contact me today to learn more and book a session.

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