Sharmaine D. Barnes

My passion is working with individuals who may otherwise not engage in therapy due to stigma, access or lack of representation. Through my studies in the Marriage and Family Therapy African-American Family Studies graduate program at Pacific Oaks College School of Cultural and Family Psychology, I learned about emerging theories of historical trauma and how to address African-American mental health issues from a culturally competent, multi-generational, community, and strengths-based perspective. I explored mental health theory and practice from a deeply culture-centered perspective and learned about the vital role African-American mental health professionals play in African-American mental health treatment, social justice, and client advocacy; therefore, I am very comfortable and knowledgeable in addressing multicultural and social justice issues such as racism, discrimination, microaggressions, power, privilege, and oppression.

My therapeutic approach is client driven and rooted in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which focuses primarily on exploring the relationships between an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which focuses on using acceptance and mindfulness strategies alongside commitment and behavior change strategies to ultimately increase an individual’s psychological flexibility. I consider myself a lifelong learner who continues to educate myself on new developments within the mental health field so that I can best serve my clients. I am warm, compassionate, and supportive; however, I'm also pretty straight forward and "keep it real." I gently nudge and encourage my clients to move outside their comfort zone toward personal growth and am dedicated to helping my clients work through their trauma and other presenting problems.

I work with you to help you unearth long-standing behavior patterns or negative perceptions that may be holding you back from experiencing a more fulfilling and meaningful life. I also work with you to modify your thinking and behaviors to promote a life of growth, happiness and healthy relationships. I can provide you with skilled support to help repair your troubled relationships and re-route unproductive thinking and behavior patterns. I will support you as you work to integrate insights about how your own thought and behavioral patterns, as well as your cultural and family history, have affected your life.

In closing let me say that making the decision to start therapy is not one that is taken lightly, and the decision is one that generally takes a great deal of thought, planning, careful consideration, and courage. I applaud you for taking this step toward healing, and while we cannot change difficult situations of the past, we can work together to better understand and resolve current challenges in your life.

Education: BA Labor Studies, Minor in Business Administration; MA in Marital and Family Therapy with a specialization in African American Family Studies

Modalities: CBT, ACT, DBT, EFT, EMDR, Solution-Focused,

Specialties: Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Life Adjustments, Grief & Loss, Race-Related Stress/Trauma, PTSD

License: California 80569




  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

Phone: 855-862-9262

500 S. Grand Avenue, Suite 1800

Los Angeles, CA 90071

Subscribe to our mailing list and receive updates of blogs, launch info, and more! 

© 2020 AYANA Therapy