Therese Funk // Executive Director

therese headshotTherese Funk is a co-founder and the Executive Director of CPLA and currently serves as president of the Board of Directors. Therese has spent the last six years following her passion of supporting at-risk students of Los Angeles, having previously worked at another school-based counseling agency, Outreach Concern. She is committed to bringing counseling and support to all underserved Los Angeles school communities so that every student has the best possible chance for emotional well-being and a promising future.

Therese’s business competence assures CPLA will achieve its mission, and make consistent and timely progress toward realizing its vision.Therese graduated with a B.A. Psychology Degree from UCLA, a Masters in Business Administration from USC, a Masters in Marriage and Family Counseling from the California Graduate Institute and is working towards a doctorate at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Therese is a founding member of the Everychild Foundation, serves on the board of St. Michael’s School and is a past president of The Beach Club. Her greatest joys are her two children: Matthew who graduated from Georgetown University and is now attending University of Pennsylvania Law School and Katie who attends the University of Michigan.

Therese can be reached at: therese@counselingpartnersofla.org

Monica Taylor Dessert // Clinical Director

monica headshotMonica Taylor Dessert co-founded and serves as the Clinical Director of Counseling Partners of Los Angeles.  She received her Masters in Counseling from California State University, Northridge and Bachelors in Psychology and Economics from University of California, Los Angeles.  A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 10 years experience working with children and families in a school setting, Monica brings a passion and enthusiasm for making a difference in children’s lives.

Monica values supporting and encouraging counselors in their growth as therapists.  She enjoys using the Violet Oaklander model of working with children.  However, she supports the therapeutic modalities that best fits the counselors.

Monica previously worked at Outreach Concern, first as a volunteer counselor, then as a Regional Field Supervisor managing the counseling program in various Catholic Elementary and High Schools throughout Los Angeles, and then as a Clinical Supervisor.  Monica developed a reputation for providing excellent support to school faculty, counselors, students, and families and looks forward to continuing to provide support with Counseling Partners of Los Angeles.

Monica can be reached at:  monica@counselingpartnersofla.org


Amy Schwartz  // Field Director

amy bio photo

Amy Schwartz joined the leadership team of CPLA in the Fall of 2013 as Field Director.  She received her Masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications with a minor in Philosophy from Washington State University.

Amy has long worked as both a volunteer as well an employee in the nonprofit sector.  Involvement with organizations from United Way of King County, to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center as well as The American Red Cross helped to foster a desire to enter into the field of counseling.

Amy’s work as a counselor with Outreach Concern as well as her many years as an active parent volunteer in a school setting make her a strong collaborator with school leadership while providing support to the counselors in the field.

Amy can be reached at:  amy@counselingpartnersofla.org

Our Board

The community leaders that serve on our Board of Directors are volunteers that lend their time and expertise to guide our organization responsibly and effectively. Our board is made up of leaders from the private, non-profit and public sectors:

Ms. Andrea Curthoys

Mrs. Monica Taylor Dessert

Ms. Therese Funk

Ms. Yoseline Lopez-Marroquin

Mrs. Marcy Woodhull Polhemus

 Monsignor David O’Connell is a special advisor to CPLA

Program Staff

The CPLA program includes volunteer Masters-level trainees and post-graduate interns working under the close supervision of licensed therapists. All of the CPLA staff are experienced counselors and have undergone a thorough interview/screening process. Counselors attend intensive training prior to their school placements and additional monthly trainings throughout the school year. CPLA believes that consistent oversight and strong supervision of counselors are critical components in achieving success with the students we serve and to best support the training and growth of our counselors.