The Struggle is Real

Feeling like a little girl dressed up in a grown-ass woman’s body

But seriously…you keep trying to find answers and work on yourself, but you’re left wondering, “What the eff is wrong with me?”

How come, despite all the success you’re experiencing on the outside, you still feel like a total failure?

Weren’t you supposed to be happy by now, know what the eff you are doing with your life, and have gotten over those terrible habits that started in your teens (i.e., nail-biting, overeating, and lying to avoid getting in trouble)?

Kayla’s* façade game is strong

Homegirl is checking off all the boxes of success for an early 20-something: stellar grades in high school got her into a top-notch university, she’s landed some great internships, and she’s involved in a handful of clubs and sports on campus.

Oh, plus she has a core group of friends who are loving and supportive.

Little do they know that Kayla is binge-eating weekly, has a history of self-harm, and is exhausted from keeping up her façade where she is “Great!” on the outside but saying “FML” on the inside.

Time and time again, she finds herself finishing a jumbo bag of chips or picking compulsively at her scabs and wondering, “What the eff is wrong with me?”

Maddy’s* friends joke she’s “like a machine”

Girlfriend is killing it for what post-grad life looks like: she landed the job with lots of potential for promotion. She’s newly-engaged and seems to be checking off all the boxes.

She’s looking forward to moving up career-wise. But, oh wait, she must go to more school for those top spots.

She just worked her ass off for the past four years in undergrad. It seems like, no matter how hard she works, the finish line keeps getting pushed further and further away.

The stress and strain are starting to get to her: bags under her eyes, weight gain, and insomnia. She feels disconnected from her fiancé and isolated from friends.  Isn’t insomnia something that happens to older people and not to someone in her 20s?

She can’t stop herself from going over the lists of what she needs to do the next day, replaying awkward interactions with her coworkers, and figuring out how she will be able to get everything done for everyone else, including family, friends, and her fiancé.

They are so proud and impressed with her “discipline,” but they have no idea how weak, pathetic, and depressed she feels. “If they knew me, they would turn away. What the eff is wrong with me?”

Amanda’s* Instagram is filled with fake smiles and her “perfect” family while she feels like the worst mom ever

Sis has been struggling. She figured that by her mid-30s, she would have her career, marriage, and family started. Flash forward: her transition to motherhood was r o u g h and she’s working at a job that’s completely dissatisfying. Yes, she has a job, partner, and kiddo, but she’s not happy.

She came from a loving family but had an inkling that some of the sh*t that went down between her mom and dad when she was a child is impacting her as a new mom.

She keeps getting into petty arguments with her partner and is often frustrated since she feels like she is doing more of the labor at home–both taking care of their child and handling all the emotional labor. She rarely shares with her friends about how isolated she feels in her marriage. 

Her life is filled with fear of disappointing her parents, inconveniencing her crappy boss, and burdening her friends. 

And it is taking a toll: she struggles to get out of bed some mornings, finds herself crying over dumb sh*t, and occasionally wonders what it would be like ‘not to be around anymore.’ And no matter what new habit she tries to make, she cannot get her sh*t together.

“What the eff is wrong with me? What the eff is my effing problem? I need some effing help.”

Why is the struggle so real?

What the eff is wrong with Amanda, Maddy, Kayla, and you? Maybe they lack self-esteem…or just need healthy boundaries…or what if they just try harder?

Perhaps if they joined Orange Theory, dyed their hair, bought themselves some new outfits at Anthropologie, or stopped giving two f*cks about what other people thought then maybe (just maybe) they would feel better about themselves, hate themselves a little less, and be a tad kinder to themselves?

The question, dear reader who has made it this far, is not “What the eff is wrong with me?” but really “What the eff happened to me?”

I work with patients to answer that question and pinpoint what experiences in the past are continuing to impact them in the present. With the use of some badass therapy skills, I will help you let your past sh*t go, pick up useful tools along the way, and change the trajectory of your life. You don’t have to live like this anymore. This is not as good as it gets. Young women have to navigate to much–let me help you find your compass and head towards your true North. 

*Names have been changed to preserve client confidentiality.

Hi, I’m Marissa.

“Though she be but little, she is fierce.”

– Shakespeare

 My mission in life is to empower young women to stop playing small and start taking up space – with their parents, partners, professors, peers, children, and friends.

I went to therapy for the first time at 20 and was struggling. On the outside, everything looked amazing; but on the inside, I was drowning, and my façade was starting to crack.

With the help of a therapist (and subsequent therapists), I was able to discard my negative patterns, dump my negative beliefs, and step into adulthood with confidence and direction. Every day, I am grateful for the opportunity to create the same change in my patients.

My background

As a twin, I like to brag that I have about nine more months of social intelligence than the average human.

I was born and raised in Claremont and am a bona fide California girl. As an undergraduate, I attended UC Santa Barbara and then received my Masters of Science in Clinical Psychology from California State University, Fullerton.

In September of 2018, I became licensed in California and opened-up shop to my practice in March 2020.

When I am not in session with my patients, I spend my time podcasting (The Codependummy Podcast), meditating, reading, spending quality time with friends and family, binging on audiobooks, attending my own therapy, and moving my body in ways that bring me joy. I’m happily married, an expectant mother, and passionate about the field of psychotherapy. I look forward to sharing that passion with you!