About Me

Hello! I am Catherine Alvarado

During my undergraduate years at LMU, I worked with Project Touch Teen and Family Counseling in Hermosa Beach where I was able to co-facilitate group counseling with teens. I especially enjoy working with students and have developed an understanding of and sensitivity to the interrelationship of work, school, home life, friends, etc. At MSMU, I worked as Graduate Assistant for Career and Professional Development where I provided career counseling and created career development programs to provide college students and alumnae with opportunities to achieve their personal and professional goals.

With The Ness Counseling Center, I worked with a culturally diverse clientele ranging from four to seventy providing short-term and long-term individual therapy. From there, I worked at Otis College of Art and Design as the Operations Manager for their Student Health and Wellness Center where I triaged college students and scheduled for the counseling and medical providers on campus. Before relocating my services to Hermosa Beach, I provided individual and family therapy in Arcadia, CA for a group private practice called Soultenders. There I worked with adults, young adults, teens, and adolescents using a variety of clinical approaches.  


I earned a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University (LMU). I went on to earn a Master’s from Mount Saint Marys University (MSMU), with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy. In addition, I make it a high priority to continually expand my knowledge and do so by attending trainings and obtaining certifications for related clinical work.



Therapeutic model focused on amplifying positive inner resources such as positive emotions, character strengths, meaning, positive relationships and intrinsically motivated accomplishments.



Teaches you to reframe negative thoughts about the trauma, leading to healthier behaviors and improved emotion regulation. Adjuncts to its original form are Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).


After experiencing something painful, being in the body can be difficult. Therefore clients may need to actively re-learn how to feel sensations in the body and discern between danger and discomfort to occupy the body again. SE is a body-centered approach that takes a look at bodily energy created by trauma and seeks to repair and complete the natural cycle our bodies possess to release it. This approach can be helpful for challenging symptoms of PTSD and trauma such as dissociation and hyper-vigilance.


A type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Typically, DBT for trauma involves learning skills that focus on the development of mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.


Art therapy has been shown to benefit people of all ages. Art therapy uses creative mediums like drawing, painting, coloring, and sculpture. For trauma recovery, art helps process traumatic events in a new away. Art provides an outlet when words fail.


Therapeutic approach which provides an opportunity for children to ‘play out’ feelings and problems, using toys to symbolically represent their inner and outer worlds. Play is a child’s natural language and way of making sense of their experiences-through the use of play, the therapist can enter the child’s world and communicate with the child at his or her level.


Phased, focused approach to treating trauma and other symptoms by reconnecting the client in a safe away to the images, self-thoughts, emotions, and body sensations associated with the trauma.


Based on developing or rebuilding trust and center on expressing emotion. This approach looks at early attachment experiences with primary caregivers and how these relationships ultimately form the structure of emotional and physical relationships as an adult.


Counseling method that helps people resolve ambivalent feelings and insecurities to find the internal motivation they need to change their behavior.


Aims to help people find tools they can use to immediately manage symptoms and cope with challenges.


Designed to focus a person’s attention on the present experience in a way that is non-judgement.


Body-Mind Psychotherapy is based on the idea that humans tend to dissociate from their bodily experiences. They sometimes get stuck in their heads and ignore their bodies. Through the use of things like mindfulness, body-mind psychotherapy can help a person open up the body and mind to allow both to be experienced and integrated.


Internal Family Systems (IFS) is an integrative approach that explores the mind as made up of multiple parts along with a persons true self. Each part has its own sub-personality with its own roles. IFS aims to heal wounded parts and promote internal connection and harmony by bringing the mind back into balance.


Teens & Young Adults

Anxiety, Life Transitions, Trauma

Areas I Can Help You With:

Professional Affiliations:

Finding the Right Therapist For You

Therapy sessions are designed to be a safe space for you to heal, grow, and empower your inner voice. I want to help you achieve your goals all the while inspiring you to live, learn, and lead with authentic purpose. I believe finding a comfortable match between therapist and client is essential to successful therapy. Whether we work together in the office or online, you will always have my support as we explore challenges and themes that keep you feeling stuck. Starting therapy for the first time or deciding that you could use some support can feel intimidating. Knowing this, it is my mission to ensure my clients feel comfortable and safe. The last thing I want to do is have therapy be an additional stress!

My office is located in Hermosa Beach and I have provided counseling and therapy services to teens and adults of all ages in Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, El Segundo, Torrance, and throughout the South Bay.

Scheduling Your First Session

Feel free to contact me at 323.296.9846 (please leave a voicemail with your name, number, and the best day/time to reach out you) or email. You may also request an appointment online by clicking the link below. I offer prospective clients a free 20 minute phone consultation to answer any specific questions and see if we might be a good fit. If you would like to, you may schedule an appointment online by clicking the button below.


Find Your Resources to Flourish

Self-care is essential for a balanced mind, body, and soul. Mindfulness is crucial to the act of self-care. Through this practice, we gain clarity and awareness about the quality of the relationship we have with ourselves and the world around us. We can also identify unkind behaviors, thoughts, and judgments that negatively impact our experiences. Ultimately, we experience a shift in mindset and a genuine desire to treat ourselves with more compassion.

The heart of self-care is self-compassion – an understanding, kindness, and acceptance towards the self. Over time self-care will no longer be something you go to when you need it, but something you have already embedded within your life.