Our team of therapists have been trained by Behavioral Tech, the institute that founded the Dialectical Behavior Therapy approach. In addition, our team has been trained in related therapeutic modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. On average our therapists have over ten years of work experience and the DBT Center of Marin has been serving the Bay Area since 2000. 

Therapy Services

  • Individual & Comprehensive DBT Therapy

  • Short- and Long-term Psychotherapy for Depression, Anxiety, Life Stressors

  • Adolescent, Couples & Family Psychotherapy

  • Consultation and Counseling for Parents

  • Training & Consultation for Professionals and Organizations

Group Skills Programs

Adult Group

DBT Skills Group Tuesday 12:30pm-2:30pm

Facilitated by Alicia Smart, PsyD and Jed Purses, AMFT

Corte Madera Location

DBT Skills Group Tuesday 6:00pm-8:00pm

Facilitated by Michael Vurek, LCSW

Corte Madera Location

DBT Skills Group Friday 10:00am-12:00pm

Facilitated by David Fish, MFT and Shannon Stearns, AMFT

Corte Madera Location

RO DBT Skills Group Thursday 6:00pm-8:00pm

Facilitated by David Fish, MFT and Shelley Richardson, MFT

Corte Madera Location

Mindfulness Group

Third Thursday of the Month, 7:00pm-8:30pm

Facilitated by Shelley Richardson, MFT

San Anselmo Location

Parent Groups

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Facilitated by Nancie Jordan, MFT and Shelley Richardson, MFT

Corte Madera Location

Teen Group

DBT Skills Group for younger teens (7th-9th) Monday 4:30pm-6:00pm

Facilitated by Briana Aitkenhead, AMFT and Shannon Stearns, AMFT

San Anselmo Location

DBT Skills Group for Boys (for those who identify as maie) Tuesday 4:00pm-5:30pm

Facilitated by Briana Aitkenhead, AMFT

Corte Madera Location

DBT Skills Group (9th-12th) Wednesday 5:00pm-6:30pm

Facilitated by Laurie Margaritonda, PsyD and Jed Purses, AMFT

Corte Madera Location

DBT Skills Group (9th-12th) Wednesday 5:00pm-6:30pm

Facilitated by Briana Aitkenhead, AMFT

Corte Madera Location

RO DBT Skills Group Young Adult (Ages 16-22) Monday 5:00pm-7:00pm

Facilitated by Julie Miknis, MFT

Corte Madera Location


* Multifamily DBT Skills Group, Fall 2019

For enrollment, please contact Julie Miknis, MFT at 415-459-5206

* Introduction to Mindfulness, October 2019

For enrollment, please contact Shelley Richardson, MFT at 415-459-5206

Meet Our Clinical Director


Alicia Smart, PsyD (PSY 24516) DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Clinician™  

Dr. Alicia Smart has over 14 years of experience working with a wide range of individuals, ranging from older adults to adolescent clients. She specializes in working with personality disorders, depression, grief/loss, anxiety, relationship difficulties, impulsivity, and anger management. .... Read more

Our Therapists

Julie Miknis, MFT (MFC 88523) Adolescent Program Director

"As a Marriage Family Therapist, I am committed to providing a safe and hope-filled space for my clients to explore their experiences and move towards healing and transformation.  In a confidential, caring, and supportive environment, my goal as a therapist is to help clients work through the struggles they face that hold them back from living a life of happiness, purpose, and meaning"  .... Read more

Shelley Richardson, MFT (MFC 48073)

Marriage and family therapist, specializing in DBT, EMDR trauma, grief, addiction and couples (including high-conflict couples using DBT).

"I enjoy working with individuals and couples who are looking for ways to heal from past hurts, create lives worth living, or deal with anxiety, stress, and life transitions.  Approaching each client from a place of acceptance, my style varies depending on your needs - from listening and supporting you to asking tough questions or providing more direction ... Read more

Michael Vurek, LCSW (LCS 12882)

Michael a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who uses various forms of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with individuals and groups for adults who are experiencing difficulties living their lives with strong emotions or anxiety.  His clients may have diagnoses of depression, bipolar disorder, various anxiety disorders, as well as borderline or other personality disorders.  The approaches he uses are supported by basic behavioral science  .... Read more

Nancie Jordan, MFT (MFC 48481)

"I am a Marriage and Family Therapist intensively trained in DBT, specializing in working with adults, couples and families. I have 10 years of experience running teen, adult and parent DBT groups.  I am a level III Gottman trained couples therapist. In my work I incorporate a psychodynamic approach with mindfulness, DBT, and CBT techniques. I am also trained in EMDR an effective trauma based treatment useful in working with individuals with"  .... Read more

David Fish, MFT (MFC 52449) 

“There’s a theme that runs through the various kinds of work I do with clients:  Compassionate, Mindfulness-based Psychotherapy. You are more than the web of thoughts and feelings that ensnare you.  By turning towards your present experience, using a supportive therapeutic relationship, and experimenting with new learning, you  can discover more fulfilling ways of living." ... Read more


Laurie Margaritonda, PsyD, Psychologist (PSY30650)

Laurie has many years of experience working with clients on an array of life issues.  She received a masters in clinical social work from Rutgers University and doctorate in clinical psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies.  Her clinical orientation is towards whole person treatment, and she engages an array of modalities depending on the needs of her clients, including mindfulness, DBT, psychodynamic, interpersonal, relational, somatic, and transpersonal ... Read more

Briana Aitkenhead, Associate MFT (IMF29746)

Briana is a Canadian psychotherapist and has been working toward her California license since 2014. Briana graduated from Ottawa University with a master’s degree in Counseling and Spirituality in 2013. Briana completed her undergraduate degree with honors in Psychology from Carleton University, Canada's Capital University in...Read more

Lori Lavinthal MA, LMFT (MFC39904)

Lori Lavinthal MA, LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, providing DBT, and psychotherapy to adults, adolescents, families, and couples. She has 20 years of experience working in mental health and specializes in treating Anxiety, Depression, Eating Disorders, Trauma, and Interpersonal Problems…..Read more

Jed Purses Associate MFT (AMFT111505)

Jed brings a holistic approach to mental health treatment, and is experienced providing individual, group and family therapy in outpatient settings. Ultimately, Jed believes in meeting clients in their toughest moments to transform wounds, hardships, depression, anxiety into sources of power and resilience….Read more

Shannon Stearns Associate MFT (AMFT99627)

Shannon has been implementing DBT with adolescents, adults, couples, and families for over a decade, beginning in inpatient and residential settings and continuing into outpatient and private practice. She is passionate about the evidenced impact of DBT and its ability to empower and inspire clients who experience emotional dysregulation and intense interpersonal pain…Read more


"Dr. Smart is a deeply intelligent and compassionate professional and human being. I spent several years as her client and I attribute her with being the beacon which guided me through a very dark time.
Her patient counsel and skillful understanding of DBT has been pivotal in helping me learn, quite simply, how to live; training and practicing distress tolerance and eventually being able to let go of life-long self-destructive behaviors."

-DBT Center of Marin Client 2014

"You folks are great - DBT has changed my life. Just last week, I recommended an acquaintance contact you about DBT."

-DBT Center of Marin Client 2014

"The DBT center of Marin provided a structure and methodology which delivered nothing short of a miracle. They quite possibly saved my daughters life. They provided tools for my daughter, my ex, and myself to accept, communicate, and heal. We now have our lives back and our daughter is happy and thriving again. A big thank you to David, Alicia, Shelly and the entire team!"

-DBT Center of Marin Client 2014