About Us

Second Chances Counseling is a provider of outpatient and intensive outpatient counseling services in Los Angeles, CA as well as life and relationship coaching services online anywhere, anytime. We work with individuals, couples, families and children.

At Second Chances, we have a team of expert mental health clinicians helping our clients create the life that they want and deserve. We are here to help guide you to heal your unresolved emotional wounds and provide you with the tools to transform your life. We believe that no one should suffer in silence, and that everyone deserves a Second Chance.

Unresolved issues can lead to rocky relationships, family issues and more serious disorders such as anxiety, depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, sex addiction, among others. At Second Chances, we go beyond the symptoms such as anxiety and sadness and treat its underlying cause.

At Second Chances, we believe in treating the whole person. We achieve this through a multidimensional, integrated approach and tailor treatment for what is best for each individual. Each person will receive an extensive evaluation by taking a look at all areas of their lives: Love, Work, Play, Mind, Body, Soul.

Second Chances Model – Our model focuses on the whole person, including the underlying issues that impact a person’s well-being as well as being based on the truth that the more you focus on the problem, the bigger the problem gets. The more you focus on the solution, the bigger the solution gets. We are committed to helping you find solutions. We focus on our client’s strengths and previous successes rather than on past failings and problems. We believe that the clients, themselves, possess the knowledge and wherewithal to solve their problems. With collaboration and co-construction of answers between the client and therapist, change begins to occur.


To find out how to regain control of your life, contact Second Chances at 323-547-2662.


We can help guide you through a Better Marriage, Better Divorce and Better Parenting

Eris Huemer Winans, PsyD, LMFT
Co-Founder, CEO, Clinical Director

Dr. Eris holds a doctorate degree in marriage and family therapy and guides people all over the world toward making positive and lasting life changes and reinventing themselves from the inside out. Through her books, media appearances, seminars, social networking and counseling center, Second Chances, Eris shares her special brand of wit and insight holding up a mirror to the face of relationships in modern society. Through these mediums, she helps people gain an understanding of who they are and what they love, as individuals, independent of their love relationships, get through internal roadblocks, and then use that knowledge to create the life they deserve.

Dr. Eris believes in treating the whole person (Mental, Physical, Career, Finance, Environment, Recreation and Relationships), while drawing from an eclectic blend of therapeutic approaches and techniques including CBT, Solution Focused, Mindfulness, Psychodynamic, Depth, Play, and more. She takes a no-nonsense, straightforward approach to looking at people’s personal experience and helps them through their relationship stages while helping them create a Better Marriage or a Better Divorce while inspiring them to become Better Parents.

Dr. Eris has shared her expert advice on the psychology of sex, love, breakups, divorce and other human behaviors on HLN’s Dr. Drew On Call, Nancy Grace, Jeff Probst Show, Hallmark Channel, NPR, Entertainment Tonight, Extra, KiiS FM with Ryan Seacrest and others. She was a star of Bravo TV’s LA Shrinks and author of Break-Up Emergency: A Guide to Transform Your Break UP into a Break THROUGH.

Dr. Eris co-founded Divorce Doctor in light of her own life story.  She, herself, is a child of divorce. This process was excruciating for her and she wanted to help other families have a Better Divorce, by giving them the tools and support that she didn’t have. Her past has become her life’s mission to help as many couples and individuals let go of their personal baggage, stop repeating the same patterns, and create healthier relationships – even in the most difficult times.

Clayton Winans
Co-Founder, CMO, Coach

Clayton is the co-founder and Creative Marketing Director of Second Chances International, Divorce Doctor and co-author of Break-Up Emergency: A Guide to Transform Your Break UP into a Break THROUGH. Through creative media and writing with Dr. Eris, he inspires people to take a real look at themselves, their lives and their relationships by showing them how to focus on making decisions to have a Better Marriage or a Better Divorce, while inspiring them to become Better Parents.

Clayton co-founded Divorce Doctor in light of his own life experience.  He is a child of multiple divorces, which inspired him to find tools to help other children and families going through similar circumstances. He coaches people to break through unmanageable relationship cycles with a Solution Focused and Mindful approach. He does this by having people look at all areas of their lives: Mental, Physical, Career, Finance, Environment, Recreation and Relationships. His commitment is to help you transform your life into one of purpose, peace and joy.



Emily Jody, MA, LMFT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Emily Jody is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT90739) with a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Chapman University. Emily uses authenticity, directness, honesty, compassion, and nonjudgmental truth to help individuals, couples, and families move from feeling stuck and incapable of change to a place of freedom and relief.

Emily believes in creating a safe environment so individuals feel the freedom to confront their underlying issues and move towards long lasting change. Her main objective is to help others experience more meaningful, satisfying and authentic lives.

She offers an eclectic approach, including Psychodynamic, Object Relations, Emotion-Focused, Cognitive Behavioral, Dialectical Behavioral, and Family Systems. Emily also specializes in the treatment of individuals, and their families, with eating disorders.

Johanne Preciado, MA, MFT, LPCC
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor

Johanne Preciado is a bilingual Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (CP2148, LMFT45443) specializing in individual, children/adolescent and family therapy. With over 13 years experience as a therapist, she works with a broad spectrum of clients. Among her areas of expertise are trauma, depression, anxiety and working with children birth to five. She has experience in providing group therapy and workshops in a variety of topics, including but not limited to, parenting, self harming behaviors, women’s empowerment, youth self esteem and social skill building.

Johanne is an interactive, solution-focused therapist. Her therapeutic approach is to provide support and practical feedback to help clients effectively address personal life challenges. She integrates complementary methodologies and techniques to offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each client. With compassion and understanding, she works with each individual to help them build on their strengths and attain the personal growth they are committed to accomplishing.

Johanne additionally trains and mentors in a variety of evidence-based practices including PCIT (Parent Child Interaction Therapy) and Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), which are programs geared towards treatment of  infants and young children. She is skilled in assisting families needing support with children’s mental health issues and provides home and school visits in order to assist the family creating sustainable plans inclusive of all the children’s natural supports to truly succeed in carrying out change.

Aaron Smith, PsyD
Licensed Psychologist

Dr. Aaron Smith is a licensed psychologist (PSY 30696) who is passionate about working with adults who are seeking assistance for depression, anxiety, trauma, and substance use disorders. Dr. Aaron collaborates with clients to facilitate mental well-being and a state of emotional congruence. Additionally, he empowers individuals to enhance their lives through increased self-awareness and relational support.

Dr. Aaron’s approach to therapy is strength-based and interpersonally informed. Furthermore, he believes support is most effectively cultivated through a relationship that promotes safety, compassion and respect. Clinically, Dr. Aaron draws from a range of therapeutic techniques including Solution Focused, CBT, DBT, ACT, and Mindfulness.

In addition to his doctorate in Counseling Psychology through the University of Wisconsin-Madison and masters degree in Counseling granted from Michigan State University, Dr. Aaron also received training in co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders through an internship, as well as a post-doctoral fellowship, with Tarzana Treatment Centers.

Natalie Carpio, MA, AMFT
Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

Natalie Carpio values the idea that everyone wants to be genuinely heard. She works with a wide range of issues, including, anxiety, depression, adjustment, self-empowerment, childhood disorders, relationship/family concerns, trauma, and other mental health issues, while creating more meaning and purpose in one’s life. Natalie works collaboratively with her clients and builds upon their strengths to become their most powerful tool. Natalie encourages shifts to promote healthy expression, communication, and self-love, which will in turn, help one bloom in other aspects of their lives.

Natalie graduated with her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Marriage & Family Therapy (IMF82702). Natalie has been working with children, adolescents, adults and families in various settings. She values her ability to meet the needs of individuals by building a supportive, safe, and warm environment, that includes an open-minded style with encouragement and creativity.

Natalie is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy, which helps clients earn their power and strength back after a distressing experience.  Natalie integrates mindfulness, guided imagery, challenging distortions, positive talk, relaxation, and play into therapy depending on her client’s need. Natalie uses Cognitive, Humanistic, Solution Focused, and Positive Therapy as treatment modalities.  Natalie incorporates family systems, while keeping the client in mind as priority in the therapeutic relationship. Natalie values her unconditional regard for her clients and her ability to connect with them in a genuine and open minded.

Haya Avetisyan, MA
Marriage & Family Therapist Associate

Haya Avetisyan is an associate marriage and family therapist (AMFT 109455) with nearly a decade of experience in the mental health field in and outside of the United States. This includes teaching psychology at university and conducting a dissertation research on etiology of psychological coping mechanisms in three generations – children, parents and grandparents. Haya provides therapy in three languages (English, Russian, Armenian). She has extensive training and experience in assessing and providing treatment to people with histories of trauma, adjustment challenges to medical diagnosis and major life changes, relationship distress with partners, parenting difficulties, mood-related disorders, anxiety, emotion-regulation challenges in children and adults.

Creating a safe and empathic environment for clients is the foundation in the treatment approaches utilized by Haya, which vary from psychodynamically oriented in-depth therapy to short-term goal-directed modalities such as TF-CBT, Solution-Focused Therapy, and Seeking Safety. Haya is creative in designing treatments that are unique and sensitive to each person. She is passionate about becoming a part of each clients’ journey in uncovering the underlying casualties of their mental health challenges and achieving a high level of self-awareness in order to build a life worth leaving. She facilitates clients in embracing every moment of their lives without unnecessary surfing on the waves of the past or being preoccupied with uncontrollable worries about the future. Haya believes that pain is often the keyhole to the most vulnerable yet most beautiful parts of our existence and she has necessary skills for guiding people to become their own locksmiths.

Jake Ferrante, MA
Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

Jake Ferrante is an associate marriage and family therapist (AMFT113539) and specializes in treating individuals, couples, and families. He has ten years of experience as a therapist, which includes treatment of anxiety, depression, childhood/adult sexual trauma, domestic violence, grief, PTSD, substance abuse, codependency, and LGBTQ issues. Jake is a certified and experienced group facilitator of DBT, domestic violence, IOP substance abuse recovery, and seeking safety groups.

Jake’s approach to therapy is deeply rooted in humanistic psychology and family systems theory. He is down to earth and establishes therapeutic relationships based on authenticity, acceptance and trust. His direct communication style and compassion facilitates a therapeutic experience that is integrative, goal oriented and client centered. Jake collaborates with clients to guide them along their path to recovery. He believes the path to healing emotional and psychological distress is achieved by assisting clients to discover their ability to mitigate feelings of distress through empowerment, self awareness and increased insight. Some of the various evidence based modalities utilized in therapy include CBT, DBT, EFT and MI.

Jake Ferrante received a Masters Degree in Counseling with an emphasis in Marriage Family Therapy from California State University Northridge, where he also completed his undergraduate studies in psychology. Furthermore, he was a licensed professional counselor and the lead therapist at an integrated community mental health agency in Arizona. He gained clinical experience treating individuals with SMI, co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders. Additionally he presented Trauma Informed Care training for staff and professionals in the community.

Dominique Petrassi, MA
Marriage & Family Therapist

Dominique Petrassi is a Marriage & Family Therapist Associate (AMFT #111284) and has experience working with anxiety, depression, interpersonal/relationship difficulties, and post-trauma related symptoms as well as people struggling with coming out, questioning their sexual/gender identity, or other issues connected with the unique experiences of being LGBTQQIAPK+ in our society. She is also trained in EMDR, a therapeutic approach that helps to effectively alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories.

Adapting a variety of practices and therapies with a LGBTQ+ affirmative lens, she will help you to explore and identify what may be interfering with your ability to live a fulfilling life. She works collaboratively with her clients to develop their goals and make sure that the sessions are tailored to their unique needs and experiences. She will work together with you to alleviate emotional distress and empower you to access your untapped potential, increase healthy self-esteem and coping skills, and overcome the harmful effects of social oppression and discrimination.

Roger Schwartz, MA
Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT #112741)

With a Master’s Degree from Alliant International University, and hailing from the film industry, Roger Shwartz brings a unique skill-set to his work with individuals and couples. His eclectic approach combines aspects of solution-focused, narrative, emotion focused, and attachment-based therapies in a manner tailored to client’s needs. He believes that therapy should be collaborative, client-centered, and build upon each person’s strengths and resilience. Within this framework, he is dedicated to addressing the full gamut of therapeutic issues from relationship challenges and life adjustments, to addictions, depression and anxiety.  With a special interest in working with couples, Roger facilitates insight, compromise, and communication with the ultimate aim that clients gain self-awareness, a sense of mutuality, and increased life satisfaction.

Paula Verbit, MA
Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT #108436)

Paula Verbit believes in providing compassionate, individualized and strength-based therapy informed by Positive Psychology, Spiritual Psychology and Strength Based Therapy. Her style is warm, collaborative and supportive as she promotes a therapeutic focus on co-creating a plan with the client to facilitate healing and growth. She creates a safe space in which clients may work towards self-awareness, insight and planned goals, accessing inner resilience, resourcefulness and a sense of joy.

Paula works with adults, children, couples and families using a variety of modalities, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, and Family Systems Therapy. She has experience in treating anxiety, depression, grief, loss, trauma, relationship issues, life transitions, issues of aging, self-esteem and self-empowerment.

Paula received her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Touro University. She is also a Certified Life Coach with experience in effectively coaching clients in the areas of relationships, peak performance and the creative arts.

Malea, MA
Marriage & Family Therapy Associate

Malea has a longstanding passion working with adolescent girls, women, and the LGBT+ community. She believes in the healing power of the therapeutic relationship, honoring the client’s inner truth and resilience, while providing culturally sensitive therapy. She uses a feminist approach in order to empower clients to understand cultural messages surrounding body image, gender, toxic societal roles and expectations.

Malea’s hope for clients is to provide a safe space to learn and explore experiences. While in the therapy journey, she helps connect the relationship between emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in conjunction with meeting the client where they are at. She honors each client’s individuality and way of connecting to the world in addition to taking in personal history/herstory and influence of societal/ political context. Malea attempts to bring radical acceptance, authenticity, and humor to each session.

Malea graduated her master’s program at Antioch University, specializing in LGBT Affirmative Therapy and has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Gender Studies. Her clinical interests include: working with eating disorders, LGBT+ and gender non-conforming clients, and girls/women’s issues. She has a background working with various non-profits with an emphasis on social justice and feminism.

Prescilla Cardenas

Prescilla is Second Chances’ Business Manager. She strives to carry out the mission, vision, objectives and values that make Second Chances a comfortable and safe place to grow. By overseeing each department in their functions, her goal it to make sure that each client that walks through our doors receives the utmost and personalized care.

Brook Leganza

Brook provides  administrative  assistance  for Second Chances, working hard to ensure that our clients get the care they deserve.