Potentia is a collaborative practice treating the whole person and the whole spectrum of mental health and wellness struggles.

Led by Rebecca Bass-Ching, the Potentia team of therapists and wellness professionals will support your personal and professional goals mind, body and soul.

Kimberly Ayres, LMFT

Supervised by Rebecca Bass-Ching, LMFT #44584

Kimberly Ayres | Potentia Therapy

There are many people like you concerned about reaching out for support for fear of feeling like a burden or being misunderstood. To those of you who feel lost, confused, broken, I believe you are worthy of being seen, and thank you for being brave and looking for support. Regardless of what is going on in your life now or in the past, I believe you and value your experience and perspective. 

My approach to therapy is highly relational and contextual – meaning I listen and take into account the unique aspects of you, your story, your environment, and your belief system. I get curious with you about where you come from and the people who have impacted your life.

My trauma-informed training and my own life experiences make me keenly aware of how much  pain comes from relational violations, betrayals, and losses, so I don’t take for granted how much it takes to dare to try and trust someone new. Warmth, genuineness, clear boundaries, and a deep respect for the body and neuroscience inform my approach to our time together. 

I work with individuals and families who are:

  • asking if life is really worth living
  • experiencing life transitions around school, career, and relationships
  • exploring identity and wanting to know themselves better  
  • seeking resilience from traumatic experiences such as: abuse and assaults, betrayals, racism, sexism, homophobia, bullying
  • desiring to feel more connected in their relationships with self and others tired of anxiety and depression keeping them small and afraid

Education:

  • M.S. Counseling (Marriage and Family Therapy)
  • San Diego State University
  • B.A. Psychology, summa cum laude
  • Point Loma Nazarene University

Specialized Training:

  • EMDR (Level 1 in Fall 2019)
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Mind-Body Approaches
  • RYT200 Certified Yoga Instructor 

Affiliations:

  • California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT)
  • American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT)
  • Yoga Teacher Alliance (YTA)

I’m a biracial woman (she/her) from the mountains and lakes of Northern California. My own liberation is found in community where I continue to find that we are not as alone as we think.  Authenticity, warmth, and respect are very important in my cultures, so I bring those values into all areas of my life. 

Some things that bring me everyday joy and healing are: listening to my body when it says slow down, creating through art and movement, and eating delicious food.  I also geek out with books, and switch up my hobbies pretty consistently. Currently, I’m making tea. 

Email Kimberly

Call Kimberly at 619.819.0283 ext 3

Lauren Bryan, M.A, ASW #77341

Supervised by Rebecca Bass-Ching, LMFT #44584

Lauren Bryan | Potentia Therapy

When you feel out of control with negative beliefs about yourself, your story,  your body – life can feel overwhelming and really lonely. Together, we will move you from believing you can’t do anything right, you are constantly failing yourself and others and you’re never going to be enough to a place of living with more courage, confidence, and meaningful connections.

You are tired of the constant comparison and fear of being misunderstood that keeps you from sharing your struggles. Perfectionism, people pleasing, fad diets, extreme ways of feeding + moving your body attempt to numb the shame and fear of not being understood, but they end up making you feel worse.

Our brain’s main job is to protect us when upsetting and confusing events happen. Sometimes we see the impact of difficult life experiences manifest through unexplained anxiety, depressed mood, broken connections with peers and family members, challenges in choices, obsessions, overwhelm, poor sleep, to name a few.

We will work together and develop mind and body connections to create a sense of wholeness in your life by helping your brain do what it was originally intended to do – heal.

I have extensive experience working with tweens, teens, college and early career adults who struggle with:

  • identity
  • shame,
  • eating disorders
  • lack of connection with peers and family members
  • family stress
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Isolation
  • women’s issues
  • negative body image
  • loneliness

My training has been focused on unburdening somatic symptoms through Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, connecting mind and body through yoga practices and mind meditation, and using evidenced based trauma treatments such as Somatic Experience Therapy and Internal Family Systems. I love incorporating art to help you find creative ways to express yourself throughout treatment.

I look forward to connecting soon and supporting you living a life with more meaning, purpose, and joy.

Specialized Training:

  •       Intro to Internal Family Systems Therapy
  •       Intro to Integrating Somatic Experience Therapy with EMDR Therapy
  •       EMDR-Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy Trained
  •       Collecting hours and consultation for certification.
  •       Parent Child Interaction Therapy Trained in PRIDE Skills
  •       Sand Tray Therapy Training
  •       Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) Trained

Education:

  •       MA, Clinical Social Work-Baylor University
  •       BA, Social work-University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

Memberships:

  • NASW

On a more personal note,  I have a heart and passion for traveling with my loved ones. I am regularly cooking and experimenting with anything chocolate and sweet in my kitchen. My wonderful husband and I enjoy any activity outside and exploring new places to eat around the amazing city of San Diego.

Email Lauren

Call Lauren at 619.819.0283 ext 10

Chris Cessna, LMFT, MFC #83316

Chris-Cessna300I have extensive experience working with men and women seeking support with mood issues, compulsive behaviors, substance abuse and dependence as well as individuals wanting to address the impact of traumatic or distressing life experiences. My work with clients is strongly influenced by Brené Brown’s shame resilience theory, the research of interpersonal neurobiology from Dan Siegel and others, and family systems theory.

In our work together, you will find a safe space to be honest about your struggles. I respect the courage it takes to reach out and ask for help and in return I offer empathic, specialized, and collaborative care. Whether you are struggling with identity issues, shame, loneliness, mood issues or pain from your past, I am committed to working with you to confront the challenges in your life while navigating the pain and joy of the healing process. We will work together to identify the thoughts, emotions, and beliefs that are keeping you stuck, and explore ways to help you live with authenticity and freedom.

Specialized Training:

  • EMDR Basic Training (Part 1 & 2) — Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a therapeutic approach that facilitates healing from the impact of traumatic experiences.
  • Interpersonal Neurobiology — a field focused on the science of the mind, brain, and relationships, offering unique contributions to the understanding of attachment, trauma, and emotion regulation.
  • Substance Abuse and Dependence — seven years of clinical experience working with men and women with co-occurring disorders at the San Diego Rescue Mission.
  • Gottman Method Couples Therapy (level I)

Education:

  • MA, Marriage and Family Therapy — Bethel Seminary San Diego
  • BA, Psychology — Anderson University (Indiana)

Memberships and Affiliations:

  • Global Association for Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies (GAINS)
  • EMDR International Association (EMDRIA)
  • California Association for Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT)
  • Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS)

I have been married for 11 years, and we have two young children (with a third on the way). After growing up in small-town Illinois, San Diego has become home. I love enjoying the outdoors while hiking and backpacking, especially exploring the high altitude scenery of the Sierra Nevada. I am passionate about good coffee, and my newest hobby has become never-ending basketball games with my 5 year old son.

Email Chris

Call Chris at 619.819.0283 ext 2

Megan Holt-Hellner, DrPH, MPH, RD #83316

About The Team

Dr. Megan Hellner has been practicing as a registered dietitian in California for the past fourteen years. Additionally, she earned her doctorate in public health, with an emphasis in preventive care, from Loma Linda University. A proud alumna, Dr. Hellner earned a BS in Nutrition, Registered Dietitian’s license and Master’s Degree in public health epidemiology at San Diego State University.

Dr. Hellner spent a number of years working in many eating disorder treatment programs prior to settling into private practice.  She now serves as Nutrition and Wellness Coordinator for Potentia Family Therapy, where she helps persons struggling with disordered eating as well as elite athletes (and weekend warriors alike) meet their needs using a non-diet philosophy and ‘food first’ approach. Prior to this, she served as the Team Dietitian for University of San Diego’s Athletic Department, and as a consultant for a number of youth sports programs throughout San Diego County.  She also worked as a clinical dietitian for years in the acute care setting.  She is driven by a desire to help individuals understand and appreciate the synergistic influences of nutrition, exercise, stress management and other protective lifestyle factors on health using evidence-based practices.  She thoroughly enjoys the interdisciplinary approach, as we know that having a strong and collaborative team of licensed professional in place leads to improved treatment outcomes.

Outside of the professional setting, Dr.Hellner’s passions include traveling, swimming, yoga, farmer’s markets, animal welfare, education, live music and spending time with her beautiful puppy, Reba.

Email Megan

Call Megan at 619.819.0283 ext 1

Holly Kelley, LMFT, IMF #110366

Holly Kelley | Potentia Therapy

It takes courage to show up for yourself and in your relationships. To allow yourself to be seen and known is as risky as it is rewarding and letting someone into your personal life is an ongoing act of bravery.

Whether you experienced something that left you stuck, feel like life has turned itself inside-out recently, or you’re contemplating a big change – our story is important and how you write your next chapter matters.

Life can take you in a direction you never intended to go. The results can leave you feeling alone, unseen, unheard and like your story doesn’t matter.

You do not have to keep going it alone when life seems overwhelming and impossible to move forward or you have a hard time believing that you are enough. Deep, meaningful relationships with yourself, your partner, children, friends, and families are not only possible, but essential to living a connected life.

I’ll partner with you as we work towards wellness in both your life and relationships and begin to build trust in yourself and life-giving relationships with others.

I help:

  • Mothers and parents navigate their journey into parenthood
  • Women and partners who have experienced birth or pregnancy trauma
  • Parents experiencing anxiety or depression during pregnancy or after birth
  • Couples build deeper connection with one another
  • People who have experienced traumas and difficult life experiences
  • People heal overwhelming anxiety and fear
  • Anyone struggling with shame, loneliness, disconnection
  • Individuals, couples, or families navigating life changes
  • Individuals or families caring for a loved one
  • Individuals or families struggling with compulsive behaviors or addictions

Specialized Training:

    • Perinatal Mental Health (Certification in Progress) – Supporting women, parents, couples and families struggling with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders including perinatal depression, anxiety, OCD, birth trauma, and adjustment to parenthood.
    • EMDR Trained Therapist – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a therapeutic approach that facilitates healing from the impact of traumatic experiences and associated false beliefs.
    • Emotionally Focused Therapy (Externship) – EFT is couples therapeutic approach with an emphasis on emotions and their interpersonal impact designed to establish and recreate supportive bonds between individuals.
  • Dual Diagnosis – Supporting individuals dealing with substance abuse and mental health challenges

Education:

  • M.A. Counseling Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy – National University
  • B.S. Psychology and Business Administration – Indiana Wesleyan University

Memberships and Affiliations:

  • California Association for Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Postpartum Health Alliance

When I am not seeing clients at Potentia, you can find me at the beach, exploring the outdoors, or wandering a farmers market with a coffee in hand. I am married to the love of my life and we are always striving to keep our marriage a safe place to grow and be adventurous. I have two young children and a rambunctious labradoodle that I love being “Mama” to. I am a Midwest girl at heart but am so grateful to have built our home and community in San Diego.

Email Holly

Call Holly at 619.819.0283  ext 4

Daniel Kim, LMFT, MFC #78887

Dan Kim | Potentia Therapy

The fact you’re looking into a therapist reveals that you care about your personal growth and healing.

So often the need for healing and change is seen as a shameful sign of weakness or deficit. The truth is, however, that your ability to embrace a need for help is an incredible sign of strength and courage. Many try to hide from our issues, deny them, avoid them, excuse them, project them upon others, etc. While such coping mechanisms may manage the problem and place a ‘bandage’ around it, they will never heal the problem.  However, it takes so much heart and character to own our issues and seek help for them.

When you choose to sit in front of me, I honor your strength of heart by offering a safe and non-judgmental space where you are fully accepted for who you are – because it’s my firm belief that that is the only way people can truly heal.   respect the faith you exercise by taking the time out of your busy schedule, drive a distance, pay hard-earned money, and sit in front of a complete stranger – with the hope for healing and change.

That hope deserves to be honored.

How does the healing and change process work? I first want to acknowledge that there are many ways to heal and many effective therapeutic approaches out there. The way I personally work with clients is by going “behind the problem” into the emotional wound(s) that have nurtured it. I believe that behavioral and relational issues are rooted in unresolved pain from the past which now fuel our current reactions, perceptions (of self and others), and choices.

Therefore, I seek to help clients experience freedom from the injuries they are carrying (and re-living) in the present, by compassionately working through these burdens so you may live up to your God-given potential in your life and relationships.

I have extensive experience working with pastors, ministry leaders, parents, married couples and college students who are struggling with low self-worth, unresolved trauma/PTSD, addictions, and compulsive behavior, grief/bereavement, and relationship issues.

My therapeutic approach is a continual integration of the following influences:

  • Internal Family Systems therapy: an non-pathologizing and respectful approach to healing trauma, mood struggles and addictions – which views each individual’s complex internal system made up of many protective parts that are often in tension with one another; some are injured while others try to cope with the injury. Therefore, un-burdening these parts-of-self is the goal for healing and change.
  • EMDR (Eye Movement De-sensitization Re-processing) therapy: a trauma-informed approach that treats the mind as an information (memory) processing system… Maladaptively-stored, negative events in one’s life lead to unhealthy thinking, feeling, and coping in the present.  Therefore, adaptively reprocessing such memories can free an individual from the lingering pain and emotional reactivity based in these memories.
  • Emotionally Focused Therapy: an approach that treats all presenting issues in couple/marital relationships as emotional disconnection. Therefore, the goal is to emotionally re-connect couples through first de-escalating their negative cycle of interaction and then increasing partners’ emotional accessibility, responsiveness, and engagement.

Specialized Training:

  • EMDR Trained Therapist (Part 1 & 2) — Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a therapeutic approach that facilitates healing from the impact of traumatic experiences
  • Emotionally Focused Couples Training: Externship + Core Skills 1 & 2
  • Grief + Loss at San Diego Hospice
  • MA, Marriage and Family Therapy — Bethel Seminary San Diego
  • BA, Psychology — University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Memberships and Affiliations:

  • CAMFT

I have been married for 13 years, and my wife and I have two young boys.  I grew up in Michigan and California, and I enjoy football (everything about it) and spending quality time with friends and family.

Email Dan

Call Dan at 619.819.0283 ext 7

Melissa McCormick, LMFT, MFC #100203

Melissa-300

It is hard to live in this world and not question if our bodies, stories, and voices are “good enough.” You wonder if it is possible for  to be okay with who you are, and make different choices than you’ve made in the past. You struggle to make decisions that aren’t rooted in insecurity, leaving you  trapped in anxiety.

You may relate with some of the following common beliefs:

  • I can’t access what’s going on in my present life, all I can feel is anxiety.
  • I’m afraid if I am myself no one will love me.
  • I’m not good enough the way I am.
  • My life feels out of control and my body is one thing I can control.

I value helping people learn to understand and respect their whole story on their own terms. Together we can define your own goals for change and:

  • find solutions to feeling anxious and not good enough.
  • discover how to stop making the same decisions in relationships out of insecurity.
  • instill the hope belief you can be different than the lies of culture and those who betrayed you and you  life can be different.
  • help you find the courage to be okay with who I am.
  • Help you see you have choices other than what you have believing.

Working with clients in a therapeutic setting is a great privilege. I know first hand that the healing journey can be uncomfortable. Facing fears and reflecting inward is tough work, and we are often afraid of what we may find. Yet, this is where people can discover their own sense of courage as they process the most difficult parts of their lives. Working through these challenges in our past and our present allows us to have more choices in our future.

More specifically, I work with individuals who are:

  • struggling to live with the effects of trauma and challenging life experiences
  • desiring to work through past and present family issues
  • living with anxiety, depression, or shame that affects their daily lives
  • overwhelmed by an eating disorder, compensatory exercise/exercise addiction, body image issues, or obsession with health
  • desire healing from abuse, assault, and neglect
  • struggling with their worth and value while battling self consciousness
  • grieving losses either of loved ones or painful life circumstances, changes,  and disappointments
  • wanting to learn how to set sustaining boundaries in a way that allows for authentic connection and healthy relationships

Along with my own journey through therapy, faith is another avenue that has brought me great freedom. I enjoy integrating evidenced-based clinical approaches with faith for those who value a mind, body and soul approach.

Education:

MA, Marriage and Family Therapy — Bethel Seminary San Diego

BA, Psychology — San Diego State University

Specialized Training:

  • Certified Eating Disorder Specialist (CEDS) (Certification in progress)
  • EMDR Trained Therapist- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: Specialized therapeutic approach that can help alleviate the effects of traumatic and distressing life events such as abuse and shame.
  • Grief and Loss – Bereavement counselor working with terminally ill clients and their families in both pre and post bereavement
  • Premarital PREPARE/ENRICH- Certified facilitator of PREPARE/ENRICH, a researched assessment meant to help premarital couples discuss strengths and areas for growth before engagement or marriage.

Affiliations:

California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

Like many native San Diegans, I enjoy being outside as much as possible, particularly in water. Growing up with 3 sisters inspired my love for women’s issues, humor, and deep authentic relationships. I also value learning about how to integrate my faith and interest in serving marginalized communities into my daily life.

Email  Melissa

Call Melissa at 619.819.0283 ext 5

Graden Tonna, LMFT, MFC #110808

Graden Tonna | Potentia Therapy

Asking for help is really hard. I get that – having experienced this inner conflict myself, it’s clear that it takes a lot of courage to admit your need for help and to allow yourself to be truly known.

I am devoted to helping those who have a deep desire for relief from anger, sadness, and shame. This relief comes from being in relationship with someone who accepts you no matter what. Since our day-to-day realities have taught us to avoid the vulnerability that is required to begin this process of connection and healing, sharing painful aspects of your story does not come easy. However, this is the step to take toward achieving your goals of feeling connected to your purpose, your relationships, and yourself, and the step away from the coping behaviors that keep you stuck and unsafe.

I work with individuals and couples who are:

  • engaged in repetitive and unresolved conflict
  • struggling with feeling angry for unknown reasons or feeling detached and stuck in their head
  • burdened or stressed out by life’s demands and unable to relax and find joy in everyday life
  • frustrated with feeling unable to stop compulsive behaviors related to food, substances, self-harm, and sexuality
  • feeling unfulfilled in their relationships
  • overwhelmed from the effects of trauma/difficult life experiences
  • seeking healing from spiritual abuse or betrayal
  • needing support around adoptions or fostering

I’ll collaborate with you as we work towards healing by helping you learn to trust yourself, gain a greater sense of control over your life, and feel aligned in your actions and values.

I am committed to doing my own work so that I can best support you in running your own life, as you are the one who is most qualified for this job. And if it turns out we’re not quite the right fit, I’m more than willing to assist you in finding a therapist who better matches your needs.

Specialized Training:

  • Internal Family Systems Therapist (Certification in Progress) — An evidence-based practice for the healing relational wounds that lead to stuck thoughts and behaviors.
  • EMDR Trained Therapist (Part 1 & 2) — Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a therapeutic approach that facilitates healing from the impact of traumatic experiences and associated false beliefs.
  • Dual Diagnosis — Individuals suffering from both substance abuse and mental health struggles.
  • Bowen Family Systems Theory — A therapeutic approach focused on how generational patterns influence current relationships.
  • Autism Spectrum & related issues — Specialized training in supporting those on the Autism Spectrum and their loved ones.
  • Foster Care – Supporting families with foster children.

Education:

  • BA, Psychology — San Diego State University
  • MA, Marriage and Family Therapy — Bethel Seminary

Memberships and Affiliations:

  • EMDR International Association (EMDRIA)
  • California Association for Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT)

My wife and I strive to live simple and integrated lives. We share a passion for serving our community, which has led us toward opening our home to children in the foster care system. I love to learn, and as a result I have many hobbies! I’m currently learning to be content knowing I will never perfect any of them.

Email Graden

Call Graden at 619.819.0283 ext 8

Andee Woolf, LMFT, MFC #45767

Andee Woolf | Potentia TherapyNo one is an expert more on your life than you. Though, sometimes inviting in trusted support helps you get perspective on your fears, disappointments, and feeling stuck or confused about next steps in life. No matter the season of life you are in, asking for help is both courageous and what moves you forward.

Your resiliency and the combined power of your strengths, aspirations, and hopes as you seek to heal, question, get clarity, and overcome are what move you forward through life’s challenges. You and your loved ones are not a diagnosis or some label that pathologizes and shames – being human is not a flaw but a strength to be honored.

When difficult life experiences continue to get in the way of your living with confidence and clarity, compassionate and specialized support can help you find space to be yourself again.

As a parent, you want to find skilled support for your child navigating the complexities of parenting with respect, expertise, and collaboration. Your kids are growing up in a world that is so different that the one we grew up in. Instead of fearing the vulnerabilities, I work with you and your child to help you all navigate the unique season of the teen and tween years while still feeling connected, healthy, and safe.

I work with:

    • Tweens
    • Teens
    • Families desiring more connection and navigating conflict is a positive manner
    • Individuals struggling with depression and anxiety
    • Mood struggles (depression, anxiety, PTSD, obsessive-compulsive struggles)
  • Trauma
  • Those navigating adoption, foster care, and related issues

Specialized Training:

  • EMDR Therapist in Training (Part 1, Part 2 pending) — Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a therapeutic approach that facilitates healing from the impact of traumatic experiences and associated false beliefs
  • Trauma-Informed and Attachment-Based approaches – a therapeutic approach that acknowledges the impact of traumatic experiences as well as the need for healthy family connections
  • Adoptions Support and Transitions – providing support to families contemplating, beginning or finalizing the adoption process
  • Extensive Training and Practice in Solution-Focused Therapy – a
    therapeutic approach working on collaborative goal setting and identifying personal resources and strengths to foster change
  • Extensive Training and Practice in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy – a therapeutic approach to help identify false beliefs in order to foster change in both behavior and emotions

Education:

  • BA, Community Psychology – Point Loma Nazarene University
  • MA, Marriage and Family Therapy – Bethel Seminary

Memberships:

  • California Association for Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT)
  • American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT)

My full name is Andrea but I go by Andee – my family loves nicknames!  I have been married to my husband for 20+ years. We are both native born San Diegans and can’t imagine living anywhere else. We had the privilege of adopting our son from San Diego County.  Because of that experience, I have a heart for families’ contemplating or experiencing adoption. My family and I enjoy calm moments at home, outdoor adventures, traveling and playing with our dog and two guinea pigs. I enjoy reading, teaching, watching my son play sports, catching up on the new movies and being anywhere in nature.

Email Andee

Call Andee at 619.819.0283 ext 6

Inquiry / Contact Form: