Staff

Who We Are

We are a mental health support center in Los Angeles. We have psychotherapists on staff, who facilitate our support groups, and provide mental health services for all members of the foster care and adoption community.

Only the BEst

We Know How to Support the Adoption & Foster Care Constellation 

For Birth First Family: We provide mental health support for grief, loss, shame, and trauma. We can provide support and psycho-education regarding search and reunion, and assist you in making the decision to search for your child.

For Adoptees /Foster Alumni: We provide psychotherapy to help process your past and your story, manage traumatic reactions, learn how to form healthy relationships, and move through grief and loss. We can provide support and psycho-education regarding search and reunion, and assist you in making that decision to search for your birth parent (s).

For Parents: We provide guidance about how to be an effective parent. We provide therapeutic and attachment focused interventions. We teach you how to talk with your child, teen or adult, with confidence about their adoption and/or foster care story. We also provide answers to questions about considering adoption or fostering,

 

Our Staff

Support

We have psychotherapists and interns working at Celia Celia.
If you are interested in becoming part of our family please email info@celiacenter.org

           Josh Beckman M.A., M.F.T.

Josh Beckman M.A., M.F.T.

Associate Psychotherapist

  • Teen, Adult and Family Clinician
  • Foster Care and Adoption Competent
  • Trauma & PTSD
  • E.M.D.R. Certified
  • Anxiety, Depression, Stress Management
  • Internal Family Systems
  • Adoptee Personal Experience

As an adoptee, my clinical focus is working through the lifelong traumatic impact of adoption, abandonment or relinquishment and process unmet childhood emotional needs. I work with all members of the adoption constellation, and those who struggle with feelings of abandonment and feelings of disconnection.

I have experience treating addiction, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, and finding relief from overwhelming psychological trauma. I use an integrative approach of psychotherapy attuned to the mind body connection. I believe in creating a comfortable and safe therapeutic environment, and developing a compassionate and trusting therapist-client relationship allowing for authentic growth. 

               Cathy Leckie Koley B.A.

Cathy Leckie Koley B.A.

Support Group Facilitator

  • Teen, Adult and Family Clinician
  • Foster Care and Adoption Competent
  • Trauma Sensitive Yoga Instructor
  • Grief and Loss Processing
  • Anxiety, Depression, Stress Management
  • Adoption Reunion Facilitator
  • Adoptee Personal Experience

    Cathy is a Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Instructor, Adoptee Speaker/ Writer / Educator. After reuniting with her birth family at age 43, she found herself on an unexpected healing journey related to her own relinquishment. The process included yoga, through which she found significant healing, and a new career path. As a yoga teacher since 2012, Cathy teaches others about the adoptee experience, strategies for unearthing and healing adoption wounds, and mind-body practices that help with adoption-related difficulties. Trained in Trauma-Sensitive in 2014 with Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score, and David Emerson, author of Overcoming Trauma through Yoga. Cathy is currently pursuing an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute.

        Jenni Alpert (aka birth name: Cami)

Jenni Alpert (aka birth name: Cami)

Conference Organizer

  • Assists in Developing Content
  • Social Media Expert
  • Copywriter
  • Musician, Singer-Songwriter
  • Foster-Adoptee Personal Experience

Singer, songwriter, guitarist, and pianist Jenni Alpert (Birth name: Cameron, Cami) was born in Los Angeles CA, and adopted out of the foster care system at the age of four. She started to sing and play piano while staying in various foster homes. With the encouragement and support of her adoptive family, she learned to play the guitar as well and began writing and recording songs.

Upon recently reuniting with her biological father who was homeless, addicted, and running from the law at the time, a documentary film team decided to make a film Homeless: The Soundtrack about their reunion and the unique bond they share. The two perform and share their story together alongside supporting the film as a duo under the name Cami and Don.

      David B. Bohl

David B. Bohl

Support Group Facilitator

  • Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Master Addiction Counselor
  • Independent Addiction Consultant
  • Recovery Consultant
  • Relinquishment and Adoption Consultant at Beacon Confidential LLC.

    He is co-author of the monograph Relinquishment and Addiction:  What Trauma Has To Do With It, and the award-winning memoir Parallel Universes—The Story of Rebirth, which chronicles the author’s experiences within the intersection of adoption and addiction. He is a member of the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC), and an Advisory Board Member of Wisconsin Adoption and Permanency Support. David was relinquished, adopted, and currently lives in southeastern Wisconsin and works around the country and world. He enjoys spending time with his wife of 38 years and adult children. He relentlessly pursues Blue Mind (that mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peace, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life at the moment) that comes from being in and around the water.

https://davidbbohl.com/

Phil Weglarz, PhD, MFT, REAT

Phil Weglarz, PhD, MFT, REAT

Support Group Facilitator

  • Chair for the Expressive Arts Therapy 
  • California Institute of Integral Studies
  • Trauma-Informed Clinician
  •  Adoptive Parent Personal Experience
  • Open Adoption Competent

In 2013, Phil Weglarz became a first-time parent of an infant through a private, local same-race adoption with an ongoing direct two-way relationship with his daughter’s birth mother. Prior to this, he had professional experience as an attachment-based play therapist and parent coach for birth/first parents seeking reunification, and foster-to-adoptive parents in an agency that specialized in working with children with co-occurring mental health and learning challenges.

Phil’s interest and specialty have always been trauma-informed, sensory-based, and creative modalities for parent-child and peer-to-peer engagement, and he currently serves as core faculty and program chair for the Expressive Arts Therapy program at the California Institute of Integral Studies, based in San Francisco. Most recently, he completed a Ph.D. dissertation entitled, “Kaleidoscopes of Kinship: A Narrative Inquiry of Birth Fathers’ and Adoptive Fathers’ Experiences of Open Adoptions” (2022), in which he interviewed 5 birth fathers and 23 adoptive fathers about what it is like for them to belong to families created through foster care or private adoptions. This work has already been recognized by the Rudd Adoption Research Program at UMass-Amherst, and he will be sharing these intimate stories of men’s perspectives of adoption in various ways soon.

Ron Jenkins

Ron Jenkins

Support Group Facilitator

  • Teen Mentor
  • Football Coach
  • Speaker
  • Parent
  • Foster-Adoption Personal Experience

Ron is a retired Youth Correctional officer / Counselor and recruiter from the Department of Juvenile Justice.

His mother died when he was 2 years old. Two of his brothers had been murdered — one stabbed and the other shot. He met his biological father at 11 years old, but the relationship never blossomed. Jenkins spent most of his childhood in foster care and at age 13 had thoughts of ending his life. “I look back on it today, and I had one of the toughest childhoods one could imagine,” Jenkins says. “I broke down and asked God to save me and help me get out of the situation I was living in.”

Shortly after, Jenkins threw a ball through a neighborhood man’s window. The man, Harrel Burnett, asked him to work off the damage. From there, Jenkins says, he followed Burnett’s lead and learned responsibility.

Jenkins was a talented athlete and leveraged his football ability to go from Manuel Arts High School to East Los Angeles City College. That’s when Steve Mooshagian, an assistant coach at Fresno State at the time, started recruiting Jenkins. Jenkins earned a scholarship to Fresno State and became the only one of four biological siblings and five adopted siblings to earn a college degree.


His mission is to serve those like himself.  By providing support and services to youth who faced neglect and unconventional childhoods. He wants to use his story to inspire, encourage and empower the next generation. After having four brothers killed his mission was to avenge those deaths by saving as many lives as he can moving forward! 

A Word

From Our Founder

“I have dedicated the last 18 years of my life, supporting and training therapists across Los Angeles to become adoption and foster care competent. To become adoption and foster care competent means there is an understanding of the significant early life transition, the separation of mother and child, as unnatural and traumatic for both of them, and should be the last resort in best practice today. We must collectively take responsibility for the psychological and emotional toll this places on both of them, and support mothers in parenting their children, not dismantling them. If this is not possible, and utterly exhausted, then foster care and/or adoption is necessary, so the child can have a sense of belonging, and ultimately be loved. “

in our community

Conference Attendees

Inquiries for support

Years Established

Get In Touch

Location: 1968 S. Coast Highway #3305
Laguna Beach, California 92651

Telephone: (323) 541-4088

Email: info@celiacenter.org

Hours: M-W: 10am – 3pm

Non-Discrimination Policy

At Celia Center, we value all employees, interns, and job candidates as unique individuals, and we welcome the variety of experiences they bring to our center. As such, we have a strict non-discrimination policy. We believe everyone should be treated equally regardless of race, sex, gender identification, sexual orientation, national origin, native language, religion, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, genetic information, pregnancy, or any other characteristic protected by law. If you feel that you have been discriminated against, please inform our director as soon as possible. Every complaint will be appropriately investigated.