About La Vie Counseling Center

MANAGEMENT & STAFF

Mark W. Baker, Ph.D. | Executive Director • Phone: (800) 483-9591 ext. 107 • Fax: (626) 351-9493
Clint Daniels, Psy.D., LMFT | Director of Child and Adolescent Therapy • Phone: (800) 483-9591 ext. 108 • Fax: (626) 351-9493
Leonore Sullivan Cash, M.A., LMFT | Director of Professional Development • Phone: (800) 483-9591 ext. 160 • Fax: (626) 351-9493
Joanne Weidman, M.S., LMFT | Director of Clinical Training • Phone: (800) 483-9591 ext. 104 • Fax: (626) 351-9493
Jennie Yearian, M.S. | Director of Operations • Phone: (800) 483-9591 ext. 109 • Fax: (626) 351-9493

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Mark W. Baker, Ph.D. | Board President & Treasurer • Executive Director, La Vie Counseling Centers • Clinical Psychologist • Marriage & Family Therapist • Clinical Faculty, Fuller Theological Seminary • Bestselling Author • Who’s Who in California
Dwight Case | Board Secretary • Entrepreneur • Five years as State Commissioner for Economic Development in California • Recognized for philanthropic efforts by the United States House of Representatives, the California State Assembly, the Los Angeles Board of County Supervisors • Member of the Order of St. John, by appointment of HM the Queen of England • Founder of The Los Angeles Music Center
James D. Hinton | Board Member • Entertainer • Vice President of Marketing for Avacus Corporation
Don Morgan, M.D. | Board Member • Professor and Director of the Audiology Clinic, UCLA School of Medicine • President, Hearing Resource Group • Editorial Consultant, Journal of Speech and Hearing Research • 1998 Alumnus of the Year, College of Health Sciences, San Diego State University
Eugene Lowe, Esq. | Advisor to the Board • Attorney • Pasadena resident since 1939 • Past President of the Pasadena Rotary Club • Member of the TIP Business Group • Member of the Church Growth Task Force at Evangelical Covenant Church

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To book an appointment, please click on the button here below and fill out the online appointment request form. Or you may call (800) 483-9591 to speak with our appointment coordinator.

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The La Vie Story

1

Beginnings

La Vie’s story began in 1980 at Fuller Theological Seminary (FTS) in Pasadena, when Dr. Walter Becker, a professor in the Marriage and Family training program, shared his dream of founding a Christian counseling center anchored in this philosophy. Even before that, Walter and his wife, Fran, had been exploring the concept of forming a Christian community where the Beckers, Mark Baker, Dick and Nancy Savidge, would live together in a large home. There would also be facilities for counseling and psychotherapy at this home. Although the dream was never realized, this group, plus a number of others, began planning meetings in 1980, at the home of Kevin Lake, M.D., where the concept of whole person care was explored and developed. We hoped that the group would include, on site if possible, psychologists and marriage and family therapists, physicians (part time, nurses, and a nutritionist.The first people to start seeing clients for therapy were Mark Baker and Dick Savidge, under the supervision of Dr. Becker. Fran Becker and Jeanie Price, and a couple of others (all graduate students at FTS) soon began counseling also. They used any room they could find or rent by the hour: the basement at the Seminary Library, extra rooms at the Marriage and Family administrative center on Ford Place, therapy rooms in Dr. Ad Sylling’s office. Once, Jeanie met with a single male client in the corner of Bob’s Big Boy restaurant in Pasadena. Walter Becker, Ph.D., as the founding Director of La Vie, Inc. was one of the first…

2

First Location

…graduates in clinical psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and was also an ordained minister in the Baptist Church. Fran Becker had earned her M.A. in Gerontology at the University of Southern California, and later became a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.Our First Location. In 1981, a little house at 1689 North Lake Avenue in Pasadena was rented. For several weeks before any clients were seen there, several therapists pruned the overgrown bushes and spruced up the front yard, painted and wallpapered the interior, cleaned, sought donations of furniture, and gradually set up La Vie’s first home. The house had five therapy rooms. Though there was no air conditioning or sound proofing, it grew into a friendly, unpretentious, comfortable place. The staff met monthly at the house for pot luck suppers, worship, singing (there were three guitarists in the group), and in-service training. There were daily informal discussions in the kitchen – the “staff lounge”. Everyone shared the duties of housecleaning! These years were warm and wonderful. Everyone felt a strong sense of community, worked hard, and had fun together. Among the therapists in training were two RN’s – Ruth Nelson and Connie Lillas. Kevin Lake, M.D., and later Henry Sideropoulos, M.D. saw patients for medical exams. One room had an examining table and other medical equipment. Dr. Sam Southerland was a pastoral counselor, helping with spiritual aspects of our “whole person care”. In 1983, Jean Hattem, a Nurse Specialist – also Dr. Becker’s cousin…

3

A New Location

…added her considerable talents to the group. As new therapists joined La Vie, scheduling in five rooms became a problem! Each therapist had to lug files and personal belongings to each appointment. Once, Jeanie had to meet with a client in the driveway, sitting on folding chairs. Everyone learned to be adaptive and inventive to provide for our clients in this fledgling community. Early in 1984, a small group was established to find a new, larger site and henceforth to manage the nuts and bolts of procuring a lease, furnishing, and maintenance. This group was called La Vie Associates, and would assume legal responsibility for the lease and establishing new offices. All licensed therapists were invited to participate, with the expectation of substantial financial contributions and long-term commitment. The five associates were Walter and Fran Becker, Jeanie Price, and Jean Hattem.A New Location. During that year we searched diligently for an appropriate site. We looked for a “big Old Victorian house” (similar to the Junior League’s in Pasadena), but were never able to find one that was affordable and in a business zone. Focus shifted to finding an office that was “friendly” and inviting (not a fortress building), safe, well-lit and accessible at night, with ample parking, and reasonably close to freeways. Many excursions were made and many breakfast meetings were held. “Whole person health care” proved financially impractical, so La Vie evolved into a counseling center staffed by Christian therapists. Finally the site at…

4

Since January 1, 1985

…650 Sierra Madre Villa was chosen and contracted to have the north end of suite 110 built to specifications. Peter Price and one of his colleagues, an acoustic specialist, helped with the design and testing of soundproofing. Often the associates came, stood in the midst of 2×4 framing, then plaster dust and A/C ducts, carpet laying and painting, watching their vision take shape. Each of the associates invested several thousand dollars to procure the lease, purchase reception room furniture and decorative items, the telephone system, answering service, stationary, printed forms, and to hire an office manager. On New Year’s Eve 1984 La Vie had a move-in celebration. Borrowed trucks, vans and station wagons shuttled all day long. That evening the associates gathered for a Blessing of each room, eloquently offered by Fran Becker’s friend, Edith Drury, who was in ministry with Agnes Sanford. It was a solemn, joyful, exciting event. La Vie has been at its present location in Pasadena since January 1, 1985. Each of the associates bought his or her own practice from La Vie, Inc. and continued at the facility as individuals in private practice. Walter Becker continued as director of La Vie, Inc. as a non-profit counseling and training center. Each associate assumed volunteer responsibilities: Jean Hattem, Jeanie Price, and Fran Becker shared the search (on a tight budget) for furnishings, graphic arts, and decorations for the new space. Walter Becker and Mark Baker managed legal and financial issues. All contributed time and effort to produce appropriate forms for clinical practice.

5

New Leadership

In November, 1985, the area which is now the south end of the suite became available. The associates borrowed $30.000 at 12% interest to build out and sound proof this area, and over the next three or four years, each wrote monthly personal checks to pay off the loan. By 1989, when the loan was paid off, the offices had been re-carpeted and repainted, and Jean Hattem served as decorator, finding more lamps and accessories. Greta Hassel became Director of Clinical Training in 1995. Clint Daniels became Director of Children’s Therapy, and his extensive marketing efforts in the area schools have resulted in a significant referral base of clients. Jeanie Price, now retired, has been the Scribe – writing brochures, newspaper articles and other public relations materials; she was responsible for banking and paying the bills for the associates from 1985 to 1993, and for the upkeep and decoration of the reception area. Dr. James Bickley maintained the supply of testing materials. In 1998, Leonore Cash became Director of Professional Development, teaching trainees how to build and manage a practice. All licensed therapists contribute 1 or 2 hours of supervision weekly. In 1996, La Vie’s outreach to Pasadena High School was established in the program “Baby, Let’s Wait” spearheaded by Julie Parker. This is an on-going program n the campus of PHS, and now at Blair High School also, where La Vie therapists meet with students in the classrooms to provide education and motivation for the prevention of teenage pregnancy. In 1993, Walter and Fran Becker…

6

Today's La Vie

…decided to move to Grey Fox Ranch in New Mexico. They planned a ministry for pastors and their wives who desired intensive emotional and spiritual renewal for their work. Dr. Mark Baker became La Vie’s new Executive Director. A new Board of Directors was formed in 1993, including Dwight Case, J. D. Hinton, Matt Minor, and Lorraine Kroythoff Chapman, with Eugene Lowe as legal advisor. The Board obtained another loan of about $25,000 to purchase the assets of La Vie, Inc. and formed a new corporation, La Vie Counseling Center. Today, La Vie Counseling Centers continues to serve an ever growing clientele at two locations, in Pasadena and Santa Monica.