Joanna Savarese, Ph.D.
Neuropsychologist & Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Joanna Savarese, Ph.D. is the Founder and Clinical Director of San Diego BrainWorks. Dr. Savarese is a clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist who has specific focus in neuropsychological, psychoeducational, and psychological assessment. Her expertise is in the evaluation of Learning Disorders, ADHD, and differential diagnosis using psychological testing. She has worked extensively with children and adults providing both neuropsychological assessments and psychotherapeutic treatment. She has worked with various clinical populations including ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Reading/Writing Disorders, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Dementia. Dr. Savarese is passionate about individuals receiving the proper diagnosis of learning disorders, such as dyslexia, and appropriate and effective treatment recommendations.
Dr. Savarese has more than 15 years of graduate and post-graduate experience in the field of psychology, neuropsychology, and assessment. Dr. Savarese has also been teaching at the college level for more than a decade and lectures in the community on topics such as: Understanding Neuropsychological Evaluations, Learning and the Brain, and Building a Positive Relationship with your Child. She has appeared on ESPN radio, NBC News San Diego, and has written articles for Parenting Magazine. She also wrote several features for the textbook The Neuroscience of Learning: Principles and Applications for Educators (2014).
Christina Baker, Psy.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Baker is formally trained in clinical psychology, with an emphasis on assessment for children and their families. Dr. Baker specializes in developmental evaluations for children and adolescents (Autism, ADHD, developmental disorders). Her background in clinical psychology promotes a comprehensive lens of the child and their environment. This form of presentation can be used to better assist families and other professionals in meeting the unique needs of the child. Dr. Baker’s specialty in creating individualized recommendations promotes improved functioning for the child in their academic, social, and adaptive endeavors. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of New England, concurrently followed by her Master’s Degree and doctorate in psychology from Florida Tech. While completing her doctorate, Dr. Baker was an assessment specialist at the Scott Center for Autism Treatment in Melbourne, FL. Additionally, Dr. Baker completed a post-doctoral fellowship specializing in the treatment and evaluation of children and adolescents.
Given her clinical background, Dr. Baker offers a unique perspective to San Diego BrainWorks. Having treated individuals across all spectrums (age, socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity, presenting concerns), she is well equipped to understand the individual in context. Dr. Baker has experience with, but not limited to, autism, ADHD, depression, anxiety, trauma, inter and intrapersonal conflict, serious mental illness, educational concerns, and family systems. This experience, paired with years of multidisciplinary team membership, allows for Dr. Baker to work with all individuals involved in the child’s treatment path in a manner that best serves the ability for that child to continue to grow and thrive.
Elizabeth Dutcher, M.A., AMFT
Registered Associate of Marital and Family Therapy
Elizabeth specializes in the treatment of ADHD, depression, anxiety, and relational conflict in children, adolescents, and adults. Treatment strategies include helping clients in ADHD symptom management, gaining insight, developing mindfulness techniques, emotion regulation skills, communication skills, and parenting skills. Elizabeth works with each individual client or family to develop a tailored treatment program rooted in evidenced-based theory to truly meet their specific needs and help them achieve positive results in their lives.
Elizabeth earned her Bachelor of Science in psychology from the California School for Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, and her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of San Diego. Elizabeth’s clinical training includes Vista Hill’s ParentCare, UCSD Outpatient Psychiatric Services, and UCSD’s Co-Occurring Disorder Clinic. Elizabeth has also guest lectured on family therapy theories in USD’s graduate psychiatric nursing program.
Elizabeth takes a biopsychosocial approach to assessment and treatment of individuals, couples, and families. This is a holistic approach, facilitating collaboration among psychologists, psychiatrists, and other relevant care providers. Elizabeth believes this integrative approach is key to providing the best treatment outcomes for her clients.
Clinical supervisor: Dr. Joanna Savarese
Elisabeth Thurlow, Psy.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Elisabeth Thurlow is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist specializing in psychodiagnostic assessment. She was trained in pediatric neuropsychology at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Department of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Thurlow has over 20 years of experience evaluating children, teens, and adults with a variety of neurological, genetic, learning, behavioral, emotional, and autism spectrum disorders.
Dr. Thurlow has been a staff psychologist in the Department of Neuropsychology at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, and in the Autism Spectrum Assessment Clinic at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida. She has also been on faculty in the Department of Psychology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Thurlow has been sought out widely for her expertise in conducting gold-standard diagnostic evaluations of autism spectrum disorders.
Mili Parikh, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Neuropsychologist
Dr. Parikh is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Neuropsychologist. She completed a B.A. in Psychology and B.S. in Physiology and Neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego. She obtained her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where she also completed a pre-doctoral internship focused in neuropsychology. She then completed a formal two-year clinical postdoctoral fellowship specializing in neuropsychology at the at the VA Northern California Health Care System and University of California, Davis School of Medicine. She is currently engaged in research at the VA San Diego Medical Center examining cognitive rehabilitation for individuals with traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health issues.
Dr. Parikh has developed considerable experience providing neuropsychological assessments and cognitive rehabilitation to individuals with various conditions including dementia and other neurodegenerative disorders, movement disorders, traumatic brain injury, cerebrovascular disease, cancer, ADHD, and general medical and psychiatric conditions. She places particular emphasis in providing meaningful feedback and recommendations to assist patients and families in day-to-day functioning and cope with longer term changes in their daily lives.
Negar Nazari, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Nazari is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of anxiety, depression, relationship issues, trauma, body image issues, eating disorders, chronic pain, academic/work challenges, identity and cultural issues, trauma, family of origin issues, and life transitions. Within the context of therapy, Dr. Nazari focuses on developing a strong therapeutic relationship so that clients can feel safe to explore their inner world uniquely. She is especially passionate about providing services to a diverse community, specifically those who may be marginalized or struggle to access services.
Dr. Nazari also has specialized training and experience providing psychological and neuropsychological assessments for various conditions including learning disorders, ADHD, Autism, PTSD, dementia, and differential diagnosis. Her experience consists of treating a variety of age groups, including children, adolescents, adults, and the geriatric population.
Dr. Nazari earned her B.S. and B.A. from the University of Georgia in Psychology and Sociology, respectively. She then went on to complete her M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Georgia State University, and her doctorate in clinical psychology from California School of Professional Psychology. Her clinical training has included working in crisis centers, hospitals, several university counseling centers, and private practice.