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Joanna Savarese, PhD

Executive Director/ Owner

Neuropsychologist & Licensed Clinical Psychologist ~ PSY24973

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). 

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Jessica Lenihan, PsyD

Pediatric Neuropsychologist 

Training Director

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Dr. Lenihan is a licensed pediatric neuropsychologist whose expertise is the assessment of a wide variety of disorders, including traumatic and nonaccidental brain injury, concussion, seizure disorders, autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning differences, pediatric stroke, spina bifida and genetic disorders. She utilizes neuropsychological assessment in diverse contest in order to diagnose, plan intervention, conduct screenings and monitor progress with pediatric populations.

 

Dr. Lenihan provides a comprehensive assessment approach and tailored recommendations to assist with academic support, tutoring, psychotherapeutic treatment, and parental resources. She specializes in neuropsychological evaluations, Independent Educational Evaluations, psychoeducational evaluations, pre and post-surgical evaluations, and concussion management.

 

Dr. Lenihan received her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from an APA-accredited Clinical Psychology program at Loma Linda University with an emphasis in Child Clinical Psychology in Loma Linda, California.  She completed her one-year internship in Pediatric Neuropsychology and Pediatric Psychology at Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. She completed her two-year APPCN approved pediatric neuropsychology fellowship at Advanced Neurobehavioral Health of Southern California in San Diego, CA.

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Golzar Kouklan, PsyD

Licensed Clinical Neuropsychologist

Clinical Director

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Dr. Golzar Kouklan is a clinical psychologist with 10 years of experience in the field. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Loyola University and went on to earn her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Midwestern University.

Throughout her career, Dr. Kouklan has worked in a variety of settings, including hospitals, federally qualified health centers, and private practice. Dr. Kouklan’s clinical work also includes conducting a variety of neuropsychological assessments encompassing neurocognitive decline, competency, ADHD, psychodiagnostic, and psychoeducational evaluations.

She has a particular interest in working with individuals struggling with anxiety, depression, and trauma, and has extensive training in cognitive-behavioral therapy, acceptance-commitment therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy.

Outside of work, Dr. Kouklan enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, bike riding and traveling to different countries. She is deeply committed to helping her patients lead happier, healthier lives and is grateful for the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of others.

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Dr. Marissa Gran, PhD

Licensed Clinical Psychologist 

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Dr. Marissa Gran is a licensed psychologist with over 15 years of experience providing early intervention services to children and their families. Dr. Gran specializes in the treatment of childhood behavioral problems such as, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, that are characterized by significant impairments in social, emotional, and educational functioning. Dr. Gran also specializes in treating children who have experienced trauma, children with attachment difficulties, children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and children diagnosed with learning differences.

Dr. Gran’s clinical experiences cover a wide range from working with adults in San Diego County Mental Health Center diagnosed with severe mental illnesses to adults struggling with substance abuse at an in-patient treatment program. Dr. Gran has spent most of her clinical career at a non-profit organization providing therapeutic services to low-income families in San Diego County. Dr. Gran is a certified provider for Evidence-based treatment models such as Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). Additional therapy models Dr. Gran is also trained in include Trauma-Focused Integrated Play Therapy, Jungian Sand Tray Therapy, Non-Directive and Child-Centered Play Therapy, Attachment-Based Play Therapy and Filial Play Therapy. Dr. Gran’s training began at Florida International University in Miami, Fl. where she received a B.A. in Psychology. Following a move to San Diego, Dr. Gran received her M.A. in Counseling at National University followed by a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute.

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Baileigh Kirkpatrick, PhD

Psychological Associate

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Nathan Feder

Psychological Associate

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Nathan earned his Masters in Clinical Psychology and is completing his doctorate with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy at Alliant International University. He uses an integrative therapeutic approach to facilitate meaningful change for people and their relationships. Nathan works with clients from diverse backgrounds (racial/ethnic and cultural minorities, LGBTQAI+, youth and emerging adults, biological and adoptive families) to alleviate anxiety, depression, addiction, trauma, complex trauma, and ADHD problems.  

 

Nathan has worked across clinical settings, including substance rehabilitation centers, mental health crisis centers, forensic psychiatric evaluation court clinics, and therapeutic outpatient services. Over the years, Nathan has provided individual, group, family, and couples therapy using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Solution Focused Therapy, and Attachment-based Family Therapies. Nathan is supervised at San Diego BrainWorks by Dr. Joanna Savarese.
 

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Ginger Burleson PsyD

Psychological Associate

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Ginger Burleson, Psy.D., earned her doctorate degree in clinical psychology at Alliant International University: California School of Professional Psychology. While earning her degree, her coursework largely focused on child and family systems. Over the years, Dr. Burleson has provided therapeutic services to individuals and youths in co-occurring residential treatment settings, acute psychiatric inpatient settings, and outpatient settings. She has several years of experience working with women and their children in a residential treatment facility to assist families with substance use issues, healing from trauma, and parenting needs. She also has extensive experience working with active duty military service members and their dependents.

Dr. Burleson believes that treatment is not “one size fits all,” but rather, that it should be specifically tailored to meet the individual needs of each client. To assist clients with making meaningful change, she utilizes a trauma-informed, integrative treatment approach rooted in evidence-based practices. Dr. Burleson has extensive experience in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Cognitive Processing Therapy. She is passionate about helping others and committed to helping each client meet their treatment goals.

Dr. Kirkpatrick is a Licensed Educational Psychologist with a passion for helping all children and adolescents succeed. Dr. Kirkpatrick earned her M.S. in Applied Educational Psychology and her Ph.D. in School Psychology from the APA-accredited program at the University of Tennessee. Her expertise is in comprehensive evaluations and intervention for developmental, academic, emotional, and behavioral needs including: learning differences, ADHD, autism, and anxiety. Dr. Kirkpatrick has a passion for working with children with complex needs including oppositional defiant disorder, selective mutism, school refusal, specific phobias, and intellectual disabilities. 


Before joining BrainWorks, Dr. Kirkpatrick dedicated several years of her career to the California public school system as a school psychologist. In this role she conducted evaluations to recommend eligibility for special education and related services, provided individual and group counseling, and created individualized behavior support plans. She also collaborated effectively with teachers, parents, and students to help students meet their goals.  


Dr. Kirkpatrick currently provides several services with BrainWorks. She conducts neuropsychological evaluations, psychoeducational evaluations, IEEs, school consultation, and parent training. She offers individual or group counseling to target coping skills, self-regulation, anxiety, and social skills. Dr. Kirkpatrick is currently accepting new clients. Every child is unique, so reach out to see if we can help meet your specific needs.

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