Elisa A. Gottheil is a licensed psychologist, who offers psychological services and consultation. She is an interactive psychologist, versed in treatments that have recorded evidence of being effective -evidence based approaches. Without disregarding the personal history that each client brings to therapy, her specialty is working with strategies that use scientific principles to engage the resources we have in support of emotional healing.
She uses eye movement desensitization reprocessing, imaginal strategies, hypnotherapy, neurolinguistic programming, somatic strategies, as well a as a variety of cognitive and behavioral strategies to help you let go of maladaptive patterns of living. Important work in therapy focuses on working mindfully, paying attention to what presents -to what is- in the moment.
Through training and working with patients, she has learned that stress, anxiety, and trauma are easier to dissipate when working on the resulting sensations and experiences in the body -bodily sensations and experiences- rather than 'talking them away.' That is, she helps folks change the way they experience themselves, the way they feel about things, which is faster than through talking therapy. Her preferred modality is eye movement desensitization reprocessing. Check this link for more information on emdr
Elisa is available for short term and mid term therapy (not long term). Her work is focused on targets (behaviors, trauma, what is causing the depression, management of anxiety, or triggers for post traumatic stress disorder).
With over 17 years of experience working for the Behavioral Wellness Department, in the County of Santa Barbara, Elisa has experience in working with a broad spectrum of clients and ages, mental health disorders and addiction. She is fully bilingual; English-Spanish. She also worked in the Emergency Psychiatric Services, Cottage Hospital between 2016 and 2017 and at the Aegis Treatment Centers (Santa Barbara and Santa Maria) as their Regional Clinical Director through May 2019. Since 2019 Elisa has been in private practice exclusively.
Elisa also developed a unique process, imaginal in nature, geared to help clients effectively address personal life problems or challenges, that is supportive and practical. Besides having used this model with groups and individually, she has presented this model at the American Psychological Association, the Brief Therapy Conference, and has taught it as a Spirituality course at Antioch University, twice.
In summary, Elisa integrates complementary methodologies and techniques to offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each client, addressing every day challenges, as well as more complex issues, such as anxiety, depression, trauma, and stress. With compassion and understanding, she works with each individual to help them overcome obstacles while building on their strengths so that they can attain the personal growth they are committed to accomplish.
Elisa A. Gottheil, PhD; Santa Barbara, California
Psychologist in Santa Barbara
EMDR Certified Therapist
Education and Certifications
1974-1981 Completed two BA programs (Licenciaturas) in Argentina on Business Management and on Personnel Management at the Universidad Argentina de la Empresa, UADE
1985-1987 School of Social Psychology Pichon-Riviere; one year; Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) – 2 years
2001-2004 Masters’ in Counseling Psychology with Emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara, California.
2003 Certified as a Hypnotherapist.
2002-2004 Certified as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor from Santa Barbara City College.
Feb 2007 Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute; licensed in 2009
June 2016 Trained in EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing)
April 2019 Certified in EMDR therapy
2021 Became an Approved Consultant in EMDR
2021 Taquion International Certification in Decision Making
2022 Ericksonian Hypnotherapy through Ericksonian Institute
February 2022 Registered as an Approved EMDR Consultant
2021-2022 Hypnosis and Neurolinguistic Programming Training, refresher for the improvements
2021 emdr.2.0 with Ad de Jong
2020 Did I Lock the Door? with Laura Paulsen; emdr for dissociative disorders and obssessive compulsive disorders
2020 Flash Technique with Philp Manfield
2019 Somatic Experiencing and EMDR level I with Craig Penner, EMDR Consultant
2014 Certified in the Trauma Resilience Model (certified as trainer)
2013 Certified in the Trauma Informed System of Care (certified as trainer)
2013 Trained in the WRAP, Wellness Recovery Action Planning (facilitator of level I)
1997 & 2007 Became Trainer of Trainers, through completion of twos-six day Training of Trainers intensive programs (twice certified, 1997 and 2007) through Sentient Systems Inc., to train others on how to offer excellence in trainings
2009-2016 Attended intensive trainings on , Seeking Safety; Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (certified as a trainer), Aggression Replacement Training (certified as trainer), Moral Reconation Therapy (facilitator), Measure of Recovery Scale-MORS, The Addictive Brain, Domestic Violence, Dual Diagnosis, Best Practices for the Treatment of Antisocial Youth, ASAM (American Society for Addiction Medicine, revised version) Substance Abuse Placement Criteria for Adults, Best Practices for Substance Abuse Treatment, MATRIX, Relapse Prevention and Motivational Interviewing, Motivational Interviewing, Methamphetamine Addiction, Friendship Training on Social Skills for children with FASD, Rorschach Intensive Training, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Rational Living Therapy (CBT approach), and Family Behavioral Therapy; this is not an all-inclusive list
1999-2000 Hypnosis training at Hypnotherapy Training Institute, Santa Barbara
1987 Neurolinguistic Programming training at the Chrem Institute, Buenos Aires Argentina
2004-2017 Yearly and biennial trainings on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, ranging from two days to one hour, to: Santa Barbara County Behavioral Wellness staff; CASA workers, Santa Barbara; Perinatal Residential program Good Samaritan- Santa Maria, Casa Pacifica, Camarillo; Juvenile Justice System/Probation Officers, Santa Barbara; Child Abuse Listening and Mediation – CALM, Santa Barbara; Community Action Commission – Children Programs, Santa Maria; Probation Department, Clallam County; Santa Barbara County Psychological Association; as well as presentations to the community at large.
Jun 2013-2016 Trained the clinical staff of the Children System of Care of the Behavioral Wellness Department, County of Santa Barbara on Trauma Informed System of Care (TISC); trained trainers of community based organizations on TISC so that they could train their staff.
2015-2016 Three regional county wide Trauma Informed System of Care conferences, in partnership with Social Services, Santa Barbara.
Jun 2013-2016 Trained clinical staff in Behavioral Wellness, Santa Barbara, as well as community based organizations on Co-occurring Disorders recognition and treatment, Recovery and Wellness strategies and skills, Implementation of the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) form, completing Clinical Assessments with clinical integrity and according to State regulations; how to a conduct thorough Mental Health Status Examination; Assessing for Functional Impairments; Conducting a Cultural Interview according to the DSM5; How are Strength Based Case Presentations different; Treatment Planning according to State regulations and clinical integrity; and Concurrent Documentation; this is not an all-inclusive list.
Feb 2016 Weekly Trauma Resiliency Model trainings to line staff in Behavioral Wellness
Aug 2016 Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) level 1 workshops to Peers and Clinicians in County of Santa Barbara
Nov 2016 Training of Trainers to Behavioral Wellness staff in Santa Barbara, on how to become effective trainers