Psychologists and Staff

Dr Kaneeza Lafir, Clinical Director & Licensed Psychologist

Dr. Kaneeza Lafir, owner and clinical director of Prepare to Change, offers psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, testing and assessment services, and clinical training, in addition to managing the organizational affairs. She offers short- and long-term therapy for children, couples, families, the elderly, Veterans. and adults.

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Kaneeza Lafir, PsyD, PsyD, PhD blends 20 years of psychological proficiency with two doctoral degrees, to create a therapeutic style that is personal, professional, and well grounded in experience. Both as a supervisor as well as in private consultation, Kaneeza partners with individuals using her vast clinical experience and passion to assist each person in obtaining his or her goal. She has expertise in working with many different cultures and ethnic backgrounds, personality issues, bipolar disorder, guilt and shame, trauma, depression, anxiety and psychotic thought processes. She also specializes in working with individuals who have experienced abuse and trauma, or who are struggling with substance abuse issues. Part of Kaneeza’s background includes working with families and children while she completed a two-year internship with USC’s University Affiliated Program, Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles.
Her approach includes working through patterns that prevent clients from growing and reaching their full potential. Kaneeza excels at exploring how interpersonal relationships have impacted an individual’s emotional development, as well as how previous relational experiences are affecting their current relationships. Along with psychotherapy, Kaneeza conducts personality, cognitive, and neuropsychological assessments to help arrive at hypotheses about a client’s behavior, personality and capabilities. Based on assessment results, she can develop and apply effective therapeutic treatment plans and interventions.
As a conference speaker, she empowers individuals on their unique journey to wholeness, and mental and relational well-being. Kaneeza’s far-reaching educational background includes Bachelors and Masters of Art degrees in Psychology from the Presidency College, University of Madras in South India. She earned her first doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at Rosemead School of Psychology, before completing her second and third doctorates in Psychoanalysis at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis. Kaneeza would be happy to serve you and help out with any evaluation or treatment questions you might have.
Dr. Lafir can be reached at DrKaneezaLafir@P2Ccounseling.com or (562) 773-3044.



 

DR LARRY KUHN, LICENSED PSYCHOLOGIST – INDIANA & CALIFORNIA

Dr. Larry Kuhn founded the Prepare to Change counseling center and its state-of-the-art assessment platform. He is currently responsible for executing assessment interventions for the California and Indiana offices, and he provides in-person and online counseling and coaching as well.

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Larry Kuhn, PsyD, works well with many different types of people and challenges. He is a licensed clinical psychologist in Indiana and California, organizational coach and consultant, and a presenter involved in leadership development, forensic psychology, education, and family therapy. Always a steady hand at the wheel, Larry is highly valued for his calm and pragmatic approach, honed over 25 years in consulting, industry, and non-profit.
So while “been there, done that!” could be his mantra, Larry’s humble style combines his rich background and experiences with a collaborative nature and creative approach. Larry’s repertoire includes aligning business solutions, providing management consulting and coaching, launching assessment solutions, and a variety of other initiatives to promote sustainable organizational culture change. He employs a dialectical developmental approach to facilitate, influence and support desirable growth, design, and performance outcomes within organizations.
Clients love his unique and creative approaches to visually communicate complex information. In fact, he created a state-of-the-art assessment platform offering 400+ assessments and skills tests which is currently being used by clients across the nation for employee selection, leader development, and personal growth or education testing. Larry also conducts leadership seminars on Coaching Competencies for Executives, Goal Setting, Assertiveness Training, and Interpersonal Skills for Managers, Collaborative Problem-Solving Techniques, Communication Skills, among others. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with Masters and Doctoral Degrees in Family and Clinical Psychology from Azusa PacificUniversity. He is licensed as a Clinical Psychologist in California and Indiana.
Dr. Kuhn can be reached at DrLarryKuhn@PrepareToChange.com or (949) 275-8804.



 

DR. KELLY GRANGER, LICENSED PSYCHOLOGIST

Dr. Kelly Granger, PsyD. is a licensed psychologist whose experience includes counseling, assessment, training and supervision. She holds extensive experience working with adults, couples and adolescents for many difficulties including depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship problems, and overwhelming emotions.

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Dr. Kelly Granger uses a comprehensive therapeutic approach that is customized to each client. As an experienced psychologist, she builds a safe, trusting relationship so that together — through conversation, attentive listening, respectful and interactive responses — she can help others discover what they want different in their life.
After receiving her Master’s and Doctorate Degrees in Psychology from Rosemead School of Psychology, she completed PostDoctoral Training at the Center for Individual and Family Therapy. Kelly is able to help partners of those struggling with sexually compulsive behavior/pornography addiction by providing a place where acceptance, understanding and honest feedback come together to promote growth and healing. Kelly’s also focuses on helping those who have been spiritually wounded and individuals who want to explore how spirituality can be a source of support when dealing with life’s struggles. No matter what brings a person into therapy, Kelly strives to provide a safe environment to explore possible roadblocks and help people move beyond them.
Dr. Granger can be reached at Kelly@PrepareToChange.com or (949) 381-1519.



 

 

DR. HAYLEY PEDERSEN, Licensed psychologist

Dr. Hayley Pedersen, MS, PsyD focuses on providing therapy and assessment for children, adolescents, and families that are experiencing distress from a variety of issues including emotional, developmental, and learning disorders.

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Dr. Pedersen works from a systems perspective and attachment theory, believing that family and parent work is an integral part of treatment. She strives to help her clients create an emotional language for what they are experiencing. Dr. Pedersen is passionate about the power of play and believes that all children are valuable, capable, and worthy of love and opportunity. Formerly a credentialed elementary school teacher and school counselor, Dr. Pedersen can provide specific insights into the behavioral, academic and social-emotional struggles many children experience. She utilizes a comprehensive therapeutic approach that includes professional collaboration in order to enhance treatment outcomes. As such, Dr. Pedersen develops strong working relationships with families, schools and other health professionals. In addition to therapy services, she conducts psychological evaluations, assessing cognitive and personality functioning, as well as learning disabilities and ADHD.

Dr. Pedersen also has a special interest in working with parents who are looking for consultation and parent training. She engages with her clients in a comfortable, relaxed manner which facilitates exploration to move beyond possible roadblocks. Dr. Pedersen has demonstrated success in working with a diverse clientele including families of divorce, single parent families, foster and adoptive youth, family trauma, as well as a range of mental health concerns.

She earned her Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Azusa Pacific University and Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Vanguard University. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Education from The Pennsylvania State University. She currently serves as an adjunct faculty at Azusa Pacific University.

Dr. Pedersen resides in Orange County with her husband and two children. She enjoys being active with her family, traveling, interior design, and cooking.

Please contact Dr. Pedersen at 949.478.3017 or drhayleypedersen@preparetochange.com to receive your free consultation.



 

DUSTIN SHULTZ, LMFT, LICENSED THERAPIST

Dustin Shultz is a licensed marriage and family therapist who offers short and long-term therapy for teens, adults, couples, and seniors, working through patterns that prevent them from growing and living a full life. Dusty is currently in the process of becoming a certified EMDR therapist.

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Dustin Shultz, MA, MFT, has experience and success working with couples, adults, and teens struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship issues, divorce, identity, sexuality, substance use, cutting, life transitions, grief, and shame. He is passionate about helping people develop into healthy and whole individuals, and embrace life. Dusty is known for his warm and gentle personality, while bringing insight and wisdom. He works in a relational and collaborative way, respecting each person’s unique experience of life.
Dusty received his Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from Azusa Pacific University and completed a Bachelor’s degree in Ministry from Hope International University. His 15 years of spiritual counseling allows him to work with people who desire soul care in conjunction with therapy. He enjoys speaking at schools, organizations, and churches and has presented on topics ranging from parenting, marriage enrichment, the benefits of roughhousing with kids, depression, bi-polar, anxiety, spirituality, guilt and shame, and communication.
Dusty can be reached at dustyshultz@p2Ccounseling.com or (949) 334-7718.



 

 

Jason Forgash, registered psychological assistant

Jason Forgash works as a registered psychological assistant under the supervision of Dr. Kaneeza Lafir, a licensed clinical psychologist. He conducts therapy and psychological assessment testing with children, adolescents and adults.

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Utilizing a relational, client-centered, attachment-based approach, Jason specializes in enriching the lives of individuals and families who are survivors of crime and those from unique cultures of origin. Jason uses his distinctive experience as a child abuse detective to assist children and families through recovery and growth from trauma. His experience as a homicide detective gives Jason a unique perspective in assisting individuals and families through grief and loss. He also works with individuals and families recently arrived to the United States and California, guiding them through the cultural adjustments this often entails. Having lived, worked, studied or traveled through all 50 states and over 80 countries, Jason is uniquely suited to understanding the nuances of culture and tradition. Additionally, he collaborates with groups and businesses for informative and inspirational keynote speaking engagements, presentations, and workshops. Jason looks forward to serving your on-site therapy and assessment testing needs and to attending to your organizational off-site requirements.

Jason can be reached at  jasonforgash@gmail.com or by phone at (657) 223-1937



 

 

Kristin Swinford, MS Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

Kristin Swinford is a registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist under the supervision of Dr. Kaneeza Lafir.

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Born and raised in Orange County, California, Kristin’s passion for being a therapist started in middle school. When people asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, her immediate response was, “I want to be a High School Psychologist.” Over time, she realized what she really wanted to be a Marriage and Family Therapist. She recalls sitting in her Educational Psychology Course at California State University, Fullerton, and listening to a high-school psychologist speak about her work. It was then Kristin began to pick the brains of professors she looked up to, some of whom were Marriage and Family Therapists. This began her journey to become a Marriage and Family Therapist herself. Kristin became a mentor with the “Big Brothers Big Sisters Program,” in addition to volunteering with the Orange County Rape Crisis Center where she served as a crisis counselor for survivors of sexual assault.

Kristin completed her Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Human Services with a Minor in Psychology. She began working at the Rape Crisis Center as a Victim Advocate and continued her work there when she pursued her Master’s of Science Degree in Counseling with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. She was promoted to Supervisor of the Rape Crisis Center, and after 5 years, transitioned to working with youth as a Case Management Supervisor, overseeing teams working with youthful offenders ages 16-25. During her time at the Rape Crisis Center, Kristin realized that most males were not reaching out about their traumatic experiences, even though statistics show that 1 in 6 men are survivors of sexual abuse. It became her focus to provide an avenue for male survivors to address their trauma experiences.

Kristin’s passion is helping others find a voice and not feel alone when going through difficult life experiences. She is a firm believer that when someone has a safe place to heal and connect with another, they also feel free to become their best self.

Therapeutic areas of interests:
Kristin works with a diverse clientele and is very comfortable working with couples and families in addition to children, adolescents, and adults. She has experience providing support and counseling adults and adolescents with various types of trauma, domestic violence, and crisis intervention. Her experience also includes anger management, anxiety, women’s issues, and stress management.

Contact Kristin by email: kristinswinford@p2ccounseling.com, or by phone: 714-794-2094.


 

Michelle Heater, MA Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

Michelle Heater works as a registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist under the supervision of Dr. Kaneeza Lafir. Michelle offers therapy for children, teens, adults and couples.

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When people feel disconnected from the world around them, it can be hard to figure out what the causes are and why they feel this way. Respecting each person’s life experiences, Michelle supports an environment conducive for exploring what may be impeding someone’s personal and relational growth. Her past work experience with relationships, including work with children, families and couples, has given her insight into how to work through challenging interpersonal dynamics. These challenges, when endured and not addressed, can lead to a person feeling disconnected. Work in therapy can teach each person how to effectively communicate their needs while also supporting and connecting with those around them.
Michelle also works with individuals and couples struggling with grief and loss, including infertility and pregnancy loss. With care and compassion, the therapeutic process can help a person gain perspective on their grief, as well as aid in finding ways to honor the loss as life continues.
Throughout her career Michelle has had a genuine interest in people and how it is people relate to one another. In gaining a clearer understanding of one’s self and motivations, a person can more thoroughly appreciate their life experience and their relationships. Michelle is committed to working with those that need guidance discovering how to move through the obstacles hindering their growth.




 

Katie Lusk, Associate Clinical Social Worker

Katie Lusk, an Associate Clinical Social Worker, has had the privilege of working with students within the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, providing individual and group therapy. In addition to her time in schools, Katie has worked with families and children experiencing and recovering from homelessness by providing therapy services to the children of these families.

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Katie has also volunteered time working at camps for foster youth. Through her volunteer work with these organizations and her volunteer work in countries such as Ecuador, Guatemala, and Mexico, she has discovered her passion—advocating for, and working with, youth and families. She is excited for the opportunities of serving the community as she continues her career. 

Through her time working with youth, Katie has learned how to create a safe environment in which children feel comfortable confronting the problems and struggles they are facing, while also searching for solutions to those problems. Katie enjoys creating an environment in which children are given the opportunity to ask questions, to learn, and to grow, while feeling worthy and capable of achieving the goals they have created. 

Katie received her Master of Social Work degree from California State University, Fullerton and her Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies, Elementary Education from Biola University.