about us

our mission

Well Baby Center believes that every family deserves a place to feel supported — especially in the beginning. By strengthening family connections, healing the past, and providing social support, we help families and communities thrive.

our approach

In everything we do at Well Baby Center, we listen for the baby — when working with children and also when working with adults. Even when we are doing individual or couples therapy, we listen for the hurt baby within the adult whose needs haven’t yet been heard, understood, or fully explored. Our goal is to strengthen relationships — within oneself, with one’s significant other, or with one’s child.

Contrary to short-term therapy, long-term therapy aims for fundamental personality change and emotional healing, while short-term treatment by definition can only provide temporary symptom relief. This is why Well Baby Center has become the parenting hub that it is today. Serious treatment, when necessary, is combined with lighter fare — parent coaching, classes, community events, and even children’s birthday parties!

All the services provided at Well Baby Center are offered on a sliding scale basis, so no one is turned away for lack of funds. Full or partial scholarships may be available to those who qualify.

clinical staff

Much of our work is done by Associate Marriage and Family Therapists and Associate Clinical Social Workers enrolled in our Clinical Training Program.  The Associate MFTs and CSWs, who have completed their master’s degree and are working toward licensure, are provided with specialized training in psychodynamic, relationship-based infant-parent and maternal mental health. This includes training in the Mindful Parenting and Becoming Social group models, both of which focus on enhancing early attachment relationships.



"Well Baby Center is a wonderful resource for new parents on the Westside. It provides a welcoming and reassuring environment with genuinely caring and knowledgeable staff.”

Ellen and baby Ava, Mindful Parenting Group Member

“Because of what I've learned in this group, and how I’ve grown as a parent, I’ve deepened my relationship with my child and he is thriving because of it. I now have empathy for him and see him as someone who needs my help, and it’s my job as his parent to give him that help. I am so grateful for our time in the Mindful Parenting Group.”

Claire, Mindful Parenting Group Member

“We have the ability to make our community a better place and knowing that we are in it together helps keep us all going.”

Dr. Robert J. Watkins IV, WBC donor

"I always feel supported and never judged. Well Baby Center is refreshing, supportive, informative, and helpful."

Charise and baby Ethan, Counseling Clients

"In Mindful Parenting Group, both my husband and I learned to be proactive in our discipline. As new parents, it's so easy to rely on the parenting skills you were raised with. We unlearned some parenting habits that we did not want to continue."

Eve, Peter, and baby Sophia, Mindful Parenting Group Member

"It was great to hear the experiences of other parents and to share opinions on how to navigate common issues. The class helped me to stay present. A great opportunity to gain tools and structure for parents."

Carla, Loving Discipline Parenting Class Member

"The group provided a supportive space to discuss and address the everyday issues of parenting. The group leaders were very knowledgable."

Yvonne, Mindful Parenting Group Member

"The class helped us as parents to speak about what’s going on and hear and lean from other parents. It was great to gain knowledge from intelligent and caring teachers. It was even better than I thought [it would be]. I learned new things and skills about children and their development and how to navigate better decisions for parenting. The leaders were the best I have had in a child/parent group. They knew what to talk about, how to manage the time for sharing and learning."

Lisa, Loving Discipline Class Member

"Reflective & child-centered play have [greatly] changed my parenting. The facilitators have created a warm, welcoming space, ... and fostered a mindful attitude for parenting. They taught us great techniques but also [gave] great answers and feedback to our concerns."

Duane, Mindful Parenting Group Member

"It helped me understand myself and my child and gave me information I didn’t know I needed. I would recommend this group because we need better parents, better people, and a better world."

Pedro, Mindful Parenting Group Member

"Everyone I've ever met at Well Baby Center from the receptionist to the group facilitators have truly embodied a genuine respect for small children, patience, and a deep desire to work in this field of child development."

Gigi, WBC client

"In talking with Deborah, I got very interested in Well Baby Center and decided that it would be important for someone like myself to support Well Baby Center and the millions out there who don’t really have access, or even know that they can get help at a place like Well Baby Center. I did not have the best relationship with my mother, and with my family in general, and I wished at the time there was something like Well Baby Center so that my family and I could have gone to speak to someone."

Alyxandra Chang, WBC donor

"I want to take a minute here to thank you, Deborah, for giving me such strong and powerful advice that I have never thought about before. Thank you for the tools you shared with me - to be gentle and tender to myself and try to soothe myself the way I have always wanted from other people. I just looked up some mindfulness journal ideas; I want to give it a try when just sitting there trying to stop me from acting out."

Gloria Lee, Counseling Client

"You've created a wonderful place for parents."

Ed Tronick, WBC Advisor, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychology, UMass Boston

"Parenting is the hardest, most meaningful thing I’ve lived thus far. Thank you for your support on our healing path."

Valerie Altamirano, WBC client

"I remember when I first met you about ten years ago, I was in hell. You helped me out of hell, and I was able to rethink the relationship with my parents. When I needed you again last year, you gave me all the tools to help myself walk out of the mud. I really appreciate your way of therapy. It really, really helped me. Today, I am ready to live my life to experience it all. You inspired me when you told me the reason you wanted to open Well Baby Center on Venice Boulevard and set the prices the way you did was that you wanted quality therapy available for working families. I am one of those people who benefited from your practice."

Emily, Counseling Client

In this video, Lizeth Bejarano shares how her participation in a Mindful Parenting Group changed her experience as a mother by giving her newfound confidence in her parenting abilities and exposing her to new parenting techniques that allowed her to strengthen her bond with her child. Her son is now three years old and attends DIG Childhood Center, where she currently serves as a board member.

ask dr deborah

Claire’s story

Claire’s story

This is the story of a struggling mother and son dyad, Claire and Joseph, who found help in our Mindful Parenting Group. The names have been changed, but the story and quotes are real. By Dr. Deborah Groening-Rother Claire joined my Mindful Parenting Group because she...

read more
Surviving as a Working Mom During Coronavirus

Surviving as a Working Mom During Coronavirus

While waiting in line at Rite Aid this morning (keeping the 6 feet apart rule), I overheard a woman at the checkout counter saying to the cashier, “I am a nurse and this is my day off. I keep telling my kids, ‘This isn’t a vacation, do your f——g homework!’”  A...

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What is Discipline?

What is Discipline?

What is discipline? Many of us have strong feelings about the meaning of this word that stem largely from what we know and remember from our own childhoods. Interestingly, the origin of the word in Latin means ‘pupil’ or ‘disciple’ and has its roots in the idea of...

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Social Connection as a Preventive Measure

Social Connection as a Preventive Measure

Research has shown that social connection is the best protective factor against perinatal depression and anxiety, marital strife, and childhood developmental issues, so why hasn’t the public health sector caught on? Since research clearly shows that social support is...

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How do I get started?
When you call, email, or stop by, the staff will schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation with a counselor or parent educator. They will listen to your needs and recommend the services to best support you.

If you choose to commit to counseling, a group, or another service, the initial fee and schedule will be established at that time.

If we are unable to accommodate you, we will provide you with referrals.

How much does it cost?
All of Well Baby Center’s services are offered on a sliding fee scale based on your household income, regardless of documented status.  We will assist you in determining an affordable fee. Full or partial scholarships may be available to those who qualify.

How long are the groups?
Groups range from 1 to 1.5 hours. They require an initial commitment of 4 or 8 weeks depending on the group; thereafter they are month-to-month. Many members remain in groups for a year or more.


How long will counseling take?
Counseling typically lasts more than a few months and less than a year. However, each person’s situation is unique and there is no rule for how long someone will be in counseling.

What are the qualifications of my counselor/facilitator?
Associate Clinical Social Workers and Family Therapists, who have completed their master’s degree and are working toward licensure, provide most of our services. While in our Clinical Training Program they are supervised by experienced licensed therapists. Licensed staff also lead some of our groups and provide counseling.

How long will my therapist be working at Well Baby Center?
Well Baby Center is a training institute providing specialized infant and maternal mental health training to licensed and pre-licensed clinicians, therefore, your therapist is working at WBC on a time-limited basis. It is possible that your therapist may leave WBC before the end of your treatment, in which case WBC will do everything possible to ensure a quick and smooth transfer to another therapist.



What is Well Baby Center’s philosophy?
Well Baby Center’s philosophy is rooted in the field of infant-parent mental health. We believe that early relationships form the foundation of an infant’s social, emotional, and cognitive development.

Our founder, Deborah Groening-Rother, Psy.D., an infant-parent mental health professional, created Well Baby Center to provide both preventative mental health services and a place for parents to receive peer social support.

Read more about Dr. Deborah’s vision and why she founded Well Baby Center here.

Do you accept referrals?
Yes, we welcome referrals! Call 310-402-2229 x106 to discuss how we can partner.

Are you available for presentations?
Absolutely. We love reaching out to the community and sharing our approach to building strong families. Call 310-402-2229 x106 to discuss how we can help.

Do you have evening or weekend appointments?
Yes. Our office is open Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm. Evening and Saturdays by appointment.