our team

staff

Deborah Groening-Rother, MA, LMFT, PsyD

Deborah Groening-Rother, MA, LMFT, PsyD

Founder, CEO and Infant Mental Health Specialist

“Exploring my early childhood through psychoanalytic treatment was life changing for me. Despite all surface indicators that I should have had a happy childhood, I did not. I founded Well Baby Center to help others heal as I have, by providing applied psychoanalytic services that are short-term and affordable, with a special focus on early life and unconscious processes.” Read the full story here.  

Donna Rabin
Donna Rabin

Executive Director

Donna has been an active member of the Venice/Mar Vista community over many years and has managed multiple roles as a single mother, an entrepreneur, and of late a senior manager in a variety of businesses.  In her position as Executive Director, she plans to grow the scope and breadth of Well Baby Center toward the goal of developing a thriving, world-class organization.
Simcha Saiek, Psy.D.

Simcha Saiek, Psy.D.

Clinical Director and Senior Supervisor/Trainer

Simcha has been a practicing licensed clinical psychologist for the past 20 years after receiving her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. As the clinic’s Senior Supervisor, she encourages the clinical staff to become deeply steeped in psychodynamic theory, psychological assessment, and psychodynamic therapy.

Scarlett Pacheco
Scarlett Pacheco

Administrative Coordinator

Scarlett is a life-long resident of Los Angeles who joined the Well Baby Center team in 2020.  She studied Communications at California State University Long Beach, and has many years’ experience in office administration and operations.

Synthia Praglin, MA
Synthia Praglin, MA

Early Childhood Parent Educator, BSG Facilitator, Parenting Coach

Synthia holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology with a specialization in Child Development. She is also a Certified Parent Educator and has been trained in facilitating both Reflective Parenting Classes and Mindful Parenting Groups.  With over 18 years of experience leading parenting groups and providing parenting coaching, she is proud to be able to offer these services to Well Baby Center clients.

Rebekka Helford, MA, LMFT
Rebekka Helford, MA, LMFT

Clinical Supervisor, Group Program, Lead Facilitator/Trainer

Rebekka has enjoyed working with children and their families in a variety of capacities both therapeutic and non-clinical for over 15 years. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Brown University and her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University.

Since 2016, Rebekka has supervised and trained interns and led Mindful Parenting Groups at Well Baby Center in Mar Vista. 

Jillian Plotner, ACSW
Jillian Plotner, ACSW

Services Coordinator, Counselor

Jillian earned a Master of Social Work degree from University of Southern California.  She is experienced in infant-maternal mental health, group facilitation, crisis intervention, substance abuse recovery, and LGBTQ homeless youth.  As Services Coordinator, she assesses clients’ needs to connect each individual and family to the most beneficial services.

board of directors

Deborah Groening-Rother, MA, LMFT, PsyD
President of the Board 

Paul Rother
Tech Consultant 

Carol A. Cassella
Retired Studio Executive

Cynthia Ambres, M.D.
Physician and Healthcare Administration Executive

Kathy Cohen
Retired Business Leader

Bob Zaugh
Publisher and Community Advocate

Chris Lieber
Retired Entrepreneur

Michael Neidorf, CPA
Chief Financial Officer

Heidi Bendetson
Designer and Philanthropist

 

advisory board

Ed Tronick, Ph.D. 
Director, Child Development Unit, Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, University Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Chief Faculty, University of Massachusetts Infant-Parent Post Graduate Certificate Program.

Dorie Weiss, Ph.D., Q.M.E.
A licensed clinical psychologist in private practice who specializes in performing childhood developmental assessments.

Alessia Gottlieb, M.D.
Neuropsychiatrist, Advisory Board, Co-Medical Director of the UCLA Child and Family Trauma Center.

Tandy Parks, R.N. 
A parenting group leader who has run mindfulness-based parenting classes for over 20 years.

Bonnie Yates, Esq.
Educational Attorney, instrumental in helping hundreds of children obtain vital educational services.

Richard Cohen, Ph.D.
Specialist in identification and early intervention systems for young children with mental health needs.

Diane Reynolds, LMFT, IFECMHS, RPF II
Reflective Practice Training + Consultation
Developer, Mindful Parenting Groups

employment

Employment Opportunities with Well Baby Center

Well Baby Center’s small team creates a big impact. If you’re passionate about the early stages of a baby’s life, parenthood, and mental health, we want to hear from you! We provide a supportive environment that allows our employees to grow and succeed. Click here to see our current job listings.

internships

Well Baby Center is seeking BBS-registered associates (AMFTs, ACSWs or APCCs) who are passionate about working with parents-to-be, new parents and families, children, and individuals.  We offer an incredible opportunity to receive specialized training in infant-parent, family, and child therapy, as well as the Becoming Social, Mindful Parenting, and Loving Discipline models.   This 20-hour/week internship requires a commitment of one year and offers a stipend.  Please send your resume and cover letter to Donna Rabin at donna@wellbabycenter.org, or call her at (310) 402-2229 ext 108 for information about our program.

volunteer

By volunteering at Well Baby Center, you’ll join us in providing the most vulnerable members of our community – babies and toddlers – with a healthy emotional start in life.  If you are interested in volunteering please call Donna Rabin at (310) 402-2229 ext 108 for more information.”