our team


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

Director of Development

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 Director of Development, 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

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.

Cheyne Stennis
Cheyne Stennis

Administrative Director

Cheyne has worked in the child development and business management industries for over 14 years, first gaining experience as a teacher and activities liaison facilitating early childhood development assessments, in-home child care, and parent mentorship. She pivoted these skills into advancing business productivity in the legal, fashion, and beauty industries.

Synthia Praglin, MA
Synthia Praglin, MA

Early Childhood and Parent Educator

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 and 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. 

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 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.


Well Baby Center is seeking BBS-registered associates (AMFTs, ACSWs, or APCCs) who are passionate about working with children and families. 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 is a 20 hr/week, 1 unpaid internship. Candidates must attend two supervisions/week on Wednesdays and Fridays. Please send your resume and cover letter with your available hours to: Simcha Saiek, PsyD, Clinical Director, Well Baby Center: internships@wellbabycenter.org or call (310) 402-2229.


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, helping them grow up to be happy, healthy individuals. Our volunteer program offers both challenging and rewarding opportunities that allow individuals to make a difference in the community as well as achieve personal growth. Apply for a volunteer opportunity here.