our team



Deborah Groening-Rother, Psy.D.

Deborah Groening-Rother, Psy.D.

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.  
Simcha Saiek, Psy.D.

Simcha Saiek, Psy.D.

Clinical Director

My passion is working with families and children. I particularly love working with parents. I think that all parents want to be their best for their children, but some have a hard time showing it. I see my role as helping them discover that part within themselves – their hopes and dreams for their children. Well Baby Center is just that place for me and I am fortunate to take part in it and training our Associates.
Rebekka Helford, M.F.T.
Rebekka Helford, M.F.T.

Clinical Supervisor and Trainer

Families are the bedrock of society. By helping Well Baby Center’s team of compassionate clinicians think deeply about and respond sensitively to families and children in need of support, I feel inspired that I am contributing to a stronger, more loving, more empowered world.

Cheyne Stennis
Cheyne Stennis

Administrative Director

Helping others learn and be more mindful creates an environment that fosters exploration and self-care. It is important to educate our young children and ourselves in ways that make us feel more at peace internally and with the world around us. Teaching families was an early passion of mine, and it is rewarding to focus that energy into directing the center’s operations and administration.

Synthia Praglin
Synthia Praglin

Early Childhood and Parent Educator

I find that the inherent challenges of parenting can often be mitigated when one feels connected to and supported by a group. Well Baby Center’s parenting groups emphasize the importance of nurturing the connection between parent and child, allowing parents to feel empowered to be the best parent they can be.

Nancy Ezra, LMFT, Ph.D.

Nancy Ezra, LMFT, Ph.D.

Senior Clinician

Dr. Nancy Ezra is a licensed clinical psychologist, and licensed marriage and family therapist who has been providing clinical services in Los Angeles for more than 30 years. She is Endorsed by California as an Infant-Family & Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist/Reflective Practice Mentor, and National Trainer of Child Parent Psychotherapy. Dr. Ezra also serves as faculty and the Curriculum Director of the Reiss-Davis Graduate School. She specializes in providing psychotherapy, education, training and consultation to families and professionals within the Birth to Five Community. Dr. Ezra treats clients of all ages, as well as couples and families.

Theresa Goldstein, Registered Associate PCC
Theresa Goldstein, Registered Associate PCC

Counselor and Group Facilitator

I love working with families and children,  and take play very seriously. At Well Baby Center, I am grateful to learn and grow as a therapist while utilizing my skills in play and expressive therapy to enhance treatment with children and families.
Cazzie Marzwell, Registered Associate MFT

Cazzie Marzwell, Registered Associate MFT

Counselor and Group Facilitator

I truly believe in the healing power of a strong therapeutic relationship. My goal is to provide a safe place for individuals and families to share their experiences, be honest about their thoughts, process their feelings, and cope with stress or past traumas. My approach is to always meet my clients where they are, while challenging and empowering them to change what’s not working for them. 

Yael Sherne, Registered Associate MFT

Yael Sherne, Registered Associate MFT

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

I believe that through a compassionate and collaborative process, therapy can help you heal and transform. My goal is to meet each client where they are, to help them explore and express their emotions, needs and challenges – whether through talk or play – so they can grow to live authentically and truly thrive. 

Jillian Plotner
Jillian Plotner

Associate Clinical Social Worker

As human beings, we are all doing our best to navigate life’s complexities. I have found that by helping clients mindfully reflect on their past experiences, they are able to gain a sense of clarity and self-awareness. This helps them as they think about their present life and future. At Well Baby Center, I enjoy equipping parents with these mindful and reflective tools that allow them greater opportunities to connect with their children in new ways. I love working with children, and appreciate the constant reminder that we are always learning and growing.

Frida Rahman

Administrative Coordinator

I believe that by helping families we strengthen society as a whole. Navigating life can be a difficult process and Well Baby Center is here to support families and build healthy coping skills. Often, parents just need a little support in order to better understand their feelings and behaviors as well as their children’s feelings and behaviors. Well Baby Center is here to help families develop a greater sense of awareness and clarity.

board of directors

President of the Board 
Deborah Groening-Rother, M.A., L.M.F.T., Psy.D.

Tech Consultant 
Paul Rother

Business Leader
Kathy Cohen

Publisher and Community Advocate
Bob Zaugh

Chris Lieber

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.

Mark McDonald, M.D. 
Child Psychiatrist/ Collaborator, holds board certifications in child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry, and specializes in the evaluation and treatment of young people with mental illness.

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

Tandy Parks, R.N. 
Parenting Group Leader, who has run mindfulness-based parenting classes for over 20 years.

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

Richard Cohen
Adjunct Faculty
USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work


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. Incredible opportunity to receive specialized training in infant-parent, family and child therapy, and the Becoming Social, Mindful Parenting, and Loving Discipline models.This is a 20 hr/week, one-year 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, PhD, 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 so that they can 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.