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

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.

Rebekka Helford, M.F.T.
Rebekka Helford, M.F.T.

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. 

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 parlayed these skills into experience in advancing business productivity in the legal, fashion, and beauty industries. While at Well Baby Center, she has improved internal protocols by successfully implementing updated electronic client management systems. 

Synthia Praglin
Synthia Praglin

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 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.

Carmen Mercado, A.M.F.T.
Carmen Mercado, A.M.F.T.


Carmen grew up in Puerto Rico where she attended Inter American University in San Juan and completed her master’s training in social work at Catholic Charities. She provided counseling in Spanish to immigrants and veterans. She also counseled survivors of domestic violence at El Centro de Desarrollo Familiar, helping families fulfill court-ordered counseling and parenting class requirements. She is currently applying for licensure after receiving her second master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from California State University Dominguez Hills and having fulfilled her internship clinical hours.

board of directors

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

Tech Consultant 
Paul Rother

Retired Studio Executive
Carol A. Cassella

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

Retired Business Leader
Kathy Cohen

Publisher and Community Advocate
Bob Zaugh

Retired Entrepreneur 
Chris Lieber

Chief Financial Officer
Michael Neidorf, CPA


advisory board

Jolie Delja, M.S.
Associate Director of Training and Community Partnerships for the University of California in Los Angeles.

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

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

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



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.