Rich & Associates

Erika Rich, Ph.D., Owner and Director


Biography of Dr. Erika Rich

From a young age, I knew I wanted to work with children. Basically, I started out as a really good babysitter. I decided on psychology because not only did I like working directly with children and families, but I really enjoyed doing research, too. I have published several research articles and written a few chapters and continue to be involved in research in one way or another. I think it's important for me to be up on the latest research so that I can continue to give children and families cutting-edge intervention.

I have worked with all kinds of kids and all kinds of families. But, I am most passionate about social skills training, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), and improving family functioning. It is probably because I was such a bossy kid myself, but I specialized in social skills very early in my career. It was later that I started emphasizing the overall family environment for supporting child development. Now, I take this family-centered approach in all of my services. Because I am a mother myself, I also understand what day-to-day life as a parent entails.

Education and Experience

After getting my Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of William and Mary and my Master's Degree from Wake Forest, I went on to get my Doctorate in Developmental-Clinical Psychology from the University of Maine. My dissertation work formed the foundation of the COMPASS program that I am running today. I spent the next four years at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute (now Semel). My training at UCLA is a great foundation for my practice of psychology. I was lucky enough to work with leading child psychologists and psychiatrists at UCLA and to gain experience with special populations such as children with ADHD, anxiety, autism, and prenatal alcohol/drug exposure.

My post-doctoral work at UCLA also included training and experience in mindful awareness, which I have since continued to study. Under the tutelage of Susan Kaiser Greenland, I learned a variety of techniques for teaching mindfulness to children. At Rich & Associates, we are very proud of the infusion of mindfulness into the everyday strategies needed to be an effective parent and how mindfulness can complement other coping skills for children. Most recently, I became a certified Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) therapist and Level One Trainer, allowing me to officially train R&A therapists to provide this very specialized and very effective treatment for families.

Dr. Rich founded Rich & Associates in 2005 and is a licensed psychologist (PSY19465) since 2002.

Publications and Research Presentations

If you are interested in any of my research in areas such as children's friendships, autism, ADHD, family functioning, and behavioral difficulties in children, then please download a complete list.

Biography of Dr. Seth Shaffer

Dr. Shaffer received a doctorate of clinical psychology from the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy with a focus on mindfulness meditation.

In August 2012, Dr. Shaffer completed an intensive pre-doctoral APA-accredited internship focusing on work with children, adolescents, and families at The Guidance Center in Long Beach. In this setting, Dr. Shaffer gained experience with ethnically, racially, and culturally diverse populations. Dr. Shaffer is well-versed in evidence-based practices, including cognitive-behavioral therapy. He has worked with children who have autism, trauma, ADHD, behavioral difficulties, and anxiety. This work included working with parents in setting up behavioral plans and determining strategies to best help their child.

Dr. Shaffer's current interests include working with individuals suffering from autism, ADHD, anxiety and/or depression, social skills deficits, and impulse control disorders. He is especially interested in working with parents and families to help them achieve harmony in the home environment. Dr. Shaffer takes a mindfulness-based approach to parenting and is also a certified PCIT therapist.

Dr. Shaffer began working at Rich & Associates in 2012 and became a licensed psychologist (PSY27492) in 2015.

Biography of Dr. Shannon McHugh

Dr. McHugh began her work in psychology as an undergraduate student at the University of Southern California (USC) where she earned a bachelorís degree in psychology and a minor in social work focusing on Children and Families in Urban America in 2011. She completed her dual masters and doctorate degree program from California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) at Alliant University from 2012-2015 with an emphasis on family, children, and couples. She then completed a clinical and forensic specialized pre-doctoral internship from the Institute of Violence, Abuse, and Trauma in San Diego, California from 2015-2016. On internship, she obtained training in working therapeutically with families and children affected by a wide array of traumatic events, in addition to conducting comprehensive forensic evaluations for civil and criminal case and contributing to research journals related to violence, abuse, and trauma.

Dr. McHugh completed a post-doctoral residency at Child and Family Guidance Center in Northridge, California in 2017 where she continued to work with traumatized children and families, obtained training and certification in various evidence-based practices, and conducted psychological evaluations to assist with treatment plan development for children and families. She then continued as a licensed staff psychologist providing crisis management and on-call coverage for the agency.

Currently, Dr. McHugh is a licensed psychologist and certified Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) therapist who began working with Rich and Associates in 2018. Her current interests include working with children who experience behavioral difficulties, social skills struggles, and those experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress. She loves working with the whole family to help each other understand how to relieve stress in their homes and work collaboratively toward success!

Dr. McHugh began working at Rich & Associates in 2018 and became a licensed psychologist (PSY29576) in 2017.

Biography of Dr. Jesi Sasaki

Dr. Sasaki received her doctorate in clinical psychology at the Hawaii School of Professional Psychology. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at San Mateo Medical Center where she provided integrative health care for the underserved population.

Dr. Sasaki has experience in school-based mental health as a behavioral therapist to children with autism spectrum disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, ADHD and other developmental challenges. In this setting, Dr. Sasaki gained experience in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) and parent training. While in her doctoral program, Dr. Sasaki conducted court-ordered evaluations, worked with the native Hawaiian population, and worked with active duty families. Dr. Sasaki is well-versed in evidenced-based treatments for children including cognitive-behavioral therapy, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT).

Dr. Sasakiís current interests include working with individuals suffering from autism, ADHD, anxiety, depression, trauma and social skill deficits. She is especially interested in working with parents to help increase effective parent management. Dr. Sasaki believes that parent integration in treatment is essential in providing comprehensive care.

Dr. Sasaki is a registered psychological assistant (PSB94023489) and began working at Rich and Associates in 2017 under licensed supervision.

Psychological Externs

Rich & Associates is privileged to be a practicum site for several local doctoral programs in clinical psychology, including the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, Pepperdine University's Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program of the Graduate School of Education and Psychology, University of Southern California, and Loma Linda University.

As such, after a rigorous and competitive multi-stage interview process, two to three doctoral students are chosen as Psychological Externs at Rich & Associates. Psychological Externs serve as group co-leaders and also provide individual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for children and adolescents. Psychological Externs have the option of receiving official, intensive Parent-Child Interaction Therapy training in order to also provide PCIT at R&A.

All of the therapists undergo extensive training through R&A's weekly Clinical Seminar and Group Supervision program in order to provide quality therapy at lower fees than is typically found in West LA. In addition, weekend times are available for individual therapy and PCIT, which is appealing for many families.

All Psychological Externs work directly under Dr. McHugh's (PSY29576), Dr. Shaffer's (PSY27492) and Dr. Rich's supervision (PSY19465), meaning that treatment decisions and progress are monitored on a weekly basis by an experienced licensed psychologist.

Pensive Erika

West Los Angeles

310 709 6427