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Heather Valentino, LCSW
Adjunct Faculty
heather.valentino@agsfaculty.indwes.edu

LICENSED CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKER                                            Aug. 2006-Present   

Board of Behavioral Sciences                                                                           CALIFORNIA

MASTER OF SOCIAL WELFARE-CHILDREN/FAMILY                                      2000-2002

University of California, Los Angeles                                                         WESTWOODCA

B.A. FAMILY & CONSUMER SCIENCES-CHILDREN/FAMILY                           1996-2000

Minor in Psychology                                                                         

California State University, Long Beach                                                   LONG BEACH, CA 

              

My name is Heather Valentino and I have resided in Southern California since my birth.  To be honest, I have lived in the city of Whittier for all but two years of my life.  I did venture out to Long Beach for 2 years to live in the dorms the first 2 years of college, but quickly returned to Whittier shortly after!  

I completed my undergraduate work at California State University, Long Beach.  I received a B.A. in Family and Consumer Sciences with a minor in Psychology.  I knew however, that I would need to pursue a graduate degree if I wanted to be a therapist.  I looked into several programs but finally decided on the Social Welfare program at UCLA.  It was there that I completed my Masters in Social Welfare and became licensed in the state of California as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker several years later.  I have spent the last 13 years gaining experience working at the outpatient, day treatment, and residential levels of care and have 5 years of experience working collaboratively with the Long Beach Unified School District.  I also spent two years specialized in the treatment of eating disorders.  Recently I have become more involved working with the military/veteran population providing pro bono services as well.  Although the clinical work is difficult, it is definitely very rewarding.

On a personal note, I am married and have a two little girls, a 6-year-old (Violet) and a 2-year-old (Fiona).  In my free time I enjoy reading good books and enjoy watching Indie Films.

I am looking forward to meeting and working together with each of you. 

Psalm 27:10 “When your mother and father forsake you, the Lord will receive me.”

Psalm 91- The protection, provision, guidance and safety that this Psalms speaks about has given me peace and hope many times over and has quenched any anxious feelings that I may have had in that moment or season of life.

God was my provision growing up but he gave me heart for children and people who were lost, abandoned and broken by this world.  Although I grew up in a church going, Christian family, the atmosphere at home was not one that would have honored the Lord and left me feeling very unsafe and sad.  I remember very clearly however, the night that my personal relationship with Jesus began.  I was 12-years-old, at church summer camp and I found hope the moment I accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior.   As I returned home from camp, nothing at home changed, in fact it grew worse as the years went one, but my perspective on life had changed and my hope and security no longer lay in the hands of my broken parents, but instead lay in the hands of my very capable Lord.

For several years I attended the church that my mother required us to attend, but at 15, I made a decision to attend a local church called Morningstar Christian Chapel in Whittier.  I spent the next 3 years attending the high school youth group and following graduation, I became involved with the high school ministry.  While serving in the high school ministry, I met my husband Anthony, who also serving in the high school ministry as well.  For the next two years, we dated and served together in the high school and college ministries.  Within a week of marrying my husband, he took a position as the youth pastor at our church.  We served together in ministry there for 10 years and he moved from the youth pastor role to the assistant pastor role.  We went on several mission trips both in the States and oversea.  During our time in ministry at the church, I was able to utilize the theoretical knowledge and skills that I had learned in graduate school and was able to integrate it with the Biblical knowledge I had.

God has provided me with opportunities to touch people’s hurting heart through therapy.  I have worked in secular settings but had many opportunities to integrate my Christianity into my sessions.  Many people who claim to do Christian therapy are not in fact Christian therapists.  They may speak the lingo, but they don’t have a personal relationship with Christ, they aren’t connected to a fellowship or church.  Their live their lives without accountability and without Christ’s influence.  Throughout my own journey and experience in therapy, it has been important that I pursued therapy with a Christian therapist.  Someone who would pray with me, who could provide me with scriptural encouragement, someone who possessed the similar moral and spiritual convictions that I personally held.