The staff of Healthy Within provides successful Neurofeedback treatments which are customized especially for our patients, taking great care to ensure each treatment restores optimum function, health and hope to live a more fuller life. Learn more about the Healthy Within Brain Health Institute Team:
Divya Kakaiya, Ph.D., M.S. (Psychopharm) CEO
Dr. Kakaiya has been practicing Psychotherapy since 1985 and is a true visionary in her field of Psychotherapy and Neurofeedback. She is a seasoned expert in the field of brain conditions and neurofeedback, and has presented at numerous professional and lay conferences over the last 18 years. She specializes with cross cultural issues, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, ADHD/ADD, PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), trauma, women’s issues, substance abuse, utilizing Neurofeedback as one of her primary treatment modalities. She has also published extensively on issues related to family dynamics, treating adolescents with eating disorders and issues related to South Asian Women. Additionally, she was on editorial board of numerous eating disorder journals, and journals of cultural diversity. She has also been on the conference committees for the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP) and the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) as well as a member of the International Society for Neurofeedback & Research (ISNR) and the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA). She is also a member of EEG info.
Dr. Kakaiya conducts Neurotherapy, individual, family and couples therapy for the program. Her most passionate areas of interest include Neurofeedback, brain health, PTSD and TBI treatment for our returning military, and eating disorder prevention. She founded the Healthy Within Foundation in 2002 with the hopes of being able to conduct more aggressive prevention programs particularly in middle schools. She is a very dynamic, warm, real, and engaging therapist who has brought about major changes in the ways family members relate with one another.
Dr. Kakaiya was personally introduced to Neurofeedback through a family member and having experienced the benefits herself she is an avid proponent of Neurofeedback. As a cancer survivor herself, Dr. Kakaiya has used Neurofeedback for many cancer patients for anxiety, depression and the memory loss that comes with the introduction of Chemotherapy.
Click here to learn more about Dr. Kakaiya and Healthy Within.
- Building Better Brain Balance with Neurofeedback
- Helping Your Child Boost Brain Power
- The Military Mind – Effective Treatment for PTSD
- Women Warriors
- Brain Training for Teens
- Brain Strength for Seniors
Kelly McCarthy, M.A. BCB
Kelly began her journey with Healthy Within as an intern in 2014, where she facilitated the Full of Ourselves girls prevention program. Interning and working at Healthy Within reinforced her passion to pursue psychology as a career. Upon graduating from the University of San Diego with bachelor degrees in Psychology and Anthropology, she was warmly welcomed into the role of Administrative Assistant, Prevention Coordinator, and Neurofeedback Technician. Kelly is currently attending graduate school at Alliant International University’s California School of Professional Psychology for her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, with a health emphasis. Kelly has carried her passion for neurofeedback into her graduate school training, where she has become Board Certified in Biofeedback.
After growing up on the east coast, she feels at home in San Diego’s sunshine and year-round surf. As a former competitive swimmer, she understands the importance of balance, which is why she is so excited about neurofeedback and the amazing benefits it offers the brain and body. In her free time, Kelly is never far from the ocean and loves to surf, swim, run, hike, travel, and enjoy the outdoors. Her current favorite book and recommendation is “Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do” by Wallace Nichols.
Jillean Veroneau, B.A.
Jillean is a graduate of Roger Williams University with a double major in Psychology and Biology. Her interest in neuroscience was sparked by a seven week college accredited program she undertook at Brown University while still in High School, and it has been a passion of hers ever since.
After graduating she worked as an applied behavioral therapist with special needs children, specifically those with autism, in Boston. She also gained experience as neurofeedback technician while living on the east coast.
Jillean grew up on an organic farm in New Hampshire and was introduced to alternative medicine and holistic health at a very young age. She has carried that with her throughout life and hopes to pursue a career in natural medicine.
Having relocated to San Diego a year ago, she was excited by the prospect of being able to continue her career in neurofeedback therapy at Healthy Within. Jillean particularly appreciates how neurofeedback helps people experience a noticeable improvement in their quality of life, and finds this aspect of her job particularly satisfying.
In Jillean’s free time she likes to enjoy the outdoors and make the most of the sunny San Diego climate. She is also an avid traveller and is always eager to learn about new cultures.
Austin Lutz, B.A.
Austin is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. He first came across Neurofeedback in junior college while building and testing Neurofeedback devices for a small engineering company. After learning about the many benefits of Neurofeedback from the practitioners who used the devices, he became fascinated with the prospect of helping people with it. During his senior year at UCSC he gained experience as an intern at a Neurofeedback clinic, where he witnessed firsthand the variety of symptoms Neurofeedback can treat.
Since graduating from college, Austin has worked at a foster care home and as an ABA therapist for children with Autism in the school district and in the home. He was also a research assistant at UC San Diego for their study involving Autism and Neurofeedback. He hopes to pursue a career as a Neurofeedback practitioner and help those who seek an alternative to pharmaceutical medications. He is very excited about the opportunity to continue with Neurofeedback as his main therapeutic tool at Healthy Within.
Austin was born and raised in East County San Diego and enjoys biking and hiking in the mountains and snowboarding in the winter. Being a multi-sport athlete, he also appreciates the benefits that Neurofeedback gives in mental focus and recovery.
Valerie Dapsis, B.A.
Valerie is a graduate of UC San Diego with a bachelors degree in psychology, and also just completed her masters degree in marriage and family therapy at the University of San Diego. Valerie started with Healthy Within back in undergrad, where she interned throughout San Diego as a Full of Ourselves group facilitator, leading numerous groups for middle and high school girls to promote wellness and leadership skills. Since graduating, she has been welcomed in as an administrative assistant.
Valerie has a passion for all aspects of health, including fitness, nutrition, as well as mental health. She participated in research in undergrad in health psychology, where she conducted an experiment looking at the effects a positive affirmations based exercise program has on mood and interoceptive abilities. While she enjoys working in research, her passion lies in more clinical aspects of psychology, and has been working as a marriage and family therapist trainee at the UC San Diego Eating Disorders Center with adolescents the past year.
During her free time, Valerie enjoys practicing yoga, going to the beach, and continuing to learn to play her acoustic guitar. She also enjoys learning about new organic skincare and makeup products, as she’s also been a part time makeup artist the past five years.
Nina Motlagh, B.S.
Nina is a graduate of UC San Diego with a Bachelor’s of Science in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience. She was first exposed to neurofeedback while conducting research in the cognitive science department at UCSD. Upon learning about neurofeedback, she was impressed by the research and benefits neurofeedback offers for a variety of disorders. During her senior year, Nina attended a presentation at her cognitive science lab by Dr. Kakaiya, where she learned about how she uses neurofeedback in a
clinical setting at Healthy Within. She instantly decided to reach out to Dr. Kakaiya for an opportunity to work with her after she graduated and, since then, has found a home at Healthy Within as a neurofeedback technician.
Nina has a passion for helping people heal from trauma and finds her position as a neurofeedback technician especially fitting for her. She plans on becoming BCIA certified in neurofeedback in order to expand her knowledge of neurofeedback for her time at Healthy Within. Nina also plans to pursue a Masters of Science in Medical Anthropology and Cross Cultural practices in order to study mental health in other cultural contexts. Her ultimate goal is to help Syrian refugees heal from the trauma they have faced in recent years; she hopes that she will be able to use neurofeedback as one of her tools for this. She currently volunteers with the refugee community in El Cajon, where she works with women suffering from trauma and domestic violence.
In her spare time, Nina loves to go on runs with her dog, read, and spend time with friends. Born and raised in Southern California, she has spent many hours on the warm beaches of San Diego, where she loves swimming and soaking up the warm sun. Nina loves to travel and never turns down an opportunity to do so- she is always tracking cheap flights to new cities that she wants to explore!
Roshni Kakaiya, B.A.
Roshni joined the team while in the womb, when the entire concept of “Healthy Within” was just an idea! She is the proud daughter of Dr. Kakaiya and is joining the Healthy Within team until she goes off to medical school in September. Having been surrounded by her mother’s energy and wisdom for all her life, Roshni has always been nurtured and supported by Healthy Within, and is looking forward to being a part of the team and helping to grow the business.
Roshni currently attends medical school at Touro University in Vallejo, CA. Before starting medical school, she graduated from Scripps College in 2013 where she majored in Gender & Women’s Studies and minored in Hispanic Studies. She is particularly passionate about serving the women of her community, and hopes to work with women in her future medical practice.
Present and Past Healthy Within Team Members HW Group photo
From left, Kate Pavlak, MFT, Dr, Kakaiya, Jennifer Torio, LCSW, and Dr. Schroeder (center).