Caruso School of Law, Graduate School of Education and Psychology | JD 2002, MA 2012
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Self-Employed in Private Practice; Clinical Supervisor, Adjunct Professor, Pepperdine University
Anahita Kia works with trauma survivors and is a certified counselor for survivors of domestic violence, as well as a certified counselor for survivors of sexual assault. She uses mindfulness-based interventions combined with cognitive behavioral therapy in her work.
What does being an honoree of the Outstanding Alumni in Healthcare campaign mean to you?
I feel incredibly grateful to receive this honor, as it represents recognition for
my work in the community and has helped me feel valued during such critical and challenging
Describe your road to success.
My story is a bit unique, as I began my professional career as an attorney, practicing law for about eight years in various arenas, including criminal law, litigation, and entertainment. Having grown up in a creative and musical family, I stayed connected to my artistic roots and spent more of my time painting and writing songs, rather than maintaining my career as a lawyer. I spent years selling my artwork, publishing albums, and licensing my songs for television and film. While still in law school, I knew that I was deeply interested in studying psychology, and I ultimately decided to pursue a career in the field, as it felt natural, rewarding, and in alignment with my personality. I've been practicing as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for almost nine years and continue to create art and produce music.
I'm very grateful to share that I currently maintain a full-time private practice in Agoura Hills, CA. I provide therapy to adolescents, adults, couples, and families, who are experiencing emotional and relational issues, including high-conflict separation and divorce, grief and loss, and severe mental health issues, including suicidal thoughts and past suicide attempts.
Given my legal and creative background, I treat attorneys, medical professionals, and business professionals, as well as artists, musician and innovators, experiencing a range of issues including anxiety, panic, addiction, depression, trauma, and work-specific issues, such as professional or creative burnout and workplace bullying and sexual harassment.
I've worked in diverse treatment settings, from residential to outpatient levels of care, both as a therapist and a Clinical Director. And because of my interest in working with trauma survivors, I became a certified counselor for survivors of domestic violence, as well as a certified counselor for survivors of sexual assault.
I'm also an adjunct Professor of Psychology at Pepperdine University Graduate School
of Education and Psychology, Clinical Supervisor to student therapists at Pepperdine
Community Counseling Center, as well as a certified Mediator for the Superior Court
of Ventura County.
Who has helped you achieve success in your career?
My parents have been my greatest supporters. My beautiful mother has shown me unconditional
love and my resilient father raised me to be independent, spiritually connected, and
Describe a lesson you've learned from a challenging time in your career or life.
I've experienced many losses in my life and as a result, I've learned how to stay
connected to everything, while maintaining a state of non-attachment. Some find this
concept confusing, because connection and attachment are seemingly closely related.
For me, connection is experiencing all feelings. I've learned to sit with pain, to
feel everything that needs to be felt (fear, anger, sadness, etc. ), and know that
these feelings always pass and that laughter, gratitude, and happiness are just around
the corner. Allowing myself to properly grieve my past losses has allowed me to feel
greater joy in my life. I've learned how to stay in acceptance for each moment, as
it is, without attachment to any specific outcome or to unnecessary suffering. As
a result, I feel at ease, rooted in calm, and in a much better position to be supportive
How do you prepare for a busy day?
I take three, very deep, diaphragmatic breaths before I get out of bed, I do some
gentle yoga, I put pen to paper and write what I am grateful for in my journal, and
I set my intention for the day.
"I feel incredibly grateful to receive this honor, as it represents recognition for my work in the community and has helped me feel valued during such critical and challenging times."
Anahita Kia (JD '02, MA '12)
What's next for you?
Professionally, I am continuing my private practice and intend to combine my legal
degree and psychology degree to start a mediation practice with focus in family law
issues. Creatively, I continue to write music and I'm thrilled to be releasing my
fourth album soon! And personally, I stay present to my experiences, connected to
those I love, and grateful for the many blessings I've received in life.
What is your mantra or favorite quote?
Connected to everything, attached to nothing.