Meet the Team

The professionally licensed Counselor Faculty of the Counseling & Psychological Services include licensed marriage and family therapists, psychologists, and clinical social workers trained to work with San Francisco State's multicultural student body. Several of our counselors are bilingual. To contact the team, please email caps@sfsu.edu.

*Counseling available in the following languages: Farsi, Korean, Mandarin, and Spanish.

Taghi Amjadi

Taghi Amjadi, PhD., LMFT*

Clinical Counselor

Professional Areas of Interest: East-West psychology, mindfulness-based anxiety management, relationships, trauma work with refugees and immigrants (PTSD), impact of social justice on mental health, and transpersonal psychology.

Personal Interests: Music, nature, and movies.

Motto: "And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same." ~ Nelson Mandela

Nicole Buitrago

Nicole Buitrago, Psy.D.

Clinical Counselor

Professional Areas of Interest: Social Justice and minority stress, LGBTQ+, identity development, complex trauma, ADHD, non-monogamy, spirituality, mindfulness and skills-based approaches, harm reduction for behavioral change, first-generation college students, and adjustment to life transitions. 

Personal Interests: Sitting in the sunshine, being in community, trying new things, music, cooking, cleaning, exercising, traveling, and relaxing. 

Motto: “Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” ~ Joseph Campbell 

“We have been raised to fear the yes in ourselves.” ~ Audre Lorde

Karla Castillo

Karla Castillo, LMFT, LPCC*

Clinical Counselor & Alcohol and Other Drugs Counselor

Professional Areas of Interest: Substance use disorders, EMDR, trauma, mindfulness, multicultural issues, issues affecting undocumented students, harm reduction, and crisis counseling.

Personal Interests: Swimming, biking, jogging, dancing, music, and travel.

Motto: "I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival." ~ Audre Lourde

Stephen Chen

Stephen Chen, Psy.D.

Director

Professional Areas of Interest: Multiculturalism, social justice, relationships, groups, training.

Personal Interests: Movies, sports, and nature.

Motto: "Grit is sticking with your future—day in, day out, not just for a week, not just for a month, but for years—and working really hard to make that future a reality." ~ Angela Duckworth

Susan Chen

Susan Chen, LMFT*

Clinical Counselor & Liaison to International Programs

Professional Areas of Interest: Social anxiety, excessive internet and social media use, harm reduction, LGBTQ issues, anti-racism, and meditation.

Motto: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." ~ Various

"It is a joy to be hidden and a disaster not to be found." ~ DW Winnicott

Laurene Dominguez

Laurene Domínguez, LCSW

Clinical Counselor

Professional Areas of Interest:  cultural identity/multicultural issues, Chicanx/Latinx support, first-generation students, crisis/trauma especially sexual violence support, EMDR, somatic healing methods, anxiety, healthy relationships, and social justice issues and the integration of western and indigenous ways of healing.

Personal Interests: music, dancing, travel, watching b films on Netflix, and my puppy Maya.

Motto:  "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare." ~ Audre Lorde

Ana Frias Bravo Profile pic

Ana Frias-Bravo, LMFT*

Clinical Counselor

Professional Areas of Interest: Social justice, migration, interculturalism, language, issues affecting Latinx/Chicanx/Hispanic communities, first generation college students, non-violent parenting practices, narrative practices, strength-based approaches.

Personal Interests: Embroidery, yoga, music, food, collective growth and healing, bilingualism.

Motto: "Que no te digan que no." ~ Ceci Bastida, cantante mexicana

"Don't let them tell you no." ~ Ceci Bastida, Mexican singer

Yolanda Gamboa

Yolanda Gamboa, PhD.*

Coordinator of Peggy H. Smith Counseling Clinic and Clinical Counselor

Professional Areas of Interest: Multicultural issues, first-generation college students, AB 540 undocumented students, women of color, Chicano/a and Latino/a population, LGBTQ, and underserved and underrepresented students. Training and supervision of graduate and postgraduates.

Personal Interests: Spending time with family, walking my dog, cooking/baking, hiking, and meditation.

Motto: "Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow'." ~ Mary Ann Radmacher

Catherine Jolly

Catherine Jolly, LMFT & FAMI

Clinical Counselor

Professional Areas of Interest: Expression arts therapy, LGBTQI issues, social justice and advocacy, and FAMI (Fellow of the Association of Music and Imagery).

Personal Interests: Spending time in nature, playing and writing music, and connecting with people of all ages.

Motto: Compassion is never wasted.

Rick Nizzardini

Rick Nizzardini, LCSW

Residential Life Clinical Counselor

Professional Areas of Interest: Interpersonal processes, trauma, relationships, LGBTQIIA+ issues, and University Residential Life.

Motto: “I am not what happened to me; I am what I choose to become.” ~ Carl Jung

Leslie Shin

Leslie Jaeyoun Shin, LMFT & LPCC*

Clinical Counselor

Professional Areas of Interest: Relationship issues, trauma work, racial discrimination and microaggressions, social justice related issues, multicultural counseling, self-esteem and personal growth, depression, anxiety, and adjustment challenges.

Motto: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.   

"Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced." ~ Soren Kierkegaard

Lightfoot Wilhite

Lightfoot Wilhite, LCSW

Clinical Counselor

Professional Areas of Interest: Thought as creation myth, deconstruction of stressful beliefs via internal awareness.

Personal Interests: Reading, music, basketball, cooking, anime, British crime/drama, and doing yoga when nobody's looking.

Motto: The Truth is also seeking the Seeker.

Administrative Support Staff

Staff picture of Ricky Lui

Ricky Lui, MPH(c)

Administrative Support Coordinator

Professional Areas of Interest: I am passionate about mental health education and tackling mental health stigma among communities of color, utilizing anti-stigma approaches rooted in the foundation of cultural humility, social justice, and health equity.

Personal Interests: I value music, photography, attending live performances (concerts, comedy shows, musical theatre) and making memories that will last my lifetime.

Motto: “Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear.”

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Harry Tran

Administrative Analyst

Professional Areas of Interest: Hoping to help make it acceptable and easy for students to reach out for help.

Personal Interests: Sports, technology, current events.

Motto: Self care is also not arguing with people who are committed to misunderstanding you. ~ Ayishat Akanbi

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Justin Weiss

Administrative Support Coordinator

Professional Areas of Interest: My focus is on facilitating open lines of communication between our counselors and the student body. In my own work I’m involved in community outreach/activism, social justice, art/music therapy and equity vs equality issues.

Personal Interests: Self-expression through art and music, traveling, extreme sports, technology and basketball.  

Motto: “Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.” ~ Charles Schulz

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” ~ George Bernard Shaw