A highly respected expert in her field, Dr. Marson has private practices in Santa Monica and Calabasas, CA, is a clinical consultant to UCLA’s Adolescent Medicine Department, Nourished For Life [NFL], Eating Disorders Program and has a wealth of diverse experience — some recent highlights include:
Serving within the UCLA Athletic Department as clinical liaison and member of the Athletic Care Committee, establishing & directing the UCLA Counseling Center Eating Disorders Program, co-author of the UCLA CAPS and Student Health Eating Disorder Treatment Manual, coaching for the Lantern Anxiety Program, co-writing and hosting a University of California public service announcement, and contributing to The EveryGirls Guide to Life by Maria Menounos. Since 2016, Dr. Marson has served on the Board of Directors for the Breaking The Chains Foundations, a non-profit whose mission is to use all forms of art to promote health and healing.
Dr. Marson’s clinical orientation is Integrative, utilizing interventions from CBT, FBT, MBT, Psychodynamic, Humanistic and Relational Therapies. She has Advanced-Practitioner training in mentalization Based Therapy. With clients, each therapy plan and progression is based on a clients’ unique goals & strengths and empirically based treatments. Additional experience includes positions at Monte Nido Treatment Center (residential setting), The Renfrew Center (intensive outpatient setting), Chaminade College Preparatory High School (school therapist). Prior to becoming a psychologist, Dr. Marson worked as a field producer for CNN. While covering the news, she developed a keen interest in observing and listening to the experiences of others. Through these experiences, she began to study how people increase resilience.
“The privilege of a lifetime
is being who you are.”
Dr. Marson’s psychotherapy services are centered on helping you reach your goals. Therapy goals are unique and might be about reducing anxiety, reaching excellence in a sport, academic or career setting, developing closer relationships, dealing with a loss, increasing self-reflection, recovering from an illness, knowing your strengths. Hope and motivation are two of the most important components of psychotherapy. Some people come to psychotherapy for support, for help with relationships or to successfully navigate life transitions. Others come to recover from a serious mental illness. The scope of what Dr. Marson treats includes (but is not limited to) eating disorders, anxiety, depression, improving self-esteem, developmental issues, transitions, and managing grief. Dr. Marson works with adolescents and their families, adults and athletes. Dr. Marson is connected with of a wide network of psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, psychiatrists, primary care doctors and registered dietitians in the Los Angeles community. She welcomes the opportunity to connect callers with referrals to other health professionals.
Dr. Marson’s approach centers on working with clients to develop skills to tune in, honor and respond to the needs of the body and mind.
Occasional anxiety is an expected part of life. You might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision. But anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships.
There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and various phobia-related disorders.
Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.
More than just a bout of the blues, depression isn’t a weakness and you can’t simply “snap out” of it. Depression may require long-term treatment. But don’t get discouraged. Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychotherapy or both.
Although depression may occur only once during your life, people typically have multiple episodes.
For many people with depression, symptoms usually are severe enough to cause noticeable problems in day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities or relationships with others. Some people may feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why.
Eating Disorders Treatment
Dr. Marson specializes in treating adolescents and adults with eating disorders and she knows that full recovery is possible. She established and directed the UCLA Counseling Center Eating Disorders Program which she led for 8 years. She also worked in the Monte Nido Residential Treatment Center, the Renfrew Center’s Intensive Outpatient Program and was trained in Family Based Therapy [FBT] at Stanford University. FBT is typically the recommended treatment for adolescents. Dr. Marson incorporates empirically based treatments into the healing process. While eating disorders are about food and body image, they are also usually related to problems of thinking, feeling, living, identity, and connecting with others. Through recovery, clients strengthen their courage, and choose to live fully and wholly. Dr. Marson empowers clients’ existing healthy mindset in order to override the eating disorder. She works collaboratively with clients & within a team that is often made up of medical doctors, registered dietitians and families.
You’re happy with the status quo, so change is the last thing you want in your life. However, life doesn’t always comply with our wishes, and now you’re faced with a major transition. One of the toughest transitions you might ever have to make involves moving your place of residence. The longer you’ve lived somewhere, the harder that move can be. You also find that there are times when you have to go with the flow with family, friends, and employers. Your adult child wants to get married, your best friend’s mother died, or your boss gives you a completely new set of responsibilities. Dealing with these changes can be tough, but the 10 tips below, based on research involving life-span studies of stressful events, can get you through even the toughest of them.
Let’s begin with some background. The basic premise of most stress and coping literature is that there’s no such thing as an inherently difficult life transition. Life events are as stressful, or not, as you make them. It’s all in the mind-set you apply. A second premise, derived primarily from the life course literature, assumes that the factors that sway the events in life reflect the many forces out there that can lead to change. There are no inherent life changes other than the basic alterations that occur due to biology and the programming of our genes. The life changes involved in transitions occur because of social, historical, and other outside influences. Some of these are predictable, such as graduating from high school at about age 18, and some are completely random, such as having a tree fall on your roof during a storm.
It’s good to know about these perspectives on life transitions, because they show us that there’s nothing inherently bad about change. When changes occur, they reflect a variety of factors, and how you interpret them will determine their impact on you. You’ve no doubt seen on the news, or perhaps in your own neighborhood, people who’ve gone through a traumatic change, such as a tornado, hurricane, flood, or fire, and must cope with the damage it’s done to their lives. Somehow, although they’ve suffered incredible loss, they emerge ready to clean up and move on with their lives.
How Parenting Affects Development
From talking and reading to infants to enunciating values (best done in conversations around the dinner table), parents exert enormous influence over their children’s development. They are, however, not the only influences, especially after children enter school. It’s especially important that parents give children a good start, but it’s also important for parents to recognize that kids come into the world with their own temperaments, and it’s the parents’ job to provide an interface with the world that eventually prepares a child for complete independence. In a rapidly changing world, parenting seems subject to fads and changing styles, and parenting in some ways has become a competitive sport. But the needs of child development as delineated by science remain relatively stable. There is such a thing as over parenting, and aiming for perfection in parenting might be a fool’s mission. Too much parenting cripples children as they move into adulthood and renders them unable to cope with the merest setbacks. Of course, there is also such a thing as too-little parenting, too, and research establishes that lack of parental engagement often leads to poor behavioral outcomes in children, in part because it encourages the young to be too reliant on peer culture. Ironically, harsh or authoritarian styles of parenting can have the same effect.
To parent effectively, it’s not enough to simply avoid the obvious dangers like abuse, neglect, or overindulgence. Indeed, The National Academy of Sciences delineates four major responsibilities for parents: maintaining children’s health and safety, promoting their emotional well-being, instilling social skills, and preparing children intellectually. Numerous studies suggest that the best-adjusted children are reared by parents who find a way to combine warmth and sensitivity with clear behavioral expectations. Parents may find the Four C’s to be a helpful acronym: care (showing acceptance and affection), consistency (maintaining a stable environment), choices (allowing the child to develop autonomy), and consequences (applying repercussions of choices, whether positive or negative).
“We have more possibilities
available in each moment than we realize.”
-Thich Nhat Hanh
Policies are detailed in new patient forms. Dr. Marson does not take insurance though she provides receipts for clients who want to submit for reimbursement.
Fees are based on community standards.
Dr. Gia Marson, Psychologist
310 526 3123
Office locations: Santa Monica & Malibu
1452 26th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Malibu Vista at Carbon Beach
22809 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
Monday – Friday 9am – 7pm
Email us using the contact form below.
How Eating Disorders Affect Men
Most of the men and boys who are struggling with an eating disorder are struggling silently: While a quarter of all people with eating disorders are men, they represent just one in twenty people receiving treatment.
In-Depth Podcast with Hal Esiner
Dr. Marson speaks about the Dangers of Social Media on Hal Eisner’s podcast and Live on In-Depth. Social media can influence people to think and act in different ways.