​​The Cognitive Therapy Institute of San Diego

(858) 450-1101

Dr. Shenk is the Director of the Cognitive Therapy Institute. He completed a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1988, and continued on as a postdoctoral research fellow at UCLA 1988-1989. In addition to completing a full time clinical internship accredited by the American Psychological Association, he received 3 years of postdoctoral training in cognitive therapy under the mentorship of Christine Padesky, Ph.D. at the Center for Cognitive Therapy in Newport Beach. During these years he specialized in individual and group treatments for panic, social phobia, OCD, and other anxiety disorders as well as depression and personality disorders. Dr. Shenk relocated to San Diego in 1991 and began directing the Partial Hospitalization Program for Depression at Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital while assuming leadership for an affiliation of licensed clinicians at the Cognitive Therapy Institute (CTI). In addition to a full time psychotherapy practice, he taught cognitive therapy and supervised doctoral students at the California School of Professional Psychology (now in Alliant International University) 1992-2012. Dr. Shenk has led CBT workshops and given presentations at state, national, and international conventions, and he has co-authored articles on cognitive therapy and other clinical issues. Dr. Shenk is one of the Founding Fellows of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy (ACT), an international organization that evaluates and certifies mental health professionals regarding competency in CT.  He provides training and supervision in Cognitive Therapy to mental health professionals in his office or online. He currently supervises and consults with all of the therapists at CTI and provides therapy for a range of individual, couples, and family problems. Dr. Shenk specializes in treatment of panic disorder, social phobia, OCD, generalized anxiety, specific phobias, depression, and relationship issues.  He also provides consultation and workshops to businesses and community groups.



 




  













Dr. Marjani received her Master’s degree in psychology at Alliant International University (AIU) in 2008 and completed her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at AIU in 2017.  Her doctoral dissertation focused on mindfulness meditation.  Dr. Marjani has been providing psychotherapy at the Cognitive Therapy Institute (CTI) since 2011 under the supervision of Dr. James Shenk.  She has gained a substantial amount of experience in treating a wide range of anxiety disorders, depression, OCD, attention deficit disorders, relationship difficulties, and grief/bereavement.  She has particularly specialized in treatment of social anxiety and panic disorders.  Dr. Marjani has led numerous therapy groups for social anxiety and depression at CTI, and has co-led our therapy groups for panic disorder and for OCD together with Dr. Shenk.  Prior to her work at CTI, Dr. Marjani gained a breadth of experience in individual, group, family, and couples therapy, both inpatient and outpatient, through clinical internships at the Jary Barreto Crisis Center, Aurora Behavioral Healthcare, and Catholic Charities.  She has developed a high level of knowledge and skill as a therapist through over 6 years of working to improve the lives of her clients at CTI.
















Dr. Dorfman received her M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy and continued on to complete a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at United States International University in 1993 (now Alliant International University).  With respect and compassion, Dr. Dorfman utilizes her extensive clinical skills to treat a wide range of clients and clinical conditions including depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, Asperger’s Disorder, and other autism spectrum disorders.  She has a broad base of professional and life experience allowing her to offer wise guidance and counsel in addressing life transitions, grief and loss, and parenting difficulties, and she has a particular expertise in parenting children with developmental difficulties or other unique challenges.  Dr. Dorfman is experienced in offering therapy for individuals (adults and adolescents) as well as families and couples.  She completed comprehensive internships including an APA accredited, full time internship at Sharp Mesa Vista, providing a strong base with more serious conditions in the inpatient psychiatric unit and the partial hospitalization program, along with intensive outpatient work with adults and children.  Dr. Dorfman has also worked with adolescents in a Juvenile Diversion Program, Escondido Youth Encounter with at risk teens, and Professional Community Services, as well as in private practice settings.
















​​Ms. Holden received her M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Alliant International University in 2006.  She has over 10 years of experience as a therapist providing empathic support and guidance to clients with depression, anxiety, adjustment to life cycle changes, marital discord, bereavement, coping with illness, and drug or alcohol abuse.  Ms. Holden has had professional training in a variety of clinical settings: She completed a comprehensive internship at Catholic Charities outpatient clinic for one year, and she acquired hours for licensure while working at the New Vistas Crisis House treating clients with emotional and substance use problems, gaining extensive experience over her 6 years of work in this residential treatment program.  Ms Holden also worked at Scripps Mercy Behavioral Health Unit (inpatient) 2 ½ years with patients who struggled with major depression, bipolar disorder, and other psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia.  Ms Holden has completed training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and integrates mindfulness concepts and skills in her practice. She has  successfully helped individuals, couples and families in alleviating painful symptoms and reaching personal goals by guiding and collaborating with them to regain hope, strength, and confidence through learning new skills and more helpful ways of thinking about themselves, their capabilities and the challenges they face in life.   Ms. Holden provides individual as well as couples therapy at The Cognitive Therapy Institute.​​

Misha A. Marjani, Ph.D.
Registered Psychological Assistant #PSB35900 


James L. Shenk, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist (CA) #PSY11550.
Certified Cognitive Therapist & Founding Fellow, Academy of Cognitive Therapy


Meet our Therapists

Lark Holden, LMFT

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (CA) #LMFT 51910

The Cognitive Therapy Institute, APC
3262 Holiday Ct, Suite 220
La Jolla, CA 92037
Ph: (858)450-1101 

Lesley Dorfman, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist (CA) #PSY26393

A Psychological Corporation (APC)

3262 Holiday Court, Suite 220

La Jolla, CA 92037