Lisa Mink McGowan graduated from Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo with a
Masters in Psychology. She is currently working as a Licensed Marriage and
Family Therapist (LMFT) and a Registered Play Therapist (RPT). Lisa owns her
own counseling center “Therapooch Family Counseling Center” in Camarillo.
This facility has a full play room and a two way mirror for observations and
training. She specializes in parent child interaction and attachment issues,
trauma, behavioral concerns, grief, and split families.
Lisa is trained in Play Therapy, Sand Tray, Parent Child Interactive Therapy (PCIT),
Theraplay®, and is certified as an Anger Management Specialist. Lisa has a very
unique addition to her therapeutic technique, which is her service dog Koko.
Koko is Lisa's co-therapist and assists in the therapeutic process in several
different ways. He has worked with children for over five years. He provides a
safe and comfortable environment where people can heal. Lisa continues to
discover new ways Koko can aid in the therapy process.
Therapooch Family Counseling Center
Interface Children and Family Services
Lighthouse Therapy, Trauma and Training Center
California Youth Authority
Nipomo Healthy Start
San Luis Obispo Transitions group home
Parent Support Center
Mt. Cross Preschool
* Has over 15 years experience working with children and families
* Facilitates childrens groups and parenting programs
* Author of the Award Winning childrens book “Koko the Service Dog”
* Works with Koko who is a seizure response dog and a certified therapy dog
* 2009 President for the Ventura Chapter of CAMFT
(California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists)
* 2009 Leader of the Year for VC-Camft
* VC-CAMFT 2008 Volunteer of the Year
* Professional speaking/radio guest
* Published in several magazines and newspapers
* Volunteers with Koko for Hospice and Paws for Reading
Received runner up for top play room from
the association of play therapy in 2013!!
Mocha earned her Distinguished Therapy Dog title from AKC
|Seizures and Surgery
Koko and Lisa at UCLA.
Lisa suffered from seizures for many years. While she was in her Masters
program her seizures began to get worse. This was when her whole life
changed. She was blessed with a new best friend and companion, Koko.
Koko and Lisa were privately trained as a team. They were first taught all
the basic obedience skills and then progressed to more advanced service
tasks. Koko is a seizure response dog and knows over fifty hand/voice
commands. Koko is trained to retrieve the phone, open doors, turn off
lights, and provide comfort and safety after a seizure. Lisa was seen at
UCDavis and UCLA. She tried several different medications which did not
stop her seizures. After many years of attempting different treatments she
discovered she was a candidate for surgery. This was a very difficult
decision to make but she was hoping for a better life. Prior to surgery Lisa
cut off over 13 inches of her hair so she could donate it to "locks of love".
She was happy knowing that her beautiful hair would help a small child who
was also struggling with their own disability.
Lisa underwent brain surgery three years ago at UCLA and has been
seizure free since. Koko assisted tremendously in her recovery and is
now her co-therapist in private psychotherapy practice. Lisa and Koko
also provide service dog demonstrations and educational talks to help
spread the news of what dogs can do.
Click bone to learn more about locks of love.
Click bone to read some of Lisa
and Koko's journal entries.
Lisa and Koko one month after surgery.
Photo by Mark Langton
Lisa and Koko today.
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all rights reserved by Lisa Mink
To read more about Lisa and Koko
click on one of our published articles
in the "Just Labs" magazine:
|Lisa Mink McGowan, LMFT, RPT
|400 Mobil Av. Suit A2