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Cara J. Kiff, PhD

Young Adults • Children • Adolescents • Parents • Family Care


Psychologist, Golden State Neuropsychology
California License Psy Lic #PSY27786
National Register for Health Service Providers #1972075901

Cara Kiff, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist (CA PSY 27786) serving children, adolescents, young adults, parents and families throughout Los Angeles. Dr. Kiff specializes in helping balance their values and goals with scientifically-supported treatments for a variety of mental health concerns. Using cognitive and behavioral therapy methods, Dr. Kiff tailors each treatment approach to the needs of each patient and family. This specialized approach allows Dr. Kiff to apply techniques including principle methods from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Parent Training, Family Therapy and Skill Building to help families navigate a variety of challenges.

Dr. Kiff earned her Bachelor of Arts from UCLA and then went on to earn Master in Science degrees in Quantitative and Developmental Psychology and ultimately a Doctorate in Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Washington. Dr. Kiff then completed a National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded postdoctoral fellowship at the UCLA Semel Institute. During her training, Dr. Kiff worked with experts in parenting, child temperament and the treatment of anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, behavior problems and gender identity.  Dr. Kiff completed her clinical internship at the University of Washington School of Medicine where she treated patients receiving medical care and psychiatric services at Seattle Children's Hospital. Dr. Kiff's graduate training included research examining the interplay of children's biobehavioral characteristics and familial factors that was supported by grants from National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the American Psychological Association and the University of Washington. Dr. Kiff has published peer reviewed scientific papers, book chapters, and given presentations and trainings on topics such as parenting, child anxiety, depression, and child temperament. Learn more about Dr. Kiff’s work here.

After completing her fellowship at UCLA, Dr. Kiff continued at the UCLA Semel Institute as Project Director FOCUS-Early Childhood, a federally-funded clinical trial of a preventative parenting intervention for families with preschool age children. This study concluded in August 2018 and tested the interplay of parent mental health, children's biobehavioral characteristics, and parenting in shaping children's risk for mental health problems. Dr. Kiff's research aims to guide the field's development of new and cutting edge preventative and treatment efforts so that children can thrive and families may experience more joy and cohesion. Following the conclusion of the study, Dr. Kiff left UCLA to devote full attention to her private practice clients.

Dr. Kiff’s practice combines the richness of her training and research in approaching each case. Balancing the needs and unique circumstances of each individual and family, Dr. Kiff draws from the latest scientific literature to help families and children foster well-being and overcome adversity. These tailored approaches allow for treatment plans that vary from working individually with children and adolescents to supporting parents with mental illness or helping family navigate challenging developmental transitions (e.g., bedtime challenges, divorce or changing schools). Together with her patients, Dr. Kiff works collaboratively to devote attention and care in helping children and families foster well-being and lasting change.