Dr. Deborah Buckwalter is an accomplished clinical psychologist with advanced training and over two decades of experience in psychological and neuropsychological assessment and treatment. She brings a life dedicated to ongoing personal and professional growth, quality care, and respect for the uniqueness of each individual into every session in her highly regarded private practice at the Center for Connection. Her skillfulness, warmth, attentiveness, and sense of humor are focused on helping individuals make the most of their lives.
Deborah has used her education, training and experience as a guest lecturer, teacher, supervisor, mentor, and business consultant, including at eHarmony. And she currently enjoys a leadership role at the Center for Connection. But, ever the advocate for secure attachment, no description of Deborah is complete without reference to the key role interpersonal relationships play in her personal and professional life.
Deborah attained a M.S. in Marital and Family Therapy at the School of Psychology at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California where she went on to complete a M.A. in Integrative Studies and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Pre-internship at the V.A. in West L.A. deepened her understanding of trauma and its impact on personal health and well-being, as well as on interpersonal relationships. Internship at Loma Linda University Medical Center expanded her experience in health psychology, behavioral health, and neuropsychology. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at the UCLA Department of Neurology, where she was able to delve deeper into brain functioning and corresponding experiences of individuals with neurological disorders .
Deborah currently enjoys a robust practice at CFC working with adults. She has developed expertise in a range of issues and difficulties for which people seek therapy: Life transitions, anxiety and mood difficulties, relationship issues, parenting challenges, caregiver concerns, chronic and progressive illness, traumatic brain injury, spiritual questioning, and other matters.
In addition to psychotherapy, Deborah provides comprehensive psychological and neuropsychological evaluations. Individuals with curiosity about their intellectual functioning or general concerns about their process of thinking and remembering, those with suspected Attention Deficit Disorder, suspected Asperger/Autism Spectrum, or neurological conditions such as concussion, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, or post-stroke residual find this kind of comprehensive evaluation beneficial .
Deborah’s work is highly influenced by Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB), as well as by Polyvagal Theory, the cutting-edge understanding of the role our nervous system plays in personal and interpersonal stress versus well-being. IPNB is the scientifically-informed proposal that a person’s brain, mind, and relationships interact to create who that person is. And that interpersonal relationships throughout the lifespan shape and reshape our brains. The primary goal of IPNB is that of Integration, both within the individual and between individuals. This occurs by intentionally focusing attention on aspects of the self and aspects of relationships that result in healing and growth. And this unfolds for humans most effectively when our nervous systems are regulated (not in “fight, flight, freeze, or faint” mode).