Guardian House ™ is a therapeutic center, from our setting – to our philosophy – to our staff.
Who We Serve
Founded in 1997, Guardian House (GH) is committed to helping children and parents in high-conflict divorce situations redefine and restructure their families during this unstable transition period.
Families are considered high conflict when one or more of the following criteria is present:
(1) parental behavior precludes children from developing a positive relationship with the non-custodial parent;
(2) ongoing adult interpersonal behavior exposes children to negative messages and inappropriate role expectations;
(3) ongoing inter-parental verbal and/or physical conflict exposes children to potential emotional and/or physical harm;
(4) child physical or sexual abuse and/or neglect is alleged; or
(5) domestic violence exposes adult victims to potential physical harm (Flory 1998).
When there is no opportunity for parental contact and appropriate supervised visitation is implemented, the risk of violence to any party is reduced significantly. Through a flexible approach, Guardian House is able to work with all levels of the family: custodial parents, non-custodial parents, additional caregivers and, most importantly, children.
Seventy-six percent of clients report a history of family violence at intake.
We are located in a three story, child-friendly house. Being in a house provides a therapeutic setting for families coming to visit…some are meeting for the first time, and some will only be able to visit at our center.
It allows for “normal” family activities, such as when the parent and child utilize the kitchen to bake cookies, decorate cupcakes or make a pizza together.
Families that stay onsite for visits can play in our outside space, which includes a playground, half basketball court and a picnic area.
We are dedicated to ensuring that the best interest of the children – their physical, emotional and psychological safety – always comes first.
Our Executive Director, a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Supervisor of counselor interns, fosters a therapeutic perspective in all we do.
Every semester, we have up to 10 masters’ level counseling students gaining clinical experience at Guardian House and are involved in almost every aspect of our programming; 90% of our supervised visits are facilitated by the counselors-in-training. Counselors-in-training are thoroughly trained in the theory of Solution Focused Brief Therapy, and are guided in integrating that theory into all aspects of their work with our children and families.
Andréa Longoria-Contreras, MA, PhD
Program Director – Parenting Education Program
Shannon White, MS, LPC-S
Valerie Rodriguez, AD
Jennifer Vassell, MA, LPC-Intern
Counseling Program Manager