Sameen Boparai graduated with a BA in Psychology from Pomona College, where she wrote her thesis on the interaction between parental behavior and child anxiety. She has experience conducting therapeutic savoring interventions with mothers, performing standardized interviews, and engaging children in developmental assessments. She has also worked as a peer counselor in a high school setting. Currently, she is a study coordinator at the UC Irvine THRIVE lab and is revising a paper on genetic and environmental influences on children’s separation anxiety. Her interests include developmental psychopathology and therapeutic interventions. She is planning to apply to Clinical Psychology PhD programs in 2018.

Dr. Bob Connolly, Psy.D, is the founder, owner, and Chief Idealist of Connolly Counseling and Assessment. He earned his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University, and started his own private therapy practice with an office in Claremont in 2011.

Today Connolly Counseling and Assessment has expanded into seven different locations across Southern California. The compassionate and experienced mental health professionals who work with Dr. Bob help people who suffer from anxiety, depression, family issues, and addiction.


Kajung Hong holds a B.A. in Psychology from Pomona College and works in the THRIVE Lab at the University of California, Irvine. Prior to working at the THRIVE Lab, she conducted and coordinated research at the CARE Lab at Pomona College. She has prior experience working in a residential treatment center for adolescent boys with socioemotional difficulties, where she administered intervention programs and tracked their efficacy. Currently, she is interested in pursuing clinical and research career to better understand and improve the critically important parent-child relationship.

Matthew Marvin received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Pomona College, having focused his studies on clinical psychology. Through his work in the Pomona College CARE Lab, a psychology laboratory that focuses on parents and their relationships with their children, he conducted semi-structured clinical interviews and relationally-focused parenting interventions. His thesis investigated maternal empathy and its association with several indices of children’s development. Matthew has experience in the one-on-one counseling setting, having worked as a peer counselor for at-risk youth in a high school where he helped design a creative expression workshop for the students. He also has experience conducting a form of floortime therapy for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Matthew is interested in the psychodynamic approach and its potential to help individuals struggling with trauma-related issues and anxiety. He hopes to enter a doctoral program in clinical psychology in the Fall of 2020.
Melissa Pedroza received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the Johns Hopkins University, works in the THRIVE Lab at the University of California, Irvine, and is currently preparing to purse a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology. She has experience administering attachment-based, clinical interviews and participates in exposure therapy sessions for clients struggling with social anxiety. Melissa has cultivated sensitivity in working with families as well as with vulnerable populations, including ethnic minorities and victims of domestic violence. As a clinician, she aims to explore research in areas focusing on stressors specific to these communities in her pursuit to bring evidence-based treatment to practical application. Melissa believes in the importance of having a space to feel safe and supported when dealing with sensitive emotions and thoughts.

Lucas Sohn holds a Bachelor of the Arts in Psychology from Pomona College. His studies have focused on Attachment Theory, developmental psychology, clinical psychology, and the intersection between all three. Lucas has experience working in a one-on-one therapeutic setting with adolescents in a group home in both research and clinical capacities. His research experience also includes working with mothers and children in a relationally-focused research intervention that seeks to support and strengthen parent-child relationships. Lucas is in the process of applying to PhD programs in clinical psychology (anticipated Fall 2019), where he will focus on identifying curative factors driving therapeutic change, examining both therapeutic alliance and the client’s emotional experience.


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