About Psychologist Dr. Greg Klassen

I am a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of California (PSY18605) and I began my practice in southern Orange County in 2000 by co-leading the opening of a branch location of the Center for Individual and Family Therapy (CIFT), a diverse and well-respected therapy organization with nearly 20 years of service in the greater L.A. area. Starting a practice from the ground up provided me time to meet with people in the community and develop a clear picture of the particular pressures and needs associated with living in this area. After 11 years with CIFT I have started my own private practice and continue to build on a solid reputation in the local community as a resource for many local organizations and churches in Lake Forest and the surrounding communities. I believe that the foundation for lasting change lies in the journey forged together with my clients. While people often come to me in the midst of a crisis situation, I am eager to help them find the stability needed to then get to the root of what may have left them susceptible to the crisis in the first place. This is very personal and involving work for both the client and me. Clients will often tell me just how much they know I care about them as we grow through the challenges together, and how the word pictures I use help them better understand the root issues in a way that gives them direction for growing.  I truly consider it an honor and privilege to be involved in this sacred process with them.

“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stand with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not healing not curing, that is a friend who cares.”

                                                                                                             Henri Nouwen

Education & Clinical Psychologist Training

After graduating from a five-year extended honors level undergraduate psychology program, I was accepted into the rigorous training program at Rosemead School of Psychology on the campus of Biola University.  The intensive and lengthy program is one of the leaders in the integration of psychology and theology and one of a handful that is also accredited by the American Psychological Association (A.P.A.).  Part of the doctoral work included a year working and training at Stony Brook University in New York.  This is a highly competitive and prized position with extensive training in psychodynamic therapy.

Since graduating with a Psy.D., a doctoral degree specific to those who wish to do therapy with clients, I have continued with ongoing education and development, particularly in the field of attachment theory, studying how connected relationships form and finding the most effective ways to build or strengthen those bonds.  Part of this training has been in applying attachment research to more experiential therapy work to foster more rapid growth, change, and relational connection.

Work in the Community

I have spoken regularly on a variety of topics including communication skills for couples, how to identify and relate with different personality styles, how to build a stronger marriage, the foundations of human nature and how to communicate love to others in a way that they will see and receive it.  However, the majority of my work within the community has centered around developing other counselors and therapists.  I volunteered for several years supervising peer counselors in a peer counseling program and am again in the process of developing and refining the training program for these peer counselors. I also continue with my involvement as a supervisor for therapists on their way toward licensure.

The other significant part of my time involves developing other therapists and organizations to reach their potential.  I help them clarify their gifting and vision and work out goals to achieve their desires.  I enjoy this greatly as many people and organizations flounder in mediocrity and waste their potential for doing something truly great in the world.

Personal Information

People sometimes wonder why I keep a shorter work week than others and that is because I choose to balance work in my life with relationship and play.  I enjoy them all and in order to keep it that way I make the time to invest in my own family and friends and pursue other activities.  My favorite place to be is the beach since I have lots of sunshine to catch up on after growing up in the Pacific Northwest.  I’m a great source of useful and useless information since I don’t forget many things and I like reading a lot outside of the field of psychology.  If you want to know anything about Formula One car racing I can also help you there and convince you of why McLaren is going to win the championship this year (I hope!).