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Dr. Arlene O'Connor
Clinical Psychologist
Helping your family Thrive
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About Dr. O'Connor

I was born and raised in Panama and moved to the United States to attend college. I obtained my Master’s and Doctorate’s degrees in Clinical Psychology from the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology. I am a California licensed Clinical Psychologist and a member of the American Psychological & Orange County Psychological Associations. I am also active in my community as member of the PTA Executive Board and volunteer speaker for Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) and Birth Choice organizations. 

I have been counseling individuals, couples and families in distress since 1994. Early in my career, I developed expertise working with victims of child abuse and trauma training at the Mayo Clinic and apprenticing with a reknown Child Psychologist. I am fortunate to have developed a deep understanding of family dynamics through my APA approved internship at Saint John’s Child and Family Development Center and a post-doctoral fellowship at the San Fernando Child Guidance Center.  

I worked with diverse families as a supervising psychologist at UCLA’s Geffen School of Medicine’s TIES for Adoption Program until my move to Orange County in 2005. I am also an addiction specialist and served as the Clinical Director of Rebecca’s House, an eating disorder treatment center, the Clinical Director of Sovereign Health of California in San Clemente and Clinical Supervisor at various dual diagnosis treatment centers including, Morningside Recovery and Northbound in Newport Beach. In addition to my private practice,  I currently continue to supervise unlicensed clinicians and I am a guest lecturer at Pepperdine University.  

Practice Philosophy

I have been blessed with the opportunity to learn from exceptional teachers and mentors, but even more so, it has been my patients and their families who have inspired me the most. Despite suffering through times when the simplest tasks can become the most difficult to complete, patients learn to move forward. I find this both humbling and extraordinary to observe and to experience with them.

With advanced research and technology to aid in diagnosis and treatment, the field of mental health has never been so promising. However, despite the most novel of developments, what invariably determines success is whether we can develop a therapeutic relationship. It is my commitment to you and your family that we will work as a team to alleviate your suffering, restore your mental health and help you thrive.

I look forward to working with you!

​"I will help you find relief and repair your relationships"
Patient Testimonial

"Thank you for all your guidance...I was lost, angry and scared and you helped me feel like I could be myself again"