Appropriate screening, assessment, and early intervention are key elements of Martha’s Place. Children referred to Martha’s place undergo a comprehensive assessment of their medical, cognitive, behavioral, social, educational and emotional development as well as parental functioning.

Child Assessment Center of San Luis Obispo County

Martha's Place Staff 2015

Nisha AbdulCadar, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Pediatrician, Medical Director, Suspected Abuse Response Team, Supervising Physician, Juvenile Service Center

Katie M. Cohen, LMFT, Psy.D.
Program Supervisor
Dr. Cohen is a licensed clinical psychologist with a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology as well as a licensed marriage and family therapist with a Master of Arts degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University. Dr. Cohen has specialized in working with youth who have experienced trauma, particularly those in the foster care system, over the past 10+ years.

Rachel Tarver, LMFT, RPT
Mental Health Therapist
Rachel is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Registered Play Therapist. She received her Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Psychology from Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo. As an undergraduate student, she studied Developmental Psychology with special interests in Special Education, Multicultural Studies and Spanish. Prior to working as a play therapist, she was an instructional aide in Special Education classrooms, volunteered in Special Olympic events, and provided in-home behavioral services for clients of Tri-County Regional Center and their families.

As a therapist, she has worked in a variety of mental health settings providing therapeutic services to children and families. She is  currently credentialed as a Registered Play Therapist and have received advanced trainings in a variety of play therapy and attachment based approaches such as Theraplay. Her commitment to continued education and training stems from her belief in children’s resiliency and their ability to thrive with the right social

Rachel enjoys working with children ages birth to five, as well as children with development disabilities and their families. She utilizes an eclectic approach drawing from my knowledge of non-directive, Gestalt and attachment based play therapy, as well as trauma informed and DIR/Floortime therapy models.

Casey Roos, LMFT
Mental Health Therapist
Casey Roos received his undergraduate degree in Human Development and a graduate degree in M.S. Psychology from California Polytechnic State University. He received his Marriage Family Therapist license in 2001 and his Registered Addiction Specialist license in 2007. Casey has worked many years in the non-profit sector working with children and high risk families. He taught part time in the Family Studies and Addiction Studies program at Cuesta Collage from 2005 until 2011. He has worked at Drug and Alcohol Services and Mental Health Services providing therapy to children and family’s for several years. Over the last 5 years, Casey has worked at Martha’s Place conducting evaluations, participating on multidisciplinary teams and utilizing evidenced based play therapy approaches to improve connection, attachment and support change within the family system. In addition, Casey provides weekly clinical supervision to interns who are motivated to develop specialty mental health therapy skills to work with children 0-5 and their caregivers.

Jill Anderson, LMFT
Mental Health Therapist
Jill Anderson has worked with children age birth to five her entire career, first in Early Childhood Education and then as a Marriage and Family Therapist.  She received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Clinical Psychology from San Francisco State University, was an intern at the Infant-Parent Program at San Francisco General Hospital, and has been licensed as an MFT since 1999.  Working for many years in the non-profit sector, Jill provided mental health services and managed programs for children 0 – 5 and their families in the Bay Area.  Jill has been with San Luis Obispo County Behavioral Health since 2006 and Martha’s Place since 2007.  Jill enjoys the opportunity to work as part of Martha’s Place multi-disciplinary team and continues to learn from her colleagues and from Martha’s Place families and children.

Laura Ottrando, R.N.
Public Health Nurse
Laura has worked with women, infants and children her entire career, first in the NICU, then in OB and finally with Birth through Five. She received her nursing degree from California State University, Fullerton and has been an RN and Public Health Nurse since 1985. Laura has been with Martha’s Place Children’s Center since 2007. She is honored to work with the Martha’s Place team and the families it serves.

Tomoko Rhoat, LMFT
Mental Health Therapist
Tomoko is a Marriage and Family Therapist of Japanese decent. She received her M.S. in Counseling from California State University, Fresno with an option in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2001. Tomoko started her internship in a residential Drug Rehabilitation Center for mothers and their children in Fresno California.  She continued to work in this organization for a total of 8 years.  After receiving her license in 2006, Tomoko joined a private practice office in Fresno where she worked part time as a psychotherapist working with adults, couples, teens, and children. Tomoko came to San Luis Obispo in 2009 where she worked with Developmentally Disabled adults.  In 2014, she was hired by San Luis Obispo County Behavioral Health as a mental health clinician at Martha’s Place Children’s Center.

Marivel Flores, Family Advocate
Marivel Flores received her undergraduate degree in Criminology with an emphasis on Victimology from California State University, Fresno. Marivel also earned a Victim Services Certificate and an Alcohol and Drug studies Certificate. Marivel is fluent in English and Spanish. Marivel has previous experience working with families who were victims of crimes, providing support and helping them connect to services in the community. Marivel enjoys helping families in navigating through the healthcare system and working to reduce the stress often created in this process.