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Julie Caplan, Psy.D.


“to be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.”
                     ~ e.e. cummings 

Hi, I’m Julie Caplan (also known as Dr. Caplan or “Mommmmmm!”). I am a licensed clinical psychologist who was born and raised in Los Angeles. I attended both public and private schools over the course of my childhood, which gives me unique insight into how to both survive and thrive within the complicated educational systems found in the City of Angels. I split my time between assessing children, tweens, adolescents, and emerging adults at LACIA and being a mom to the best kiddo in the world. I like to think that parenting a neurodivergent child informs my clinical practice in multiple ways. First, the practical: knowing the ins and outs of 504 Plans, IEPs, and formal school accommodations, implementing an infinite metaphorical (and literal) coping skills toolbox, and having a deeper understanding of the “why” behind external behaviors and internal processes. Then, the personal: the fear that can arise when your child is suffering, the helplessness of not knowing what is wrong or what to do about it, and the joy that follows once you have answers and a solid game plan. Seeing your child happy, healthy, and successful is such a fulfilling reward, and that is what I want to bring to your family’s LACIA experience, and beyond.

Prior to entering the world of psychology, I was absolutely convinced I would be an advertising executive (age 12), a homicide detective (age 15), a poet (age 18), an artist (age 21), a teacher (age 25), and a behaviorist for neurodiverse children (age 28). It was quite a journey, but I finally found my calling in clinical forensic psychology. I emerged from my first Intro to Psychology class with lyrics by my favorite band, Poi Dog Pondering, playing on repeat in my head, “I’m standing exactly where I’m supposed to be.” And every day since, this rings true. My graduate schooling at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology provided me with exceptional training in multiple areas of both clinical and forensic psychology, and I enjoyed every minute of it (except maybe Advanced Statistics).

My pre-doctoral clinical training included working primarily with unhoused, precariously-housed, and runaway children, adolescents, and transitional-aged youth, with two training years spent at the Los Angeles Youth Network and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine in Hollywood, CA. Within these settings, I trained in trauma-informed care, interventions, and responses, complex trauma, child and adolescent development, attachment theory, substance abuse and dependence, LGBTQIA+-specific issues, harm reduction, and strengths-based therapy. I also spent a year and a half working in community mental health where I provided psychotherapy and psychological assessment services to adolescents and adults. Additionally, I have a long history of work experience in behavioral intervention with autistic children, both in-home and as a school shadow. Ask Dr. Kawa how long we’ve known each other (hint: almost 20 years). I am a staunch LGBTQIA+-affirming ally, and pride myself on providing a safe and non-judgmental space for anyone who identifies as such. Moreover, I wholeheartedly embrace the emerging research on how to be a neurodiversity-affirming clinician. For too long, neurodiverse populations have felt like square pegs trying to fit into the round hole of society, when it should be much more of a give-and-take. 

Once I graduated, I spent four years in a private group practice where I divided my time between psychological assessment and psychotherapy. In the therapy room, I utilized a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and client-centered therapy, with an emphasis on treating pre-adolescents and teens (including gender and sexuality spectrums). I specialized in diagnosis and treatment planning for children and adolescents with a range of neurodevelopmental disorders. While I enjoyed my psychotherapy work, my passion has always been in testing. I look at assessment as a puzzle, a beautiful, wild work of art that is too often misunderstood. The end result of our time together is a complete, holistic portrait of your child, including a specific instruction manual to your kiddo’s mind. I will help put the pieces together so that they are able to showcase their strengths and navigate their stretches. I feel fortunate to be able to draw on my therapeutic skills (as well as my fabulous sense of humor) to form meaningful, authentic connections with my testing patients in short order. This helps patients and their families to feel comfortable, relaxed, and confident about the information obtained in the course of the evaluation. I am always available for any questions or concerns that might arise before, during, or after the testing process. Communication is key, and I’m here to help!

In my spare time, I can frequently be found making tons of art with my son, including drawing, painting, and creating large-scale art installations utilizing cardboard, glue, tape, and stuffed animals, listening to all manner of podcasts (but primarily true crime), reading books, trying to keep my succulent alive, and drinking too much La Croix (watermelon is the best)!



Bachelors of Arts (B.A.) in Studio Art from the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB)
Post-grad Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University, Los Angeles

Doctor of Clinical Forensic Psychology (Psy.D.) at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology