Meet Our Team
At Phillips Medstone we understand not only the causes of Chronic Pain, but also the evidence based treatments that assist in Chronic Pain Management and help reduce your pain over time. We understand that the road to wellness begins by working together with the patient to identify the causes and symptoms of that pain and how it can be relieved.
Dr. Autumn Phillips, Psy.D.
Founder & Clinical Psychologist PSY22939
As Founder and Clinical Director of Phillips Medstone, Dr. Phillips is dedicated to helping those who suffer from chronic pain, or a health related condition find relief. She has years of experience working with patients in a multitude of healthcare settings including her work as the Clinical Director for the former Scripps Hospital Functional Restoration Program for over 7 years. With two office locations serving the San Diego area, Dr. Phillips is making quality care accessible for everyone.
For those with a complex medical condition navigating the healthcare system can be exhausting, and patients’ are often told they need to “learn to live with their pain.” Dr. Phillips will coordinate care with your doctors to improve your quality of life. She is proud to offer affordable services and accepts most insurances.
Our Valuable Team Members
Dr. Pooja Amatya, Psy. D.
Clinical Psychologist PSY30268
Dr. Amatya’s background includes working with anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. She has worked with young adults, adults, and older adults in varied settings including university counseling, community mental health, and medical settings. She draws from a variety of interventions including cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy and is passionate about mindfulness. She strives to understand individuals with regards to diversity factors and phase of life. Dr. Amatya aims to provide an empathetic environment that facilitates healing.
Dr. Michelle Bales, Ph.D.
Registered Psychological Assistant PSB94023335
Michelle specializes in Behavioral Health and Health Psychology. Her background includes working with diverse populations from hospitals to community mental health, and has worked with individuals with chronic illness, chronic pain, PTSD, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and relationships problems. As a licensed master’s level clinician in private practice, she decided to increase her skill set by getting her doctorate in psychology. There she advanced her therapeutic skills to include areas in neuropsychology such as biofeedback, diaphragmatic breathing, and other strategies that use physical and psychological dynamics to calm down the nervous system and allow an individual more mastery over their thoughts and feelings. Michelle is dedicated to helping her clients learn to facilitate their own personal growth by tapping into their natural resiliency skills and strengths. She uses a variety of research based therapeutic approaches such as CBT, ACT, Gestalt, and other methods to provide a custom psychological approach that is as diverse as each client to help them reach their personal goals and live a life they value
Dr. Breffni Barrett, Psy.D.
Dr. Barrett is a bilingual native to San Diego. He received his PsyD in Clinical Forensic Psychology with Honors from Alliant International University. He was presented the Patron of Youth award during his tenure as a board member for the Youth and Family Services division of YMCA. He truly believes that every person has the potential to thrive.
His experiences include working in a variety of clinical settings. These include: outpatient individual and group therapy at Grossmont Hospital, El Capitan High School running LGBT and grief groups as well as individual and family therapy, Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility where incarcerated transition aged youth received counseling from Dr. Barrett, Home Start Inc, a non-profit organization dedicated to traumatized youth in underserved communities, Project Enable, where refugees, the homeless population, and other underserved communities receive mental health services, and PsychDocGroup, a private practice providing therapy and mental health services for a wide variety of symptoms and disorders.
Dr. Barrett utilizes therapeutic strategies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Mindfulness, and Solution Focused Brief Therapy. Dr. Barrett’s approach to each individual consists of bolstering coping skills as well as utilizing the science of resiliency. Finding purpose and meaning in one’s life is equally incorporated into each individual treatment plan. Former clients have described Dr. Barrett as warm, competent, compassionate, and effective as a therapist. Dr. Barrett believes that we are all here to help one another and he looks forward to working with you.
Dr. Sandy Cullins, Ph.D.
Registered Psychological Assistant PSB94025328
Dr. Cullins earned her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Health Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. She has a strong background in providing research supported treatments to adults in hospitals settings. Her clinical expertise is focused on helping individuals challenged by chronic pain, trauma, anxiety, and depression.
Before joining Phillips Medstone, Dr. Cullins served at Sharp Memorial Hospital in the Pain Rehabilitation Program and at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women and Newborns. At Sharp Memorial Hospital, she treated patients with a variety of conditions, including headaches, back pain, fibromyalgia, and neuropathic pain. As part of their pain management program, Dr. Cullins offered her patients Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Biofeedback, and Relaxation Techniques. Furthermore, she consulted with a multi-disciplinary clinical team in order to coordinate patient care and customized treatment plans that met the individual needs of each patient. At Sharp Mary Birch Hospital, she utilized Biofeedback to treat women diagnosed with pregnancy-induced hypertension.
Dr. Cullins is a registered psychological assistant with the California Board of Psychology. She is dedicated to supporting our military community and serving as an advocate for wounded warriors and their families. At Phillips Medstone, Dr. Cullins offers Cognitive Processing Therapy to assist patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. She is passionate about helping individuals living with chronic pain mitigate their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
Dr. Sequoia Kermott, Psy.D. English and Spanish
Registered Psychological Assistant PSB94023983
Sequoia has extensive experience in diverse clinical settings with diverse populations especially persons with chronic pain. She is well versed and competent in applying interventions aimed at relieving chronic pain in persons with diverse psychiatric conditions including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and relationship problems.
Sequoia completed her doctorate in psychology after working for many years in the San Diego area as a master’s-level therapist. She worked in a full-service health care program dedicated to the medical and psychological treatment of chronic pain. She has applied biofeedback, diaphragmatic breathing, and other strategies that use physical and psychological dynamics to calm down the nervous system and allow individuals more mastery over their thoughts and feelings related to pain. Sequoia dedicates herself to helping her clients learn how to facilitate their own personal growth by tapping into their natural resiliency skills and strengths. She uses a variety of research based therapeutic approaches such as CBT, Mindfulness-based stress reduction, ACT, and other methods to provide a customized psychological approach that empowers the client to manage their pain in a healthy manner. She also believes in treating pain using a comprehensive mind-body approach.
Anne-Marie Larsen, Ph.D.
Dr. Larsen received her PhD in Forensic Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology, Fresno in 2005 and re-specialization in Clinical Psychology in 2021 from Alliant International University, San Diego. Dr. Larsen is a registered Psychological Associate with the California Board of Psychology with experience working in community mental health, addiction recovery, and within psychiatric hospital settings, as well as with active-duty military service members.
She has worked with a variety of individuals, including those with psychosis, substance use disorders, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, and with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Therapeutic techniques utilized include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Biofeedback, as well as Cognitive Processing Therapy and Mentalization Based treatment (MBT).
Sara Roldan is a bilingual Clinician, Spanish/English, specializing in Behavioral Health and Neuropsychology. Sara is a registered Psychological Assistant with the California Board of Psychology with several years of experience working in hospitals and community mental health programs. She has worked with individuals who have had chronic illness, chronic pain, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. Sara’s therapeutic approach is tailored to the need of the individual and is guided by empirical research of evidence-based treatments. Therapies primarily used by Sara include Superhero therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Gestalt.
As part of her tailored approach, Sara is highly empathetic and supportive focusing on value system development with goal and boundary setting, cognitive restructuring, positive psychology, and solution-focused strategies. Mindfulness and meditation, among other methods, are used to provide a custom psychological approach that is as diverse as each individual. This approach helps to reach their personal goals and live a life they value.
At Phillips Medstone, Sara offers specialized therapies, such as Cognitive Processing Therapy, EMDR, MBSR, and Hero Therapy, to assist patients suffering from PTSD by calming down the nervous system.
Sara is dedicated to supporting the Military Community, First Responder, and serving as an advocate for those with invisible disabilities. She has found her passion in helping individuals living with chronic pain to mitigate their symptoms and improve their quality of life. She aims to provide an empathetic environment that facilitates healing in all stages of life.
Janet Ricci, M.S., CHt, is a registered Psychological Associate at Phillips Medstone. She is working toward her doctoral degree in clinical psychology and licensure as a psychologist in California via the supervision of Dr. Cullins and Dr. Phillips. In addition to working at Phillips Medstone, she is an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at MiraCosta College.
Janet’s educational and professional background includes experiences in psychology and medicine. Born and raised in Italy, she immigrated to the United States in 2014 to pursue additional education and training. Prior to her career in psychology, she earned a bachelor degree in nursing and worked as a nurse in coronary intensive care and inpatient psychiatric units. She also earned a master degree in clinical and health psychology from La Sapienza University of Rome. While in Italy, she practiced as a psychologist utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) skills, autogenic training, mindfulness, and bioenergetic techniques with various clinical populations.
After moving to the United States, Janet received specialized training in mindfulness-based interventions. Under the supervision of Dr. Steve Hickman, Founding Director of UCSD Center for Mindfulness, she was trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and Mindfulness Self Compassion (MSC). In 2021, she earned an advanced diploma in clinical hypnotherapy to expand her clinical skill set.
Janet is completing her doctoral dissertation on borderline personality disorder and suicidality. She is passionate about psychoanalytic ideas and techniques, as well as cultural sensitivity and awareness. Working in different countries and clinical settings has shaped her personal and professional identity and enhanced her clinical expertise. She is fluent in Italian, French, and English and enjoys working with patients from various ethnic, cultural, and clinical backgrounds.