David C. Lichti, LMFT
License #: MC 45993
793 Higuera Stree, Ste 6

San Luis Obispo, CA 903401-0500

Business Cell: 805-602-6814

Fax: 805-503-2578
Making professional counseling services afford-ably available to individuals, couples, children and families, throughout San Luis Obispo County.

Summary / Specializations

  • Couples counseling trained in curriculum provided by The Gottman Institute, bringing insight into invisible communication patterns, confronting judgmental attitudes about differences, facilitating a conflict resolution style that works for both partners.
  • Play Therapy with children 3-7 years old; 5 years of training and practice in the use of a non-intrusive child centered / non-directive approach.
  • Men’s issues, approaching emotional distancing from spouse and children, mid-life crisis issues, investigating life goals and dreams, aggressive nature, anger, control issues
  • Breaking generational patterns of anger, negativity, shaming, blaming, abuse and violence and developing new patterns of genuineness and congruent loving relationships
  • Recovery from compulsive addictive patterns, promoting positive coping strategies, and the processing of underlying issues causing emotional discomfort
  • EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing:identifying and approaching negative beliefs you have acquired which are highly resistant to change; identifying triggers and life events which have held you back from moving in the direction of a positive self system.
  • Engaging the grieving process, exploring past painful incidents and how they may be affecting present behavior and allowing for grieving of losses and confronting injustices.
  • Promoting spiritual and emotional growth toward greater levels of purposeful living.
  • Developmental approach to family of origin, adverse childhood experiences, abuse issues

Certifications and Education

 Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist: License #: MC 45993
1985 Bethany College of Missions, Bloomington, MN
1989 BA English, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CA
1995 MA Counseling Psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpentaria, CA
Additional Studies

EMDR Certification (Addressing Symptoms of PTSD) (18 hours), Filial Play Therapy (18 hours), Non-Directive Play Therapy (40 hours + 2 year internship under a licensed play therapist, LPT), ACE Adverse Childhood Experiences (6 hours), Multi-modal approaches to Alcohol and Drug Abuse (6.5 hours),  Theraplay Level 1 (24 hours) and Level 2 (18 hours), Working with the Homeless and with Veterans (5 hours), Center on Social Emotional Foundations for Early Learning / CSEFEL (32 hours), Counseling Couples Courses / The Gottman Institute (24 hours), Addressing Child Abuse and Neglect Trauma (16 hours), Nurturing Parent Program Training (16 hours), PRIDE Foster Parent Training (60 hours), Treating Sex Offenders (Juvenile and Adult) (19 hours)



Employment History


2/1/14 - 10/8/2014       Mental Health Therapist 

Educationally Related Mental Health Services

County of San Luis Obispo, Behavioral Health, Arroyo Grande Clinic

In this position, I worked with Emotionally Disturbed (ED) elementary age children from all over the Lucia Mar School District who had been referred to attend the Educationally Related Mental Health Services ED Classroom at Shell Beach Elementary School.  My job duties included to provide therapeutic play activities toward addressing symptoms and behaviors, to provide group activities toward promoting socialization and self-knowledge with peer feedback, and to provide behavioral planning and suggestions to school staff about how to approach challenging behaviors as they present themselves in the classroom. I attend IEP team meetings and assist in writing behavioral goals for each child in the classroom. My overall goal was to promote connection between the staff and the children so that they direct children out of relationship rather than out of a position of authority.   I coached staff to approach challenging behavior by first affirming the child’s feelings, then communicating the boundary in the form of a statement (rather than a command), and then targeting an acceptable alternative which the child “can do” instead whenever possible.  Positive discipline practices were also a major focus of mine in the classroom, and logical or natural consequences were emphasized whenever it is possible.


12/16/2011 –  2/1/14   “Innovation” Play Therapist

Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO)

Family Support Services (FSS)


I traveled to and from locations around the county, taking Play Therapy to children and families. Three types of therapy were offered, Non-Directive Play Therapy, Filial Play Therapy and Theraplay. Most of the referrals came from Child Welfare Servcies and involve children who have Reactive Attachment Disorder. Often I started with Non-Directive Therapy, moved to training the parent to participate in Filialy Play Therapy and moved on to Theraplay, toward actively promoting more secure bonding between child and adult. I met with the family for 3-6 months and took a mobile Play Therapy kit to a location which best suited that child or family (preschool, community center, family resource center or mental health clinic. This was a grant funded program and was research based, so I was steadily collecting information and seeking to meet outcomes. I wrote this grant with the assistance of SLO County Behavioral Health staff and the agency for which I worked, CAPSLO, was awarded this grant.


11/2009 – 12/15/2011  Behavior Specialist

Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo

Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS)


I provided behavioral support to all CYFS programs including Head Start, Early Head Start and Migrant Head Start classrooms, using the pyramid model developed by the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL), which is a three level system.  After an “Internal Referral” had been made, laying out the behavioral concerns which had been thus far unresponsive to lower level teacher interventions, and parent permission had been obtained, I observed the child in the classroom environment, assessing how well staff were providing nurturing and responsive relationships with children and high quality supportive environments and offered suggestions of ways they might improve in such areas.  If such adjustments had not resulted in the child’s behavior improving, I moved to the next level of the pyramid and helped classroom staff to target social and emotional supports.  If the classroom was performing well on these lower levels of the pyramid, and child was yet not improving, after obtaining permission from parents, I moved on to the top level of the pyramid, and conducted a functional analysis of the behavior, and together with parents and teachers, created a Positive Behavioral Intervention Plan which incorporated multiple factors related to what motivated that particular child.  During this above process, it may have been determined that the child could benefit from Play Therapy or Theraplay, and I may have made myself available to provide either or both of those psycho-therapeutic approaches to assist the child in self-exploration and attachment issues.  I also provided psycho-educational training to parents and referrals to outside support agencies. 


06/1995 – 06/2009:  University Instructor
Fresno Pacific University 


I provided continuing education instruction for K-12 teachers who were seeking to approach academic and behavioral challenges posed by LD and ADHD children (this course was called “Inclusive Instruction and the ADHD Student.”).  Also, I taught a course aimed at equipping teachers with curriculum tools to use in providing their students with a career education and a future focused learning system (this course was called “Career Pathways to the Future”).  In June of 2009 I was approached by Dr. Joseph Taylor with an offer to purchase the two courses.  Since I was turning my focus to my private practice and felt as though I had completed all that I had wanted to accomplish with these courses, I accepted his offer.  I also was the instructor of 5 Social Science courses www.SocialStudiesCourses.com and resigned this position as well.


02/2005 – 10/2009: Case Manager, Homeless Services

Economic Opportunity Commission


Conducted interviews with homeless individuals and families, assessing them for disabilities which could warrant application for Social Security Disability, State Disability, or, if there was no evidence or a disabling condition, I helped them assess their abilities and interests toward future employment.  I interacted daily with the Housing Authority, Department of Rehabilitation, Employment Development Department, Department of Social Services,  Drug and Alcohol Services, Probations Department, Women’s Shelter, and property management companies throughout SLO County.  During this time, I was able to help several hundred homeless individuals and families re-gain a home to live in and re-enter life on a new level, or get back to what they once had prior to being overwhelmed by challenges beyond their control.


2003-09/2006: Marriage Family Therapist / Counselor
Community Counseling Center


Conducted psychodynamic counseling for couples and individuals on a low cost, sliding scale fee schedule; treatment was given for depression, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress, recovery from addictions, issues facing couples and families.  Provided a safe, accepting and encouraging place for people to address areas of conflict and discomfort, toward their finding greater levels of functioning and freedom in their interactions with others.  Made appropriate referrals into the community for support in areas of medical, legal, employment and social concerns.

2002-2005:  Mental Health Therapist III  
San Luis Obispo County Youth Services


Conducted assessments, observing clients in classroom and in home settings, gathering information from teachers, parents, physicians, social workers, and probation officers.  While working with young children, provided non-directive play therapy, individual latency age play therapy, filial play therapy for parents and assisted parents in developing and implementing a behavioral intervention plan with both positive and negative reinforcements. Also provided individual therapy for juvenile sex offenders, first approaching their developmental and potential abuse issues, then empathy for the victims, with victims therapist, then reunification with family in family sessions.


1992-1995:  Admission Social Worker and Behavior Therapist

The Devereux Foundation of Santa Barbara


Reviewed psych evaluations, individualized education plans, interviewed previous placement facility staff, and the individual being referred to determine appropriateness of placement in residential treatment center.  Compiles and presented admission assessment and recommendations to Utilization and Review Committee.  As a Behavior Therapist, conducted functional behavioral analysis, developed a positive behavioral intervention plan, implemented plan with staff and teachers in dormitory and private school setting.  Individual treatment, tolerance training, environmental orientation, medication management, de-escalation techniques.