Aimee Ford

Aimee Ford

AMFT #134153
Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

AMFT #134153

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

Pasadena Trauma Therapist

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, AMFT #134153

Supervised by Cristina Mardirossian, MFC #49234

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Trauma has an undeniable effect on people’s lives. Over the years, trauma can shape core beliefs about self, relationships, and the safety of the world. These beliefs can lead to the mind and body feeling unsafe, inferior, and/or without a solid sense of well-being. Trauma can impact the body in many ways, leading to exhaustion, anxiety, stomach issues, chronic headaches, autoimmunity and more. Trauma lives in the mind and body and warps what we tell ourselves about who we are and the world around us. It can make us question: “What could I have done differently?” “What about me made this happen?” These narratives can contribute to countless negative feelings and experiences such as hopelessness, shame, depression, anger, loneliness, anxiety and unworthiness.

As a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, I specialize in working with PTSD, C-PTSD, attachment trauma (including adoption and traumatic early separation), ritual abuse, institutional abuse, and dissociative disorders such as dissociative identity disorder (DID). I also work with the wide range of symptoms and disorders that coexist with trauma such as anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders, relational problems, sexual dysfunction, suicidal ideation, self- harm and substance use disorder.
We can’t change or rewrite the past, but we can come to a different understanding of it. Through addressing trauma, we can desensitize traumatic memories, address and resolve negative core beliefs, and alleviate and heal the parts of ourselves that have been forced into survival roles and that carry our traumatic experiences and memories. Through comprehensive and culturally informed treatment planning and assessment I will work collaboratively with you to identify your strengths and treatment goals to best support you throughout your therapeutic experience. I utilize evidence based, trauma-informed practices, including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Internal Family Systems (IFS) to provide a holistic healing environment tailored to your specific needs.

In my therapeutic practice, I offer trauma-informed couples therapy, integrating Internal Family Systems (IFS) with other evidence-based practices. With an understanding of the profound impact past trauma can have on current relational dynamics, I use the IFS framework to assist in guiding couples toward increased connection and compassion. Exploring how our individual parts and attachment styles impact the collective dynamics within relationships offers couples the opportunity to have clarity on what is needed to facilitate growth, healing, and collaborative communication Through the lens of trauma-informed care and the principles of IFS/parts work, my aim is to facilitate healing, enhance relational bonds and communication, and empower couples to co-create a more harmonious and fulfilling partnership.

It is my commitment and privilege to provide inclusive, affirming and informed care focused toward the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities. I work collaboratively with folx to navigate the complexities of trauma through the additional lens and considerations of intersectionality and identity and assist in fostering resiliency and mind-body healing. Whether supporting individuals within the BIPOC community on their journey to healing or providing an affirming space for LGBTQ+ folks, I utilize a process oriented, rather than fixed approach to providing trauma- informed care. Every experience is profoundly unique and should be treated as such.

Specialized Trauma and Dissociation Training

Internal Family Systems (IFS)
The realization that even the parts of ourselves that cause us the most distress, disturbance and guilt have a positive and protective intention quickly begins to foster increased self- compassion and reduce shame. From an IFS perspective, these parts have been forced into extreme (burdened) roles as the result of traumatic experiences and in their roles, make every attempt to protect us from being harmed again. Embracing the protective function and positive intention of our parts offers a new understanding of our current circumstances, and ways in which we can begin to promote self-led change. The overall goal of IFS is to unburden these “protector” parts from their extreme roles, heal the “exiled” parts (the parts of us that have experienced trauma), and offer all parts the opportunity to choose new and more adaptive ways of functioning. IFS is a non-pathologizing modality, meaning that it addresses symptoms and many mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, substance use, eating disorders and more as parts that are attempting to protect us rather than labeling them as a one-size-fits-all diagnosis.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
When we experience a trauma, it can change our outlook on not only the world but shape our core beliefs about ourselves. From an EMDR perspective, traumatic memories that form negative core beliefs (cognitions) generally fall into 4 different categories: safety, responsibility, control and choice. EMDR addresses these negative cognitions that become attached to traumatic memories through an 8-phase protocol. The result of each fully completed EMDR protocol is desensitization of the overwhelming disturbance of the traumatic memory, installation of a positive cognition to replace the original negative cognition and “clearing” traumatic memories held in the body.

There are a wide variety of different ways to use EMDR outside of the standard 8-phase protocol that I utilize to further tailor treatment to each person’s unique needs. Some examples of this are, Early Trauma Protocol, which is particularly useful for adoptees or those who have suffered in-utero, birth, or very early trauma. Additionally, I use IFS-informed EMDR which is an integration of IFS and parts work to standard EMDR. Finally, some of us carry Negative Cognitions without being able to pinpoint a specific associated memory to its origin. Often this feels like and is described as a cognition that has “always been there,” in this case standard EMDR without a chosen image/memory is incredibly useful.

Dissociative Disorder Treatment
When addressing dissociative disorders such as OSDD and DID, I use the Phase Oriented Treatment of Structural Dissociation model. Dissociative disorder treatment involves communication and collaboration, both within the system and the therapeutic relationship. With the knowledge that every system is highly unique, I use the phase-oriented approach as a general guideline to treatment while focusing on collaborative treatment planning by hearing the wants, goals, fears and needs of each part of the system. To read more on treatment for OSDD/DID, click here.


  • Internal Family Systems (IFS) Level 1
  • EMDR Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
  • Internal Family Systems (IFS) training with Frank Anderson, MD
  • The Body as a Shared Whole: Using Visualization Techniques to Treat Dissociation by Janina Fisher
  • Janina Fisher’s Certified Clinical Trauma Professional Training Level 1 (CCTP): Working with the Neurobiological Legacy of Trauma
  • Working with Dissociative Identity Disorder by Cristina Mardirossian, LMFT
  • Working With Ritual Abuse Survivors: Patterns and Challenges by Lynette Danylchuk, PhD
  • Trauma Recovery and Resilience: Embodied Practices Incorporating Polyvagal Theory by Debra Alvis, PhD
  • Advanced Racial Trauma Treatment: Go Beyond Cultural Competency with ACT, CBT & Polyvagal-Based Strategies
  • Racial Trauma and Minority Stress: The Culturally Competent Clinician’s Guide to Assessment and Treatment by Dr. Lillian Gibson, PhD
  • Working with Dissociative Identity Disorder Part II: Treating Ritual Abuse by Cristina Mardirossian, LMFT
  • Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy (EFIT) for Attachment Trauma: Transforming Psychological Wounds for Adult Clients Traumatized as Children by Susan Johnson, Ed.D and Leanne Campbell, PhD


Pepperdine University- Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology

Antioch University- Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

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