Dr. Sarah C. Stuchell, PhD, LMFT, CEO 
Chief Executive Officer & Clinical Supervisor
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist CA License MFC44921
Dr. Sarah is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) with over 14 years of experience counseling individuals, couples, and families. She earned her Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Loma Linda University, and her Master's in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. 
About The Marriage and Family Research Institute
The Marriage and Family Research Institute is a non-profit organization founded on a set of beliefs that the current emergence of systemic, holistic, relational, family approaches to counseling are far superior to traditional individual-based orientations. We believe in counseling as a client-centered and collaborative effort between therapists and clients to co-create meaningful, personal, and lasting changes.

As active participants in the field's clinical and research communities, Marriage and Family Research Institute creates cutting-edge therapeutic approaches that work, from a deeply caring perspective.
The quality of relationships is intrinsic to people's well-being.
Services Offered

MFRI offers therapy in a traditional office setting or in your home.  We also customize in-home treatment programs for chronic conditions, such as substance abuse, eating disorders, or physical ailments. 

Our in-home treatment programs are an ideal fit for those struggling with chronic issues, or those in need of aftercare services from a residential inpatient treatment setting.  Our therapists recreate the treatment setting in your home, so there is a smooth and flawless transition between inpatient and returning home.  We offer services in Orange County, Los Angeles County, and Ventura County. 

Our outpatient clinics allow for clients to come in form more traditional therapeutic services, including individual, couple, family and group therapy.  Our clinics are located in Newport Beach and Malibu, California.       

​As a non-profit organization, we are dedicated to making our services affordable for families and their loved-ones.  We offer a sliding scale to help meet the financial needs of our clients.
Dr. Sarah works as an evidence-based clinician and is able to integrate her interests in the social context of problems, with therapeutic techniques and skills that help men and women grow in their relationships, develop their strengths, and solve personal and emotional problems. Her expertise lies in viewing problems from a systemic perspective, which inevitably leads to healing for not just the client themselves, but their loved ones also. Her professional work has focused on marital equality and linking women's and men's mental health issues to the relational or familial context, as well as the larger social context.

Dr. Sarah is in private practice in Malibu and Newport Beach, was a DSM-V Field Trials Selected Clinician, and served as a consulting therapist to several drug and alcohol treatment centers in Southern California. She has developed many programs, including, inpatient and residential programs, outpatient, and in-home treatment programs. She most recently served as the Program Director for Malibu Vista, a residential women's psychiatric facility under the purvue of Promises Treatment Centers in Malibu, California.  Dr. Sarah ensures that clients receive quality, state-of-the art psychiatric care and the opportunity to develop their strengths and skills to live their best possible lives and pursue their dreams.  She resides in Malibu, California with her toddler son and husband.

Adi Messeca
Marriage and Family Therapist Intern (IMF70470) Supervised by Sarah Stuchell LMFT (MFC44921)
ADI earned her Masters in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University and specializes in depression, anxiety, PTSD, low self-esteem, life transitions, child and adolescent issues, parenting, and grief and loss. Adi has extensive experience helping children with developmental disabilities, such as autism, in school and in the home. 

"I help clients by guiding them in thoughtful self-exploration, helping them gain an awareness and understanding of their relationships with others, encouraging them to cultivate genuine compassion for themselves and others, and co-creating a plan with them to increase adaptive thoughts and behaviors for a more balanced and fulfilling life." - Adi   

Kimberly Cyr
Marriage and Family Therapist Intern (IMF86311) Supervised by Dr. Sarah Stuchell LMFT (MFC44921)
Kimberly earned her Masters in Psychology, Cum Laude, with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from California Southern University. She has extensive training working with children and teens, and their families, who struggle with high-risk behaviors, including, fire setting and video game addictions. Kim is a proud native to Orange County and the beautiful beaches, as well as a blossomed individual and mom of 4 amazing kids. 

“As your therapist, my goal is to work with you collaboratively to create a meaningful and caring relationship. No single approach fits for all clients therefore, I use an integrative approach that adapts to meet your needs. My passion is for ALL clients of ALL ages to find their voice and their strengths.” - Kim

Contact Us
Creating a sustainable culture
 Healing communities one family at a time


Kate received her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and is currently a Doctoral Candidate at Alliant International University. Kate specializes in couple and family relationships, substance abuse, and childhood developmental issues (autism, ADHD, behavioral issues, etc). She has training in Gottman’s couples therapy work, and effectively helps couples understand their relationship dynamics and communication patterns, and gain the skills needed to foster a relationship of care, love, support, and compassion. Kate is also trained in Narrative Therapy, and helps clients "re-story" their lives in meaningful ways.

“Relationships, whether they be between lovers, a parent and a child, or between good friends, are essential for our happiness and survival as human beings. I work collaboratively with couples and families of all backgrounds on the issues they feel are vital and create a safe environment where one can share their experience and grow in their heart, mind, body, and soul both individually and within their relationships.”     - Kate

Katherine Burke
Marriage and Family Therapist Intern (IMF77955) Supervised by Dr. Sarah Stuchell LMFT (MFC44921)