Providing clients within our programs safe and confidential metal health services

Mental Health Department

Program Information

Good Samaritan Shelter’s Mental Health Department provides individual psychotherapy and individual rehabilitation services to clients ages 18+. We specialize in working with the following client populations:

  • Clients who have or are experiencing homelessness
  • Clients who have or are experiencing addiction to alcohol or other substances
  • Clients who are justice-involved on probation or parole
  • Clients with open Child Welfare Cases
  • Clients experiencing Depression, Anxiety, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Bipolar disorder

Our mental health team works closely with Santa Barbara County’s Department of Behavioral Wellness to provide services to CenCal/Medi-cal clients with mental health conditions which cause moderate to severe impairment to their lives. We also contract with Holman Group via CenCal/Medi-cal to provide services to clients with mental health conditions which cause mild to moderate impairment in their lives. We also contract with Community Corrections Partnership (CCP) to provide services to clients who are justice-involved and have mental health conditions which cause mild to moderate impairment in their lives.

Our Team

Our team is comprised of Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT), Registered Associate Social Workers (ASW), Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapists (AMFT), Social Work Interns (BSWI), and Marriage and Family Therapy Interns (MFTI).

A variety of therapy methods and modalities are utilized, including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Ego-State Therapy, Expressive Art, Trauma-Focused CBT, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Family Systems Theory, Solution-Focused, and Psychodynamic Theory.

How to Receive Mental Health Services

To request mental health services, clients can complete a referral form with their Good Samaritan case manager or drug and alcohol counselor, who will send the referral to the Mental Health Program Director.


Frequent questions and answers

Therapy is a scientifically proven process that teaches you how your mind works. It helps you navigate your feelings, build healthier behaviors, and relate to your thoughts differently so you can live the life you want.  Therapy is based on establishing an honest, open and trusting relationship between the therapist and client. Sometimes, making changes or letting go of past emotions or behaviors can be hard, so it is important to remain motivated and committed. For this reason, it is vital to have confidence in your therapist and a strong desire to feel better. All information you share during therapy is confidential.

  • Therapy can provide support during a difficult period and it can show you how to make positive changes in the way you deal with things.
  • Therapy can offer guidance in a specific relationship, life or work issue.
  • Therapy can help you to increase your self-confidence and enables you to face challenges more easily. It can help you to heal past experiences and to identify and change behaviors which are getting in the way of your happiness and well-being.
  • Therapy can help you learn new ways to solve problems and show you how to deal with strong emotions, and provide you with ways in which you can improve your relationships.
  • Therapy can help you learn more about your mental health symptoms so that you can cope better.
  • When your thoughts, feelings, or behaviors hold you back from living a normal life (e.g. you’re not sleeping; you’re avoiding things you normally like doing).
  • When your mental health is causing physical harm (e.g., you’re binging or not eating; you can’t get out of bed in the morning; you’re suicidal)

Therapy sessions are typically held once a week and last for about 50-minutes. During the session, you will be encouraged to express your thoughts, feelings and anxieties or any concerns that you may have about your mental health. It usually takes several sessions before you feel the benefits of therapy. In fact, some people may feel worse at the start of their therapy journey as they are confronted with feelings and emotions that they have been avoiding for years. However, if you persist you are very likely to get huge benefits out of therapy. Therapy should involve learning skills and building tools to manage your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Talking about your feelings is simply part of the process.


Eventually you’ll leave therapy with the ability to recognize patterns in yourself and to make changes on your own using the skills you learned in sessions. Good therapy has an end date. A good therapist wants you to get better and leave therapy, and will teach you skills so that you can ‘be your own therapist’ when you’re on your own. Therapy should always have a goal. When your therapy goal is met, you will naturally phase out of therapy. You might not know what that goal is when you first enter therapy and in those cases you and your therapist will figure out goals together.

  • You’ll learn more about yourself.
  • Therapy can help you achieve your goals.
  • Therapy can help you have more fulfilling relationships.
  • You’re more likely to have better health.
  • Therapy can lead to improvement in all areas of life.

The therapist’s job is primarily to listen and to gently guide people into looking at situations differently or adopting new skills to help them to resolve their concerns. Therapy gives you a safe space to talk freely and process your emotions, but a good therapist doesn’t listen just to make you feel heard. They’re looking for patterns in how your mind works and how they can help you make it work better. Your therapist will not tell you what to do. Instead they will help you to understand your emotions and to discover behavioral options that you may not have considered, for improving your mental health. Together with the therapist, you will define the problems you wish to solve and set goals to help you achieve emotional well-being.

If you are an interested in completing your clinical internship with Good Samaritan Shelter’s Mental Health Department,
 contact Chelseá Jensen at or call 805-347-3338 x108.

For More Information Contact:

Mental Health Department
Chelseá Jensen
Phone: 805-347-3338 x108


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