Profile image of Irene  Saunders

Irene Saunders(She/Her/Hers)

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, LCSW
Anxiety - Depression- Trauma- Relationship issues-Codependency-Mind-body connection-

See Irene's Details for:

AboutSpecialtiesLocationsInsurance & Fees

Professional statement

Using a blend of approaches to therapy and healing, Irene Saunders, LCSW, Board Certified Diplomate, brings her many years of experience and expertise to helping people become freed up to feel better, feel good about themselves, and thrive in multiple aspects of their lives.

Many of the people who come to her are struggling with distressing symptoms and carrying emotional pain that is not shifting away. Many question whether they are living in a way that is true to themselves and are avoiding decisions because the pros and cons lists in their minds are not helpful enough to gain clarity. Many find themselves second guessing their recent interactions. And many are uncertain about how to best navigate situations and dynamics in their career or workplace.

Prior to establishing a full-time private practice, Irene Saunders, LCSW, provided therapy at the Departments of Psychiatry at UCSD and Rady Children’s Hospital, and at Scripps Clinic. She also trained and supervised other therapists.

As she is a warm, genuinely caring, and intuitive therapist, the people she sees often say that they feel safe and at ease with her, and deeply understood. You will likely benefit greatly from her insight, and the practical strategies she suggests to you as options.

It is in our bodies where we carry our emotions, the parts of us that need attention, our trauma and loss, as well as our inner knowingness and wisdom. Given this, Irene Saunders, LCSW, often incorporates body-oriented therapies in her work with both individuals and couples. This not only enhances the effectiveness of sessions, it provides valuable tools for people to be able to “be there for themselves,” mentally and emotionally, outside of sessions. It also helps them to make better decisions in the moment that prevent problems and enrich their relationships.

Message to clients

I appreciate that you are considering me as you seek to find a therapist who is a good fit for you, or you and your partner. If you see me, you will likely sense that it is a joy for me to be a therapist, and that I believe strongly in the transformative power of therapy.

We can create a therapy that is informed by your vision of the experience you want to have in therapy, what you are comfortable with, and what you want to achieve. We can focus, session to session, on what will be the most beneficial to you at the time, keeping in mind your overall hopes for the outcome of therapy.

I can help you to engage in a process of healing and self-discovery, and deepen and evolve your relationship with yourself, and others. I can guide you to get to the essence of what is causing you pain, and what you want, and help remove obstacles as you move forward on your chosen path toward greater satisfaction and meaning. I can help you to process and heal painful emotions in the present, and from the past, that may be acting as a fuel for your symptoms and are getting in the way of you feeling more fully alive. You can learn how to feel more "at home" in your own body, even when you are distressed, and learn ways to relate to others, and communicate, that are likely to simply work better.

Work and Education

Years of Experience: 39 years

American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work, Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work, 2004
San Diego State University, Masters Degree in Social Work with a Concentration in Mental Health, 1985
California Polytechnic State University , Bachelor of Science Degree in Child Development with a Concentration in Family Studies , 1982


California: 12476




Anxiety - Coping with excessive worry, nervousness, or stress; intense discomfort in social settings (social anxiety); sudden and intense feelings of panic (panic disorder)

Depression - Providing support and promoting healing of hopelessness, low motivation and energy, sadness, irritability, sleep disturbance, and loss of interest and pleasure in life

Trauma - Coping and healing after threatening or scary events, such as witnessing accidents or experiencing sexual, verbal, emotional, or physical abuse

Relationship issues - Understanding one’s wants and needs in relationships; exploring patterns of interaction, addressing concerns, and strengthening satisfaction in relationships and dating

Codependency - Development of healthy boundaries in relationships; strategies for increasing individual self-esteem and autonomy; coping mechanisms for separation and individuation.

Mind-body connection - Practicing mindfulness to draw together how the body feels physically and how the mind feels mentally; healing both physically and mentally


  • Adults (24+)
  • Couples
  • Parents
  • Seniors (65+)
  • Young adults (18-24)

Locations & Hours


  • Health Net

Out-of-pocket fees

  • Individual sessions:$175 (45min)
  • Initial session:$200 (55min)
  • Couples sessions:$200 (45min)

Additional session information

Out-of-network billing options

This provider can support you in getting reimbursement from your insurance company if you are seeking out-of-network reimbursement. Here are the out-of-network billing options they provide:

  • Courtesy billing
Payment options
  • Credit Card
  • IvyPay
Session frequency

Frequency of sessions this provider offers to see clients once you are an established client.

  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Every other week
  • Multiple times a week
  • As needed
Therapist's note

Prorated fee for longer visits if requested

Book a Free Initial Consultation

The practice will call you for a free 10min phone call to discuss your needs and ensure a match!

This provider has no upcoming call times available.