Former Staff

Courtney Kwan

Group Leader, Clinical Psychologist

Courtney Kwan, PhD is a practicing licensed psychologist specializing in assessment and treatment for children, adolescents and young adults. Dr. Kwan has a background working within a wide range of pediatric settings across the United States and Internationally. She also has years of experience working with individuals who struggle with neurodevelopmental (i.e., Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, executive functioning challenges, social skill difficulties), medical (i.e., coping, medical adherence and medical regimen), and/or psychiatric conditions (i.e., anxiety, adjustment challenges, stress, OCD, sleep difficulties, and depression). In addition to her role as the child-group facilitator for the Children’s Friendship Training program, Dr. Kwan also provides... more

Marlena Toebben

Clinic coordinator

Marlena is the clinic coordinator and manages all aspects of the clinic, oversees the research assistants, intakes, and its three programs (i.e., Children’s Friendship Training, Parent Training Program, PEACE). Marlena graduated from Pepperdine University's Graduate School of Education and Psychology in 2022 with a Master's in Psychology and hopes to continue doing work in the field. She previously worked as a research assistant in UCLA's Department of Psychology, worked as a research assistant at the UCLA Language Acquisition Lab, which studies infant linguistics, and the Center for Scholars to Storytellers, which focuses on adolescents and how they consume media.

Cynthia Whitham, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, has been working with families at the UCLA Parenting & Children’s Friendship Program since 1986.

She is a Clinical Instructor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute. Ms. Whitham has authored Win the Whining War & Other Skirmishes: A family peace plan and The Answer is NO: Saying it & sticking to it.

Robert Myatt, Ph.D.

Associate Director

Dr. Myatt co-authored the Children’s Friendship Training curriculum with Dr. Frankel and, since 1982, has led the Children’s Friendship child groups. Director of Clinical training at the Life Skills Treatment Program and Program Director of the Life Skills Training Program in San Fernando, California.

Fred Frankel, Ph.D.

Program Founder

Fred Frankel, Ph.D., ABPP is Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA. Since 1982, Dr. Frankel has been the Director of the UCLA Parent Training and Children's Friendship Programs. His current research interests are in extending his studies of the effectiveness of Children's Friendship Training to community settings with different populations, including high-functioning autism (UCLA CART), childhood obesity, ADHD and fetal alcohol syndrome. Dr. Frankel is the Principal Investigator on the current CART project, "Parent-Assisted Friendship Training in Autism," which focuses on the friendships of high-functioning children with autism who are included in typical elementary school classrooms from grades two to five... more

Rakhi Ratanjee

Clinic Coordinator

Rakhi manages all aspects of the clinic and its three programs and works as a behavioral coach in the Children's Friendship program. Rakhi graduated from UCLA in 2021 with Bachelor's degree in Psychobiology and a minor in Global Health.

Ya-Chih Chang, Ph.D.

Social Skills Group Supervisor

Dr. “Jilly” Chang has been associated with the UCLA Parent Training and Children’s Friendship Program since her UCLA student days, when she volunteered as a Research Assistant. Now faculty at Cal State University, Los Angeles, Dr. Chang continues to serve Social Skills Group supervisor.

Chanel Nettle

Clinic Coordinator

Chanel manages all aspects of the clinic and its three programs and works as a behavioral coach in the Children’s Friendship Program. Chanel graduated from UCLA in 2018 with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a double minor in Applied Developmental Psychology and Disability Studies, and intends to pursue clinical psychology degree in the future.

Remy Hamada

Assistant Clinic Coordinator

Remy helps manage the clinics programs and works as a behavioral coach in the Children’s Friendship Program. Remy is currently a fourth year undergraduate student at UCLA, majoring in Biological Psychology.