Current Team

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.

Shilpa Baweja


Dr. Baweja is a developmental psychologist and clinical instructor at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior within the David Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Baweja has broad training in the evaluation, treatment, and support of individuals with attention deficits, learning problems, and related behavioral difficulties.

Most recently, Dr. Baweja's research has examined the underlying risk factors that increase children’s susceptibility to peer rejection and bullying during middle childhood. Earlier in her career, she was part of the research team within the Treatment Studies for ADHD, Irritability, and Mood Disorders program at UCLA investigating effective pharmacotherapies for children and adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity... more

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.