Kristen Duarte PhD


Assistant Clinical Professor & Clinical Psychologist

8950 Villa La Jolla Dr
La Jolla, California 92037
ADA Accessible
Phone: 858-249-1680
Narrative of Services:

Currently, I exclusively treat transitional age youth in UC San Diego Psychiatry Department’s College Mental Health Program. This clinic serves a diverse population of UC San Diego undergraduate and graduate students with complex psychiatric presentations. Nearly all students presenting to our clinic for psychotherapy for OCD spectrum disorders are treated by me. At the core of my therapeutic style, I use a culturally-sensitive and trauma-informed approach with CBT principles for behavior change (e.g., ERP) and mindfulness strategies for managing difficult cognitions. I integrate a combination of ACT, DBT, other evidence-based modalities, and supportive therapy strategies into treatment as indicated.

Treatment of Co-occurring Disorders:

I am trained as a generalist, and specialize in treating OCD in children, adolescents, and young adults. Having provided psychotherapy in a range of settings and levels of care, I am comfortable treating individuals with comorbid mental health and physical health diagnoses. For example, I have experience treating OCD, anxiety disorders, panic disorder, tic disorders, excoriation disorder, trichotillomania, depressive disorders, ADHD, and individuals with histories of trauma. I typically start treatment with a thorough assessment and a collaborative meeting with the patient (and family when relevant) to establish treatment goals.

Training Description:

I completed my BA in Psychology at the University of Chicago, my PhD in Clinical Psychology at UCLA, my predoctoral clinical internship at UCLA Semel Institute, and my postdoctoral fellowship at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. I trained at the UCLA Child and Adolescent Anxiety, OCD, and Tic Disorders Program, including with leaders in OCD treatment development and a member of the IOCDF Scientific & Clinical Advisory Board. At UCLA, I was an assessor and therapist for OCD treatment research, and provided psychotherapy for OCD spectrum disorders across outpatient, intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization, and inpatient levels of care.

Diversity Statement:

I identify as a cisgender, heterosexual, mixed-ethnicity (Chicanx and White) woman (she/her pronouns). I am married to a Latinx man who immigrated to the US in childhood. I overcame adversity as a first-generation college student. I am passionate about using my privilege as a psychologist and personal background to help diverse individuals access high-quality mental healthcare. I utilize a cultural humility approach as a therapist and supervisor. I have worked with a diverse spectrum of patients in my training and early career (e.g., diversity in ethnicity, acculturation, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, religion).