Karen Rathburn, Ph.D.

Program Manager, TIES for Families- South Bay

(Area of Emphasis: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Foster Care/Adoption)

TIES started as a satellite of UCLA TIES for Adoption program, which assists children in the transition from foster care to adoption. Dr. Rathburn has provided leadership for the program since its inception in 2002.  She has written several grants to implement evidence based practices and overseen the training coordination for a multimillion dollar SAMHSA grant to develop a system of care for children birth through five.  Previously, Dr. Rathburn was on faculty at Harbor-UCLA in the Department of Pediatrics and at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles.  She provided assessments in the Infants of Substance Abusing Mothers, HIV, Child Development, Adolescent, and Craniofacial clinics.  Dr. Rathburn has worked with high-risk children throughout her career with a focus on child welfare populations. She seeks to ameliorate the negative effects of biological and environmental risk factors, such as disrupted attachment by strengthening the bond between children and their caregivers through reflective practice.  She holds a state of California certification as an Infant Mental Health Specialist and Reflective Practice Facilitator II. Dr. Rathburn’s clinical and research interest is utilizing relational approaches for families with trauma histories and she is a supervisor for the Reflective Parenting Program. Dr. Rathburn has presented work at national conferences, including the American Psychological Association, Zero to Three National Training Institutes and the Georgetown Training Institutes.  Program development and training professionals to work in the field of child and infant mental health is at the heart of her work.

Clinical Focus:

  • Infant Mental Health
  • Child Welfare and Adoption
  • Parental Substance Abuse
  • Attachment

Academic Appointments:

  • Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

Professional Education:

  • B.S., Psychology, California State University, Long Beach
  • M.S., Counseling Psychology, University of Southern California
  • Pre-Doctoral Internship, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles: Center for Child Development and Developmental Disorders and Cedar Sinai Medical Center: Thalian’s Community Mental Health Center
  • Ph.D, Counseling Psychology, University of Southern California
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Pediatric Psychology and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center