Providing In-Person Therapy Services in Torrance, CA, and Surrounding Areas

Dr. Carol J. Piccirillo

Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist in Torrance, CA

My journey towards becoming a psychotherapist in Torrance, CA

Ever since I was young, I was curious about people. Often, I sat in quiet observation, watching and wondering. I pondered behaviors, like cruelty, kindness, and compassion. In fact, I contemplated emotions, like love and hate, rage and calmness, and sorrow and happiness. In adulthood, my inquisitiveness expanded as did my desire to do meaningful work. Thus, it evolved into a desire to help people who suffer from emotional distress. This led me to graduate school and the study of psychology.

While earning a Ph.D., I aspired to become skilled at helping people. Especially those who dealt with anguish within themselves as well as tension in their relationships. I focused on learning about the link between human connection, emotion, and behavior.

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Where am I now?

Ultimately, my work as a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist is rooted in the desire to explore the part of ourselves that wants to change. Plus, we desire to make meaning out of things we don’t understand. I work with people who suffer from anxiety and depression, couples that struggle with their connection and commitment to love each other. Additionally, I work with families that face the strain of contention and disagreement.

Currently, I have a private practice in Torrance, California where I work with individuals, couples, and families. Typically, my clients seek me out because they yearn for healing and are willing to embark on a journey. Their curiosity serves as a foundation for awareness, insight, healing, and growth. This happens both within themselves and within their relationships.

Outside of being a clinical psychologist

My goal is to always be learning. Thus, as I learn, I grow. In turn, this helps my clients to grow. For me, learning involves reading, participating in seminars, reflecting, and journaling. Some recent books that I read include Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy by Eugene T. Gendlin, Clinical Intuition in Psychotherapy by Terry Marks-Tarlow, and Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy with Trauma Survivors by Susan M. Johnson. Of course, I also enjoy reading fiction and can learn from them as well. Wally Lamb’s books are particularly enjoyable. More recently, I dabbled a bit in reading Meister Eckhart’s Selected Writings.

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Therapy Specialties

Most of my clients present with anxiety, depression, and family issues. Sometimes it’s a combination of all three of these struggles. In fact, part or all themselves might feel rejected, unheard, or unloved. They are sometimes worried or unhappy and need some clarity about their past, their present, or their future.

My Counseling Philosophy

Who you are is informed by a combination of factors. This includes your relationships, your experiences, and your genetics. Additionally, your strengths as well as your struggles have an impact. Of these, experiences and relationships tend to be the focus of therapy. That is because your life experiences and your interactions tend to inform who you are, how you think, and what you do. Thus, in in-person therapy or online therapy in California, we will explore your experiences. Together, we will link them to your strengths, your challenges, your pain, and your hopes.

My theoretical leanings include psychodynamic, attachment, and experiential methods.

Tenets of Therapy

Understanding, acceptance, and a nonjudgmental stance form the basic tenets of in-person therapy in Torrance, CA. Together, these tenets build a foundation of trust where the depth of exploration serves as a foundation for growth and change.

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Goals of Therapy

For many people, the goal of therapy is personal growth. Ultimately, this leads to finding solutions and change. This is achieved by gaining clarity about thoughts and feelings and the impact of other people. Therefore, this is about shedding what no longer works and growing the part of self that is authentic. Ultimately, the desire towards authenticity and personal growth leads to awareness and insight which culminates in finding solutions that work for you.

Typical Session with a Clinical Psychologist & Psychotherapist in Torrance, CA

A typical session of individual therapy in Torrance, CA begins with an invitation, usually in the form of asking, “Where would you like to begin today?” Next, this is followed by reflection, organization, and focusing on a key component. Lastly, going deeper to get an increased level of understanding of the self.


  • Bachelor of Science from Northern Arizona University
  • MA in Psychology from Pepperdine University
  • Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology

Postgraduate work:

As a licensed clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, and EFT-focused therapist with over 14 years of experience, I know healing can take place within the bounds of a professional relationship. Therefore, this is the opportunity to be curious and explore express, and share, which leads to understanding and meaning.