Ida Karayan



Dr. Ida Karayan has a doctorate in psychology and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). She is also a certified Bioenergetic and Imago psychotherapist and utilizes many of these techniques in her practice. She teaches her clients about the relationship between their mind, body, and emotions, and believes that all three need to be addressed to create permanent changes. These techniques help her clients sustain more fulfilling and less stressful lives.

Ida Karayan is the Director and Supervisor of Armenian Relief Society’s Child, Youth and Family Guidance Center, which is a non-profit mental health facility that opened its doors to serve the community in February 2001. Here she supervises interns and works closely with low income populations. Services are offered in Armenian and in English to accommodate the needs of clients. Ida Karayan’s involvement with the Armenian community extends to relief efforts following the 1989 Armenian earthquake and beyond. She has also worked with severely mentally ill patients at Glendale Adventist and Las Encinas hospitals, served as council member for the City of Pasadena for over four years, and has been an active member in numerous organizations such as CASPS (California Association for Students in Public Schools), the ARS (Armenian Relief Society), and the Western Prelacy Educational Council and Board of Regents.

In addition to her doctorate in psychology, Dr. Karayan earned a Master of Science in Child Development. She also has specialized training in Sand Therapy, Play Therapy, and Art Therapy.

Dr. Ida Karayan is a licensed marriage, family and child psychotherapist who has been working in the field of mental health for over 32 years. In 1980, as the Armenian community in Glendale continued to grow, there was a great need for a licensed preschool for Armenian children. Dr. Karayan, through the Armenian Apostolic Church, helped obtain a license for St. Mary’s Preschool, currently known as the Tufenkian Preschool. She served as the preschool director at St. Mary’s for 18 years and later opted to focus more directly on addressing the emotional and mental needs of children and adults. Upon completion of a Master’s program, she enrolled and completed a Doctorate in Psychology. During this time, she started teaching at Pacific Oaks College and utilized this opportunity to help early childhood educators in the Armenian schools earn their early childhood education certificates.

Immediately after the 1988 earthquake in Armenia, the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) funded the Psychiatric Outreach Program that allowed Dr. Karayan and a group of mental health professionals to travel to Armenia where they provided psychological care to the people traumatized by the devastation in Spitak and Gyumri. Over the course of thirty years, she has gone back multiple times to continue providing treatment to adults, children, and adolescents in the earthquake zone, and train dozens of professionals who became licensed psychotherapists. These psychotherapists worked in the two clinics of the outreach program, one in Gyumri and another in Spitak. They provided mental health services to thousands of survivors of the earthquake.

In February of 2001, Dr. Karayan helped found Armenian Relief Society’s Child, Youth, and Family Guidance Center, a non-profit mental health facility that offers free counseling for the community, where she continues to serve as the program director. She has also established the Healthy Souls Wellness Center, a group private practice that offers counseling and therapy in Glendale. Around that same time, she implemented a mental and emotional health initiative that she introduced through the Committee for Armenian Students in Public Schools (CASPS) that she continues to oversee.

Dr. Karayan was invited by the City of Pasadena to serve on the Multicultural Committee where she represented the Armenian constituency for many years. An expert in the field of child trauma, Dr. Karayan has conducted multiple studies with her colleagues on PTSD and has co-authored numerous articles in major peer-reviewed psychiatric journals on treatment outcome of PTSD and depression and the longitudinal course of PTSD among adults and adolescents. Dr. Karayan has authored a chapter in a soon to be published book by Cambridge University Press about her experiences in helping the victims of the 1988 earthquake in Armenia.

Most recently, with the help of local psychologists in Armenia, Dr. Karayan co-founded the Tegh Center in Yerevan to help people in the border regions of Armenia recover from the effects of war trauma. In the last year, the Tegh Center has played an integral part in helping families affected by the war between Artsakh and Azerbaijan.

Dr. Karayan’s lifetime of service has included extensive education, training, and experience that have allowed her to not only directly help hundreds of children and adults, but also to create programs that will continue to help countless more. Dr. Karayan is blessed with a husband whom she has been married to for half a century, three grandchildren and a wonderful family.