Terry A. Rifkin L.C.S.W.
About Me

Terry is a Psychotherapist in Private Practice in Laguna Niguel, California. She grew up on the East Coast and received a Bachelors Degree in Social Work from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey and a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work at New York University where she graduated summa cum laude.

Licensed for over 34 years, Terry has provided Psychotherapy for adults, couples and families. Terry is committed to help individuals confront obstacles in their lives and find effective solutions for personal and professional growth. Working with a broad spectrum of clients, her areas of expertise include depression and anxiety, stress management at home and work, relationship enhancement, eating disorders, alcohol and chemical dependency, divorce, separations and losses and crisis intervention.

Terry has developed a specialty in the treatment of dysfunctional dynamics in family systems and also business leadership teams. Because of her keen assessment and treatment of individuals and families and the systems they live and work in, it has allowed her to intervene and break self-defeating patterns that interfere with people and teams reaching their goals. She has had extensive work with family businesses and the unique challenges that family dynamics play in business operations.

Terry is an interactive, solution-focused therapist. Her therapeutic approach is to provide support and practical feedback to help clients effectively address personal life challenges. She integrates complementary methodologies and techniques to offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each client. With compassion and understanding, she works with each individual to help them build on their strengths and attain the personal growth they are committed to accomplishing.

Affiliations and Honors
 Terry is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Society for Clinical Social Work. She has a special recognition in her field by holding a Diplomate in Clinical Social Work. Terry is also a member of “Who’s Who of American Professional and Business Women”. She is a published author and has served as a Clinical Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California. She has been a consultant to insurance companies, physicians, attorneys, human resource personnel, business leadership teams, and private practitioners. She has been a guest speaker in her local community in service clubs, colleges, and high schools. She has made guest appearances on radio and television talk shows.

Community Service

"The best way to find yourself...is to lose yourself in the service of others." Gandhi

Though Terry makes her living helping people through the adversities in their lives, it is through her life in service that she finds her greatest passion.  Terry’s commitment to giving back to the community led her to Rotary International. She was a Charter member of the Monarch Beach Sunrise Rotary Club in 1988, the same year that women were admitted into Rotary. Terry served as President in 1995-96 and went on to fill the job of Assistant Governor in 1996-97. She is a 3 time Paul Harris Fellow and has been on the Board of Directors for her own Rotary Club multiple times over her 27 years of membership. She has served on nearly every committee and held almost every Director’s position in each avenue of service. In 2008 she was awarded the Rotarian Business Person of the Year in her Rotary District.

Terry was recognized with the "Heart and Soul Award" for August of 2011. This award is recognizes OrangeCounty citizens for their passion for life and their dedication for making a difference.

In 2008, Terry was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Dana Point 5th Marines Regiment Support Group as Director of Support and Outreach.  This non-profit group is dedicated to meet the needs of the deployed troops and the families who are stateside at Camp Pendleton.  In 2013, Terry was elected President of this organization and has been serving the Marines, Sailors, Wounded and families of the Regiment who richly deserve the support of  our grateful Nation.   Her involvement with our military and to those who are making the ultimate sacrifice has added to her ability to help others through the challenges and adversities they face in their lives.

Terry with General James F. Amos, former Commandant of the United States Marine Corps


                   Terry and Colonel Patrick Malay

Col Jason Bohm and SgtMaj Clifford Wiggins

The mission for Terry is simple; in the spirit of service, raise funds and create opportunities so that the community can play a role in demonstrating appreciation for the remarkable sacrifices our American Military families are making for our freedom. She believes as a nation, we owe our brave service members and their families more than gratitude, we owe them our support.
In a ceremony on the Assembly floor, Terry was honored by Assemblywoman Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point) as the 73rd Assembly District Woman of the Year for 2012. This honor was given for Terry’s tireless community service and her devoted efforts with our military troops and their families.
Terry Rifkin and Assembly Woman Diane Harkey State Assembly presentation to Terry Rifkin
"Woman of the Year"

In April 2012, Terry was awarded Dana Point Volunteer of the Month.  In a ceremony at City Hall, Mayor Lara Anderson presented Terry this esteemed recognition for "Making a difference in Dana Point."

Mayor Lara Anderson recognizes Terry Rifkin with "Volunteer of the Month" for April 2012

Service is an honor and a way of life for Terry. Her participation from childhood in volunteerism and her long-term commitment to Rotary, Community and International involvement are just an extension of her professional commitment to helping others.  Terry’s favorite quote is “Service is the rent we pay for inhabiting the earth”.