I’ve been specializing in phobia and anxiety disorder treatment since the mid-1980s. Early on, around 1985, I and my friend and mentor Dr. Ben Crocker, then assistant director of USC-County Hospital’s pioneering Anxiety Disorders Clinic, were looking for office space together near the east edge of Ventura County. As we drove through lovely, rustic Agoura, Ben exclaimed, “Wouldn’t it be cool to get an office here? Call it the AgouraPhobia Clinic!”

By the mid-1990s, I was teaching a course on Panic Disorder at the Learning Tree University in Chatsworth and Thousand Oaks. It was popular: Word was out that highly effective treatment was available that could effect tremendous relief from Panic Disorder, and many of the students were self-selecting sufferers from panic.  Participants in the course would often approach me after completing it and ask to see me for therapy.   My private practice office was in Woodland Hills then. I learned that the Calabasas Grade, a steep climb and traffic bottleneck on the Ventura Freeway for travelers from Thousand Oaks to Woodland Hills, presented an often insurmountable psychological barrier to phobic drivers, so I opened my Thousand Oaks/Westlake Village office to provide accessible phobia and anxiety disorder treatment in the Conejo Valley. I’ve been there, as well as in Woodland Hills, ever since.

So I’ve gone full circle.  I’m pleased and excited.

CBT for Anxiety Disorders – Mindfulness-Based Therapy for Anxiety

Summer-Fall 2022

Therapy with David Mellinger

I am accepting referrals and self-referral of adults for therapy to help overcome anxiety disorders, including panic and phobic disorders (including driving phobia and social phobia), OCD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and CBT for anxiety disorders. The treatment I provide for anxiety disorders is primarily cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), with elements of interpersonal, mindfulness-, and acceptance-based therapy.

I also do therapy for relationship problems, mood disorders and dysthymia (everyday depression). Please call 818-716-1695 or E-mail for further information.



California “Model” of Mental Health Parity Goes National: Extends Insurance Coverage for Anxiety and Other Emotional Disorders

In 2013, President Obama signed landmark federal mental health parity act into law which extends mental health parity to all psychiatric diagnoses. The California “Mental Health Parity Act”, most recently amended in 2020, is stronger, goes further, and is very specific.

Our California law directs insurers to provide coverage of panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and major depressive disorder, as well as most thought and mood disorders, including adjustment disorders (which may last six months or less).  The coverage provided by insurers must be in keeping with Industry standards of mental health treatment and equal to that for other, non-mental illnesses. The law applies to people of any age.

Californians are Now Entitled to Timely Mental Health Treatment

A new law, California Senate Bill 221, went into effect starting July 1, 2022.  Sponsored by a labor union representing healthcare workers including psychologists, pharmacists, drug rehabilitation counselors, and mental health clinicians and a leading state senator, SB 221 is a landmark mental health law that guarantees Californians the right to timely mental health and substance use disorder therapy sessions.

SB 221 requires HMOs and health insurers to provide individual follow-up mental health and substance use disorder therapy appointments within 10 business days of the prior appointment unless the treating therapist determines that a longer wait will not have a detrimental impact on the patient’s health.