Heather Hanford, AMFT
Photo of Heather Hanford, AMFT, associate therapist at TheraThrive

Heather Hanford, AMFT

she / her / hers

Associate Therapist

Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist: AMFT 144604
Supervised by: Katie Malone, LPCC, LMFT

Phone: 818-337-7088, ext. 111

Hiya! I’m Heather, and I’d love to hear your story. As a fellow neurodivergent person, I have become especially passionate about providing neurodiversity-affirming therapy–creating a supportive environment for you or your child to thrive authentically. Thank you for taking the time to prioritize your well-being and for considering me and TheraThrive to be part of your journey.

Clinical Approach

Our work together is completely developed with you (or your child, your family, or your relationship) at the center, as you are the foremost expert in your life. My job is to create a stable, comfortable environment for self-discovery and a space to work through challenges with an ally by your side. One of my favorite parts of therapy work is fostering a sense of self in clients who have felt like “too much” or “not enough” in a world designed for someone else. Together, we can grow through and out of these feelings!

Approaches and interventions, as developmentally appropriate, may include:

  • Mindfulness
  • Positive psychology
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Relational theory
  • Attachment theory
  • Acceptance & commitment therapy (ACT)
  • Emotion-focused therapy (EFT) for couples
  • Narrative therapy
  • Art therapy (including both creating and enjoying art and popular culture!)

In addition to providing individual therapy to children and adults of all ages, I am particularly passionate about neurodiverse couples’ therapy, wherein at least one person is neurodivergent.

My Neurodivergence Story

In what no longer feels like a unique experience or set of circumstances, I wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD until I was 31 years old. As the neurodiverse are wont to do, I hyper-fixated on the diagnosis and found further research that offered unexpected answers for some of the questions I had always had about my life. Subsequent related research on autism provided some of those answers, too, leading me to identify as an autistic person now. I became especially intrigued by the lack of research and clinical focus on neurodiverse members of marginalized genders and realized the opportunity I had to contribute to the conversation through my career in therapy.

Living with ADHD and autism has a continuous undercurrent of feeling alone or like an outsider. Connecting with other people in the neurodiverse community became a complete game changer, and it has become my clinical passion to help people like me better connect with the world around them — because the importance of human connection and relationships cannot be overstated. I have been fortunate enough to work with several neurodiverse clients in my clinical work thus far, providing therapy with compassion, acceptance, validation, for lack of a better term “normalization”—all of which I wish had been bigger parts of my journey.

Heather approaches therapy with curiosity and creativity, emphasizing the therapeutic relationship from an eclectic clinical perspective. By combining aspects of relational, emotion-focused, person-centered, and strength-based perspectives, Heather provides a non-judgemental and validating space, especially designed to support and embrace the neurodivergent mind.

Intersectionality & Social Justice

One of my passions, both in and out of the therapy office, is social justice, including continuously educating myself on related current issues and events. I’m a firm believer that cultural awareness and competence is a critical skill for work in the mental health field, and I am dedicated to lifelong learning. To that end, in addition to affirming neurodiversity, I work hard to provide inclusive care: LGBTQ+ affirming, actively anti-racist, sex positive, and with awareness of intersectionality.

Education & Experience

Prior to joining the TheraThrive team, I had the honor of counseling students at Glendale Community College in Glendale, California through challenges associated with life-stage transitions, academic stress, social anxiety, family conflict, individuation, and others. I particularly enjoyed work centered around interpersonal relationships, especially with my clients who identified as neurodiverse.

I earned my Master of Arts in Psychology, specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy from California Southern University, deciding to change career paths after years in marketing, graphic design, and business operations management. My undergraduate work culminated in a Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Communications at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. I am currently a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT #144604), and I am working towards licensure under the supervision of TheraThrive’s Clinical Director, Katie Malone, LPCC, LMFT.


Child therapy

Therapy for teenagers

Individual adult therapy

Parent support

Family therapy


High sensitivity, highly sensitive people



Giftedness and twice exceptionality (2e)