Elaine Clough

Ph.D., Psy.D.
License #MFT33359



  • More than 25 years psychoanalytic experience
  • 35 years experience in the field of substance abuse
  • 25 years analytic therapy with children


  • BA, Whittier College
  • MA, Pepperdine University
  • MS, Graduate Center for Child Development & Psychotherapy (now part of the Reiss-Davis Child Study Center)
  • Ph.D., Graduate Center for Child Development & Psychotherapy
  • Psy.D., Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute

Professional Affiliations

Why Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy?

A patient is one who is suffering but does not know why, often struggling with conflicting parts of himself. We can’t affect change without understanding what the problem is. In other words, once a problem is correctly stated, it is on its way to being solved. Human states of mind, though confusing, can be understood.

The focus of my practice is to understand one’s ordinary human states of mind and help one manage those, using whatever clinical skill, tools and expertise available, not to the exclusion of other models of psychotherapy when deemed clinically appropriate (including referrals for medication). It’s a journey that the patient and I undertake together to understand and make sense of these conflicted or confusing states of mind that may be causing great discomfort.

There are many methods in psychotherapy all of which originated with psychoanalysis. Psychoanalytic therapies remain focused on uncovering meaning for individuals, which leads to thoughts, feelings, chemical changes in the brain and finally new behaviors. In psychoanalytic therapy the emphasis is on understanding those meanings and symbols (the Unconscious) to allow for change to occur. To learn more about psychoanalysis visit the American Psychoanalytic Association website.

Working With Children

Issues commonly addressed in psychoanalysis with children:

  • Divorce
  • Aggression
  • Depression
  • School anxiety
  • Moving issues
  • Loss of pets, grandparents, parents, loved ones
  • Childhood trauma
  • Gender confusion

Over the last 20 years, my work with children has included:

  • Private practice: In psychoanalytic child therapy we work in the child’s own metaphor of play since children are still forming their symbols and using play to express them.
  • Helping parents to understand children and speak the language of their children to reduce acting out at home and at school.
  • Mothers and babies: Many of our difficulties begin in our earliest experience of attachment. Working with mothers and their very young children (as early as pregnancy) provides intervention at the best possible time.
  • Work as a child therapist with at-risk children in the Westminster school district and with students at the Mardan Center of Education Therapy in Irvine California.
  • Teaching at the University of California-Irvine Farm School.


(714) 731-2022


17782 E. 17th St. Suite 106
Tustin, CA 92780

Located near the 55, the 5 and the 22 freeways, the office is designed to ensure complete privacy. Neither office nor waiting room are shared with other analysts. The quiet building has ample parking and is conveniently located near Enderle Center.