Tejal Jakatdar, PhD

Founder and Director

Approach To Care

Tejal’s clinical philosophy is to approach you as a whole person and not just your target symptoms. Dealing with anxiety, sadness, OCD symptoms, reproductive issues, or post partum depression can create guilt, shame, and isolation, making it more difficult to live a full and healthy life. Tejal will teach you how to change your ways of thinking and behaviors that are keeping you stuck.


Empathetic and thoughtful, she tailors a personalized, cutting edge treatment plan specifically for your needs and level of readiness. Although typically described as gentle and warm, Tejal offers tough love too as she holds you accountable as you work to confront your fears. She uncovers what is stopping you from living according to your values and helps you to remove those barriers. Ultimately she helps you to achieve measurable progress toward your goals as she encourages you to live the best life you can.   

Methods Of Treatment

Tejal’s has a reputation for excellence in treating OCD and anxiety. She practices under the umbrella of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT has been widely researched for decades and is the gold standard for treating many types of anxiety and mood disorders. CBT is collaborative, structured, problem focused, and hands-on.


Based on her expertise and history of effective treatment outcomes, Tejal is often sought out to treat complex cases of OCD and anxiety. She combines the optimal mix of elements from CBT, exposure therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and mindfulness so you gain the ability to manage your issues effectively and live a meaningful life.

Cultural Sensitivity

As an immigrant from India, Tejal is keenly aware of how culture and family values shape a person. Having lived in 2 very different cultures, she has learned to understand cases from both the complexity of the diagnosis and the cultural implications. She is well aware of the impact that family pressures, high expectations, challenges with independence, and language and cultural adaptations can have on mood and anxiety. As such, she is sensitive to cultural issues when devising treatment interventions with clients of different ethnicities.

Education and Experience

Tejal received her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Temple University in Philadelphia, one of the top 10 clinical psychology programs in the country. Tejal was trained by Dr. Richard Heimberg, an imminent clinical researcher and mentor. She completed her internship at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. In 2010, she co-founded the Anxiety and OCD Treatment Center of Philadelphia, one of the preeminent national programs for OCD treatment. Tejal was mentored by Dr. Jonathan Grayson, a highly sought after OCD expert who eventually became her business partner. She has been practicing in Silicon Valley since 2016.


A passionate and respected educator, Tejal served as adjunct faculty for the clinical psychology program at Temple University and has supervised numerous practicum and postdoctoral students. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals and she has written a book chapter on treating social anxiety disorder. In addition, she frequently presents at national conferences for mental health professionals as well as in community settings to educate the public on anxiety, perfectionism and OCD.

Niko LaValle


David Aitken

Doctoral Trainee

Niko is a graduate of Santa Clara University where she received her Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology. She is now a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist who enjoys working with adults, children, families, and all members of a diverse community. She gained experience working at Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC), where she specialized in working with children and adolescents. She treated a range of anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety, separation anxiety, social anxiety, and PTSD. She also treated  depression, grief and loss, perfectionism, and body image issues. As part of treatment Niko worked closely with her clients’ families, providing them support and guidance to improve outcomes. She is committed to treatment that is evidence-based and solution oriented with a strong focus on comprehensive and compassionate care. She treated her clients using cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), family-focused therapy, behavioral coaching, and mindfulness techniques. Under Dr. Jakatdar’s supervision, Niko is continuing her work at Willow Anxiety & OCD. She is looking forward to applying her knowledge and skills to help individuals with OCD and anxiety related disorders. She is dedicated to helping clients reach their goals with a therapeutic approach that employs empirically supported treatment with a focus on holistic well-being.

Shefali Thaman


Shefali is a registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist who is trained and supervised by Dr. Jakatdar. Shefali has demonstrated a keen interest and acumen in evidence-based treatments, specifically for OCD and anxiety disorders. Shefali has expertise in treating children, teens, families, and adults. She especially enjoys working with children and teens stemming from her experience in the school settings. Shefali has also worked as a licensed rehabilitation counselor in India. The combination of experience in school settings and as a rehabilitation counselor has given Shefali a unique background in the clinical field. She has an M.ED from Pennsylvania State University, a Master’s in Applied Psychology from University of Delhi, India, and an Advanced Diploma in Child Guidance & Counseling from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, India.

David Aitken

Doctoral Trainee

Dave is a fifth-year clinical psychology student who retired from a career in the software industry to begin a new career as a clinical psychologist. He is in his third year at Willow Anxiety and OCD, treating anxiety, depression, OCD, and body-focused repetitive behaviors (e.g., skin-picking) under Dr. Jakatdar’s supervision. Dave has gained significant experience treating OCD with the gold standard treatment–exposure and response prevention (ERP)–and dealing with that disorder’s subtleties and pitfalls. He has also trained at Turk Street Mental Health clinic in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, where he gained experience treating addiction, and at the Association of Professionals Treating Eating Disorders clinic, also in San Francisco, where he gained experience treating hoarding. Along with coursework in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), Dave has published a paper about women with serious mental illness, taken seminars on motivational interviewing and CBT, and participated in a well-known local CBT case consultation group. He is doing his PhD dissertation on the use of mental rehearsal to enhance self-control. 

Jessica Jacobson

Doctoral Trainee

Jessica is a second-year PsyD student with a background in education, business development, and life-coaching. Her coaching practice incorporated beneficial approaches that align with holistic wellness. In seeking to understand and explore different and effective therapeutic modalities, she studied cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). For seven years, Jessica gained in-depth experience when she would assist in treating clients with depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. She continues to have a strong interest in working with clients who have OCD, anxiety, body dysmorphic disorder, perfectionism, and other mood disorders. Under the supervision of Dr. Jakatdar’s expertise, Jessica can utilize the gold standard treatments and integrate other therapeutic modalities that help this population with confronting and overcoming challenges. Her work at Willow Anxiety & OCD will allow her to implement the cutting edge methods of treatment used at the facility to help people live the life they want to live. She is doing her dissertation on mind-body modalities that incorporate CBT and will be exploring their effectiveness in treating anxiety and depression.

Willow Anxiety & OCD

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Center For OCD, Anxiety, And Related Disorders

431 Monterey Ave., Suite 7. Los Gatos, CA 95030