Toni Durnal Dunning is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who cares deeply for people. She believes that because people were created for relationship each person carries deep within him or herself the innate desire to be known, understood, accepted, and loved by another person who is safe, nurturing, encouraging, and supportive. In an ideal world, this can be experienced with our families, friends, and sometimes in the workplace. But we do not live in an ideal world. Instead, we rub shoulders with people who
have been wounded, or have immature relationship skills, and sometimes with angry, scary, and dangerous people as well. Toni understands the importance of remaining “grounded in truth” when living in an unjust and unfair world. Toni meets each client in an atmosphere of unconditional positive regard and is skilled at tenderly creating safety and security with each client during the personal journey of discovery and building of relational skills.
Toni is a New Life Ministries Network Counselor and supervises Kathleen Shanahan, MA, Registered Associate Marriage & Family Therapist (#AMFT87529). Kathleen has extensive experience working with infants, children, and their families serving Orange County in an Early Start Pediatric Program and as a Registered Associate Marriage & Family Therapist. Like Toni, Kathleen is adept at integrating sound Christian theological concepts with psychotherapy. Kathleen also specializes in resolution of trauma using EMDR and in completion of grief and loss using the Grief Recovery Method.
In her private practice locations in San Dimas and Orange, Toni works effectively with individuals, couples, and families at all phases of life from age 6 to over 85. Toni’s life experience as well as her formal education and clinical experience have profound influences on who she is as a therapist. Toni’s therapeutic approach is uniquely tailored for each client and typically involves family-systems, psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, emotionally-focused, existential, play therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) and/or other therapies as clinically appropriate. Toni considers each client’s history and needs and looks for opportunities to build a solid therapeutic relationship in an atmosphere of respect, empathy, and compassion. In collaboratively designing goals for treatment, Toni is attentive to attachment injuries, trauma, abuse, and complicated grief and their impact on relationships with self, others, and God. Toni is an interactive therapist who strives to be authentic and real in every context. Toni provides support and practical feedback that facilitates the insight and decision-making necessary for clients to effectively address personal life challenges.
Therapeutic Training & Other Experience
As Trainee Toni worked at the Hope Counseling Center at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. Thereafter, as an Intern, she worked in the Chino and Orange offices of the Center for Individual and Family Therapy also known as CIFT Counseling from February 2007 through March 2012. Toni is certified to use the PREPARE-ENRICH curriculum with premarital, married, and cohabiting couples with or without children. In addition she enjoys working with step-families and couples who have remarried following the death of a spouse or divorce. Toni has participated in an Externship in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples at TRI EFT Alliant under the leadership of Scott Woolley, Ph.D, LMFT and Lisa Palmer-Olsen, Psy.D., LMFT. Toni has been fully trained by Linda Vanderlaan, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, and EMDR Approved Consultant in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). EMDR is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been empirically validated and used internationally for effectively treating stress, trauma, and PTSD in combat veterans and civilian populations. Toni is an EMDR Therapist associated with EMDRIA and is also listed as an EMDR Therapist on the EMDR Therapist Network.
Toni was blessed to attend David Lipscomb College (now Lipscomb University) as an undergraduate with a major in Business Management and a minor in economics. During her successful career in business she returned to graduate school at Hope International University in the Fall of 2004 where she completed a Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy in 2006.
Toni is currently a Candidate for the Doctorate in Marital & Family Therapy (DMFT) at Loma Linda University (LLU)–a degree strengthens and combines her mental health expertise with over 25 years of business and systems experience in non-profit, government, and financial services industries and as an independent consultant. Toni’s doctoral project is a research informed and theory-based program development for caregivers and families of infants and toddlers at risk for autism. In Fall 2018, Toni taught the Couples Therapy – Theory & Practice class in the COAMFTE Accredited Masters Programs at Loma Linda University. As a Graduate Assistant – Doctoral she is a member of the the LLU Counseling and Family Sciences Evaluation Team. Toni is also working with research team at LLU studying The Three-Tier Systemic Supervision Process: Understanding the Experiences of Students and Faculty. She is also an AAMFT Approved Supervisor Candidate.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT)
- #MFC51248 (California)
- #203141 (Texas)
- #35001797A (Indiana)
Clinical Fellow, American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy
Clinical Member, California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists
American Association of Christian Counselors
EMDR International Association
Student Member, National Council on Family Relations