Marlina Selva

I help families with foster or adopted children navigate the challenges of building a new family so they can enjoy a deep, meaningful connection with each other. I also enjoy helping couples who have drifted apart learn to communicate so they can enjoy the satisfying relationship they’ve always wanted.
I know it’s hard raising kids and maintaining a marriage in today’s society. One of the main reasons I practice in Palo Alto is because this area has one of the highest rates of teen suicide in the country! There are so many pressures on families in this area in particular. I’ve devoted my career to helping you raise strong, healthy, resilient children while preserving your marriage in the process. No easy task, but it is possible. I’d love to talk with you to see how I may be able to help.

-Dr. Marlina Selva


I have a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as a Master’s and Doctoral Degrees in Marital and Family Therapy from the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) at Alliant International University in Irvine, CA.


I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT #50548) and have worked in the field of marital and family therapy since 2005. Prior to joining The Davis Group I was with Adolescent Counseling Services (ACS) as the Site Supervisor at Jordan Middle School coordinating case referrals, managing crises, and working with a clinical team to ensure students’ social-emotional needs were met.

I also spent several years as a Licensed Clinician/Clinical Supervisor at Bilingual Family Counseling Services, Inc., in Ontario, CA, where I provided clinical training and supervision to trainees and interns in addition to counseling and case management for individuals, couples, families, and children.

I have an extensive history working in the Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF) and Child Abuse Prevention Services (CAPS) programs. I also provided school-based counseling services to students and responded to crisis calls from schools and collaborative affiliates of the school district.

Clinical Specialties

I specialize in working with pre-teens and teenagers and their families. I provide therapy to children and families struggling with attachment difficulties, in particular adopted children who are struggling to adapt to their new family. Adoption can be tough for both the child and new family, especially if the child comes from a traumatic background. I also work with teenagers struggling with self-esteem issues, depression, and anxiety. Palo Alto and Pleasanton have some of the highest teen suicide rates in the country, which tugs at my heart every day. Teenagers and their families face so many complex pressures these days – more complex than at any other time in history, it seems. Whether you are a teen or a parent of a teen seeking therapy, I am devoted to helping you navigate these difficult times.

I also specialize in couples therapy. Thriving in a contemporary marriage or relationship takes a lot of work. If you are struggling to stay connected, rekindle the spark that brought you together or perhaps navigate complex issues such as healing from an affair or deciding whether to stay together, I can help.

Regardless of who I am working with, I utilize evidence-based therapy grounded in the latest research in psychology and neuroscience. My approach to therapy with teens and adults is informed by attachment theory. Whether the goal is to help a child affected by trauma such as neglect, abuse, and abandonment, or to help a couple establish a secure, loving relationship, the task is the same: to feel secure and loved by our significant others, and to be available and responsive to their needs. If those are your goals, I can help you.


In my spare time, I enjoy swimming, running, hiking bird watching, and other outdoor activities, as well as spending time with my family in the Bay Area.