Our Team

Alex Dimitriu, MD

Alex is the product of an engineer and a pianist, and a balance of art and science guides his career as a psychiatrist. He brings a deep respect for science, philosophy and spirituality into his work. Professionally, Alex has dual board certification in psychiatry and sleep medicine. As a consultation psychiatrist, he specialized in the complex interplay between the mind and body. In his work, Dr. Dimitriu helps his patients optimize peak performance by day and peak restorative sleep by night. He has been nationally recognized by The New York Times, Men’s Health, Cosmopolitan, Psychology Today, NBC News among other media. Alex also serves as a medical reviewer for Business Insider, the Sleep Foundation, and is a contributing author to The Encyclopedia of Sleep Medicine.

Dr. Dimitriu completed his training in the Stanford division of Sleep Medicine. Through the optimization of wake and sleep, he has brought truly amazing outcomes to the most challenging of cases.

A thorough understanding of neuroscience and pharmacology are applied to attain the most minimal, efficient and holistic solutions possible. Beyond repair, he strives for enhancement, optimization and longevity. Science and psychology are applied to enhance joy, creativity, cognition, and performance.

Away from work, Alex lives to be in the ocean; sailing, kite-boarding, surfing, and spending time with his family.

Lauren Varma, NP

Lauren specializes in treating a wide-range of complex psychiatric conditions, using both therapy and medications. She was born and raised in Maine and received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Colgate University, majoring in psychology and political science. She completed her nursing education at Yale University, where she graduated as the valedictorian of her class, with a Master of Science degree in Family Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. She is board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

After graduating from nursing school, Lauren moved to the Bay Area, and currently lives on the Peninsula with her husband and two sons. Prior to joining the practice, she worked as psychiatric nurse practitioner for San Joaquin County, where she was responsible for assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning, and medication management for patients with complex and treatment resistant conditions.

Lauren strongly believes in a holistic approach to health care. She enjoys practicing yoga and advocates relaxation training, nutrition, and exercise as part of her treatment approach. She is also skilled in providing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia. Lauren believes in working with clients to provide a custom approach to treatment that is in line with each individual’s unique goals.

Jeff Leininger

As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, Jeff uses medications and other modalities – such as mindfulness, meditation, nutrition, exercise and supportive therapy – to help you realize your optimal health. Psychiatric medications, especially when combined with psychotherapy and other modalities, can play an important role in achieving a greater sense of balance.

After getting a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Master’s degree in English Literature from Hunter College, Jeff moved to the Bay Area and spent over a decade working in education. When he isn’t working, Jeff is often looking for the next outdoor adventure or taking in live music.

Once he made the decision to spend the remainder of his career serving clients and their families to improve their overall mental health, he left the Bay for a few years and received his psychiatric nurse practitioner training at Vanderbilt University. He is Board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. While at Vanderbilt, he enrolled in a specialized course of study that offered additional training around how to incorporate mindfulness into psychiatric practice.

After a thorough psychiatric evaluation, together you will decide what medication regimen, if any, would be most effective. Jeff has found that judicious use of psychiatric medications can help create the necessary space to foster self­love; enjoy deeper personal relationships with families, friends and co­workers; and, access one’s innate talents and creativity.

He has been successful in helping individuals who are experiencing challenging life transitions, acute or chronic anxiety, depression, attention issues, insomnia and chemical dependency.

He also works with clients during their relative times of wellness in order to create a more balanced, mindful and body­centered consciousness. He will help you articulate blind spots or resolve chronic anxieties that have traditionally disrupted your healing process or kept you from experiencing a greater sense of fulfillment.

Jeff has worked in various types of therapy settings, including in­patient and outpatient clinics, such as the County of Santa Cruz and Bayside Marin, an upscale treatment center. He has considerable experience working with individuals experiencing attention and concentration issues and those folks who are reconsidering their relationship to alcohol and other substances.

He offers a non­judgmental space and understands how important it is to meet you exactly where you are while supporting your discovery of what matters most in your life.

Susan Smith, MD

Susan is a board certified psychiatrist who works collaboratively to create a plan to promote optimal functioning. She has collaborated with Dr Alex since 2010, and shares our mutual vision of treating the whole person with an emphasis on conservative and effective medication strategies, as well as being supportive of other therapeutic interventions.

Born in Minnesota and raised there and North Dakota, Dr. Smith has completed undergraduate study in medical technology, graduate study in social work, and holds an MD degree. She has worked at Kaiser, San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services and Community Psychiatry.

With over 20 years of clinical experience, Susan has a proven track record and thorough knowledge base in treating a variety of conditions, ranging from depression and anxiety to more complex and medically involved cases.

Away from the office, she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, swimming and cross country skiing.

Emily Rose Heard

Emily Rose Heard is a Mind Body Wellness Coach, and is completing a Master’s degree in Integral Counseling Psychology.

She offers a unique approach to mental wellness through mindfulness, somatic therapy, and psychedelic integration.

Emily specializes in supporting people to integrate psychedelic and spiritually transformative experiences to find greater meaning in their daily life and relationships. She also loves to spend time gardening and exploring nature with her family.

Larissa Dimitriu

Larissa is a life coach and healer who works wonders without medication. She specializes in non-traditional approaches towards performance and life coaching to bring about lasting change. Her work, centered around the mind, body and spirit have lead to truly outstanding outcomes; she does for the soul, what our doctors do for the body. She works with individuals and couples for personal and professional growth.