Walter E. Brackelmanns, M.D. - Founder - In Memorium
Past President

Walter E. Brackelmanns, MD was a board-certified psychiatrist, child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA, a Senior Instructor for the Extension Division of UCLA, and a mental health consultant to the Los Angeles Unified School District. He was the Director of the Couples and Individual Therapy Clinic, the Coordinator of the Couples and Sex Therapy Training Program, and Instructor of the Inter-analytic Couples Therapy Course at UCLA. He worked for over 30 years developing and teaching a unique and practical approach to couples therapy, both nationally and internationally. Dr. Brackelmanns has twice appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, demonstrated his ideas in a five-part series on the Today Show, and had his own nationally syndicated television program called Couples. Dr. Brackelmanns received his Bachelors Degree from Rutgers University and his Medical Degree from Georgetown Medical School in Washington, D.C. He interned at Los Angeles County Hospital, spent 3 years in the Navy as a flight surgeon, and did a 3 year residency at Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Hospital. Dr. Brackelmanns did a 2 year fellowship in child psychiatry at UCLA. He was trained in psychoanalysis at the Los Angeles Psychoanalytic Institute. Dr. Brackelmanns received the Dean's Distinguished Teaching Award from UCLA Extension Division in 2006 and the Outstanding Clinical Faculty Teaching Award in the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA in 2006. He is on the advisory board of Lifespan Learning Institute, and the National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH). He was a gifted lecturer and will be missed by his students, patients, and all who knew him.

Wendy Cherry, Psy.D. (PSY25890)
Executive Director / Co-Director / Clinical Supervisor

Wendy Cherry, Psy.D., a licensed psychotherapist, is the co-founder of AACAST, and the Co-Director of the Couples and Sex Therapy Training Program. She trained with Dr. Walter Brackelmanns for almost two decades, and is an accomplished educator, lecturer and public speaker. Dr. Cherry furthers her knowledge in the field of Interpersonal Neurobiology with membership in Dr. Allan Schore's Developmental Neurobiology and Clinical Application study group. She has the distinction of being trained in both business management and as a mental health professional. Prior to her work in the field of psychology, Wendy created and directed one of the very first Internet companies, becoming a well known media expert on internet issues in the Los Angeles area. She has appeared on numerous television news shows, including Fox 11, Channel 9, Channel 5, and also on Extra! and Inside Edition. Wendy also visited the White House as part of a committee to advise former President Bill Clinton on the Communications Decency Act. Dr. Cherry has a private practice in Encino, CA.

Ron Crane, MFT
Vice President / Co-Director / Clinical Supervisor

Ron Crane, a Marriage and Family Therapist, received his Bachelor of Science and his Master of Science degrees from Kansas State University. He has done extensive post-graduate work at the University of Missouri, the University of Southern California, and the University of California at Los Angeles.  He received a Doctor of Laws Degree, LLD (honoris causa) from International College in 1980 for his contributions to the Mental Health profession. Ron has been in the practice of psychotherapy for over forty-five years with special interest in: Individual and Couples Therapy, Gay and Lesbian Therapy, Sexual Therapy, and Addiction Therapy. He has been involved with: Sexual Abuse Treatment Centers, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Youth Shelters and Family Services, the South Central Los Angeles Mental Rehabilitation Center, and various addiction treatment programs. Ron is currently Vice-President and Editor of the American Association of Sexual and Couples Therapists, Co-Director of the Couples and Sex Therapy Training Program of the Department of Adult Psychiatry, the Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles, and in private practice in West Los Angeles.

Alexandra Pinkus, MFT

Co-Director/ Clinical Supervisor / Chair, Professional Education & Outreach

Alexandra Pinkus, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, received her Bachelors of the Arts Degree in English Literature at Vassar College in New York. Alexandra completed her Master of the Arts Degree in Clinical Psychology at Pepperdine University in California. Alexandra is an AACAST Certified Couples and Sex Therapist with training in Emotionally-Focused Therapy and The Community Resiliency Model for working with trauma. In addition to her certification, Alexandra is a member of the American Association of Couples and Sex Therapists (AACAST), the Los Angeles Center of Emotionally-Focused Therapists (LA-CEFT), and the Gestalt Therapy Institute of Los Angeles (GTILA). Alexandra is in private practice in Santa Monica and lectures throughout Los Angeles County on Inter-Analytic Couples and Sex Therapy.

Mark Winitisky, Psy.D., MFT

Clinical Supervisor /  Chair, Professional Education & Outreach

Mark Winitsky, Psy.D., MFT, received his M.A. in clinical psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles and his Psy.D. in Psychoanalysis from the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis Los Angeles, where he is currently on the faculty and co-chairs the Admissions Committee. In addition to being an AACAST Certified Couples and Sex Therapist (2012), Mark is a clinical supervisor and faculty member at the Southern California Counseling Center, where he has led groups both in WLA and in Watts, and where he regularly presents workshops on couples therapy. He is a certified Gestalt Therapist, trained at the Pacific Gestalt Institute, and served as president of the Gestalt Therapy Institute of Los Angeles for five years. He is a member of the International Association for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology and is particularly interested in issues related to cultural diversity. Mark is in private practice in Westwood.

Charles Andrews, MFT

Assistant Clinical Consultant

Charles is a licensed MFT practicing in Long Beach, CA. He is an AACAST Certified Couples and Sex Therapist, and also trained in Discernment Therapy, EMDR, TRM (Trauma Resilience Model), and Family Therapy. Charles specializes in relationship difficulties of all kinds, as well as substance use problems and career and life transitions. He brings a wealth of clinical experience to the AACAST team.


Nikki Nolet, MFT

Assistant Clinical Consultant

Nikki Nolet, a licensed psychotherapist, practices throughout the state of California. Nikki specializes in relational conflict, sexual issues, anxiety, desire discrepancy and other relational issues. Nikki has Advanced Certification as an Imago Relationship Therapist and as a Certified Accelerated Resolution Therapy and has received training in Encounter-Centered Couples Therapy, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), Postmodern Therapy and Critical Incident Stress Management. Nikki received her masters degree at Antioch University in Los Angeles and is currently pursuing her PhD in Clinical Sexology. Nikki brings her wealth of knowledge to the AACAST team.

Lincoln Madley, AMFT

Research and Archives

Lincoln Madley is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Pasadena, California. When completing his master’s degree at Antioch Univesity, he worked as a research assistant on eroticized rage for Dr. Kate Balestrieri and became interested in the intersection of sex and trauma. He brings these research skills to assist in AACAST’s archival program. He trained in the Community Resiliency Model for the treatment of trauma at The Southern California Counseling Center and he is an EMDRIA-approved EMDR therapist. Lincoln incorporates humanistic, attachment-based, and mindfulness modalities in his work with couples. He also draws on his AACAST training in couples and sex therapy to support individuals, particularly adolescents, in building meaningful relationships with themselves and others.

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