Dr. Kristin Kleppe founded Orange County Health Psychologists, Inc., to provide clinical health psychological services in Orange County and to facilitate integrated care between physicians and psychologists. Prior to starting Orange County Health Psychologists, Inc., in January 2014, Dr. Kleppe was in private practice specializing in geropsychology. She developed an interest in integrated health care and the importance of collaboratively working with physicians while on faculty in the Department of Family Medicine at UC Irvine, holding the title of Director of Behavioral Science and working in the arena of behavioral health care.
While at UC Irvine, Dr. Kleppe also completed a fellowship in geropsychology and worked at UCI's Senior Health Center giving her valuable experience in working with older adults and their families. While at UC Irvine and other health care settings, she began to appreciate how important it was to look at the patient from a biopsychosocial perspective after seeing how often disease and illness are rooted in current life stressors as well as in trauma and abuse from the past.
Dr. Kleppe holds a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Phillips Graduate Institute, a master's degree in Psychology from Pepperdine University, and a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Communications from the University of Florida. In her doctoral program, she specialized in forensic psychology and completed a doctoral project on stepmothers and the unique challenges they face in the family system. As part of her clinical training and development, she worked in the Department of Family Medicine at Glendale Adventist Medical Center, the California Family Counseling Center, Moorpark Community College, Verdugo Mental Health Center, and in a forensic private practice.
Prior to entering the field of psychology in 1998, Dr. Kleppe was a social entrepreneur - owning two small businesses that were dedicated to social welfare and human development. The first was a vocational banking school that she "grew" from a one-room schoolhouse to an accredited school that was the recipient of many local, state and federal job training grants to support people with barriers to employment for career training and job placement. In the early 1990's, she was recognized amongst the "100 Largest Women Business Owners" in Los Angeles County for two consecutive years and as "Entrepreneur of the Year" in the "Socially Responsible" category" by Inc. magazine.
In 1992, her career took an international turn when the collapse of communism in the former Soviet Union led to requests by Russian banks for American bankers and educators to travel to Russia to aid in establishing schools and curriculum for banking and business. Dr. Kleppe started a training and consulting firm to meet this need and was fortunate to participate in an exciting and pivotal time in history, providing training and consulting to many major Russian banks and universities in banking, business, and human resource development. Additionally, Dr. Kleppe has served on the board of directors of 11 different corporations, associations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations and personally founded two non-profit foundations.
After entering the field of clinical psychology in mid-life, Dr. Kleppe combined her new passion for mental health and wellness with her years of experience in business, organizational and program development. Her skills and rich experience now come together in this chapter of her life, forming Orange County Health Psychologists, Inc. with the vision of providing high quality, specialized, clinical health psychological services in partnership with other psychologists and therapists and local physicians.