Steven D. Unruh MDIV, MFT

South Bay Mediation

Divorce Mediation & Licensed Psychotherapist
2660 Townsgate Road
Suite #780
Westlake Village, California 91361


Asset Distribution, Child Custody, Child Support Modification, Collaborative Divorce, Co-Parenting, Divorce, Divorce Modification and Enforcement, Family, Legal Separation, LGBT, Marital Property, Real Estate

Steven grew up in Minnesota, with 10,000 lakes and one million swamps. At an early age, learned how to shovel snow and put a worm on a hook. In high school, Steven signed up to be trained as a ‘Peer Counselor’ and had a deep interest in Psychology and a desire to help his peers cope with their personal issues. At Bethel University in St. Paul, he studied philosophy, theology and psychology.

Wanting Real Life Experiences, He Spent the Next 4 Years Working Cross- Culturally

Moving to California, he lived and worked in inner-city Oakland to counsel teens and families in crisis. His community experience and training encompassed a wide range of cultures and ethnicities. Other rich learning experiences included South East Asia and Israel.

Graduate School was another opportunity for Steven to foster his passion for helping families in crisis. Upon completion of graduate school, he had two internships and two graduate degrees, Psychology and Theology. As a Licensed Psychotherapist, he specializes in Divorce Mediation and Marriage Counseling.

HAVING BEEN LICENSED 25 years, Steven brings a total of 30 YEARS of experience, mediating and counseling families that are going through ~ Divorce ~ Marital conflict ~ Depression ~ Addictions.

Steven’s training in Mediation comes from the City Attorney’s Office, Los Angeles. He continues to study FAMILY LAW on a regular basis.

He Displays an Uncanny Ability to Be Fair yet Impartial, Compassionate yet Firm

Steven is unique in his mediation and counseling skills. His education, life experiences and insight into ‘Human Behavior and Conflict’ affords him exceptional skill in assisting families through their crisis.

He has had the joy of raising 3 very creative, hardworking, and loving young men.

Let Steven help you with your crisis, by creating PRACTICAL and REASONABLE solutions. Call him today! 818-523-5723.


  • M.Div. – Theology – - Fuller School of Theology, Pasadena, CA.Dispute Resolution /Mediation Training – City Attorney’s Office, Los Angeles, CA
  • MA – Psychology – Fuller School of Psychology, Pasadena, CA
  • PARTNER in South Bay Mediation
  • OWNER of Steven Unruh Psychological Services
  • LICENSED Psychotherapist ~ 25 years
  • MEDIATOR for the African-American & Latino Summit, Los Angeles, May, 2013
  • PRODUCER and Host of successful weekly radio shows on KABC, and KSFH
  • Founder of Spring Bay Family Services: Established a non-profit for underserved teens in Pasadena, focusing on teens who suffered from depression, addictions and self- harm
  • MEDICAL Board: Served as Chief of Affiliate Staff - Las Encinas Psychiatric Hospital, Pasadena
  • Former President of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, San Gabriel Valley

What is Mediation?

MEDIATION: Mediation is the process of resolving conflict between opposing parties, who need the assistance of an expert to sort out their issues and expectations, and create a solution which everyone can agree upon.
WHY would I choose divorce meditation over litigation?

1. Divorce mediation is a process which saves you a ‘SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT of MONEY’.
The whole intent is to avoid the extreme costs of depositions and discovery. Litigation involves significant legal fees and trial fees.

Temporary Spousal Support can be established in the first session. Issues such as child support and future spousal support, are all resolved in mediation . Research shows that mediation is often one –tenth the cost of a litigious divorce. You are in control of how many times you desire to meet for mediation. This puts you in charge of the cost of your divorce.

2. It keeps the ‘ DECISION MAKING POWER’ in your hands.
The decisions which are made through mediation are solely in the hands of the parties involved. Whereas, arbitration is a judicial process in which decisions are made with less regard to the feelings and needs of those parties involved in the conflict. Many decisions are taken out of your hands.

This especially applies to decisions about spousal and child support. An expert mediator helps you navigate through your financial responsibilities. Together we examine your assets and liabilities, and determine which ones belong to whom.

3. Divorce mediation is ‘ NOT COUNSELING’.
The focus is not on the past. The emphasis is on the present and the future. With regards to the present: it is about what can be done to alleviate the immediate stressors, such as temporary child support and temporary spousal support. Divorce Mediation is about resolving the issues in the most expedient and efficient way.

With regards to the future, divorce mediation is concerned with moving forward into the healing process and taking on the challenge of starting a new life.

4. Divorce mediation ‘CREATES THE POTENTIAL’ for sustaining the relationship.
There is never a guarantee that the relationships will be mended, and I am fully aware that in some cases, that is not even a consideration. But when it comes to family members, or employee relationships, if there is the potential for healing and sustaining the connection that these two parties once had, then mediation is the only process which allows for that possibility.

The length of time to mediate your divorce is in your hands. It is common for a mediated divorce to take 3 to 6 months. A more conflicted and adversarial divorce can take 5 to 8 months. It is up to you.

5. Divorce mediation is ‘FAR MORE EXPEDITIOUS’.
The California Court System has lost 10 million dollars a year in its annual budget. Over 200 court rooms have already closed, with more to come. If one pursues a litigious law suit, it can take up to 3 years or more to resolve. Quit literally, thousands of cases are being pushed forward on the calendars. The result of this crisis, means loss of sleep, anxiety, anger and frustration for you, over a much longer period of time, had you not chosen mediation.

2660 Townsgate Road
Suite #2780
Westlake Village, CA 91361

(818) 523-5723

[email protected]