Gayani Desilva, MD

Child, Adolescent & Adult Psychiatrist

Dr. Gayani DeSilva joined Laguna Family Health Center in 2014 and she is an integral member of our team and vision as our organization. Dr. DeSilva shares in the philosophy of our practice in that she views education as her mode of choice for practicing medicine, believes in the importance of psychotherapy, and is committed to educating the community about mental health, in alliance with our mission.

Recently published: A Psychiatrist’s Guide: Helping Parents Reach Their Depressed Tween.

Dr. DeSilva is not your ordinary psychiatrist. Her no nonsense approach strives to transform the lives of children and their families, and ultimately their communities. Her goal is not only to achieve symptom resolution for mental illness but encourages prevention and education about the manifestations of changes in the brain to enhance the child’s life and overall well-being. She accomplishes all of this with patience, integrity and steadfast devotion to her patients. She is committed to educating the community about the intricate details of the brain—what is normal, what is abnormal, and how the brain can be utilized to improve health and well-being.

“Neuroscience is the basis for all effective interventions in mental health,” says Dr. Gayani DeSilva. She dedicates her psychiatric practice to improving health by understanding the neurological basis for wellness. Straight talk and practical expertise are her tools of the trade to address the mental health needs of children and their families. She advocates for increased knowledge about neuroscience to achieve wellness for the entire family.

Dr. DeSilva has spent 15+ years as a Psychiatrist. Much of her work consists of the complex array of needs with adolescent and young adults from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Her extensive experience with criminal and violent offenders helped to even better understand the interplay between mental illness, societal factors, interpersonal issues—and most importantly neurological processes. In this climate of increased need for addressing the mental health needs of our country, Dr. DeSilva believes not only must people with mental illness obtain the care they desperately need, it is vital that society in general understand the way the brain functions in shaping our behaviors, choices and overall health.


2004-2006: Fellowship in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry-University of New Mexico
2002-2006: Residency in General Psychiatry-Harvard Medical School
1999-2000: Residency in General Psychiatry-University of California, San Francisco
1998-1999: Internship in Psychiatry, Emphasis in Pediatrics-Brown University
1993-1998 MD-Doctor of Medicine, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY
1991-1993 MLAS-Master of Lab Animal Science, Hahnemann University, Philadelphia, PA
1987-1991 BA-Bachelor of Arts-Biology, Scripps College, Claremont, CA


7/2014 to present: Child, Adolescent & Adult Psychiatrist-Laguna Psych, Inc.
7/2013 to 12/2015: Consult/Liaison Psychiatrist-St. Joseph’s Hospital-Emergency Department & St. Joseph’s Heritage Medical Group
3/2013 to 8/2013: Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist-Western Youth Services
12/2010 to 1/2013: Psychiatrist-CYFD-State of New Mexico, Division of Juvenile Justice
12/2008 to 12/2012: Assistant Professor of Psychiatry-University of New Mexico
3/2009 to 12/2012: Adjunct Clinical Professor-Behavioral Medicine-University of St Francis
10/2006 to 10/2008: Medical Director & Staff Psychiatrist-Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility & Treatment Center, Division of Juvenile Justice, State of California
3/2001 to 1/2002: Gorilla Caregiver & Research Associate-Gorilla Foundation
3/2000 to 3/2001: Editor of Mental


Member of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)
Member of American Psychiatric Association (APA)
Member of Orange County Psychiatric Society
Educational Committee Member of Orange County Psychiatric Society
Member of California Psychiatric Association
Member of Sigma Xi-Scientific Research Honors Society
Member & Volunteer of Disaster Psychiatry Outreach

Dr. DeSilva’s personal website, Media links & blog:


Book Interview: