Google+ Our Team | Drug Rehab for Teenagers

Our team

Dr. Jeff Nalin, Psy.D. – Founder and Clinical Director

Dr. Nalin is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist (PSY17766), a Certified Chemical Dependency Intervention Specialist and a Certified Youth Residential Treatment Administrator. He has been a respected leader in the field of emotional health, behavioral health and teen drug treatment for more than 15 years. During that time, Dr. Nalin has been responsible for the direct care of young people at multiple institutions of learning including; The Los Angeles Unified School District, the University of California at San Diego, Santa Monica College, and Pacific University. He was instrumental in the development of the treatment component of Los Angeles County’s first Juvenile Drug Court, which now serves as a national model.

Dr. Nalin has appeared as an expert on shows ranging from CBS News to CNN and MTV and was also featured in an Anti-Drug Campaign for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Dr. Nalin is currently an adjunct faculty member at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology, a Diplomate of the National Institute of Sports Professionals and a Certified Sports Psychologist. He lectures and conducts workshops nationally on the issues of substance abuse prevention, teen drug rehab reforms and innovative adolescents treatment.

Cole Rucker, MA – Founder and CEO

Cole Rucker, MA - Founder and CEO | Paradigm MalibuCole holds a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and has more than 20 years of experience in the creation and implementation of treatment programs for adolescents and their families. He previously served as the Director of Family Preservation Programs and as the Director of the largest teen drug treatment program in Southern California. He is a certified Youth Residential Treatment Administrator and a member of Drug Court Professionals Association.

In addition, Cole has served as Committee Chair for the Public Health Institute’s Youth Treatment Standards Commission, as a member of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Home Hospital School Advisory Council and as advisor to the School Attendance Review Board. He also served as a member of the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Juvenile Drug Court Oversight Committee, Los Angeles Business Council’s Leadership LA Alumni Board, Los Angeles County Department of Drug and Alcohol Program’s Youth Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment Programs Work Group, Los Angeles Children’s Hospital’s Drug and Alcohol Committee, the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Youth Work Group and the California State University Drug and Alcohol Task Force.

As co-founder of Paradigm Malibu, Cole strives to maintain a physically and emotionally safe space for youth and their families. He is responsible for insuring that the expectations held by participants and their families are met or exceeded.

Dr. Steve Sager, MD – Medical Director

Dr. Sager is a nationally respected Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. He is board certified in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and has specialized in the treatment of teens for more than 20 years. In addition, he holds a Diplomate in Addiction Psychiatry. Before joining the Paradigm team, Dr. Sager served as an attending psychiatrist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Division of Adolescent Medicine and as a faculty member at both the University of California Los Angeles and the University of Southern California. He also served as Medical Director for the Children and Family Services Bureau, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.

Dr. Sager is a member in good standing of The Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, The American Psychiatric Association, The American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, The American Society of Addiction Medicine, The American Association Of Community Psychiatrist, The American Association of Administrative Psychiatrists, The American Medical Association, The Southern California Psychiatric Association, The American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry, The International Sports Psychiatric Association and The House Officer’s Association.

Dr. Sager provides a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation of every youth at Paradigm Malibu and plays an integral role in the provision of their care.

Dr. James Luzano, MD – Psychiatrist

Dr. Luzano is a licensed clinical psychiatrist who specializes in working with adolescents struggling with mental health and chemical dependency issues. He is a graduate of Columbia University and completed his residency at the University of California Los Angeles. He also holds an Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Dr. Luzano is also an attending psychiatrist at UCLA Medical Center. While working at both Cedars-Sinai and UCLA he has gained invaluable experience in working with teen trauma, PTSD, teen anxiety, depression, and treatment resistant youth. Dr. Luzano provides medication management, psychiatric assessments and treatment at Paradigm.

Joseph Gulino, MD – Adolescent Psychiatrist

Joseph Gulino | Paradigm MalibuDr. Gulino attended medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University, followed by a residency in General Psychiatry and a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina. He specializes in the treatment of adolescents struggling with anxiety disorders, mood disorders, substance abuse, addiction, ADHD, behavioral disorders and autism spectrum disorders. His emphasis is in the implementation of Neuropsychiatry for psychiatric wellness and healthy functioning.

Dr. Gulino is the founder of Beverly Hills Psychiatry and is a member in good standing of The Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, The American Psychiatric Association, The American Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, The American Psychiatric Association, The American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, The American Medical Association, The Southern California Psychiatric Association and The American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry. A former resident of South Carolina, he is an avid surfer and beach volleyball competitor.

Karmen Kamla, MFT – Therapist

Karmen Kamla | Paradigm MalibuKarmen Kamla is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Central Florida, a Master of Arts Degree in Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute and is an Analytic Candidate at the prestigious C.G. Jung Study Center of Southern California.

Karmen has worked in the provision of emotional health and chemical dependency treatment for adolescents for more than a decade.  During that time, she served as the Lead Therapist and Supervisor of Clinical Interns at a residential teen rehab in Southern California. While working in this capacity, she provided concentrated expertise in the areas of Depth work in teen counseling and the treatment of self-harm and eating disorders.  Karmen also served as a group facilitator and individual therapist at St. John’s juvenile residential treatment program in Florida where she specialized in the treatment of adolescent boys with behavioral health issues. In addition, Karmen worked in Rishikesh, India, where she was the  Program Director at Prmarth Niketan. It was here that she discovered her passion for working with teens who are dealing with trauma issues.

Jeremy Manne, CTSC – Admissions Director

A native of New York City, Jeremy attended the University of Wisconsin and is a certified addiction counselor. Prior to joining the Paradigm Team, Jeremy served as a program manager at a Residential Treatment Facility for young people. Having traveled throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas, Jeremy offers a unique perspective regarding teen mental health and addiction issues as they relate to culture bound mores and norms. When seeking opportunities to be of service, Jeremy likes to lead activities that encourage young people to think globally to gain new perspectives about themselves.

 In addition to working with youth, Jeremy seeks out opportunities to work directly with their family members, providing feedback and guidance from pre-admission to aftercare services.

Dr. Lori M. Baudino, Psy. D. , BC-DMT – Clinical Psychologist and Dance/Movement Therapist

Lori | Paradigm MalibuDr. Baudino is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and a board certified Dance/Movement Therapist.  An innovator in her field, she brought the first DMT programs to both the UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and Los Angeles Children’s Hospital through the Andrea Rizzo Foundation. A recipient of the Marian Chase Foundation Award for Journalism, she has appeared in multiple publications ranging from the American Journal of Dance Therapy to the Special Education Advisor.  As a participant in the global efforts of Volunteer Psychological Services she has devoted her talents to the treatment of under served populations in places ranging from Washington, DC. to Australia, Ghana, Ecuador and Belize. In addition, she has extensive experience working with adolescents in psychiatric settings and has served as a psychologist in multiple private Schools.

Dr, Baudino is a popular lecturer, speaking at Universities, High Schools, Parent’s Groups and Professional Organizations. She has appeared as an expert on The Learning Channel, Dancing With the Stars and Dr. Drew.

Cindy Swintelski, RN, MSN, F-NP – Charge Nurse

Cindy received her Master of Science and FNP degree from the Family Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of California Los Angeles School of Nursing. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies. Prior to joining the Paradigm team, Cindy served as the Charge Nurse for a private residential treatment program for those dealing with chemical dependency, emotional health and behavioral health issues. She has also served as the Charge Nurse for St. Johns Health Center’s Emergency Department and as the Emergency Department Preceptor and Educator. Cindy is a member of the Emergency Nurses Association and a recipient of its prestigious Donor Merit and Living Spirit Awards. She is also currently working as a sexual assault medical examiner at the UCLA Rape Treatment Center in Santa Monica, California.

As Paradigm’s charge nurse, Cindy is responsible for medication management, and health education classes for all teen rehab participants. She helps young people explore both traditional and alternative methods for dealing with things such as detoxification, relapse prevention, reduction of cravings, depression, anxiety, pain management and sleep disorders.

Jennifer Cassetta, MS, CN, NASM- Nutritionist and Holistic Health Counselor

Jennifer Casseta | Paradigm MalibuJennifer is a graduate of Fordham University in New York and holds a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut.  She is a Certified Nutritionist and a Holistic Health Counselor who is also a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. In addition, Jennifer is a certified personal trainer, and a Senior Black Belt Instructor, World Pro HapKiDo Federation and VSK Jujitsu Black Belt Instructor. A popular educator and lecturer, Jennifer has appeared as an expert on The Today Show, E! TV, The Bethenny Show, The Doctors, in Marie Claire, Women’s Health Magazine, Fitness Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, New York Post and on National Public Radio.

As a Holistic Health Counselor, Jennifer works to assist youth in integrating all aspects of their physical and emotional health. She educates and counsels teen participants on issues ranging from nutrition to exercise and meditation.  One of her specialties is instruction in Han Su Do breathing techniques. These techniques stem from the ancient Korean art of Hapkido and are scientifically proven to lower anxiety and improve concentration.

Carol Nalin, CPET – Parent Support Services

For much of the last decade, Carol has been providing Parent Effective Training and parent support services to families in a teen rehab setting. In addition to being a certified PET Trainer, she is the Founder and Creator of The Parenting Pros, a Certified Anger Resolution Therapist and a Child Custody Mediator. For ten years  she served as the President of the Community Advisory Council at Birmingham High School as part of the Los Angeles Unified District.  In addition Carol is certified as a UCLA trained Mediator and a Dispute Resolution Server  which is recognized by the Los Angeles Bar Association.

Jessica Cyrus, MA, MFTI – Counselor

Jessica is a graduate of Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy.  She also has bachelor degrees in both psychology and communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Before joining the Paradigm team, Jessica was a treatment provider at a Trauma Center where she provided counseling to adolescents dealing with substance abuse and emotional health issues. She also applied Family Systems Theory in the provision of services to youth and their parents and specialized the provision of Parent- Child Interaction Therapy.

Jessica has received additional training to cultivate expertise in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Attachment Related Issues. She is a member of the Psi Chi Honor Society and the Spanish Language Enhancement Association for Therapists.

Jerri Anna Phenix, MFA – Director of Education

Jerri Anna holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Western Illinois University. Prior to joining the Paradigm Malibu team she was an adjunct professor at Barry University. She also served as an instructor at Washtenaw Community College and as a teacher at Rockledge High School in Florida.

Jerri Anna provides leadership in Paradigm’s Accelerated Learning Classroom. She works closely with each student, their family and home school to insure that all academic goals are met or exceeded. Her efforts are supported by tutors from UCLA and Pepperdine University who assist clients with challenges ranging from learning differences to advanced college preparatory work.

Dustin Wagner, M.A., Lead Therapist

Dustin is a graduate of Northern Arizona University where he received a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology. Prior to joining the Paradigm team Dustin provided Clinical Supervision and Program Development at Arizona Child and Family Support Services in Flagstaff.  He also served as an individual and group therapist for Northern Arizona Substance Abuse Services and as a therapist for the ACA.   Dustin specializes in the provision of treatment to youth who are dealing with trauma, anxiety, depression and chemical dependency. He is also a skilled family therapist, with a focus on family systems. An avid outdoorsman, Dustin frequently provides counseling sessions with youth on the beach or while hiking to Escondido Falls.

Rob Thomas, MA – Lead Therapist

Rob received a  Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Human Development and a Master’s Degree in Marital and Family Therapy from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena.  He is a member in good standing of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) who specializes in the treatment of youth and their families.

Before joining the Paradigm Malibu team, Rob worked in a number of inpatient and outpatient settings where he specifically assisted teens struggling with  the challenges of Dual Diagnosis/Co-Occurring Disorders. His theoretical perspectives consist of components of both his unique, personal/experiential journey and his behavioral studies in Human Development & Marital and Family Therapy.As a counselor, Rob seeks to assist young people as they strive to achieve their full potential and enhance their relationships with self and others.

Danielle Ball. MA, LPC, LMFT tract, Counselor

Danielle is both a licensed MFT and Licensed Professional Counselor. She earned her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at Southern Methodist University. Prior, she earned her bachelors in psychology at Pepperdine University. Before joining Pepperdine, Danielle worked as a counselor at the  Vanguard Preparatory School and SMU Center for family Counseling. She also has extensive experience working with young people who fall within the autism spectrum.  In addition, she has extensive experience in the provision of assessment and counseling services for youth struggling with emotional health and/or chemical dependency issues.

Summer Mencher, MT-BC – Music Therapist

Summer Mencher | Paradigm MalibuSummer is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston and a Board Certified Music Therapist. She has devoted her career to working with youth who are struggling with drug abuse, addiction, emotional health and behavioral health issues. Summer uses a wide range of music modalities to assist teens in their healing process. This includes, but is not limited to a use of a diverse selection of instruments, songs, song writing, improvisational and relaxation techniques to establish non-musical goals.

Prior to joining the Paradigm Malibu team, Summer worked with young people in schools, hospitals, psychiatric programs, hospice care, camps, and teen treatment centers. In addition to her broad local outreach, Summer’s work with music has taken her to locations throughout the world, ranging from Europe to Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Samoa. She provides both group and individual Music Therapy Sessions to adolescents at Paradigm Malibu. Summer’s commitment to empowering young people though the use of Music makes her an invaluable member of our team.

Hilary Kern, MA, AT – Art Therapist

Hilary received her Bachelor’s Degree from Mount Holyoke College and earned a Master’s Degree from Loyola Marymount University from the Department of Marriage and Family Therapy with Specialized Training in Clinical Art Therapy. She has also received special training in Trauma focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Parent- Child Interaction Technique and is Pro- Act Certified. Hilary specializes in integrating Somatic Psychology, Mindfulness and Art Therapy approaches. Prior to joining the Paradigm Malibu treatment team, Hilary gained extensive experience in the provision of Art Therapy for teens struggling with mental health, behavioral health and drug abuse issues. She provided Art Therapy sessions for adolescents and the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, served as a Child and Family Therapist at Masada Homes and as a Primary Clinician at The Maple Counseling Center. She was also the Director of Picture ME; Media Empowerment for Youth program for the YWCA. She is a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and the American Art Therapy Association.

Cynthia Bond – Therapeutic Writing

Cynthia has been working in the field of teen mental health and teen addiction treatment for more than 15 years.  She is the founder of Words Changing Worlds, a writing workshop for at-risk youth offered through UCLA.  Prior to joining Paradigm, she worked conjointly with the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of Los Angeles to compile and edit the critically acclaimed anthology of teen writing titled When the Bough Breaks.

In addition, she has collaborated with organizations such as the LA Alliance for a Drug Free Community, to create multiple teen writing and photo exhibits which have been featured on MTV, in the LA Weekly, LA City Hall, and the National Drug Court Office in Washington D.C.

Cynthia also previously served as the manager of the Pedro Zamora Youth HIV Clinic and coordinated a creative arts program for teens with comedian, and talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres. Cynthia is a Pen Fellow who’s most recent work, RUBY was chosen by Oprah for her book club. She attended Northwestern University and graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She has lectured at multiple institutions of higher education including Sarah Lawrence University, Albany College, Whittier and UCLA. Cynthia conducts Journaling and Therapeutic writing groups for Paradigm Malibu participants. Through written expression, she works in conjunction with the other expressive arts therapists to assist teen rehab participants in gaining new perspectives on their lives and the recovery process.

 

Mia Perry, MA – Drama Therapy

Mia holds a Master of Arts degree in Applied Theatre Arts from the University of Southern California. She has created and facilitated numerous theatre and Drama Therapy groups for adolescents throughout both Southern California and New York. Her work has also taken her to Kigali, Rwanda where she applied her unique skills to assisting survivors of the 1994 genocide.

Mia provides teens at Paradigm Malibu with groups that are active and experiential. This approach provides a context for participants to tell their stories, explore relationships, solve problems, express feelings and achieve catharsis in a way that traditional talk therapy does not afford. Through the implementation of Drama Therapy, Mia provides opportunities, which allow teen rehab participants to discover more effective ways to identify and meet their emotional needs. Through this process they heal relationships, enhance their identity formation and find that their own life roles are strengthened.

Cindy Weathers, MA, MFT

Cindy is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology  from Albany and a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Antioch University. Prior to joining Paradigm, Cindy served as a therapist at an outpatient facility in West Hollywood where she provided individual and group and family therapy for adolescents struggling with issues including but not limited to Bipolar Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Eating Disorders, Substance Abuse and Addiction. She also worked as a Service Coordinator for an outpatient clinic where she provided crisis intervention, psycho-education, and coordinated and coordinated an interdisciplinary team of doctors, nurse practitioners and therapists.

Cindy is a member of  the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, American Group Psychotherapy Association,  and the Group Psychotherapy Association of Los Angeles.

Lou Ferrigno Jr, CPT – Fitness/Exercise Therapist

Lou is a graduate of the University of Southern California, the Baron/Brown Academy and holds both ISSA Personal Trainer and Fitness/Exercise Therapist Certifications. Having grown up in a health and fitness conscious family, exercise and wellness have always been an important part of his life. Lou has a sophisticated approach to training that stresses both the physical and psychological benefits of exercise. His expertise include but are not limited to; Rehabilitation, Athletic Training, Bodybuilding, Cardio Work outs, Core Training, Flexibility, Prevention, Lifestyle Coaching, Pain Management, Plyometrics, Speed and Agility Training, Sports Conditioning, Strength Training, Toning, General Fitness Weight Management and Wellness. Before joining the Paradigm team Lou was a member of the #1 ranked USC Trojan football team. He is a successful personal trainer and an accomplished actor and artist.

 

May Che, CYT – Yoga Instructor

May Che | Paradigm MalibuMay has been practicing and teaching Yoga for more than a decade. She received certifications in Yoga Therapy Rx from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and as a Yoga Therapy Teacher by the Paramanand Institute of Yoga Sciences and Research in Indore, India. She also studied Yoga Anatomy and Alignment, Yin Yoga and Universal Yoga in Singapore and received additional training in Spain and Thailand.  May is devoted to helping youth utilize yoga to enhance detoxification, restore balance, reconnect with their bodies and develop positive coping styles. She specializes in both Power Yoga and Restorative Yoga for adolescents.

Kat Scardino, M.Ed. – Sports Psychology

Kat holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Irvine and a Master’s degree in Counseling and Sport Psychology from Boston University. She has over 15 years of experience playing competitive basketball and soccer throughout the United States and abroad. She has participated in the  US sports Ambassador Program and coached competitive youth and high school basketball teams for many years. Her international experiences in countries ranging from Australia to Italy have provided her with a comittment to cultural competence as it relates to athletics and the personal growth of those she mentors and coaches.

Dr. Vallerie E. Coleman, PsyD, PhD, – Psychologist and Equine Therapist

Dr. Coleman is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst who has been in practice for over 20 years. She is the founder and Clinical Director of a successful equine therapy program and also maintains private practices in both Westlake Village and Santa Monica, CA. Dr. Coleman combines her expertise in psychology, group dynamics, and systems with her love and respect for horses – maximizing the powerful capacity these magnificent animals have for facilitating human growth and development.  Dr. Coleman’s approach is grounded in a combination of attachment theory, somatic psychology, and object relations theory. In addition to speaking at conferences and leading workshops, she has been on faculty at Loyola Marymount University, the Newport Psychoanalytic Institute, and Antioch University. She has also been a guest expert on the Dr. Phil show and is a contributor in the recently released book: Harnessing the Power of Equine Assisted Counseling.

Dr. Lorraine Rose, PhD – EAGALA Equine Assisted Psycotherapist

Dr. Lorraine Rose | Paradigm MalibuLorraine Rose, PhD (PSY12803) is a clinical psychologist and EAGALA certified Equine Assisted Psychotherapist. She is also the Clinical Training Director at an outpatient counseling center and maintains a private practices in Beverly Hills and Westlake Village. In her private practice, Dr. Rose specializes in working with couples and families struggling with a wide range of issues. At Paradigm Malibu, she uses equine therapy to explore family dynamics, and for the provision of teen depression treatment, teen axiety treatment and teen addiction treatment.

Natasha Filippides, MS, – Equine Assisted Psychotherapist, Psychological Assistant

Natasha Filippides | Paradigm MalibuNatasha Filippides, MS, (PSB37429) is an EAGALA certified Equine Assisted Psychotherapist and Psychological Assistant at Stand InBalance. She is currently completing her PhD at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Depth Psychology. Natasha received her B.S. in Cognitive Science from U.C. Irvine and an M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of La Verne. Her particular areas of interest include personality and relationship dynamics, mindfulness based practices, addiction, and trauma. She specializes in working with addiction, trauma, dual-diagnosis and mood disorders. Since childhood, Natasha has trained and shown in both jumping and dressage. – See more at: http://standinbalance.com/our-team/#sthash.6uO5gCAx.dpuf

Terry M. Carroll – Equine Specialist

​​​​Terry M. Carroll is an EAGALA certified Equine Specialist with extensive training and experience in natural horsemanship. Terry assists in the development and training of the horses as well as helping maintain the comfort and safety of the herd. The mother of five children and several rescued animals; she also is a member of the Mounted Volunteer Patrol. In addition to her equine duties, Terry is working toward certification by the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC).

Josh Ruiz, Equestrian Trail Guide

Josh is the lead Trail Guide for Paradigm Malibu.  He shares his love of horses and nature with youth struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, and chemical dependency issues.

Josh comes from a long line of horsemen, going back to his great grandfather who raised prized palomino horses in the San Fernando Valley. Having grown up with horses, Josh learned first hand how individuals can improve their non-verbal communication skills, assertiveness, creative thinking, problem solving and leadership skills while interacting with horses.

Morgan Rudnick, MFT Intern

Morgan attended Phillips Graduate Institute where she received her Master’s in Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. She also received further education, specializing in Co-Occurring disorders and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Prior to joining the Paradigm team, she was a school based counselor working closely with elementary children and their parents to develop customized treatment plans based off the child’s needs.  In the past, Morgan has worked with the LGBT population, individuals who suffer from eating disorders, and addictions. Morgan’s goal is to help build self-esteem and provide healthy coping skills that can be utilized in the youth’s daily lives.

Andrew Atkinson – Surf Instructor

Andrew attended Loyola Marymount University in Marina Del Rey. Prior to joining the Paradigm team he worked as a surf instructor for Mauli Ola; Breath of Life. It was in this capacity that he provided surfing lessons for young people struggling with health challenges. He has also served as an Equine Therapy Assistant where he helped meet the therapeutic needs of adolescents struggling with depression, anxiety, addiction, eating disorders and other emotional health issues. Andrew combines his surfing experience with the use of therapeutic skills to help youth explore issues such as depression and anxiety management through surfing.

Jay Harris – Lead Clinical Assistant, MFTI

Jay holds a Bachelor’s degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago and is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara with a focus on depth work with adolescents. He has devoted more than a decade to the process of recovery and the provision of clinical support services for teen’s struggling with drug addiction, emotional health and behavioral health issues in both outpatient and residential settings.

Jay welcomes the opportunity to share his experience, strength and hope with teen rehab participants at Paradigm Malibu. In addition to his work in teen drug treatment, Jay has served as a volunteer to assist cancer patients at Gilda’s Club Chicago.

Kaitlin Robinson, Therapist

Kaitlin Robinson, a graduate from Antioch University with a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, specializes in Child and Adolescent Development.  She specializes in working with children who are experiencing challenges academically, socially, emotionally and behaviorally. Prior to Kaitlin jumping on board with Paradigm Malibu, she worked closely with children and their families in schools as well as in-home basis, and provided them an additional support system. She has had the opportunity to experience working with children with a diverse cultural background , academic and behavioral problems, child abuse, parent – chid conflicts and sibling conflicts, grief or loss, acculturation, communications issues, divorce, parental incarceration, and the emotional ebbs and flows of natural developmental stages. She brings to the table a variety of therapeutic interventions including CBT.

Brigita Slekys – Acupuncturist

Brigita Slekys is a California Board Licensed Acupuncturist. She is a graduate of Bastyr University and the Shanghai School of Chinese Medicine. She has received specialized training in the NADA Detox protocol, Auricular Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Herbs. Brigita uses a combination of these skill sets to best meet the needs of the teens she serves at Paradigm Malibu.

While Brigita is committed to treating all aspects of teen rehab participants, she specializes in the use of acupuncture to assist in detoxification, reduction of cravings and the treatment of emotional health issues.

Devin A. Markle, M.Ed. – Sports Psychology

Devin has been involved in athletics for over 15 years and has worked with numerous collegiate and high school teams, Olympians and youth development programs. It is her continued enthusiasm and love of sports that fuel her commitment to work with athletes in the pursuit of their goals. She graduated with her undergraduate degree as a double major in Psychology and English from the University of Vermont. She then earned a Master’s degree in Counseling and Sport Psychology at Boston University. Following her training at Boston University, Devin earned certification by the Association of Applied Sport Psychology.

At Paradigm Malibu, Devin works to assist youth in developing and implementing mental health skills that allow each individual to achieve their full potential both on and off the field.

Dr. Michael Graham, Ph.D. – Director of Young Athletes Program

Michael Graham | Paradigm MalibuMichael received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He also holds a Masters Degree in Psychology from Argosy University and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Southern California. Michael has extensive experience providing therapy for young people and their families in multiple outpatient and residential settings. He has also provided therapeutic services for youth in Juvenile Camps, The California Counseling Center and the Los Angeles Unified School District. In addition to his mental health expertise, Michael is an accomplished Track and Field athlete. He set multiple high school records and in college where he was an 8 time All-American, US Juniors National Champion in the 400 intermediate hurdles and a US Juniors Pan American Champion. He is a two time Olympic trial qualifier who has traveled the world representing the U.S. as an athlete. Michael has also served as a Social Relationship Coordinator for the United Nations and as a program Director for both the Carl Lewis Foundation and the American Diabetes Association.

Michael combines his unique skills and experiences as a mental health professional and as an athlete to provide leadership for Paradigm Malibu’s Young Athlete’s Program. He works to ensure that residential services are designed and implemented in a manner that allow each participant to meet or exceed both their treatment and athletic goals.

Lindsay Gelfo – Classroom Aid

Lindsay earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University, Northridge. In addition to her work at Paradigm, Lindsay is a mentor at Young Life West Valley. Prior, she served as a counselor at Woodleaf Camp where she led groups, team building exercises, assisted  adolescent girls with issues related to personal care and growth. Lindsay provides direct one on one support to students in the accelerated learning classroom. Her personal goal is to help youth identify and build on their strengths and interests as they relate to both academic and life goals.

Kelani Cross – Clinical Assistant

Kelani brings a wide range of experiences to her role as a Clinical Assistant. Prior to joining the Paradigm team, she served as a house manager for a residential dual diagnosis program designed to meet the special needs of young adults.  She also worked at the Teen Project in Venice California, where she conducted intakes and assisted with the provision of services ranging from process groups to nutrition. Kelani couples her passion for working with young people and animals in both equine and animal assisted therapies. In addition to her work at Paradigm, she is actively involved in raising money for animal shelters and organizing pet adoption events. Kelani welcomes opportunities to connect with youth who share her interest in animals and their potential for helping us heal.

Caroline Marciano, Clinical Assistant

Caroline is currently studying Psychology at the University of Southern California. In addition to her work at Paradigm, she has served as a research assistant for the Psychology department’s study of cognitive dissonance-based group therapy for women with a preoccupation with their body image issues. Caroline brings her own recovery experience to her position, allowing her to impact youth in more meaningful ways. In addition, she is fluent in English, French and Spanish.

Andrea A. Squibb, C.Ht.

Andrea is a Certified Hypnotherapist. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute, a nationally accredited college in Los Angeles, CA. She also holds a BA from Connecticut College in New London, CT.

As a member of Paradigm Malibu’s treatment team, Andrea strives to help each young person realign their subconscious so that it is more congruent with their conscious desires, hopes and dreams. With the help of imagery, hypnosis, NLP and idiomatic response techniques Andrea provides youth with a safe place to reduce anxieties, shape behaviors, grow and move toward their full potential.

Tamara Tammaro MA, Therapist

Tamara earned a Masters in Clinical Psychology at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology. Prior she her Bachelor’s degree at Santa Clara University where she received a double major in Psychology and Communication.  Before joining the Paradigm team, Tamara worked as a therapist, counseling and assisting high school students with emotional health issues develop social, emotional and coping skills.  She specialized in assisting young people integrate these experiences into their existing family dynamics. She has a passion for  helping teens navigate “new media” including social media and the challenges it presents.  She works with young people to both unplug and to  distinguish their authentic voice from the media’s dialogue surrounding a range of issues including body image.

In addition, Tamara has implemented high school mentoring programs to provide positive life and career experiences for youth. She has also volunteered extensively, working with families through Grail Family Services to increase literacy and the Princess Project, to provide teens Prom dresses.

Hunter Swanson, MFA, Accelerated Learning Classroom Teacher

Hunter holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Literature and Fiction Writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from Cal State Fullerton. He is currently in the process of completing a second Master’s Degree in Literature and Linguistics at Cal State Northridge.
Hunter provides leadership in Paradigm’s Accelerated Learning Classroom where he works one on one with students to ensure that they meet or exceed their academic goals.  His efforts are supported by tutors from UCLA and Pepperdine University who assist clients with challenges ranging from learning differences to advanced college preparatory work.  As a screenwriter, Hunter a strong advocate for the use of story telling and film in both the classroom and the therapeutic processes as a mode of healing and recovery. He also has an extensive athletic background and has worked as a team basketball, baseball and soccer coach.  He is passionate about mentoring youths in teen anxiety and teen depression treatment and uses his personal experience as both a screen writer and and as and athlete to help youth engage in life.

Krista Lopata, MA – Counselor

Krista earned both her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Psychology from Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology. In addition she studied in Delhi , India, Florence, Italy , Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.  Prior to joining the Paradigm team, Krista served as a therapist at a pediatric therapy and diagnosis and as the Athletic Chaplin at Pepperdine. In addition she has served as a private volleyball instructor and President of Pepperdine’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee. Krista specializes in Clinical Interventions with Adolescents, Trauma in Diverse Populations, and Teen Substance Abuse/Addiction.

Shannon McHenry, MA, MFT

Shannon earned her bachelors degree in psychology and neuroscience from Ohio Wesleyan University. She then  attended Antioch University where she earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family therapy. Prior to joining the Paradigm team, Shannon worked as a psychotherapist at an agency specializing in domestic violence and sexual trauma. While at that program, she created and implemented a pilot program that taught resiliency and regulation skills based on the neurobiology of trauma. She also has over five years experience working in the field of addiction and co-occurring disorders where she uses family systems theory with a holistic, trauma informed approach and dialectical behavioral therapy techniques. She has received specialized training in trauma resiliency and complex PTSD.

Shannon has also worked in private practice in Los Feliz where she focused on serving teenagers struggling with emotion regulation and behavioral health issues. Shannon remains a popular consultant for organizations seeking professional training and development to service groups around building authentic relationships, problem solving, and conflict resolution.

Zach Quinones – Clinical Assistant

Zach Quinones - Clinical Assistant | Paradigm Malibu

Zach studies at both Lindenwood University and Texas Tech. Prior to joining the Paradigm team, he served as a high school cross country coach and a post secondary camp counselor for young athletes. Zach is also an independent film maker and an accomplished writer. As such he seeks out opportunities to support youth who are engaged in therapeutic writing exercises and other expressive arts therapies.

Andrea Padilla, Clinical Assistant

Andrea has a broad range of experience counseling and mentoring young people.    Prior to joining Paradigm, she served as a mentor Teen Outreach program for youth with mental health issues.   She is fluent in Spanish and enjoys tutoring young people in languages. Andrea seeks out opportunities to share her passion for the outdoor activities with youth.  Her goal is to help young people find their own healthy identities and increase their self-awareness and self-compassion.

Jason Fragaso – Office Manager

Jason graduated from a private high school in Los Angeles and earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from California State Northridge. Prior to joining the Paradigm team he served as an office manager for the Oviatt Library and as a camp counselor for youth. When not at Paradigm, Jason is a drummer in the popular band, Papa Fish. He can be found playing venues ranging from Plane for Change to the House of Blues.

Derek Weissbein – Clinical Assistant

Derek is a graduate of the University of Miami where he was on the Provost’s and Dean’s List. Prior to joining the Paradigm team he served in a variety of positions ranging from Office Management to writing and film editing. Derek enjoys sharing the arts with youth and helping them find and develop positive coping styles and healthy ways to express their thoughts and emotions.

Mayra Fuentes, Clinical Assistant

Mayra is a graduate of California State University where she earned a bachelor degree in Sociology. She has extensive experience working with adolescents. Prior to joining Paradigm she served as Vice President of theJumpstart Readers Club, where she provided counseling to at risk teens through literature and story telling. She has also worked with hundreds of teens struggling with depression, anxiety and any number of emotional health issues though a number of programs sponsored by Los Angeles County. Mayra is also bilingual, speaking both Spanish and English fluently. She provides direct assistance to clients with course work related to either language and any number of other studies. She also provides therapists assistance in supporting and protecting the clinical milieu.

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