Dr. Jeff Nalin is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, and Founder and Executive Director of Paradigm Treatment Centers, who has been a respected leader in the field of adolescent mental health for more than 20 years. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California, his Master’s degree from Loyola Marymount University, his Doctoral degree from Pacific University’s APA approved Clinical Psychology program, and completed his training at the University of California, San Diego’s APA approved psychology internship program.
Dr. Nalin has provided training and mentoring to students entering the field of psychology at institutions of learning including Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology, UCSD, Pacific University, and Santa Monica College. He was also 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 and Larry King, to CNN, The Today Show and MTV. He was also featured in an Anti-Drug Campaign for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).
Dr. Nalin is a Diplomate of the National Institute of Sports Professionals and a Certified Sports Psychologist as well as a Certified Chemical Dependency Intervention Specialist. He lectures and conducts workshops nationally on the issues of teen mental health, substance abuse prevention, and innovative adolescence treatment.
In 2017 Dr. Nalin was awarded The Sigmund Freud Foundation and Sigmund Freud University’s Distinguished Achievement Award in recognition of his work with youth in the field of mental health over the course of his career.
Cole Rucker 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 treatment program in Southern California. He is a certified Administrator and a founding member of the Treatment Providers of Southern California Alliance.
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 Mental Health 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. He is frequently cited as an expert in the treatment of adolescent mental health and behavioral health issues in publications ranging from Teen Vogue to The Huffington Post and Good Housekeeping.
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.
Dustin holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Psychology from Northern Arizona University and has over 15 years working with adolescents. He oversees all operations of all Paradigm Treatment Center locations, including day-to-day programming treatment content and quality, growth management and strategy, and team support to all therapeutic and operational staff. Having previously worked at Paradigm in the roles of therapist and program director, Dustin is also a skilled family therapist, with a focus on family systems, and continues to provide direct support both to Paradigm parents as well as youth.
Prior to joining the Paradigm team, Dustin served as Program Manager at Arizona Child and Family Support Services in Flagstaff, an agency providing community based wraparound services for youth and family treatment. At CFSS, Dustin also built, facilitated and oversaw an Intensive Outpatient Program. He also served as an individual and group therapist for Northern Arizona Substance Abuse Services working with the Drug Court; as a therapist for youth in juvenile detention; and as a wilderness therapist for a program that worked throughout Northern Arizona. He is a National Board Certified Counselor and is certified in EMDR therapy.
Dustin’s commitment and motivation as both a therapist and manager stem from his deep desire and hope to meet teens where they are and to provide the insightful support and guidance they need to make deep changes that will profoundly improve their well-being, their relationships, and their futures.
Dr. Chelsea Neumann serves as the medical director of Paradigm Malibu. Chelsea is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in both General and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She received her medical doctorate from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, her general psychiatry residency training at Duke University, and her Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship training at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University. Dr. Neumann has practiced medicine locally and abroad, in countries iranging from Ecuador to New Zealand. She is a trained family, cognitive behavioral, psychodynamic and dialectical behavioral therapist. Dr. Neumann is a member of the American Psychiatric Association, American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Association for Directors of Medical Student Education. She has published medical student learning modules about psychiatry and gives academic lectures on a variety of topics including the effects of cannabis use on adolescent cognition and mental health. While working at Brown University she gained specialized experience in working with adolescents diagnosed with PTSD, substance use disorders, anxiety and OCD, autism spectrum disorder, depression, psychosis and bipolar disorder. Dr. Neumann provides psychiatric assessments, medication management and psychotherapeutic interventions for the young people at Paradigm.
Derek Lemm is a native of Montana who brings a wealth of experience to his position. Prior to joining Paradigm, he served as the admissions director for two different mental health and chemical dependency treatment programs in Southern California. While serving in those positions, he developed extraordinary skills specific to assisting families in accurately accessing their specific circumstances, needs and options. Derek specializes in working with families with teens who are struggling with issues ranging from anxiety to depression, ADD, bi-polar disorder, addiction and PTSD. As a professional athlete, he is especially enthusiastic about opportunities to assist young athletes who are interested in Paradigm’s Teen Athletes Program. Regardless of a prospective clients strengths and interests, Derek is committed to helping families make the treatment choice that right for them; a choice that will ultimately result in the most meaningful and sustainable change.
Emily Armour graduated from Baylor University in Waco, Texas with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and from Walden University with a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Prior to her time at Paradigm, Emily served as an individual and group therapist for at-risk adolescents and their families. She specializes in working with teens struggling with depression, anxiety, other emotional health issues and addiction. She also served young people in a community outpatient program. Emily has training in the use of Dialectical Behavior Therapy and utilizes an integrative, holistic, and strengths based approach to meet the needs of Paradigm clients. She lives an active lifestyle and loves to integrate hiking, sports, animals, and the outdoors into therapeutic sessions.
Lucy Nguyen received her Master of Science in Counseling with an emphasis on Clinical Mental Health at California State University, Fullerton. She also received an Excellence in Research Award studying parent-adolescent relationships when she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Social Behavior at University of California, Irvine.
Prior to joining Paradigm, Lucy treated children and teens with emotional and behavioral needs at multiple school sites as a therapist. She also has extensive experience as a behavior interventionist working with teens with developmental disorders and as a therapist at an intensive outpatient program for mental health and substance dependency. Additionally, Lucy has a background that includes working at a residential facility that uses dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to treat borderline personality disorder.
Lucy is passionate about helping her clients discover their own strengths and use their unique qualities to create a more fulfilled life. She integrates the practical components of various cognitive-behavioral approaches with the gentle practice of mindfulness, compassion, and cultural sensitivity.
Jonathan Sanchez has nearly a decade of experience with educating teens. He possesses a Master of Arts in Education, and received a Bachelor of Arts from University of California, Santa Barbara, with an emphasis in gender studies alongside a focused minor in Kinesiology. Prior to joining the Paradigm team, Jonathan served in Southeast Asia as a high school English Literature and Mathematics Instructor. He also taught foreign exchange students at an International Language school in Santa Monica. Jonathan specializes in promoting critical/cognitive thinking, and believes that conceptual understanding is demonstrated through the creation of imaginative, interpretive and analytical responses designed to develop students’ facility with varying types of mediums and modes to foster an appreciation of the value of lifelong learning. His goal for youth at Paradigm is to make sure that they stay current and when possible get ahead in their studies so that they have one less stressor when they are reintegrating.
Dr. Lori M. 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 underserved 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.
Karmen 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.
Kaitlin Robinson, a graduate from Antioch University with a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, focuses on 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 and on an in-home basis, and provided them an additional support system. She has had the opportunity to work with children with diverse cultural backgrounds, academic and behavioral problems, child abuse, parent child conflicts, sibling conflicts, grief or loss, acculturation, communications issues, divorce, parental incarceration, and the emotional ebbs and flows which can occur in natural developmental stages. She brings to the table a variety of therapeutic interventions including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
Dr. James 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 holds an Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Additionally Dr. Luzano is 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 psychological treatment at Paradigm.
Lou Ferrigno Jr 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 includes, but are not limited to, Rehabilitation, Athletic Training, Bodybuilding, Cardio Workouts, 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. Lou is currently a series regular on the CBS prime time drama S.W.A.T.
Summer Lall 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 the 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.
Jennifer Cassetta 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, a Senior Black Belt Instructor, a World Pro HapKiDo Federation instructor and a 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.
Cynthia Bond 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 whose 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.
Daniela Sandelin graduated from CSU Channel Islands, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and she is currently enrolled in the Doctoral Clinical Psychology Program at California Lutheran University.
She has previous clinical experience, in both outpatient and inpatient therapeutic settings, providing individual therapy to adolescents with issues ranging from eating related disorders, to anxiety, depression and mood disorders. She is an avid surfer and has extensive experience working with horses. These skills come into play as she provides leadership with a number of experiential therapies. Daniela was born and raised in Finland and has worked with youth in multiple countries throughout the European Union. She is passionate about helping teens find their voice, develop positive coping strategies, enjoy healthy activities, find a sense of purpose, experience emotional growth and achieve fulfillment.
Cindy Weathers is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Cindy obtained a B.A. in psychology from the State University of New York at Albany. She then completed a Masters degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy from Antioch University, Los Angeles. She is trained in the provision of Parent Effectiveness Training and specializes in working with parents of adolescents struggling with issues such as: depression, anxiety, bullying, low self-esteem, self-injurious behavior, addiction, and difficulty with emotional connection. Prior to joining Paradigm, Cindy served in a variety of therapeutic settings, including but not limited to: outpatient clinics, a psychiatric urgent care, and teen residential treatment.
For much of the last decade, Carol Nalin 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.
Matthew Porter is an experienced Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who received his Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology and Drama Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He has over a decade of providing individual, group, and family therapy to teens and their families. Matthew’s professional experience includes clinical supervision of developing therapist and teaching Child Psychology courses at Berkeley City College.
His clinical approach blends aspects of Drama Therapy, DBT/Mindfulness Therapy, EMDR, Trauma Therapy, and Addiction Therapy into teen and family therapy. Matthew is enthusiastic about guiding youth and families toward healing and recover from trauma, depression, and/or addiction. He believes that each adolescent has the capacity to develop meaningful and joyful relationships with themselves and others and he finds common ground with youth through music, film, and his love of yoga and travel.
Philip Wilke received his Masters degree in Psychology from Phillips Graduate University, with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from California State Northridge. Before joining the Paradigm team, Philip worked in a counseling center working with issues related to depression, anxiety, and grief. He also worked in a program serving teens struggling with relationship with behavioral issues. Philip works from a Narrative therapeutic modality that emphasizes on the strengths of an individual. He is an adoptee from South Korea, and is passionate about working with adolescents that struggle with adoption related issues.
Angelynn Hermes graduated from San José State University with a Masters in Social Work and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Southern California with a double major in Economics and French. Angelynn has over 6 years of experience providing individual, family, and group counseling services to people impacted by trauma and abuse and, prior to joining Paradigm, worked families impacted by medical trauma and relationship violence.
Angelynn’s approach to therapy is eclectic: relating to clients using a strength-based and trauma-informed approach to support a teen’s pursuit of their goals and emotional wellness. Angelynn employs modalities such as EMDR, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy to work through teen trauma, anxiety, substance use, and self-harm. Passionate about youth who are overwhelmed by emotions, depression, and who are experiencing difficulty in relationships, Angelynn excels in working with LGBTQ teens and youth who are navigating the development of their core identities.
Dr. Vallerie E. 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.
Phoebe Gilmour conducts stand-up-paddleboard sessions that are designed to help adolescents develop and explore therapeutic issues, out on the water. She specializes in working with teens who are struggling with behavioral health issues such as eating disorders and addictions. Phoebe helps young people experience mastery of a skill and overcome limitations, with the ultimate goal of transferring these achievements to their lives. Phoebe is especially passionate about working with teens who struggle with body image, to help them understand and embrace changes in both their bodies and their identity formation. Prior to devoting herself to paddle board therapy, Phoebe worked as an attorney in the mental health field, helping clients gain access to treatment.
Soulswells is a healing journey back to you and your relationship with a higher power, however She, He or It feels true to you. Our service offered is Spiritual Direction. Spiritual Direction is acting as a witness to someone else’s relationship with their higher power. We act as a witness to your journey back to you by listening and guiding you out on to the water, free from ego and free from outside noise. Soulswells is founded on the basis that we all need to know and feel the unconditional love in which we were created. That we are a perfect image of exactly who we are supposed to be but that WE must learn to love what we see and feel.
For 2 hours we go out onto the water on our paddle-boards, using our bodies and connecting to them. The ‘paddle’ part of the trek can be physically demanding and is designed to engage the body. We then sit down and discuss where we are at with our own spirituality, if anywhere at all. We talk a lot about the mystery of spirituality. It is a space where one can speak their truth, without judgment. Soulswells is not therapy, however, we see our service as a compliment to therapy and we work with many recovery centers and therapists.
May Che 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.
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.
Dr. Michael Graham received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He also holds a Master’s 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 was an eight time college All-American. He was the 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 allows each participant to meet or exceed their treatment and athletic goals.
Gator comes to the Paradigm Team as a “career change” puppy from Guide Dogs of America and is a graduate of the AKC Good Citizen program. He is a gentle, loving Labrador Retriever with endless patience. He is a favorite treatment component of many Paradigm residents.
Ceccily Bednash received her Bachelors of Fine Art Degree from the University of Arizona and her Masters of Art Degree in Martial and Family Therapy with specialized training in Clinical Art Therapy from Loyola Marymount University. In addition, she has been a practicing fine artist for the last 22 years. Ceccily has been trained in conducting group art therapy for adolescent youth through the Institute of Art and Psychotherapy (IMPA) and the Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende Mexico. She has also received special training in Trauma focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Ceccily specializes in integrating Mindfulness, Art Therapy and Interpersonal Neurobiological approaches n her work with adolescents. Prior to joining the Paradigm team, worked extensively with teens struggling with mental health, behavioral health and drug abuse issues, including Boys and Girls Club of Venice, an outpatient counseling center and implementing group art therapy interventions for Los Angeles county. She is a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and the American Art Therapy Association.
Sean Dwyer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Washington University in St Louis and a Master of Arts degree in International Security Policy from The George Washington University. Prior to joining Paradigm, Sean was as a national security intelligence analyst for the US government and a marketing executive in New York. Sean also volunteered at an adolescent dual diagnosis psychiatric unit in Minneapolis for three years. This period prompted Sean to make a career change, shifting his focus to working with adolescents struggling with mental health issues. In addition, Sean’s years of personal recovery work provide him with a unique set of skills to assist young people with substance abuse issues.
Josh Ruiz 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.
John Burns graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies. Throughout his life, John has excelled in team-oriented sports, including football, basketball, and baseball. When possible, John incorporates these experiences into his work with teens at Paradigm. He strives to convey the importance of physical fitness, teamwork, and maintaining an active lifestyle as it relates to good mental health, building self-esteem, healthy communication, and developing positive relationships.
Jean Pierre Pereat (JP) is a surf therapy instructor and is passionate about helping teens experience powerful healing and growth, through surfing. He has spent over 15 years providing surf therapy sessions to teens with a wide range of different challenges and needs, including forms of Autism, mental illness, addiction, and more.JP continues to be amazed and humbled by the incredible ways in which surf therapy helps teens to build confidence, overcome fears, and grow as individuals.
JP has been surfing for more than 40 years and is dedicated to helping teens in need through surfing, as well as continuing to spread awareness and access to surf therapy for all teens.
Lorraine Rose, PhD 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 anxiety treatment and teen addiction treatment.
Liesl Heuer holds a Master’s of Social Work Degree from Azusa Pacific University and a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Psychology from Sonoma State University. Prior to joining Paradigm, she worked with probation and foster youth in San Bernardino County, where she conducted individual, family, and group therapy sessions, along with crisis management. Liesl has experience working with children of all different ages and backgrounds, and is trained in many Evidence-Based Practices (CBT, SBIRT, TF-CBT) as well as being certified in Seeking Safety. Liesl is an adoptee from Seoul, South Korea and is passionate about working with children and adolescents to help them overcome challenges and strengthen their identities by embracing their own strengths.
Evan Perlo holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Philosophy from Sarah Lawrence College. Prior to joining Paradigm, he worked with adolescent and adult populations at the Southern California Counseling Center, where he concentrated on social justice, anger management, and building resilience and empowerment through individual and group therapy. Evan anchors his approach to therapy in Attachment Theory, which looks at our patterns of connecting with others and examines how we can show up in the world securely, reliably, and authentically. He is particularly passionate about group therapy as a means to exploring interpersonal relationships as a community, especially in regards to feelings of loneliness. By utilizing mindfulness practices, Evan enjoys helping teens develop practical strategies to be present with difficult emotions and cultivate kindness and acceptance towards themselves, which leads to tremendous growth in their lives.
Calais Brown is an Associate Marriage & Family Therapist (#85701) and a native Angeleno who received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Principia College. While working with adolescent girls, in the St. Louis area, Calais found her passion for counseling as she supported her clients through depression, trauma, grief, and self-harming behaviors into self-affirmation and resiliency. In joining Paradigm, Calais draws upon her professional experiences, ranging from mental health support to high risk middle and high school students to therapeutic care for adults recovering from opioid addiction.
She enjoys working with highly complex cases of dual diagnosis, persistent depression, substance abuse and addiction and is committed to tailoring treatment to each teen’s individual needs and goals. In working with each youth and their family, she infuses and shares her knowledge and experience with child development, family systems, and developmental theory to foster movement toward recovery and wellness. Calais embraces a wellness model with an emphasis on mental health, not mental illness; a model that is strength-based, relational, trauma-informed and draws upon multiple theoretical modalities ranging from Psychodynamic to Solution-Focused. She has a particular interest in behavioral neuroscience, early intervention, and psychoeducation.
Kyle DiFulvio earned his Master’s degree in Psychology at Antioch University, Santa Barbara and he is currently a doctoral trainee in Antioch’s Clinical Psychology Program. With over a decade of clinical experience working with a board range of populations and cultural backgrounds, Kyle is adept at conducting psychological assessments and diagnosis for teens experiencing addictions, personality disorders, psychopathology, eating disorders, and/or trauma. He enjoys facilitating therapeutic groups that allow teens an opportunity to explore self and identity, and he has a speciality in working with LGBTQIA youth. His approach can include animal therapy and other alternative approaches in the clinical care and healing of teens.
Kyle uses dynamic and analytic based theories while focusing upon family systems, behavioral modification, mindfulness, and self-narrative. He utilizes a variety of intervention styles and tailors treatments to meet the specific needs of each teen. Kyle strives to create a calm, empathetic, nonjudgmental space where youth feel respected and free to be themselves.
Brianne Speciale completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from National University, then graduated, with honors, with a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. Her work in school based settings provided her with a psychosocial understanding and clinical experience to form therapeutically effective connections with adolescents struggling with teen depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and trauma.
Brianne’s approach combines Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with Strengths-based practices which she finds effective for addressing different traumatic circumstances that can arise in adolescence. Her clinical focus is on teens and she believes that early intervention can be pivotal to helping her clients move forward into a brighter and promising future.
Cameron Reis received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Psychology from California State University at Northridge and his Master’s of Science degree in Counseling Psychology from California Lutheran University, where he engaged in in-depth study of trauma and the ways in which emotionally overwhelming events can disrupt the mind-body connection and potentially manifest as PTSD and trauma disorder.
Prior to joining Paradigm, Cameron worked in both school and outpatient treatment settings, where he gained experience and found his psychotherapeutic passion for individual and group therapy with youth. He has therapeutic expertise with teen PTSD, self-harm, adolescent major depression, and family/relational issues. Cameron believes that when teens develop a patient and kind relationship with themselves, then they can find their strengths and reclaim their interests and dreams.
Bailey Franklin graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, with a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish, and from Antioch University – Los Angeles, with a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and a specialization in Affirmative Therapy. Prior to his time with Paradigm, he served as an individual and family therapist for adolescents and adults in an outpatient clinic for co-occurring disorders of substance use and major depressive and/or anxiety disorders. He has additional experience in Motivational Interviewing and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT).
Bailey specializes in issues surrounding childhood trauma, sexual and gender identity, substance use disorders, and family systems. He uses a strength-based integrative approach of Psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioral and Mindfulness interventions to encourage teens to envision and invite growth and change. Bailey enjoys the energy and creativity of teens and shares his interests in food, music, and studying guitar.
Sylvia Montano is completing her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from California Lutheran University, where she obtained a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Clinical Psychology. Her experience as a mental health provider began, a few years ago, in providing in-home behavior-based therapy to children with developmental and neurocognitive disorders. Through experience and education, her clinical work became grounded in a psychodynamic approach, that utilizes a Kleinian Object Relations Theory through a cultural lens, which she has found effective in helping adolescents develop as unique individuals who can effectively contribute to and value the systems of which they are a part – family, school, team, and community.
Sylvia is experienced in working with teens and families that have been impacted by trauma, violence, teen depressive disorders, pyschotic disorders, and the effects of substance use disorders. She specializes in grief work, especially with end-of-life loss and significant life transitions; her therapeutic experience with individuals across a full life-span has given her an appreciation for the importance of the life transition that is adolescence. Sylvia enjoys new places, cultures, and people – especially the possibilities of her teen clients – and the beauty nature.
Andrew Cohen received his Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) followed by a Master’s of Science degree in Counseling Psychology, with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy, from California Lutheran University (CLU). He began to hone his therapeutic skills in a community clinic where he provided individual and family therapy to a broad range of clients. This experience developed Andrew’s interest in supporting clients through Trauma and its related disorders and the opportunity to contribute to an Intimate Partner Violence program for teens struggling with and impacted by domestic and partner violence. His clinical experience also includes working as part of an intensive outpatient treatment team focused on addressing adolescents substance use, depression, anxiety, and co-occurring mental health issues.
Andrew enjoys adolescents and he has a strong passion for working with teen anxiety and OCD disorders. He integrates Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and Cognitive Based Mindfulness into a strengths – based approach so youth can gain insight into what makes them truly happy, build resiliency, and rekindle their interests.
Timothy Hazelip conducts surf lessons and excursions with Paradigm youth, at one of the many stunning beaches here in Malibu. His love of surfing and the profound positive effects it has had on his life has made him passionate about leading therapeutic surf sessions for teens that are struggling with an array of mental and/or emotional health needs, including addiction, anxiety, and/or depression. Tim continues to be in amazement of the transcendent way in which surf therapy reaches teens and the opportunities for healing which it offers.
Tim grew up in foster care, with a loving mother and father that inspired him to work kids in need. He is also professional surf instructor, published author, and accomplished filmmaker, as well as the founder of a non-profit that documents stories and benefits of surf therapy work.
Tracy Bangar graduated with honors from Azusa Pacific University with her Master’s in Social Work with a concentration of Clinical Practice with Individuals and Families. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and minor in Education and Applied Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Prior to joining Paradigm, Tracy worked in residential treatment with youth from struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, grief, and addiction related issues. She is certified in different Evidence Based Practices of Trauma- Focused CBT and Seeking Safety, as well as Trauma Informed Care. Tracy integrates multiple therapeutic modalities into treatment and is passionate about finding what works best for each teen. She takes the approach that every child and adolescent possesses strengths and positive qualities that when incorporated into treatment better foster growth and the ability to overcome the challenges.
Matthew Siegel is a graduate of Hampshire College with an Master of Fine Arts degree in English from the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program. In addition to being a widely published writer, he has taught rhetoric at the University of Iowa, and English at Santa Rosa Junior College, Harvard-Westlake School, and New Roads School. Matt has volunteered extensively with high-risk teens and has a passion for rekindling educational interest, growth, and achievement in youth who are working through adolescent anxiety and depression. His comfort and interest in residential programs stems from his educational experiences at a college preparatory boarding school in Massachusetts. In his free time, Matt hikes with his dog and explores the many cultural offerings of Los Angeles.
Robert Burns was recruited to play collegiate football for California Lutheran University from which he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology and where he was a member of the Human Memory and Cognition research team. Following his undergraduate studies, Robert completed a post-bacculerate program through the University of California, Los Angeles (Pre Medical and General Science Studies). He is continuing to pursue his studies in Medicine and hopes to one day practice medicine and to teach the next generations.
Lauren Prina graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Art History. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Pepperdine University. Prior to joining Paradigm as a Clinical Assistant, Lauren applied her interest in youth and psychology by working as a camp counselor, then as a youth activities leader for a local church.
During her tenure with Paradigm, Lauren has committed her energies to direct service of youth and organizational support to the treatment team. She thrives on working with teens as she believes that adolescence is a pivotal stage in life and that youth have the capacity for immense change and power in creating futures for themselves. Witnessing the effectiveness of residential care, in helping youth learn to overcome the effects of teen depression, anxiety, self-harm, and other emotional health issues, inspired Lauren to enroll in graduate school and to undertake a new role with Paradigm. She has a passion for art, creativity, and helping others find connection and hope in their lives.
Mayra Fuentes 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 the Jumpstart 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.
Sam Lozano graduated from California State University, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Prior to joining Paradigm, she worked at an outreach program in the greater Los Angeles. Sam has a broad history working with at-risk youth especially in both mental health and teen addiction programs. She is also trained and certified to provide co-morbidity testing services and complex case management.
Joy Richardson is currently an undergraduate in pursuit of a bachelor of arts degree in nursing. Prior to joining Paradigm Malibu, she worked in the healthcare industry including at a family clinic where she provided support services. Joy is devoted to providing an environment for teens that is both physically and emotionally safe.
Siana Walker has worked with adolescents in the fields of education and metal health for more than a decade. She holds a Bachelors Degree from Virginia State University in Liberal Arts and recently graduated from the “Mastery In Transformational Training” Legacy Program. In addition, she holds a certification in Youth Crisis Negotiation. Siana is passionate about helping teens remain current or even get ahead in their studies while they are in treatment. Her primary focus is on assisting teens become their best selves and achieve their full potential. She is also the creator of “Level UP” a youth leadership training course and “7 Steps to Perfection” a realization and empowerment program for Adolescents that she facilitates throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Eder Catalan attended Loma Linda University School of Nursing where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree. Before joining Paradigm, he worked for Loma Linda University’s Behavioral Medicine Center as a nurse in their Youth Services department. While there, he gained extensive experience working with teens struggling with depression, anxiety, addiction, emotional, and behavioral health issues. In addition, Eder has been actively involved in helping build homes and schools for the Navajo nation and has volunteered in health clinics for underserved youth and their families. Eder enjoys staying active and outdoors. He frequently accompanies Paradigm youth to the beach, and on hikes and other outings.
Clarita Hunter is an experienced Licensed Vocational Nurse who has offered quality care in the medical field for over twenty years. She has worked with a broad range of clients with differing health concerns, from chronic to acute, with extensive work in diabetes care. Clarita joined the Paradigm Malibu team to pursue her passion for making a difference in the lives of teens impacted by the mental health effects of physical illness, injury, and trauma. Clarita is motivated by the energy and promise of adolescents and enjoys sharing her interests in hiking, the beach, animals, jazz, and gardening.
Champagne Valencia graduated from Casa Loma College in Los Angeles and is a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Though she is experienced in caring for a range of patients from school nursing and holistic medicine to residential treatment, she is drawn to the energy and creativity of adolescents and their unique healthcare needs. Champagne believes that listening is key to developing effective communication with teens, particularly youth who are impacted by the emotional and physical demands of health issues, family issues, and trauma. As a mother, she is able to empathize with both youth and parents. Champagne strives for quality care, communication, and when possible, fun in each interaction she has with the youth in her care.
Kyle Esguerra holds his Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from California State University-Northridge. During his senior year, he was a lead intern at CSUN’s Psycho-Physiology lab, which focused on PTSD. Prior to joining Paradigm, Kyle worked as a Fine Motor Skills Tutor at an Occupational Therapy facility for teens with autism, anxiety, and other mental/behavioral difficulties. He combines his interests of kinesiology and psychology in working with youth and is passionate about recognizing the specific ways in which the mental and physical intersection of teens’ needs can be used to promote and accelerate healing. In working with the youth at Paradigm, Kyle’s goal is always to find ways to best support and encourage teens’ overall healing and wellness, in order to help them flourish.
Ben Edwards is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz and is currently completing his Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. Prior to Paradigm, Ben worked as the head coach for Junior High School football and basketball teams, in the Los Angeles area. He also worked a full time musician, touring all over the world, performing as the bass player and musical director for various bands, including Mitchel Musso from Disney’s Hannah Montana, Chris Barron from the Spin Doctors, and multi-grammy winning Latin rock star, Beto Cuevas, with whom he earned a Grammy participation certificate Ben seeks out opportunities to use both sports and music in his work with adolescents at Paradigm. He is a proud Chilean-Californian, and a member of the 12 Step community.
Blanchard Burrell is a mentor and advocate for youth. In joining the Paradigm team, he brings a commitment to promoting mental health and self-esteem in teens, especially those impacted by trauma, bullying, and social isolation. Over the past eight years, Blanchard has facilitated workshops, youth support groups, and leadership conferences focused on youth development, spiritual and emotional growth, and experiential activities that foster fun and social skills. He is a young entrepreneur whose interests include youth fashion and community volunteering.
Originally from New Jersey, Brandon Grumet attended Rutgers University where he was a member of the Residence Life Community Assistant Program. Brandon has previously worked with teens as a staff member at Surprise Lake Camp, located in upstate New York, holding multiple positions over the course of several summers. He most recently served as the teen-side Dramatic Arts Chair, during which time he directed youth in full scale stage productions, and introduced them to many forms of improv and drama exercises. In addition to working at Paradigm, Brandon is a writer and actor. Brandon is a strong advocate for the arts and their therapeutic applications.
Alexa Hreha graduated from Pepperdine University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a focus on Hispanic Studies. While in college, she participated in Study Abroad programs and traveled extensively in South America and Europe. Having overcome her own challenges in adolescence, Alexa is passionate about listening and providing support to teens who struggle with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Alexa uses the significant insights from her travel and cross-cultural experiences to motivate teens to venture out of their comfort zones so that they can become open to different or difficult situations. Alexa strives to relate to kids who feel discomfort and her enthusiasm promotes safety, trust, and personal growth.
John Miller graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology. With an interest in mental health and crisis care, he served as an emergency medical technician with a paramedic unit before joining Paradigm. Additionally, John is a volunteer for a diabetes, well-being and fitness program and he understands some of the challenges teens can face when they experience health concerns. He hopes to encourage adolescents to find their interests as well as connections between self-acceptance, personal health, and emotional resilience
Kirstie Crowder graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Prior to working at Paradigm, Kirstie worked for a rehabilitation center for individuals with schizophrenia and co-occurring disorder, which is where she found her passion for working in mental health. Her work experience, inspired her to become a Certified Yoga Instructor because she witnessed the profound impact of yoga and physical activity on improving mental health and coping. She strives to let teens know that they are seen, heard, and supported. Kirstie enjoys ocean swimming, meditation, and being with her family.
Chance Bryant is currently an Arizona State University student completing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He has experience in both outpatient and residential settings and as a sober coach. Chance is passionate about using his understanding of substance abuse, addiction, and recovery to help teens work through overwhelming feelings, trauma, and the challenges of being a teenager in today’s society. He enjoys sharing his interests in guitar, art, and snowboarding.
Angela Du graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychobiology and a Minor in Global Health. During her college experience, she facilitated workshops for teens on pursuing their interests and she was a peer mentor to students experiencing emotional and academic difficulties. Angela joined Paradigm to continue working as a mentor and advocate for youth. She believes that teens thrive with individualized support and open communication, especially teens who have been socially isolated, bullied, or stigmatized. She encourages teens to communicate their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs and to listen to and value different life experiences and perspectives. In addition to enjoying her work with the teens at Paradigm, she spends time with her friends and is studying to enter medical school.
Patricia Delaere holds a Doctorate in Naturopathy from Trinity College of Natural Health. She is a Digestive Specialist and a Functional Diagnosis Nutritionist Practitioner. Patricia has worked many years as a private chef and in a number of prestigious restaurants. A number of years ago, Patricia decided to couple her cooking skills with her desire to help young people heal through nutrition. As a Doctor of Naturopathy and a Chef, she has devoted her life to providing healing meals and improved nutrition to the youth at Paradigm.
From the love that his family’s cooking brought his childhood, Patro Lopez knew at a young age that a career as a chef was the profession he wanted to pursue. This passion would lead Patro to train under the leadership of several renowned chefs specializing in a variety of culinary origins. Patro’s creations cross several cultural and geographic borders, consisting of recipes derived from Mexican, Italian, and Japanese cuisine, among others. Patro seeks out opportunities to assist youth is developing a refined sense of self and meaningful relationships through sharing nutritious, inspired meals.
Maria Ramos thinks of the kitchen as the heart of a home. Her passion for cooking began with a child’s curiosity about the many dishes she experience in her family’s kitchen. Maria strives for a variety of flavors and aromas in her cooking and she attempts to translate the deliciousness of spices and roasted flavors into Mexican, Chinese, and American food traditions. She is honored by the smiles of gratitude from the youth and families. Maria is inspired and always eager to learn new cooking techniques to satisfy a broad range of palates and dietary needs.
Shelby Hawkins received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Brigham Young University in Idaho and plans to pursue an advanced degree in Clinical Psychology. Prior to joining Paradigm, she served as Office Manager for an outpatient mental health office in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she carried out financial, administrative and clinical duties. In addition to being an avid reader, Shelby spends her free time volunteering, spending time at the beach, and hiking with her family.
Avonlea Ware is currently completing a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy. She joined Paradigm as a Clinical Assistant before moving into her current role. She is a high energy, team player who has a broad range of interpersonal and administrative skills and who strives to meet the needs of clients and families. Having traveled and lived throughout Europe, India and the Middle East, Avonlea developed a focus on conflict resolution and communication skills, which she believes are assets to teens struggling to find their place in the world.
Jason Fragoso 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.
Kathie Lester has over 15 years experience planning and managing the operations of small businesses and organizations to improve productivity and efficiency. She is a graduate of The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN where her career in social services began. Kathie’s focus was nonprofit management, fund development, program development and evaluation, financial management, communications strategies, and event management. She managed a residential program, providing support and resources for clients, as well as leadership and direction to staff and volunteers. Prior to joining Paradigm Malibu, she spent 8 years with a private medical practice where she coordinated and managed the financial business practices while improving processes and policies in support of organizational goals. Kathie has a trained therapy dog, as well as regularly fosters local shelter animals. She enjoys the outdoors and is an avid runner.
Paradigm provides the above information as a courtesy to those who visit our website. While every effort is made to keep the treatment team page current, there may be staff members who have joined our team, but who are not yet listed here. Likewise, someone listed above might be away for a training or other matter for a period of time. To confirm the most current status and availability of any individual listed, please speak with our admissions team.