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.
Born and raised in Ventura County, Marcelina is a seasoned admissions expert with nearly a decade of experience working in a variety of mental health settings. She also worked in the addiction field as a Registered Addiction Specialist Intern and has extensive knowledge of substance use issues, eating disorders and working with co-occurring mental health problems. As a parent herself and someone in recovery, Marcelina knows firsthand the experience of making the call to ask for help, and as such she brings an incredible amount of empathy, compassion and understanding to her work. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and her children aged 14 and 4. Marcelina also loves Disneyland, hiking, and going to the beach.
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.
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.
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.
Katherine holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychoneuroimmunology and Dance from Sarah Lawrence College, and she completed her Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) certification in 2009 at Santa Monica Yoga. She has also worked as a prison yoga and meditation teacher in Los Angeles and surrounding areas since 2015. Katherine also hosts a day-long intensive and workshop Yoga for Burnout in Los Angeles.
Katherine specializes in groups with diverse student populations, having taught in prisons, jails, treatment facilities, corporations and high-end yoga studios. In her career spanning over a decade, Katherine has worked with children, teens and young adults, and feels a particular kinship to her Paradigm clients working with Dot and Gizmo, the trained yoga goats. She finds that the animals immediately animate and excite even the most withdrawn person, offering unbiased friendship and pure love. In her goat yoga lessons at Paradigm, Katherine sets an easygoing pace in which students are invited to voice their insights, questions and feelings.
She believes that a regular yoga practice is an opportunity to look deeper into the relationship we have with the balance of effort and relaxation. It is a microcosm of the bigger picture. When she isn’t teaching yoga, Katherine enjoys cooking, watercolors, piano, tide pool exploring and hiking.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lucy Bramwell 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kevork obtained his Master of Arts degree in Psychology from Argosy University and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology & Social Behavior from the University of California – Irvine. He has experience working with adolescents in school settings, providing them with a safe space in which to process trauma, emotional challenges and relational issues. As a therapist, Kevork utilizes a person-centered approach so as to fully engage with each individual client and honor their unique qualities and traits. He infuses his therapy with evidence-based practices such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and resonates with existential theory, which explores the importance of finding meaning in one’s life across multiple areas. Kevork loves playing tennis and enjoys spending time with his two dogs when he is not working.
Alexis Fahey earned her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California. Before joining Paradigm, she worked with a family center providing therapy for teens and families working through a variety of presenting problems such as depression, anxiety, disordered eating, substance use, suicidal ideation and personality disorders. Alexis is committed to being a witness and facilitator for adolescents as they uncover past and recent trauma. She has a person-centered approach that is guided by evidence-based interventions and informed by family dynamics and relational work.
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.
Christina Lovejoy received her Master’s Degree from California Lutheran University specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Cal State Northridge. Prior to joining Paradigm, Christina worked at a counseling center, providing therapy for families, couples, and children. She has also worked in both middle and high school settings, providing school-based therapy for teens struggling with depression and anxiety.
Christina is a strength-based, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)-focused therapist who is passionate about working therapeutically with adolescents, providing support, empathy, and a chance for growth within the individual.
Alexandria Wolfe-Grady, “Ali,” received her Master’s of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University of Santa Barbara. She also holds a Bachelor’s of Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Psychology and Child Development from Antioch University, Santa Barbara. She is experienced in working with individuals, families and groups in community mental health and school settings, with a primary interest in children and adolescents struggling with depression, anxiety, and inter-personal relationships. She is skilled in trauma-informed and narrative therapy for youth impacted by early childhood trauma.
Ali’s approach is eclectic and she pulls from multiple clinical approaches including Attachment Theory, Cognitive Behavioral Theory, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Person Centered Therapy. She strives to create a therapeutic relationship that is caring, empathetic, and non-judgmental and where teens feel respected and free to be themselves. Ali encourages each youth to explore their individual uniqueness, natural resiliency, and strengths. She is avid athlete who loves walking her dog on the beach and spending time with friends and family.
Johnna received her Master’s of Social Work from Hunter College and her Bachelor’s of Arts in Criminal Justice from Morris College. She also has training in Motivational Interviewing from The Institute for Advanced Medicine: Mount Sinai and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). Johnna worked in a middle school setting providing individual, family and group sessions, and worked with trauma survivors in a therapeutic capacity ranging in age from 3 – 17 years old. Prior to working in the mental health field, Johnna traveled to Rishikesh, India, where she completed a 500 hour yoga teacher training certification.
She utilizes Narrative Therapy interventions and relies on her extensive background teaching yoga to provide clients with mindfulness-based practices that they can employ far beyond their time at Paradigm. Johnna believes that every person is inherently whole regardless of the adversities with which they have been faced, and her goal is to assist clients with developing coping mechanisms and life skills to thrive. When she isn’t working, Johnna enjoys practicing and teaching yoga, and henna art.
Tracy Bangar is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, who 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.
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.
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.
*Psych assistant supervised by Dr. Jeff Nalin
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.
Cameron Reis is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who received his 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. His clinical studies focused on 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.
Madison Dennis earned her Master’s of Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California and attended Furman University, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Prior to joining Paradigm, she worked as a therapist at an outpatient clinic where she treated adolescents and their families who were struggling with issues ranging from trauma to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders, substance use disorders, personality disorders, and disordered eating. Madison’s therapeutic approach includes psychodynamic therapy as well as an an insight-oriented work based in empathy and authenticity. She provides her clients with a safe space in which to explore life experiences, and how they impact current behaviors. Madison has a passion for helping teens focus on integration, growth, and insight while establishing healing through empowerment.
Daniel obtained his Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University, and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with a minor in Psychology from Cal Poly Pomona. He is currently enrolled in Pacifica University’s Graduate Institute for Clinical Psychology, with an emphasis on Depth Psychology.
Daniel has extensive experience in residential treatment facilities, having worked for several years as a clinician, assistant facility manager, team leader and lead care coordinator. He has also worked in a violence prevention program and has experience with crisis prevention intervention (CPI). Daniel integrates complementary therapeutic modalities into his work that include Family Systems and Psychodynamic therapy. He is interested in working with trauma, personality disorder diagnoses and the LGBTQ+ population.
Hanna obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at the University of Colorado, and is interested in pursuing her Master of Arts degree in Counseling so as to become a licensed therapist. Previously she worked as a technician in a residential, all boys’ facility specializing in trauma, substance abuse and behavioral issues. Hanna is passionate about working with youth and young adults and when she is not at Paradigm, she enjoys snowboarding and being in nature.
Ben Edwards is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz and is currently enrolled at Antioch University, Los Angles where he is completing a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, with a specialization in Addiction and Recovery. 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 as 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.
Nicole completed her Master’s of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California, and her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California – Santa Barbara. She gained clinical experience working at a methadone clinic treating clients struggling with severe substance abuse as well as co-occurring disorders such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and personality disorders. Beyond her clinical background, Nicole has years of experience working as a Youth Development Professional at the Boys and Girls Club. While there, she created and implemented teen programs centering on leadership, healthy lifestyles, college success and socio-emotional wellness. Nicole is a person–centered therapist who utilizes a Cognitive-Behavioral approach. She balances empathy with challenging negative thought processes, while utilizing strengths-based interventions to help clients gain confidence and self-awareness. Nicole believes in creating strong therapeutic relationships by promoting trust and communication in a mindful, safe, and inviting environment.
Hakeem Anchrum is currently an undergraduate in pursuit of a Bachelor’s degree in Economics at Pepperdine University. He is inspired by the transformation that can happen during the teenage years and enjoys supporting Paradigm’s youth. As a member of the Men’s Pepperdine University Basketball team, Hakeem understands the value that sports can provide for children in all aspects of life. He played competitive team sports since he was a child, and believes that athletics can be an extremely important way for teens to overcome obstacles while also building skills necessary to work with others. Prior to working at Paradigm, Hakeem worked at Pepperdine University’s Youth Camps, which led him to find his passion for working in physical and mental health. In his free time, Hakeem enjoys reading, traveling, and being with his family and friends.
Jane obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Forensic Psychology from the University of Arizona, and is currently working towards her Master of Arts degree in Psychology at Pepperdine University. She has extensive professional experience working in adolescent residential facilities, and in addition to working as a Behaviorist, Jane also spent several years working with adults, teens and children with special needs. As a clinician she prioritizes building rapport with clients, and values providing a safe environment in which clients can feel encouraged to develop the concrete skills they need to lead a fulfilling life. Jane enjoys boxing and introducing it to clients as a healthy way to process and release difficult emotions.
Born and raised in El Paso, TX, Samuel completed his Bachelor of Science Degree at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL. He is CPI Certified in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention, and has prior experience as a Counselor in residential treatment programs. Samuel also has a background in technology, having worked for Apple as a Creative Director and in their Business Consultations department as well. Samuel’s therapeutic style involves approaching clients with understanding and openness, and creating a safe space in which they may heal and find hope. When Samuel isn’t working with Paradigm youth, he is passionate about film directing, photography, and playing sports such as football and basketball. He also enjoys traveling and volunteering for Beach clean-ups in Malibu, and at local school daycare programs.
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.
Kathryn Nuñez obtained her Master’s of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology with a specialty in Drama Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies. She also holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Critical Psychology. She has served as an individual and group therapist to adolescents in a San Francisco area inpatient hospital and to those struggling to heal from life-threatening illness. She is an experienced facilitator who incorporates classical theater techniques with elements of identity and community building into her sessions to bring healing, emotional intelligence, empathy, and grounding to her clients. Kathryn believes in the inherent value and intrinsic goodness of every human and she is committed to helping teens navigate towards seeing, feeling, and owning their value so they can find meaning and mindful connection in their lives.
Austin graduated from Pepperdine University with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Sports Medicine. Prior to working at Paradigm, he worked at Pepperdine University as a Resident Advisor for three years, where he helped students build tools to manage school, work, interpersonal relationships, mental and spiritual health. Austin’s experience in this role inspired him to continue working with teens, assisting them with building greater self-awareness, coping mechanisms and adaptability. When he is not working with adolescents, Austin enjoys hiking, reading, being with friends and family, and spiritual formation.
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.
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.
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.
Rebecca Acevedo is a Registered Nurse who graduated from the University of Portland with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nursing. Before joining the Paradigm team, she worked in a wide range of clinical settings where she provided treatment to adolescents and their families for a variety of health related needs. Her passion however, is in the provision of teen treatment for anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Rebecca has devoted much of her career to de-stigmatizing mental health treatment for teens. Her goal is to help young people become the best possible version of themselves.
Jacob Ney obtained his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychobiology summa cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). While studying, he worked as a Clinical Research Associate with the UCLA Medical Center, investigating new treatments for strokes. Jacob enjoys teaching and is particularly interested in the complex relationship between human behavior and the brain. Jacob has worked with teens as a private mathematics and writing tutor. As a Clinical Assistant, Jacob hopes to support adolescents as they achieve personal goals and reach their fullest potential. Jacob’s ultimate goal is to become a psychiatrist, a mentor, and a mental health advocate.
Breana Harris holds a Master’s of Fine Arts in Screenwriting from California State University Northridge and a Bachelor’s of Arts in English from Portland State University. Growing up in Las Vegas, she wrote and performed community theater at therapeutic counseling centers and residential programs for teens. Breana has served as an editor and columnist for a newspaper, during which time, she mentored a staff of young writers. Before coming to Paradigm, she was an SAT and ACT preparatory consultant who specialized in the essay portions of college entrance tests. Breana is passionate about film, theater, and literature and enjoys connecting with youth. She believes in the benefits of writing as a therapeutic tool for unpacking teen depression, trauma, and self-harming behaviors.
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.
Laura Gollub received a Bachelor’s Degree in Developmental Psychology from Miami University of Ohio. She also worked as an Applied Behavioral Analysis Instructor, specializing in students deemed at risk for self-harm and aggression. Laura also worked as a Residential Counselor at a residential treatment facility for teen mothers, and as a Resident Counselor at a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center. She is passionate about helping teens develop self-care strategies that foster independence, as well as the ability to build upon their progress once they transition out of the residential setting.
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.
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.
Carrie obtained her Associate’s of Science degree in Patisserie and Baking from Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, California. With extensive experience in catering, residential facilities and restaurants, she brings passion for her craft and a skilled approach to her work each and every day. Carrie believes that by helping people shape their diets, we can improve their mental health. Her love for cooking and baking started at a young age, beginning with preparing meals for her large family and experimenting with new recipes and flavors. At Paradigm, Carrie particularly enjoys client interactions, as well as providing the knowledge needed to help create a well-rounded diet. When she isn’t working, she enjoys challenging hikes and taking adventures outdoors.
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.
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.
Christian obtained his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Human Biology with a minor in Health Care Studies from the University of Southern California. He also worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator at USC Voice Center and as a Human Biology and Spanish tutor through the University of Southern California’s Joint Educational Project. Christian values open and productive communication, and believes in approaching the challenges of his job with enthusiasm and openness. He is dedicated to exploring new professional challenges and knowledge advancement. When he is not working at Paradigm, Christian enjoys international travel, tennis, yoga and volunteering.
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.
* Supervised by Lucy Bramwell
** Supervised by Jeff Nalin, PsyD