Google+ Our Team | Paradigm Malibu

Our team

Dr. Jeff Nalin, Psy.D. (PSY17766) – Chief Clinical Officer

Jeff Nalin | Paradigm Malibu

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, MA – Founder and CEO

Cole Rucker, MA - Founder and CEO | Paradigm Malibu

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.

Dr. Emily Todd MD, PhD – Medical Director

Emily Todd | Paradigm MalibuDr. Emily Todd is a Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist who earned her Medical Degree from the Nothwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and earned her Ph.D. in Molecular Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University. Prior to her graduate work, she obtained a bachelor’s degree from Hope College in Michigan. Before joining Paradigm, Dr. Todd served as a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and as the Chief of Emergency Psychiatry at the West Los Angeles VA. Her honors include AACAP Resident Education Outreach Program, Nothwestern University Frable Scholarship, Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honors Society, Northwestern University Frable Scholar and Vanderbiit Director’s Award.  She is a member of the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists.

Dustin Wagner, M.A., LPC (LPC13993) – Executive Director

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

Lisa Altemus, M.A., LMFT (LMFT51007) – Clinical Director

Lisa Altemus | Paradigm MalibuLisa Altemus is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who earned her Master’s degree in
Clinical Psychology/Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University. She received her
Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California. Lisa has over 15 years of experience working with adolescents and their families.


Before joining Paradigm, she worked as an Associate Program Director and Clinical Supervisor at a residential treatment facility providing services for teens struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues.

Additionally, Lisa has worked as an individual and group therapist at a Women’s Center providing therapy for client’s experiencing anxiety, depression, substance abuse and family issues.


She also served as  a therapist at a California Foster Family and Adoption Agency, working with foster and adopted youth struggling with Reactive Attachment Disorder, ADHD, depression, anxiety and trauma.


Lisa is devoted to working with adolescents and is dedicated to helping them develop better communication skills, achieve feelings of balance, safety, fulfillment and meaning to achieve their full potential.


Dr. Lori M. Baudino, Psy.D.(PSY2201), BC-DMT – Clinical Psychologist and Dance/Movement Therapist

Lori M. Baudino | Paradigm MalibuDr. 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.

Jeremy Manne, CTSC – Admissions Director

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


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

Nicole Evans, M.A., MFTI (MFT 99987) – Therapist

Nicole Evans | Paradigm MalibuNicole Evans is a graduate of The University of Southern California. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. She also graduated Summa Cum Laude from San Diego State University with a BA in psychology. Before joining the Paradigm team, Nicole worked with adolescents as a research assistant, working with teens struggling with anxiety and mood disorders. Previously she served as a teaching assistant at a school for adolescents with learning and intellectual disabilities primarily autism, ADHD, and behavioral health issues.

Nicole has also worked as a therapist at a child abuse and domestic violence agency in Los Angeles where she conducted individual and family therapy sessions with adolescents and their families. While doing so, she developed expertise in working with young people who have been exposed to abuse with an emphasis in teen anxiety, teen depression, and teen trauma-related issues.

Nicole, is also an avid hiker and enjoys conducting therapeutic sessions with teens while being outside in nature.

Derek Lemm – Admissions Coordinator

Derek Lemm | Paradigm MalibuDerek 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.

Karmen Kamla, M.A., LMFT (LMFT47270) – Therapist

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

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

Cecilia Muniz, M.S.W. (ASW66167) – Director of Meadows Program

Cecilia Muniz | Paradigm MalibuCecilia Muniz graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelor’s degree and from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Master’s degree in Social Welfare. She has spent over 20 years specializing in working with adolescents and their families. Cecilia has advanced training in trauma-focus and cognitive behavior therapy. Prior to coming to Paradigm, Cecilia served as Director of a large treatment facility for youth struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma and other mental health issues. Cecilia has received multiple honors for her work with adolescents including the Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition, 32nd District Member of Congress Hilda Solis, Marjorie Hays Fertig and Ralph D. Fertig Fellowship for Social Justice from the University of California Los Angeles.  In addition to providing leadership at Paradigm, Cecilia is a faculty member at Mount Saint Mary’s Graduate Psychology Department and sits on the board of directors for a non-profit organization which addresses issues related to young women.  She also lectures and conducts workshops on effective practices in working with adolescents and their families with issues ranging from negative coping styles (such as teen self harm and adolescent addiction) to including culturally responsive approaches in treatment protocol.


Linda K. Reeves, M.A., MFTI (IMF90828) – Director of Parent and Family Services

Linda Reeves | Paradigm MalibuLinda K. Reeves graduated from Antioch University, Los Angeles and holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Clinical Psychology. Linda utilizes strength-based, CBT and narrative therapeutic approaches to stimulate discovery and reinforcement of clients’ innate talents and values which mobilizes them to discard unhealthy narratives, step into their authentic identity, and effectively confront and resolve the issues they are facing. Linda incorporates sociocultural and systems perspectives into her work which helps adolescents and their families understand the interpersonal origins, and depathologize their interpretation of the client’s symptoms.

Prior to joining the Paradigm team, Linda provided individual, couples and group therapy at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. She is a co-founder of the Prism Institute, which specializes in educating and training on adolescent identity awareness issues for middle schools and high schools. Clients include Manhattan Beach Unified School District, Santa Monica, Malibu Unified School District, and the City of Santa Monica.


Dr. Steve Oh, Ph. D. – Director of Point Dume Program

Steve Oh earned both his M.A. and Ph. D. from Azusa Pacific University, with an emphasis in family psychology. Prior to that, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Point Loma Nazarene University. Steve has advanced training in the use of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, DBT and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, CBT. Prior to joining the Paradigm team, Steve worked with teens in residential treatment for emotional health and chemical dependency issues. Steve also provided assessments, treatment and consultation at The Children’s Institute of Los Angeles, The Center for Autism Related Disorders and the Intercommunity Counseling Center.


While Steve enjoys all aspects of meeting the mental health needs of teens and their parents, he is particularly passionate about opportunities to engage in cross cultural psychology.

Jay Harris, M.A. – Director of Operations


Jay Harris | Paradigm MalibuJay Harris holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara with a focus on depth work with adolescents. He has devoted more than fifteen years to the provision of clinical support services for teen’s struggling with drug addiction, emotional health and behavioral health issues in both outpatient and residential settings.


Jay welcomes the opportunity to share his experience, strength and hopefulness with teen rehab participants at Paradigm Malibu. In addition to his work in teen drug treatment, Jay has volunteered to assisting adolescent cancer patients at Gilda’s Club in Chicago.

Lucy Nguyen, M.S., LMFT (LMFT 101033) – Lead Therapist

Lucy Nguyen | Paradigm MalibuLucy Nguyen received her Master’s 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.

Eder Catalan, R.N. (95046130) – Nurse

Eder Catalan | Paradigm MalibuEder 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.

Kaitlin Robinson, M.A., MFTI (IMF75779) – Guided Imagery

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, M.D. (A110734) – Psychiatrist

Dr. Luzano is a licensed clinical psychiatrist who specializes in working with adolescents struggling with mental health and chemical dependency issues. He is a graduate of Columbia University and completed his residency at the University of California, Los Angeles. He 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, CPT – Fitness/Exercise Therapist

Lou is a graduate of the University of Southern California, the Baron/Brown Academy and holds both ISSA Personal Trainer and Fitness/Exercise Therapist Certifications. Having grown up in a health and fitness conscious family, exercise and wellness have always been an important part of his life. Lou has a sophisticated approach to training that stresses both the physical and psychological benefits of exercise. His expertise 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.


Summer Lall, MT-BC (CBMT08757) – Music Therapist

Summer Mencher | Paradigm Malibu

Summer 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.

Jonathan Sanchez, M.A. – Teacher

Jonathan Sanchez | Paradigm MalibuJonathan 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.


Adam Steel – Teacher

Adam Steel | Paradigm MalibuAdam is a graduate of San Diego State University. He is a Southern California native who has been working as an educator and mentor for teens and young adults since 2008.  Through school-based mentoring and educational programs, Adam has cultivated extensive experience working with young people who are dealing with academic difficulties, family conflict, anxiety, depression, trauma, and addiction. Adam is currently continuing his personal and professional growth by completing his Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology and is dedicated to helping teens achieve their full potential.


Jennifer Cassetta, M.S., CN – Nutritionist and Holistic Health Counselor

Jennifer Casseta | Paradigm MalibuJennifer is a graduate of Fordham University in New York and holds a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut.  She is a Certified Nutritionist and a Holistic Health Counselor who is also a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. In addition, Jennifer is a certified personal trainer, 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.

Erin Riley, M.A., LMFT (LMFT 100740) – Therapist

Erin Riley is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She obtained her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Southern California and went on to complete her masters in Marriage and Family Therapy at USC. Prior to working at Paradigm, Erin worked at a non-profit organization treating those struggling with co-occurring disorders. She also served as a therapist at a school based counseling program where she worked with intermediate and high school students. Erin’s passion is working with teens experiencing relationship problems, depression, anxiety, grief & loss, trauma, addiction, and self-esteem issues. Her goal is to provide a personal, nonjudgmental, multidimensional approach to assist teens with identifying both their strengths and challenges, It is her hope that in doing so, youth will become more self-aware, and empowered so that they may live a meaningful and fulfilling life.

Melissa Scagnelli, M.S.W. (ASW74049) – Therapist

Melissa Scagnelli holds a Master of Clinical Social Work Degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Fairfield University. Prior to joining Paradigm, she treated children and teens with emotional and behavioral needs in multiple NYC Charter school sites as a counselor. She also has extensive experience as an ABA behavior interventionist working with youth with emotional and mental  health issues, ranging from  autism and ADHD to  bipolar disorder. Most recently, Melissa worked at an adolescent facility that used dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to treat borderline personality disorder. Through overcoming her own struggles, Melissa has grown as a therapist working empathically with an deep connection to the holistic treatment process. She is passionate about helping adolescents discover their own strengths and use their unique life story to create a more fulfilled and authentic life. Melissa strives to incorporate various cognitive, dialectical and mind-body modalities into her work with clients to help them connect with their core internal experiences and feel confident and empowered in themselves.


Oliver Drakeford, M.A. MFTI (IMF96508) – Therapist

Oliver Drakeford joins us after two years of working with adolescents as a psychotherapist at Beverly Hills High School and The Maple Counseling Center. His approach to therapy is influenced by his enthusiasm for psychodynamic theory, which was ignited while studying for his Master’s in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University. After graduating, he pursued this interest with a year long certifications from the Los Angeles Institute and Association for Psychoanalytic Studies (LAISPS), and the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis (ICP).


Oliver regards group therapy as a powerful form of treatment, and enjoys working with groups of all types, including families. In 2017, he was the recipient of the Donald T. Brown Memorial Scholarship Award for Group Psychotherapy from The Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health, and received additional training from AGPA. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Group Psychotherapy Association of Los Angeles (GPALA).


Oliver specializes in working with teens who might be identifying on the LGBTQ continuum and adolescents struggling with addiction, mood disorders, anxiety, self-harm and depression.

Cynthia Bond – Therapeutic Writing

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

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

Cynthia also previously served as the manager of the Pedro Zamora Youth HIV Clinic and coordinated a creative arts program for teens with comedian, and talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres. Cynthia is a Pen Fellow 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, M.S., PsyD Trainee – Pre-Doctoral Therapist

Daniela 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, M.A., CPET, LMFT (LMFT81539) – Parent Support Services

Cindy Weathers | Paradigm MalibuCindy 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.

Carol Nalin, CPET – Parent Support Services

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

Philip Wilke, M.A., MFTI (IMF94107) – Lead Therapist

Philip Wilke | Paradigm MailbuPhilip 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.


Paige Pengra Clarke MA, (LMFT 42994) – Drama Therapist

Paige Clarke | Paradigm MalibuPaige earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Texas’ acclaimed Theater Department. She then graduated from The California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco with a MA in Counseling Psychology specializing in Drama Therapy. Over the course of her career she has served adolescents in both residential and outpatient treatment for anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addition and any number of emotional or behavioral health issues. Her clients have ranged from teens from low income families to celebrity clients. Paige has also worked in Bully Prevention Programs, and youth theater productions. Paige lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.

Dr. Vallerie E. Coleman, Ph.D., Psy.D. (PSY12592) – Psychologist and Equine Therapist

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

Phoebe Gilmour – Paddleboard Therapist

Phoebe 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.
About Soulswells


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.


Diane D’Amore, M.A. (IMF97778) – Therapist

Diane D’Amore | Paradigm Malibu

Diane earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in trauma from Antioch University. Prior to coming to Paradigm, she worked in a variety of settings with dually-diagnosed clients as a trauma and neurofeedback therapist. Diane specializes in working with adolescents struggling with depression, anxiety, self-harm behaviors, addictions, grief and PTSD. Diane’s passion is psychological wellbeing and her work integrates neuropsychotherapy, affect regulation and body psychology with components of cognitive-behavioral approaches, mindful self-compassion and creative expression to foster inner strength and resilience. Diane is a trained neurofeedback therapist through the EEG Institute and has advanced training with one of the leading experts in contemporary trauma psychotherapy and neurobiology, Dr. Peter Levine.

May Che, CYT – Yoga Instructor

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

Brigita Slekys – Acupuncturist (AC10834)

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, Ph.D. – Director of Young Athletes Program

Michael Graham | Paradigm MalibuMichael received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He also holds a 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 – Therapy Dog

Gator | Paradigm MalibuGator 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.


Emily Armour, M.S., NCC, PCCI (PCCI2175) – Alumni/Aftercare Coordinator

Emily Armour | Paradigm MalibuEmily 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.

Darren Hummel, M.A., (MFTI 101139) – Therapist

Darren Hummel received both his Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Antioch University in Los Angeles. Prior to joining Paradigm’s team, he worked with teens suffering from substance abuse, anxiety, and self-harming behaviors at a not-for-profit outpatient program. Darren also worked in higher education, providing education to adolescents lacking the emotional health and life skills required to begin traditional college.


As a therapist at Paradigm, he is committed to helping teens break free from addiction, increase self-esteem, and achieve their full potential. Darren enjoys literature, philosophy, sports, and humor, and when clinically appropriate, incorporates these activities into the therapeutic process.

Mariah Dillard, M.S., MFTI (IMF94585) – Therapist

Mariah Dillard is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park where she earned a Master of Science degree in Family Therapy. She was awarded the Ned Gaylin Outstanding Couple and Family Therapy award while in attendance. She also graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science degree in Family Science with a minor in Human Development. 


Mariah’s psychotherapy experience includes working with teens and families struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, grief and related mental health issues. She enjoys bringing an eclectic style to therapy, incorporating Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy. She is also certified in Play Therapy and brings lots of creativity to her treatment with adolescents.

Cate Vogl, MA, MFTI (MFTI100256)- Therapist

Cate Vogl completed her Bachelors degree in Psychology at the University of Southern California. She then went on to earn her Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at USC as well. In addition, Cate served as a therapist at West Los Angeles College, where she received training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness-Based Practice. She holds certifications in both Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as well as Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. Cate is also trained in Academic Counseling and Educational Therapy. Prior to joining Paradigm, Cate served as a therapist at The Maple Counseling Center where she received a year of advanced training in Psychodynamic Therapy and conducted individual sessions for teens who were experiencing anxiety, depression, trauma or identity-related issues.

Jamie Given, M.A. MFT (MFT101837) PCCI (PPCI 2400) – Therapist

Jamie Given | Paradigm MalibuJamie Given earned her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage & Family Therapy and Professional Clinical Counseling from Azusa Pacific University. Prior, she graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Adolescent Development.


Before  joining Paradigm, Jamie worked extensively with youth experiencing developmental differences, emotional, behavioral and chemical dependency issues. In this role, she conducted  therapeutic interventions, structuring the process to meet the individual treatment needs of her clients. Jamie is committed to helping adolescents struggling with depression, anxiety, grief, eating disorders, substance abuse and other mental health issues, build on their strengths in an effort to achieve their full potential.

Michael J. McAtee, MA, LMFT (LMFT99412) – Pre-Doctoral Therapist

Michael McAtee | Paradigm Malibu

Michael is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who holds a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. He is currently completing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Michael specializes in working with adolescents in multiple therapeutic settings and has received certification in LGBT-Affirmative Psychotherapy, Loving Interventions for Family Enrichment, Managing Adapting Practices, Caring For Our Families, Seeking Safety, and Trauma-Focused CBT. He is skilled at working with a variety of mental and behavioral disorders. Previous experience includes delivering mental health services to diverse populations in private practice, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health-contracted agencies, and university/school settings.

Talya Winston, M.A., (IMF93718) – Therapist

Talya Winston | Paradigm MalibuTalya Winston graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Arizona University. She received a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University and earned a second Master’s degree in Stress, Crisis and Trauma from Tel Aviv University. In addition, Talya is professionally trained in psychodynamic therapy, facilitating the exploration of clients’ present and past in order to help them understand their behaviors, patterns, and relationships, in order to foster change. Prior to joining the Paradigm Malibu team, Talya worked at a non-profit, where she conducted individual and group therapy sessions with adolescents in both a clinic and school setting. Talya is committed to helping adolescents struggling with depression, anxiety, addiction, learning differences, and more.

Andrew Atkinson – Clinical Assistant / Surf Instructor

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

Sean Dwyer, M.A. – Lead Clinical Assistant

Sean Dwyer | Paradigm MalibuSean 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.

Kendall Jory – Clinical Assistant

Kendall Jory | Paradigm MalibuKendall is a senior at Pepperdine University completing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.  Prior to joining Paradigm, she worked in promoting social and academic skills for mentally disabled youth with a range of developmental disorders, including autism. In addition she has worked with the Pepperdine Counseling Center in promoting a mentally healthy campus and presenting bystander intervention and assault prevention programs. In her free time Kendall enjoys being outdoors and is an avid runner and a youth soccer league coach for the physically and mentally disabled. She plans to pursue an advanced degree in Clinical Psychology.


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