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.
Dr. 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 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.
Dr. Lori M. Baudino is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and a board certified Dance/Movement Therapist. An innovator in her field, she brought the first DMT programs to both the UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and Los Angeles Children’s Hospital through the Andrea Rizzo Foundation. A recipient of the Marian Chase Foundation Award for Journalism, she has appeared in multiple publications ranging from the American Journal of Dance Therapy to the Special Education Advisor. As a participant in the global efforts of Volunteer Psychological Services she has devoted her talents to the treatment of underserved populations in places ranging from Washington, DC. to Australia, Ghana, Ecuador and Belize. In addition, she has extensive experience working with adolescents in psychiatric settings and has served as a psychologist in multiple private schools.
Dr. Baudino is a popular lecturer, speaking at Universities, High Schools, Parent’s Groups and Professional Organizations. She has appeared as an expert on: The Learning Channel, Dancing with the Stars and Dr. Drew.
A 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.
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.
Karmen Kamla is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Central Florida, a Master of Arts Degree in Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute and is an Analytic Candidate at the prestigious C.G. Jung Study Center of Southern California.
Karmen has worked in the provision of emotional health and chemical dependency treatment for adolescents for more than a decade. During that time, she served as the Lead Therapist and Supervisor of Clinical Interns at a residential teen rehab in Southern California. While working in this capacity, she provided concentrated expertise in the areas of Depth work in teen counseling and the treatment of self-harm and eating disorders. Karmen also served as a group facilitator and individual therapist at St. John’s juvenile residential treatment program in Florida where she specialized in the treatment of adolescent boys with behavioral health issues. In addition, Karmen worked in Rishikesh, India, where she was the Program Director at Prmarth Niketan. It was here that she discovered her passion for working with teens who are dealing with trauma issues.
Emily Armour graduated from Baylor University in Waco, Texas with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and from Walden University with a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Prior to her time at Paradigm, Emily served as an individual and group therapist for at-risk adolescents and their families. She specializes in working with teens struggling with depression, anxiety, other emotional health issues and addiction. She also served young people in a community outpatient program. Emily has training in the use of Dialectical Behavior Therapy and utilizes an integrative, holistic, and strengths based approach to meet the needs of Paradigm clients. She lives an active lifestyle and loves to integrate hiking, sports, animals, and the outdoors into therapeutic sessions.
Lucy Nguyen received her Master of Science in Counseling with an emphasis on Clinical Mental Health at California State University, Fullerton. She also received an Excellence in Research Award studying parent-adolescent relationships when she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Social Behavior at University of California, Irvine.
Prior to joining Paradigm, Lucy treated children and teens with emotional and behavioral needs at multiple school sites as a therapist. She also has extensive experience as a behavior interventionist working with teens with developmental disorders and as a therapist at an intensive outpatient program for mental health and substance dependency. Additionally, Lucy has a background that includes working at a residential facility that uses dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to treat borderline personality disorder.
Lucy is passionate about helping her clients discover their own strengths and use their unique qualities to create a more fulfilled life. She integrates the practical components of various cognitive-behavioral approaches with the gentle practice of mindfulness, compassion, and cultural sensitivity.
Linda 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.
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.
Jay Harris holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology with a focus on depth work with adolescents from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois.
Jay has devoted more than fifteen years to the provision of clinical support services for teens suffering from addiction, emotional and behavioral health issues in residential and outpatient settings. In addition to his therapy work, he has volunteered with young cancer patients at Gilda’s Club in Chicago, as well as with homeless animals through PAWS Chicago.
In his role as Director of Operations, Jay welcomes the opportunity to share his clinical and life experiences with youths at Paradigm, and is dedicated to facilitating an exceptional environment in which both therapists and adolescents thrive throughout the therapeutic process.
Cecilia 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.
Eder Catalan attended Loma Linda University School of Nursing where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree. Before joining Paradigm, he worked for Loma Linda University’s Behavioral Medicine Center as a nurse in their Youth Services department. While there, he gained extensive experience working with teens struggling with depression, anxiety, addiction, emotional, and behavioral health issues. In addition, Eder has been actively involved in helping build homes and schools for the Navajo nation and has volunteered in health clinics for underserved youth and their families. Eder enjoys staying active and outdoors. He frequently accompanies Paradigm youth to the beach, and on hikes and other outings.
Ashly Tobar is a Licensed Nurse with a passion for working with adolescents. A graduate of the American Career College, she worked at an inpatient rehab in Los Angeles with clients struggling with mental health and chemical dependency issues. Ashly has also served as a home health nurse for children with neurological & physical disabilities. In addition to her nursing duties, Ashley likes to seek out opportunities to develop meaningful working relationships with the teens in treatment at Paradigm. It is through these therapuetic relationships that she is able to help young people begin to make better decidions related to their physical and mental health.
Megan Biggs is a licensed nurse who is a graduate of CES college in Burbank, California. Over the course of her career, she has provided medical care and emotional support in a wide variety of settings. She is responsible for client care, maintaining medical records, HIPPA and Joint Commission compliance. Megan is an avid outdoor adventurer and photographer who loves photographing nature. When appropriate, she likes to incorporate these passions into her work with adolescents at Paradigm.
Kaitlin Robinson, a graduate from Antioch University with a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, focuses on Child and Adolescent Development. She specializes in working with children who are experiencing challenges academically, socially, emotionally and behaviorally. Prior to Kaitlin jumping on board with Paradigm Malibu, she worked closely with children and their families in schools and on an in-home basis, and provided them an additional support system. She has had the opportunity to work with children with diverse cultural backgrounds, academic and behavioral problems, child abuse, parent child conflicts, sibling conflicts, grief or loss, acculturation, communications issues, divorce, parental incarceration, and the emotional ebbs and flows which can occur in natural developmental stages. She brings to the table a variety of therapeutic interventions including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
Dr. James Luzano is a licensed clinical psychiatrist who specializes in working with adolescents struggling with mental health and chemical dependency issues. He is a graduate of Columbia University and completed his residency at the University of California, Los Angeles. He holds an Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Additionally Dr. Luzano is an attending psychiatrist at UCLA Medical Center. While working at both Cedars-Sinai and UCLA he has gained invaluable experience in working with teen trauma, PTSD, teen anxiety, depression, and treatment resistant youth. Dr. Luzano provides medication management, psychiatric assessments and psychological treatment at Paradigm.
Lou Ferrigno Jr is a graduate of the University of Southern California, the Baron/Brown Academy and holds both ISSA Personal Trainer and Fitness/Exercise Therapist Certifications. Having grown up in a health and fitness conscious family, exercise and wellness have always been an important part of his life. Lou has a sophisticated approach to training that stresses both the physical and psychological benefits of exercise. His expertise includes, but are not limited to, Rehabilitation, Athletic Training, Bodybuilding, Cardio Workouts, Core Training, Flexibility, Prevention, Lifestyle Coaching, Pain Management, Plyometrics, Speed and Agility Training, Sports Conditioning, Strength Training, Toning, General Fitness Weight Management and Wellness. Before joining the Paradigm team, Lou was a member of the #1 ranked USC Trojan football team. He is a successful personal trainer and an accomplished actor and artist. Lou is currently a series regular on the CBS prime time drama S.W.A.T.
Summer Lall is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston and a Board Certified Music Therapist. She has devoted her career to working with youth who are struggling with drug abuse, addiction, emotional health and behavioral health issues. Summer uses a wide range of music modalities to assist teens in their healing process. This includes, but is not limited to the use of a diverse selection of instruments, songs, song writing, improvisational and relaxation techniques to establish non-musical goals.
Prior to joining the Paradigm Malibu team, Summer worked with young people in schools, hospitals, psychiatric programs, hospice care, camps, and teen treatment centers. In addition to her broad local outreach, Summer’s work with music has taken her to locations throughout the world ranging from Europe to Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Samoa. She provides both group and individual Music Therapy Sessions to adolescents at Paradigm Malibu. Summer’s commitment to empowering young people though the use of Music makes her an invaluable member of our team.
Jennifer Cassetta is a graduate of Fordham University in New York and holds a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut. She is a Certified Nutritionist and a Holistic Health Counselor who is also a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. In addition, Jennifer is a certified personal trainer, a Senior Black Belt Instructor, a World Pro HapKiDo Federation instructor and a VSK Jujitsu Black Belt Instructor. A popular educator and lecturer, Jennifer has appeared as an expert on The Today Show, E! TV, The Bethenny Show, The Doctors, in Marie Claire, Women’s Health Magazine, Fitness Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, New York Post and on National Public Radio.
As a Holistic Health Counselor, Jennifer works to assist youth in integrating all aspects of their physical and emotional health. She educates and counsels teen participants on issues ranging from nutrition to exercise and meditation. One of her specialties is instruction in Han Su Do breathing techniques. These techniques stem from the ancient Korean art of Hapkido and are scientifically proven to lower anxiety and improve concentration.
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 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 has been working in the field of teen mental health and teen addiction treatment for more than 15 years. She is the founder of Words Changing Worlds, a writing workshop for at-risk youth offered through UCLA. Prior to joining Paradigm, she worked conjointly with the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of Los Angeles to compile and edit the critically acclaimed anthology of teen writing titled When the Bough Breaks.
In addition, she has collaborated with organizations such as the LA Alliance for a Drug Free Community, to create multiple teen writing and photo exhibits which have been featured on MTV, in the LA Weekly, LA City Hall, and the National Drug Court Office in Washington D.C.
Cynthia also previously served as the manager of the Pedro Zamora Youth HIV Clinic and coordinated a creative arts program for teens with comedian, and talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres. Cynthia is a Pen Fellow whose most recent work, RUBY was chosen by Oprah for her book club. She attended Northwestern University and graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She has lectured at multiple institutions of higher education including Sarah Lawrence University, Albany College, Whittier and UCLA. Cynthia conducts Journaling and Therapeutic writing groups for Paradigm Malibu participants. Through written expression, she works in conjunction with the other expressive arts therapists to assist teen rehab participants in gaining new perspectives on their lives and the recovery process.
Daniela Sandelin graduated from CSU Channel Islands, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and she is currently enrolled in the Doctoral Clinical Psychology Program at California Lutheran University.
She has previous clinical experience, in both outpatient and inpatient therapeutic settings, providing individual therapy to adolescents with issues ranging from eating related disorders, to anxiety, depression and mood disorders. She is an avid surfer and has extensive experience working with horses. These skills come into play as she provides leadership with a number of experiential therapies. Daniela was born and raised in Finland and has worked with youth in multiple countries throughout the European Union. She is passionate about helping teens find their voice, develop positive coping strategies, enjoy healthy activities, find a sense of purpose, experience emotional growth and achieve fulfillment.
Cindy Weathers is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Cindy obtained a B.A. in psychology from the State University of New York at Albany. She then completed a Masters degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy from Antioch University, Los Angeles. She is trained in the provision of Parent Effectiveness Training and specializes in working with parents of adolescents struggling with issues such as: depression, anxiety, bullying, low self-esteem, self-injurious behavior, addiction, and difficulty with emotional connection. Prior to joining Paradigm, Cindy served in a variety of therapeutic settings, including but not limited to: outpatient clinics, a psychiatric urgent care, and teen residential treatment.
For much of the last decade, Carol Nalin has been providing Parent Effective Training and parent support services to families in a teen rehab setting. In addition to being a certified PET Trainer, she is the Founder and Creator of The Parenting Pros, a Certified Anger Resolution Therapist and a Child Custody Mediator. For ten years, she served as the President of the Community Advisory Council at Birmingham High School as part of the Los Angeles Unified District. In addition Carol is certified as a UCLA trained Mediator and a Dispute Resolution Server which is recognized by the Los Angeles Bar Association.
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.
Dr. Vallerie E. Coleman is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst who has been in practice for over 20 years. She is the founder and Clinical Director of a successful equine therapy program and also maintains private practices in both Westlake Village and Santa Monica, CA. Dr. Coleman combines her expertise in psychology, group dynamics, and systems with her love and respect for horses – maximizing the powerful capacity these magnificent animals have for facilitating human growth and development. Dr. Coleman’s approach is grounded in a combination of attachment theory, somatic psychology, and object relations theory. In addition to speaking at conferences and leading workshops, she has been on faculty at Loyola Marymount University, the Newport Psychoanalytic Institute, and Antioch University. She has also been a guest expert on the Dr. Phil show and is a contributor in the recently released book: Harnessing the Power of Equine Assisted Counseling.
Phoebe Gilmour conducts stand-up-paddleboard sessions that are designed to help adolescents develop and explore therapeutic issues, out on the water. She specializes in working with teens who are struggling with behavioral health issues such as eating disorders and addictions. Phoebe helps young people experience mastery of a skill and overcome limitations, with the ultimate goal of transferring these achievements to their lives. Phoebe is especially passionate about working with teens who struggle with body image, to help them understand and embrace changes in both their bodies and their identity formation. Prior to devoting herself to paddle board therapy, Phoebe worked as an attorney in the mental health field, helping clients gain access to treatment.
Soulswells is a healing journey back to you and your relationship with a higher power, however She, He or It feels true to you. Our service offered is Spiritual Direction. Spiritual Direction is acting as a witness to someone else’s relationship with their higher power. We act as a witness to your journey back to you by listening and guiding you out on to the water, free from ego and free from outside noise. Soulswells is founded on the basis that we all need to know and feel the unconditional love in which we were created. That we are a perfect image of exactly who we are supposed to be but that WE must learn to love what we see and feel.
For 2 hours we go out onto the water on our paddle-boards, using our bodies and connecting to them. The ‘paddle’ part of the trek can be physically demanding and is designed to engage the body. We then sit down and discuss where we are at with our own spirituality, if anywhere at all. We talk a lot about the mystery of spirituality. It is a space where one can speak their truth, without judgment. Soulswells is not therapy, however, we see our service as a compliment to therapy and we work with many recovery centers and therapists.
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 served as an Educational Counselor for a non-profit organization which supports adolescents suffering from drug and alcohol abuse. In this role, Darren was committed to helping teens break free from addiction, increase self-esteem, and discover how to live healthy and full lives.
Darren also worked in higher education,counseling students andhelping students become academically prepared and equipped to succeed in their college education. In this capacity, he worked with teens from an array of different backgrounds and enjoyed helping them grow as students and as people, in order to reach their goals.
Darren enjoys literature, philosophy, sports, and comedy, and when clinically appropriate, incorporates the benefits of these activities in the therapeutic process when possible.
May Che has been practicing and teaching Yoga for more than a decade. She received certifications in Yoga Therapy Rx from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and as a Yoga Therapy Teacher by the Paramanand Institute of Yoga Sciences and Research in Indore, India. She also studied Yoga Anatomy and Alignment, Yin Yoga and Universal Yoga in Singapore and received additional training in Spain and Thailand. May is devoted to helping youth utilize yoga to enhance detoxification, restore balance, reconnect with their bodies and develop positive coping styles. She specializes in both Power Yoga and Restorative Yoga for adolescents.
Brigita Slekys is a California Board Licensed Acupuncturist. She is a graduate of Bastyr University and the Shanghai School of Chinese Medicine. She has received specialized training in the NADA Detox protocol, Auricular Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Herbs. Brigita uses a combination of these skill sets to best meet the needs of the teens she serves at Paradigm Malibu.
While Brigita is committed to treating all aspects of teen rehab participants, she specializes in the use of acupuncture to assist in detoxification, reduction of cravings and the treatment of emotional health issues.
Dr. Michael Graham received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Argosy University and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Southern California. Michael has extensive experience providing therapy for young people and their families in multiple outpatient and residential settings. He has also provided therapeutic services for youth in Juvenile Camps, The California Counseling Center and the Los Angeles Unified School District. In addition to his mental health expertise, Michael is an accomplished Track and Field athlete. He set multiple high school records and was an eight time college All-American. He was the US Juniors National Champion in the 400 intermediate hurdles and a US Juniors Pan American Champion. He is a two time Olympic trial qualifier who has traveled the world representing the U.S. as an athlete. Michael has also served as a Social Relationship Coordinator for the United Nations and as a program Director for both the Carl Lewis Foundation and the American Diabetes Association.
Michael combines his unique skills and experiences as a mental health professional and as an athlete to provide leadership for Paradigm Malibu’s Young Athlete’s Program. He works to ensure that residential services are designed and implemented in a manner that allows each participant to meet or exceed their treatment and athletic goals.
Gator comes to the Paradigm Team as a “career change” puppy from Guide Dogs of America and is a graduate of the AKC Good Citizen program. He is a gentle, loving Labrador Retriever with endless patience. He is a favorite treatment component of many Paradigm residents.
Michael J. McAtee 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.
Ricky Merrell graduated from California Lutheran University with a Bachelor of Arts degree. As an adolescent, he was himself in residential treatment and learned first hand what treatment approaches were most impactful for both he and his peers. As a Clinical Assistant he utilizes his personal experiences and post treatment success to inspire teens at Paradigm. Having overcome his own challenges, Ricky has a strong desire to help teens currently struggling their own mental and behavioral health issues. Ricky is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys the mountains, the ocean, and all activities that take place within those elements. When possible Ricky likes to utilize surfing and other outdoor recreation to foster the psychological well-being for teens at paradigm
Sean Dwyer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Washington University in St Louis and a Master of Arts degree in International Security Policy from The George Washington University. Prior to joining Paradigm, Sean was as a national security intelligence analyst for the US government and a marketing executive in New York. Sean also volunteered at an adolescent dual diagnosis psychiatric unit in Minneapolis for three years. This period prompted Sean to make a career change, shifting his focus to working with adolescents struggling with mental health issues. In addition, Sean’s years of personal recovery work provide him with a unique set of skills to assist young people with substance abuse issues.
Kendall Jory 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.
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.
Avonlea Ware is currently enrolled at Pepperdine University, where she is earning a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy. Before coming to Paradigm, she worked with Pepperdine’s Relationship IQ program at the Boone Center which is devoted to promoting healthy relationship skills for young adults. Having lived abroad and traveled extensively throughout Europe, India and the Middle East, Avonlea has developed a focus on conflict resolution which she believes is an asset to teens struggling to find their place in the world.
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.
Teresa Hernandez graduated from The University Southern California with a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work, specializing in Children and Families. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Consumer Science from California State University Northridge. Prior to Paradigm Malibu, Teresa worked with Ventura County and Mesa Union school districts providing weekly school-based, group and individual therapy to adolescents addressing social-emotional needs surrounding: Autism, Emotional health and behavioral health issues. Prior, Teresa served as an Addictions Therapist and Medical Social Worker where she provided therapeutic services to address issues surrounding: chemical dependency, crisis intervention, mental illness, interpersonal issues, suicidality, and learning disorders.
John Burns graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies. Throughout his life, John has excelled in team-oriented sports, including football, basketball, and baseball. When possible, John incorporates these experiences into his work with teens at Paradigm. He strives to convey the importance of physical fitness, teamwork, and maintaining an active lifestyle as it relates to good mental health, building self-esteem, healthy communication, and developing positive relationships.
Kayla Nelson graduated from Creighton University, with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She received her Masters in Clinical Psychology from California Lutheran University and is currently working towards her doctorate (PsyD). Before coming to Paradigm, she gained experience working with adolescents in multiple therapeutic settings, including in-patient treatment facilities, and group home settings. She is skilled at working with teens with issues ranging from teen eating disorders, anxiety, depression, adolescent drug and alcohol abuse, and other youth behavioral disorders. Kayla is trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and uses an eclectic therapeutic approach
Ned Muchene graduated from Frostburg State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Following college, he held numerous positions on Capitol Hill for United States Senators Paul Sarbanes and Barbara Mikulski. After several years in Washington, Ned decided that life inside the beltway was not as meaningful as he had imagined. Rather, he found greater satisfaction working with young people in a variety of settings including mentoring interns at the Senate, as a head swim team coach in his hometown of Columbia, Maryland, and as an instructor for the junior beach lifeguard program in his role as a Surf Rescue Technician on the Ocean City, MD Beach Patrol. An avid writer, Ned works to convey the therapeutic benefits of writing, exercise and introspection with teens at Paradigm.
George Garritano is a native of Chicago and a graduate of Northern Illinois University. Prior to joining Paradigm he worked at United Airlines where he served as a trauma counselor for family members affected by the events of 9/11. He has also worked with The Special Olympics, where he coordinated athletic events for adolescents. George also has extensive experience working in film and television. He especially enjoys working with young people who want to tell their stories through film and/or screenwriting.
Haeley Nibarger graduated from Pepperdine University with a Bachelor’s degree in Interpersonal Communications and also earned her Master’s degree from Pepperdine in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. Prior to Paradigm, she served as a child and adolescent trainee in a high school where she helped students achieve thier full potential both academically and emotionally. Haeley also served as a counselor for adolescents and as a project coordinator for students at a private university. As a therapist at Paradigm, Haeley encourages adolescents to find their voice to beter advocate for themselves. Haeley lives an active lifestyle and enjoys integrating walks, exercise, animals and being outdoor actuvutues in the therapeutic process, when appropriate.
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.
Victor Gabriel received his Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. Prior to joining Paradigm, he worked in community mental health for 10 years in South Los Angeles and is trained in trauma informed care and culturally competent therapy. Victor has significant experience in working with children, families and individuals who have experienced trauma, including sexual assault, domestic violence, PTSD, and more. He often approaches therapeutic work from an integrative theoretical approach and enjoys helping young people find their own unique paths to healing and growth.
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.
Jeremy Ragster graduated with honors from Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology, with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy. While earning his Master’s degree, he worked with elder clients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other neurocognitive disorders. Prior to joining Paradigm, Jeremy worked with adolescents in several different capacities and has come to greatly appreciate and enjoy the specific ways in which working with this population is unique from others. In approaching work with adolescents who are struggling with anxiety, depression, and behavioral issues, he places strong value on teens’desire for their stories and truths to be heard, and therefore, focuses on creating a productive and positive environment in which teens can explore those truths. Jeremy draws upon numerous therapeutic modalities but often operates from a Cognitive-Behavioral and Narrative approach, in order to provide teens with the opportunity and responsibility to enact the positive change they want to create in their lives, while also giving necessary structure and support.
Liesl Heuer holds a Master’s of Social Work Degree from Azusa Pacific University and a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Psychology from Sonoma State University. Prior to joining Paradigm, she worked with probation and foster youth in San Bernardino County, where she conducted individual, family, and group therapy sessions, along with crisis management. Liesl has experience working with children of all different ages and backgrounds, and is trained in many Evidence-Based Practices (CBT, SBIRT, TF-CBT) as well as being certified in Seeking Safety. Liesl is an adoptee from Seoul, South Korea and is passionate about working with children and adolescents to help them overcome challenges and strengthen their identities by embracing their own strengths.
Evan Perlo holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Philosophy from Sarah Lawrence College. Prior to joining Paradigm, he worked with adolescent and adult populations at the Southern California Counseling Center, where he concentrated on social justice, anger management, and building resilience and empowerment through individual and group therapy. Evan anchors his approach to therapy in Attachment Theory, which looks at our patterns of connecting with others and examines how we can show up in the world securely, reliably, and authentically. He is particularly passionate about group therapy as a means to exploring interpersonal relationships as a community, especially in regards to feelings of loneliness. By utilizing mindfulness practices, Evan enjoys helping teens develop practical strategies to be present with difficult emotions and cultivate kindness and acceptance towards themselves, which leads to tremendous growth in their lives.
Erika Leibovitch graduated cum laude from Miami University of Ohio where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She earned her Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University. While earning her degree, Erika trained in individual and couples therapy while providing Crisis Intervention to a diverse and dynamic population.
Prior to joining the Paradigm team, Erika worked as a research assistant at the University of California, Los Angeles where she studied the effects of stress in pregnancy in young women. She has also contributed to research studies on the psychosocial risk factors of adolescents who undergo bariatric surgery. Erika has been a therapist and tennis coach serving teens at a fitness summer camp in New York.
She also worked for a non-profit educational organization serving young people and their families in an after-school program in Bel-Air. Erika is passionate about connecting with teens in creative ways to promote their own unique strengths and talents. She strives to create a safe space for adolescents and their families to encourage and facilitate better communication, growth and greater understanding.
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.
Lauren Prina graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Art History. Prior to joining Paradigm Lauren worked as a camp counselor and led groups and activities for the youth at a local church. Lauren is committed to working with teens struggling with depression, anxiety and other emotional health issues. She has a passion for art and seeks out opportunities to help adolescents use art as a form of therapeutic expression.
Mayra Fuentes is a graduate of California State University where she earned a bachelor degree in Sociology. She has extensive experience working with adolescents. Prior to joining Paradigm she served as Vice President of the Jumpstart Readers Club, where she provided counseling to at risk teens through literature and story telling. She has also worked with hundreds of teens struggling with depression, anxiety and any number of emotional health issues though a number of programs sponsored by Los Angeles County. Mayra is also bilingual, speaking both Spanish and English fluently. She provides direct assistance to clients with course work related to either language and any number of other studies. She also provides therapists assistance in supporting and protecting the clinical milieu.
Sam Lozano graduated from California State University, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Prior to joining Paradigm, she worked at an outreach program in the greater Los Angeles. Sam has a broad history working with at-risk youth especially in both mental health and teen addiction programs. She is also trained and certified to provide co-morbidity testing services and complex case management.
Robert Burns graduated from California Lutheran University (Cal Lutheran) with a BS in Psychology where he was recruited to play collegiate level football. In addition to his work with Paradigm Malibu, Robert is currently interning at St. Johns Regional Medical Center and is pursuing studies in Neurology. Robert seeks out opportunities to implement the skills he has developed over the course of competing in sports and promotes the use of recreational sports and exercise to promote psychological well-being for teens at Paradigm.
Joy Richardson is currently an undergraduate in pursuit of a bachelor of arts degree in nursing. Prior to joining Paradigm Malibu, she worked in the healthcare industry including at a family clinic where she provided support services. Joy is devoted to providing an environment for teens that is both physically and emotionally safe.
Originally from New Jersey, Brandon Grumet attended Rutgers University where he was a member of the Residence Life Community Assistant Program. Brandon has previously worked with teens as a staff member at Surprise Lake Camp, located in upstate New York, holding multiple positions over the course of several summers. He most recently served as the teen-side Dramatic Arts Chair, during which time he directed youth in full scale stage productions, and introduced them to many forms of improv and drama exercises. In addition to working at Paradigm, Brandon is a writer and actor. Brandon is a strong advocate for the arts and their therapeutic applications.
Siana Walker has worked with adolescents in the fields of education and metal health for more than a decade. She holds a Bachelors Degree from Virginia State University in Liberal Arts and recently graduated from the “Mastery In Transformational Training” Legacy Program. In addition, she holds a and holds a certification in Youth Crisis Negotiation. Siana is passionate about helping teens remain current or even get ahead in their studies while they are in treatment. Her primary focus is on assisting teens become their best selves and achieve their full potential. She is also the creator of “Level UP” a youth leadership training course and “7 Steps to Perfection” a realization and empowerment program for Adolescents that she facilitates throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Kyle Esguerra holds his Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from California State University-Northridge. During his senior year, he was a lead intern at CSUN’s Psycho-Physiology lab, which focused on PTSD. Prior to joining Paradigm, Kyle worked as a Fine Motor Skills Tutor at an Occupational Therapy facility for teens with autism, anxiety, and other mental/behavioral difficulties. He combines his interests of kinesiology and psychology in working with youth and is passionate about recognizing the specific ways in which the mental and physical intersection of teens’ needs can be used to promote and accelerate healing. In working with the youth at Paradigm, Kyle’s goal is always to find ways to best support and encourage teens’ overall healing and wellness, in order to help them flourish.
Ben Edwards is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz and is currently completing his Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. Prior to Paradigm, Ben worked as the head coach for Junior High School football and basketball teams, in the Los Angeles area. He also worked a full time musician, touring all over the world, performing as the bass player and musical director for various bands, including Mitchel Musso from Disney’s Hannah Montana, Chris Barron from the Spin Doctors, and multi-grammy winning Latin rock star, Beto Cuevas, with whom he earned a Grammy participation certificate Ben seeks out opportunities to use both sports and music in his work with adolescents at Paradigm. He is a proud Chilean-Californian, and a member of the 12 Step community.
Claudine Lamarre was born in Provence, France into a family of chefs. Following in the tradition of her family, she learned the ways of cuisine at home and at 16 enrolled in l’école hotellière de Paris” – a school specializing in the culinary arts. Claudine specializes in Mediterranean-style cooking in addition to many European culinary traditions. Claudine has spent many years working as a private chef, orienting her cuisine to be healthy and light, but with tastes pleasing to the palette.
Claudine routinely designs Vegetarian, Vegan, Kosher and other specialized meals to meet the needs of each adolescent. She works with all teen rehab participants to help teach the value of healthful eating.
Patricia Delaere holds a Doctorate in Naturopathy from Trinity College of Natural Health. She is a Digestive Specialist and a Functional Diagnosis Nutritionist Practitioner. Patricia has worked many years as a private chef and in a number of prestigious restaurants. A number of years ago, Patricia decided to couple her cooking skills with her desire to help young people heal through nutrition. As a Doctor of Naturopathy and a Chef, she has devoted her life to providing healing meals and improved nutrition to the youth at Paradigm.
From the love that his family’s cooking brought his childhood, Patro Lopez knew at a young age that a career as a chef was the profession he wanted to pursue. This passion would lead Patro to train under the leadership of several renowned chefs specializing in a variety of culinary origins. Patro’s creations cross several cultural and geographic borders, consisting of recipes derived from Mexican, Italian, and Japanese cuisine, among others. Patro seeks out opportunities to assist youth is developing a refined sense of self and meaningful relationships through sharing nutritious, inspired meals.
Kathie Lester has over 15 years experience planning and managing the operations of small businesses and organizations to improve productivity and efficiency. She is a graduate of The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN where her career in social services began. Kathie’s focus was nonprofit management, fund development, program development and evaluation, financial management, communications strategies, and event management. She managed a residential program, providing support and resources for clients, as well as leadership and direction to staff and volunteers. Prior to joining Paradigm Malibu, she spent 8 years with a private medical practice where she coordinated and managed the financial business practices while improving processes and policies in support of organizational goals. Kathie has a trained therapy dog, as well as regularly fosters local shelter animals. She enjoys the outdoors and is an avid runner.
Shelby Hawkins received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Brigham Young University in Idaho and plans to pursue an advanced degree in Clinical Psychology. Prior to joining Paradigm, she served as Office Manager for an outpatient mental health office in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she carried out financial, administrative and clinical duties. In addition to being an avid reader, Shelby spends her free time volunteering, spending time at the beach, and hiking with her family.
Wendy Davidian earned her Bachelor’s degree in Human Services from the University of Phoenix. Prior to joining Paradigm’s team, she served as an Executive Assistant, Human Resources Generalist, and Office Manager. In her role as Office Manager, Wendy utilizes her passion for supporting others while carrying out Paradigm’s commitment to helping teens struggling with anxiety, depression, PTSD, grief, addiction, disordered eating and other mental health and behavioral health issues. When she’s not at Paradigm, Wendy enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and working out.
Jason Fragoso graduated from a private high school in Los Angeles and earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from California State Northridge. Prior to joining the Paradigm team he served as an office manager for the Oviatt Library and as a camp counselor for youth. When not at Paradigm, Jason is a drummer in the popular band, Papa Fish. He can be found playing venues ranging from Plane for Change to the House of Blues.
Madisen Lester graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor’s degree in Education and a minor in Child Development. In her position as Paradigm’s Insurance Claims Facilitator, she verifies insurance benefits and assists in the processing of claims. Madisen is committed to doing all that she can to reduce the challenges that sometimes arise when working with insurance companies to allow families to put more of their time and energy into the treatment process and aftercare. In her free time, Madisen enjoys hiking, running, rescuing animals.