Google+ Our Team | Drug Rehab for Teenagers

Our team

Dr. Jeff Nalin, Psy.D. (PSY17766) – Founder and Clinical Director

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

Dr. Nalin has appeared as an expert on shows ranging from CBS News 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 currently an adjunct faculty member at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology, a Diplomate of the National Institute of Sports Professionals and a Certified Sports Psychologist. He lectures and conducts workshops nationally on the issues of substance abuse prevention, teen drug rehab reforms and innovative adolescence treatment.

Cole Rucker, MA – Founder and CEO

Cole Rucker, MA - Founder and CEO | Paradigm Malibu

Cole 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 Youth Residential Treatment 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. Dustin G. Sanchez, MD (A117848) – Psychiatrist / Medical Director

Dr. Dustin G. Sanchez | Paradigm MalibuDr. Sanchez is a Diplomate in Psychiatry and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology. He earned his undergraduate degree at Stanford University and his Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. He completed his Psychiatry Residency and his Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at Stanford University. Prior to joining Paradigm, Dr. Sanchez served as the attending psychiatrist at a large medical center where he provided leadership for a multidisciplinary team utilizing an integrated care model. He also served as the Director of Psychiatry clinical elective for Ventura County Family Medicine Residency Program and as the attending psychiatrist at an adolescent psychiatric hospital. In addition, Dr. Sanchez taught in the Medical
Student and Resident Training program at Sanford University School of Medicine where he received the outstanding teaching award. He also taught at San Francisco State University and at Colin McEwen High School in Malibu. He currently serves as the International Coordinating Officer for heart for People Uganda and is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

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

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

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.

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

Lori | Paradigm MalibuDr. Baudino is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and a board certified Dance/Movement Therapist. An innovator in her field, she brought the first DMT programs to both the UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and Los Angeles Children’s Hospital through the Andrea Rizzo Foundation. A recipient of the Marian Chase Foundation Award for Journalism, she has appeared in multiple publications ranging from the American Journal of Dance Therapy to the Special Education Advisor.  As a participant in the global efforts of Volunteer Psychological Services she has devoted her talents to the treatment of 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 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 (IMF87178) – Therapist

Nicole 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 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 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.


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

Steve 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.

Markus Rogan, M.A., MFTI (IMF85703) – Therapist

Markus Rogan | Paradigm MalibuMarkus holds a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Stanford University.

Prior to joining the Paradigm team, Markus conducted Clinical and Psychological research at the University of California. Los Angeles. He also
served as a psychotherapist at Beit T’Shuva. Markus is a professional swimmer. He has competed in four Olympic Games where he won two Silver Medals.  He holds one World Title, nine European Titles and two World Records. He has been honored with the Golden Cross of Honor of the Republic of Austria, the City of Addis Adeba Award for Contributions to Education, the Stanford University Al Masters Award and the United Nations Medal of Honor for Civil Courage.

Markus specializes in working with teens struggling with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, and addiction issues. He also enjoys working with gifted young athletes as well as those who do not believe they have any athletic abilities.

Andrew Oldershaw, M.A., MFTI (IMF88967)

Andrew Oldershaw | Paradigm Malibu

Andrew received his Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University where he was recently elected to the Board of Trustees. He earned his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania with a dual concentration in Sociology and Communications. Andrew is also a graduate of the FBI’s Citizen’s Academy, a former Human Services Commissioner, a public sector liaison to the Hate Crime Forum of the FBI and the Department of Justice in Southern California, and has facilitated group psychotherapy through the Center for Health Justice. Prior to joining the Paradigm team, Andrew has worked as a psychotherapist at both the LA LGBT Center and the APLA, where he received two awards for distinction in mental health services. Andrew also co-founded the Prism Institute, which specializes in developmental identity awareness issues for middle schools and high schools. His clients include the Santa Monica & Malibu Unified School District.  Andrew specializes in anxiety, depression, trauma, substance addiction, behavioral addiction, and identity issues.

Lucy Nguyen, M.S., MFTI (IMF81670) – Therapist

Lucy Nguyen | Paradigm MalibuLucy 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. Eugene Kimn, M.D. (A115852) – Adolescent Psychiatrist

Dr. Eugene Kimn | Paradigm MalibuDr. Kimn, MD is a board certified clinical psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of adolescents. He is a graduate of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Dr. Kimn completed his General Psychiatry Residency and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at the Los Angeles County University of Southern California Medical Center.  He has completed an Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at UCLA  San Fernando Valley Cedars Sinai Program. Dr. Kimn is an attending psychiatrist at LAC+USC Medical Center. Dr. Kimn provides the young people at Paradigm with psychiatric assessments and medication management. He shares Paradigm’s belief that medication should always be a last resort rather than a first one.

Jessica Serber, M.A., MFTI (IMF86850 & PCC2075) – Therapist, Meadows

Jessica Serber | Paradigm MalibuJessica holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University. Jessica has extensive experience working with teenagers and their families. While earning her degree, she trained at a community counseling center where she worked individually with adolescent trauma survivors. In addition she has experience providing therapy and support to adolescents both in high school and on college campuses with a range of social, learning, and behavioral difficulties, including teen anxiety, depression and adolescent substance abuse.


Jessica specializes in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder and other adolescent anxiety issues, including social anxiety, body dysmorphia, and generalized anxiety. She incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and the principles of mindfulness into her work. Jessica values working with teens and their parents to develop skills in treatment that can be translated to their lives at home. Jessica is a passionate about the hiking, yoga, and fitness, and enjoys connecting with clients while they are engaged in their recreational activities.


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, Point Dume

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.


Hilary Kern, M.A., LMFT (LMFT89912) – Art Therapist

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

Teresa Hernandez, M.S.W. (ASW65051) – Therapist

Teresa Hernandez | Paradigm MailbuTeresa 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.



Jason Fragaso – Office Manager

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

Adam Steel – Teacher, Meadows

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.


Ceccily Bednash, M.A., MFTI (IMF95464) – Art Therapist

Ceccily Bednash | Paradigm MalibuCeccily 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.

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 | Paradigm MalibuDaniela 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. 

Kayla Nelson, M.S., PsyD Trainee – Pre-Doctoral Therapist

Kayla Nelson | Paradigm Malibu

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 to best meet the individual needs of each young person she works with.


Linda K. Reeves, M.A., MFTI (IMF90828) – Parent Liaison

Linda Reeves | Paradigm MalibuLinda 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.


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) – 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.


Sophia Galano, M.S.W. (ASW69296) – Therapist

Sophia received a Master’s degree in Social Work from New York University and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Fine Art from Pitzer College. Prior to joining Paradigm, she worked in a youth psychiatric institution providing both psychotherapy and case management to dual diagnosis teens.  Previously, she also served as a high school counselor in Bayonne, NJ where she provided therapy to students with emotional health issues, self-harm behaviors, addictions, and PTSD. Sophia is passionate about empowering teens and loves art, design, music and the outdoors. Sophia enjoys incorporating her artistic background into therapeutic sessions and applying creativity into various treatment modalities.


Eric Kruse, M.A., MFTI (IMF96249), PCCI (PCCI3431) – Therapist

Eric Kruse received his Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology and is a MFT Registered Intern and a PCC Registered Intern. He specializes in working with adolescents struggling with addiction.  Prior to coming to Paradigm, Eric worked as a counselor for a residential treatment program and as a Recovery Support Specialist for an intervention service.  He completed his MFT and PCC training at a community mental health center where he provided counseling with a relational gestalt approach. Eric currently takes an eclectic approach utilizing various modalities, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, person-centered therapy, brief solution-focused therapy, existential therapy, and narrative therapy. Eric believes that every teen has a unique and interesting story.  He works with adolescents to deconstruct problem-saturated narratives in an effort to change unhealthy thinking patterns and behaviors.

Jessica Clements, M.A. (IMF93302) – Therapist

Jessica Clements | Paradigm MalibuJessica holds a Master of Arts Degree from Pacific Oaks College in Marriage and Family Therapy, specializing in Trauma studies.  Before joining Paradigm, she worked with individuals suffering from severe mental illness and co-occurring disorders. This included adolescents suffering from trauma, homelessness teens.  Jessica has six years of experience working in residential treatment settings providing individual, couples, group and family therapy. Her passion is working with teens and their families.

Robert Fitzgerald, MFTI (IMF94094) – Therapist, Meadows

Robert Fitzgerald | Paradigm MalibuRob holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA and a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from Chicago School of Professional Psychology. In his master’s program, Rob trained as a high school guidance counselor and as a therapist for a recovery program in Los Angeles. He holds a specialized certification in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Rob takes a person-centered, strengths-based approach to working with teens. He brings a wealth of clinical experience working with alcohol and substance use disorders and incorporates Motivational Interviewing and mindfulness into his therapeutic work.

Paige Clarke, M.A., MFT (LMFT42994) – 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.

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.

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.


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.


Andrew Atkinson – Lead 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.

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.

Dr. Lorraine Rose, Ph.D., Psy.D. (PSY12803) – EAGALA Equine Assisted Psycotherapist

Dr. Lorraine Rose | Paradigm MalibuLorraine 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.

Kelani Cross – Training Coordinator

Kelani Cross | Paradigm MalibuKelani brings a wide range of experiences to her role as a training coordinator. Prior to joining the Paradigm team, she served as a house manager for a residential dual diagnosis program designed to meet the special needs of young people.  She also worked at the Teen Project for homeless Youth in Venice California, where she conducted intakes and assisted with the provision of a wide range of services including the implementation of process groups to building life skills. Kelani couples her passion for working with young people and animals in both equine and animal assisted therapies. In addition to her work at Paradigm, she is actively involved in sponsoring women in recovery, assisting in team building activities, Jiu Jitsu and surfing. Kelani welcomes opportunities to connect with teens who share her interest in animals and their potential for helping us heal in all aspects of life.

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