Serene Scene Transitional Sober Living Magazine
Conference Presenters

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Keynote Presenters

Allen Berger, Ph.D.
Allen Berger, Ph.D.

Dr. Allen Berger is a talented psychotherapist who has written extensively about the experience of recovery, emotional sobriety, and the psychological forces operating in the Twelve Steps. He is the author of 12 Stupid Things that Mess Up Recovery, 12 Smart Things to do When the Booze and Drugs are Gone, and 12 Hidden Rewards of Making Amends. You can learn more about Dr. Berger and his work at Dr. Berger received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the Univeristy of California, Davis in 1987 and is currently licensed to practice psychology in California.

Ingrid Mathieu, Ph.D.
presentation back to top Ingrid Clayton, Ph.D.

Ingrid Clayton has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and a Master’s Degree in transpersonal psychology. She is currently in private practice as a Clinical Psychologist (PSY24799) in Los Angeles, CA where she specializes in treating adults and adolescents, utilizing a wide range of holistic orientations and techniques that can provide every client with an individualized experience.

Since 2004 she has been working in diverse clinical settings including inpatient and outpatient dual-diagnosis treatment centers for alcoholics, addicts, and their family members; a public school system working with children and their families; a counseling center devoted to low-cost therapy where she conducted individual, couples, and family therapy as well as group therapy for men and women mandated for domestic violence issues.

Ingrid’s expertise in addiction and recovery led her to conduct research and write a book on spiritual bypass in 12-Step recovery titled, Recovering Spirituality: Achieving Emotional Sobriety in your Spiritual Practice (Hazelden, 2011).

She additionally facilitates workshops related to Emotional Sobriety, writes a blog on this topic for Psychology Today and is a regular contributor to Positively Positive.

Richard Fields, Ph.D.
Richard Fields, Ph.D.

Dr. Richard Fields is the author of two books, the college textbook Drugs In Perspective, 8th edition, McGraw Hill, 2012, and Awakening to Mindfulness, HCI Books, 2008, and editor, co-author of A Year of Living Mindfully: 52 Quotes & Mindfulness Practices, FACES Publishing, 2012, and A Year of Living with More Compassion: 52 Compassion Quotes  & Practices. He is the founder/director of FACES Conferences ( and has over thirty-five years experience in the alcohol/drug field as a trainer, counselor, and course developer.

Alexandra Katehakis
Harry Haroutunian, M.D.

Harry L.  Haroutunian MD, known by all his patients as “Dr. Harry,” is an internationally known speaker on the topics of Addictive Disease and its treatment. Dr. Harry has developed the “Recovery 101” lecture series on topics of Addiction Medicine, Recovery Issues, Communication Skills and Relapse Prevention. Dr. Haroutunian is a physician, educator and internationally known lecturer and entrepreneur. He is the author of “BEING SOBER” and co-author of “HIJACKING THE BRAIN".

Dr. Haroutunian serves as Physician Director at the Betty Ford Foundation where he has contributed to the development of programs that include: Extended Care Program; Family Program; Licensed Professional Program and Clinical Diagnostic Evaluation Program; Residential Day Treatment and Business Development. He participated with the merger of Betty Ford Center and Hazelden: “Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation” with the transition team and continues to be a valued member of the team.

He practiced medicine in Vermont for more than thirty years and is Board Certified in
Addiction Medicine and Board Certified in Family Medicine.  He is a regular contributor to WebMD, answering many questions from families and individuals with inquires about addiction.

He serves on many committees devoted to Physician Health and Recovery, including the Pharmacy and Therapeutic and Medical Education Committees. Dr. Haroutunian is also on several advisory boards: (ABA) Substance Use Advisory Board for Attorney’s; (SAB) North Venture Partner Scientific Advisory Board; California Nurses Educational Institute Advisory Board; (CPPH) California Public Protection & Physician Health, Inc. and (SAAC) Substance Abuse Advisory Committee.

Herb Kaighan, BA
Herbert Kaighan, B.A.

As the result of working the Twelve Steps, Herb experienced a profound spiritual awakening in 1988. Since then he has been very involved in sponsorship, facilitating workshops and leading retreats. He has authored “Twelve Step Guide to Using the Alcoholics Anonymsous Big Book” and “Twelve Step to Spritual Awakening”. Many have found them helpful.

Herb’s personal journey invludes seven years in seminary, a graduate education in psychology, and a 40 year career in human resources consulting (from which he retired in November 2006).

Herb is an adjunct professor at Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles) conducting workshops on a variety of topics for thwir Center for Spirituality.

Ingrid Mathieu, Ph.D.
presentation back to top Robert Mooney, M.D.

Dr. Robert Mooney, commonly referred to as Dr. Bobby, was born in Statesboro, Georgia and is the third son of Dr. and Mrs. John Mooney. Although he was only 6 years old when his parents began their personal recovery, he remembers the early days of their venture into a new dimension of sacrificing in order to help others. As his parents began converting their home into a makeshift hospital, Bobby, now in his early teens, discovered that growing up surrounded by addiction recovery did not make him immune to the same problems. With trouble nipping at his heels, he was able to graduate high school in Statesboro, but had little direction for what lay ahead. Because he had always had an interest in photography, he entered the Rochester Institute of Technology School of Professional Photography in Rochester, New York. While there he married his present wife, Cynthia. Although struggling with his own addiction, Bobby graduated RIT with a degree in professional photography and returned to Statesboro. By this time his parents had opened Willingway Hospital, which was one of the earliest modern facilities solely for the purpose of providing addiction treatment. When Bobby began work at Willingway he later would say that he went to work there because no one else would hire him. However, his education enabled him to design and direct Willingway’s brand new audio/visual and media facilities. While at the hospital Bobby was drawn to those around him that were already in recovery and began to question his own life direction, which eventually led him to seek out the path in his own recovery. He credits the staff and patients at Willingway for introducing him to a new found life.

With a new direction and a new passion he worked his way into counseling with his certification by the Georgia Addiction Counselors Association, eventually obtaining a Masters Addiction Counselor certification through the National Addiction Counselors Association. When his father became ill in the earlier 80s, he took over as the Associate Director for the hospital while his brother Dr. Al Mooney took their father’s position as Medical Director. When Dr. John died in 1983, Bobby realized that the physician’s role at Willingway was critical to the continuity of the program and after considerable introspection, he made the difficult decision to return to school at the age of 32. After completing his pre-medical requirements, he was accepted at Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, Georgia. Although originally planning to approach the addiction medicine arena through Family Practice training like his father and brother, he began to get advice that changes were occurring in the addiction field and he should consider a Psychiatry residency. As medical school progressed it became increasingly evident that this would benefit his opportunities within the addiction medicine field.

Upon the completion of his medical degree, he and Cindy, with their 3 children, moved to Johnson City, Tennessee in order to complete a residency in Psychiatry at East Tennessee State University. This experience reinforced his already strong belief in the philosophy of Willingway that abstinence continues to be the gold standard for addiction recovery, but it can be elusive under most circumstances. He became more convinced that Willingway was uniquely positioned to bear that standard. It would be difficult to find another facility, which could combine the history, the environment and family connection committed to preserving such a philosophy. “All I wanted to do was to return to Willingway and treat drunks, to continue what my parents had started in our home those many years ago.” With a passion for his chosen profession, he began his career at Willingway as a staff physician. While his addiction training progressed he remained active in the local mental health community by working with Pineland Mental Health to institute and head up an Assertive Community Treatment Team for the chronically mentally ill. This was the first such team in southern Georgia and ultimately became one of the most successful in the state. In 1995, Dr. Mooney was named as the Medical Director of Willingway, a role he continued to embrace until he decided to pass the torch in 2014 after 20 years service to the patients and families of Willingway. Dr. Bobby put it like this.” There will never be another place like Willingway, from the staff, the facility, the community and especially the philosophy, it all came together in a miraculous combination to create something extraordinarily special that I do not believe could ever be replicated.”

In addition to his work at Willingway, Dr. Mooney provided the initiative for the creation of the Dot and John Mooney Center for Addiction Recovery at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro. Housed in the School of Public Health, this recovering collegiate community provides students recovering from addictions with the opportunity to start or restart their education at the college level in an environment which supports and embraces their continued recovery. Sharing the legacy of Willingway has been a priority for Dr. Mooney and he has gladly lectured throughout the United States as well as New Zealand  and Canada. He has been able to contribute to the documentation of the Willingway experience in a number of articles found in a variety of publications specific to the addiction treatment community. In summarizing his thoughts for what lies ahead, he elegantly states, “To me the preservation of the evolution of our combined family experience is necessary to comprehend the magnitude of the shared recovery phenomenon, if no one had reached out to my father none of this would have occurred. I want us to never forget that what we experienced was never planned, it resulted from the love of one alcoholic touching the pain of another alcoholic. It doesn’t get any better than that!”

Dr. Mooney continues to be a staunch advocate for Willingway and the philosophy for total abstinence in the recovering population.

Thom Rutledge, LCSW
presentation back to top Thom Rutledge, LCSW

Thom Rutledge is a psychotherapist in Nashville, Tennessee. He is the author of several books, including Embracing Fear, The Power of Self-Forgiveness, Earning Your Own Respect and Nutshell Essays. He has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN, The Fox Network, Australia’s Channel 10 and has consulted with The Dr. Phil Show. Thom has been presenting collaboratively with Allen Berger since they accidentally presented a workshop together at the first Evolution of Addiction Treatment Conference.

Thom Rutledge, LCSW
presentation back to top Constance Scharff, Ph.D.

Constance Scharff has a PhD in Transformative Studies, specializing in addiction recovery. She is the Senior Addiction Research Fellow and Director of Addiction Research at Cliffside Malibu Treatment Center and coauthor with Richard Taite of the #1 bestselling book, Ending Addiction for Good. Dr. Scharff writes for a variety of publications and speaks worldwide to healing professionals on the science and spirituality of addiction recovery - from the neuroscience of addiction recovery and depression and trauma as related to addiction, to the concepts of vulnerability and hope.  She has also traveled extensively in Asia, Africa, and North America, learning how to help individuals evoke life-transforming experiences and use those experiences to heal addictions and trauma.

Rabbi Shais Taub
presentation back to top Rabbi Shais Taub

Rabbi Shais Taub is an internationally known speaker, writer and teacher on topics of Jewish spirituality who is also known for his work in the field of addiction rcovery. NPR dubbed him “an expert in Jewish mysticism and the 12 Steps” and The New York Times called him “a phenomenon.” His bestselling book, G-d of Our Understanding: Jewish Spirituality and Recovery from Addiction was a #1 Jewish bestseller on and was praised by Publishers Weekly as “a singular resource for those in need.”

He is a leading exponent of the fundamental chasidic text, Tanya, and created two groundbreaking works on the book: The Map of Tanya and the JLI course, Soul Maps.
He is a frequent and popular contributor to The Huffington Post. He also writes a weekly advice column for Ami Magazine.

He resides in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife and children.

Gary Yontef, Ph.D.
presentation back to top Gary Yontef, Ph.D.

Gary Yontef, Ph.D., ABPP, Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, American Board of Professional Psychology and Fellow of the Academy of Clinical Psychology has been a gestalt therapist since training with Frederick Perls and James Simkin in 1965 and a supervisor and trainer since 1971. Formerly on the UCLA Psychology Department Faculty and Chairman of the Professional Conduct Committee of the L.A. County Psychological Association, Gary has a private practice in Los Angeles, California. He is a past president of the Gestalt Therapy Institute of Los Angeles (GTILA) and for 18 years was Chairman of the Faculty. He is has been on the editorial board of the International Gestalt Journal (formerly The Gestalt Journal), an Associate Editor of the Gestalt Review, and is editorial advisor of the British Gestalt Journal. He was the first Chairman of the International Gestalt Therapy Association and a faculty member of the Gestalt Therapy International Network (GTIN). He is a co-founder of the Pacific Gestalt Institute (PGI) and teaches and consults internationally. . Gary has written one book Awareness, Dialogue and Process: Essays on Gestalt Therapy (published in 6 languages) and numerous articles and chapters on gestalt therapy theory, practice, and supervision.


Workshop Presenters

John Amodeo, Ph.D., MFT
John Amodeo, Ph.D., MFT

Dr. John Amodeo is a Certified Focusing Trainer. He has published articles, “A Focusing-Oriented Approach to Couples Therapy,” Journal of Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies, Vol, 6, No 3. He is the author of Dancing with Fire and co-author of Being Intimate, which describe Focusing.

Dr. Amodeo has conducted workshops nationally and internationally on Focusing, including in China, Thailand, and Argentina. He is a frequent presenter at International Focusing conferences.

He is a member of the Editorial Board, The Focusing Connection and Moderator of the Focusing Institute discussion list re: Focusing and spirituality.

Armin Baier
Armin Baier, J.D., LCSW
Armin Baier, JD, LCSW is a relational Gestalt psychotherapist with a private practice in Los Angeles working with individuals and couples. From 1989 through 2008, he was the Clinical Director of the Parallax Center, a New York City outpatient substance abuse treatment program, and he continues to contribute in a supervisory capacity to the program development and research projects of that facility. He is the co-author of a chapter on the treatment of stimulant dependence in the social work textbook Clinical Work with Substance Abusing Clients from Guilford Press, as well as co-author of other recent addiction-related writings in clinical textbook and research publications. In a prior life, he worked as an attorney in New York City.

Stuart Bassman
Stuart Bassman, Ed.D.
Dr. Bassman is a licensed psychologist in Ohio and Kentucky.  He is also the director of both the A.W.A.R.E. and S.A.I.F. Programs in Cincinnati, Ohio. These programs focus on the treatment of addictions, trauma, healing and recovery for individuals and families struggling with the trauma of sexual abuse.  Aside from his counseling practice, he is on the adjunct faculty for Xavier University and is the coordinator of Addictions Studies at Beckfield College. He has presented extensively over the course of thirty years and his current focus is on forgiveness, reconciliation and mindfulness.

Mark Baumgartner
Mark Baumgartner, LPC

Mark Baumgartner served as Director of the Betty Ford Center’s Inpatient Program from 2003 until 2014 when he became Director of Outpatient Services. In Mark’s new position he oversees the regional operation and expansion of Betty Ford Center outpatient programs in the Southwest including the newly opened Betty Ford Center in West Los Angeles. In 1991, Mark received his Master of Education in Counseling at Stephen F. Austin State University Graduate School. He has been a Licensed Professional Counselor since 1996 and a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor since 1991 in Texas. Mark was also the key developer of the Young Adult Recovery Program at the Betty Ford Center.

Damon Raskin
back to top Beverly Berg, MFT, Ph.D.

Since establishing my psychotherapy practice in 1982, I have been working with individuals, couples, and families dealing with both mental health and addiction issues. My work is founded on the cutting edge therapies of the 21st century that integrate the psychological, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being of the whole person. Unlike traditional psychotherapy, the field of somatic psychology (e.g., eye movement desensitization and reprocessing [EMDR] and emotional freedom technique [EFT]) focuses on the complex relationship between the body and the mind. Much of my life has been devoted to the study and practice of different schools of Buddhist meditation and the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon. I use long-term and short-term therapy modalities: psychodynamic, systemic, strategic, cognitive behavioral, EMDR, and indirect Eriksonian hypnosis. Approach is holistic, and adjunct use of trained professionals in acupuncture, homeopathy, family constellation and bodywork when needed. The patient is assessed for need for both alternative approaches, as well as the need for pharmacologic treatment of psychotropic medication. The ultimate aim is to relieve psychological and emotional suffering to increase well-being and quality of life.

In 2009, I founded Conscious Couples Recovery, a workshop for couples in which one or both partners are recovering from addiction. This is a workshop designed to address second stage recovery issues for couples who are in recovery and ready in their sobriety to gain more intimacy in their relationship, and deepen their healing process from historical trauma both in the present day relationship and past familial injury.

The Conscious Couples Recovery workshop takes a close look at how the recovering couple’s relationship functions through eight different domains: trust; communication; assumption; dealing with resentment/anger/irritation; more/better/different sex; giving your partner amnesty and absolution; gratitude; and creating a renewed, conscious partnership vow contract. This is an ongoing workshop that I offer year round to rehab institutions as an adjunct therapy for aftercare treatment for clients transitioning out of rehab and into everyday living, as well as for the recovering couple that have sober time under their belts.

Allen Berger, Ph.D.
Allen Berger, Ph.D.

Dr. Allen Berger is a talented psychotherapist who has written extensively about the experience of recovery, emotional sobriety, and the psychological forces operating in the Twelve Steps. He is the author of 12 Stupid Things that Mess Up Recovery, 12 Smart Things to do When the Booze and Drugs are Gone, and 12 Hidden Rewards of Making Amends. You can learn more about Dr. Berger and his work at

Clark Carr
back to top Clark Carr, CAS
Clark Carr, CAS (CAARR), directed a residential Narconon drug rehabilitation center in California from 1985-1995. There he was fully trained and interned in the Narconon holistic, life skills educational program model.

In 1995 he was invited to join Narconon International as corporate president with the task to disseminate and share Narconon methods and tools with other centers, governments, and countries worldwide. He has spoken at conferences across the United States and Europe, in India, Pakistan, China, Philippines, Ghana, Nigeria, Mexico, and other countries.

He has delivered Narconon First Step Workshop training sessions to the DEA, Anti-Narcotics Forces, and other government agencies of the Philippines, Jordan, Pakistan, Khazakstan, Taiwan, Mauritius, as well as fully across Mexico and in Guatemala.

He has done innovative work in developing live and audiovisual drug education programs, also shared in workshops worldwide.

1979-1985: Mr. Carr was a teacher and student counselor at The Delphian School, a private boarding school in Oregon.

Marie Ceccini Sternquist
back to top Marie Cecchini Sternquist, Ph.D.
After a ten year career as research scientist for Amgen, Inc., including the development of therapeutics and diagnostic tests for the anemias of cancer and renal failure, Ms. Cecchini Sternquist completed her PhD candidacy and four years of research into the molecular and cellular processes of early nervous system development at the Neuroscience program at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center while directing a physical therapy clinic focused on functional medicine treatments for chronic pain.

Ms. Sternquist's published research centers around functional medicine with a focus on malnutrition, toxic exposures and substance abuse. Ms. Sternquist is currently a scientist at Chestnut Global Partners, a division of Chestnut Health Systems where she helps with ongoing evaluations of substance abuse treatment program results.

Stacie Cox
presentation back to top Stacie Cox, LCSW, CADC II, LADAC, CEC, CHt
Stacie Cox is a Licensed Psychotherapist, LISW (New Mexico) and LCSW (California), Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, LADAC (New Mexico) and Licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor, LAADC (California), Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC II), Certified Life Coach and Recovery Coach (CEC), Certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Coach, Certified Hypnotherapist (CHt), and a Consultant, with approximately 18 years of experience working in the counseling and recovery field in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Stacie maintains a private psychotherapy, life coaching, recovery coaching, and hypnotherapy practice in Santa Monica, California and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Margarit Davtian
presentation back to top Margarit Davtian
Margarit Davtian is a program coordinator and outreach director at the UCLA Gambling Studies Program and serves as a liaison between the program and several state-funded residential and intensive outpatient programs for problem gambling treatment, that are funded by the State of California. She has been working under the supervision of Dr. Timothy Fong for 3 years and has co-authored numerous publications on problem gambling.

George DuWors
back to top George DuWors, MSW, LCSW, BCD
George DuWors, MSW, LCSW, BCD is a seasoned addictions specialist, who has led workshops across North America and in the United Kingdom. He first noticed stereotyped thinking at moments of addictive relapse in 1978, while working with veterans in West Los Angeles. Since that time, he has striven to understand this utterly predictable thought process at the moment of picking up the first drink/drug of physical relapse. His questions have persisted and his tools have grown while working with drinking drivers, employee assistance, and private practice, Twelve Step Tools and members in all settings. He has published over 20 articles that share his understanding and his tools. The resulting book, White Knuckles and Wishful Thinking, Learning from the Moment of Relapse in Alcoholism and Other Addictions, now in its second, paperback edition, has been continuously in print for 22 years. Over the years, he has integrated 12 Step principles, motivational skills, and the stages of change. The workbook, "Getting It: Building Motivation from Relapse," now gives counselors and clients everywhere a practical way to understand and use this life-and-death moment.

Margaret Fetting
presentation back to top Margaret Fetting, Ph.D., LCSW
Margaret Ann Fetting, Ph.D., LCSW, has been in private practice for 26 years, has been on the faculty at USC since 1989, is revising her text, Perspectives on Addiction and has published many articles in the addiction field. Dr. Fetting has developed a keen interest in the clinical interpretation of the DSM-5 revisions on diagnosing substance use disorders (SUDs).

She has created and designed a comprehensive framework for helping patients and individuals explore their relationship with substance use disorders. Her framework that has evolved after years of clinical applications fits beautifully with the DSM revisions. As most of you know, the words “substance use,” “dependence,” and “addiction” are no longer being used, and clinicians are asked to diagnose along a spectrum that ranges from non-pathological use, as well as mild, moderate, and severe substance use disorders. Dr. Fetting is particularly suited to lecture on these revisions as she has been practicing from a spectrum and teaching this treatment concept in workshops and in classrooms for decades.

Stuart Finkelstein
back to top Stuart Finkelstein, M.D.
Dr. Stuart Finkelstein: Over 20 years in the field of addiction medicine. Expert in customized medical detoxes for patients wishing to be off of their medications.

Timothy Fong
back to top Timothy Fong, M.D.
Dr. Fong is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital. Dr. Fong completed his undergraduate and medical schoolwork at Northwestern University in Chicago. He then completed his residency in general psychiatry in 2002 and was the first accredited addiction psychiatry fellow at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute (2002-2004). He joined the UCLA faculty in July 2004. Currently, he is the co-director of the UCLA Gambling Studies Program and is also the director of the UCLA Impulse Control Disorders Clinic and supervises trainees in the UCLA Addiction Medicine Clinic. He has published extensively on the underlying causes and course of problem gambling.

Moe Gelbart
presentation back to top Moe Gelbart, Ph.D.
Dr. Gelbart has been in practice in the South Bay since 1976. He received his PhD from the University of Southern California in 1979, and has been a licensed psychologist since 1980. He is listed in the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is certified by the American Psychological Association in the Treatment of Alcohol and Other Psychoactive Substance Use Disorders.

In his private practice, Dr. Gelbart works extensively with alcohol and chemical dependency issues, including working with family members affected by the problem; with workplace stress and violence, relationship issues, sports psychology and performance enhancement, psychological effects of physical illness, anxiety and depressive disorders. Dr. Gelbart is a founder of the Torrance Memorial Outpatient Chemical Dependency Program, and presently serves as the Executive Director of the Thelma McMillen Center for Outpatient Chemical Dependency at Torrance Memorial Medical Center. His past positions include Psychologist with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Clinical Director of the Bay Harbor Rehabilitation Pain Management Program, Clinical Director of the Torrance Memorial Hospital Outpatient Pain Program, Psychologist for the Torrance Memorial Psychiatric Services, and Clinical Director for PsychCare Alliance. He has a great deal of experience in working with the managed care industry, serves on several credentialing and quality assurance committees, and is a panel provider for most insurance plans. He has published more than 30 articles in sports psychology, with his column “Doc’s Corner” in Women’s Fastpitch, Travelball, and National Fastpitch Coach’s Association journal..

Maria Gray
back to top Maria Gray, M.A. M.Ed., MFT registered intern
Maria Gray is a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern providing psychotherapy to individuals, couples and groups. (By the time you receive this application I hope to be done with the licensing process). Maria combines a relational style with mindfulness and cognitive- behavioral techniques, and her meditation and yoga practice informs her work.

Maria received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont and a Master of Education in Counseling Psychology from Boston University in 1988. Maria began her own recovery journey in 1988; shortly after finishing graduate school. Maria knew she had more of her own work before she could help others so she decided to enter the field of Human Resources; eventually transitioning from Human Resources management to the technology side of the HR. Maria applied her counseling skills in the business world during a long, successful career in Human Resources Information Systems.

During a break from her busy corporate job, Maria became inspired while attending a yoga retreat in Costa Rica. After returning from the trip revitalized, she applied to graduate school and earned a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology. She began her clinical work as an intern at The Women’s Clinic and Family Counseling Center.

Maria joined Andrew Susskind’s practice in 2013. She has a specific focus on addiction and is particularly interested in how our society uses “busy" - sometimes in the form of technology overuse and over-scheduling. Maria’s own experience in the corporate world has influenced her work in this area. She has studied Positive Psychology and brings a humanistic focus to her work with clients. Maria encourages her clients to create space in their lives to recover their authentic selves while pursuing their hopes and dreams. She enjoy working with individuals who are recovering from addiction and those who grew up around addictive family members.

Maria is currently in the process of completing a two year advanced Somatic Trauma training program, the NeuroAffective Relational Model of Trauma (NARM). She is a certified Grief Specialist and has also completed training in MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Maria is on the board(s) of GPALA (Group Psychotherapy Association of Los Angeles) and CAMFT. She is an active member of WAAT (the Women’s Association for Addiction Treatment).

Matthew Healy
back to top Matthew Healey, LMFT
Matthew Healy, LMFT is a licensed psychotherapist with over 30 years of experience in assisting people to be more productive, develop and maintain healthy relationships, and modify debilitating habits.  Mr. Healy receives consistently superior evaluations as a college psychology instructor, and is known for his ability to pragmatically reframe and conceptualize the experience of others.  Mr. Healy’s skills and experience include: client engagement and retention; student development; critical analysis of behavioral patterns; group facilitation; group leadership; and specializations in adult ADHD, motivation, transfer of research to clinical practice, curriculum development, counselor training, and addiction. Currently, Matt is Primary Family Therapist and Clinical Supervisor at Conscious Recovery by CLARE Foundation. He is responsible for the clinical support and training of graduate and post-graduate student counselors who provide thousands of hours of mental health counseling to CLARE’s clients.

Thomas Hedlund
back to top Thomas Hedlund, LMFT
Thomas Hedlund is a marriage family therapist, workshop leader and educator from Santa Rosa, Ca. Best selling author John Bradshaw has called Thomas Hedlund “one of the select few therapists who I know that thoroughly understands the dynamics of emotional healing.” In private practice for 34 years, he specializes in recovery related issues CAADAC: Featured Speakers including addiction, compulsive behavior and the healing of trauma, shame and abuse. He has worked as a communications, addiction, and family systems consultant for The Family Intervention Institute, as well as a family business consultant, expert witness and interventionist.

His commitment to his own recovery, broad knowledge of the origins addictive and compulsive behavior and the repair the Self bring great clarity to the treatment process. His trainings and seminars have been in demand at treatment centers across the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

Oyen Hoffman
presentation back to top Oyen Hoffman, MA, LAC, MFTc, NCAC II
Addiction not only ravaged me, it ravaged through my family for generations. When I finally found sobriety I was 32 with only an eighth grade education and lots of troubles resulting from my alcoholism. Because of my sobriety, I was able to clean up my wreckage and start and finish undergraduate and graduate school. Today I have a Master’s degree in Psychology with a Marriage and Family Therapy emphasis. I am a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado and Nationally certified and an Addiction Counselor through NAADAC. In August of 2014 I will be fully licensed as a Marriage & Family Therapist. I have worked in the field of addiction for 12 years, in many different settings, and many capacities.

Currently I work as an addiction case manager at The Center for Dependency, Addiction and Rehabilitation (CeDAR) which is a part of the University of Colorado’s Hospital and Health System. At CeDAR I participate in program development, family program education, and am the primary therapist for the Professional’s Track treating executives and other licensed individuals such as physicians, nurses, and clinicians.

I am currently in collaboration on a book with the CeDAR program director, Dr. Michael Barnes, Ph.D., LPC, that will include research we are facilitating along with the University of Colorado Hospital School of Medicine’s Research Department on how to most effectively treat families of people with substance use disorders with the goal of increasing patient outcomes.

Additionally, I am writing another book on families living with and/or experiencing addiction, how to find peace and relief while caring for themselves, while simultaneously helping the addict.

Tom Horvath
back to top Tom Horvath, Ph.D.
Tom Horvath, Ph.D., is California licensed psychologist (PSY7732) and a board certified clinical psychologist by the American Board of Professional Psychology. He is the founder and owner of Practical Recovery, a self-empowering addiction treatment system in San Diego. Practical Recovery consists of four facilities (two six bed rehabs in University City, a seven bed sober living home in Carmel Valley, and outpatient services in La Jolla). He has been the long-standing volunteer president of SMART Recovery, an international non-profit providing free, science-based, self-empowering mutual help groups for abstaining from any addiction. He is a past president of the American Psychological Association’s Society on Addiction Psychology (Division 50), the world’s largest organization of addiction psychologists, and past president and fellow of the San Diego Psychological Association. He is adjunct faculty at Alliant International University, and previously adjunct faculty at the University of San Diego. He is the author of Sex, Drugs, Gambling & Chocolate: A Workbook for Overcoming Addictions (listed by the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies as a “Self-Help Book of Merit”). Dr. Horvath’s publications, media interviews, and presentations are helping to change how individuals, professionals, and societies understand addictive behavior.

Colleen Kelly
presentation back to top Colleen Kelley, LMFT
Colleen Kelly is a licensed marriage and family therapist with practices in Encino and Irvine, California. Colleen treats adults, couples, families, and adolescents in outpatient psychotherapy. She specializes in working with couples and families utilizing Emotionally Focused Therapy. Colleen also works in the field of addiction and recovery assisting individuals and families to heal and find a way back to themselves and a loving connection with each other. Colleen is on staff at Healing Path Recovery, an Intensive Outpatient Treatment Center for Addiction. Colleen regularly presents seminars, conducts workshops, and leads groups on a wide range of relevant topics. Colleen is certified in focusing oriented psychotherapy and also serves as adjunct faculty in Cal Southern University addiction studies program.

Guy Lamunyon
presentation back to top Guy Lamunyon, MSN, RN, CAS
Mr. Lamunyon has been an advocate for recovery alternative since 1990. He conducted Rational Recovery meetings in the early 1990s, published extensively in the Journal of Rational Recovery and served on the Rational Recovery Board of Directors. More recently he has established SMART RECOVERY groups in Northern Arizona and been a presenter at the SMART RECOVERY Annual Conferece.

Richard Lennox
back to top Richard Lennox, Ph.D.
Dr. Richard Lennox is Chief Scientist at Chestnut Health System where he leads the company's commercial research division.

Dr. Lennox obtained his Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Texas Tech University in 1985. Over the following 25 years, Dr. Lennox conducted extensive research in applied social science including the evaluation of the drug abuse treatment program as well as in applied psychometrics.

He has authored approximately 50 peer reviewed articles and acted as principal investigator on several grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Lennox current psychometric interests lie in the measurement of workplace outcomes and in the development of scientific approaches to behavioral health risk assessment strategies.

Claudia Lineweaver
back to top Claudia Lineweaver, Ph.D., LPC
Dr. Claudia Lineweaver is a licensed professional counselor with a Ph.D. in counseling from the University of Virginia. She has worked in a variety of settings over the last 17 years, including schools, agencies, universities, and private practices. She also has served as an adjunct professor for George Washington University and Argosy University. Claudia has her own psychotherapy private practice in the Northern Virginia/Washington DC area and treats eating disorders, relationship issues, perfectionism, trauma, and families impacted by addiction.

David Lisonbee
back to top David Lisonbee, B.S.
David Lisonbee is President and Chief Executive Officer of Twin Town Corp., Dba Twin Town Treatment Centers, which operates a network of six Los Angeles and Orange County based outpatient addiction treatment programs.

Possessing over twenty-five years of behavioral health management and executive experience, Mr. Lisonbee oversees corporate governance, development, finance, compliance, quality management and clinical service. He completed his Bachelors Degree in psychology and has assorted graduate work and continuing education in psychology, public and hospital administration, and addiction science. Prior to operating Twin Town Treatment Centers, Mr. Lisonbee administrated and developed psychiatric hospitals and outpatient programs in such roles as Director, CEO and Regional President.

Having both personal and professional investment in recovery from addiction, David is an advocate for the addiction treatment profession, which includes fostering consumer, regulatory and political causes. Mr. Lisonbee believes that the profession of addiction treatment is best served by scientific research, empirical and experiential insights into the disease, combined with personal and social commitments and ethics.

Mr. Lisonbee is a grateful recipient of a life born out of recovery, grace, and the miraculous. Travel, exploration of the wilderness, and his love of his animals and his husband occupy his spare time.

Jamie Marich
presentation back to top Jamie Marich, Ph.D., LPCC-S, LICDC-CS
Dr. Jamie Marich, a life-long dancer and musician, entered the profession of clinical counseling after working in humanitarian aid in her native Bosnia/Croatia. She is the founder of the Dancing Mindfulness practice. A national-level trainer and consultant on the topics of trauma, addiction, and EMDR, her clinical practice, training company, and consulting business recently reformed as Mindful Ohio, a company dedicated to promoting the attitudes of mindfulness in consulting, clinical work, retreats, and education. In early 2013, Mindful Ohio certified its first class of Dancing Mindfulness facilitators. In 2012, Dr. Marich taught her first weekend retreat at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts, a led a similar retreat at the Esalen Institute in the spring of 2013. Dr Marich is the author of Trauma and the Twelve Steps: A Complete Guide to Enhancing Recovery and EMDR Made Simple: 4 Approaches for Using EMDR with Every Client; she edited the textbook The Psychology of Women: Diverse Perspectives for a Modern World. Marich also appeared as one of eight contributing experts on the documentary, Trauma Treatment for the 21st Century alongside luminaries such as Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, Dr. Peter Levine, and Belleruth Naparstek. Her newest book, Trauma Made Simple, published by Premiere Education & Media, is slated for release in March 2014.

Jeremy Martinez
back to top Jeremy Martinez, M.D.
Jeremy Martinez, M.D. is an Addiction Psychiatrist, and the Executive Director of the Matrix Institute on Addictions. He began leading Matrix in January 2014 and has overseen clinical improvements and expansion during his time with the organization. He is a graduate of Harvard University and UC San Diego School of Medicine. He completed Psychiatry Residency at the UCLA-San Fernando Valley Psychiatry Program, and an Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. Dr. Martinez is the founder of The Solstice Clinic, where he developed a multi-disciplinary mental health practice focusing on addiction treatment, with services including psychotherapy, medication management, and acupuncture. His clinical work includes consultation and program development for several residential drug treatment centers. As a UCLA Clinical Instructor, he has supervised M.D., Ph.D., and M.F.T. trainees. Dr. Martinez has given lectures at several major institutions including the VA and UCLA, and at national and international conferences on the topics of Acute Treatment of Substance Use Disorders, Cannabis Use Disorders, and Cultural Psychiatry. He was a contributing author to the Clinical Handbook of Adolescent Addiction (edited by Richard Rosner, M.D.), which was published in 2012. His current interests include exploring the expansion of Medication Assisted Treatment in Southern California's Private and Public Sectors, and providing Addiction and Mental Health Services to chronically homeless in Los Angeles County.

Michael McCann
back to top Michael McCann, M.A.
Michael McCann, M.A., is one of the founders of the Matrix Institute on Addictions and creators of the Matrix Model. He is the Associate Director and Director of Research of the Matrix Institute. He has overseen the operation of Matrix clinics as well as the integration of many research projects within these sites. He has over 35 years experience in substance abuse treatment and research, and has authored or co-authored over 40 articles, books, and manuals including the Matrix Model Intensive Outpatient Alcohol and Drug Treatment manuals; the SAMHSA Technical Assistance Publication (TAP) 7; "Treatment of Opiate Addiction with Methadone: a Counselor Manual"; and the SAMHSA/Danya Learning Center "Buprenorphine Treatment of Opioid Addiction: a Counselor Manual." He has been the principal investigator for NIDA and CSAT-funded projects evaluating pharmacologic and behavioral treatments, and has been the project director for CSAT-funded grants that expand treatment services for opioid dependence and provide evidence-based enhancements to standard services. He has trained and lectured on evidence-based behavioral interventions, pharmacologic treatments, methamphetamine dependence, opioid dependence, and on the implementation of research findings into clinical practice. Michael received his undergraduate degree from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, and his graduate degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Mick Meagher
back to top M. David Meagher, Esq.
I am a licensed attorney in California. I have been actively involved in the treatment community, and have maintained continuous sobriety since August 22, 1973.  I currently serve as a Board member of a self-help program known as “The Other Bar,” a network of recovering lawyers and judges, dedicated to assisting others within our profession who are suffering from alcoholism and/or substance abuse.

Prior to becoming a lawyer in 1994, I was an alcoholism and drug counselor from 1975 until 1992.  I became the youngest alcoholism counselor in the U.S. Marine Corps, when as a 22 year old Sergeant, I was named the senior counselor of the Alcohol Rehabilitation Unit at Navy Hospital, Camp Pendleton, CA. For 4 years I was the Intervention Counselor for Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, CA. While at Scripps, I wrote and taught a comprehensive program for professionals to use Intervention techniques to break through and addict of alcoholics denial. I have since restructured 8 treatment centers.

I am a former Member of the Board of Directors for the National Council on Alcoholism and Addictive Drugs - San Diego Chapter. I served as a trainer for the San Diego County Board of Education and the San Dieguito School District for the establishment of Student Assistance Programs. I have served on the Advisory Board of Directors for “A New Path” a family support group that began in San Diego.

I am the author of Beginning of a Miracle: How to Intervene with the Addicted or Alcoholic Person, Health Communications, 1987, a guide for families through the denial shown in the alcoholic or addicted person, with the goal of the intervention bringing about professional treatment for the person the group is concerned about.

I teach an average of 10 Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Seminars on Chemical Dependency in the Legal Profession per year.  I have presented for the San Diego County Bar Association; Orange County Bar Association; the Foothill Bar Association; The Rutter Group; CA Western School of Law MCLE programs and Law Students; The Other Bar, Appellate Defenders; CA DUI Lawyers Assoc; Bay Area Criminal Defense Association; the San Diego County Law Library; Vertext Court Reporters; Promises Professional Treatment Center (Santa Monica, CA); Beacon House Treatment Center (Monterey, CA); The Gooden Center Treatment Center (Pasadena, CA) and the San Diego City Attorney’s Office.

In addition to my presentations to the legal community, I routinely speak to and consult with health care professionals that include Physicians, Psychologist, Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapist, and chemical dependency treatment specialist.

At present, I am the Chief Executive Officer of a men’s chemical dependency treatment center, while continuing to consult with other attorneys when asked to do so.

Mark Mitchell
back to top Mark Mitchell, MFT
Mark Mitchell has been in the addiction field for over 30 years. He has consulted for a variety of organizations included in the Teenage Alcoholism Program, the National Basketball Association treatment program, a variety of EAP programs, the Los Angeles Military Veterans Collaborative & coordinates the Veterans Ministry Program at LMU.

Al Mooney
back to top Al J. Mooney, M.D.
Al J. Mooney, M.D., is an internationally recognized expert in the field of addiction and recovery. He has been involved in this field literally since he was a teenager, living in his parents’ addiction treatment center, Willingway Hospital. Dr. Mooney was CEO of the hospital for more than a decade, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors and chairman of the Willingway Foundation.

Dr. Mooney is the author of The Recovery Book, which has sold more than 350,000 copies. The Recovery Book, first published in 1992, has served as a compendium of recovery principles and methods that over the last 20 years have been validated by science. The second edition of The Recovery Book, scheduled for release in September 2014, expands on those principles and methods, and reconciles those proven ideas with new insights into neuroscience and the addictive brain.

Dr. Mooney, a “recovery activist,” speaks regularly at events in the U.S. and abroad, addressing professional and lay audiences alike on topics such as “Brain Healing in Recovery,” “Neuroplasticity: Rewiring the Brain to Empower Full Recovery,” and “Evolving Science of Abstinence and 12-Step Recovery.” He is routinely invited to give talks, lead workshops and serve as visiting faculty at medical society meetings, medical schools, hospitals, treatment centers, addiction science conferences, Alcoholics Anonymous conferences, college campuses, community events, and other venues. He has also been instrumental in the establishment of recovery programs around the world. Most recently he has been involved in efforts to promote addiction awareness and recovery in Egypt, Bosnia, and Ghana, and has worked with Georgia Southern University to establish one of the first “recovery campuses,” where students can pursue an education in an abstinent environment.

Dr. Mooney is a pioneer in the field of addiction medicine. He is an Inaugural Diplomat in the American Board of Addiction Medicine, and helped to establish the certification standards for the specialty. He was one of the first U.S. physicians to be certified in Addiction Medicine, and has served as a board member for the American Society of Addiction Medicine as well as a board member or adviser at numerous other agencies and organizations that focus on addiction and mental health.

Dr. Mooney’s medical career has included service at state and private hospitals, community service provider organizations, state leadership and advisory councils, mental health agencies, volunteer associations, and homeless shelters. Every day, Dr. Mooney works one-on-one with people who are striving to stop drinking or using drugs.

Susan Musetti
back to top Susan Musetti, MFT
Susan Musetti is a clinical consultant for Twin Town Treatment Centers and has been working in the field of addictions and mental health for more than twenty-six years. She is Chairperson of the Substance Abuse/Co-Occurring Disorders Program at Phillips Graduate Institute in Encino and is a clinical supervisor for a large children’s mental health agency. She has worked as a Chemical Dependency Specialist for a medical model recovery program and as Director of Recovery Services in a women’s social model recovery program. Susan also has a private practice in South Pasadena.

Jennifer Musselman
back to top Jennifer Musselman, MFT Intern
Jennifer Musselman, MA, MFTI (IMF 70103) is Sr. Director of Strategy and Innovation including Conscious Recovery by CLARE foundation ( in Santa Monica, California. As Sr. Director, Musselman created and oversees the program treatment services, manages facilities and operations and is in-charge of business development and public relations strategies for the new mid-market outpatient drug and alcohol treatment facility that opened Winter of 2014.  Musselman ( also works with individuals, couples, and groups on relationships, male-female dynamics, career and substance abuse issues in Brentwood-Los Angeles under the supervision of UCLA Psychologist Dr. Eunice Kim (PSY263). Her background as an entertainment executive has made her well-equipped to handle a myriad of issues, especially substance abuse and addiction, personality concerns and career goals. She previously served as Sr. Director, Communications at MTV Networks’ Kids and Family Entertainment, Nickelodeon, before returning to school to earn her Masters in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. Musselman is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California and Pepperdine University in Los Angeles, where she teaches Public Relations Strategy and Campaign Analysis. Musselman is a three time published author of self-help books for empowering women to live happy, and successfully independent lives and is an expert blogger for Psychology Today.

Laury Rappaport, Ph.D., MFT
presentation back to top Laury Rappaport, Ph.D., MFT
Dr. Laury Rappaport is a Certifying Focusing Coordinator and Trainer with The Focusing Institute in NY and Founder/Director of the Focusing and Expressive Arts Institute. She has been training others in Focusing for over 30 years including in the United States and internationally. Laury is the author of Focusing-oriented art therapy: Accessing the body’s wisdom and creative intelligence; and the editor of Mindfulness and the arts therapies: Theory and practice. She is an Integrative Psychotherapist at Sutter Health, Institute and Health and Healing; faculty at Sonoma State University, and has taught graduate education for over 30 years.

Thom Rutledge, LCSW
presentation back to top Thom Rutledge, LCSW

Thom Rutledge is a psychotherapist in Nashville, Tennessee. He is the author of several books, including Embracing Fear, The Power of Self-Forgiveness, Earning Your Own Respect and Nutshell Essays. He has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN, The Fox Network, Australia’s Channel 10 and has consulted with The Dr. Phil Show. Thom has been presenting collaboratively with Allen Berger since they accidentally presented a workshop together at the first Evolution of Addiction Treatment Conference.

Stephen Schur
presentation back to top Stephen Schur, B.A.


Larry Smith
back to top Larry Smith, CAS III

Larry Smith is rapidly making a reputation as an excellent public speaker with his presentation titled: ”Reclaiming the Hijacked Brain.” This is not the typical brain lecture.   Larry is a 1977 Cum Laude Graduate from the University of Toledo with a BS in Business Management ad Psychology.

Larry’s goal setting and self assessment work book:  “Captain Larry Smith’s Daily Life Plan Journal” is endorsed by TV’s “Dr. Drew” Pinsky, MD, with introduction written by Dr. Joseph Pursch, MD, past member of the Presidential Commission of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. Larry’s new book, “Flight to Transformation” will be published early 2014.

His passion for recovery, long-term sobriety, experience and education makes him one an outstanding choice to provide education and inspiration to recovering people, their families, treatment professionals and the general public.

People in recovery instantly create a bond with Larry because his message is personal, authentic, interesting and entertaining. He focuses on taking the shame out of addiction while at the same time reinforces the importance of taking personal responsibility. He explains the neuroscience of addiction factually and in laymen terms. His message ties Spiritually and Science together using holistic, twelve step, cognitive behavioral therapy and quantum approaches to recovery. Larry writes monthly articles for Recovery View and Serene Scene Magazine. He is on the staff of many Southern California treatments centers and is the founder of Get Real Recovery, Inc. in San Juan Capistrano, CA.

When Larry is not counseling or speaking he flies 747s for a major international commercial airline. He is a retired Air Force Fighter Pilot and Transport Pilot and has accumulated over 21,000 hours of flying time. Larry is rated on the Boeing 727, 737, 747, 757, 767 and 777.

As an Air Line Pilots Association Representative for his airline’s Employee Assistance Program, Larry spent eight years working with the top FAA MDs and Psychiatrists to assist pilots with addiction problems through a rigorous recertification process. Larry is certified in EEG Neural-feedback and is a graduate of the Optimum Health Institute in San Diego, CA.

Larry has been the guest on many media shows, such as Bradley Quick’s Cool Change Radio, and was the host of a radio show titled: “The Boarding Pass.”

Toby Spiegel
back to top Toby Spiegel, Ph.D.

Dr. Toby Spiegel is the Associate Dean in the School of Behavioral Sciences at California Southern University where she also serves a Full-Time Mentor and Academic Advisor.  Dr. Spiegel is also an adjunct faculty in clinical and forensic psychology at Argosy University, and she also teaches in graduate psychology programs at University of the Rockies.

Dr. Spiegel’s clinical experience is with at-risk youth and addiction where she worked for the County of Orange Juvenile Drug Court and Dependency Court. Psychological Assessments were performed by Dr. Spiegel at the Juvenile Drug Court, then she began treatment through the use of the Motivational Interviewing model. Dr. Spiegel has worked extensively with foster children and foster youth transitioning from the foster system.  Dr. Spiegel facilitates parenting education classes for biological parents and foster families.  She is instrumental in working with Wrap Around Agencies for reunification.

Dr. Spiegel has experience in working in an inpatient psychiatric hospital in which she treated patients admitted for medical detoxification. In the hospital setting she assessed for co-morbid mental disorders and managed treatment teams for patients in medical detoxification and stabilization. Dr. Spiegel then transitioned into treatment of co-morbid disorders in adolescent residential settings at Phoenix house and Touchstones. During her tenure at Touchstones she was trained in the Social Model of Recovery and a traditional AA model, which she incorporates currently.

Chris Stretch
back to top Chris Stretch, ACSW

Chris Stretch is an ACSW (Associate Clinical Social Worker) working as a psychotherapist and community resource coordinator under the supervision of Dr. Benjamin Stepanoff at Advances In Mental Health and Addictions Treatment Center in Long Beach California.  Chris’s experience prior to his graduate education was what set him on a path toward the field of addiction treatment. Chris graduated from UC Davis in 2000 and after a brief minor league baseball career; he entered the world of corporate sales to seek pseudo-salvation in the form of money and status.  After nine years and some notable success, Chris found himself in what he thought was the optimal situation; a prestigious sales position for a bioengineering medical device company that was about to go public which would potentially make him a seven figure income.  There was one big problem however…  At this point he was now battling significant depression, extreme anxiety and a serious drug addiction. As the pressure to sell mounted, Chris crumbled and was eventually fired due to poor performance (foregoing his shares in the company prior to a public offering). Over the next few months Chris’s drug addiction became chronic to the point where suicide became a viable option. With nowhere to go and all out of ideas Chris went to an AA meeting and there discovered the path toward authentic salvation.  His recovery then lead him on a relief mission to Haiti and then to graduate school where he received his MSW at Cal State Dominguez Hills. Along the way he met Dr. Allen Berger and enrolled in and graduated from his two year Gestalt Experiential Psychotherapy training program. Through his own life experiences, his graduate education, his Gestalt training, his 18-month clinical career at AABMH and most importantly his sobriety and recovery, Chris has learned how painful growing up can be.  He was forced to uncover, discover and discard the inauthentic and damaging ideas proliferated in our western culture that led him, and many others, directly into the tornado of addiction.

Caral Teitelbaum
presentation back to top Carol Teitelbaum, MFT

Carol Teitelbaum is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Education, Educational Psychology, Counseling and Guidance,  both from Cal State Northridge. Carol has been a licensed therapist since 1985.

Since 1999 she has had a private practice in Rancho Mirage and offers individual and group counseling for trauma, mood disorders, anxiety reduction, stress reduction, grief and marriage issues.

Carol is past  President of  California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, Desert Chapter, She is a long time member of Prevent Child Abuse Riverside County and chairs the It Happens to Boys Project, Coordinator of the Trauma Response Team for the Desert Chapter of California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and  has been a workshop leader for a range of groups from the Desert Sands School District to the National Association of Social Workers, the Betty Ford Center, NAMI, The Stan Little Conference, West Coast Symposium, Michael’s House, NTS, MFI Recovery, Desert Aids, His House, The Ranch, Sovereign Health, West Coast Symposium, , Palm Springs School District, WOW conference for women. U.S.Journal Conference on Addiction, Oct. 2013, and more. You can also see her videos on youtube under her name.

Marcia Ullett
presentation back to top Marcia Ullett, MA, LMFT, CPC

Marcia Ullett, MA, LMFT, CPC, is on a passionate journey to help people find their purpose and create a powerful vision that inspires them for years to come. Since 1988, she has worked as a licensed psychotherapist in dual diagnosis treatment centers, helping thousands of people face their issues and get on with their lives. She opened her private practice in Los Angeles in 2006 and then studied to become a certified professional coach through the College of Executive Coaching in northern California.

A popular speaker and workshop leader, Marcia has shared her personal story and powerful “how-to” strategies to audiences at dozens of locations, including the Las Encinas Hospital, Women’s Association of Addiction Treatment, Sovereign Health Care, Men’s Association of Addiction Treatment, and the West Coast Symposium on Addictive Disorders.

Marcia approaches her clients as a partner, helping them focus on their strengths and talents so that their deepest values become the foundation on which healing and transformation can happen. In addition, she provides practical action steps to empower her clients to live a life they love . . . a life filled with passion and purpose, based on their dreams.  She describes this process in her book, Your Best Life Yet: A Journey of Purpose and Passion.

A member of the California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists, the Women’s Association of Addiction Treatment, the International Coach Federation, Recovery Coaches International, and the National Association of Professional Women, where she was selected Woman of the Year in 2011; Marcia is committed to being of service to humanity . . . one person at a time.

Robert Weathers
presentation presentation back to top Robert Weathers, Ph.D.

Dr. Robert Weathers is curriculum director at California Southern University. He has more than 35 years of experience in educating graduate-level clinicians. Formerly a professor of clinical psychology at Pepperdine University, he has also taught in graduate psychology programs at Loma Linda University, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Argosy University, and California State University, San Bernardino.

In addition to having served as founding clinical director of a local, nationally recognized residential drug and alcohol treatment center for adults, Dr. Weathers has decades of professional experience in providing psychotherapy and coaching to clients presenting with the entire range of clinical issues and concerns.

A sought-after speaker and prolific writer, Dr. Weathers’ current research areas of interest focus on reducing shame and stigma in addiction and recovery by means of instructing clients and their families about addiction and the brain. His lifelong commitment to education also motivates his constantly working toward creating and sharing success strategies for online higher education.

Katheryn Whittaker
back to top Katheryn Whittaker, LMFT, LPCC

Katheryn Whittaker is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). She currently works for Matrix Institute on Addictions in West Los Angeles, CA as Director of Clinical Services, IE. Katheryn worked with Orange County Mental Health for 4 years providing outpatient mental health services to community members impacted by mental illness, substance abuse and trauma. Katheryn serves on the Elections Committee and is an Approved Supervisor for the American Association for Marital & Family Therapy, California Division (AAMFT-CA). She is a clinical member and Approved Supervisor for California Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (CAMFT). She is also a clinical member of The International Family Therapy Association (IFTA). She has presented domestically and internationally in Washington DC, Iceland, Colombia and Turkey. Katheryn is currently working on her PsyD at California Southern University in Irvine, CA.

Deborah Zuniga
presentation back to top Debby Zuniga, BS, MS, MFT, CAC III

Debby Zuniga has provided education and support for countless family members who have attend CeDAR’s family weeks since CeDAR‘s grand opening in November of 2005. The CeDAR family program is a five day psych educational model which focuses on change in the family system. Zuniga presents lectures on family systems, roles, boundaries, cognitive distortions, shame, relapse prevention and communication. Along with educating families in family week, Zuniga has facilitated continuing education and support through the two weekly support groups provided by CeDAR. A weekly Recovery Couples support group is led by Zuniga as well. This group focuses on the here and now along with awareness of the emotional well-being of self and each person’s partner.

Zuniga applies the Gestalt Principles to her teaching and counseling approach. Gestalt theory has long been recognized as being adaptable to addiction treatment with being in the present by obtaining awareness of the mind and body sensations that can contribute to the emotional and physical well-being.

Zuniga co-facilitates a family sculpture and psychodrama group for the patients in CeDAR’s extended care program. The visualizing of the family system is invaluable in the patient’s recognizing their family system and how they have adapted to being in that system. The psychodrama piece provides a platform where they can say what they have not been able to say, ask for what they never asked for. Many times this exercise results in the ability to allow emotions from the past to surface and be expressed .This process is also invaluable to the patient recognizing the triggers that still exist in the family system that could be a detriment to their sobriety. The observers of this process are also impacted and begin to explore their own family of origin issues.


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Conference Presenters are carefully selected for their merit and ability to provide an engaging presentation with content that is aligned with the mission of the conference.

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