Los Angeles/Malibu Treatment Team

Medical Team

Dr. Gezel Saheli, M.D.
Dr. Gezel Saheli, M.D.

Medical Director & Psychiatrist

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Dr. Saheli attended medical school at TUMS and completed her post-graduate training at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and New York Medical College where she served as a delegate at the Committee of Interns and Residents. She started her post-graduate journey in internal medicine where counseling anxious patients and effective patient-centered individualized communication turned out to be the most rewarding part of her training. As such, she decided to pursue an integrative wellness approach in order to improve her patients’ physical and mental health and help them restore wellness into their lives. Dr. Saheli is passionate about integrative collaborative medicine and treating behavioral addictions and believes that through a strong, transparent, and collaborative patient-physician alliance it is possible to relieve the debilitating burden of psychosomatic diseases and achieve a healthy state of mind. Education is another strong interest and she has presented to physicians, medical students, parents, teachers and others and has been recognized for her teaching skills. Dr. Saheli  also believes in importance of mental health awareness among adolescents and young adults and advocates for those groups in school district meetings. She has also been working as a medical director and played a key role in advancing the revolution we are seeing in neuropsychiatric wellness. Dr. Saheli is committed to providing thoughtful and individualized treatment to those she serves.

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Dr. Tapeesh Kansal, M.D.

Dr. Kansal is a board-certified psychiatrist who completed his residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago after attending medical school at the King George’s Medical College in India. Dr. Kansal has been practicing psychiatry since 2000. Over the years he has worked in various mental health settings, including outpatient clinics treating college students, inpatient hospitals, and crisis centers. He believes that taking care of our mental health requires that we address our overall health and well-being, including eating habits, exercise, cultivating healthy relationships, and finding meaning in our day to day life. Dr. Kansal also believes that adolescence and young adulthood is the critical time to lay a solid foundation for a healthy mind and body. In his free time, Dr. Kansal enjoys reading, playing with his 2 dogs, and going on long walks.

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Dr. James Luzano, M.D., #A110734
Dr. James Luzano, M.D., #A110734

Licensed Clinical Psychiatrist

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Dr. James Luzano is a licensed clinical psychiatrist who specializes in working with adolescents struggling with mental health and chemical dependency issues. He is a graduate of Columbia University and completed his residency at the University of California, Los Angeles. He holds an Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Additionally Dr. Luzano is an attending psychiatrist at UCLA Medical Center. While working at both Cedars-Sinai and UCLA he has gained invaluable experience in working with teen trauma, PTSD, teen anxiety, depression, and treatment resistant youth. Dr. Luzano provides medication management, psychiatric assessments and psychological treatment at Paradigm.

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Rebecca Acevedo, R.N., #95196227

Rebecca Acevedo is a Registered Nurse who graduated from the University of Portland with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. Before joining the Paradigm team, she worked in a wide range of clinical settings where she provided treatment to adolescents and their families for a variety of health-related needs. Her passion, however, is in the provision of teen treatment for anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Rebecca has devoted much of her career to de-stigmatizing mental health treatment for teens. Her goal is to help young people become the best possible version of themselves.

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Clarita Hunter, L.V.N., #224244

Clarita Hunter is an experienced Licensed Vocational Nurse who has offered quality care in the medical field for over twenty years. She has worked with a broad range of clients with different health concerns, from chronic to acute, with extensive work in diabetes care. Clarita joined the Paradigm Malibu team to pursue her passion for making a difference in the lives of teens impacted by the mental health effects of physical illness, injury, and trauma. Clarita is motivated by the energy and promise of adolescents and enjoys sharing her interests in hiking, the beach, animals, jazz, and gardening.

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Felicia Tomasko, B.A., R.N. #717006

Felicia Tomasko earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in Anthropology and Environmental Biology from University of Colorado at Boulder where she participated in the International and National Voluntary Service Program focused on social justice and activism. She took her Associate Degree in Nursing from Santa Barbara City College and is also a certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Certified Yoga Therapist, meditation and yoga teacher. Felicia Has is passionate about assisting individuals and groups in cultivating holistic mind-body-spirit health using all of the tools of modern western biomedicine and evidence-based mind-body tools and interventions. She believes in empowerment, self-inquiry, and a team approach to health and healing. Her nursing experience includes caring for patients in a variety of life transitions such as serving as a birth and postpartum doula and end-of-life care. Felicia believes in the importance of accessing a variety of therapeutic tools and techniques to develop coping skills and resilience and to support self-acceptance and self-actualization. As a nurse who is also committed to an integrative  and personalized approach to health and well-being, she believes in paying attention to what works for each individual. An avid yoga practitioner, Felicia enjoys dancing (preferably when no one is watching), playing with her rescue dog who is also a friendly and loving therapy dog, writing, and reading.

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Clinical Team

Lucy Bramwell, LMFT #101033

Lucy helms all clinical treatment directives, programs, and services across Paradigm Treatment’s southwestern territory, and provides ongoing clinical group supervision specifically to our Southern California staff. Lucy also worked extensively with young adults in a private practice setting. She also treated children and teens with emotional and behavioral needs at multiple school sites as a therapist. Lucy has comprehensive 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 and is EMDR-trained.

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. Lucy received her Master of Science in Counseling with an emphasis on Clinical Mental Health at California State University, Fullerton. She also received an Excellence in Research Award studying parent-adolescent relationships when she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Social Behavior at the University of California, Irvine.

View Lucy’s YouTube interview below.

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Tracy Bangar, LCSW #87285
Tracy Bangar, LCSW #87285

Clinical Director – Malibu

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Tracy Bangar is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, who graduated with honors from Azusa Pacific University with her Master’s in Social Work with a concentration of Clinical Practice with Individuals and Families. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and minor in Education and Applied Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Prior to joining Paradigm, Tracy worked in residential treatment with youth struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, grief, and addiction-related issues. She is certified in different Evidence-Based Practices of Trauma-Focused CBT and Seeking Safety, as well as Trauma-Informed Care. Tracy integrates multiple therapeutic modalities into treatment and is passionate about finding what works best for each teen. She takes the approach that every child and adolescent possesses strengths and positive qualities that when incorporated into treatment better foster growth and the ability to overcome the challenges.

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Andrea Polard, M.A., Psy.D., PST, # 17098

Dr. Andrea F. Polard first became a psychologist in Germany at the Freie University of Berlin in 1993. Besides working in research at her Alma Mater, she enjoyed working with multi-symptomatic children, adolescents and their families for various District offices of Berlin. When she immigrated to the U.S. in 1994, she had to get her second MA degree in Counseling Psychology and a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at Ryokan College (1998). For two years, Dr. Polard worked in convalescent homes and halfway houses, where she was trained in various methods of psychological and neuroscience testing. She also worked at the Primal Institute for three years, where she conducted group and individual therapy with trauma survivors, many of whom were recovering from substance abuse. After this intense training, she yearned to work more holistically. Her subsequent, diverse training included Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Relational Therapy, Mindfulness and Mind/Body work. Finally, in 2012, she founded the Los Angeles Center for Zen Psychology, where she saw many adolescents and adults who recovered from substance abuse, trauma, depression, and anxiety.

Andrea loves to write blog articles for Psychology Today. Her first published book —A Unified Theory of Happiness—received international attention. She loves to hike in nature and lives with her family and her dog in the quiet mountains of Topanga.

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Jonathan Sanchez, M.A.

Jonathan Sanchez has nearly a decade of experience with educating teens. He possesses a Master of Arts in Education and received a Bachelor of Arts from the 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.

Watch Jonathan’s YouTube video below:

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Siana Orun-Walker, B.A.
Siana Orun-Walker, B.A.

Director of Client Development & Initiatives

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Siana specializes in experiential therapy, emotional intelligence, and personal development. She Is a trail blazer in the realm of youth development and focuses on assisting our youth with staying on track with their treatment goals. Siana has worked with the youth for over a decade leading and facilitating personal development groups and workshops. Some of the initiatives she’s developed are our “LifeSkills Group” to support our alumni in integrating what they’ve learned in our residential program post treatment, and “SHIFT” our diversity & inclusion program that encourages cultural competency in the field of mental health while providing resources for our staff, clients, and the community. Siana holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts from HBCU-Virginia State University and is a graduate of MITT-Mastery in Transformational Training. She dedicates her life to impacting as many lives as she can by being of service, encouraging transformation, and inspiring breakthroughs.

Watch Siana’s YouTube video below:

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Breana Harris, M.F.A
Breana Harris, M.F.A

Overnight Coordinator

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Breana Harris holds a Master’s of Fine Arts in Screenwriting from California State University Northridge and a Bachelor’s of Arts in English from Portland State University. Growing up in Las Vegas, she wrote and performed community theater at therapeutic counseling centers and residential programs for teens. Breana has served as an editor and columnist for a newspaper, during which time, she mentored a staff of young writers. Before coming to Paradigm, she was an SAT and ACT preparatory consultant who specialized in the essay portions of college entrance tests. Breana is passionate about film, theater, and literature and enjoys connecting with youth. She believes in the benefits of writing as a therapeutic tool for unpacking teen depression, trauma, and self-harming behaviors.

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Lauren Prina, B.A., AMFT #123344
Lauren Prina, B.A., AMFT #123344

Program Director, Meadows Program

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Lauren Prina graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Art History. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Pepperdine University. Prior to joining Paradigm as a Clinical Assistant, Lauren applied her interest in youth and psychology by working as a camp counselor, then as a youth activities leader for a local church.

During her tenure with Paradigm, Lauren has committed her energies to direct service of youth and organizational support to the treatment team. She thrives on working with teens as she believes that adolescence is a pivotal stage in life and that youth have the capacity for immense change and power in creating futures for themselves. Witnessing the effectiveness of residential care, in helping youth learn to overcome the effects of teen depression, anxiety, self-harm, and other emotional health issues, inspired Lauren to enroll in graduate school and to undertake a new role with Paradigm. She has a passion for art, creativity, and helping others find connection and hope in their lives.

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Dianna Welsh, MS, LMFT
Dianna Welsh, MS, LMFT

Director of Clinical TeleCare

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Dianna holds a Master’s degree in Counseling with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy from CSU Sacramento and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Neuropsychology from San Diego State University. Dianna has extensive experience in both acute inpatient hospitals and residential treatment settings and works exclusively with teens and their families to treat mood-, trauma-, and attachment-related issues. Dianna is a skilled administrator who has trained graduate students in clinical assessments and therapeutic protocols for inpatient mental health care. She also served as the Deputy Director, and later, the Program Director for the San Francisco location of Paradigm Treatment. Dianna utilizes a person-centered and holistic approach to treatment informed by trauma-focused and attachment theories. She believes whole-heartedly in the healing nature of human connection and the importance of teens being seen and valued for who they really are. She employs a range of therapeutic modalities including ACT, IFS and DBT and combines them in a way intended to honor the unique experiences and self-discovery of each teen. 

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Carol Nalin, CPET
Carol Nalin, CPET

Parent Support Services

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

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Kathryn Nunez, B.A., M.A., AMFT #109454

Kathryn Nunez obtained her Master’s of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology with a specialty in Drama Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Critical Psychology. She has served as an individual and group therapist to adolescents in a San Francisco area inpatient hospital and to those struggling to heal from a life-threatening illness. She is an experienced facilitator who incorporates classical theater techniques with elements of identity and community building into her sessions to bring healing, emotional intelligence, empathy, and grounding to her clients. Kathryn believes in the inherent value and intrinsic goodness of every human and she is committed to helping teens navigate towards seeing, feeling, and owning their value so they can find meaning and mindful connection in their lives. Kathryn is supervised by Lucy Bramwell.

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Natalie Claxton, M.A., AMFT #124233, APCC #9182

Natalie holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with a Marriage and Family Therapy emphasis from Pepperdine University. Before coming to Paradigm, Natalie had experience as an MFT trainee providing individual and group therapy for teenagers with depression and anxiety, as well as working with adults in a community mental health setting. Natalie has also worked as a Community Counselor at Clearview Treatment Women’s Center in Los Angeles, providing skills coaching and supporting women with borderline personality disorder. 

Natalie completed training in DBT, mindfulness, CBT and Psychodynamic therapy perspectives. Natalie’s approach is to help clients gain insight into their thought patterns and behaviors while providing a therapeutic relationship based on validation and empathy. Natalie aims to help clients foster radical self-acceptance and awareness of their strengths so they can reach their personal goals and gain resilience. Natalie enjoys practicing yoga and going hiking.  

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Sean Dwyer, M.A., AMFT #119990
Sean Dwyer, M.A., AMFT #119990

Program Director – Point Dume Program

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Sean holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University, where he was also a Teacher’s Assistant for Clinical Interventions with Children and Adolescents. Sean was a Lead Clinical Assistant at Paradigm for four years, which inspired him to become a therapist and return to support and empower youth and families with warmth and sensitivity. Sean’s clinical training focused on relational approaches to trauma in a community mental health setting. Sean helps individuals, couples, and families discover their authentic selves by encouraging nourishing connections with peers, families, and communities. Sean specializes in LGBTQ+ affirmative therapy to support youth who are experiencing stressful events specific to their identities. Sean channels his personal life experiences, recovery work, and devotion to helping others into his support for youth experiencing substance misuse. Sean deeply believes that healing can and does happen when a youth is genuinely supported in finding their own voice and power––and using it. When not supporting and challenging clients, Sean is an avid tennis player and devoted cat dad. Sean’s supervisor is Lucy Bramwell, LMFT, #101033

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Ben Edwards, AMFT #119868

Ben Edwards is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is currently enrolled at Antioch University, Los Angles where he is completing a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, with a specialization in Addiction and Recovery. Prior to Paradigm, Ben worked as the head coach for Junior High School football and basketball teams in the Los Angeles area. He also worked as a full-time musician, touring all over the world, performing as the bass player and musical director for various bands, including Mitchel Musso from Disney’s Hannah Montana, Chris Barron from the Spin Doctors, and multi-grammy winning Latin rock star, Beto Cuevas, with whom he earned a Grammy participation certificate. Ben seeks out opportunities to use both sports and music in his work with adolescents at Paradigm. He is a proud Chilean-Californian and a member of the 12 Step community. Ben’s supervisor is Tracy Bangar, LCSW, #87285

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Christina Fitch, M.A., AMFT #118622

A graduate of Antioch University, Christina completed her Master’s in Applied Psychology with a specialty in spiritual and depth psychology. Christina believes that integrating the client’s spiritual and religious beliefs helps them feel secure during dysregulation. Her unique approach to healing is helpful for those with addictive behaviors, ADHD, trauma and life transitions. Christina believes in the use of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and mindfulness-based art therapy. She previously worked as a marriage and family therapist at the Antioch Counseling Center and has been a practicing Reiki Master for ten years.. After hours, Christina enjoys yoga, meditation, and spending time with her animals.

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Victor Gabriel, M.A., AMFT #95882

Victor Gabriel works at Paradigm as a Licensed Therapist. He holds a Master of Art in Clinical Psychology, and a MFT degree from Antioch University. Prior to working at Paradigm, Victor worked as Community Mental Health Therapist in the South Central, Compton, and Watts areas. Victor specializes in trauma, and in his free time he enjoys music and film making. 

Victor is supervised by Tracy Bangar, LMFT.

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Cameron Reis, B.A., M.A., LMFT #112102

Cameron Reis is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who received his Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Psychology from California State University at Northridge and his Master’s of Science degree in Counseling Psychology from California Lutheran University. His clinical studies focused on trauma and the ways in which emotionally overwhelming events can disrupt the mind-body connection and potentially manifest as PTSD and trauma disorder.

Prior to joining Paradigm, Cameron worked in both school and outpatient treatment settings, where he gained experience and found his psychotherapeutic passion for individual and group therapy with youth. He has therapeutic expertise with teen PTSD, self-harm, adolescent major depression, family/relational issues, and is EMDR-trained.. Cameron believes that when teens develop a patient and kind relationship with themselves, then they can find their strengths and reclaim their interests and dreams.

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Melody Shokouhi, B.A., M.S.

Prior to joining Paradigm, Melody worked as a preschool teacher at Beth Shir Shalom, later moving on to Antioch Community Counseling Center as a therapist. In her graduate studies and post graduate counseling experiences, she was drawn towards relational, insight-oriented, narrative, and behavioral therapies. Melody is most passionate about working with teenagers and she uses a strengths-based approach to help them embrace their most authentic selves during their transition into adulthood. Melody earned a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UCLA. When not at work, she enjoys boxing and fitness activities.

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Kevork Terterian, M.A., AMFT #112164, APCC #6180

Kevork obtained his Master of Arts degree in Psychology from Argosy University and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology & Social Behavior from the University of California – Irvine. He has experience working with adolescents in school settings, providing them with a safe space in which to process trauma, emotional challenges and relational issues. As a therapist, Kevork utilizes a person-centered approach so as to fully engage with each individual client and honor their unique qualities and traits. He infuses his therapy with evidence-based practices such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and resonates with existential theory, which explores the importance of finding meaning in one’s life across multiple areas. Kevork loves playing tennis and enjoys spending time with his two dogs when he is not working. Kevork’s supervisor is Lucy Bramwell.

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Ani Thomson, Psy.D., RPA #94025360, LMFT #99923, ATR

Ani is a licensed LMFT with a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, as well as Art TherapyAni has experience as a psychological assistant working toward licensure and has specialized in family systems, CBT, DBT, art therapy, running groups, and individual and family sessions. Ani is a registered Art Therapist who is passionate about helping teens develop expressive self-care practices. In Ani’s free time, she enjoys painting and collaging, collecting vinyl records, and walking her dog. Ani’s supervisor is Andrea Polard, PST #17098

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Diana Redman, Psy.D., MSW
Diana Redman, Psy.D., MSW

Psychological Assistant

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Diana Redman is completing her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from California Southern University.  She previously completed a Master’s in Social Work from Tel-Aviv University. With a focus in crisis and trauma, she provided first line care to victims of trauma and war, immigrants, and their children. Diana also created in-school programs throughout southern Tel-Aviv that used sport psychology techniques to help support behavioral changes in children and teens. Diana is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant and member of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. Diana also has experience working in residential settings with young adults struggling with substance use, trauma, and a variety of other psychological issues.    

In addition to her mental health expertise, Diana is a former professional soccer player for the Israel National Team. Diana uses her sport experience to provide young adults with motivational and goal setting tools while also creating a safe space to explore their identity both in and out of sport. Diana believes in a well-rounded treatment that utilizes ACT, CBT, and sport psychology techniques to help teens understand they are more than just an athlete. 

Diana is supervised by Dr. Andrea Polard.

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Angela Du, B.S.
Angela Du, B.S.

Program Coordinator – Beach House Program

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Angela Du graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychobiology and a Minor in Global Health. During her college experience, she facilitated workshops for teens on pursuing their interests and she was a peer mentor to students experiencing emotional and academic difficulties. Angela joined Paradigm to continue working as a mentor and advocate for youth. She believes that teens thrive with individualized support and open communication, especially teens who have been socially isolated, bullied, or stigmatized. She encourages teens to communicate their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs and to listen to and value different life experiences and perspectives. In addition to enjoying her work with the teens at Paradigm, she spends time with her friends and is studying to enter medical school.

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Gerardo Aguirre, B.S.

Gerardo completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology with an Emphasis on Exercise Science from CSU-Northridge and is currently attending Concordia University, pursing a Master’s in Exercise Science. Gerardo has worked as an APA special needs para-educator and an exercise instructor for numerous years. Gerardo enjoys playing basketball, biking, soccer, hiking, and reading. 

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Rebecca Cohn
Rebecca Cohn

Clinical Assistant

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Becca Cohn is passionate about supporting individuals struggling with their mental health. In addition to being on staff at Paradigm Treatment, Becca facilitates a weekly eating disorder support group and mentors teens who have eating disorders, mental health, and substance use disorders through ANAD and Project Together. She is also a crisis counselor with the Crisis Text Line and has certification in suicide first aid. Becca is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and has previously worked at another adolescent treatment center.

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Emma Krug
Emma Krug

Lead Clinical Assistant – Meadows Program

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Emma grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Houston, Texas. She is currently obtaining a degree in psychology from Pepperdine University. Emma has a strong passion for children and teens. She wants to help them learn effective ways of communication, while remaining authentic to themselves. Her goal is to empower them to advocate for their needs and cope with stress in healthy ways. She understands how difficult treatment can be, and will always support clients on their journey towards personal growth. Emma works to build trust with clients by actively listening to their experiences, without placing judgment on them. She wholeheartedly believes in the power of smiles and laughter and tries her hardest to spread that positive energy everywhere she goes. Emma feels blessed to have this opportunity to help teens become the best possible version of themselves and honored to be a minuscule part of their stories. 

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Gavyn Bailey
Gavyn Bailey

Clinical Assistant

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Gavyn has been a mental health advocate ever since attending Paradigm as a teenager. He hopes to become a licensed therapist in the future among other things! Having years of personal experience with mental health-related struggles, he understands what it takes to provide the utmost care to clients. Gavyn’s therapy style involves a holistic approach, not only healing the rooted issues, but healing the mind, spirit, and body. Aside from Paradigm, Gavyn is a singer and published songwriter who has packed venues such as The Dolby Theater, The Lincoln Center in New York City, The House of Blues, The Roxy, and more, and has performed along side Carole King, Aloe Blacc, B.J. Thomas, and Alicia Keys during his involvement in SeriousFun Children’s Network (Founded by Paul Newman). His songwriting has been featured globally from MTV, to the Danish Grand Prix (Eurovision). One of his primary focuses is mental health and being a guide for those who struggle with addiction, anxiety, and
depression through music and dialog. He is grateful to be back at the place that gave so much to him.

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Hanna Muddle, B.A.
Hanna Muddle, B.A.

Clinical Assistant

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Hanna obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Colorado, and is interested in pursuing her Master of Arts degree in Counseling so as to become a licensed therapist. Previously she worked as a technician in a residential, all boys’ facility specializing in trauma, substance abuse and behavioral issues. Hanna is passionate about working with youth and young adults and when she is not at Paradigm, she enjoys snowboarding and being in nature.

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Susan Rangel, B.A.
Susan Rangel, B.A.

Clinical Assistant

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Susan earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with a concentration in Social Welfare and Social Justice and a minor in Clinical Studies. Susan is experienced in working with teens and adolescents as a behavioral therapist and is currently working toward becoming a licensed clinical social worker. In her free time, Susan enjoys music, poetry, yoga, cooking, and volunteering. 

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Jane Roth, B.A., M.A.

Jane obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Forensic Psychology from the University of Arizona, and is currently working towards her Master of Arts degree in Psychology at Pepperdine University. She has extensive professional experience working in adolescent residential facilities, and in addition to working as a Behaviorist, Jane also spent several years working with adults, teens and children with special needs. As a clinician she prioritizes building rapport with clients, and values providing a safe environment in which clients can feel encouraged to develop the concrete skills they need to lead a fulfilling life. Jane enjoys boxing and introducing it to clients as a healthy way to process and release difficult emotions.

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Nathan Sauer, B.A.
Nathan Sauer, B.A.

Clinical Assistant

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Making people laugh and feel comfortable are two of Nathan’s passions. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and then worked as a youth camp counselor in Malibu for four years where he served as a role model making a difference in camper’s lives and helping kids develop a positive self-image. According to Nathan, one of his strongest skills is active listening. Nathan likes to stay active and spends his free time playing soccer and basketball. He also likes snowboarding and hiking.

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Erica Wallace, B.S.
Erica Wallace, B.S.

Clinical Assistant

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Erica received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience from the University of Evansville, and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Counseling with a focus in marriage and family therapy from California Lutheran University. She has experience serving adolescents in the university setting where she assisted international students transitioning to their collegiate careers in the United States. Erica values the promotion of empowerment and resiliency in teens, and strives to support them on their individual journeys towards these goals. She enjoys crafting, cooking, reading, and travelling in her free time.

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Isabel Hernandez, CNA, MHA, CPR

Overnight Clinical Assistant

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Helping patients heal and become the best they can be, individually or within their family system, while reducing distress and discomfort is Isabel’s goal. She finds it fulfilling to witness the growth clients experience as they progress from sad, lost, and struggling to confident and capable. She is a licensed CNA and Mental Health Aide worker with CPR certification, Fire card and Mab Pro. Isabel provides assistance in-crisis intervention and patient comfort. Her hobbies after work include walking, reading and music.

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Fernando Camarena
Fernando Camarena

Lead Overnight Clinical Assistant – Malibu

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Adolescence is a pivotal time to make a difference in someone’s life and Fernando believes in bridging cultural gaps among youth through education and interpersonal relations. He formerly worked as a recreation leader for the Conejo Recreation and Park District and also organized summer camps for youth. Fernando is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish from Oregon State University, Channel Islands. He enjoys hiking, reading, dance, and running in his free time.

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Kathleen Adkisson
Kathleen Adkisson

Overnight Clinical Assistant

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Working with young people has always been in Kathleen’s heart. She earned her medical certification from UEI College in Gardena and has plans to continue her schooling to become a nurse with hopes of becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner. Kathleen was a youth leader in Torrance for four years and embraces this opportunity to work with and mentor young people again. Kathleen finds peace listening to inspirational music, meditating, praying, driving on the coast, and getting in touch with nature.

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Mohammad “Taher” Hotaki, B.A.
Mohammad “Taher” Hotaki, B.A.

Lead Overnight Clinical Assistant – Malibu

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Taher earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Woodbury University in addition to an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from Pierce College. Prior to Paradigm, Taher worked as a Senior Rehab Specialist and a Clinic Assistant at the Centre for Neuro Skills. Taher has an educational approach with teens and adolescents and specializes in Physical Therapy and Speech Language Pathology. Outside of Paradigm, Taher enjoys playing volleyball, swimming, and hiking in nature. 

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Jonathan Ditmore
Jonathan Ditmore

Clinical Assistant

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Jonathan D. graduated from Pepperdine University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. During his time there he was able to spend time volunteering in group homes and help serve local youth. He is passionate about being a part of the treatment journey for kids. He strongly believes that teenagers are extremely resilient and are able to live meaningful and healthy lives if they are given the proper support. In his free time, Jonathan enjoys basketball, reading history books, playing video games, and beating Gerardo in fantasy sports. 

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Christian Rider, B.A., M.A., AMFT

The theories that have resonated with Christian in his studies are family systems, psychodynamics, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and mindfulness theory. Christian has developed a strong repertoire of evidenced-based interventions such as breathing exercises, guided imagery, and other grounding techniques aimed at attuning the mind and body. He has a strong desire to do transformational work with adolescents and young adults and to help them overcome their struggles. Christian values taking an eclectic therapeutic approach when working with clients to address their individual needs.

Christian earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from California Lutheran University and a Master’s in Counseling Psychology with specializations in Marriage and Family Therapy, and the assessment and intervention of trauma. He is currently pursing a certificate in Trauma Stress Studies from the Trauma Research Foundation. Christian was a therapist at CLU Community Counseling Services in Westlake Village and a Resident Assistant at CLU Thousand Oaks, where he worked closely with young adults of various cultural backgrounds. His interests include hiking, running, playing music, kickboxing, table tennis, reading, and building with Legos. Christian enjoys how running can be competitive and meditational at the same time and has been a long-distance runner since high school.

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Keileen Pivaral, CNA
Keileen Pivaral, CNA

Overnight Clinical Assistant

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Keileen joined the Paradigm team because she loves how Paradigm provides teens and young adults a safe space to cope with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. She believes in the importance of mental health and has compassion for her patients. She has worked in a variety of units including geriatric, psych, med/surg, and subacute. She has been a licensed CNA for seven years, is CPR-certified, and earned both her Mab Pro and Fire and Safety cards. In her free time, Keileen enjoys reading books in the genres of thriller, horror, and manga, and going to the beach.

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Experiential Team

Dr. Vallerie E. Coleman, Ph.D., Psy.D. #12592

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

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Dr. Lorraine Rose, Ph.D., Psy.D. #12803
Dr. Lorraine Rose, Ph.D., Psy.D. #12803

EAGALA Equine Assisted Psychotherapist

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Lorraine Rose, PhD is a clinical psychologist and EAGALA certified Equine Assisted Psychotherapist. She is also the Clinical Training Director at an outpatient counseling center and maintains a private practices in Beverly Hills and Westlake Village. In her private practice, Dr. Rose specializes in working with couples and families struggling with a wide range of issues. At Paradigm Malibu, she uses equine therapy to explore family dynamics and for the provision of teen depression treatment, teen anxiety treatment and teen addiction treatment.

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Tulsi Bagnoli, B.A., M.A.
Tulsi Bagnoli, B.A., M.A.

Soundbath Facilitator, Yoga & Meditation Instructor

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As a believer in the healing power of sound to release deep-rooted stress and strains and to simultaneously awaken the individual to their higher power or true nature, Tulsi is passionate about sharing the ancient practices of yoga and meditation with the youth of today and helping people awaken to the untapped energy that flows within us all. She specializes in Soundbath meditation, Yoga Nidra, and yoga for healing and recovery. Tulsi is a second-generation meditation teacher who has been practicing yoga and meditation since the age of four and teaching professionally throughout the U.S. and India for the past 15 years. She earned both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Vedic Science from Maharishi University in Iowa and completed six months in residence meditation teacher training. In addition, Tulsi has completed 500 hours of Yoga Teacher Training from India and LMU in Los Angeles. She previously taught yoga and meditation for youth and adults in residential treatment and sober living centers. Tulsi’s interests outside of work include hiking, camping, dance, music, astrology, kirtan, yoga, and meditation.

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Josh Ruiz
Josh Ruiz

Equestrian Trail Guide

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Josh Ruiz is the lead Trail Guide for Paradigm Malibu. He shares his love of horses and nature with youth struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, and chemical dependency issues. Josh comes from a long line of horsemen, going back to his great grandfather who raised prized palomino horses in the San Fernando Valley. Having grown up with horses, Josh learned first hand how individuals can improve their non-verbal communication skills, assertiveness, creative thinking, problem-solving and leadership skills while interacting with horses.

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Summer Lall, MT-BC, #CBMT08757

Summer Lall is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston and a Board Certified Music Therapist. She has devoted her career to working with youth who are struggling with drug abuse, addiction, emotional health and behavioral health issues. Summer uses a wide range of music modalities to assist teens in their healing process. This includes, but is not limited to the use of a diverse selection of instruments, songs, song writing, improvisational and relaxation techniques to establish non-musical goals.
Prior to joining the Paradigm Malibu team, Summer worked with young people in schools, hospitals, psychiatric programs, hospice care, camps, and teen treatment centers. In addition to her broad local outreach, Summer’s work with music has taken her to locations throughout the world ranging from Europe to Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Samoa. She provides both group and individual Music Therapy Sessions to adolescents at Paradigm Malibu. Summer’s commitment to empowering young people though the use of Music makes her an invaluable member of our team.

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Victoria Alvarez, B.A., M.S., R-DMT
Victoria Alvarez, B.A., M.S., R-DMT

Clinical Assistant & Dance/Movement Therapist

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As a registered dance/movement therapist, Victoria leads dance/movement therapy groups at Paradigm Treatment for teens and young adults with mental health illness. Victoria’s mission is to use dance and movement for therapeutic healing and has experience working with children, teens, and adults who have autism, mental health challenges and substance use disorders. Victoria is a co-creator and program director for Let’s Dance It Out, LLC, a therapeutic movement program that promotes social, emotional, and cognitive skills for adults with developmental disabilities in Santa Monica. She graduated from California State University, Northridge where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and minored in Dance. She completed her Master’s degree in Dance/Movement Therapy from Pratt Institute in 2020. In her free time, she enjoys dancing and creating art.

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Academics

Matthew Siegel, M.F.A.
Matthew Siegel, M.F.A.

Director of Education and Transition Planning

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Matthew Siegel is a graduate of Hampshire College with a Master of Fine Arts degree in English from the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program. In addition to being a widely published writer, he has taught rhetoric at the University of Iowa, and English at Santa Rosa Junior College, Harvard-Westlake School, and New Roads School. Matt has volunteered extensively with high-risk teens and has a passion for rekindling educational interest, growth, and achievement in youth who are working through adolescent anxiety and depression. His comfort and interest in residential programs stem from his educational experiences at a college preparatory boarding school in Massachusetts. In his free time, Matt hikes with his dog and explores the many cultural offerings of Los Angeles.

Watch Matt’s YouTube interview below.

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Brittany Matyus, B.A.
Brittany Matyus, B.A.

Education Coordinator

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Brittany graduated Magna Cum Laude from California State University Northridge with her Bachelor’s of the Arts degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminology and Criminal Justice. She is a current member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. Brittany’s passion lies in empowering youth to be the best version of themselves they can possibly be. She helps adolescents develop their confidence and realize their strengths, by highlighting the positive characteristics that already reside within them, so that they are able to attain their full potential.

Brittany has been working with at risk youth who struggle with mental health, substance abuse, self-harm and victims of domestic violence since 2011. Prior to becoming part of the Paradigm Team Brittany was a mentor at a residential transitional treatment center for at-risk foster teens transitioning out of the foster care system. She collaborated in program development for general health, hygiene, self-empowerment and “entering the work force,” curriculum. The program supported the youth’s confidence development, to better prepare them for transitioning out of the system, into assertive members of society successfully. Brittany also interned as an advocate at the Domestic Abuse Self-Help (DASH) Center in the Van Nuys Court House. While interning at DASH she advocated for victims throughout the court process, wrote their dictated declarations to be read in court, helped complete necessary paperwork and filed court orders to grant temporary restraining orders.

Brittany’s other passion lies in fitness, health and wellness. She is a National Association of Sports and Medicine, Certified Personal Trainer. She is a Certified Lagree Fitness Trainer, has a Pilates certification and has been a fitness coach for circuit training and cycle since 2012. She believes the mind, body and spirt work in unity best with one another when an individual’s mental and physical health are a priority and taken care of. Brittany’s favorite things to do for self-care revolve around things on, in or near the ocean including scuba diving, hiking and paddle boarding.

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Drew Hollingsworth, RADT

As a Lead Recovery Coach for Sustain Recovery, Drew used a balance of clinical interventions, 12 step recovery and holistic modalities to help adolescents create a positive environment and to address their addictions. He was a Youth Care Specialist for a Substance Abuse residential and day treatment center in Schereville, Indiana. Drew believes in a humanist approach to recovery and change, treating the whole unique person using both cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapy. He is a Registered Alcohol and Drug Technician, a member of California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals, and is experienced with Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, Bridge Building, Anti-Epileptic drug therapy and first aid. In his free time, he enjoys art, writing, hiking, sports and outdoor activities.

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Marketing & Admissions

Jolleen Nase, B.A.
Jolleen Nase, B.A.

National Director of Business Development

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Jolleen earned her Bachelor’s degree in Strategic & Organizational Communications from Temple University. As Director of Business Development for Paradigm, she is responsible for maintaining relationships with clients and vendors, developing, mentoring, and expanding the brand’s sales team, as well as cultivating strategic partnerships within the communities that Paradigm serves. Jolleen brings over a decade of outreach, management, events, sales, and marketing experience to Paradigm. She served as Director of Regional Outreach for Alsana, Los Angeles, where she developed and hosted educational events and tours and she was responsible for partnerships and admissions referrals. Ms. Nase was also Director of Admissions & Outreach for Fusion Academy in Woodland Hills, CA, where she was responsible for marketing, outreach and event management.

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Sydney Marino, B.A., M.A.
Sydney Marino, B.A., M.A.

Admissions Coordinator

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As Paradigm Treatment’s Admissions Manager, Sydney handles all incoming admissions requests including questions pertaining to insurance and related financial matters. Sydney also interfaces with clients, families, and our internal team to ensure that our admissions processes are running smoothly and that our programs are accurately messaged to both clients and affiliates.

Sydney has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Addiction & Recovery from the University of Alabama and a Master of Arts in Counseling from Cal Lutheran University. Sydney is passionate about assisting individuals and their families navigate their unique challenges and circumstances so as to best achieve their goals. When she isn’t working, Sydney enjoys hiking, traveling, and international cuisine.

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Jesse Carillo, B.A., CFI
Jesse Carillo, B.A., CFI

Admissions Coordinator

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As a Certified Family Interventionist, Jesse strives to approach each individual and their struggling family unit with patience, understanding, and respect. He recognizes that emergent situations often seem hopeless, but his goal is to empower youth and help them find working solutions. Jesses use 12-Step modalities, motivational interviewing, and creative therapies including art, music, and writing. Jesse worked at a recovery center for five years and has volunteered at multiple recovery events in the New England area for the AA program, H&I commitments, conventions and fundraisers. Jesse earned a Bachelor’s degree from University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He enjoys exercise, the outdoors, cooking, music, and spending time with animals when he is not working.

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Malibu Administration

Andrew Kalinowski, B.S., CPA, CMA

Andrew graduated from Ferris State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Business Administration, with a minor in Finance and Spanish. Andrew is a CPA and CMA with an extensive background in financial advisory, operational, and organizational experience. Outside of Paradigm, Andrew is driven to give back to the community and does volunteer work with Junior Achievement as well as consulting with minority-owned non-profit businesses. 

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Emily Armour, M.A., LPCC, NCC
Emily Armour, M.A., LPCC, NCC

Director of Special Projects

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Emily Armour is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, and Nationally Certified Counselor who graduated from Walden University with her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Baylor University. Prior to joining Paradigm, Emily worked with adolescents and their families in a variety of settings that included schools, Juvenile Hall, and outpatient facilities. She has extensive experience in treating depression, anxiety, trauma, high risk behaviors, parenting and co-parenting support, and addiction-related issues. She is a certified telemental health provider, certified clinical anxiety treatment provider, and possesses additional training in dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and motivational interviewing (MI). Emily uses an integrative and eclectic approach to treatment based on the client’s needs and presenting issues. Her experience in the field has made her intimately familiar with the pressures, hardships, and life stressors that often can become debilitating for youth and their families. She works to fully understand the core issues that are causing maladaptive behaviors, how they impact the individual, and family and create more personal insight so that her clients are able to gain a sense of intrinsic motivation, develop a positive sense of self, feel better, and better interact with themselves and the world.

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Guy Ashton, B.S.

Guy oversees the Financing and Accounting division, including vendor relations, daily correspondence, monthly and quarterly financial reporting across multiple categories. Guy holds a Bachelor’s in Accounting Sciences from the University of South Africa, with an emphasis on Accounting and Audit. He has over 20 years of experience working in various industries as an accountant, including 9 years with CBS Television and 5 years at Twentieth Century Fox. Guy has a passion for numbers and the overall viability of the organization. Guy has traveled the world and his other interests include running, golf, and art.

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Emma Cosford, B.S.
Emma Cosford, B.S.

Collections Specialist

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Emma has been with Paradigm since June 2020 and recently joined our billing department. Prior to Paradigm, Emma lived in Brooklyn, New York, working in footwear design after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology with her Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising and a minor in Economics. Having transitioned from the fashion industry, Emma is grateful to be part of a company that is helping the community and our youth. Outside of work, Emma loves working out, hiking, surfing and traveling whether it be across the world, visiting family in Vancouver, or camping in Big Sur.

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Debora Garcia

Debora’s experience includes being a business owner for 9 years and working for 20 years in customer service. She actively facilitates client communication to and from Paradigm’s clinical team and enjoy establishing caring relationships with patients. Maintaining constructive communication is one of my top priorities. I am also proficient in computer applications and maintain a high commitment to accuracy and efficiency. Debora enjoys spending time with family and likes to stay active with her husband and daughters. She also enjoys bike rides and hiking.

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Carla Balou, M.B.A.
Carla Balou, M.B.A.

Director of Revenue Cycle

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With three decades of solid and progressive experience, Carla has had an accomplished career in the healthcare industry. She has served a Director of Revenue Cycle for the last ten years and describes herself as a mentor with both strategic planning and diplomatic skills. Carla earned her M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix with a concentration in healthcare management. In her free time, Carla enjoys cycling, weight-lifting, and creating jewelry and 3D design.

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Avonlea Ware, M.A.
Avonlea Ware, M.A.

Director of Compliance and Client Services

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Avonlea Ware holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University, where she also earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy. She joined Paradigm as a Clinical Assistant and worked with young clients for a handful of years before moving into her current position. She is a high energy team player who has a broad range of interpersonal and administrative skills and who strives to meet the needs of clients and families. Having traveled and lived throughout Europe, India, and the Middle East, Avonlea developed a focus on conflict resolution and communication skills, which she believes are assets to teens struggling to find their place in the world. When Avonlea is not working she enjoys spending time at the beach, gardening, and connecting more with the world around her.

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Isabel DiPietra, B.A., B.S.
Isabel DiPietra, B.A., B.S.

Office Manager/HR Assistant

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Isabel graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts in Law and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. In the past, Isabel worked with at-risk youth in an attempt to reduce generational poverty, focusing on four major areas: teen pregnancy, teen homelessness, family fragmentation, and substance abuse. She has experience working with adolescents in schools, Juvenile facilities, and hospitals. Isabel has a passion for behavioral and mental health and believes that all people should have an equal chance at success regardless of their circumstances. For fun Isabel loves traveling, going to the beach and hanging out with friends.

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Nutrition

Regan Wilson, B.A.
Regan Wilson, B.A.

Director of Wellness & Nutrition

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Regan Wilson has been teaching yoga and studying holistic health and wellness for 20 years. Regan graduated from University of Colorado at Boulder, and later from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) with a specialization on gut-affected psychological symptoms. More recently she graduated from The Sleep Coach School with a focus on teenagers and young adults. Her prir positions span many industries including non-profit organizations, fashion and real estate. Ultimately, she found she was most passionate about health and helping teens and young adults cultivate their intuitive voices for healthier eating, sleeping, movement and beyond.

In 2019 Regan started working as a Clinical Assistant at Paradigm, where she was able to learn about the effects of psychology on health and the need for support with teens and young adults who struggle with mental health. Regan is also educated in nutrition counseling, mindful eating, intuitive eating, eating disorders and yoga therapy. Regan likes to guide her clients to tap into their inner resources and shine light on their own intuitive voices, creating space for more self-compassion and healthy eating habits. Regan is approachable and compassionate and loves witnessing her clients find the tools that work for them and apply these tools to all avenues of healthy living. Her hope for all clients is for them to honor their own body, humanity, taste buds, hunger and fullness. Regan loves traveling, ecstatic dance, hiking, nature and cooking. 

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Patro Lopez

From the love that his family’s cooking brought his childhood, Patro Lopez knew at a young age that a career as a chef was the profession he wanted to pursue. This passion would lead Patro to train under the leadership of several renowned chefs specializing in a variety of culinary origins. Patro’s creations cross several cultural and geographic borders, consisting of recipes derived from Mexican, Italian, and Japanese cuisine, among others. Patro seeks out opportunities to assist youth in developing a refined sense of self and meaningful relationships through sharing nutritious, inspired meals.

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Carrie Mostow, A.S.

Carrie obtained her Associate’s of Science degree in Patisserie and Baking from Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, California. With extensive experience in catering, residential facilities and restaurants, she brings passion for her craft and a skilled approach to her work each and every day. Carrie believes that by helping people shape their diets, we can improve their mental health. Her love for cooking and baking started at a young age, beginning with preparing meals for her large family and experimenting with new recipes and flavors. At Paradigm, Carrie particularly enjoys client interactions, as well as providing the knowledge needed to help create a well-rounded diet. When she isn’t working, she enjoys challenging hikes and taking adventures outdoors.

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Sheri Wixsom is an accomplished chef with more than 20 years experience in kitchen management at residential treatment centers. She is trained in all culinary specialties and has a passion for healthy menu planning. Sheri believes in cooking healthy to nourish the mind, body, and soul. When not in the kitchen, Sheri enjoys gardening and hiking and fashions herself a bit of a “rock hound”.

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