Los Angeles/Malibu Treatment Team

Medical Team

Elyse Galles, M.D.

Dr. Galles completed her psychiatry residency at UC San Diego after attending medical school at the University of Iowa. She also earned her BA in Human Biology at Stanford University. Dr. Galles has served as Resident Psychiatrist at UCSD in inpatient and outpatient settings and with a particular focus on college mental health. She has also worked as an outpatient psychiatrist at the Family Health Center of San Diego.

Dr. Galles 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. She has a particular interest in college student mental health and helping young adults build a healthy foundation to succeed in achieving their goals.

In her free time, Dr. Galles enjoys surfing, mountain biking, rock climbing, and anything else outdoors.

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Dr. James Luzano
Dr. James Luzano, M.D. (A110734)

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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Clarita Hunter

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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Rebecca Acevedo
Rebecca Acevedo, R.N. (95196227)

Head Nurse

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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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Clinical Team

Lucy Bramwell
Lucy Bramwell, M.S., LMFT (LMFT 101033)

Clinical Director, Paradigm Treatment

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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.

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.

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Brittany Matyus, B.A.

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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Andrea Polard, Psy.D. (PST17098)

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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Siana Walker
Siana Walker

Group Facilitator & Alumni Program Director

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Siana Walker has worked with adolescents in the fields of education and metal health for more than a decade. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Virginia State University in Liberal Arts and graduated from the Mastery In Transformational Training.

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Ben Edwards
Ben Edwards

Recovery Specialist

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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.

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Angela Du
Angela Du

Clinical Assistant

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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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Laura Gollub
Laura Gollub

Clinical Assistant

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Laura Gollub received a Bachelor’s Degree in Developmental Psychology from Miami University of Ohio. She also worked as an Applied Behavioral Analysis Instructor, specializing in students deemed at risk for self-harm and aggression. Laura also worked as a Residential Counselor at a residential treatment facility for teen mothers, and as a Resident Counselor at a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center. She is passionate about helping teens develop self-care strategies that foster independence, as well as the ability to build upon their progress once they transition out of the residential setting.

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Jane Roth
Jane Roth

Clinical Assistant

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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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Christian Lava
Christian Lava

Clinical Assistant

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Christian obtained his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Human Biology with a minor in Health Care Studies from the University of Southern California. He also worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator at USC Voice Center and as a Human Biology and Spanish tutor through the University of Southern California’s Joint Educational Project. Christian values open and productive communication, and believes in approaching the challenges of his job with enthusiasm and openness. He is dedicated to exploring new professional challenges and knowledge advancement. When he is not working at Paradigm, Christian enjoys international travel, tennis, yoga and volunteering.

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Hanna Muddle
Hanna Muddle

Clinical Assistant

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Hanna obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree 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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Chance Bryant
Chance Bryant

Lead Clinical Assistant

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Chance Bryant is currently an Arizona State University student completing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He has experience in both outpatient and residential settings and as a sober coach. Chance is passionate about using his understanding of substance abuse, addiction, and recovery to help teens work through overwhelming feelings, trauma, and the challenges of being a teenager in today’s society. He enjoys sharing his interests in guitar, art, and snowboarding.

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Breana Harris
Breana Harris, M.A.

Lead Overnight Clinical Assistant

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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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Hakeem Anchrum
Hakeem Anchrum

Overnight Clinical Assistant

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Hakeem Anchrum is currently an undergraduate in pursuit of a Bachelor’s degree in Economics at Pepperdine University. He is inspired by the transformation that can happen during the teenage years and enjoys supporting Paradigm’s youth. As a member of the Men’s Pepperdine University Basketball team, Hakeem understands the value that sports can provide for children in all aspects of life. He played competitive team sports since he was a child, and believes that athletics can be an extremely important way for teens to overcome obstacles while also building skills necessary to work with others. Prior to working at Paradigm, Hakeem worked at Pepperdine University’s Youth Camps, which led him to find his passion for working in physical and mental health. In his free time, Hakeem enjoys reading, traveling, and being with his family and friends.

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Samuel Miranda
Samuel Miranda

Overnight Clinical Assistant

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Born and raised in El Paso, TX, Samuel completed his Bachelor of Science Degree at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL. He is CPI Certified in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention, and has prior experience as a Counselor in residential treatment programs. Samuel also has a background in technology, having worked for Apple as a Creative Director and in their Business Consultations department as well. Samuel’s therapeutic style involves approaching clients with understanding and openness, and creating a safe space in which they may heal and find hope. When Samuel isn’t working with Paradigm youth, he is passionate about film directing, photography, and playing sports such as football and basketball. He also enjoys traveling and volunteering for Beach clean-ups in Malibu, and at local school daycare programs.

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Lauren Prina
Lauren Prina

Program Coordinator

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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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Evan Perlo
Evan Perlo, M.A., AMFT (104188)*

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

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Evan Perlo holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Philosophy from Sarah Lawrence College. Prior to joining Paradigm, he worked with adolescent and adult populations at the Southern California Counseling Center, where he concentrated on social justice, anger management, and building resilience and empowerment through individual and group therapy. Evan anchors his approach to therapy in Attachment Theory, which looks at our patterns of connecting with others and examines how we can show up in the world securely, reliably, and authentically. He is particularly passionate about group therapy as a means of exploring interpersonal relationships as a community, especially in regards to feelings of loneliness. By utilizing mindfulness practices, Evan enjoys helping teens develop practical strategies to be present with difficult emotions and cultivate kindness and acceptance towards themselves, which leads to tremendous growth in their lives.

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Johnna Jackson
Johnna Jackson, M.S.W., ACSW (88782)*

Associate Therapist

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Johnna received her Master’s of Social Work from Hunter College and her Bachelor’s of Arts in Criminal Justice from Morris College. She also has training in Motivational Interviewing from The Institute for Advanced Medicine: Mount Sinai and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). Johnna worked in a middle school setting providing individual, family and group sessions, and worked with trauma survivors in a therapeutic capacity ranging in age from 3 – 17 years old. Prior to working in the mental health field, Johnna traveled to Rishikesh, India, where she completed a 500 hour yoga teacher training certification.

She utilizes Narrative Therapy interventions and relies on her extensive background teaching yoga to provide clients with mindfulness-based practices that they can employ far beyond their time at Paradigm. Johnna believes that every person is inherently whole regardless of the adversities with which they have been faced, and her goal is to assist clients with developing coping mechanisms and life skills to thrive. When she isn’t working, Johnna enjoys practicing and teaching yoga, and henna art.

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Kevork Terterian
Kevork Terterian, M.A., AMFT (112164)*, APCC (6180)

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

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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.

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Alexandria Wolfe-Grady
Alexandria Wolfe-Grady, M.A., AMFT, APCC (AMFT112791, APCC6294)*

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

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Alexandria Wolfe-Grady, “Ali,” received her Master’s of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University of Santa Barbara. She also holds a Bachelor’s of Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Psychology and Child Development from Antioch University, Santa Barbara. She is experienced in working with individuals, families, and groups in community mental health and school settings, with a primary interest in children and adolescents struggling with depression, anxiety, and interpersonal relationships. She is skilled in trauma-informed and narrative therapy for youth impacted by early childhood trauma.

Ali’s approach is eclectic and she pulls from multiple clinical approaches including Attachment Theory, Cognitive Behavioral Theory, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Person-Centered Therapy. She strives to create a therapeutic relationship that is caring, empathetic, and non-judgmental and where teens feel respected and free to be themselves. Ali encourages each youth to explore their individual uniqueness, natural resiliency, and strengths. She is an avid athlete who loves walking her dog on the beach and spending time with friends and family.

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Alexis Fahey
Alexis Fahey, M.A., AMFT(113885)*

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

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Alexis Fahey earned her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California. Before joining Paradigm, she worked with a family center providing therapy for teens and families working through a variety of presenting problems such as depression, anxiety, disordered eating, substance use, suicidal ideation and personality disorders. Alexis is committed to being a witness and facilitator for adolescents as they uncover past and recent trauma. She has a person-centered approach that is guided by evidence-based interventions and informed by family dynamics and relational work.

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Madison Dennis
Madison Dennis, M.A., AMFT(114258)*

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

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Madison Dennis earned her Master’s of Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California and attended Furman University, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Prior to joining Paradigm, she worked as a therapist at an outpatient clinic where she treated adolescents and their families who were struggling with issues ranging from trauma to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders, substance use disorders, personality disorders, and disordered eating. Madison’s therapeutic approach includes psychodynamic therapy as well as an an insight-oriented work based in empathy and authenticity. She provides her clients with a safe space in which to explore life experiences, and how they impact current behaviors. Madison has a passion for helping teens focus on integration, growth, and insight while establishing healing through empowerment.

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Christina Lovejoy
Christina Lovejoy, M.A., AMFT(109307)*

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

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Christina Lovejoy received her Master’s Degree from California Lutheran University specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Cal State Northridge. Prior to joining Paradigm, Christina worked at a counseling center, providing therapy for families, couples, and children. She has also worked in both middle and high school settings, providing school-based therapy for teens struggling with depression and anxiety.

Christina is a strength-based, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)-focused therapist who is passionate about working therapeutically with adolescents, providing support, empathy, and a chance for growth within the individual.

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Nicole Tehrani
Nicole Tehrani, M.A., AMFT (113730)*

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

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Nicole completed her Master’s of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California – Santa Barbara. She gained clinical experience working at a methadone clinic treating clients struggling with severe substance abuse as well as co-occurring disorders such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and personality disorders. Beyond her clinical background, Nicole has years of experience working as a Youth Development Professional at the Boys and Girls Club. While there, she created and implemented teen programs centering on leadership, healthy lifestyles, college success, and socio-emotional wellness. Nicole is a person–centered therapist who utilizes a Cognitive-Behavioral approach. She balances empathy with challenging negative thought processes while utilizing strengths-based interventions to help clients gain confidence and self-awareness. Nicole believes in creating strong therapeutic relationships by promoting trust and communication in a mindful, safe, and inviting environment.

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Philip Wilke
Philip Wilke, M.A., LMFT (113153)

Deputy Director

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Philip Wilke received his Masters’s degree in Psychology from Phillips Graduate University, with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from California State Northridge. Before joining the Paradigm team, Philip worked in a counseling center working with issues related to depression, anxiety, and grief. He also worked in a program serving teens struggling with relationship with behavioral issues. Philip works from a Narrative therapeutic modality that emphasizes the strengths of an individual. He is an adoptee from South Korea and is passionate about working with adolescents that struggle with adoption-related issues.

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Tracy Bangar
Tracy Bangar, M.S.W., LCSW (87285)

Program Director of Point Dume

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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 from 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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Cameron Reis
Cameron Reis, M.A., LMFT (112102)

Therapist

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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, and family/relational issues. 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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Kathryn Nunez
Kathryn Nunez, M.A., AMFT (109454)*

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

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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.

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Liesl Heuer
Liesl Heuer, M.S.W., ACSW (88950)*

Program Director

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Liesl Heuer holds a Master’s of Social Work Degree from Azusa Pacific University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Sonoma State University. Prior to joining Paradigm, she worked with probation and foster youth in San Bernardino County, where she conducted individual, family, and group therapy sessions, along with crisis management. Liesl has experience working with children of all different ages and backgrounds, and is trained in many Evidence-Based Practices (CBT, SBIRT, TF-CBT) as well as being certified in Seeking Safety. Liesl is an adoptee from Seoul, South Korea, and is passionate about working with children and adolescents to help them overcome challenges and strengthen their identities by embracing their own strengths.

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Sylvia Montano
Sylvia Montano, Psy.D Trainee**

Pre-Doctoral Therapist

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Sylvia Montano is completing her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from California Lutheran University, where she obtained a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Clinical Psychology. Her experience as a mental health provider began, a few years ago, in providing in-home behavior-based therapy to children with developmental and neurocognitive disorders. Through experience and education, her clinical work became grounded in a psychodynamic approach, that utilizes a Kleinian Object Relations Theory through a cultural lens, which she has found effective in helping adolescents develop as unique individuals who can effectively contribute to and value the systems of which they are a part – family, school, team, and community.

Sylvia is experienced in working with teens and families that have been impacted by trauma, violence, teen depressive disorders, psychotic disorders, and the effects of substance use disorders. She specializes in grief work, especially with end-of-life loss and significant life transitions; her therapeutic experience with individuals across a full life-span has given her an appreciation for the importance of the life transition that is adolescence. Sylvia enjoys new places, cultures, and people – especially the possibilities of her teen clients – and the beautiful nature.

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Experiential Team

Dr. Vallerie E. Coleman
Dr. Vallerie E. Coleman, Ph.D., Psy.D. (PSY12592)

Psychologist and Equine Therapist

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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
Dr. Lorraine Rose, Ph.D., Psy.D. (PSY12803)

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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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
Summer Lall, MT-BC (CBMT08757)

Music Therapist

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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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Ceccily Bednash
Ceccily Bednash, M.A., MFTI (IMF95464)

Art Therapist / Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

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Ceccily Bednash received her Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Arizona and her Masters of Arts Degree in Marital and Family Therapy with specialized training in Clinical Art Therapy from Loyola Marymount University. In addition, she has been a practicing fine artist for the last 22 years. Ceccily has been trained in conducting group art therapy for adolescent youth through the Institute of Art and Psychotherapy (IMPA) and the Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende Mexico. She has also received special training in Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Ceccily specializes in integrating Mindfulness, Art Therapy, and Interpersonal Neurobiological approach in her work with adolescents. Prior to joining the Paradigm team, Ceccily worked extensively with teens struggling with mental health, behavioral health, and drug abuse issues, including Boys and Girls Club of Venice, an outpatient counseling center, and implementing group art therapy interventions for Los Angeles county. She is a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and the American Art Therapy Association.

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Academics

Jonathan Sanchez
Jonathan Sanchez, M.A.

Director of Development and Outcomes

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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.

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Dr. Michael Graham
Dr. Michael Graham, Ph.D.

Director of Young Athletes Program

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Dr. Michael Graham received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Argosy University and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Southern California. Michael has extensive experience providing therapy for young people and their families in multiple outpatient and residential settings. He has also provided therapeutic services for youth in Juvenile Camps, The California Counseling Center, and the Los Angeles Unified School District. In addition to his mental health expertise, Michael is an accomplished Track and Field athlete. He set multiple high school records and was an eight-time college All-American. He was the US Juniors National Champion in the 400 intermediate hurdles and a US Juniors Pan American Champion. He is a two-time Olympic trial qualifier who has traveled the world representing the U.S. as an athlete. Michael has also served as a Social Relationship Coordinator for the United Nations and as a Program Director for both the Carl Lewis Foundation and the American Diabetes Association.

Michael combines his unique skills and experiences as a mental health professional and as an athlete to provide leadership for Paradigm Treatment’s Young Athlete’s Program. He works to ensure that residential services are designed and implemented in a manner that allows each participant to meet or exceed their treatment and athletic goals.

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Matthew Siegel
Matthew Siegel, M.A.

Director or Education and Aftercare

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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.

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Marketing & Admissions

Miri Jedeikin
Miri Jedeikin

Director of Marketing

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Miri manages the development, implementation, and execution of Paradigm’s forward-facing strategy and efforts in marketing and outreach. She is also responsible for ensuring consistent messaging across all categories of the business and affiliate relations, including partnerships and multi-platform initiatives.

Miri has over 15 years of professional experience in marketing, strategic brand development, turn-key content creation, broadcast hosting, writing, public relations, and workflow management. She also worked as a therapist trainee at the Southern California Counseling Center, serving a diverse client population with a variety of mental health needs. Miri holds a Masters of Applied Psychology degree from Antioch University Los Angeles and completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Cultural Studies and Critical Theory from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. As a writer and communications specialist, Miri has long believed that storytelling is a way in which to discover ourselves and find meaning in our lives. Her dynamic experience in marketing and mental health bridges her drive to connect with others through the stories we tell, while effectively helping those in need.

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SYDNEY TANKENSON
SYDNEY TANKENSON

Admissions Director

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As Paradigm Treatment’s Admissions Coordinator, 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. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Counseling at 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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Avonlea Ware
Avonlea Ware, M.S.

Admissions Director

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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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Marcelina Gates
Marcelina Gates

Admissions Director

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Born and raised in Ventura County, Marcelina is a seasoned admissions expert with nearly a decade of experience working in a variety of mental health settings. She also worked in the addiction field as a Registered Addiction Specialist Intern and has extensive knowledge of substance use issues, eating disorders and working with co-occurring mental health problems. As a parent herself and someone in recovery, Marcelina knows firsthand the experience of making the call to ask for help, and as such she brings an incredible amount of empathy, compassion and understanding to her work. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and her children aged 14 and 4. Marcelina also loves Disneyland, hiking, and going to the beach.

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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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Malibu Administration

Nahuel Penaloza
Nahuel Penaloza

Director of Billing

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Nahuel has been working in medical billing for over 10 years as a revenue cycle specialist for behavioral health and a medical billing instructor. He has extensive experience in analyzing billing patterns and implementing data-driven solutions. Nahuel enjoys the opportunity to provide superb customer service as it often contributes to quality care. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his children, family and friends, relaxing in nature, writing music, and discovering new restaurants.  

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Marcus Moreno
Marcus Moreno

Collection Specialist

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Marcus has been working in medical billing for 6 years and specializes in data analysis. He has extensive practice management program experience and computer application knowledge. Marcus enjoys the impact of problem solving and influencing excellent customer service. Away from work, he enjoys writing music on his guitar and performing it live. Marcus enjoys spending time staying active outdoors.

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Debora Garcia
Debora Garcia

Financial Services Manager

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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, hiking, and dancing. 

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Nutrition

Jennifer Cassetta
Jennifer Cassetta, M.S., CN

Nutritionist and Holistic Health Counselor

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Jennifer Cassetta is a graduate of Fordham University in New York and holds a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut. She is a Certified Nutritionist and a Holistic Health Counselor who is also a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. In addition, Jennifer is a certified personal trainer, a Senior Black Belt Instructor, a World Pro HapKiDo Federation instructor, and a VSK Jujitsu Black Belt Instructor. A popular educator and lecturer, Jennifer has appeared as an expert on The Today Show, E! TV, The Bethenny Show, The Doctors, in Marie Claire, Women’s Health Magazine, Fitness Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, New York Post and on National Public Radio.
As a Holistic Health Counselor, Jennifer works to assist youth in integrating all aspects of their physical and emotional health. She educates and counsels teen participants on issues ranging from nutrition to exercise and meditation. One of her specialties is an instruction in Han Su Do breathing techniques. These techniques stem from the ancient Korean art of Hapkido and are scientifically proven to lower anxiety and improve concentration.

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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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Patricia Delaere

Patricia Delaere holds a Doctorate in Naturopathy from Trinity College of Natural Health. She is a Digestive Specialist and a Functional Diagnosis Nutritionist Practitioner. Patricia has worked many years as a private chef and in a number of prestigious restaurants. A number of years ago, Patricia decided to couple her cooking skills with her desire to help young people heal through nutrition. As a Doctor of Naturopathy and a Chef, she has devoted her life to providing healing meals and improved nutrition to the youth at Paradigm.

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Maria Ramos

Maria Ramos thinks of the kitchen as the heart of a home. Her passion for cooking began with a child’s curiosity about the many dishes she experience in her family’s kitchen. Maria strives for a variety of flavors and aromas in her cooking and she attempts to translate the deliciousness of spices and roasted flavors into Mexican, Chinese, and American food traditions. She is honored by the smiles of gratitude from the youth and families. Maria is inspired and always eager to learn new cooking techniques to satisfy a broad range of palates and dietary needs.

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Carrie Mostowa

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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