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Los Angeles/Malibu Treatment Team

Medical Team

Dr. James Luzano, M.D.
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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Dr. Elyse Galles, M.D.
Dr. Elyse Galles, M.D., A152025

Medical Director

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Dr. Galles is a board-certified psychiatrist who completed her 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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Rebecca Acevedo, R.N.
Rebecca Acevedo, R.N., 95196227

Head Registered 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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Megan Griffin, R.N.
Megan Griffin, R.N., 95143074

Registered Nurse

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Megan is a registered nurse who graduated with her bachelor’s degree in nursing from National University. She has a variety of nursing experience and particularly enjoys the education aspect of nursing. While in college, Megan founded a club centered around erasing the stigma surrounding mental illness. In her free time, Megan likes to spend time with her pets, go to amusement parks, concerts, and the beach

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

Licensed Vocational Nurse

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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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Clinical Team

Lucy Bramwell, LMFT
Lucy Bramwell, LMFT, 101033

Clinical Director, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

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

Clinical Psychologist

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

Point Dume Program Director, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

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

Meadows 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, is trained in many evidence-based practices (CBT, SBIRT, TF-CBT, EMDR) 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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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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Sylvia Montano, B.S.
Sylvia Montano, B.S., 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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Morgan Craig, AMFT
Morgan Craig, AMFT, 120860

Therapist

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Morgan is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist who holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Counseling. Morgan is currently pursuing an EMDR certification and has experience working with teens and adolescents as a therapist at the California Baptist University counseling center. Morgan provides clients with a safe space to process their world and develop the skills to maintain their mental health needs. Morgan has an eclectic person-centered approach using DBT and is eager to integrate an EMDR skillset. Morgan loves listening to music, exercising, watching Disney movies, playing hockey, and spending time with dogs.  Morgan is currently being supervised by Tracy Bangar, LCSW, #87285

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Natalie Claxton, M.A.

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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Ben Edwards, AMFT
Ben Edwards, AMFT, 119868*

Therapist

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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. Ben’s supervisor is Tracy Bangar, LCSW, #87285

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Ani Thomson, PSA, AMFT
Ani Thomson, PSA, AMFT, Registered Psychologist Assistant PSA # 94025360 , AMFT #99923

Therapist

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Ani is a licensed MFT 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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Christina Lovejoy, M.A., AMFT
Christina Lovejoy, M.A., AMFT, 109307

Marriage and Family Therapist Associate

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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. Christina is currently supervised by Lucy Bramwell, LMFT, #101033.

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Kathryn Nunez, M.A., AMFT
Kathryn Nunez, M.A., AMFT, 109454*

Marriage and Family Therapist Associate

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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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Victor Gabriel, M.A.
Victor Gabriel, M.A., AMFT 95882

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

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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. 

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

Marriage and Family Therapist Associate

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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. Kevork’s supervisor is Liesl Heuer, ACSW, #88950*

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Sean Dwyer, M.A., AMFT

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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Cameron Reis, M.A., LMFT

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

Program Coordinator, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

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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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Gerardo Aguirre, B.A.

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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Desiree Delavary, B.A.

Desiree completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Neuroscience at UC Berkeley.  She was previously a caseworker at UC Berkley’s Suitcase Clinic, specializing in work with LGBTQ+ Youth. During her time as a caseworker, Desiree provided social and health services.  She has also worked in outreach and as a research assistant for UCLA’s Stress Research and Assessment Lab.  Desiree has spent additional time working as a private behavioral tutor to children with ASD and has worked in classroom settings. She believes in building deep relationships with adolescents though friendship, empathy, and self-empowerment.  In Desiree’s free time, she enjoys surfing, painting, drawing, and the arts. 

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

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, B.A.
Laura Gollub, B.A.

Lead 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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Emma Krug
Emma Krug

Clinical Assistant

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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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Thomas Little
Thomas Little

Clinical Assistant

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Thomas Little received his Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from California Lutheran University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree from California Lutheran University, specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy. Thomas has experience working as a Behavioral Interventionist for children on the Autism Spectrum. He’s also worked as a peer mentor for young adults entering into college for the first time. Thomas understands that being in treatment can be extremely difficult but wishes to instill hope into the teens and young adults he works with that recovery is possible. Outside of Paradigm, Thomas likes to go swimming, hiking, and running as well as writing poetry, painting, and reading. 

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Allegra “Allie-Joy” Maselli

Allie-Joy has a passion to mentor teens in adolescent treatment facilities and has worked with young girls struggling with anxiety and depression. Through compassion and an empathetic approach, Allie-Joy helps teens uncover emotional issues to keep them from circling back to unhealthy, maladaptive behaviors. Due to personal experience, Allie-Joy is confident that recovery is possible and through hope, self-discovery and team effort. Allie-Joy has a love for playing the guitar and singing, especially when used to encourage others.  

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Zainab Waheed, B.A.
Zainab Waheed, B.A.

Clinical Assistant

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Zainab earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Child and Adolescent Development from California State University, Northridge and plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Zainab has experience as a teacher’s assistant for various grade levels in Denmark. Additionally, Zainab worked as a program facilitator and teacher for the Refugee Action Committee, collaborating with a Syrian Association to help refugee orphan children and youth. Zainab’s therapeutic style amplifies a client’s strengths to guide and provide them with tools to navigate through various issues teenagers face. Outside of Paradigm, Zainab enjoys traveling and outdoor activities like hiking and going to the beach, as well as staying creative through music and art. 

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

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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Taryn Procsal, M.F.A

Taryn Procsal holds a Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute Conservatory and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Riverside. Taryn is an active screenwriter, whose writing focuses predominantly on recovery, and a professor of cinema and creative writing. Taryn promotes storytelling as therapeutic work through character study and encourages writing as a means of processing feelings. Taryn enjoys music, the beach, and spending time with her three children.

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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.
Jane Roth, B.A.

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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Samuel Miranda, B.S.
Samuel Miranda, B.S.

Lead 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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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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Patrick Fazeli, B.A.
Patrick Fazeli, B.A.

Overnight Clinical Assistant

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Patrick graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Political Science. Patrick’s approach with adolescents is based on patience while aiming to be sensitive yet tactful in working with teens, prioritizing a strong bedside manner. Prior to Paradigm, Patrick worked as a student employee at UC Berkeley and Glendale Community College. Patrick is trilingual in English, Armenian, and French. Outside of Paradigm, Patrick’s favorite things to do are reading, jogging, watching movies, and learning more about people. 

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

Overnight Clinical Assistant

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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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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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Experiential Team

Dr. Vallerie E. Coleman, Ph.D., Psy.D.
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, Ph.D., Psy.D.
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, MT-BC
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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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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Chance Bryant
Chance Bryant

Educational Coordinator

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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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Joshua Welz
Joshua Welz

Education Coordinator

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Joshua Welz graduated from Arizona State University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition followed by a Master of Education, further academic highlights include completion of theological studies through Phoenix Seminary where he received a Master of Divinity. Currently, Joshua is enrolled at Antioch University completing his Master of Arts in Psychology to become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Within this academic lineage, Joshua also works as a certified Kripalu yoga instructor as well as in the field of Somatic Experiencing. This multidisciplinary and multifaceted dynamic background has created an intelligent and intuitive approach to working alongside individuals from a variety of backgrounds. 


Joshua has worked with at risk youth extensively and is intimately familiar with trauma and its relationship to the development of the person. Joshua has used his unique background as a way to bridge the gap between the mind and body. Further, with an academic appreciation that person centered care involves the mind, body, and emotions. Teaching fuels Joshua’s passion to enrich the lives of others through mindful approaches to education and the well-being of those whom he works alongside. In his free time Joshua stays active through running, cycling, swimming, paddle boarding, or yoga. Joshua’s deepest connections are found through nature and poetry. 

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Marketing & Admissions

Marcelina Gates
Marcelina Gates

Executive 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.

Watch Marcelina’s YouTube video below:

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Kelley Kyzer
Kelley Kyzer

Admissions Manager

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Before Paradigm, Kelly has worked in admissions and acted as the program manager for an adolescent and adult mental health program at another treatment center. In her free time, Kelly enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, swimming, and kayaking. 

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

Admissions Manager

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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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Miri Jedeikin
Miri Jedeikin

Director of Strategic Partnerships

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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.

View Miri’s YouTube interview below.

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Malibu Administration

Jonathan Sanchez, M.A.
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.

Watch Jonathan’s YouTube video below:

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Andrew Kalinowski

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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Luann Gharacheh
Luann Gharacheh

Billing and Collections Specialist

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Luann has nearly a decade worth of experience working in the Behavioral Health field. She earned an Associate Degree in Drug and Alcohol Counseling and has worked with both adolescents and adults that struggle with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders; Luann is currently certified with CCAPP as an CADC II. Luann understands why behavioral health services are so important to individual’s overall health and decided to complete a medical billing and coding program at American Career College. Luann has a passion for helping others and is currently pursuing her certification for inpatient medical billing and coding through AAPC.  

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Emily Armour, M.A.
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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Siana Orun-Walker
Siana Orun-Walker

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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Guy Ashton
Guy Ashton

Senior Accountant

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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 degree 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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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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Avonlea Ware, M.S.
Avonlea Ware, M.S.

Director of 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

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 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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