Kristen Zaleski, PhD, LCSW is a nationally-recognized author, researcher, and psychotherapist on trauma related disorders and an expert on sexual trauma within both civilian and military culture. Dr Zaleski is the author of two books, multiple research articles, and is a consultant and trainer on trauma disorders and survivorship to entities such as Facebook and the U.S. Department of Defense. Dr. Zaleski came to the Mental Health Collective after a decade-long tenure at University of Southern California as Clinical Associate Professor for the Suzanne Dworak Peck School of Social Work. Dr. Zaleski continues to be affiliated with USC as an adjunct professor and Founding Director of the USC Keck Human Rights Clinic which is a pro-bono organization offering forensic evaluations for survivors of international human rights abuse.

Dr. Zaleski sits on the board of two Orange County non-profits- Center for Law and Military Policy and HOPE 365- where she advocates for survivors of human trafficking, sexual violence, and forced marriage around the world and within the United States military. She also consults with television production companies on how to represent mental health realistically on their programs.

Dr. Zaleski has specific training on neurobiology and modern day attachment theory. Her area of expertise centers around somatic and body-based treatments to heal trauma holistically. She has previously worked at UCLA Rape Treatment Center, Veterans Administration Healthcare Center in Long Beach, and Las Encinas Psychiatric Hospital. She also has a private practice based in Hermosa Beach, CA.

CERTIFICATIONS: EMDR, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure, and various 2nd and 3rd generation cognitive behavioral evidence based practices.

EDUCATION: University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) BA in Sociology and BA in Psychology, University of Southern California (USC) Master of Social Work, and Sanville Institute for Social Work and Psychotherapy, PhD.

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATIONS: Dr. Zaleski utilizes a trauma-informed, attachment focused lens to client work.  Her training integrates interpersonal neurobiology to understand mental health holistically. Dr. Zaleski has advanced training in “bottom-up” somatic treatment modalities to assist the client to feel more in control of their body’s reactions to life events while coupling “top-down” narrative therapies to promote behavioral and cognitive changes. Her clinical experience has centered around military trauma and interpersonal violence that include sexual assault and human trafficking.

Dr. Kristen Zaleski, PhD, LCSW

Chief Clinical Officer

Kristen Zaleski, PhD, LCSW is a nationally-recognized author, researcher, and psychotherapist on trauma related disorders and an expert on sexual trauma within both civilian and military culture. Dr Zaleski is the author of two books, multiple research articles, and is a consultant and trainer on trauma disorders and survivorship to entities such as Facebook (Meta) and the U.S. Department of Defense. Dr. Zaleski came to the Mental Health Collective after a decade-long tenure at University of Southern California as Clinical Associate Professor for the Suzanne Dworak Peck School of Social Work. Dr. Zaleski continues to be affiliated with USC as the Founding Director of the USC Keck Human Rights Clinic which is a pro-bono organization offering forensic evaluations for survivors of international human rights abuse.

Dr. Zaleski sits on the board of two  non-profits- Center for Law and Military Policy and Sahiyo- where she advocates for survivors of human trafficking, sexual violence, female genital mutilation, and forced marriage around the world and within the United States military. She also consults with television production companies on how to represent mental health realistically on their programs.

Dr. Zaleski has specific training on neurobiology and modern day attachment theory. Her area of expertise centers around somatic and body-based treatments to heal trauma holistically. She has previously worked at UCLA Rape Treatment Center, Veterans Administration Healthcare Center in Long Beach, and Las Encinas Psychiatric Hospital. She also has a private practice based in Hermosa Beach, CA.

CERTIFICATIONS: EMDR, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, Stephen Porges Safe & Sound Protocol, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure, and various 2nd and 3rd generation cognitive behavioral evidence based practices.

EDUCATION: University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) BA in Sociology and BA in Psychology, University of Southern California (USC) Master of Social Work, and Sanville Institute for Social Work and Psychotherapy, PhD.

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATIONS: Dr. Zaleski utilizes a trauma-informed, attachment focused lens to client work.  Her training integrates interpersonal neurobiology to understand mental health holistically. Dr. Zaleski has advanced training in “bottom-up” somatic treatment modalities to assist the client to feel more in control of their body’s reactions to life events while coupling “top-down” narrative therapies to promote behavioral and cognitive changes. Her clinical experience has centered around military trauma and interpersonal violence that include sexual assault and human trafficking.

Dr. Parool Patel

Dr. Parool Patel, MD

Medical Director + Psychiatrist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: [Doctor of Medicine] St. George’s University School of Medicine. [Bachelor of Science] Exercise Science and Physiology, Biology, Rutger’s University, Douglass College

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION: Dr. Parool Patel is a diplomate with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology specializing in adult psychiatry. Her expertise includes, but not limited to, evidence-based treatment and management of patients with thought disorders, mood disorders, ADHD, and anxiety disorder spectrums. Dr. Patel believes in the comprehensive management of her patients as “a whole”. Her treatment modalities include pharmacological management along with psychotherapeutic assessment and treatment. She is certified in TMS to adjunct pharmacologic and psychotherapeutic treatment.

CERTIFICATIONS: [Diplomat in Psychiatry] ABPN; [Completed Postgraduate Medical Training] Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, Resident in psychiatry. [Diplomat Medical Board of California Physicians and Surgeons]

“The field of psychiatry is vast and ever-changing. From the era of mere symptom management, we have advanced to rehabilitating psychiatric patients to their optimum level of functioning. Such advancements are what keeps me interested and invested in this field. While being a resident in training and a practicing psychiatrist, I frequently heard colleagues and patients comment on my empathy, thoroughness, and perseverance in treating each patient as an individual. As a team member I hope to bring my compassion in treating those with acute and chronic mental health issues to this diversely impressive collaborative team of healthcare providers at The Mental Health Collective.” – Dr. Parool Patel

Michelle De Simas

Michelle De Simas, LMFT

Program Director

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: California State University, Northridge [Counseling, with specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy, MS], California State University, Northridge [Psychology, BA]

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION: Michelle De Simas specializes utilizing evidence-based practices, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy,
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Attachment-Based Family Therapy.

“Being a part of someone’s recovery process is one of the greatest privileges I’ve been given. Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a wide range of populations in a variety of settings. My experience includes working with adults and adolescents seeking treatment within the community mental health sector, private practice, school-based mental health support, and immersive
treatment (IOP, PHP programs). When a person finds the courage and vulnerability to ask for help, it is an opportunity for lifelong change. In my role as Program Director at The Mental Health Collective, my goal is to nurture an environment that will deepen and cement our clients’ process of self-discovery and growth.” – Michelle De Simas, LMFT

Sarah Douglas, LMFT

Clinical Therapist / Trauma Program Manager

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: Chapman University [MA, Psychology, emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy], Trent University [BA, Psychology]

Originally from Ontario, Canada, Sarah Douglas joined The Mental Health Collective team in 2019 after working at the Veteran Affairs Healthcare System for 10+ years.

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION: Since 2009, Sarah has specialized in providing clinical care to individuals who have experienced trauma and the resulting symptoms including complex PTSD, PTSD, personality disorders, depression, anxiety, and relational distress. Sarah’s extensive training and experience in treating trauma make her the perfect fit to oversee the trauma program at the Collective. Sarah’s approach to treatment is integrative drawing upon multiple evidence-based treatments to create a truly customized treatment plan for clients. Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Prolonged Exposure (PE), Eye Movement and Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), and Holographic Reprocessing are some of the evidence-based interventions Sarah is both trained and experienced in utilizing. This wide breadth of knowledge allows Sarah to address the often-complex symptom presentation our clients present with. Sarah is also comprehensively trained and experienced in facilitating Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and relies upon this versatile skill set to aid clients in becoming the best versions of themselves.

David Safani, MD

Dr. David Safani, MD, MBA, FAPA

Staff Psychiatrist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: University of California, Irvine School of Medicine [Doctor of Medicine]; University of California, Irvine Paul Merage School of Business [Master of Business Administration]; University of California, Los Angeles [BA, Business Economics]

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION: Dr. Safani is a triple board-certified psychiatrist with a specialization in child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry as well as clinical informatics (the application of information technology in the delivery of health care services). He provides an evidence-based and holistic approach towards healing mental illness including ADHD, anxiety, autism, mood disorders, OCD, PTSD, and psychosis. His experience spans multiple treatment settings including inpatient, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient programs, and outpatient clinics. Dr. Safani came to the Mental Health Collective after almost two decades at the University of California, Irvine, departing as Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine, Medical Director of Ambulatory Psychiatric Operations, Medical Compliance Officer, and Clinical Informaticist for UCI Health. As an associate clinical professor, he provided numerous lectures on mental health topics. He is a past president of the Orange County Psychiatric Society and has held voting positions in the National American Psychiatric Association. 

CERTIFICATIONS: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology [Diplomat in Adult Psychiatry]; American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology [Diplomat in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry]; American Board of Preventative Medicine [Diplomat in Clinical Informatics]; University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, [Completed Postgraduate Medical Training in General Adult Psychiatry]; University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, [Completed Postgraduate Medical Training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry]; Diplomat Medical Board of California Physicians and Surgeons

“I feel privileged for the opportunity to help guide and support individuals on their journey to recovery, wellness, and self-actualization.  I aim to understand the whole person and ensure treatment recommendations are unique to their individualized needs.  Applying my medical knowledge and clinical experience, I treat people with compassion and empathy in an open-minded and non-judgmental space.” – Dr. Safani

Dr. Nazneen Nizami

Dr. Nazneen Nizami, PsyD, LMFT

Staff Psychologist

UNIVERSITY + DEGREES: Alliant International University [Couple and Family Therapy, Psy.D.], Loma Linda University [Marriage and Family Therapy, MS], University of California Riverside [Sociology, BS + Education, Minor]

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION: Dr. Nizami specializes in relational and systemic approaches grounded in Narrative Therapy and postmodernism. As an EMDR trained clinician, she works with acute trauma and grief-related issues. Her training and expertise blend the foundations of a calm and safe nervous system, stemming from PolyVagal Theory, with prioritizing identity and reclaiming power from life’s problems. Her specialization in Safe and Sound Protocol offers a somatic approach for developing safety and co-regulation with all clients, however particularly useful with neurodivergent communities. She also works interpersonally, using her training in conflict resolution and systems to guide authentic, vulnerable, and respectful relationships. Her passion is working with emerging adults in transition towards independence, self-assurance, and identity exploration. 

In addition to therapy, Dr. Nizami serves as a part-time adjunct faculty member for Alliant International University, Pacific Lutheran University, and Golden West Community College. Her passion for teaching in the field of psychology and mental health has led her to strive to contribute to existing literature. Her research interests focus on exploring authenticity, desirability, and self-perception within modern dating and mating strategies. Another topic of interest includes identifying ethical therapeutic practices when working within multi-generational immigrant family systems. 

“My hope for clients is to help redefine their relationship with the problems in their lives. Oftentimes, we so casually let go of the power we have within. If I can assist clients in igniting that fire of power ever-so-slightly, then there is so much room for growth and change. Doing so while developing stronger access to a calm and regulated nervous system, creates even greater possibilities for preferred changes. It’s when people feel safe, connected, and valued that influence living more authentic and preferred lives.” – Dr. Nizami

Dr. John Huang, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: [Ph.D.] Clinical Psychology, UC Santa Barbara. [B.A.] Psychology, UC Berkeley.

SPECIALIZATIONS: Trauma, Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia, Spirituality, Combat Veterans, Meditative Didgeridoo, Native American Ceremony + Community, Mind + Body Connection.


COLLECTIVE GROUPS: Goals Group, CBT-I, Process Group, Meditative Movement, Seeking Safety.

“Helping through connection to support healing is what I’m most passionate about. Our clients’ struggles, courage and wisdom continue to move me.” – Dr. John Huang, PhD

Dr. Hector De Los Santos, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: [Ph.D., M.S.] Clinical Psychology, Purdue University. [B.A.] Psychology, Westmont College.

SPECIALIZATIONS: Trauma, Anxiety, Depression, Substance Use.

Dr. De Los Santos takes a culturally humble clinical approach as he comes from an academic background based in tailoring treatment to fit the racial, cultural, ethnic and whole background of his clients.

CERTIFICATIONS: Dr. De Los Santos has extensive experience with evidence-based treatments for psychopathology including CBT, Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders, Prolonged Exposure, and Cognitive Processing Therapy. He has received the VA provider certification for Cognitive Processing Therapy.

COLLECTIVE GROUPS: CPT, Unified Protocol, Exposure Therapy, Pleasant Activities, CBT for Addiction.

Dr. De Los Santos loves the opportunity to partner with others as they pursue growth and new perspectives, and look to engage with difficult experiences and personal challenges. Choosing to enter treatment requires tremendous courage and honesty, and Dr. De Los Santos feels humbled to walk alongside those who choose to face this challenge to find freedom. He is excited to be part of The Mental Health Collective in its mission to provide holistic and functional care to their clients.


Dr. Dorit Saberi, PhD

Clinical Development

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: Arizona State University [Counseling Psychology, PhD, MA] California State University, Northridge [Clinical/Community Psychology, MA] California State University, Northridge [Psychology, BA]

Dorit Saberi, Ph.D is a Supervising Psychologist and Co-Founder/Clinical Director of the Safe Harbor- Trauma Recovery Center at Harbor UCLA Medical Center. She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) – David Geffen School of Medicine and a part-time faculty member at California State University, Long Beach- Psychology Department. She is an investigator at the Lundquist Institute, Harbor UCLA Medical Center. She conducts research, provides direct services, supervision teaching and consultations in Evidence Based Practices adapted for diverse populations and children, adolescents and adult survivors of interpersonal violence such as gang related violence, human-trafficking, and immigration/refugee trauma.

Dr. Saberi is an author of several grants, educational curricula, and best practice parameters related to the development and implementation of trauma-informed/trauma-specific care. She serves as a Vice-Chair on the Board of Directors for Fostering Unity- a nonprofit 510c3 organization focused on providing care to resource parents and foster children to preserve and stabilize family connection and prevent the trauma of displacement and frequent transitions. She also serves as a consultant and trainer for various Harbor UCLA and community organizations such as nursing/physician/resident well-being, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Centers for Family Law, Department of Children and Family Services and Law Enforcement Agencies for topics such as trauma, post-traumatic growth, crisis de-escalation, DBT skills for families, compassion fatigue and secondary stress, and positive psychology and well-being.

Her teaching, practice and research interests include treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Post-Traumatic Growth, Positive Psychology and Well-Being, Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Borderline Personality Disorder, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Additional areas of specialization: Mood disorders; anxiety disorders; addiction; life transition and adjustment issues; bereavement and loss; couple and relationship therapy; Family therapy; Parenting strategies; adoption; racial identity; work related stress.

CERTIFICATIONS: Diplomate- Academy of Cognitive Therapy- Certified CBT therapist; Certified Teacher- Community Resiliency Model (CRM®). Prolonged Exposure for PTSD therapist, supervisor and trainer t/ Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety (CTSA) UPenn. Intensive Training- Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Certified NEABPD Family Connections.

“I believe in the individual’s resilience and strength in overcoming obstacles to a life worth living. I foster a collaborative relationship in therapy in a way which is most conducive to growth based on self-authority and empowerment. I work collaboratively to assess the individual’s concerns and obstacles and cultivate new ways to approach challenges.” -Dr. Saberi

Dr. Nicole Lightman, PhD

Clinical Psychologist / Psychological Testing

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: Alliant International University [Clinical Psychology, PHD] Alliant International University [Psychology, MA] University of Denver [Psychology and Human Communications, BA]

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION: Dr. Lightman specializes in therapy, psychological testing, and assessment with children, adolescents, and adults. She has over 11 years of experience providing comprehensive psychological, psycho-educational, and developmental testing for the diagnoses including, but not limited to, anxiety, mood disorders, personality disorders, trauma, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder, and learning disabilities.

CERTIFICATIONS: Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), Dialectical-Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

“I believe that a thorough and accurate psychological assessment can change people’s lives. Not only will it improve treatment planning and effectiveness as it will provide the treatment team with appropriate diagnoses and clarify the best evidenced-based practice to use, but it can also answer questions individuals have had about themselves. Psychological testing can increase an individual’s understanding of themselves as it provides a window into the brain and a compassionate way to conceptualize their life experiences. I truly believe psychological assessments can be the start to finding a path that allows people to thrive in their lives.” – Dr. Nicole Lightman

Intake + Admissions

Dr. Carolyn Cherie, PsyD

Clinical Psychologist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: University of Winchester [Bachelors in Psychology, BSc], Chapman University [Masters in Psychology, MA], Chicago School of Psychology [Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, PsyD]

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION: Dr. Cherie has a specialization in trauma, chronic illness, and is certified in implementing EMDR in psychotherapy. Her areas of specialization in clinical treatment include trauma-related conditions, depression, anxiety, bereavement, and men and women’s issues.

CERTIFICATIONS: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Trauma.

“Growing up in South Africa, I was around a negative political climate and witnessed many difficult situations and traumatic events. It was then, at the age of 12, I decided I wanted to be a psychologist. Now as an experienced psychologist, I provide clients with authenticity, empathy, and skilled professionalism. I like to approach a new client with curiosity and create a dynamic space where both client and therapist can converse. My space is supportive, honest in feedback, direct in reframing, guiding, and always working towards the client’s goals. I am able to meet a client at their level through honoring their process and their experiences that led them to seek treatment and working collaboratively to heal and become empowered.” -Dr. Cherie

Dr. Maddisen Espeseth

Dr. Maddisen Espeseth, PsyD, RPT, RSP

Testing Psychologist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Irvine (APA Accredited), Doctor of Psychology (PsyD): Clinical Psychology with a Concentration in Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology, American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University (APA Accredited), Master of Arts (MA): Clinical Psychology with a Concentration in Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology, Chapman University, Bachelor of Science (BS): Health Science with a Minor in Psychology

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION: Dr. Maddisen Espeseth is a licensed psychologist who practices from an attachment-heavy, neurosequential lens. Specific to psychodiagnostic testing, she has a history of assessing for neurodevelopmental disorders (often coexisting with other mental health and medical conditions) in the pediatric hospital, community mental health, and private practice settings. Dr. Espeseth strongly values the provision of client-centered, holistic, neurodiversity affirming assessment services. Specific to psychotherapy, Dr. Espeseth specializes in treating trauma-related disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder with clients 3 to 35-years-old. 

CERTIFICATIONS: Certified Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapist, Registered Play Therapist (RPT), Registered Sandplay Practitioner (RSP), Functional Family Therapy (FFT) Certified, Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) Phase I Trained, Theraplay Level I Trained

“I believe a foundational necessity of being a psychologist is a humbling openness to and passion for lifelong learning. Because mental health is a complex, multifaceted sphere of each of our lives (interwoven with neurodevelopmental, cultural, familial, societal, spiritual, etc. factors), I am earnest about providing client-specific, individualized care balancing the binary, often oversimplified DSM conceptualization of diagnoses with the recognition that no two clients present exactly the same. I strongly value seeing a client as a person first and foremost, perceiving symptoms as adaptive in intent and instinctually driven toward meeting a client’s needs. I am eager to collaborate with the Mental Health Collective in supporting each client with accessing their inborn ability to attain a purpose-driven, meaningful life.” – Dr. Espeseth

Dr. Dawn Joosten-Hagye, PhD, LCSW, MSW, GC-C

Clinical Therapist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: University of California, Los Angeles [Social Welfare, PHD] California State University, Long Beach [Social Work, MS] California State University, Long Beach [Psychology, BA]

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION: Dr. Joosten-Hagye has a specialization in the delivery of evidence-based trauma-informed psychotherapy and griefcounseling. Her training emphasizes interdisciplinary and holistic approaches to achieve wellness. She specializes in working with adults, older adults living with and managing co-morbid physical health and mental health conditions, chronic health conditions, and life-threatening conditions, and their families and/or caregivers. Dr. Joosten-Hagye’s areas of specialization in clinical treatment include grief, adjustment disorders, anxiety disorders and depressive disorders. Dr. Joosten-Hagye is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Southern California.

CERTIFICATIONS: Grief Counseling (GC-C), Integrated Care, Seeking Safety

“I enjoy working with clients using a client-centered, holistic perspective. With this perspective, I acknowledge the client as both the expert over their lived experience and as an active participant in treatment with members of the treatment team. I enjoy assisting clients with gaining new insight and coping skills which become tools they use in their day-to-day lives to maintain wellness and balance. I enjoy facilitating the process of self-discovery among clients while they navigate their unique pathways to wellness and recovery.” – Dr. Joosten-Hagye

Dr. Tony Meiners

Dr. Tony Meiners, PsyD

Staff Psychologist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: [Doctor of Applied Clinical Psychology, Psy.D.] The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. [Master of Social Work, Adult Mental Health and Wellness Concentration] University of Southern California. [Bachelor of Psychology] Maryville University.

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION: Dr. Meiners has a specialization in the treatment of dual diagnosis mental health disorders through a Narrative Therapy lens. His areas of specialty include clinical treatment of substance abuse disorders, co-occurring mental health disorders, the LGBTQ+ population, and psychological testing and evaluations for the purpose of improving diagnostic clarification and treatment outcomes. Dr. Meiners has spent most of his career working with individuals who have experienced significant trauma (high acuity youth in the foster care system, human trafficking/domestic violence survivors, trauma programs in substance use disorder clinics), and therefore ensures to always incorporate trauma-informed care. He combines evidence-based treatment with a collaborative relationship style in order to improve his patients’ overall well-being. 

CERTIFICATIONS: Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

“I am a firm believer in the idea that we are all the authors of our own story and have the power to change the narratives that are no longer serving our best interests. I strive for a collaborative environment with the individuals I work with and believe that they are the experts in their own lives. So often, individuals make themselves the center of the problem. Our problems don’t define us; we define our problems. It is the process of separating themselves from the problem and discovering alternative stories to their lives that allows individuals to step into their most desired state of being. My hope is that my clients are able to create a more self-serving narrative that encompasses their strongest preferences for the life they want to lead, one full of new meanings and rich possibilities.” – Dr. Tony Meiners, Psy.D.

Dr. Julie DeVito, PsyD

Dr. Julie DeVito, PsyD

Consulting Psychologist +

Integrative Health Coach

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: California Southern University [Doctor of Psychology, PsyD]; Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology [Master of Arts in Psychology]; Miami University [Bachelor of Arts double major in Political Science and Psychology].

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION: Dr. DeVito is a psychological consultant, professional coach, and psychotherapist with experience working in inpatient and outpatient treatment settings and helping a broad range of clients with various acute and chronic mental illnesses, traumatic experiences, and substance abuse challenges. Dr. DeVito has conducted extensive research in psychology and neuroscience, with a focus on the brain, neuroplasticity, and mechanisms of change that result in positive mental health outcomes.  Her work includes the application of research-based treatment interventions that are shown to be effective in improving symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorders, emotional dysregulation, and impairments in executive functioning which are common to a variety of neurodivergent conditions and diagnoses. 

Dr. DeVito’s experience includes crisis intervention, assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning, psychotherapy, clinical social work with adults and children, mental health advocacy, research, and education. She has completed advanced training in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).  She is passionate about helping people improve their health and their lives.  Dr. DeVito founded Realization Partners, a consulting and training company, and she continues to work as a consultant to individuals and organizations on topics related to psychology, stress management, communication, leadership, and career development.

CERTIFICATIONS: Certified Professional Coach, Professional Career Counselor, and Integrative Health Coach; Strategic Learning Alliance. 

“Being a therapist and a coach is extremely rewarding because this work allows me the privilege to come alongside another human being who is struggling and to help them begin and continue along a path of healing, recovery, and personal growth. I believe in the potential for growth in each of us, and I strive to help clients realize their potential for growth in many areas of their lives.” – Dr. Julie DeVito

Dr. Katie Moore

Dr. Katie Moore, PsyD

Clinical Psychologist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: [Doctorate of Applied Clinical Psychology] The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, [Masters of Science in Applied Clinical Psychology] Walden University


CERTIFICATIONS: Trained in EMDR, Trained in TF-CBT

I believe in a client led therapeutic experience. This empowers clients to be a force in their own healing process and helps them to feel confident in their therapeutic experience. With so many who have experienced trauma, their power has at some point been taken away. I believe in giving clients their power back through a safe therapeutic environment, and teaching them how to transfer that power into other areas of their life for a more comprehensive healing experience.” -Dr. Katie Moore

Camellia Mazhar, LMFT

Dr. Camellia Mazhar, PsyD, LMFT

Clinical Psychologist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: Alliant International University [Couples & Family Therapy, M.A.],
University of California, Los Angeles [Psychology, B.A.]

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION: Camellia Mazhar specializes in utilizing systemic and attachment-based therapies for couples, families, and individuals. She has extensive training and experience in Emotionally Focused Therapy. Her experience includes working with adolescents and their families at crisis shelters, couples struggling with relationship and parenting issues in private-practice settings, and individuals experiencing depression and anxiety.

“The most important part of therapy, for me, is a strong and safe relationship with my client. My goal is to make you feel like any obstacle you face, we face together as a team. I believe that being your authentic self is the key to an emotionally healthy life and my goal is to help you access those parts. I work with evidence-based models of therapy, so that you can be confident my techniques do make lasting change. Whether you are a couple, an individual, or an entire family, we can work together to put all the pieces back together.” – Dr. Camellia Mazhar

Dr. Sarah Schall

Dr. Sarah Schall, PsyD

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Schall is a graduate of the International OCD Foundation’s (IOCDF) Behavioral Therapy Training Institute (BTTI) which consists of intensive training in the assessment and treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) utilizing Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). She specializes in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), incorporating value-based interventions tailored to an individual’s treatment goals, empowering clients to face their fears with her support. She is a member of the American Psychological Association as well as the IOCDF, where she is listed in their directory of specialized providers. Dr. Schall completed her pre-doctoral internship at M Health Fairview (Rotations: Inpatient Psychiatry & Inpatient Chemical Dependency). She completed post-doctoral fellowships at Garfield Park Behavioral Hospital (Rotations: Inpatient Psychiatry, Partial Hospitalization & Outpatient Programs) and at Rogers Behavioral Health (Rotations: Partial Hospitalization & Intensive Outpatient Programs).
University of La Verne [Doctor of Psychology]
University of La Verne [Master of Science in Psychology]
Marymount California University [Bachelor of Arts in Psychology] 
Dr. Schall specializes in the treatment of OCD and anxiety-related disorders. She has experience working in a variety of mental health settings including inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs. Dr. Schall previously was a member of the Medical Staff at Rogers Behavioral Health (RBH), supervising clinicians in OCD/Anxiety and Depression Recovery partial/intensive outpatient programs. She continues to provide per diem assessment and consultation services to RBH, utilizing her expertise in evidence-based treatments. Dr. Schall has presented at the IOCDF’s annual conference discussing the importance of delivering justice-based ERP with OCD themes centered around marginalized identities (e.g., sexual and gender identity, race, body shape, socioeconomic status, etc.). Dr. Schall additionally has a private practice based in Newport Beach, CA. 
CERTIFICATIONS: Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
“‘Why am I having these thoughts… I’m scared…I have to do this to feel better …If people really knew the thoughts I had, no one would want to be around me…I am not safe…’ , these are all thoughts individuals diagnosed with OCD and anxiety-related disorders have expressed to me in my years of clinical work. My philosophy is that I will never ask clients to do exercises I am not willing to do. My aim is to empower clients to live value-based lifestyles by providing a safe space for people to share their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors while facing their fears together.” – Dr. Schall
Dr. Tal Leead

Dr. Tal Leead, PsyD

Clinical Psychologist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, Los Angeles [Clinical Psychology, PsyD, MA]. Bar-Ilan University, Israel [Psychology, BA]. 

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION: Dr. Tal specializes in both evidence-based psychotherapy techniques and alternative holistic modalities to improve her clients’ overall well-being. Her current focus is in Positive Psychology, but she is also trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Psychodynamic Therapy. Dr. Tal uses a whole-person approach and implements a working-relationship style that is direct, empathic, and collaborative. She has helped her clients navigate anxiety, depression, chronic pain, grief, low self-esteem, relational distress, workplace issues, attachment issues, family systems, and cultural barriers amongst other life hurdles. Over time, Dr. Tal’s clients have learned to reclaim power over life’s hardships and live out their desired identity.

Prior to her private practice of over 20 years, Dr. Tal worked in a clinical setting at a mental health center in Los Angeles. There she advised the top medical team on psychological assessments, diagnostic tools, group therapy and overall best practices. In all her roles, Dr. Tal’s ultimate goal has been to improve her clients’ experience of meaning, pleasure and intentional joy on a day-to-day basis. From her more distressed clients as part of a Psychiatric Emergency Team, to the high-functioning yet stressed out entrepreneurs stretching their well-being too thin. The ultimate goal of “self” is always the same: Happier Being. 

CERTIFICATIONS: Actual Positive Psychology Practice [MentorCoach Program], Heroic Performance Coach [Heroic Optimization Program], Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team [American Red Cross]

In her book: Happier Being: Your Path to Optimizing Habits, Health & Happiness Dr. Tal writes: “Happier Being™ is both the how and the why for a life worth living. How? You become happier by intentionally optimizing your being every day. Why? Being happier is the ultimate booster to your success and satisfaction.”  

“Happier Being is the notion that no matter what developmental step you are in or struggle you face; you can become happier. In fact, your thoughts, emotions and behaviors are all driven by and reflective of your ultimate aim – that of becoming happier. By prioritizing your well-being, your mind and your heart’s desires align. You unlock your personal compass and your goals become clearer. You strengthen your ability to decrease pain and increase meaning and pleasure in life. Whether you want to become a happier being working, a happier being parenting, or any other form of happier being, you can do it, we all can. After all, happiness is our birthright, but we all need a little help safeguarding this precious right sometimes.” – Dr. Tal Leead, PsyD

Jill Durby, LMFT

Jill Durby, AMFT

Clinical Therapist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: UC Berkeley [BA Psychology; Minor Education], Pepperdine University [MA Clinical Psychology; Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy]

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION: Jill specializes in working with emotion dysregulation, impulsive behavior, and anxiety using evidence-based therapy modalities, including DBT, CBT, and Unified Protocol. Jill is also passionate about assisting families to build skills and confidence to support loved ones with intense emotions/anxiety.

“I use warmth and wit to support clients by analyzing ineffective patterns and building abilities to improve relationships and reduce suffering. My solution-focused approach is centered on applying new skills to achieve desired changes in the short term and as challenges arise throughout their lifetime.” -Jill Durby

Douglas Pierson, MS, LMFT

Clinical Therapist

As a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Douglas G. Pierson, is a champion of helping others find personal growth by working through life’s most challenging moments.

Douglas is passionate about helping individuals find freedom from mental health related symptoms. Douglas has extensive clinical experience working with anxiety, depression, anger-management, parent-child relationships, men’s issues, life-stage adjustments, eating disorders, and drug/alcohol addiction. In addition, he has facilitated therapy groups with emphasis in DBT/CBT skills, healthy relationships, family systems, attachment, shame resilience, relapse prevention, and mindfulness. Douglas is also uniquely skilled at integrating spirituality and philosophical foundations in order to help you connect to deeper purpose and meaning in your life.

As part of The Mental Health Collective team, Douglas provides psychotherapy to individuals, groups, and families. He aims to provide an empathetic, understanding and safe environment.

Kosta Condous, LMFT

Clinical Advisor

Kosta Condous is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist working with various populations in inpatient and outpatient treatment settings. His knowledge of substance abuse, primary mental health and co-occurring disorders populations has led to a passion for program and clinician development with a focus on clinical outcomes. Kosta has widespread clinical leadership experience, managing multiple treatment programs with teams of up to 30 clinical professionals.

Kosta’s extensive experience provides him with a deep knowledge and understanding of residential and outpatient programs, and in turn the dynamic needs required to yield success in this industry. Kosta is committed to providing our clinical team with a work environment in which they can share their passion and creativity, as he believes this will lead to a standout in excellence for client care.

Kelly Lin, LMFT

Clinical Therapist

Kelly Lin is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist earning her B.S. in Criminology from the University of California, Irvine and M.S. in Counseling from California State University, Fullerton. With 15 years of experience in the behavior and mental health industry, Kelly’s passion is deeply rooted in helping those that are willing to improve their lives.

She has worked with a multitude of populations ranging from special needs youth in school settings to severe emotionally distressed adults in specialized facilities. Most notably, she works in all levels of care in substance abuse treatment, trauma, dual diagnosis, personality disorders, and life transitions. Her clinical knowledge and emphasis in addiction and couples work has earned her recognition in those fields.

Kelly has served as a communication expert, consultant, and clinical supervisor at local agencies in Orange County. In her daily practice, Kelly utilizes evidence-based treatment and an eclectic modality customized to individual, couples, and family needs. With a direct and empathic approach, she facilities therapy using Motivation Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, humanistic, experiential, and psychodynamic techniques.

As part of the esteemed team at The Mental Health Collective, Kelly looks forward to adding enrichment to the clients’ wellness and overall health.

Brian Goldstein

Brian Goldstein, MA, LMFT

Clinical Therapist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: Pepperdine University [Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy, MA], Chapman University [Psychology, BA]

SPECIALIZATIONS: Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Complex Trauma and Dissociation, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), Natural Processing (Integration of EMDR and Somatic Experiencing), Mindfulness, Motivational Interviewing, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.

Brian Goldstein, M.A., LMFT has a specialization in treating complex trauma and developmental injury, as well as working with how trauma is stored in the body and healed using a bottom-up, body-centered approach. Brian has extensive experience working with adolescent and adult individuals who struggle with trauma, attachment wounding, addictions, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and life transitions. Brian is incredibly passionate about helping clients discover new things about themselves and move toward an embodied and authentic life. Brian’s research has primarily focused on the investigation of the impact of trauma on those diagnosed with personality disorders.

 “Across my work in residential, outpatient, and private practice settings, I work with clients in an individualized, trauma-informed approach. I am committed to bringing compassion and attunement to foster my client’s felt sense of safety. I meet clients where they are and facilitate a pace of the work that supports healing and integration.”

Nadia Abou-Seda, BSW, MA, SEP

Clinical Therapist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: Yorkville University, Canada [Counseling Psychology, MA], George Brown College, Canada [2-year diploma, The Assaulted Women’s, and Children’s Counselor/ Advocate], University of Qatar [Social Work, BSW]

CERTIFICATIONS: Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP). Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), Safe & Sound Protocol, and Positive Parenting Program (Triple P).

Nadia is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). She holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in counseling psychology. She adopts an anti-oppressive and multicultural approach. 

Nadia specializes in trauma psychosomatic therapy. She has been treating various conditions such as anxiety, depression, grief, cultural and relational issues, sexual trauma, chronic pain, and stress related to ongoing medical and physical conditions, developmental trauma (i.e., childhood abuse, neglect, etc.), shock trauma (i.e., vehicle accidents, sudden losses, wars, natural disasters), and medical trauma due to dental and/or surgical procedures.

Iris G-Thrash, LCSW

Clinical Therapist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: Biola University [Bachelor of Science, Sociology] San Jose University [Masters, Social Work]

SPECIALIZATIONS: To assist clients, Iris G-Thrash creates a safe environment with her clients so that healing can occur.  Interventions and specializations include “whatever the client needs”.  This is achieved through the varied skills she can tap into, such as, understanding how our thoughts influence our behaviors, emotions and thoughts (CBT); how traumatic events have created a lack of safety and dissociation with the self (Trauma Informed therapies); how the story we are living is not a story of empowerment and how to rewrite it (Narrative Therapy); how the past internal conflicts (traumas) which have gone unresolved or recognized are creating anxiety, depression and lack of sense of self (Psychodynamic Therapies); how our early year attachment influences our current relationships and how unresolved ruptures create suffering in feeling safe in relationships or developing healthy nurturing relationships (Attachment Therapy).  Additional techniques utilized in the therapeutic process may include, solution focused therapy (for problem resolution), mindfulness and breath work (for body/mind integration), subconscious reprocessing (for self-esteem and rewriting the internal script), emotion focused therapy (to address primary versus secondary emotions), gestalt therapy (for unfinished business and personal responsibility), and any other appropriate approach which would benefit the client.

CERTIFICATIONS: Licensed Clinical Social Worker

“If you are a client or a family member and you are reading this, I want to tell you that you are so brave and that there is always hope.  Whatever challenges you may be going through, you can overcome and grow and the emotions, behaviors and thoughts do not control you.  This journey you are on is so meaningful and so hard.  Please know we know that and are here to help you.  If I am honored to work with you, know I will do whatever it takes to help and support you.  Sometimes, you are in the beginning of your journey and it will take time and it will be hard, and sometimes, you are just needing to regroup yourself and rediscover your strengths.   I believe every individual has strengths and are extremely resilient, and on a lifelong journey of self-discovery and healing”  – Iris G-Thrash

Gecole Harley, JD, LMSW, ASW

Psychodrama Facilitator

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES:  University of South Carolina College of Social Work (MSW); University of Pennsylvania School of Law (JD);  Swarthmore College (BA English)

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION: Psychodrama/Action Methods (J.L. Moreno) applying sociometry to groups and inviting group members to heal through increased spontaneity and creativity.  The goal is to allow group members to expand their role repertoire within the safety of the group. Master’s thesis in Narrative Therapy, as theorized and practiced by Gerald Monk, PhD, Michael White, PhD and John Winslade, PhD.

CERTIFICATION:  Hudson Valley Psychodrama Institute Advanced Student

“As a psychodramatist, I believe that healthy humans are spontaneous and creative and adept at taking different roles.  Through the years, I have taken many different professional and personal roles and that journey continues.  My goal is to help clients reimagine their lives through experiential learning.  I am honored and thrilled to offer psychodrama to guests at The Mental Health Collective.”

Elizabeth Baker, LMFT

Family Therapist

Elizabeth (Beth) is a Marriage & Family Therapist with over 20 years of experience as a mental health professional. She has worked in a variety of clinical settings throughout her career providing individual, couples, and family therapy. Prior to joining TMHC, she spent fifteen years providing mental health trainings, and mental health services to students, and their family members, who were enrolled in the Irvine Unified School District. Elizabeth is passionate about providing, family systems therapy, providing parent education, treating personality disorders, treating existential and spiritual crisis from any religious or philosophical belief system, and providing social and emotional skills to clients of all ages.

Elizabeth has a B.A. in Religious Studies and a M.S. in Counseling from California State University, Fullerton. She has earned the 40 Hour Domestic Violence Certificate, per California Evidence Code Section 1037.1. Elizabeth is trained in Crisis Intervention Stress Management (CISM), and was on the CISM team for the Orange County Department of Education for 10 years, she is also a Certified Personality Disorder Treatment Professional. In 2005 she received the Irvine Prevention Coalition Outstanding Service Provider Award. Elizabeth was also recognized at the July 2019 Irvine Unified School District Board meeting, for her “dedication and contributions to the families of IUSD.”

Janie Montiel, LMFT, MS

Clinical Therapist

Janie M. Montiel is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a Master’s in Clinical Counseling and an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University. 

She has spent 7-years working with traumatized children, adolescents, adults, and families in a clinical setting. She has facilitated group therapy for batterers’ intervention programs, child abuse treatment programs, anger management, substance abuse treatment, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). She is EMDR trained and experienced in utilizing this unique tool to aid the natural healing ability of the brain and body post-trauma. She is passionate about understanding the impact of intergenerational traumas, early childhood adversity, its effect on the developing brain, and its implications for adult health and well-being over a lifetime.

“I believe we carry the traumas from our life experiences and the trauma from the past three generations of our families in our mind, body, and brain. Through the therapeutic alliance, the client explores how the effects of individual and family trauma show up in their brain, body, and mind throughout a lifetime. I utilize bottom-up techniques, EMDR, and ACT to guide the client through the healing process. Clients develop the skills and tools necessary to manage PTSD symptoms, build a tolerance to  unexpected challenges, and find their unique path towards a rich, full, and meaningful life.”

Yulia Stepanova

Yulia Stepanova, LMFT, MS

Clinical Therapist

Universities + Degrees: California State University, Fullerton [Clinical Psychology, MS]; California State University, Sacramento [Psychology, BA]; American River College, Sacramento [Psychology, AA]

Clinical Specialization: Yulia is well versed in evidence based practices and incorporates client-centered and eclectic techniques to ensure an individually based approach to a client’s specific needs. Yulia’s areas of specialization include anxiety, depression, personality disorders, life transitions, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and trauma related disorders. In addition, Yulia specializes in family counseling which includes building awareness of personal input in family dynamics and developing effective communication styles.  

Certifications: Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

“I am truly passionate about psychology and anything related to it. I work with various populations and life challenges. I view therapy as a process of transformation on various levels, including body, mind and spirit. My personal style is empathetic, direct, non-judgmental and culturally-sensitive. I enjoy being creative and incorporating metaphors, pop-culture and mythology into the therapeutic process.”

Tayler Deamon, MA, LMFT

Clinical Therapist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology [Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy, MA], University of Colorado [Psychology, BA]

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION: Tayler specializes in working with individuals who are experiencing the impacts of complex trauma, PTSD, anxiety, depression, attachment wounding, relational challenges, perfectionism, and life transitions. She treats each individual by first creating a trusting, authentic therapeutic relationship before integrating evidence-based psychotherapy practices, such as interventions from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Seeking Safety. Tayler practices individualized therapeutic care through a trauma-informed, psychodynamic lens. She specializes in the integration of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) into her clinical practice to address trauma and shift deeply held negative core beliefs. 

CERTIFICATIONS: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

“I enjoy working with motivated individuals looking to heal from challenging or traumatic past experiences while creating room for growth and change in their lives. I value building a therapeutic connection that can help create feelings of safety, openness, and a general sense of being understood in a world where we are so often invalidated or unheard. Through my work across a variety of clinical settings with individuals from diverse backgrounds, I have fostered my love for helping people move out of suffering and into a fulfilling life worth living. I am honored to meet my clients in places of pain or fear and walk alongside them on the often tough road to healing and recovery.” – Tayler Deamon, MA, LMFT

Mark Taberna, LMFT

Clinical Therapist
Mark Taberna is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with 13+ years of experience. He is also a U.S. Navy veteran. Post military, Mark began his new career in education by creating engaging curricula and activities for at-risk youth after-school programs. Mark describes the experience as life-changing. He encountered many challenges his students were facing: socio-economic hardship, unaddressed trauma, and untreated mental illnesses. The experience inspired him to continue his education to address these challenges. In 2011, he received his Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology from John F. Kennedy University.

As a well-rounded clinician, he has experience in mobile crisis counseling, K-12 school-based counseling, college counseling, and residential for dual diagnosis clients. Mark enjoys working with individuals, groups, adolescents, teens, college students, and adults. He is truly energized when helping others grow and evolve.

Mark has a distinct humble, laid-back, yet professional presence. He is passionate about music, sports, books, films, and comics: things that he believes bring about a deeper understanding of how we relate to each other, and more importantly, how we experience our relationships and realities.
Adam Post, JD, LCSW

Adam Post, JD, LCSW

Clinical Therapist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: University of Southern California [School of Social Work, LCSW]

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION: Adam Post, JD, LCSW is a clinical therapist and graduate of USC’s School of Social Work. His prior career as an attorney gives him unique insight into human behavior that he uses to form his therapeutic style, one that is firmly based in a collaborative, strengths-based approach catered to his clients’ goals. He has provided care to clients at all levels of treatment including inpatient psychiatric care, residential & outpatient treatment programs and individual psychotherapy. 

Adam empowers his clients by forming a strong therapeutic alliance and foundation from which to address issues including anxiety, depression, addiction and grief & loss. He has a passion for helping those with disenfranchised and traumatic grief, including survivors of suicide loss and attempts. Adam incorporates elements of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Logotherapy, Narrative Therapy and Positive Psychology into his therapy sessions. Adam provides clients with compassionate, unconditional positive regard as they work together to find meaning in their recovery & journey to wellness.
Tori Dinkfeld

Tori Dinkfeld, MSW, ACSW

Clinical Care Coordinator

Tori Dinkfeld is an Associate Clinical Social Worker working towards clinical licensure in the State of California. Tori received her B.A. Mass Communication Broadcast Journalism from West Texas A&M University and eventually went on to earn a Masters in Social Work from Loma Linda University.

Over the span of her career in social work, Tori has served a variety of populations spanning from survivors of domestic violence, individuals in homelessness, adults with mental health disorders, and adults with developmental and physical disablitities. In her time in the field of social work, Tori has developed a deep passion for people, and she desires to empower significant change in her clients lives.
“I have come to realize that the greatest tool for impact in the therapeutic process is the power of compassion and empathy, and I strive to create safe spaces for everyone I come in contact with.”  – Tori Dinkfeld, MSW, ACSW

Adrienne Burr, LCSW

Clinical Care Coordinator

Adrienne Burr is a licensed clinical social worker with a Master’s Degree from USC’s Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work with a focus on children, youth and families. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Chapman University in Psychology with an emphasis on Social and Cultural Communications.

For the past ten years, Adrienne has worked with individuals and families giving her practiced expertise in working with severe mental illnesses, crisis intervention, and multidisciplinary team collaboration.

Adrienne is certified with multiple evidence-based practices like Trauma-Informed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Managing and Adaptive Practices (MAP), and Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS). Adrienne enjoys working collaboratively with the clients, families and Collective team to provide the utmost care for an optimal outcome.

Lauren Hopkins, APCC

Clinical Care Coordinator

Lauren Hopkins is an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor earning hours towards licensure in the state of California. Lauren obtained her B.S. in Child and Adolescent Development with a focus in family and community settings from California State University, Fullerton. She then earned her M.S. in Professional Clinical Counseling from Grand Canyon University.

Lauren has served a diverse population of individuals including abused and neglected children in foster care and group home settings, adolescents and young adults struggling with co-occuring mental health and substance abuse disorders, and their families. She has provided assessment and counseling interventions at the IOP, PHP, and RTC levels of care. She aims to provide validation, acceptance, and constructive feedback in an effort to assist clients in establishing safe supports, setting and maintaining boundaries, and pursuing their short and long term goals.

As part of the dedicated team at The Mental Health Collective, Lauren is committed to ensuring that each client’s physical, emotional, and mental health needs are met throughout their treatment experience.

Elizabeth Fujimaki, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: California State University, Long Beach [Bachelor of Science, Dietetics and Food Administration: Nutrition and Dietetics] Oakwood University- Dietetic Internship

SPECIALIZATION: Eating disorders (Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, OSFED, ARFID) Orthorexia

CERTIFICATIONS: Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified eating disorder dietitian (CEDRD)- in progress

“I am a non-diet dietitian who is passionate about helping individuals cultivate a healthy relationship with food. My goal is to help my clients heal from all forms of disordered eating and decreasing anxiety and shame around food and body image, through a supportive, compassionate and weight-inclusive approach. Supporting people through their struggles with food, empowering them to trust themselves, and witnessing their achievements as they progress through their journey is a truly rewarding experience. In addition to working as a dietitian, I am a registered yoga teacher. I enjoy guiding clients through mindful movement and breathing, helping them discover a mind-body connection in order to gain awareness, which is instrumental to the healing process.” – Elizabeth Fujimaki

Sophie Pyne, MSW, LCSW

Sound + Meditation Teacher

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: University of Southern California [Psychology, BA] University of Southern California [Social Work, MA]

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION: Sophie has a specialty in using both evidence-based psychotherapy, somatic-based and alternative holistic modalities such as sound healing, arts, movement, and the natural world around us to help clients explore and express their truest selves in the world. Her areas of specialization include substance use disorders, co-occurring anxiety and depression, mindfulness, meditation, and mind-body-spirit integration.

CERTIFICATIONS: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT-I), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Seeking Safety, Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP), Sound Healing, Holy Fire Reiki I & II, Trauma Informed Surf Therapy

Sophie has a passion for helping clients learn to love and believe in themselves. What fulfills her professionally is seeing when each client surrenders to the process, opens up, and finally recognizes that they are worth it. Her superpower is being authentic, genuine, and sincere. Sophie believes it is important to help clients understand the purpose that their unhealthy behaviors served them while building new coping skills to live a healthier life. Sophie’s therapeutic style is warm, compassionate, fun, and direct. She uses a comprehensive and holistic approach, drawing from cognitive behavioral to somatic based and alternative healing therapies. She believes each of us are healing from something and everything we need to get there is already within us. Her job, as a therapist and facilitator, is to hold a safe and brave space for clients to dive in.

Katsina Bhatia

Katsina Bhatia

Yoga Facilitator

Katsina Bhatia is a 500-hour RYT Yoga Teacher certified through Yoga Alliance. Her training and teachings are trauma-informed and driven by the desire to offer tools of self-empowerment to all. Katsina is currently in an 850-hour training program to become a certified IAYT Yoga Therapist through Alchemy at Be the Change Yoga. Currently, Katsina in the 2nd level of training in Tibetan Sound Healing through the Tibetan Sound School.

In addition to her Yoga offerings, Katsina is a certified Level 2 Empowered Self-Defense Facilitator through ESD Global and ASSERT. Before that, Katsina began her self defense practice as the third-generation disciple (uchi deshi) to the founder of Aikido. Katsina lived in the dojo for over 5 years as the apprentice to her sensei. At this dojo, Katsina earned her Nidan (2nd degree Black Belt) and taught Aikido for over 18 years.

Before committing to Yoga Therapy, Katsina worked as a traditional artist in drawing and painting, and later as an art director in the field of animation.


  • YOGA & SOUND HEALING Certifications
  • Registered Yoga Teacher 500-hour Yoga Alliance
  • 300-Hour Yoga Therapy Yoga Teacher Training – Be the Change
  • 200-Hour Empowered Yoga Teacher Training – Yoga for Social Justice, Trauma-Informed Teaching – Jamie Hanson
  • Certifications In Process: IAYT 850-hour Yoga Therapy Certification – AlcheMe
  • Certifications In Process: Tibetan Sound Healing School
  • ESD Global – Trained Instructor, Level 2
  • ASSERT – Trained Instructor
  • Nidan (2nd degree Black Belt) and 3rd generation disciple to the founder of Aikido as Uchi Deshil for Gentil Pennewaert – Shin Do Kan Ai Ki Kai
  • ADVOCACY training
  • 40-Hour Domestic Violence Advocacy Training – Laura’s House
  • REIKI certifications
  • Level 1 Reiki Certification – Eric Bettencourt and Nichole Anne Ferro


  •  BFA, Character Animation – CalArts
  • EMERGENCY training
  • CPR / AED / First-Aid (Adult / Child / Infant / Choking) AED /  Injury & Universal Precautions in accordance with the ECC/ILCOR and AHA® guidelines. National CPR Foundation

William Nephew, B.A

Music and Movement Teacher

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: San Francisco State University [Cinema Production, BA] San Diego City College [Audio Production, A.A.]

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION: As an award winning musician and clinical counselor, William empowers therapy clients to craft musically dynamic songs using their own personal narratives and musical tastes. He leads collaborative songwriting, music performance, and music education opportunities for individuals and groups. William’s musical talents as a singer/songwriter, combined with a natural ability to connect with clients, make him a dynamic facilitator for creative expression. In addition to his musical talent and clinical training, William brings expertise in audio production and film music to client sessions. William is the founder of a music therapy organization called Moving Melodies, where he has developed a unique curriculum that guides participants through each stage of the songwriting process: (1) Identify the Intention; (2) Move the Melody; (3) Create and Connect; (4) Ready to Record.

CERTIFICATIONS: Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor (CADC)

“I believe that everyone has an internal orchestra of emotions that can be transformed into music. I am most passionate about helping clients create original music to express personal narratives through songwriting. Music and melody have always been a powerful force in my life, and can be a very cathartic experience. Being able to empower clients to find their voice and sing their own songs is the most rewarding gift I can imagine. The moments in my sessions where clients express the creative parts of themselves bring me the most purpose and joy. I like to think that I help turn ‘music lovers’ into ‘music makers’ ” – William Nephew, B.A.

Akira Tokumoto

Akira Tokumoto, LVN


Akira Tokumoto is an Orange County native, receiving her a Licensed Vocational Nurse degree from Stanbridge University in Irvine. She has aquired comprehensive nursing experience working in subacute detox and residential levels of care treating individuals with dual diagnosis and mental health issues.

Akira’s desire for a more individualized approach to treatment is what led her to join The Mental Health Collective team. She is thrilled to work alongside a team of credentialed individuals who are dedicated to improving the quality of life for others.

Valencia Caldwell, LVN

Valencia Caldwell, LVN


UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: American Career College [Licensed Vocational Nurse]

SPECIALIZATION: Valencia Caldwell is a Licensed Vocational Nurse with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Her recent work experience included developing and implementing training programs for new and existing nurses and nurse assistants. Valencia’s clinical specializations include psychiatry, rehabilitation, and skilled nursing. She is passionate about providing quality care, committed to team building, and helping colleagues grow and develop.

CERTIFICATIONS: Best American Healthcare University [Director of Staff Development Certification]

“I know what it’s like to be on the other side of the bed. I understand the fear, the anxiety, and the uncertainty that comes with being sick, weather it’s physical or mental. That’s why I’m committed to providing my patients with the best possible care.” – Valencia 

Angeline Monterro

Angelinne Montero, MA, BCBA

Art Therapist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: Ball State University [Applied Behavior Analysis, MA] University of California, Irvine [Psychology & Social Behavior, BA]

SPECIALIZATION: Applied Behavior Analysis, Art Therapy


Angeline has experience as an art therapist for a pediatric oncology department. While in Germany, she worked as the art director for a child education center. She has studied art theory, art history, and different mediums. Her speciality is in photography, drawing, and painting. She also has a background in applied behavior analysis, including working with individuals with developmental disorders, and research on autoclitics and increasing communication for individuals with autism.

“Sometimes it’s difficult to put into words how you feel or what you are thinking. Art is helpful in communicating what cannot be said with just words. Through art, a person can have revelations and find resolutions. Art can be a powerful tool in a person’s healing. The beauty of art is no skill level is necessary to participate. I have dedicated my career in helping others find their voices, whether that is through applied behavior analysis or art therapy. I enjoy working with clients of all ages from early childhood to late adulthood. I am passionate about gently guiding clients through directives that help them process their feelings and thoughts in a supportive environment.” -Angelinne

Raul Vera

Fitness Instructor

Raul is a personal trainer and fitness expert at The Mental Health Collective. He is on a mission to enhance his clients’ lives by providing high-quality fitness experiences in a low-pressure and welcoming environment.

Raul believes physical empowerment is achieved through adapting a sustainable lifestyle design. His design is intended to highlight the importance of a routine, staying disciplined while having fun. His goal is to help every client succeed on their personal fitness journey, and believes each day represents a new opportunity for improvement.

Aaron Oliver

Aaron brings a diverse background and skill set to the Mental Health Collective, marked by his experience in the behavioral health industry and his dedication to service. Originally from Chesapeake, Virginia, Aaron attended Virginia Commonwealth University where he studied business administration.

Aaron began his career in the behavioral health field in 2013 working in the intake department for a well known primary care behavioral health treatment program in Newport Beach, CA. He then transitioned to a hybrid marketing & operations role for a well-respected extended care treatment program in Huntington Beach, CA. Aaron steadily grew in the organization, eventually becoming executive director in 2017, a role he served in prior to joining the collective.

Aaron strives to be a community resource for the families of those suffering from mental health issues and to connect them with appropriate treatment programs. “I believe that I have a responsibility to each individual and /or family seeking assistance that I come in contact with to provide clinically appropriate and ethical treatment recommendation and placement.” As co-founder of Leadwell, a wellness retreat for professionals in the behavioral health community, Aaron has demonstrated his commitment to the continuous development of both himself and of his colleagues in the field.

Lindsey Fisher

Lindsey graduated cum laude from California State Polytechnic University in 2011 with a degree in Business Management. Over the next ten years, Lindsey steadily built a leading reputation within the the field of behavioral health.

Excelling as Director of Admissions for a nationally recognized healthcare organization, Lindsey was appointed Treatment Placement Specialist for Orange and Riverside Counties. She expertly managed and grew one of the most productive territories in the United States. With an emphasis on strengthening relationships with community partners, promoting patient-centered care, and always emphasizing customer service, Lindsey exemplifies how business development can be influential and meaningful in the behavioral healthcare space.

Sarah Verrelli.Business Development Executive

Sarah Verrelli attended Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT where she majored in Business Administration with an emphasis on Marketing. She entered the behavioral health field in 2006, and has spent the past 17 years connecting those struggling with their mental health and substance use disorders with the treatment programs best suited to help them. In this time she has developed extensive industry knowledge as well as a sterling reputation as a leader in the field.

During her career, Sarah has served as Outreach Coordinator, Director of Marketing, Vice President of Business Development, and Vice President of Market Insight for a nationally known treatment organization.  Sarah has been recognized for her accomplishments by receiving multiple prestigious ‘Best in Class’ awards. Considered a “connector” amongst her peers, Sarah is dedicated to providing clients and families with the most appropriate resources in the country given their circumstances. In so doing, Sarah has built a rewarding career positively impacting the lives of those struggling with behavioral health as well as their families.

Sarah resides in the beach community of Fairfield, Connecticut with her six year old son. She is a devoted member of Orangetheory and iCryotherapy. In her spare time, she enjoys travel and spending time by the water.

Madison Baker

Madison Baker earned his Bachelors of Science from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010 and has worked in a variety of treatment settings within the field of substance abuse, mental health and dual diagnosis treatment. He specializes in admissions consultations, case management and navigating access to appropriate healthcare. With an attitude of kindness and compassion, he strives to be a resource for families and professionals navigating the crises and often confusing process of accessing appropriate treatment.

Beginning his career in the film industry as an audio visual editor on major motion picture movie trailers, he found his way to working in the behavioral healthcare field through his own personal journey in recovery. He attributes his passion for his work to his experience as a young adult, seeing his parents navigate the difficult process of quality treatment access. Through his work in direct client care, business development and admissions, he found a passion for providing quality assessment and consultation to families and professionals navigating one of the most difficult and unexpected processes of life.

Originally from Austin, Texas, Madison takes pride in his accomplishments as an Eagle Scout, and serving local communities through service in and out of recovery. Previously serving on the board of directors for Austin’s Alano Club and working for several nationally known treatment programs in admissions and business development roles.

Jenna Tsosie
Jenna recently moved to California from Arizona, where she graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Northern Arizona University. During her undergrad program, Jenna completed an internship where she provided guidance, support, and crisis intervention to adults in traumatic distress. Her internship created a passion to advocate and find treatment for those living with mental health disorders. At The Collective, Jenna strives to make this transition for individuals and families as gracious and comfortable as possible.
Justin Krause . Intake Coordinator

Hailing from Orange County, Justin studied locally at South Coast College. He began his professional journey working in treatment centers, providing support and care to individuals seeking help. While working in this field, he developed a deep understanding and compassion for the mental health industry.

Outside of his professional pursuits, Justin continues to actively engage in the recovery community, supporting and empowering those in their journey toward recovery. His personal experiences and dedication to the well-being of others fuel his commitment to making a difference. 

Supporting families with a holistic understanding of the industry enables him to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those he serves at the Mental Health Collective.

Ryan Franke, MBA

Co-founder + CEO

Ryan has a BA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California (USC). He has worked in the behavioral health field for over eighteen years.

In a previous role, Ryan served as Chief Operations Officer & Partner of a dual site mental health treatment program and assessment clinic in Los Angeles, CA. Prior to this, Ryan spent nine years working for the nations largest provider of behavioral health treatment services where he held numerous positions during his tenure, including roles in marketing, operations, and executive leadership for the 140-site organization.

Ryan grew up in Newport Beach, CA where he currently resides. Ryan’s passions include advocating for those struggling with mental health disorders, participating in and coaching athletics, and spending time with his two children.

Max Reznik

Chief Financial Officer

Max has a BS in Finance with a Marketing Concentration from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.

After college, Max moved to New York City and began working in Advisory services in the Banking and Capital Markets sector at one of the “Big Four” professional service firms. In 2013, Max moved to Orange County to take a corporate finance position at a large Behavioral Healthcare organization headquartered in Newport Beach. After being immersed in behavioral healthcare, Max co-founded an insurance billing and consulting firm that specializes in behavioral healthcare. In 2019, Max spearheaded the sale of the firm to a technology company with the ability to broaden the reach of the business.

Max hails from the east coast and enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching sports and playing with his dog, Yogi.

Greg Rosenbaum

Chief Development Officer

Greg Rosenbaum has a BS in Business Administration from the University of Alabama. He has been immersed in business since childhood, having worked for his family’s businesses where he frequently interacted with customers.

After college, and a few years as an analyst at a Fortune 500 life insurance company, Greg found his way to behavioral healthcare. Starting from the bottom, he excelled through different roles including those in operations, finance, admissions, marketing, direct care, and leadership. He attributes his knowledge of the behavioral health industry to his years working in-the-field, hands-on training, and personal experience.

Greg has worked in business development and admissions leadership for several nationally known behavioral health treatment programs. Most recently Greg was instrumental in the successful development and execution of a national branding initiative for a regional treatment program. From there, Greg co-founded AVA Billing, an insurance billing and consulting company focused on the behavioral healthcare segment. When Greg was approached to partner with The Mental Health Collective, he recognized a unique opportunity to create something that was much needed in Orange County, CA. He joined the founding team, where he committed to building a cutting edge, high quality, ethical mental health treatment program. Greg remains passionate about helping people transform their lives, always moving one step closer to breaking the stigma against all manner of psychological issues.

Greg attributes his passion for business to his late grandfather, who modeled an always honorable code of conduct and innate leadership. Never far from his roots, Greg is proud to be from Alabama, and manages to sneak it into every conversation. Roll Tide.

Dr. Kristen Zaleski, PhD, LCSW

Clinical Director

Kristen Zaleski, PhD, LCSW is a nationally-recognized author, researcher, and psychotherapist on trauma related disorders and an expert on sexual trauma within both civilian and military culture. Dr Zaleski is the author of two books, multiple research articles, and is a consultant and trainer on trauma disorders and survivorship to entities such as Facebook and the U.S. Department of Defense. Dr. Zaleski came to the Mental Health Collective after a decade-long tenure at University of Southern California as Clinical Associate Professor for the Suzanne Dworak Peck School of Social Work. Dr. Zaleski continues to be affiliated with USC as an adjunct professor and Founding Director of the USC Keck Human Rights Clinic which is a pro-bono organization offering forensic evaluations for survivors of international human rights abuse.

Dr. Zaleski sits on the board of two Orange County non-profits- Center for Law and Military Policy and HOPE 365- where she advocates for survivors of human trafficking, sexual violence, and forced marriage around the world and within the United States military. She also consults with television production companies on how to represent mental health realistically on their programs.

Dr. Zaleski has specific training on neurobiology and modern day attachment theory. Her area of expertise centers around somatic and body-based treatments to heal trauma holistically. She has previously worked at UCLA Rape Treatment Center, Veterans Administration Healthcare Center in Long Beach, and Las Encinas Psychiatric Hospital. She also has a private practice based in Hermosa Beach, CA.

CERTIFICATIONS: EMDR, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure, and various 2nd and 3rd generation cognitive behavioral evidence based practices.

EDUCATION: University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) BA in Sociology and BA in Psychology, University of Southern California (USC) Master of Social Work, and Sanville Institute for Social Work and Psychotherapy, PhD.

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATIONS: Dr. Zaleski utilizes a trauma-informed, attachment focused lens to client work.  Her training integrates interpersonal neurobiology to understand mental health holistically. Dr. Zaleski has advanced training in “bottom-up” somatic treatment modalities to assist the client to feel more in control of their body’s reactions to life events while coupling “top-down” narrative therapies to promote behavioral and cognitive changes. Her clinical experience has centered around military trauma and interpersonal violence that include sexual assault and human trafficking.

Catherine Mann, MA

Director of Quality + Compliance

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: Pepperdine University [Clinical Psychology, MA] California State University, Fullerton [Psychology, BA] California State University, Fullerton [Health & Human Services, BS]

SPECIALIZATION: Insurance Utilization Management

Catherine Mann was inspired to start working in the mental health field after losing a friend to suicide in 2011. She started working in the mental health field in the nonprofit sector at The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in 2014. Since then, Catherine’s passion for mental health continues to grow, and she’s gained experience in evidence-based therapeutic modalities such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) at an IOP level of care and obtained her master’s degree from Pepperdine University in Clinical Psychology. She’s worked in Insurance Utilization Management since 2017 and is passionate about educating others on health insurance and behavioral health. Catherine lives by the statement: “I can’t do all the good the world needs, and the world needs all the good I can do.” Catherine is passionate about serving individuals of all ages and socio-cultural backgrounds. When she’s not in the office, you can find her with her toes in the sand, training at the gym, studying at a coffee shop, or cuddling with her niece.

Amber Labriola

Amber Labriola

Operations Manager

Amber received her BA in Psychology from California State University Long Beach, graduating magna cum laude. Amber began her career working in substance abuse treatment, rising through the ranks in different roles ranging from operations to medical services. Amber has experience working in numerous levels of care including detox, residential, and partial hospitalization for individuals with co-occurring disorders.

Amber has worked in different managerial roles and as a teacher for at-risk children. Amber has a passion for art and therapy through creative means to improve self-esteem and overall well-being. Amber is excited to be working at The Collective where her combined experience in business and therapy contribute to such a knowledgeable and compassionate team. At the Collective, Amber helps manage the mental health technician team in supporting our clients throughout their treatment.

Ruby Maher

Human Resources

Ruby Maher has been working with different elements of HR administration since 2010 and has focused on Compliance and HR in the Health Care industry since 2014.

After graduating from UC Santa Barbara with a double major in Global Studies and Art History and working in both these fields, she landed in the field of Health Care Administration where she has held Compliance and HR managerial positions at multiple behavioral health organizations.

Ruby is tasked with developing and maintaining sustainable, scalable HR practices and policies to support the employees and the company administration as a whole.

Hanna Goias

Tech Supervisor

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: University of California Irvine [Bachelors of Science, Psychology and Criminology]

Hanna supervises The Collective’s Mental Health Technicians. She establishes and maintains a supportive environment for clients during the times that they are not in therapeutic sessions, often providing crisis support when clients face the challenges of everyday life. Hanna guides the Technicians in making the best choices and judgment calls for our clients during treatment.

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