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.

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, 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

Sarah Douglas, originally from Ontario, Canada, earned her, bachelor degree in psychology from Trent University. She went on to earn her Master of Arts in psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Chapman University.

Sarah has worked in a number of different clinical settings working with individuals, couples and families. She has spent the last 10+ years with the Veteran Affairs Long Beach Healthcare System working as a clinician in the Women’s Mental Health Center. Sarah has worked extensively with individuals who have experienced pervasive trauma and are suffering from complex PTSD, PTSD, personality disorders, depression, anxiety and relational distress.

Sarah specializes in trauma-focused treatments including Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure (PE). She has extensive training and experience facilitating comprehensive Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and is passionate about giving clients the skills to live fulfilling lives.

Sarah is excited to join the Mental Health Collective because of the holistic approach to treatment that aims to help individuals recover and learn to live life to its fullest potential.

Dr. Stefani LaFrenierre, MD

Staff Psychiatrist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA [Doctor of
Medicine] University of California, Davis [Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavioral
Science, BS]

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION: Dr. LaFrenierre is a board-certified psychiatrist with
expertise in the treatment of mental health conditions including the treatment of
depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar spectrum, psychotic spectrum, autism spectrum,
and addiction disorders. She utilizes a holistic, evidenced-based approach to create
personalized treatment plans using elements of mind-body medicine, pharmacological
management, and lifestyle changes. She has performed in several leadership positions,
including Medical Director of an addiction treatment group and as Chief Resident during
her psychiatric training. She received the Resident Award in Excellence two years in a
row during her training and was awarded the SAMHSA Minority Fellowship through the
American Psychiatric Association. She has worked in a variety of mental health settings,
including inpatient, outpatient, residential treatment centers, state and forensic
hospitals, academic settings, and has experience with assertive community treatment
and full-service partnership teams. She is committed to providing safe, equitable, and
inclusive treatment for all.

CERTIFICATIONS: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology [Diplomat in Adult
Psychiatry]; San Mateo Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, [Completed
Postgraduate Medical Training]; Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma [Global Mental
Health: Trauma and Recovery Certification]; Diplomat Medical Board of California
Physicians and Surgeons; Diplomat Medical Board of Texas

“My treatment philosophy focuses on building resiliency through holistic, long-lasting
changes to help my patients achieve a balanced and fulfilling life. I have been fortunate
to develop many different skill sets in the treatment of mental health and addiction, and I
am excited to be able to offer customized treatments for my patients. I provide a warm,
empathic, and active therapy style, and I bring a conservative approach to medication
while considering all aspects of health in treatment planning. My role is to help my patients reach their goals by providing clinical expertise, education, and compassion in
a non-judgmental space.” -Dr. Stefani LaFrenierre, MD

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. Her training emphasizes working with a multitude of populations ranging from children and adolescents on school campuses to substance-use in specialized facilities. She has extensive experience facilitating group therapy, emphasizing family systems, DBT skills, anger expression, forgiveness, and gendered issues. She hopes to help clients reauthor their identity, relationships, and problem-saturated stories.

In addition to therapy, Dr. Nizami serves as a part-time adjunct faculty member for Alliant International University, Pacific Lutheran University, Pepperdine University, and Golden West Community College. Her passion for servicing in the field of psychology and mental health have led her to strive to contribute to existing literature.

“My hope for clients is to help redefine their relationship with the problems in their lives. Often times, 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. I enjoy exploring identity and discoursed issues. If we are able to understand our identity by assessing how it developed, what influences it, how it is malleable, etc., we can begin to redefine our lives, and ultimately our relationship with the hurdles in life.” – 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

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. Michelle Molina, PhD

Adjunct Psych Testing + Assessment

Dr. Molina is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who provides psychological testing and assessment for children, adolescents, and adults with a range of issues. She has provided psychological testing services in Orange County for over 15 years and is incredibly experienced working with learning difficulties, ADHD, behavioral disorders, autism spectrum disorder, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and trauma.

She has found that her assessment is valuable to other professionals such as physicians, psychiatrists, therapists, social workers, judges, and attorneys. In this capacity, Dr. Molina is regularly asked to provide expert witness testimony in Court cases involving her assessment of patients’ regarding a range of issues.

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. Tiffany Grimes, PhD

REG. Psychological Assistant

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: [PhD] Counseling Psychology, emphasis in Health Psychology – The University of Georgia, 2019. [LGBT Health Policy and Practice Graduate Certificate] The George Washington University, 2019. [MA] General Psychology, Boston University, 2013. [B.S.] Psychology and Spanish, Millsaps College, 2008

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATIONS: Holistic Health Psychology, LGBTQ Issues, Mind-Body-Spirit Integration, Spirituality, Mindfulness, Meditation, Chronic Illness, Living with Disability, Substance Use, Grief, Intersectional Multicultural Inclusion and Liberation, Trauma, Couples and Family therapy.

COLLECTIVE GROUPS: Motivational Interviewing, DBT, Mindfulness/Meditation, Mind-Body Group and Happiness Group.

CLINICAL PRACTICE: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Substance Use Disorders, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention, Emotion-Focused Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and holistic mind-body movement practices.

“I practice with an expertise and passion for intersectional, multicultural inclusion and liberation. My clinical interests include LGBTQ issues -particularly issues related to trans, gender-expansive, and queer people of color. My practice is also skilled in working with people living with disabilities and chronic health conditions, psych-oncology, meditation, mindfulness, spirituality, grief, substance use, trauma, youth, adults, couples’ and family therapy.” -Dr. Tiffany Grimes, PhD

Rebecca Alvarado, LMFT

Clinical Group Facilitator

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: Chapman University [Marriage & Family Therapy, M.A.] California State University, Long Beach [Psychology, B.A.]

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATIONS: Rebecca has clinical experience in the delivery and practice of evidence-based therapeutic treatment approaches including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Bowen and Structural Family Systems, Solution-Focused, Gestalt, and Client-Centered Therapy. Rebecca has had the opportunity to work with both inpatient and outpatient individuals and families from a diverse background in race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion/spirituality, and socioeconomic status. Rebecca’s areas of specialization in clinical treatment include treating anxiety, depression, trauma, neurodevelopmetal disorders, parenting and family-related issues.

CERTIFICATIONS: Parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

“My clinical specialties include treating children, adolescents, adults, and families facing issues with depression, anxiety, ADHD, grief and loss, trauma, and family conflict. It is my desire to help support individuals and their families find peace and happiness in their lives by guiding them through their journey of healing and recovery. Drawing from evidence-based treatment approaches such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Person-Centered, Mindfulness-based, and Family Systems, I work to help others navigate their current and past relationships, develop healthier thinking patterns, and make behavioral changes that will positively impact their overall quality of life.”

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.

Jack Senese IV, LCSW

Neurofeedback Facilitator

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: University of Southern California [MSW], SUNY Potsdam [BA, Psychology]

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION: Jack specializes in both psychotherapy and research. His areas of specialization in psychotherapy include trauma, stress, PTSD, neurofeedback, substance use, and body-image concerns. As a psychotherapist, Jack has extensive experience working with LGBTQ+ individuals, veterans and survivors of trauma. Jack’s research has focused on the neurobiology and treatment of trauma using novel methods such as neurofeedback, and the prevention and treatment of emotional and physical health outcomes in LGBTQ+ youth and adults. One of the primary health outcomes Jack’s research explores is the connection between body-image related distress with anxiety, depression, and substance use. Jack received his post-graduate psychotherapy training at the LGBTQ+ Center of Long Beach and continues to work as a research project manager at the University of Southern California.

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, 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, 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 curriculum 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 experiences 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, comics: things that he believes brings about a deeper understanding of how we relate to each other, and more importantly, how we experience our relationships and realities.

Jessica Geiger, MS

Clinical Care Coordinator

Jessica Geiger earned her B.S. in Psychology from Queen’s University Belfast and her M.S. in Child and Adolescent Mental Health from King’s College London. Additionally, she is currently enrolled in a doctorate program through Capella University where she is specializing in clinical psychology and working towards licensure as a Clinical Psychologist (PsyD).

She entered the field of behavioral health as a Registered Behavior Technician where she utilized applied behavioral analysis in her work with children and adolescents on the autism spectrum to improve communication, interpersonal effectiveness, emotional regulation and basic life skills. She later moved into the field of mental health where she broadened her skill set through her work with adults in dual diagnosis treatment at the intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization and residential levels of care.

Jessica acquired extensive experience in biopsychosocial assessments through her role as an Assessment Specialist, and as one of the first voices families and patients encountered when reaching out for help, took great care in providing compassion, reassurance and developing rapport. During her time as a Discharge Planner, she developed an in depth understanding of the intake process for mental and behavioral health services and cultivated a strong aptitude for aftercare planning and facilitating transitions in care.

Her passion for client-centered care is evidenced by her advocacy for and empowerment of her clients. She is committed to authentic communication and collaboration within the multidisciplinary team at The Mental Health Collective. As a Clinical Care Coordinator, she is motivated to create a safe space for her clients to land upon admission, to seek her out in moments of need and to feel prepared and secure in their transition out of care.

Adrienne Burr, ASW

Clinical Care Coordinator

Adrienne Burr is an associate 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, ACSW

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

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.

Rachel Gergen, RN


Rachel began her career in the behavioral health field in 2012. During her time in the industry, she has held various roles from shift nurse to Program Manager. She has previously worked in inpatient psychiatric settings and has seen the need for a more individualized approach to mental health services, hence her desire to join the team at The Mental Health Collective.

Rachel is passionate about client education and advocacy; her goal is to ensure clients are well informed and empowered in order to spearhead their individual treatment plans. In her free time, Rachel enjoys spending time with family and being an auntie to her four canine nephews.

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.

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

Laura Svette, BA

Art Group Facilitator

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: University of Virginia, [BA, Fine Arts of Painting] Brandman Chapman University [Art4Healing Certificate Program]

Laura is a local commission based artist, who has a unique niche of customizing shoes, as well as showcasing murals & other public work in Huntington Beach and Orange County. Her big heart has led her to work in the non-profit world with Art & Creativity for Healing Inc. for the past several years, facilitating art workshops to those in need within the community.

Laura is a passionate facilitator and artist, who aims to encourage everyone, no matter what age, to find their inner artist. She has experience working with numerous populations including active military and their families, veterans, survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, at risk & disadvantaged youth, families experiencing homelessness and senior citizens.

Her goal is to take clients on their own journey of self discovery through mindful art exercises that give a voice to emotions they have not been able to share before and help improve self esteem. She aims to provide a calm, non-intimidating space to create and express themselves, free of judgement. She loves to see the transformation in people, as they heal and learn to find the power of expression in art.

Michael Christian Cilnis

Client Advocate

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES: Pepperdine University [Clinical Psychology, MA] Loyola Marymount University [MBA], Loyola Marymount University [Communications, BA]

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION: Michael provides adjunct services as an addiction specialist. Drawing from a psychodynamic perspective and employing techniques such as Motivational Interviewing, his focus is on sober coaching, substance use disorders, and the journey of recovery in the pursuit of an improved quality of life. Michael is presently completing coursework to earn his Master of Clinical Psychology degree at Pepperdine University, and is training to become a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist as well as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. Michael decided to pursue a career in mental health based on the transformative effect that psychotherapy had on his own life, and is dedicated to helping others identify their core values and priorities to deliver meaningful, lasting results.

“I know that profound change is possible because I’ve experienced it myself. Therefore, it’s my mission to work with integrity and compassion to foster genuine growth in others by implementing creative therapeutic interventions.” – Michael Christian Cilnis

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

National Clinical Outreach

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

Clinical Outreach

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.

Madison Baker

Intake Director

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

Intake + Admissions Coordinator

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.

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.

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.

Catherine Mann, MA

Billing Liason

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.

Hanna Goias

Billing Liason

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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