- Josephine McNary, M.D.Medical Director and Psychiatrist
“Dr. McNary is a board-certified psychiatrist. She is a staff psychiatrist at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. Since 2011, McNary has been the psychiatrist at UCLA’s Simms-Mann Center for Integrative Oncology, a nationally recognized wellness center for patients undergoing cancer treatment and their families. Dr. McNary has a particular interest in the intersection of physical and mental health and the use of integrated strategies to treat complex emotional and behavioral difficulties.
Dr. McNary earned a bachelors degree in human biology and a masters degree in psychology from Stanford University. She earned her medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine. She trained in adult psychiatry at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, followed by specialized fellowship training in Mood Disorders and Psycho-Oncology. She has also received speciality training in Women’s Mental Health and Psychotic Disorders. She is a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and has worked at Bridges to Recovery since 2010.”
- Trevor Small, Psy. D.Clinical Director and Psychologist
“Trevor Small, Psy.D., a graduate of Pepperdine University, is a clinical psychologist who specializes in providing psychodiagnostic and psycho-therapeutic interventions to adolescents and adults. He is an expert in the treatment of Bipolar disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Attention-Deficit/Hyper-activity Disorder, Personality Disorders, and Mood Disorders. Dr. Small is the Clinical Director of Bridges to Recovery and oversees the clinical care at all the Bridges to Recovery facilities.
Dr. Small has lectured in the areas of: trauma, failure to thrive adults, ADHD treatment in adults, and effective treatment of young adults with complex psychological presentations. Dr. Small has been featured recently in both radio and television discussing the impact of 9/11 on the American psyche and has written for the media in the area of mental health disorders and their depiction.”
- Katie Gregory, MA, CIPInternational Strategic Advisor
Katie Gregory, Certified Intervention Professional, has been working in the behavioral health field for approximately 20 years in both senior level management and clinical positions. Katie also served as a marketing and business development director for treatment facilities both on a national and international level. Katie completed her Master’s at USM in spiritual psychology and received her B.A. in Psychology with honors from Ursuline College in Cleveland, Ohio. Katie started her career in the mental health field as a social worker for family services and has been an SED and LD teacher for the Los Angeles School District.
- Qemal ShaholliChief Operating Officer
Qemal holds a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Accounting from La Trobe University, Australia. He has more than 10 years experience in international and domestic accounting standards and business practice.
- Mary Lou Devlin, M.S. MFTRegional Program Director
Mary Lou, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who served as the Executive and Clinical Director for a residential treatment program specializing in the treatment of addiction and co-occurring disorders. She has more than two decades of experience working within the addiction community and her experience as a psychotherapist also encompasses work with trauma, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and personality disorders. She holds an M.S. in Counseling from CSUN, with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy.
- Jeffrey Gandin, M.D.Psychiatrist
“Dr. Gandin has many years of experience in treating various psychiatric disorders. His areas of expertise include the following:
-Mood, Anxiety and Psychotic Disorders
-Addiction – Substance, Sex/Love, and Others
-Geriatric Psychiatric Disorders, with the utilization of comprehensive memory evaluations
-Women’s Mental Health, including the use of psychotropic medications during pregnancy and breast feeding and the treatment of post-partum depression
Dr. Gandin received his Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley. He subsequently completed a Masters of Science in Physiological Psychology from California State University. After completing medical school at Sackler School of Medicine, Dr. Gandin performed his Internship and Residency in Psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuro-science and Human Behavior at UCLA. As a resident, he received Honors include having been awarded the 21st Century Psychiatry Prize by UCLA Faculty and having been named an American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry/Bristol-Myers Squibb Fellow and a U.S. Psychiatric & Mental Health Care Congress/Eli Lilly Fellow. He served as Chief Resident during his final year of Residency. He also completed both a Fellowship in Geriatric Psychiatry and Community Psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. Subsequently, he has received psychoanalytic training at the New Center for Psychoanalysis.”
- Deborah Sandy, Psy.DClinical Psychologist
Deborah Sandy received her degree from Los Angeles Institute and Society for Psychoanalytic Studies. She has expertise in eating disorders and addictions, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, schizophrenia, personality disorders, sexual abuse, trauma, couples therapy.
- Eric Strang, Psy.D.Clinical Psychologist
Eric Strang has a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University, with an emphasis in both psychodynamic and existential/humanistic psychotherapy. He has provided mental health services since 1989. Areas of expertise include: emotional dysregulation, disrupted Attachment, mood instability, existential/spiritual conflicts/crises, trauma, shame, disorders of the self, impulse control, couples work, and executive dysfunction. Methodologies practiced include: Psychodynamic, Existential/Humanistic, Mentalization Based (MBT), Interpersonal (IPT), Acceptance and Commitment (ACT), Dialectical (DBT), Mindfulness, Dream Analysis, motivational interviewing, and relapse prevention. His areas of interest include integrative models of psychotherapy, spirituality, philosophy, neuroscience, and metaphoric communication.
- Lynne Oliva, Psy.D., MFTPsychotherapist/Psychoanalyst
“Lynne Oliva Psy.D., M.F.T. is a training and supervising analyst as well as a faculty member of the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 20 years of experience and has master’s degrees in both clinical psychology and art history. Her undergraduate degree is from Princeton University in English literature where she graduated with honors. In 1995, she became the inaugural recipient of Pepperdine University’s chapter of Psi Chi (National Honor Society in Psychology).
Dr. Oliva has a background in both the performing and visual arts and specializes in working with individual adults, couples, artists and writers. She has extensive training working with trauma, grief and loss, mood and personality disorders. She has published articles on art and psychoanalysis and is currently working on a book on art, desire, and the unconscious.”
- Katherine Niemela MN,RNPsychotherapist/ Psychoanalyst
“Katherine Niemela has worked within the Mental Health field since 1986, in acute care, outpatient, residential, and academic settings. She received a Masters of Mental Health Nursing from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and is a PhD. candidate at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis. Additional postgraduate work includes training in Gestalt Therapy, Mentalization-Based Therapy (MBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Group Theory. Recently she has developed a clinical focus on the complex grief responses experienced by family-member caregivers.
Her work with Bridges to Recovery began in 2007, first as a Primary Therapist, then Associate Clinical Director and Program Director of the San Remo House. Katherine was offered an opportunity to design a specialized program for Borderline Personality Disorder, co-developing one of the first residential treatment homes for this diagnosis. The Clearview Women’s Center opened in 2009, and as Clinical Director she supervised and managed this program through its initial 2½ years of service. In private practice and here at BTR, her work is relationally-based, using a contemporary psychoanalytic framework. This type of therapy provides a space for reflection on past experiences while also actively engaging with present day emotions, needs and desires.”
- Cynthia Rubin Brown, Psy.D. MFTPsychotherapist / Psychoanalyst
“Dr. Cynthia Brown is a seasoned, licensed marriage and family psychotherapist who guides individuals, couples and families through crises and life transitions that have been precipitated by changes in relationships, psychological health, family life cycle, and sexual and gender orientation.
Dr. Brown is an active clinical partner in the creative process needed to move through life transitions. She uses an exploratory and proactive approach to help you meet your psychological, emotional, relational, and situational challenges.
When you work with her you can expect to: Identify and utilize your existing resources; Know and use what motivates you to develop new resources and possibilities; Identify what interferes with your ability to achieve the next steps toward adjustments; Find new options for significant change.
Her areas of specialty are:
-Thought disorders–schizophrenia, bipolar
-Mood disorders–depression, anxiety
-Crisis and trauma
-Chronic experiences of low self worth, shame, grief and loss”
- Susan Mendenhall, MFT, Psy.D.Psychotherapist / Psychoanalyst
Dr. Mendenhall serves as a couples and family therapist at Bridges as well as providing individual psychotherapy to Bridges clients. She has 45 years of experience as a psychotherapist. She has a doctorate in contemporary psychoanalysis from the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis and is a Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst at that institute. In addition to couples and family therapy and parenting work, Dr. Mendenhall has extensive experience in working with issues of anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, trauma and sexual abuse.
- Cheryl Grant, MFT, CSATSomatic Experiencing and EMDR Therapist
Cheryl Grant is a Trauma Therapist and specializes in helping people feel better about themselves and eliminate suffering. She is also a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist and became interested in this field when she realized that sexual trauma is often at the root of sexual compulsivity and other addictive behaviors. Both of her parents survived the Holocaust and their productive lives were the inspiration for her interest in working with various types of trauma and mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Cheryl has worked with many people in recovery and believes that our society encourages addictive behaviors and is dedicated to promoting balance and well being through fitness and self care. She also has a special interest in animals and their welfare and has two cats and two dogs and hopes some day to have a pig and two goats.
- Kristi Foster, Ph.D., MFTSomatic Experiencing Therapist
Dr. Foster has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Santa Barbara Graduate Institute with a specialization in somatics. She specializes in working with both relational and shock trauma and has been approved by the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute to offer private sessions and consults for Somatic Experiencing students in training. She also offers EMDR and Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy as a part of her trauma specialization. Her expertise includes working with preverbal trauma and insecure attachment and their sequelae. Dr. Foster is a licensed marriage and family therapist.
- Ellen Ledley, LCSWSomatic Experiencing Therapist
Ellen received her training at USC School of Social Work and has been in the field for over 25 years. She specializes in working with survivors of trauma, and this interest led her to being trained in EMDR in 1994. She has also been practicing Somatic Experiencing since 2003. Additionally, Ellen specializes in working with couples and relationship issues.
- Judy Ho, Ph.D., ABPPConsulting Neuropsychologist
Dr. Judy Ho is a board licensed clinical psychologist and specializes in neuropsychological and psychodiagnostic assessments/evaluations. She spent three years post-doctorate conducting psychiatric research at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, and worked with community mental health providers to improve the delivery of evidence-based care to high-need populations in Los Angeles and New Orleans. Dr. Ho’s clinical specialties include child and family interventions, culturally responsive treatments for ethnic minority individuals, and treatments for depression and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and borderline personality disorder.
- Naomi TuckerArt Therapist
Naomi Tucker is a registered Art Therapist (ATR) and licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Adjunct Professor at Loyola Marymount University’s Department of Marital and Family Therapy. Naomi facilitates art therapy groups for teen moms at LMU’s Helen B. Landgarten Art Therapy Clinic and also supervises students and interns. In her private practice in West Los Angeles, she utilizes mindfulness and art therapy to provide expansion-focused therapy for individuals, couples and groups.
- Mary Pivarunis, LMFTGroup Therapist
Mary is a somatic therapist who specializes in trauma, PTSD, dissociative disorders and grief and loss. She received her M.A. from John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, CA. Mary has extensive experience working in acute mental health settings. She is trained in Somatic Experiencing and Trauma First Aide.
- Gabriella Calo Siegel, Psy.D,Clinical Pscyhologist / DBT Therapist
Dr. Siegel earned a Master in Art in Clinical Psychology and a Doctor of Psychology degree in Clinical Psychology (CSPP). Post-doctorally, completed a two-year certificate program in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy at Wright Institute; followed by an intensive training from Behavioral Tech DBT training. Expertise in Dual Diagnosis/Eating Disorders/Substance Abuse/Mood Disorders and Anxiety. Dr. Calò is a member of the Psychology & Child Development Advisory Board at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA; and the National Anger Management Association.
- Russell “Buddy” HelmGroup Facilitator
Russell “Buddy” Helm is a classically trained musician since the age of eight. He has recorded and toured with many greats including Frank Zappa, Tim Buckley, Baba Olatunji, Allman Brothers, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Big Joe Turner and many others. He has written two books on drum healing: “Drumming the Spirit to Life” and “Way of the Drum”. He recorded, “No 2nd Chance”, a martial arts drumming CD for Master Martial Arts teacher Guro Dan Inosanto(Bruce Lee’s partner). He was also a Star Wars comic strip writer for George Lucas, has extensive music and film production experience and was post production supervisor at Lorimar. With extensive research into therapies, he developed HelmTone Healing Drum Protocols, a drumming based meditation for relieving stress, balancing metabolism, increasing life energy and self esteem. His drumming protocols are used by counselors, therapists and healing centers across the nation, in Japan, Australia and Europe. He has been teaching weekly drumming meditation workshops in Santa Monica, California and around the country for over twenty five years.
- Mary WellsMassage Therapist
Mary is a remedial (deep tissue) massage therapist, living and working in Los Angeles since 2009. She completed her 504 hours of training in Britain where she focused on manipulations, mobilizations and some neuromuscular work, regarding muscular-skeletal injuries. The intuitive therapeutic connection she has with a client is the most important aspect of her work. Mary has continued her training with Susan Ross at the Ross Clinic in Scotland and completed training in Hot Stone therapy in California.
- Elena Nazabal-McManus, M.A.Acupuncturist
Masters in Traditional Oriental Medicine from Emperor’s College in Santa Monica. Licensed to practice acupuncture, acupressure, and herbal medicine by the State of California. Acupuncture treats the body, mind, and spirit to create balance in your life and restore your body’s own healing abilities. Elena specializes in the treatment of anxiety, stress, depression, pain, and other emotional conditions. She is also a trained Reiki practitioner.
- Mike PiacentinoPersonal Trainer
Mike is a Certified Fitness Instructor specializing in fitness lifestyle management. He enjoys teaching clients how to maintain regular and consistent exercise as a way to increase fitness level, self esteem, and overall wellness.
- Tonda WilliamsAdmissions Director
Tonda has more than 10 years of experience in Admissions Development and Training in the Chemical Dependency and Mental Health fields, ranging from assessments to placement.
- Adriana CastellanosSouthern California Clinical Outreach Representative
- Coreen PeraltaExecutive Chef
Coreen has been the owner and operator of a Los Angeles Personal Chef Service since 1993. She has experience in menu design, staffing, inventory control, budgeting and special dietary needs. Coreen has been managing the food program at Bridges to Recovery for 7 1/2 years. It is her passion and pleasure to offer healthy nurturing meals while using only fresh and local ingredients. She finds that rotating the chefs at Bridges to Recovery keeps the menu selections fresh and new, while being able to meet the culinary needs of all of our guests.
- Rodney ElizagaChef
Rodney attended and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu. Upon graduating, he acquired experience in restaurants of different cultural backgrounds, broadening his ability to cook different cuisines. With over nine years of experience in the food industry, Rodney has worked for a number of established restaurants, catered for events and cooked for celebrities as a private chef. In the professional kitchen, he has experience as a line cook, sous chef, executive pastry chef, head chef, and chef consultant. With his insatiable curiosity, he believes his food is innovative and creative while still maintaining the respect for classic cuisines.
- Sonia ChamulLead House Keeper
Sonia has worked at Bridges to Recovery for over seven years and is now the lead housekeeper. She takes pride in making the house feel like home for all of the guests. She enjoys taking care of the house and assisting the guests with anything they need. Sonia is always willing to lend a helping hand.
- Elizabeth ContrerasHouse Keeper
Elizabeth has been working as a housekeeper for Bridges to Recovery for over four years. She enjoys her position and always greets the staff and guests with a warm smile. Elizabeth treats everyone as if they were part of her family and she is always willing to help out where ever she is needed.