Promises & Dr. David Sack featured on:
The Promises staff is completely invested in the positive outcomes of our clients. No matter what their area of expertise, the Promises team works with you and your family to develop an individualized treatment plan specially designed for your needs. The goal of each team member is to compassionately and professionally guide you through every phase of your recovery. Our goal is to provide an unparalleled recovery experience.
Chief Executive Officer
David Sack, MD, currently serves as CEO at Promises Treatment Centers. Prior to joining Promises, Dr. Sack enjoyed successful careers in clinical, research and administrative psychiatry. After receiving his medical degree from Rush Medical College, he completed his residency in Psychiatry at the UCLA-Neuropsychiatric Institute. Dr. Sack served as a senior clinical scientist at NIMH, where his research interests included affective disorders, seasonal and circadian rhythms and neuroendocrinology. More recently, Dr. Sack served as Senior Vice President for Clinical Research for Comprehensive Neurosciences, where his research included investigations in schizophrenia, depression, insomnia, cognitive disorders and alcohol dependency.
Dr. Sack is board-certified in psychiatry, addiction psychiatry and addiction medicine, and is a certified Medical Review Officer. His experience in substance abuse treatment includes implementing comprehensive ambulatory detoxification within general medical settings, substance abuse treatment of adjudicated youth and adults, and developing specialized residential and outpatient treatment programs of dually-diagnosed clients in both rural and urban settings.
Executive Vice President, Elements Behavioral Health
Keith P. Arnold is Vice President of Operations for Elements Behavioral Health and Promises Treatment Centers. He joined the company in August 2008 and is responsible for overseeing and contributing to sales and marketing, corporate branding, referent relations, intake, alumni services, clinical programming, and Internet operations.
Prior to joining Elements, Keith served as Executive Director of Sierra Tucson, a 139-bed dually licensed psychiatric and behavioral health hospital, where he was responsible for leading and directing all aspects of the operation. His 14-year tenure included being the director of marketing, intake, alumni services, and investor relations.
The majority of Keith’s career prior to Sierra Tucson was as Director of Client Services for ExecuTrak Systems, an international consulting firm. There he was responsible for sales and marketing, facilitating merger and acquisition integration, strategic planning, rightsizing, quality programs, team building, and business values assessments. He worked with Fortune 100 companies nationally and internationally.
Kambria Hittelman, Psy.D.
Director of Malibu Programs
Kambria obtained her Psy.D in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University in San Francisco. A Los Angeles native, she most recently served as the Clinical Coordinator for Acute Psychiatric Units at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, where she had also completed her doctoral internship and worked as an Acute Inpatient Psychologist.
A majority of Kambria’s work has been with underserved populations, and her experience as both a clinician and administrator make for a well-rounded and thoroughly collaborative approach to multidisciplinary treatment. She is certified in Crisis Prevention Intervention and Dialectic Behavior Therapy, and has professional training related to Multicultural Issues in Couple and Family Therapy, Relapse Prevention Education, Domestic Violence, and Substance Abuse.
She is thrilled to be part of the dynamic and dedicated Promises team.
Kelly Seidlitz, JD, MS, CDP
Program Director, Promises West Los Angeles
Kelly M. Seidlitz, JD, MS, CDP, brings more than 10 years of administrative, clinical and managerial experience in chemical dependency and mental health treatment to his role as Program Director. He holds a master’s degree in psychology with a specialization in addictions as well as a drug and alcohol counselor certification and a juris doctorate from Gonzaga University. Prior to joining Promises, he served as a Chemical Dependency Professional at a locked psychiatric unit for children and adolescents, was the Program Manager for a drug rehab unit at an adolescent prison, and most recently was the Program Director at a residential addiction treatment program in Malibu.
Mr. Seidlitz completed a 10-day intensive training with Marsha Linehan, PhD, and her team in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and has successfully implemented DBT programs in a number of settings. He was able to use DBT skills in his own home where he and his wife provided therapeutic foster care for six emotionally and behaviorally disordered children for over 10 years.
In recovery himself for almost 20 years, Mr. Seidlitz knows how to help people test their own beliefs that block them from reaching their potential, implement a new perspective that provides opportunity for them to become more resilient, and help people reconnect to their authentic self. He is passionate about creating the best treatment environment for clients to embrace the changes needed to heal, let go of the past, and move into a life unrestricted by alcohol and other drugs and other mental health issues.
Greg Skipper, MD
Director of Professional Health Services
Greg Skipper, MD, has worked in professional health, impairment, and occupational and addiction medicine for more than 30 years. He is certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the American Board of Addiction Medicine, and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine. He is also an educator, author and a sought-after speaker who has been interviewed by leading national television and radio shows.
Prior to joining Promises, Dr. Skipper worked as medical director at Springbrook Hazelden, an evaluation and treatment program for professionals, and for Alabama’s physician health program. He also served in the role of advisor to the Betty Ford Center’s Licensed Professionals Program and Oregon’s physician health program.
Dr. Skipper is a member of the National Advisory Council for the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (appointed by the secretary of Health and Human Services) and a consultant to the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and Drug Abuse Advisory Committee. He earned his medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine and completed his internship and residency at the University of California, San Diego.
Dr. Skipper believes that early detection, comprehensive treatment and long-term monitoring are keys to improved outcomes in mental health and substance abuse treatment. In addition to enhancing the lives of his patients, Dr. Skipper and his wife have raised three wonderful children.
Executive Director, Professionals Treatment at Promises
Jamie Deans, the founder and Executive Director of Professionals Treatment at Promises, brings a broad range of management, program development and outreach experience to his current position. Prior to joining Promises, he served as Director of Communications at Talbott Recovery Campus in Atlanta and as a Case Manager at the Hanley Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Jamie began his career in broadcast journalism as an Emmy-winning editor and producer for ABC World News Tonight, 20/20 and Dateline NBC. As Vice President of Global MultiMedia Services for Morgan Stanley, he developed editorial and video production services for the distribution of the firm’s institutional financial analyst research. Having supervised the build-out of one of the world’s largest video conference networks, Jamie oversaw the real-time distribution of these products across multiple platforms including the internet and CATV to forty six offices in twenty three countries.
Jamie, a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, decided in 2003 to devote his energies and expertise to the addiction treatment field. “I’m very grateful to be involved in a field that not only saves lives, but also helps to improve the quality of life for millions of families. Every day I have the privilege of working with Promises’ teams of dedicated healthcare professions to provide world-class treatment services to our clients.”
“When I founded Promises, 20 years ago, my vision was to provide the best treatment and environment for healing from alcoholism and other addictions. I am happy to say this has become a reality. As we continue to help those of you who come to us to create a new life, my gratitude deepens.”
Vice President of Human Resources
Elissa Weisberger-Cohen comes to Promises with an extensive background in Human Resources and Office Management. She is a graduate of The Institute of Psycho Structural Balancing, and is currently finishing her Human Resources Certification at UCLA. Elissa has witnessed first hand through family members the perils of alcohol and drug addiction.
“I am very excited to be part of the team at Promises. The honesty and courage I’m witnessing is truly a blessing.”
Director of Operations
Ted Shumway has been an alumnus of Promises since 1997. Before beginning his career in chemical dependency in 2000, he had over twelve years of managerial experience in both the manufacturing and television industries. Having worked as a Technician and Residential Supervisor before taking this current position, Ted has a unique understanding of how to run a structured program that comes from a loving and caring place.
“We have a dedicated staff that truly cares about our clients. Working in this type of environment on a daily basis is an amazing experience.”
Court Liaison / Transportation Coordinator
Chester Williams has more than fifteen years of experience working with chemical dependency patients and currently serves as the Promises’ Court Liaison, working closely with area judges and district attorneys. With the Alternative Sentencing Program at Promises, he helps to encourage and educate all sides of the court system regarding the value of sending people to treatment instead of jail.
“I enjoy the challenges that working in the drug and alcohol treatment field bring on a daily basis, but what I like the most is the loving care and concern of the people that I work with.”
Director of Alumni Services
Michele Jackson started working at Promises in November 2007 she has held many positions including Residential Technician in Malibu, Evening Office Manager, Daytime Office Manager, and Financial Office Manager. She was then promoted to her current position, Director of Alumni Services.
“I enjoyed my job as a tech as it allowed for me to be available for the clients. I am very excited about the opportunity to continue to work with them as they transition into their new lives. It is vital that they know we here at Promises are dedicated to helping them feel connected”, says Michele. “I am so honored to be a part of this team.”
Office Manager – Malibu
Adrian Parris comes to Promises with broad experience on both coasts in advertising, marketing, and entertainment. He started as a Residential Technician at Promises West LA in 2003, and later transferred to Promises Malibu as Assistant Residential Supervisor. Presently, he is the Office Manager of Promises Malibu.
“Having worked at both main Promises facilities, I can truly say the staff members here are some of the most amazing, brave and compassionate people I have ever met. Being a part of the daily life-saving at Promises has been a humbling and inspiring experience. I’ve found that applying the principles and concepts of recovery to work and life can be fulfilling to anyone, regardless of whether they have a history of addiction.”
Patricia Meyers, CCDC
Clinical Admissions Director
Patricia Meyers began her career with Promises in 1996 as a Resident Technician. Within three months, Patricia was promoted to Resident Technician Supervisor and then went on to serve as the Admissions Coordinator.
In 2001, Patricia left Promises to pursue her interest in Crisis Intervention and Recovery Coaching. After five years working in the field as an Independent Interventionist and Recovery Coach, Patricia reunited with the Promises team as the Clinical Director of Admissions. Her renewed passion and enthusiasm for facilitating clients and their families in making life-altering changes is precisely the kind of strength that the community would expect and benefit from.
Patricia is a certified CCDC and is trained in Family Crisis Intervention, Relapse Prevention and the Reintegration Process of clients returning to their communities. Patricia’s experience allows her to bring her own unique brand of passion, enthusiasm and warmth to prospective clients and their families.
Assistant Admissions Director
Danny Smith is a graduate from the University of Southern California. He comes to Promises with a personal journey of recovery that has driven his dedication for helping others. Danny began his career in the field here in Los Angeles working as a counselor and sober companion in a local treatment center, helping those suffering with addiction. He then spent three years as the Admissions coordinator for a dual-diagnosis facility in Malibu, where he was able to develop and strengthen his knowledge and experience within the field.
Danny brings to Promises his personal mission of assisting those suffering from addiction find relief in treatment and discover the world of recovery. His compassion, understanding and dedication for the individual extend beyond the clients to their family members and loved ones. As a member of the Admissions Team at Promises, Danny’s supportive and encouraging nature is a valuable quality of comfort for those seeking treatment.
“I am extremely grateful to be a part of the Admissions Team at Promises. It is an honor and a privilege to work with such a distinguished organization, and it is a blessing to witness and be a part of the miracle.”
Lee FitzGerald, CADC-I, BRI-I
Director of Clinical Outreach
Lee FitzGerald joined the Promises staff after 7 years as a successful entrepreneur who owned her own marketing company in Los Angeles. A Boston native, Lee brings dedication and hard work to the team at Promises as the Director of Clinical Outreach.
“When I was closing my company to change careers, I wanted to do something in the recovery field or help people in general. I had faith that whatever was supposed to happen, would happen. Within one week I was offered this job at Promises, and when I met the staff and learned the philosophy of the program, I thought the sky had opened up and this position fell out just for me. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to work.”
“You are as happy as you make up your mind to be.” -Abraham Lincoln
Robin Mastroni, MSW, LCSW
Senior Regional Director of Clinical Outreach
Robin received her B.A. in Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University and her Master of Social Work from Widener University. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Florida and has worked in the field of mental health for over ten years. She has breadth of experience and knowledge working as a Clinical and Administrative Director, Psychotherapist, Intake and Admissions Coordinator and Discharge Coordinator in Inpatient, Partial Hospital and Outpatient levels of care.
She also has extensive experience in Marketing and Business Development in field of Mental Health and she is a member of the International Association for Eating Disorder Professionals.
“Working in this field has taught me that with every new day comes an opportunity for learning and growth, a freedom to form a new perspective, which in turn helps to deepen my gratitude for the unique potential of what this life can hold for each one of us.”
Regional Outreach Director
Lara has more than 12 years of experience in marketing and community outreach in the behavioral health field. Her background includes extensive experience in both the private and non-profit sectors, and her expertise includes business development, strategic planning, and team building. Lara has a proven ability to develop and implement effective marketing strategies, nurture strong bonds within the community, solve problems, and develop growth opportunities.
Lara is currently with Promises as a Regional Outreach Director. Her previous experience includes working as a community outreach coordinator for The Meadows Treatment Centers, as a humanitarian aide in post-tsunami Sri Lanka and India as a Program Advisor for Habitat for Humanity, and as a marketing consultant and yoga instructor specializing in yoga therapy.
Lara has a BA in Psychology and Business from Saint Louis University. She is also a licensed yoga instructor. Lara offers a wide range of community outreach, behavioral health and marketing experience to Promises and a deep passion for helping others.
Sherry Young, PhD
Regional Outreach Director – TX, OK, AR, LA, MS, MO, KS, NE, SD, ND
Sherry taught interdisciplinary studies in literature and psychology at UD, TCU, and UNT in Texas, helped business owners with positioning, communication, and growth in Dallas and Minneapolis / St. Paul, and serves currently serves as a liaison to professionals in the field of addiction providing information, education and networking about resources for clients struggling with addictions, trauma, and mental health issues.
She holds an interdisciplinary doctorate in psychology and literature from the University of Dallas, Institute of Philosophic Studies, where she received her PhD in 1986. She has written, published, and presented on the therapeutics of confession and the archetypes of addiction. She has a passion for recovery and making significant mutual connections between professionals in the behavioral health field. She lives and works in the Dallas area and works with professionals in the Central US.
Terri O’Connor, CADC
Midwest Regional Outreach Director, IL, WI, MN, IN, OH, MI, IA
Terri O’Connor is a certified drug and alcohol counselor with over 20 years of experience in both addictions/mental health counseling and behavioral health marketing.
Terri earned her degree in counseling at Northeastern Illinois University. Her breadth of experience includes clinical positions in admissions, case management, family education, aftercare and discharge planning. She also has a passion for event planning and connecting professionals and families with resources to promote the process of recovery.
From extensive emergency room experience to post-treatment discharge planning, Terri has witnessed both the devastating effects of addiction and the miracles of treatment and recovery.
“I am privileged to work in a field that offers hope to so many individuals and families, changing one life at a time and inspiring others. Recovery is a precious gift and I’m honored to represent the truly gifted group of professionals at Promises, The Ranch and SRI.”
Peter Lazar, LCSW
Regional Outreach Director, Northeast
Peter Lazar has been involved in the mental health/substance abuse treatment field since 1988. Peter earned a BA in Psychology at SUNY New Paltz in 1991, and a Master of Social Work degree at Fordham University in 1995. Since then, Peter served as a counselor at Hall-Brooke and Silver Hill Hospitals, both in Connecticut.
Peter also worked as a therapist at Corporate Counseling Associates and as Clinical Coordinator at the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health, both in New York, NY. In addition to maintaining a private practice, Peter has served as an adjunct professor of psychology at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT.
Peter’s outreach experience is inclusive of a 60-year-old family business, and as a Marketing Representative with The CareNext Group, Inc. and Alina Lodge.
Currently, Peter is co-chairman of the New York City Provider Liaison Association and serves as the Northeast Regional Outreach Director with Elements Behavioral Health. Peter is proud to represent Promises Treatment Centers in the community.
Kate Lovein, M.S.
Regional Clinical Outreach Coordinator, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Northern Florida
Kate has a B.S. in Psychology from The University of Georgia and a Masters in Professional Counseling from Georgia State University. Kate has clinical experience working in inpatient and outpatient behavioral health and addiction treatment settings and in business development and community outreach.
Most recently, Kate was Regional Community Relations Representative at Ridgeview Institute. She has experience working with clinical providers across the Southeast and enjoys acting as a resource, connecting individuals, families and professional providers with treatment. Kate is excited to be part of the dedicated, dynamic Clinical Outreach team at Elements Behavioral health representing Promises Treatment Centers, Sexual Recovery Institute,The Ranch, and The Recovery Place.
Eileen Cohen, MS, LMFT
Regional Clinical Outreach Coordinator for Florida
Eileen Cohen received her B.A. in psychology at the American University in Washington, D.C. and her M.S. at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, FL. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, an AAMFT-approved Clinical Supervisor and is in the process of obtaining her C.A.P. Her clinical experience includes working as a primary therapist in a dual-diagnosis treatment facility, a psychotherapist in private practice, and an online aftercare recovery specialist. For over five years, she was the Clinical Outreach Specialist for the southeast region for Sierra Tucson. Eileen brings comprehensive, professional knowledge and personal experience of the impact of addiction, the recovery process, substance abuse and mental health disorders on individuals and their families.
Tom Pavich received his Master of Arts Clinical Psychology Degree from Antioch University in Los Angeles. Prior to joining the Promises team, Tom worked with chronically mentally ill clients at Hathaway-Sycamores Child & Family Services and Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Services, where he provided psychotherapy to families, groups, adolescents, children and adults. He has also been a clinical supervisor assisting recently graduated psychotherapist develop their therapeutic skills. Tom has been involved in the addiction and recovery field for more than 20 years.
Martin Rips, Psy.D., LMFT
Martin came to the field of recovery after a long career as a television writer and producer, where he experienced first-hand the effects of substance abuse and co-dependency.
After graduating from UCLA, where he was the managing editor of the Daily Bruin during the turbulent years of the Vietnam War, Martin earned a masters degree in Theater Arts from the UCLA film school. He supported his life as a struggling screenwriter by working as a film and music critic and a freelance writer for the Los Angeles Times.
One of his screenplays finally sold, which launched a 20-year career in Hollywood, mostly spent writing and producing television comedies. Many of the shows were short-lived and long-forgotten, but “Three’s Company” and “Coach” became long-running hits, and Martin was awarded a People’s Choice Award for co-producing “Three’s Company” in 1984.
It was during the latter stages of his career that Martin realized he had developed a substance abuse problem. Initially, drinking had been a social activity. Drugs were part of the 1980s Hollywood subculture. But unlike many others, Martin noticed he couldn’t stop when he wanted to. Self-medicating became a way of treating fears, insecurities and pressures. When he realized service to others provided the larger human connection he so wanted, it became a major turning point in Martin’s life.
After completing treatment, Martin explored other interests besides writing, though he continued to write for American and European television, as a screenplay “rewrite man,” and with a one-act play. From 1996-99 he taught scriptwriting at the UCLA Writers Program, but also did drug and alcohol counseling at Beit T’Shuvah on weekends. His interest in recovery led him to create Conviction Productions, a company that produced documentaries and educational videos, including a three-part series on “Criminals and Gangmembers Anonymous,” a 12-step group of incarcerated inmates at Mule Creek State Prison who adapted the Alcoholics Anonymous spiritual program to help them escape their addictive lifestyle of crime.
This experience, as well as his counseling work, prompted Martin to pursue his deeper interest in the addiction field, and in 2006 he earned his M.A. in clinical psychology from Antioch University. He has continued his education at the California Graduate Institute of the Chicago School of Psychology, and has also done work at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis. While in graduate school, a counselor at Promises who heard Martin speak at an AA meeting invited him to co-facilitate a group. The group worked out well, and Martin continues to thrive in his work as a primary therapist.
After becoming a licensed MFT in 2008, Martin is currently completing a doctoral dissertation exploring the interface between postmodern psychoanalytic theory and 12-step therapeutics in hopes of developing a contemporary, integrated model for short-term substance abuse treatment.
Martin loves classical music, dirt-biking with his son, and sneaking in afternoon naps, but most of all, he loves getting to work with the people he feels most connected to.
John “Jonathan” Appelhans is Promises’ Life Coach. With his office located at the West LA IOP site, he works in-depth and consistently with clients throughout their time at the IOP in groups and individual sessions.
His focus is directed towards re-empowerment. Helping clients identify and modify, or just reconnect with and further develop positive and productive perceptions and behaviors. Jonathan does this while supporting our clients’ progress in many of the practical aspects of their lives as they transition from residential treatment to full re-assimilation back into the world.
Jonathan offers support for such issues as; Life Skills, Time Management, Life Balance, Self-Esteem, Legal, Financial, and Education and Career Planning issues and concerns.
From his beginnings in nursing as a Marine Corpsman in the US Navy, through and beyond USC (Class of ’97), Jonathan has worked for over 20 years in both the private and public sectors of the Health and Human Services field, covering a wide range of sensitive treatment environments.
Jonathan came to Promises after many years as a Substance Abuse Counselor; most recently he implemented and managed a successful Clinical Substance Abuse Treatment Aftercare program at the Weingart Center Association in Los Angeles. He is also trained in Anger Management, and has his own practice based in Westwood.
Over his many years in the field, Jonathan has developed a unique skill in helping people identify barriers to balance and management skill. He has developed ways to successfully support clients as they confront negative aspects of their lives with a newfound discipline and confidence.
Even more importantly, Jonathan helps his clients reconnect with so many of the good things about themselves – good things that have often been buried or addled by the ravages of addiction. He supports clients in building new strengths and hopes for their futures.
David Hurwitz, MA, LMFT
Family Therapist, Malibu
David Hurwitz, MA, LMFT brings almost 20 years of work in all aspects of mental health. He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and earned his master’s degrees at Ryokan College. David has been recruited to join both public and private treatment facilities based on his numerous successes in treating substance abuse and emotional rehabilitation. He has extensive experience working in residential, outpatient and private practice therapies, and has been involved in the design and implementation of multiple treatment programs. He has overseen all aspects of case management from intake to discharge, leads process and multiple CBT oriented groups as well as one-on-one therapy.
David joins us from various treatment centers where he has established clinical programming for these residential facilities. David started his career 20 years ago as a counselor for Be Free Substance Abuse Program. As well as being the Clinical Director at Exodus Treatment Centers, he maintains a private practice in Westlake Village California. A native of California, David continues to support his local community.
Ricardo A. Martinez, Psy.D.
Family Therapist, Malibu
Dr. Ricardo (Rick) Martinez is a Licensed Psychologist with an extensive background in substance abuse research and treatment. He comes to Promises as a part-time Family Therapist who is fluent in Spanish and, as such, has worked with some of our international clients from Latin America and the Caribbean. Dr. Martinez is enthusiastic as he says, “I am pleased and honored to be a part of the Promises Treatment team. We have an amazing team of professionals and support staff that work together to provide the best treatment possible to the clients and families we serve.”
Dr. Martinez began his education and training in Psychology at California Lutheran University where he received his B.S. degree in Psychology. While at California Lutheran University, Dr. Martinez completed clinical and research practicums at the former Camarillo State Hospital & Developmental Center working with adults with schizophrenia and co-occurring disorders. In addition, Dr. Martinez began a research assistantship at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute & Hospital. While at UCLA, he assisted with electrophysiological research investigating genetic markers for alcoholism in the EEG brain waves of adolescent sons of alcoholics.
Dr. Martinez then continued his education at San Diego State University where he completed his M.A. degree in Psychology. At San Diego State, he worked as a Graduate Research Assistant following his interest in neuropsychology where he studied language and emotional development in infants and toddlers with focal brain lesions and infants of substance abusing mothers. During his time at San Diego State, Dr. Martinez was awarded a grant through the Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) program and funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Martinez then went on to pursue his Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP), Los Angeles. His emphasis area at CSPP was in the Multicultural Community-Clinical Psychology track which reinforced his education and training in multicultural/diversity issues. While at CSPP, Dr. Martinez was awarded the American Psychological Association / Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Minority Fellowship for his interest and commitment to serving minority groups w/ co-occurring disorders. Also, while at CSPP, he worked as a Research Assistant at the Los Angeles Addiction Research Consortium / Matrix Institute on Addictions. At Matrix, he had the opportunity to work with clients who were addicted to methamphetamines, heroin, cocaine, and many who were dually-diagnosed with mental illness and substance dependence. He completed his M.A. in Clinical Psychology from CSPP in 1997 and his Psy.D. degree in 1999.
Dr. Martinez has worked in community mental health clinics as a clinician, program director, and clinical supervisor. He has provided individual and family therapy to children and adolescents and their families. In addition, Dr. Martinez has extensive experience providing individual, family, and group therapy in an intensive outpatient setting to adolescents involved in the juvenile justice system. He also has extensive experience working in student counseling centers with traditional college-aged students and older adults seeking a career change.
Dr. Martinez maintains his private practice in Pasadena, California where he works with adults and adolescents providing individual & family therapy and relationship counseling.
Patricia Womack, CCDC
Residential Counselor, West Los Angeles
My name is Patricia Womack and I was born in Vernon, Texas. I attended Charles Drew University of Medicine & Science, where I received my certification as a Substance Abuse Counselor. I chose this profession so that I could help people with their drug addiction. From 1987-1988, I worked at a care unit behavioral center in Los Angeles as a Peer Counselor. I facilitated clients’ daily activities in a residential component and acted as a chore supervisor, assisting in meal service and laundry. I also observed and monitored clients’ behavior and intervened based on individual clients’ treatment plans. In addition, l facilitated assigned groups, activities, and meetings.
In 1988, I was promoted to a higher position as a Program Counselor with CASA DE LAS AMIGAS in Pasadena, California. I was responsible for admission assessments, primary treatment plans, and individual sessions for assigned clients. I approved any client passes and also assigned group meetings and activities. I documented all observations and milieu interventions in clients’ charts. I also supervised clients in community 12-step meetings and activities, and I volunteered to provide support to all clients.
In 1990, I decided to work for Promises Treatment Centers in Los Angeles, California as an Activities and Operations Coordinator. I manage daily operations of a residential component program. I monitor physical operations of facility and sober living houses, ensuring corrective action is taken. I also provide assistance with client transportation and coordinate all activities for the clientele.
With 21 years of sobriety, I have been blessed in so many aspects of my life. I started out like so many others, thinking I had my addiction beat. At one point in my life, I lost everything I had. I felt hopeless and alone until one day I got tired of being tired. I went to a care unit hospital and a women’s program, where I realized I really wanted to be clean and people saw changes in me before I saw them. It was then I realized I had a passion for recovery.
Client Services Manager, Professionals Treatment at Promises
I love every minute of working at Promises. It’s hard to see clients come in so broken and hopeless, but to see the transformation they make during their stay here at Promises reminds me why I enjoy doing what I do. I truly love working in recovery and enjoy planting the seed of sobriety and watching our clients blossom.
I also enjoy working with my co-workers; they are the most loving and dedicated people I have ever worked with. I consider working at Promises a privilege and I feel very blessed to be part of such a wonderful organization.
Dr. Susanne Tarleton
Director of Outpatient Services, Professionals Treatment at Promises
Dr. Susanne Tarleton is a licensed clinical psychologist with more than 23 years of experience in the field of addiction treatment. With more than 10 years as a clinical staff member at Promises Treatment Centers, Dr. Tarleton has held the positions of family therapist, primary residential therapist, clinical director of Promises Malibu, and clinical director of Outpatient Services. Dr. Tarleton has also served as clinical liaison for Promises.
Prior to Promises, Dr. Tarleton was on staff at Cedar Sinai Addiction Medicine Program for two years, Saint John’s Hospital for seven years and Charter Hospital in Louisiana and Long Beach for four years. In addition to a specialization in addiction treatment, Dr. Tarleton has developed and implemented programs for dual diagnosis patients beginning in the late 1980s. Dr. Tarleton also developed a specialized program for cocaine addicts and initiated an ongoing support group for this population while on staff at Charter Hospital.
In addition to holding a Psy D in Clinical Psychology, Dr. Tarleton has a Masters degree and International CADC certification. Dr. Tarleton has Level II EMDR training and is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, having trained with Peter Levine advanced SE in Brazil.
Having obtained her Psy D at United States International University (now known as Alliant University), Dr. Tarleton’s background in cross cultural studies has led her to work with many of the international clients at Promises. Dr. Tarleton has been the invited guest and consultant for a prominent political family in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia traveling to both London and Saudi Arabia to consult with family members and physicians.
Dr. Tarleton received her Masters degree in psychology from Pepperdine University and her undergraduate degree in fine arts from the University of Georgia.
Before entering the field of addiction treatment and pursuing her doctorate in psychology, Susanne Tarleton was employed in the fashion and entertainment industry in Atlanta, New York City, Los Angeles, and Germany.
Chris Weber, CADC II
Chris Weber has been with Promises since 2002. An alumni of Promises, Chris left a successful career in the music industry to work in recovery. After completing UCLA’s Alcohol and Drug Counseling program, Chris became Outpatient Counselor at Promises Continuing Care program. Having both experiential and didactic tools, Chris offers a very pragmatic and solution-based approach to recovery.
“I look at each individual client as having an opportunity to arrest their self-destructive behavior, and begin a new life. Recovery is more than just stopping the use of alcohol and drugs. It’s becoming a functional, happy person and regaining the parts of ourselves lost through our addiction. Helping others achieve that is what nourishes my soul and motivates my emotional and spiritual growth.”
Alexander Bacher, Psy.D.
A native of New York City, Dr. Bacher is a licensed clinical psychologist. After earning a B.A. in Psychology from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, he worked two years on Wall Street as an investment banker and research analyst before deciding to pursue a career in psychology.
He earned his Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University, along with a separate Master’s degree with an emphasis on Marriage & Family Therapy. He performed his post-doctoral work at The Betty Ford Center, specializing in the assessment and treatment of drug & alcohol addiction. He completed a full time clinical internship at Metropolitan State Hospital, as well as year-long externships at the Sepulveda VA Hospital and the Tarzana Treatment Center outside of Los Angeles.
Dr. Bacher has a keen interest in and deep respect for the diversity of cultures and has visited over 50 countries to date. He holds both U.S. and Italian/European Union citizenship.
Korina Jochim, MA, LMFT
Primary Therapist and Group Facilitator
Korina Jochim earned her MA in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles in 2008, after leaving a successful career in print journalism to pursue working with traumatized and addicted individuals, couples, and families. With her initial training in a Proposition 36 program working with court-mandated addicts, Korina developed a reputation and passion for turning around chronic relapsers and individuals with high acuity and multiple addictions. In 2009 Korina began working at Robert Weiss’s Sexual Recovery Institute, treating sex and love addiction, as well as partners and families of addicts. Her work in this field led to Korina joining the clinical team at Promises in 2011, returning to her roots in chemical dependency treatment while incorporating her specialty in intimacy and relationship issues. Korina leads many of the relapse prevention psychoeducation groups at Promises, lecturing on such topics as healthy communication, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, relationship skills building, and neuroscience of addiction. Korina believes in an integrated, creative approach to addiction treatment, and has received training in such diverse arenas as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Critical Incident Stress Debriefing, domestic violence, Somatic Experiencing, breath work, attachment-based EMDR, Integrative Body Psychotherapy, creative arts therapies, working with veterans and their families, and recovery coaching. Korina is also a frequent speaker and trainer on topics related to love and sex addiction and chemical dependency. A dedicated athlete and native Angeleno, Korina spends her free time enjoying the outdoor beauty of coastal Southern California. She is proud to be a member of a visionary, dedicated team of professionals at Promises.
Rhonda Sloan, LMFT
Rhonda is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and has been practicing for over six years. Most of her work has been helping clients and their families with substance abuse issues and dual diagnosis reclaim their lives. Her experience includes treatment centers, outpatient programs and a group private practice focusing on aftercare. In addition, she’s worked with children in a school setting, adolescents in in the judicial system as well as individuals, couples and families in a community agency. Rhonda likes using a variety of therapy modalities and implementing creative interventions as part of the treatment. Whether it’s in individual sessions or facilitating groups, she enjoys working collaboratively with clients to teach or help them identify their skills and resources so they can overcome obstacles, become empowered, find balance and contentment and help reach their personal goals. Rhonda has a private practice in Encino specializing in issues such as life transitions, relationships, co-dependency as well as addiction and recovery.
Bettina Ottenstein, LMFT
Bettina Ottenstein is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who graduated from Phillips Graduate Institute with a Master in Psychology and Art Therapy.
Bettina has been working as a Marriage & Family Therapist for over 11 years and is a certified Grief Counselor. Bettina has worked in a variety of settings, including Hospital Inpatient, PHP and IOP outpatient programs, County contracted community care as well as in private practice. Before joining Promises, Bettina was the Clinical Director of a County contracted group home for adolescent girls. Although Bettina has worked with diverse populations, a common denominator has been how drug, alcohol abuse and other addictive behaviors, affect not only the addict, but the entire family system. In addition, a majority of the clients Bettina have worked with have a Dual Diagnosis, meaning they are suffering from addiction as well as i.e. PTSD, Bi-Polar Disorder or Depression. Bettina maintains a private practice in Pasadena and Valley Village specializing in Dual Diagnosis, Addiction, PTSD, Eating Disorders and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Tim Howe graduated from the Los Angeles Culinary Institute in 1992. Before coming to Promises, Tim had worked as a pastry chef and executive chef in the entertainment industry for 8 years.
“I really appreciate the residential environment and meeting so many interesting people.”
Terry Howard has been in the culinary arts for over 20 years and has his degree in culinary arts from Newbury College in Boston. Terry has been in recovery for over eight years. He really enjoys working with people. Prior to Promises, Terry worked in the Health field for over five years. Terry is committed to doing what he does best and that is to ensure that our clients receive the very best nutrition.
“I have been with Promises for almost four years and it has been a great experience. I really enjoy working in this field. It has given me the opportunity to get to know the clients and to see the incredible changes in them. Sharing in Promises’ dedication to our clients is fantastic. The love is unconditional, and to see how someone who was so hopeless comes alive is a MIRACLE. I find that this is not just a job, but a fulfilling adventure.”
Beverly Jerricks has relished many experiences in the world of culinary delight since her certification in 1996. She has worked as lead baker in one of the largest convention facilities in Los Angeles and as head crew member in the catering department for both Sony and Raleigh Studios. She has directed events such as the MTV Awards, “Midsummer’s Night Magic,” political dinners and movie premiers.
“With each experience I have come to fully appreciate the expectation that exquisite cuisine not only denotes delectable foods but also embodies excellent service. Serving as Chef for a world-renown center such as Promises is indeed a privilege that affords me the opportunity to provide exquisite cuisine and all that it encompasses.”
Jack Kuo, MD
Dr. Jack Kuo completed his addiction psychiatry training at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He began working in the field of chemical dependency as a volunteer outreach worker for homeless teens in Waikiki. Dr. Kuo then did residential counseling for at-risk youth in a group home as well as homeless, mentally ill individuals at a transitional living program. Next he worked as a community health outreach worker doing HIV prevention education and needle exchange programs with intravenous drug users.
As an educator, Dr. Kuo has taught a course titled “Biological Perspectives on Co-occurring Disorders” for the UCLA Extension Program. He has also presented nationally and internationally on topics ranging from ethnic biodiversity in substance abuse and mental illness to an evidence-based review of virtual reality and other forms of cybertherapy in substance abuse and mental illness. Since 2004, he has also presented extensively about videogame addiction and has appeared on the G4 Videogame Network and The Greg Behrendt Show as an expert consultant on videogame addiction.
Dr. Kuo has published an article on club drug precautions for pediatricians and been awarded scholarships by many organizations, including the American Society of Addiction Medicine, the American Association of Addiction Psychiatry, the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the American Psychiatric Association, and the California Society of Addiction Medicine. He has been on the CSAM Education Committee since 2007 and was the Director of the ASAM Exam Preparation Track for CSAM in 2008.
Dr. William Huang completed his adult psychiatry residency and served as Chief Resident of Psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. He stayed on and finished his fellowship training in the subspecialty of addiction psychiatry. He is board-certified in both general psychiatry and addiction psychiatry.
Dr. Huang became very involved in the field of addiction during residency in the treatment of severe withdrawal cases. He also providing trainings of alcohol withdrawal awareness and treatment protocol to medical students, interns, residents, and nursing staff. As a fellow at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, he helped set up the Addiction Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic and provided psychiatric evaluation and treatment for Dual Diagnosis Intensive Outpatient Program and Inpatient consultations. He also worked with Asian Pacific Counseling and Treatment Centers and Hollywood Mental Health County Clinic in providing evidence-based treatment for minority and underserved patient populations.
Dr. Huang was awarded the American Psychiatric Association/SAMHSA Substance Abuse Minority Fellowship for his special interest in working with minority groups with co-occurring disorders. He has also been the recipient of scholarships from the American Psychiatric Association/Lily Chief Resident Executive Leadership Program, Ruth Fox from American Society of Addiction medicine. He also participated in several of the California Society of Addiction Medicine’s legislative days in Sacramento to lobby for parity in addiction treatment.
Dr. Huang is an active speaker for workshops, CMEs, and special lectures at international conferences and meetings with topics of biological perspectives on co-occurring disorders, state of substance use disorder training, suicide prevention, online Internet games, virtual reality and cybertherapy, videogame addiction, and integrating co-occurring disorder treatment in California prisons.
Robert Saltzman, MD
Independent Detox Specialist
Robert L. Saltzman, MD, graduated from New York Medical College with a medical degree in 1971. He obtained his licensure in California and has had a private practice specializing in internal medicine/nephrology since 1976. He is affiliated with St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, Brotman Medical Center in Culver City, and Daniel Freeman Marina Mercy in Marina Del Rey. He is a member of the American College of Physicians and the American Society of Nephrology.
“I believe that Promises provides a positive surrounding for help and healing. My hopes are to foster help and healing for every single patient at Promises. The changes seen in people are often quite dramatic.”
Sarah Straub, RN-BC, CCDC, BA
Sarah Straub has worked in the field of adolescent and adult addiction treatment since 1988, and is an ANCC board certified specialist in Psychiatry and Mental Health. She coordinates detox treatments and other health issues for clients at Promises.
“The structure of the Promises program allows me to work closely, and at length, with each individual. My goal is to educate and assist each client in achieving optimum health and sobriety. One of my greatest satisfactions is seeing the transformation that takes place physically, psychologically, and spiritually in our clients.”
Vivian Dungan, RN, CARN, CCDC
Vivian Dugan has over 19 years of Chemical Dependency experience in both hospital and residential treatment programs. She facilitates all client detox procedures and helps begins their transition into sobriety.
“I am excited to be a part of Promises as I continue to help support others emotionally, physically and spiritually through their journey of recovery.”
Linda Modaro, L.Ac.
Linda’s interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine initially grew out of her longstanding practice of tai ji and qi gong. That interest brought her to California in 1989 to study Taoist philosophy, acupuncture, and herbal medicine at Yo San University for a Master’s in traditional Chinese medicine. As a student of acupuncture, she explored the congruence she saw in movement meditation like tai ji and traditional Chinese healing practices. Later, as a graduate student, Linda produced and appeared in a series of videos called Discovering Chi: Energy Exercises for the Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Practitioner.
As someone exposed to Twelve Step programs early in life, Linda has thought deeply about the way the mind works and how to effectively address the psychological habits that cause addiction. NADA training and an ongoing study of psychology led her to enter the addiction and recovery field, starting at Promises in 2000. Her strong practice of Buddhist meditation informs her approach to the care of patients experiencing the difficult physical, mental, and emotional states that accompany early recovery.
DJamal Kord, Ph.D, L.Ac.
As a child in Iran, DJamal saw herbs being used medicinally in his family, sparking a lifelong interest in traditional approaches to healing. He began studying traditional Chinese medicine in Los Angeles in 1996, learning acupuncture and developing a specialty in tui na, a Chinese massage practice that combines aspects of acupressure and body manipulation. In 2001 he graduated from Yo San University of traditional Chinese medicine and went on to receive a doctorate in acupuncture with a focus in Tung’s Magic Points.
Having joined Promises in 2003, DJamal is certified in the NADA protocol using acupuncture and herbal medicine for the treatment of substance abuse and addiction. Additionally, his practice has focused on the treatment and prevention of stroke and the relief of pain in a variety of orthopedic conditions. His compassionate wish to provide medical treatment to people regardless of their ability to pay has been a driving force throughout his practice, leading him to Tehran in 2007 where he worked in a busy clinic and had the opportunity to pursue his interest in Persian healing techniques. DJamal seeks to work in collaboration with all his patients, deciding together which therapies and techniques to apply in different situations for the best results.
Cheryl Grant, MFT, CSAT
Marriage Family Therapist
Cheryl Grant is a Marriage Family Therapist in private practice in West Los Angeles. Her specialties include Sex and Love addiction, Chemical Dependency/Recovery, and Trauma. Cheryl received her Bachelor of Arts from University of California Los Angeles and her Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles.
She has completed the three year FHE (Foundation for Human Enrichment) Somatic Experiencing curriculum and is also an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Level I and II practitioner. She uses both SE and EMDR to treat the symptoms of trauma and aid in self regulation with patients at a residential treatment facility for mood disorders in addition to her practice.
She received her CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist) certification from IITAP (International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals) and trained with Patrick Carnes Ph.D. for advanced training for treating compulsive Sexual Behaviors and Co-dependency. She also has experience in working with clients who are exploring Gender and Sexuality issues.
Dale is the owner of ZENBODIES, a yoga, meditation and fitness business in Santa Monica, California. She holds both a BSW and MSW from New York University.
Dale began Martial Arts in her childhood, and at the age of 17 got hooked on yoga after spending a summer studying Kundalini Yoga.
Throughout the years, she has extensively studied various yoga styles, with such prominent teachers as Ana Forrest, John Friend, Max Strom, Shiva Rea, Laura Faye.
Dale’s classes include breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation. Over the past 10 years, she has specialized in teaching Yoga for Recovery, which gives the students practical tools to use for the ongoing recovery process. She teaches privately, and holds workshops around the country.
Danielle Jagoda earned her Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder as well as her teaching credential through the School of Education. She went on to complete her Master’s in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy from Pepperdine University. Danielle is a member of Psi Chi (Psychology Honor’s Society), Kappa Delta Pi (Educations Honor’s Society), Phi Beta Kappa, The California Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (CAMFT), and The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT).
Danielle has extensive experience in providing both individual and group psychotherapy to those struggling with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, relationship issues, life transitions, and addiction. Rehabilitation centers, counseling centers, and nonprofit agencies are some of the settings in which Danielle has worked. She has provided psychotherapy to students with emotional disorders in alternative schools as well as Malibu High School, Lincoln Middle School, and Pepperdine University. She currently has a private practice in West Los Angeles. Danielle is dedicated to helping her clients bring forward awareness so they can create positive changes in their lives.
Jeffrey Yates, LCSW, TEP
Clinical Social Worker & Psychotherapist
Jeffrey Yates, LCSW, TEP, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a dedicated psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles working with individuals, couples and families. He also serves as Director of the Psychodrama Institute of Los Angeles. Jeffrey is certified as a Trainer, Educator, and Practitioner of psychodrama, sociometry, and group psychotherapy by the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry, and Group Psychotherapy, and is currently serving a three year term as a national board member.
He is a fellow and former Executive Council member of the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama. Jeffrey has been a trainer and supervising clinician with the psychodrama section, DC-CMHS (formerly The National Institute of Mental Health), Washington DC (1989-95). He has worked as a clinician in both inpatient and outpatient mental health and addiction programs and has been a clinical consultant for Sierra Tucson, The Caron Foundation, the US Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.
Jeffrey also has experience as a corporate consultant for The United States Postal Service, and The United States Justice Department. He has been a keynote speaker for many professional conferences including the Psychotherapy Networker (formerly known as the Family Therapy Networker), and has facilitated workshops for numerous Human Service organzations. Jeffrey has been a grant recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and was the founding artistic director (1990-1995) of the DC Playback Theater in Washington DC.
Fill in Facilitator
Kirstin Ross graduated from UCLA as a drug and alcohol abuse counselor. She provides case management, individual and group counseling in an outpatient drug and alcohol abuse program. She also facilitates groups at rehabs in the Los Angeles area. She brings her education and life experience as an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon for 19 years into her work as an effective and popular facilitator. Counseling and motivating fellow alcoholics and addicts is her passion.
Michelle Hirschman, MSW
Sober Life Coach
Michelle pursued her Masters of Social Work at Washington University in May ’99 and obtained her M.S.W. Michelle created the concept of “My Sober Coach,” which was designed to bridge the gap between treatment and independent living, with the focus being on continued life skills development. The inability to handle random crises that come up in between therapy sessions, AA meetings, and/or outpatient groups can be a detriment to an individual’s sobriety. A sober coach empowers the client to fill that gap for him or herself.
Richard W. Kantlehner MA, CADC II, LADC
Richard is a psychotherapist and certified addiction counselor with over thirty years of professional experience. He has managed residential and day treatment facilities that specialize in the treatment of addiction and mental health disorders and has treated hundreds of adults who were at various stages of recovery from these conditions. He has also worked extensively with spouses, parents, adult children, and others impacted by their loved one’s addiction or mental health issues. In his private practice he has worked with individuals, couples, and groups coping with a variety of life stressors and relationship challenges.
Scott L. Johnson, MA, MFT
Psychotherapist & Family Dynamics, IOP
Scott is a graduate of Antioch University and, in addition to doing psychotherapy with Promises clients and their families in his private practice in Culver City, he has been facilitating the Family Dynamics group at IOP for the last two years. Scott works with clients where they are. He assists clients in deconstructing ineffective modes of being and uses a pragmatic harm reduction approach to facilitate each client’s unique, developing narrative of recovery. He fosters awareness of the dynamics of relationship – relationship to people and to things, but most importantly the relationship to Self, perhaps one of the most difficult challenges in an individual’s recovery.
Relapse Prevention Group Facilitator
Larry came to the field of recovery after retiring in 1999 from a 30 year career as an executive in the garment industry. Having gotten sober 10 years earlier he decided that he wanted to give back to the recovery community. Larry joined the staff of Promises Westside in 2001 as a residential therapist and was soon promoted to Family Program Coordinator. After two years he was promoted to Director of Aftercare for Promises Malibu. Larry works closely with the families of the clients in treatment to better facilitate their homecoming and to maintiain their sobriety.
After 4 years working exclusively for Promises Malibu, Larry decided to concentrate on his private practice with offices in Topanga and Brentwood. He continues to come to Promises Malibu to facilitate the group Relapse Prevention. Larry is also an on-call person to fill clinical spots as needed on a short-term basis for the Promises Westside and Promises Malibu facilities.
In addition to being a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Larry is also a Board Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor and is Board Certified by the American Psychotherapy Association.
Larry specializes in relapse prevention and treating issues surrounding early childhood abuse and trauma.
Larry is married for 40 years to his wife, Janet and has two children, Jamie and Jason as well as two grandchildren, Taylor and Brody. In addition to his work which Larry is passionate about, he collects classic cars, and enjoys spending time with his family and friends at their lakeside home in Sandpoint, Idaho.others.
Tabitha Fronk, MA, ATR-BC, PCC
Tabitha Fronk is a Board-Certified Registered Art Therapist and Professional Clinical Counselor. She received her BA in Fine Arts from Bennington College, and her MA in Art Therapy from Concordia University. For over eighteen years, Tabitha has been providing individual, paired, group, and collaborative art therapy services to clients of all ages in clinical, school, hospital, and rehabilitation settings, including Renaissance Malibu, Tarzana Treatment Center, and ECHO Malibu. In collaboration with her clients, Tabitha has created numerous large-scale painted and mosaic murals, on permanent display in the US and Canada.
At Promises, Tabitha facilitates art therapy groups and individual sessions at all three sites, Participants are guided through a series of carefully selected assignments, which reflect certain aspects of addiction, recovery, and sobriety. Our focus is always on exploration, enhancing our understanding of ourselves and the world around us, affirming our strengths, and in turn accelerating our recovery. A wide range of materials are offered during each session: paints, watercolors, pastels, charcoal, printmaking, calligraphy, clay, plaster, collage. Instruction in both technical skills-building and therapeutic use of these materials is provided, as well as suggestions for follow-up activities for those interested.
In addition to her work at Promises, Tabitha is employed by the Psychological Trauma Center of Cedars Sinai Medical Center, providing art therapy services to children and adolescents within the LAUSD school system. In her private practice, she works primarily with children and adolescents, adults recovering from addictions, and also provides clinical art therapy supervision to other therapists.
Her professional memberships include: American Art Therapy Association, Southern California Art Therapy Association, Society for American Mosaic Artists, Women’s Association for Addiction Treatment, Los Angeles Group Psycholtherapy Association, and the California Association of Licensed Profesional Clinical Counselors.
As an artist and a therapist, Tabitha has first-hand knowledge of the creative process as a powerful tool for healing and personal transformation, and has devoted her life to sharing this knowledge with others.
Tracy Mostovoy has been working in the Chemical Dependency field since 2001. Tracy is a Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist, and is experienced in individual counseling and group facilitation, using 12-step, harm reduction, and behavior modification modalities.
Tracy received his Addiction Treatment Specialist certification from East Los Angeles College in 2003. He earned his B.A. in Liberal Studies (emphasis in Psychology) from Antioch University in 2005.
Tracy has worked as a Detox Technician and a Chemical Dependency Counselor in both inpatient and outpatient treatment settings. He is well versed in providing an array of counseling services, and has been facilitating outpatient groups at Promises Treatment Centers since 2006.
Margot Gersh holds a Master’s Degree in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine from Yo San University in Los Angeles, California. She is licensed by the California State Board of Acupuncture, and is certified in both Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. Margot worked as a pain specialist at the Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center, where she worked with patients to manage and relieve both chronic and acute pain. Margot found that working with doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors and psychologists in an integrative setting was both highly educational and of tremendous value to patient care. She remains passionate about the integrative process, and finds that patient care is best served when practitioners come together and work as a team.
Margot also worked at the Yo San University Clinic, where she treated hundreds of patients with a wide range of medical issues. Margot finds great joy in helping patients work through both emotional and physical barriers, and utilizes many techniques within Chinese Medicine to regain health and balance in each patient.
Margot Gersh completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz in psychology and political science. She continued her own personal education by traveling and living abroad in Thailand, Indonesia and New Zealand. Before becoming an Acupuncturist Margot worked as a non-profit event coordinator. She worked with hundreds of non-profits in Los Angeles to raise millions of dollars, in order to maintain programming that continues to help thousands of people all over the world.
Margot Gersh has a private practice in Los Angeles, California. She is very passionate about internal medicine and pain management, and works diligently on every individual case to achieve lasting results.