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Administration and Admissions
Founder & Executive Director
Scott is the Founder and Executive Director of Muir Wood Adolescent and Family Services. Described by best-selling author Kathy Ketcham as “a place of light and hope, where kindness, trust and respect are established as the keystones of life-long recovery”, Muir Wood provides adolescents and their families struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues, evidence-based residential and outpatient program options in Northern California. Muir Wood is nationally recognized for its clinical sophistication, gender-separate treatment model, psychological testing, and comprehensive approach to treating dual diagnosis.
Prior to Muir Wood, Scott served as Founder and Executive Director of Newport Academy, launching that program’s residential, outpatient, and sober high schools in Orange County. Scott has also served as Executive Director of Visions Adolescent Program in Los Angeles, helping launch that program’s residential and outpatient programs, Vice President of Hythiam where Scott was instrumental in launching and managing Hythiam’s outpatient programs across the U.S., Program Director for one of the largest inpatient psychiatric and chemical dependency treatment program in southern California, and as a teacher with the Los Angeles Unified School District, working with special needs children. Scott has worked in the field of substance abuse and mental health treatment for over 30 years, has served on a number of advisory boards, is a published author of many articles specific to adolescent care, and is active in the community and a passionate advocate for comprehensive and caring treatment options for those struggling with mental health and substance abuse. Scott holds a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles.
LinkedIn: Scott Sowle
Lisa Molbert, ICADC, LAADC, CADC-II
Director of Admission and Utilization Review
Lisa Molbert is a licensed addiction counselor with more than 20 years of experience in the treatment of substance-use disorders and behavioral health. She has worked in numerous capacities including case manager, program director, assessment director, outpatient therapist, and compliance manager for various agencies that serve clients with addiction and mental illness. Lisa has also implemented and customized two electronic health records, understands program management and systems within a facility from curriculum through implementation to compliance standards, and has a very good intuition as to what clients need. Lisa is also a family systems interventionist who has been in business for over 10 years, specializing in relapse prevention and pain management, and is particularly good at assessment and evaluation of complex patients. She is a firm believer in collaboration and doing anything that is in the best interest of the people she serves. Lisa attended Chapman College, Louisiana State University, and Cal State East Bay. She teaches an addiction medicine track for the Stanford Physicians’ Assistant Program and has helped facilitate drop-in groups about addiction issues. Lisa is often cited as an expert in addiction, especially as it relates to insurance resources. Her passion is working with individuals and families and watch them heal and grow. As someone who was “one of those kids,” she believes in the whole family system of treatment. In her spare time, Lisa loves to cook meals and bake delicious things. She also loves hiking and dining out, and is an avid music listener and vinyl collector. She spends a lot of time outdoors with her dog, Zeus, enjoying the San Francisco Bay Area and all it has to offer.
Ian brings to Muir Wood substantial experience working with individuals struggling with complex substance abuse issues. He also has many years of personal experience walking the road of long-term recovery. He is currently enrolled in Contra Costa Community College completing the California Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) requirements. Once he has completed that program, he will attend Cal State East Bay to obtain certification as a licensed clinical social worker. Ian believes having fun in recovery is critical to staying sober and enjoys leading and playing in a local “clean and sober” softball league.
During the past 10 years Jemma has enjoyed building her career in various administrative roles. She is currently working towards gaining her certification in bookkeeping. Prior to joining Muir Wood, Jemma served as the administrator for the B’nai Israel Jewish Center in Petaluma, CA, supporting the Rabbi, Board Members, and donors. At the B’nai Israel Jewish Center her primary responsibilities were billing, financial recording and event planning. Jemma has worked in various management roles including the Quality Assurance Manager at a reputable East Bay Transit Company. Jemma enjoys her North Bay community, and her greatest passion is her family, husband Ken, and daughter Abby.
Jenn Graham, MS
A native of Marin, Jenn Graham is a highly respected and tireless advocate for teens and their families and has worked in various therapeutic communities for over 25 years. Jenn received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and her Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Dominican University, with an emphasis on the treatment of dually diagnosed individuals. In her early professional career, Jenn was involved from the front lines developing and implementing programs for the Marin County Juvenile Hall, working as a Lead Counselor in group homes specializing in substance abuse treatment, and facilitating intake assessments for young adult intensive outpatient programs. More recently, Jenn spent over 10 years traveling across the United States and abroad visiting treatment programs as an educational consultant, a number of those years with the Bodin Group in Los Altos, CA. Most recently, Jenn was instrumental in program development, clinical outreach and implementation of parenting programs for the well-respected Second Nature wilderness program. Muir Wood is blessed to have such an incredible talent represent our program in the community.
Community Outreach & Alumni Liaison
Mike Guinasso was raised in Marin County, CA where he attended Marin Catholic High School and later studied Economics and Finance at Santa Clara University. While at Santa Clara University, Mike began working for the Son-Rise Program, specializing in the treatment of children and adults challenged by Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, and other development difficulties. Mike would eventually graduate with a Bachelor in Arts and Sciences in Psychology from Dominican University of California. Prior to joining Muir Wood, Mike worked as a Facilitator for Being Adept, a non-profit organization in Marin County, CA that provides youth and families with evidence-based tools to facilitate healthy decisions about drug and alcohol use incorporating motivational interviewing and social norms theory. At Muir Wood, Mike’s position allows him to further empower teens with his story of recovery and hope to those adolescents struggling with substance abuse and mental health challenges, to remain in contact with Muir Wood graduates upon discharge as the Alumni Liaison, and to meet with treatment professionals in the community helping increase the awareness of services offered at Muir Wood’s residential and outpatient campuses.
Director of Referrent and Alumni Relations
Brad has worked in the treatment of adolescents and their families since 2013 and has been with Muir Wood since 2015 where he has served as alumni coordinator, group facilitator, and community outreach representative. Brad brings a combination of personal and professional experience to his work in addiction treatment specific to adolescents and their families. Brad became sober after going to treatment when he was 17 years old and has a unique perspective to share with many teens and loved ones who pass through Muir Wood’s doors. In 2012, he also co-founded a nonprofit organization that brings recovery support services to the largest music festivals in the United States. Through his outreach efforts with Muir Wood and work in the music industry, Brad is connected to diverse demographics of recovering people and recovery professionals, which all graduating clients have access to as they move forward from their time at Muir Wood.
Born and raised in Orange County, California, Brad moved to Northern California to study at the University of California–Berkeley. He graduated summa cum laude from UC Berkeley in 2016 with bachelor’s degrees in Rhetoric and Religious Studies. Brad is also an avid snowboarder and rock climber, and spends as much time as possible around Lake Tahoe pursuing increasingly challenging objectives in both sports.
Rosa Larsen, MBA
Revenue Cycle Director
Rosa Larsen, a Doctoral Candidate in Organizational Leadership, has nearly 20 years’ experience in directing the revenue cycle of residential treatment, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient facilities. In 1999, Rosa started her career at Center for Discovery and Adolescent Change where she served as the Business Manager until her departure 13 years later. She moved on to a billing company niched in mental health and substance abuse and served as the Chief Compliance Officer where she initiated an intensive employee training program, employee engagement program and initiated statistical data mining and measurement. In 2013, Rosa moved on to Newport Academy where she served as the Director of Family Financial Services.
Clinical & Medical Leadership
Chanda Rankin, PhD, CADC II
Chief Clinical Officer
A licensed Clinical Psychologist and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Dr. Rankin has worked with a variety of clinical populations suffering from addiction, mental illness and co-occurring disorders across adolescent, adult, and family settings. In private practice, her specialties included individual psychotherapy, treating complex co-occurring disorders, psychological testing, and psycho-education for family members and significant others. Prior to joining Muir Wood, Dr. Rankin’s positions included Clinical Supervisor for Visions Adolescent Treatment Center, Program Director for PCH Treatment Center, Director of the MusiCares Foundation, Primary Therapist for Promises Treatment Programs in Los Angeles, CA and Alta Mira in Sausalito, CA. She is also the Co-Founder and former Board Member for the Women’s Association of Addiction Treatment (WAAT). Dr. Rankin received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Santa Cruz and her M.A and PhD in Clinical Psychology from the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA.
Burke Halinovych, LCSW, CADC
Burke is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and certified alcohol and other drug counselor (CADC). Burke earned his Master of Social Work from Loyola University – Chicago, focusing on clinical mental health with a sub-specialization in children and family services. Born and raised in the Chicago area, Burke spent three years in the Kansas City Royals’ minor league organization before returning to college to finish his studies. Burke’s passion for his work comes from a life mission to create connection and belonging by healing his own wounds and building trust with others.
Prior to joining Muir Wood, Burke spent 14 years working with children and adolescents in various roles within the therapeutic community, including classroom counselor in a therapeutic day school supporting children with Autism Spectrum and Social-Emotional disorders, social worker in a psychiatric inpatient adolescent boys unit, and primary therapist in a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) adherent IOP for teens with highly self-destructive behavior. Burke has also managed integrative programming for adults with co-occurring disorders in UHS hospital systems and Foundations Recovery Network-Chicago. Burke utilizes his private practice to explore holistic healing modalities and aid in spiritual-based recovery.
Burke spends his leisure time pursuing ancient wisdom and knowledge, studying different ideological belief systems, and further developing his consciousness in an effort to understand the human condition on a deeper level.
Michael Genovese, M.D., J.D.
Psychiatrist and Medical Director
Dr. Genovese is a board certified psychiatrist and Medical Director for Muir Wood Adolescent & Family Services. Dr. Genovese has been an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona and serves on the Officer Safety and Wellness Committee of the FBI National Academy Associates. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, a member of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry and the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
Dr. Genovese has served as the Chief Medical Officer of Sierra Tucson and co-founded Long Island Mind and Body (LIMB), a medical practice that brought state-of-the-art integrative treatments to a growing patient-base in metropolitan New York. While establishing LIMB he also practiced as an attending physician at nearby Winthrop University Hospital. He was a fellow at the New York University/North Shore University Hospital Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Program, and he completed his residency training at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.
Before beginning his medical studies, Dr. Genovese earned a Juris Doctor degree at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He is a member of the New York Bar and the American Bar Association, and he maintains a special counsel relationship with the law firm of Sullivan & Sullivan LLP, in Garden City, New York. He is an advocate for attorneys seeking treatment for addiction and co-occurring disorders.
Dr. Genovese writes, speaks, teaches and consults widely in the disciplines of pharmacology, neuromodulation and pharmacogenomics.
David Smith, M.D., FASAM, FAACT
Chair, Addiction Medicine & Medical Quality Assurance Committee; Diplomate, American Society of Addiction Medicine
Dr. Smith is recognized as a national leader in addiction medicine, the psychopharmacology of drugs, new research strategies in the management of drug abuse problems, and the treatment of adolescent substance abuse. He is the founder of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics of San Francisco and has been honored as one of the “Best Doctors in America.” Dr. Smith is a fellow and past President of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, past president of the California Society of Addiction Medicine, past medical director for the California State Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, and past medical director for the California Collaborative Center for Substance Abuse Policy Research. Current appointments include chair of addiction medicine for Alta Mira Treatment Centers and medical director for Center Point. Dr. Smith is also an adjunct professor at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Smith is the founder and publisher of the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs and co-editor of the International Addiction Infoline newsletter. In addition, he has authored or co-authored twenty-six books, written over 340 journal articles, edited twenty-eight journals, and been the technical consultant for twenty-eight drug abuse-related films.
Alicia Morgan, RN
Alicia Morgan graduated from College of Marin Nursing program in 2003. Her nursing experience includes UCSF Kidney & Liver Transplant unit, the Cardiac Specialty unit at Marin General Hospital, and Hospice by the Bay where she worked as a case manager. Alicia has spent most of her career working in the substance abuse and addiction treatment field in gender specific programs and is a certified addictions RN. Her expertise includes detox, medication assessment, monitoring, and collaboration with a skilled treatment team.
Julie Cohen, RN, BC-RN, CARN
Julie is a certified addictions and psychiatric nurse with eight years of experience in behavioral health. Her nursing experience includes Contra Costa Regional Medical Center Crisis Stabilization Unit, Marin County Psychiatric Emergency Services and John Muir Behavior Health Center For Recovery. Julie has also provided nursing care to homeless patients in San Francisco working in the urgent care and primary care clinics at Tom Waddell and at the The San Francisco Sobering Center. She has also provided nursing care at the Transgender Tuesday night clinics during her work at Tom Waddell. Julie’s family has been touched by addiction and recovery which inspired her to specialize in addiction nursing. She puts her heart into each day caring for her patients. Julie spends her off time enjoying her three children, practicing yoga and spending time with family and friends.She recently became certified as a Yoga Nurse and is looking forward to sharing the healing benefits of yoga with patients and other healthcare providers.
Basia Sowle, MSN/Ed., BSN, RN
Basia Sowle is a master’s level, registered nurse who was trained at NY Presbyterian Cornell Hospital in New York City, where she worked for years as a clinical specialist in Neurosurgery. Basia moved to California and was offered a position at Cedar Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles where she was recognized as distinguished member of the adult and pediatric surgery departments. She was responsible for developing nursing assessments, education protocols regarding medications and treatment, documentation of care, and patient safety. In the past five years, Basia has been employed at UCSF as Clinical Nurse III. At UCSF, Basia was a candidate and recognized by the university for the prestigious DAISY award. Muir Wood is honored to have a nurse of this caliber at Muir Wood.
Lisa Sewell, RN
Lisa Sewell graduated from the College of Marin nursing program in 2010. Her nursing experience includes work as an OR nurse at San Francisco General Hospital, health services director at Aegis Living, and assistant director of nursing and charge nurse in skilled nursing facilities in the North Bay. She has a passion for working with young adults in recovery and is dedicated to helping her client’s achieve long-term sobriety. Lisa is thrilled to be working at North Bay Recovery Center with the exciting advances taking place in addiction medicine with new advances in genomics, dual-diagnosis applications, and medication assisted treatment for those in early sobriety. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys hiking, doing yoga, and spending time with her family and animals.
Alexis Ahrens, LVN
Licensed Vocational Nurse
Alexis has worked in various healthcare settings in both the public and private sectors. While at Maxim Health in Sacramento, she was responsible for the daily care of a pediatric population. Her duties included completing health assessments, medication administration, emergency medical care, and general patient health and wellness. Prior to Maxim, Alexis worked with the county jail system completing health clearance and intake for incoming inmates, preparing blood specimens, administration of medications including insulin, and monitoring inmates for suicide and withdrawal from drugs and alcohol. Alexis brings to Muir Wood vast experience in sub-acute care, pediatrics, obstetrical, gastroenterology, urology and work in operating rooms. She is CPR certified, certified as an emergency medical dispatcher, and a licensed vocational nurse.
Barbara Nova, Ph.D.
Dr. Nova is a psychologist (License #23538) who provides psychological testing for the boys at Muir Wood Adolescent & Family Services. She received her doctorate in 2004 and has specialized in working with children and adolescents that have issues including high conflict divorce, ADHD, trauma and loss, Asperger’s, and relationship difficulties. As part of the Muir Wood clinical team, Dr. Nova attends the treatment team every Tuesday, providing feedback and interpretation of the psychological testing results. Recognized by her peers as a leader in the field, she serves on the Marin County Psychological Association Board and has been an adjunct faculty member at Dominican University and the California Institute of Integral Studies. Dr. Nova adds, “What sets me apart from other child therapists is that I help parents understand and respond to the needs and messages behind their children’s behaviors.” Her specialties include psychological testing of adolescents who have learning issues, substance abuse issues, depression, anxiety and behavior problems.
Carolyn Younger, LMFT
Carolyn Younger is a Certified Clinical Supervisor, a Certified Clinician of Domestic Violence and a Registered Drama Therapist with nearly 20 years of experience working with youth in a variety of therapeutic settings. After graduating from UC Berkeley’s Drama Department, she worked in theatre and films in London, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. Carolyn received her Masters in Counseling Psychology, with an emphasis in Drama Therapy, from California Institute of Integral Studies. During her tenure at McAuley’s Adolescent In Patient and the Acute Outpatient Programs, she worked with adolescents providing a safe and thoughtful environment to help youth feel comfortable exploring and discussing their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. She is passionate about establishing a therapeutic relationship with her clients and walk the path of healing and wholeness together, no matter how challenging that path may be, guiding each client toward a deeper understanding and connection with those around them and most importantly with them self. Carolyn has also worked in California Pacific Medical Center’s, Skilled Nursing Facility and Swindells Alzheimer’s Residential Program. Currently, she treats adult clients in Recovery at Center Point, San Rafael as well as with couples, families and individuals at Marin’s, Jewish Family and Children Services. She is also the clinical design coordinator and clinical therapist at Marin’s Center for Domestic Peace. Carolyn, a California native, grew up enjoying the beauty and the challenge of hiking the John Muir trail with her father. Today she continues to have the good fortune of gathering her daily strength and inspiration from nature in Marin County where she lives and works as well as from her family, friends and colleagues.
Tracee Diaz, LMFT
Tracee is an integral part of the treatment team at Muir Wood primarily seeing residents for individual therapy throughout their stay. She received her Bachelors Degree in Psychology from San Francisco State University and her Masters Degree from John F. Kennedy University with a specialization in Transpersonal Psychology. She has many years experience working with adolescents and their families both in private practice and in residential treatment programs. This work has included working with diverse socioeconomic populations, dual diagnosis clients, and LGBTQ identified adolescents and adults. Her approach is multi-theoretical with specific interests in approaches including EMDR.
David Laing, MFTI
David ‘DJ’ Laing has over eight years experience working with adolescents struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues. DJ received his Master of Arts in Psychology from Argosy University and is actively pursuing his Doctorate at Walden University. Prior to joining Muir Wood, DJ was the Primary Therapist at Sustain Recovery in Orange County, CA. Other notable positions have included Therapist for North Bay Recovery Center, Sober Coach with Shine a Light in northern California, and Marriage and Family Therapist Trainee with the Salvation Army in Oakland, CA. DJ’s skills as a therapist working with teens is well known in the bay area. He is also known to be incredibly kind and compassionate, with a personal perspective with the adolescents he works with.
Sierra Poppe, LMFT
Primary Therapist, Boys Residential
Sierra is a licensed marriage and family therapist with over 10 years of experience in working with drug and alcohol treatment. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and her master’s in counseling psychology from Dominican University of California. She began working with addiction and recovery at Serenity Knolls Residential Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program in 2002, where she worked with individuals and their families. She facilitated groups for residents including emotional literacy, communication, process groups, and family dynamics. Sierra was also involved in the family program at Serenity Knolls facilitating groups on codependency, intensive family therapy, and a teen child of alcoholics (COA) process group. For three years, Sierra worked in elementary and high schools offering support to students and their families facing challenges such as bullying, self-esteem issues, crisis support, divorce, relationship issues, ADHD, depression, anxiety, self-harm, school performance, drug and alcohol education and intervention, and identity issues. From 2011 to 2014, Sierra worked with the team at the Mind Therapy Clinic in Corte Madera, treating individuals with co-occurring disorders including bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. Currently, in addition to her role as a primary therapist at Muir Wood, Sierra sees individuals and families at her private practice in Petaluma, CA. Sierra meets with Muir Wood residents twice a week. Working from the framework that addiction stems from a desire to change how one feels, she helps clients explore and identify feelings, develop the language to communicate feelings, and learn cognitive and behavioral coping skills to replace the use of drugs, alcohol, and other maladaptive coping behaviors.
Jenny Forman, Ph.D.
Dr. Jenny Forman is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in psychological evaluations and psychotherapy. Her experience includes providing therapy to children, adolescents, and adults at Family and Children’s Services in Palo Alto and at Nimitz Elementary School. She facilitated a social skills group at Joaquin Miller Middle School and later worked in the Therapeutic Special Day Class Program at Los Altos High School. In 2006, she co-founded Advancing Minds in San Jose, an organization that specializes in providing psychological and educational evaluations and psychotherapy. Her work includes administering psychological evaluations at Bayview Medical Clinic for persons applying for social security benefits through the California Department of Social Security Administration. In addition to psychological assessments, she offers individual therapy for adolescents and adults, specializing in issues related to depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, existential concerns, and life transitions.
James Moses, Ph.D.
Clinical Neuropsychology and Psychological Assessment
Dr. James Moses received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1974. He completed his pre-doctoral internship at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) in 1973-1974. He has served as the Coordinator of the Psychological Assessment Unit at that facility since 1974. Since 1999 he has served as the Section Chief of Neuropsychology Programs at the VAPAHCS.
Dr. Moses is formally trained and credentialed as a school psychologist and licensed to practice in California as a clinical psychologist. He continues to pursue interests in lifespan developmental as well as clinical issues. He is a Diplomate in Clinical Psychology and in Clinical Neuropsychology of the American Board of Professional Psychology. He also is a Diplomate in Clinical Neuropsychology of the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Neuropsychology, The Academy of Clinical Psychology, The American College of Clinical Neuropsychology, and of the American Psychological Society.
Dr. Moses was appointed as a member of the Adjunct Clinical Faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine in 1975, and he was promoted to the rank of Adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at that institution in 1994. He was promoted to Adjunct Clinical Professor Emeritus in 2005. He continues to provide didactic instruction as well as clinical consultation and supervision to medical students and residents and to teach on topics related to diagnostic neuropsychology and neuropsychiatry at Stanford Medical School.
Dr. Moses joined the PAU Faculty in the fall of 2002 as a part-time faculty member. He currently leads several neuropsychology research groups, supervises the clinical work of six advanced doctoral students, and teaches courses in the areas of intellectual assessment, neuropsychology and personality assessment at PAU. His primary research interests include neuropsychiatric differential diagnosis, construct and psychometric validation of cognitive and personality tests, and experimental design. He has written over 200 professional publications that include books, book chapters, peer reviewed journal articles and reviews of books in clinical psychology, neuropsychology, neurobiology and related fields.
Tammy Gregg, M.Ed.
Multiple-Subject Credentialed Teacher
Tammy Gregg is the teacher at Muir Wood Adolescent & Family Services. She has a master’s degree in teaching and education as well as a multiple-subject teaching credential with supplementary authorization in language arts and english literature. Tammy has worked as the Sonoma County Seasonal Learning Center manager, where she designed differentiated instruction plans for individual students, worked closely in collaboration with school districts and medical professionals, and monitored district arranged individualized education plans. Tammy also worked as the lead/master teacher at Monarch Learning Center, a leading California public charter school. In this position, Tammy designed and supervised the independent study program, trained and supervised student teachers, and designed curriculum based on Common Core Standards and California State Standards. At Muir Wood, Tammy works in collaboration with students’ home schools, with counselors, and with parents to insure that students are provided a dynamic education while at Muir Wood.
Maranatha is a calming presence in the classroom assisting our students and State of California Credentialed, Masters-Level, Teacher, Tammy Gregg-Young. Maranatha is actively pursing an advanced degree in behavioral health sciences with hopes to eventually become a therapist working with teens and young adults. At Muir Wood, Maranatha helps students with class assignments, provides tutoring when needed, helps Tammy prepare curriculum and set up the classroom for the day, and provides much needed academic support for students who may be struggling.
Lead Program Aid
After 25 years of superior customer service, sales, and managerial adventures in the business and corporate sector, Gary Drocco chose to resign his position as president of Diablo Retail Systems. This allowed him to focus his time and energy on establishing more profound individual relationships through business and life coaching. In 2011, he decided to blend his existing work experience in training, coaching, and management with that of his collegiate background and interests in psychology, sociology, and counseling. He has a B.A. from Whittier College in psychology, with relational knowledge and collegiate course work in adolescent, child, adult, exceptional, experimental, abnormal, behavioral, and clinical psychology. Collegiate course work and relational career coaching include marriage and family, personal and family health, casework management, and substance abuse counseling. For the last two years, he has worked with Aldea Children and Family Services in Napa, CA, as a residential treatment counselor (RTS). As an RTS, he provides supervision, support, and instruction to adolescent boys ages 12–19 in a variety of activities and environments, including behavioral, educational, and vocational instruction in order to achieve and exceed client goals and objectives.
Lead Program Aid
Luke is passionate about the work he does at Muir Wood. He brings to Muir Wood the experience of being sober at a young age. Luke attended an adolescent rehab himself, has been sober for over four years now, and is active in the Sonoma county young-persons fellowship. Actively pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Psychology at Sonoma State University, Luke plans to transfer to the University of California Berkeley to complete a Masters Degree in Social Work and to eventually become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. He has been working with adolescents in early recovery for over two years and brings personal experience and empathy to the young men he works closely with at Muir Wood. Luke believes in the importance of a positive, sober, supportive peer group and is actively involved in the community supporting other young people providing compassionate guidance. He is an example to all the boys at Muir Wood of what is possible when in active recovery.
George Nicol graduated from Chico State University in 2014, earning a B.A. in sociology with a minor in psychology. While in college, George worked as a program specialist providing direct care to adults with developmental disabilities and mental illness. George understands the difficulties and obstacles young people face today and the need to confront and deal with those difficulties and obstacles. George is no stranger to obstacles. He was born with a paralyzed shoulder that limited his ability to use his right arm. And, unfortunately, he was right handed. Of course, George understands that in the vast pantheon of disabilities a paralyzed shoulder is minimal. However, growing up it did present many difficulties, from learning how to crawl to playing baseball. George remembers his desire to play baseball with his friends. It is not easy with one arm. It entailed catching the ball with his left gloved hand, transferring the ball to his right hand, dropping the glove and then transferring the ball back to his left hand so it could be thrown. At age 12, he was given an award in his hometown’s little league for top player of the year. He is still very proud of this award and believes it shows that anything in life can be accomplished with determination, a positive outlook, and faith. Growing up in Marin County, George saw many of his lifelong friends first experiment with drugs and, for many, begin the often quick decline into addiction. He is well aware of the devastation this caused. While still a college student, George made the personal decision to avoid drugs in his own life and to help those he could. George is a driven individual with a positive mental outlook on life that he believes matches the Muir Wood culture. He plans to get life experience over the next few years and then pursue a master’s degree in psychology.
Rafael Villanueva Pulido
Rafael has been with Muir Wood Adolescent & Family Services for over two years as a Recovery Counselor. Rafael is recognized by his peers and by the residents’ family members as an extremely caring and compassionate person and caregiver to the boys at Muir Wood. He is dedicated to the work he does with our families and his calm and quiet confidence is a beacon of hope for the residents.
Chris is passionate about the work we do here at Muir Wood. He has been sober for a number of years and identifies with the young men we see everyday on campus. He recognizes in them the struggle he once had as a young man and the opportunity that personal recovery can bring. In Chris’s own words, “I owe my life to my recovery. I’ve made myself a student of the recovery principles and understand the disease of addiction and the difference a good Counselor can make in someones life.” Muir Wood is blessed to have him working with our young men. Chris is working towards a PhD in Physics and remains quite active in the young-persons fellowship of AA.
Since receiving her Bachelors of Arts degree from Sonoma State University in 2015, Mary has worked primarily with adolescents with behavioral health and substance abuse issues. She is drawn to this field and passionate about counseling. At a young age, Mary was exposed to substance abuse and mental health illness within her own family, and as a result, understands the need for intensive family involvement in treatment. She plans on pursuing a graduate degree in mental health counseling to advance her understanding of the field and is an integral part of the recovery counselor team at Muir Wood.
Delilah received her psychiatric technician license from Napa Valley College and her Associate of Science Degree in Social and Behavioral Science from Santa Rosa Junior College. She has an infectious passion for helping others and learning about the disease of addiction and mental health. Delilah states, “In school I found my passion for psychology leading me to the psychiatric technician program. In that program I further found my passion of helping others suffering from mental health issues and substance abuse.” She adds, “ my goal is to improve individuals lives and the lives of their families by educating, teaching and applying all I’ve learned.” Muir Wood is blessed to have Delilah as a role model for the boys we work with.
Alessandro (‘Sandro’) Cima
Sandro is a Muir Wood alumnus. He struggled with substance abuse throughout his adolescence and came to Muir Wood broken in need of help for himself and in mending the ties with his family. Upon completing the residential treatment program at Muir Wood, Sandro worked as a house manager for a sober living home in San Diego where he became an active member in the AA community. Helping other young-persons struggling with substance abuse has helped him stay sober. Sandro adds, “I’m an example of what is possible in active recovery and the change that can take place. I believe positive reinforcement is a very important part of the Recovery Counselors role at Muir Wood. We all have the power to make any day the best day ever.” Sandro’s future plans are to become an EMT, remain sober, live life to the fullest, and feed his need for excitement through motorcycle racing.
Group Facilitator, Family Program
Lisa Frederiksen is the author of nine books and a national keynote speaker with 25 years of experience. She has been consulting, researching, writing, and speaking on substance abuse, addiction as a brain disease, education/prevention/intervention and treatment, dual diagnosis, secondhand drinking and drugging, underage drinking, and help for the family centered around 21st-century brain- and addiction-related research since 2003. Her 40+ years experience with family and friends’ alcohol abuse, her own therapy and recovery work around those experiences, and her research for her blog and most recent books, Crossing The Line From Alcohol Use to Abuse to Dependence, Loved One In Treatment? Now What!, and If You Loved Me, You’d Stop!, frame her work.
Two of these have been translated into Spanish and published by Editores Mexicanos Unidos, S.A. and are titled Si me amaras … dejarías de beber and Adicciones and Codependencia, El ser querido bajo tratamiento… ¡Y ahora qué! Lisa’s clients include Stanford Medical School students completing the eating disorders/addiction rotation, Ft. Irwin National Training Center troops and personnel, County of Santa Clara Department of Alcohol & Drug Services Learning Institute, U.S. Forest Service districts and regions, California Police Activities League, family law attorneys, clinicians, medical social workers, domestic violence professionals, families, students, community coalitions, the National Alliance of Mental Illness Santa Clara, and the like. Lisa founded BreakingTheCycles.com in 2008 as part of Lisa Frederiksen Associates, LLC, and writes a blog of the same name. In 2011, Caroll Fowler, MA, MFT, joined Lisa to work with families to develop family continuing care plans to help families continue and support their respective recoveries after a loved one’s initial treatment. She is a contributing blogger for The Parent ToolKit at The Partnership at DrugFree.org and is a substance abuse/mental illness MCLE (continuing education) provider for the California Bar Association. She has appeared as a guest on numerous radio, television, and internet radio programs covering the issues surrounding the family disease of addiction.
Tim Browne, Ph.D.
Dr. Tim Browne is a licensed psychologist specializing in adolescents and young adults. He is extremely well respected in the areas of alcohol, drug, and behavioral addictions and is a favorite among adolescents. As Dr. Browne puts it, “I have a great deal of experience and passion working with adolescents and young adults. Their honesty, integrity, and inherent need to be seen, heard, and lovingly contained never ceases to amaze me.” At Muir Wood, Dr. Browne is part of our Saturday Family Program where he frequently lectures to both parents and teens on substance abuse prevention strategies and helping teens pursue a path of sustainable recovery.
Bill Hoban, LMFT
Bill Hoban has more than 30 years of experience in both mental health and chemical dependency treatment. Prior to joining Muir Wood, Bill served as the clinical director for Visions Adolescent Treatment Program. Bill has held a number of other senior clinical positions, including program director for the inpatient Adolescent Treatment Program at Anacapa Adventist Hospital and clinical preceptor for the U.S. Navy at Naval Base Ventura County and Naval Base China Lake. As a preceptor, Bill is responsible for the supervision of naval alcohol and drug counselors. He was awarded Navy Preceptor of the Year for 2001.
Sarwang is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and received his MA in Integral Counseling Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies. He has extensive experience in mindfulness-based approaches to psychotherapy that are sensitive to trauma and cultural identities. Sarwang has been working therapeutically with young adults, youth and families across cultures for over a decade in a variety of clinical, school-based and community settings. He enjoys taking therapy out-of-the-box and has led groups of young people through forests, rural and urban cityscapes. Currently Sarwang provides community counseling, youth mentoring and leads trainings with Bay area non-profit, Seeds of Awareness, where he is a program director for school-based services. He is passionately committed towards integrating social change and personal healing through the lens of mindfulness, and believes all communities need access to such resources.
Noah Berkoff, MSW, ASW , LMFT
Adventure Therapist/Surf Instructor
Noah specializes in working with adolescents and young adults who are having a particularly difficult time with major life transitions. His practice is focused on clients struggling with depression, anxiety, difficulties with relationships, and individuals who are struggling with a particularly difficult period or event in their lives. His treatment philosophy begins and ends with the therapeutic relationship. His priority is creating a safe, warm, and caring environment for the boys at Muir Wood from which he can begin the healing process. This work is focused on current neurobiological research and research regarding early attachment to caregivers. His approach is fluid and will often include more active therapeutic methods like surfing and adventure therapy for those adolescents who are hard to reach and connect with verbally.
Alyssa Aubrey, CEGE
Alyssa Aubrey, CEGE, is the Founder and Program Director of Medicine Horse Ranch, an experiential learning center incorporating horses in human self-development. Ms. Aubrey is an expert horsewoman known nationally and internationally for her partnering of horses for transformational human learning. Alyssa offers Equine Guided Recovery programs as a way to encourage tangible, timely and sustainable change for her clients. Participants in equine- guided programs arrive from all walks and way stations of life and include youth at risk, returning vets, teens, women and men in recovery and other significant transitions. The dynamic combination of equine guide and human facilitator provides a safe non-judgmental environment to develop refreshing insights, new strategies and effective practices needed for today’s challenging, often confusing and complex scenarios. Since 2002, Alyssa Aubrey has personally coached over 3,500 clients. She is a seasoned coach, compassionate and tenacious with decades of rigorous experience. She invites her clients to engage life ‘on purpose’ and inspires a deeply connected reach towards authentic expression and whole-hearted living. Alyssa considers her equine guides to be partners, healers and teachers in this powerful, cutting edge process leading people to greater self-awareness, personal growth and healing.
Greg Loiacono, CADC-II, ICADC
Greg Loiacono is a founding member of the seminal California band, the Mother Hips, and the Music Therapist at Muir Wood Adolescent and Family Services. In long-term recovery, Greg spends his time between making music, touring with the Hips and other notable bands, while also helping counsel others from the destructive effects of substance abuse as a state-certified drug and alcohol Counselor. Having traveled the world sharing his music, Greg is an inspiration to the boys and girls at Muir Wood. He is an example of how an artist can thrive in recovery, making incredible art in sobriety. Greg has said of music, “it has the ability to evoke emotion, transport us to different times” and simply “bring people together.”
Melissa Sherman, LMFT, ATR-BC
Melissa is a licensed marriage and family therapist and board certified art therapist who is passionate about bringing art therapy to the residents at Muir Wood. She received her bachelor’s degree from St. Lawrence University in upstate New York where she double majored in psychology and fine arts. After gaining experience in the business world, Melissa pursued a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and art therapy at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, CA.
Melissa has utilized art therapy in a variety of settings. Her experience started with providing art therapy on a post-acute unit at California Pacific Medical Center, followed by bereavement counseling at Hospice by the Bay where she conducted individual and group therapy, including a grief support group utilizing art therapy. Later Melissa worked at the McAuley Institute of St. Mary’s Medical Center facilitating art therapy groups with adolescents in acute psychiatric crisis. Most recently she gained experience within the trauma-informed education program at New Directions School, and also at Aurora Santa Rosa Hospital where she was able to provide art therapy for both adolescents and adults held at an inpatient setting. Along with leading art therapy groups at Muir Wood, Melissa also works at Old Adobe Elementary School in Petaluma providing counseling to TK-6th graders.
During her master’s program Melissa traveled to Nicaragua where she held art therapy groups for elder women in an impoverished community. Born and raised in Brazil, Melissa loves learning and understanding other cultures, being outdoors, and of course, creating art.
Madeline Mackey , CYT
Certified Yoga Therapist
Madeline has studied yoga and meditation for several years and pursued her certification to help others experience the healing and beneficial aspects of yoga for both the mind and the body. Her E-RYTT 200 hour certification course was taken in her hometown of San Diego at Infinite Yoga with Dana Rae Parre. The training focused mainly on the primary practice of Ashtanga yoga. Madeline has taught yoga both in group settings at Sonoma State University (SSU) and area gyms as well as providing yoga therapy to private clients.
Madeline is currently a senior at SSU and will graduate in May, 2017 with a degree in geology and paleontology. Prior to pursuing the sciences, she studied education at SSU and practiced early childhood education techniques in jobs at preschool and elementary schools in both Northern and Southern California.
Madeline’s recent passion in the healing arts is the study of aromatherapy and its use in mindfulness, stress relief and relaxation, She is currently working with Young Living in this area of study and incorporating it into her yoga service.
Certified Personal Trainer
After suffering through a serious knee injury in 2012, resulting in 11 surgeries and eventually knee replacement surgery to repair the damage, Larry realized he could not return to his prior career. During his recovery, he spent countless hours undergoing physical therapy and at the gym building his physical strength. This experience was a catalyst for a career in personal training.
Larry had always been involved in fitness, sports and the science behind corrective exercise. He played football in high school and at the college level. He was assistant coach for a pop warner program and later served as a defensive coach for Anderson Valley High School, the same school he played football for and graduated from. While working out at the Anytime Fitness gym in Santa Rosa, California, Larry got involved with many fitness classes and was introduced to the personal trainers there who encouraged him to pursue a career as a personal trainer. Larry believed his coaching experience and knowledge of athletics would be valuable assets in his personal training career. In 2016 he passed the NASM Personal Training Certification Test and became a certified personal trainer at the Santa Rosa Anytime Fitness.
Larry has also overcome personal challenges with addiction and has a desire to make a difference, especially in helping the youth in our community. “They are our hope and our future. I want to make that difference by showing them there is always hope, by being positive and setting goals and not being afraid to fail. By putting yourself in the middle of things, giving your best effort and doing the best you can, good things will happen. You must do the ‘footwork’ and never give up.”
Ford Peck, MFTI
Ford has been teaching yoga and meditation since 1990 and is a certified teacher of iRest (Integrative Restoration) meditation. He received a master’s degree in counseling psychology in 1997 from Pacifica Graduate Institute, and he is a registered marriage and family therapist intern. With his extensive background in psychology, meditation, and yoga, Ford’s approach to meditation has an emphasis on fostering an experience of well being, resiliency, and emotional balance, and integrating these qualities into our experience of everyday life.
Outpatient Program (Marin County)
Sasha Brodsky, MFT-I
Director of Outpatient Services
As a primary therapist at Muir Wood, Sasha Brodsky brings over eight years experience providing mental health and substance abuse treatment to diverse populations. After receiving her Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University, Sasha worked in various settings specializing in assessing and assisting dual diagnosis clients with issues including substance abuse, eating disorders, mental health disorders, and trauma. Sasha worked as a counselor and therapist at many well-respected treatment programs in southern California including Safe Harbor, Miramar, Hired Power, Newport Harbor Recovery Center, and Village of Hope before relocating to the Bay Area in 2014. In the Bay Area Sasha worked with Edgewood Center for Children and Families prior to joining Muir Wood. At Edgewood, Sasha provided psychological and behavioral interventions with teens and provided individual, family, and group therapy with high-risk children and adolescents in a Hospital Diversion inpatient setting. Sasha also facilitated substance abuse group therapy using techniques such as motivational interviewing, harm reduction, and relapse prevention interventions. Additionally, Sasha frequently collaborated with community and county agencies to link clients with services, outside providers, and to insure a continuity of care. Muir Wood is honored to have a clinician as passionate about recovery and as gifted working with teens as Sasha.
Kyle Rooks, CAADE
Kyle is an inspiration for both residents of Muir Wood and staff alike. His passion for recovery is fueled by his personal journey, and he is an example to the young residents of Muir Wood of what can be accomplished in recovery. A recovering drug addict and alcoholic who achieved sobriety at a young age, Kyle is heavily involved in young people’s 12-Step groups. He holds his recovery above all things in life because he believes that “without my recovery I would have nothing.” A major passion of Kyle’s is sharing his experiences and being of service to those in need. Kyle is a student at Diablo Valley College studying psychology and plans to attend Sonoma State University to pursue a degree in psychology with an emphasis on addiction studies.
Carol Fowler, MFT
Outpatient Program Family Therapist
Carol Fowler has worked in the field of addiction and addictive family systems for about 30 years. She has a master’s in transpersonal psychology and has worked for a number of treatment centers, including Gladman Hospital in Oakland, CA, as a therapist and interim program director. Carol also worked at Sequoia Center in Redwood City, CA, for 18 years, spending 10 of those years as the director of the Family Program. In 2010 she was co-founder of a treatment center in Kenya, Africa. She has had a private practice in Castro Valley, CA, for 25 years and has been in recovery for 33 years, working on her own codependency issues around the addiction of her daughter. Her passion is helping addicts and their families find recovery from this debilitating disease.
Bruce Killen, MFT, CHT
Bruce Killen is a bilingual licensed marriage and family therapist (1996–present) and a certified clinical hypnotherapist (2011–2013). He has worked with English and Spanish-speaking families, teens, children, couples, and groups since 1991, when he began studies at Notre Dame de Namur University, graduating with honors in 1994. Clinical internships included the College of San Mateo, San Mateo County Mental Health, Parkside Elementary School, and St. Vincent’s School for Boys, where he still does family and individual therapy with Latino clients. Bruce’s clinical interests and areas of focus and specialization include a strengths-based overview working with trauma, attachment challenges, stress, dual diagnoses, risk assessment and treatment of aggression, forensic counseling, and more, utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (including Dialectical Behavioral Therapy), EMDR, hypnotherapy (and its many related tools, such as mindfulness mediation, relaxation, visualization, and focusing), and emotion-focused modalities, among others. Bruce is engaged in doctoral studies at Ryokan College, working toward a doctorate in psychology with a focus on marriage and family therapy and, in particular, stress reduction, interpersonal neurobiology, and hypnotherapy in working with Latinos and non-Latinos alike. He is the lucky father of a college-attending son and high school daughter, both soccer and music lovers, and loves to hike, mountain bike, play guitar, spend time with friends and family, travel, and learn.
Nichole has been a student of mindfulness and meditation for 15 years. She has attended numerous long-term retreats and has undertaken intensive practice in Asia and the UK. Her undergraduate studies concluded with a B.A. with double majors in psychology and education with a double minors in dance and art. Further study has included a year-long counseling training program at the Interchange Counseling Institute and leadership development training through the Regenerative Design Institute/Ecology of Leadership program. Her work with youth and teens has spanned over 15 years, with roles including counselor for inpatient incarcerated youth, private-school art and dance teacher, arts-based therapeutic group facilitator, and teacher in the teen program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. She has also staffed teen mindfulness retreats for the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center and Inward Bound Mindfulness Education. She also offers mindfulness-based coaching and organizational consulting to private clients. Nichole identifies as an adult child of alcoholics (ACOA) and has been actively involved in 12-Step and family recovery programs for many years. She is inspired by the seamless overlap of mindfulness practice and 12-Step programs to address the emotional, psychological, and spiritual aspects of recovery, and in supporting the growth of healthy families and individuals. In her work with youth, Nichole emphasizes the foundations of mindfulness, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence in the various programs she offers, and she is passionate about sharing such profound wisdom with young minds.
Eric Emal has over 10 years’ professional cooking experience, including 5 years as a specialist in the U.S. Navy. Most recently, Eric worked as the chef at a Sonoma County adult residential treatment center where he was responsible for preparing meals for up to twenty-seven residents and ten staff members at any given time. In addition to his duties as chef at Muir Wood, Eric also maintains the organic vegetable garden with the residents, provides interactive cooking demonstrations to the residents, and works in collaboration with registered dietitians if clinically indicated for residents with specific dietary needs.
Canine and Horse Healers
Kia is the canine companion/pet therapist/pet healer and friend to the residents and staff at Muir Wood. He is an incredibly sweet dog with a big heart. He welcomes all the kids that come to Muir Wood, comforts them when they’re having a difficult day, and keeps them busy by begging for pets and chasing the tennis ball. Kia often sits in on individual and family sessions, particularly if a boy is having a rough day and needs a little extra support.
Sassy is literally the teacher’s pet. She comes to work everyday with our schoolteacher, Tammy Gregg-Young, and usually sits in class with the boys. Other times she can be found on the laps of the boys, chasing balls, playing tug of war with Kia, or running around the campus with the boys and Kia. She is incredibly sweet and has quite the personality.
Assistant Admissions Director & Canine Healer
Zeus is a malamute husky mix and he has worked at Muir Wood for a while in various capacities, Asst. Director of IOP, family therapist, and now the Admissions Director’s assistant.
You can find him hugging kids and families upon admission and providing therapy to staff and kids alike. He makes sure the Admissions Director stays on track.