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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
Director of Compliance
Brent is an extremely respected professional in the field of behavioral health and addiction treatment with over two decades of experience working in executive level positions at many highly regarded treatment programs and organizations. Additionally, as a consultant, Brent has been instrumental in assisting many other programs with licensure, accreditation, compliance and regulatory issues. As the Director of Compliance for Muir Wood, Brent ensures that the facility is in compliance with all health and safety practices, monitors the policies and procedures to ensure they are in alignment with licensing, manages the program’s performance improvement planning and monthly meetings, monitors the electronic health records to ensure proper and timely documentation, monitors employee hiring practices and human resource compliance, and is a valued member of the executive leadership team at Muir Wood.
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.
Utilization Review Director
Priscilla has over a decade experience in substance abuse and mental health treatment and is currently pursuing her PhD. She has worked in both residential and outpatient settings, specifically in areas of utilization review, operations and compliance. She has been involved in the training and education of staff, accreditation audits, launching electronic health record platforms, and conducting utilization reviews across acute, subacute, partial hospitalization, and outpatient levels of care. Priscilla has also worked in clinical roles as a Program Director and Clinician for chemical dependency treatment programs. A tireless advocate for our families in regards to insurance reimbursement and coverage, Muir Wood is grateful to have someone as passionate as Priscilla communicating on behalf of our patients and their families with professionals and the treatment community.
Mariah is an independently motivated, conscientious, and results-driven professional with more than 3 years of professional experience providing specialized administrative support to mental health and substance abuse providers. Her exceptional interpersonal skills and outstanding attention to detail have been the hallmarks of her career success within insurance billing services.
Throughout her career, she has worked in roles which have leveraged her excellent communication skills and her ability to assess client needs and provide on-target solutions. As the Insurance Specialist at Muir Wood Adolescent and Family Services Mariah works closely with families to utilize their insurance benefits to help cover the costs of treatment and is responsible for resolving a variety of insurance and administrative issues in a timely fashion. Mariah hopes to be of maximum service to those who decide to change their lives and seek recovery.
Margaret grew up in the South, earning a degree in journalism at the University of Georgia and working at a newspaper in Virginia for a few years after college. Then she moved to Barcelona, Spain to teach English for two years, followed by two and a half years in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, where she opened and operated a hotel. She ended up in the Bay Area in mid-2011 by way of a road trip with her dog and she has been here ever since. Having worked a lot with adolescents, both as a nanny and as a substitute teacher, she believes wholeheartedly in the work being done at Muir Wood, and she is both humbled and honored to be a part of the team. She’s still writing– mostly fiction and usually in the wee hours of the morning, before work. She also loves to cook, hike, read, travel and dance with her wife.
Clinical & Medical Leadership
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.
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 p 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.
Marina Post, M.D.
Dr. Post completed her adult psychiatry residency training, as well as her child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship training, at Stanford University. She earned her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine. She completed her undergraduate degrees in Biochemistry and Hispanic Studies from Rice University.
Dr. Post has experience with psychiatric evaluations and prescribing medications for a broad range of psychiatric disorders, including OCD, mood and thought disorders, women’s mental health in the reproductive cycle, college mental health, substance abuse disorders, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Post has experience in a variety of psychotherapy modalities, including specialized training in clinical hypnosis for adults and children. Her training has also included psychodynamic psychotherapy, CBT, family therapy, play therapy, prolonged exposure for PTSD, interpersonal psychotherapy, exposure and response prevention therapy for OCD, mentalization-based therapy, and parent management training.
Dr. Post has led community research and service projects with young adults and children from backgrounds of childhood trauma and adversity. She has presented her research at national meetings such as the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Post is board certified in adult psychiatry as well as board certified in child and adolescent psychiatry.
Says Dr. Post, “I work with patients and families, focusing on their own goals and values rather than just diagnosis or labels. I enjoy helping patients discover resilience and strengths they didn’t know they had, and to increase new strengths and abilities, both through my own therapeutic work and through close collaboration with the client care team.”
Karrin Genovese, M.D.
Karrin Genovese, MD graduated from the University of California, Davis with a BS in Exercise Physiology, then went on to get her medical degree at the University of St. Eustatuius in Netherlands, Antilles. She completed her residency in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Genovese spent much of her career practicing as a primary care physician in a multidisciplinary group in New York. Since moving to Northern California she maintains a private practice in Marin and works with Muir Wood caring for our residents and families. She is a member of the American Holistic Medical Association and the American Board of Family Medicine.
David Smith, M.D., DFASAM, 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. In addition to his role as Chair of Addiction Medicine here at Muir Wood, 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.
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.
Larissa Laska-Ruebusch, Psy.D.
Larissa received her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. She has worked under the supervision of Muir Wood psychologist, Dr. Barbara Nova, for over two years providing integrative approaches based on psychodynamic relational theory and incorporating cognitive behavioral and mindfulness-based techniques. As a Pre-Doctoral Intern at the Community Institute for Psychotherapy, Larissa provided psychological services at various sites throughout Marin County consulting with psychiatrists, psychologists, and school personnel. An integral part of Muir Wood’s psychological team, Larissa is also trained in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and in evidenced-based practices in family therapy. A recipient of the Academic Excellence Scholarship at the California School of Professional Psychology, Muir Wood is honored to have someone of Larissa’s caliber working with our families.
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, AMFT
David ‘DJ’ Laing is a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and 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 and Family Therapist
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.
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.
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.
Linda Pantoskey, B.A., M.Ed.
Multiple-Subject Credentialed Teacher
Linda is a State of CA multiple subject credentialed teacher and is CLAD (cross cultural language and academic development) certified. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of California, San Diego and completed all her Masters’ coursework in curriculum and development at St. Mary’s College in Moraga. An accomplished teacher with decades of experience, Linda has taught underserved populations and thrives working with students who require more support and encouragement. Through her many years of training other teachers to
use CAT assessments, Linda has learned the value of ongoing formative assessments and allowing students to take responsibility for their learning by tracking their progress. Linda has taught Special Education, including monitoring IEP’s, and has served on many leadership teams in various school districts. She was also a teacher-trainer for WRITE curriculum and Writing Across the Curriculum modules. In addition, Linda worked for Renaissance Learning training teachers and administrators on the best uses of computer adaptive assessment (CAT) and individualized-learning software programs. An exceptional gifted and seasoned educator, Linda is also an avid cyclist and loves to hike in Marin and Sonoma. Muir Wood is blessed to have someone as accomplished as Linda teach our boys.
Kristen Davis, M.Ed.
Kristen is a Master’s level, state of CA Multiple Subjects Credentialed teacher who is also certified in early childhood education (ECE) and cross cultural, language and academic development (CLAD). Always driven to work with youth with special needs, Kristen has a diverse background in visual and performing arts, developing assessments for early childhood teaching, development of testing instruments for CTB-McGraw Hill, and as a Director for an enrichment program at a private day school. Kristen received both her Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree at Mills College in Oakland, CA. A highly creative person, Kristen adds “I bring a passion for these creative pursuits, and a love of Nature, to my work with young people.”
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.
Ian Cooper, CADC-I
Residential Program Manager
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 and is currently enrolled in community college and is waiting to attend either Cal State East Bay or Sonoma State for a BA in Psychology. Ian believes having fun in recovery is critical to staying sober and enjoys leading and playing in intramural sports.
Lead Resident Assistant
Daniel Moore is a role model for the boys at Muir Wood. He is passionate about his personal recovery, living a life of purpose, and being of service. Prior to joining Muir Wood, Danny worked at North Bay Recovery Center where he worked directly with the clients developing a safe and structured setting for young men in early recovery. Providing emotional support and guidance, Danny collaborated with the clinical team at North Bay to ensure that the young men in treatment were given the best chance for sustained abstinence and self-awareness. Danny is a favorite among the residents, alumni, and staff at Muir Wood for his dedication and professionalism.
Lead Resident Assistant
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 Resident Assistant
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.
Lead Resident Assistant
Scott comes to Muir Wood with a sound understanding of 12-step programming and recovery. He is an example to the boys at Muir Wood of the benefits of being of service to others and of the transformational powers of recovery. Scott has worked in various settings being of service to others. Most recently as a Resident House Manager at a bay area sober living environment and at the Salvation Army Core Offices in Santa Rosa. He is patient and positive with the boys and is a role model for them as a 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.
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.
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.
Steven is passionate about helping perpetuate an environment at Muir Wood that encourages stability and growth for all of the clients. He completed an adolescent treatment facility as a
youth, and continued to have struggles thereafter with addiction. This gives him the crucial ability to empathize and relate to the boy’s at Muir Wood, having walked in their shoes and flipped both sides of the coin. Through personal experiences with substance abuse for himself and in his family dynamic – Steven now has multiple years clean and sober, and bases his life around the spiritual principles of recovery. He is extremely active in his young peoples recovery community and is currently attending SRJC for a certification in addiction counseling and is interested in pursuing a psychology degree. In Steven’s own words, “I believe that it’s never too late, but also never too early to get clean and sober, and stay that way. When we’ve done the work in recovery, I feel it’s our job to be a beacon of light and a guide for those still struggling in the grips of addiction. This is our chance to live.”
At Muir Wood, Cathy is known by staff and families alike as kind and considerate, with over 20 years of personal recovery. She has been the manager and coach of a clean and sober softball team based out of Sonoma County for over 15 years. Cathy has overcome great obstacles and always remains true to living a life in recovery and to be of service to others. She loves to share her knowledge of what she has learned and still remains teachable. Since joining the Muir Wood team, she has learned that her love for life and her compassion for others is one of her best assets when working with the teens. She also knows where to set boundaries and when to just listen. Muir Wood is blessed to have such a caring person as Cathy working with our boys and families.
Lisa Frederiksen, B.A.
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.
Sarwang Parikh, LMFT
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.
Certified Equine Guided Educator
Julie Bridge, the founder of Mearas, has been steeped in the exploration of purpose driven leadership, social and emotional intelligence, creating meaning in the workplace and organizational development for over twenty-five years. Through her own personal development and decades of work with Fortune 500 companies, Julie has developed a deep understanding of the dynamics that can drive an organization to mastery or mediocrity. As a lifelong equestrian, Julie understands the power of the horse/human relationship, and the powerful realizations leaders, teams and organizations achieve through working with these majestic beings. She has had the honor of studying with the foremost thought leaders in Equine Facilitated Learning and Equine Guided Education and is an Advanced EponaQuest Instructor, Riding Instructor and Equine Guided Educator.
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.”
Amy Hill, Ph.D., LMFT, ATR-BC
Amy is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a board certified art therapist, combining her background as an artist and a writer to bring art therapy groups to Muir Wood. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in fine art and animation from the University of Central Florida, Amy went on to obtain a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and art therapy, along with a doctorate in art therapy from Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU) in Belmont, California.
Amy has provided individual, group, and family art therapy in a variety of settings. Her experience began at an integrated trauma-informed education and specialty mental health treatment program for adolescents and families called New Directions School. Her clinical experience also includes the facilitation of art therapy with adolescents and families in various residential treatment settings, with adults suffering from chronic pain as part of a six-week functional restoration program, and with adults as part of an outpatient program at Aurora Santa Rosa Hospital. Additionally, Amy has worked with teenage athletes and she has traveled twice to Nicaragua where she provided art therapy groups for children, adolescents, and adults in a squatter’s community. Since 2013, Hill has been a teaching assistant, guest lecturer, adjunct professor, and research assistant in the Graduate Art Therapy Psychology department at NDNU.
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, AMFT
Ford is a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. He 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. 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.
Lila Tschappat, Psy.D.
Program Director, Outpatient Program
Dr. Lila Tshcappat is the Program Director at our outpatient program in Marin, County, overseeing the clinical staff that provides individual, group, and family therapy to the clients at the Muir Wood outpatient program in San Rafael, CA. Lila has an extensive history working with teens including over 15 years at Thunder Road Treatment Center in Oakland overseeing that programs intensive outpatient program for teens and their families. In her role at Thunder Road, Dr. Tschappat facilitated the multi-family group, developed substance abuse curriculum, facilitated individual therapy with dually diagnosed youth, and provided case management. Prior to Thunder, Lila was a Pre-Doctoral Intern at C.G. Jung Institute in San Francisco where she conducted depth-oriented psychotherapy with individual clients in a private client setting. Prior to Muir Wood, Lila was a Post-Doctorate Fellow at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA providing counseling and supportive services for Wright Institute students. Dr. Tschappat received her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology form the Wright Institute and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Yale.
Dylan Kersh, M.A., M.Ed, AMFT
Associate Therapist, Outpatient Program
Dylan Kersh is a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist at Muir Wood. Born and raised in the Bay Area, Dylan spent over a decade teaching middle and high school students in Oakland, Maui, and Marin County. Although he found this career rewarding, he eventually realized that his greatest asset was the ability to connect with young people and inspire them to do positive things with their lives. This realization led him back to school to pursue his lifelong aspiration of becoming a psychotherapist.
After graduating from The Wright Institute in Berkeley with a Master’s in Counseling Psychology, he began his career at FamilyWorks in San Rafael, California. He has also worked at Mind Therapy Clinic, Shine a Light Addiction Specialists, A New Path Marin, and is currently operating his own private practice in San Rafael. Over his career, Dylan has worked with individuals, teens, families, and couples from a diverse spectrum of backgrounds and found that with an open heart, a sincere desire to connect, and clinical integrity, he could affect real change in his their lives.
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.
Certified Yoga Instructor
Christopher Love has taught yoga for 19 years and holds an advanced 500 E-RYT certification with the National Yoga Alliance. He teaches regular public classes, private instruction, and leads Yoga St. John’s, a weekly donation-based community featuring live music. A KIDDO grant recipient, Christopher teaches “Yoga for Young Minds” at Mill Valley Middle School
Anny Ha, M.S., RD
Anny is a registered dietician who works closely with Muir Wood residents that have been identified by the clinical team to have issues relating to eating disordered behavior and body image issues. Anny works as part of the treatment team to assess and recommend treatment options as part of the interdisciplinary team. Anny also collaborates with the Muir Wood chef, working with residents in the organic garden, educating teens on healthy nutrition, and co-facilitating groups on the preparation of healthy meals. Anny received her master’s degree in nutrition and dietics from Loma Linda University. She is currently on staff at La Ventana Treatment Programs for Eating Disorders in Santa Rosa, CA, working closely with adolescent and adults.–>
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.
Cali is our newest canine healer. She’s a pup and still getting acquainted with our boys and our facilities. But, to be sure, she’s already a favorite around the two campuses and loves to run and play with Sassy on our expansive ten-acre countryside.
Canine Healer & Assistant to the Outpatient Director
Teddy is a Canine Healer at Muir Wood. He loves to spend time with the boys almost as much as he enjoys playing fetch with a tennis ball.