OUTPATIENT STAFF 2018-02-12T22:20:19+00:00

Meet our staff

Founder

Karol Darsa, Psy.D. (PSY19847)
Founder and Executive Director
Licensed Psychologist

Dr. Darsa received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the California Graduate Institute, and has about 20 years of clinical and administrative experience in trauma and mental health disorders. Dr. Darsa began her career in 1998 as a foster care social worker and continued her work with abused children and their families and adults abused as children. Dr. Darsa later worked as a trauma specialist in private practice and at a variety of treatment centers including Clearview, Moonview Sanctuary and PCH.

In 2002, Dr. Darsa began studying with Christine Schenk, founder of the CHRIS-Technique, a unique energy work focused on teaching clients how to ground themselves in their bodies. Dr. Darsa has completed numerous evidence-based trainings in the treatment of trauma and mental health disorders, including Level III in Brainspotting, Level I and II trainings in EMDR, and Somatic Experiencing and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. With each advanced training, Dr. Darsa developed a deeper understanding of trauma processes and healing, and how to help each person achieve freedom from the effects of trauma.

In 2012 Dr. Darsa became the co-creator of Invisible War Recovery, a program designed to treat military sexual trauma survivors. This sparked a passion for Dr. Darsa to develop and create her own trauma recovery program in the form of Reconnect Integrative Trauma Treatment Center. In a short span of time, Reconnect Center has served hundreds of clients recovering from trauma and mental health disorders, leading to exceptional treatment outcomes in their recovery process.

Dr. Darsa realized that what is often missing in trauma treatment is a finely attuned, gentle, body based process to help heal and reconnect mind and body when clients become disregulated due to traumatic events, developmental trauma, or emotional disorders. Reconnect Center embodies that philosophy in offering intensive one on one work to help truly heal each individual that comes through her doors.

A native of Turkey, Dr. Darsa has been living in the United States for 25 years. She has also lived in Spain, France and Brazil. Dr. Darsa’s exposure to numerous ethnic and social groups allows her to understand the cultural differences in human thought and behavior. She can provide therapy in English, Spanish, French and Turkish and is able to converse in Italian and Portuguese as well.

Directors

Jorge Rivera

Director of Operations

Jorge, a University of California Economics graduate with a computer science, finance and investment background; he has over 30 years of experience managing investments internationally for high net worth individuals, Non-Profit Institutions and Pension Plans. He has designed information systems dashboards, data simulators and data base integrated solutions for investment firms, pension plans and other institutions.

Jorge has a passion to work for those who help others, he has participated in investing the World Bank environmental endowments in Latin America, administered the investments for a college endowment for grants and scholarships, supported the efficient and transparent administration of public funds for state government’s social programs.

Jorge has been participating at Reconnect Psychological Services since its inception supporting proudly the efforts of Dr. Darsa in establishing an efficient network of clinicians that can offer one of the best trauma treatment programs.

As a Director of Operations at Reconnect Jorge is committed in supporting all clients and staff in order to deliver the best possible treatment by fostering a caring, compassionate and efficient working environment.

Jorge loves spending time with his 3 children camping, snow skiing or hiking, he is a dual citizen from Mexico and the United States.

Parastoo Seidenfeld, Ph.D., Marketing Director, Business Development

Parastoo Seidenfeld, Ph.D., has over 20 years of industry experience in behavioral health, both as a clinician and licensed psychologist, and as a marketing professional in business development and outreach. Dr. Seidenfeld’s career began in 1997 providing direct clinical services to clients of all ages in outpatient and residential treatment centers. Her passion for helping others receive proper clinical care led her to explore additional resources for patient care in private residential treatment settings. Thus, in 2005 Dr. Seidenfeld simultaneously began a career in clinical outreach and business development when she joined the marketing department at Sierra Tucson. Leaving Sierra Tucson in 2014, Dr. Seidenfeld became the Director of Marketing and Business Development for Reconnect Integrative Trauma Treatment Center.

Dr. Parastoo Seidenfeld is dedicated and passionate about helping patients receive effective, compassionate, ethical care in their recovery process. She serves as a resource for patients and clinical providers, and is committed to helping people find the help and treatment that they need.

Dr. Viviana Suaya is a Los Angeles psychiatrist with more than two decades of experience in pediatric, adolescent and adult psychiatry. She and her professional team are committed to providing patients with the very best of care, using expertise and compassion to achieve the best possible outcome for each patient.
Dr. Suaya pursued a medical degree at the Buenos Aires University School of Medicine in Argentina, where she graduated Cum Laude. Her interest in pediatrics inspired her to become a pediatrician, and she completed a postgraduate program at the Children’s Hospital in Buenos Aires in 1988. Two years later, she relocated to Los Angeles to continue postgraduate training at the Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Psychiatry.
Dr. Viviana Suaya is an associate professor at Keck school of medicine USC teaching introduction to clinical medicine through the family practice department.
Today, Dr. Suaya remains in Los Angeles, where she has unfailingly served patients for more than twenty years. As a Los Angeles psychiatrist with a background in pediatrics, Dr. Suaya specializes in the treatment of children and adolescents.

Shilloy Sanchez, LMFT (LMFT 90984)
Clinical Director

Shilloy Sanchez is the Clinical Director of the Outpatient Programs at Reconnect Integrative Trauma Treatment Center. She earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles and is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in Analytical Depth Psychology specializing in Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Ms. Sanchez is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and has extensive experience working in all levels of care within the fields of eating disorder treatment, substance dependency and trauma. Her passion is to bring a creative alchemical balance of spirit and soul into structured treatment with a focused respect for the transformational process of restoring wholeness and a deep sense of purpose.

Ryan Wood

Director of Admissions

After a 12 year career in Finance and the Hospitality Industry, Ryan Wood got into the field of Recovery in 2016 working as Director of Admissions for Crownview Co-Occurring Institute in San Diego.  Ryan’s own experience in Recovery as well as his time working with Mental Health and Addiction clients have made him a passionate and caring addition to the team in his role as Director of Admissions & Intake for Reconnect Integrative Trauma Treatment.

Primary Therapists

KChristiansen photo (1)

Kurt Christiansen, Psy.D. (PSY27921)
Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Mindfulness Therapist, Primary Therapist

Dr. Kurt Christiansen is a Clinical Psychologist that specializes in helping people heal from trauma and to overcome debilitating anxiety and depression. Dr. Christiansen utilizes an integral approach, employing therapeutic modalities such as Brainspotting, Sensorimotor, IFS (Internal Family Systems), CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Mindfulness, Gestalt, and DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy).

He has been a mindfulness practitioner for nearly twenty years. Through his research in cognitive neuroscience, he believes that mindful practices create the developmental space and brain integration necessary for growth and healing to occur through the use of other modalities. They are also essential practices to live peacefully in the present moment.

He received his Doctorate Degree from Ryokan College in Clinical Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Spiritual Psychology with an emphasis in Consciousness, Health, and Healing from the University of Santa Monica. He also has Master’s Degree in Theatre Arts and was a member of the Groundlings Improv Theatre.

Dr. Christiansen is considered an expert in Crisis Training and Empathy Development. His first book, the Crisis Intervention Manual, is now in its Second Edition and is currently being used in over 75 crisis and counseling centers worldwide.

Dr. Christiansen’s foremost intention is to meet clients where they are with relentless empathy.

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Nancy Hyland, M.A., LMFT (MFC 52911)
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Nancy Hyland is a licensed Marriage Family Therapist who specializes in working with adolescents, and adults who have been impacted by early relational trauma. Nancy brings an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to her work, combining theoretical rigor with an eclectic clinical orientation. Her primary objective as a therapist is to create a safe, supportive, compassionate environment in which clients can collaboratively explore their personal histories and innermost feelings.

Nancy received her degree from Antioch University’s Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology Program with a specialization in Child & Adolescent Studies. Her clinical training has focused the effects of traumatic stress and how to encourage adaptation and resilience after adversity. Nancy began her therapeutic career helping economically disadvantaged children and families develop the social and emotional skills needed for meeting life’s challenges. As a staff therapist at A New Journey Eating Disorder Center she assisted clients in healing the underlying issues that led to the development of their disorder, and created their first program specifically for teens, focused on bringing about positive change through the development of self-acceptance, confidence and compassion.

In order to support a client’s movement towards growth and transformation, Nancy employs a variety of interventions including mindful awareness and self- compassion practices to increase self-appreciation and self-care; Cognitive and Dialectic Behavior Therapy to increase healthy coping skills; Jungian Mandala / Art Therapy to facilitate self-discovery and creative imagination; Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for somatic healing; and EMDR for people suffering from PTSD, dissociation, or emotional reactivity disorders. Nancy combines these modalities with affectively attuned, attachment oriented, psychotherapeutic practices in her work with both adolescents and adults alike.

As seen on a Sussex Directories Inc site

Nattan Hollander LMFT (MFC 81404)
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and EMDR practitioner, Primary Therapist

Nattan Hollander specializes in recovery from trauma, with a special interest in inter-generational trauma, including work with descendants of Holocaust survivors. Born and raised in Israel, Nattan has a background in military service, is a Zen meditation teacher, and an artist.

Nattan earned a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, and is an EMDR-certified therapist.

As a psychotherapist, Nattan’s focus is to restore wholeness, meaning, and purpose to the self. His approach is soul-centered: relying on the power of the imagination to elicit healing, and understanding a person’s inner resources are vaster and deeper than what’s visible on the surface.

olivia

Olivia Alison, M.S., LCSW (Lic#70591)
Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Primary Therapist

Olivia Alison is known for her kind, empathetic and positive approach. She graduated with a Master’s of Science in Clinical Social Work from Columbia University in the City of New York in 2004. She believes in a strengths based holistic approach, with an understanding that all components of ones’ life are interrelated. Olivia draws from several different modalities including: Cognitive Behavioral, Solution Focused, Narrative, Dialectical Behavior Therapy and EMDR. She participates in regular continuing education classes, and believes in the importance of using evidence based practices.

Olivia Alison has extensive experience with trauma, depression, anxiety and PTSD. She has worked at The Boulder County Domestic Violence Shelter as a Bilingual Children’s Counselor and Women’s counselor, The Presbyterian Hospital Psychiatric ER, Jacobi Medical Center Intensive Care Unit, and Burn Unit, Weill Cornell College Employee Assistance Program Counseling Center, and for the Department of Social Services Child Abuse and Sexual Abuse Teams.

In her work as a therapist, Olivia focuses on helping her clients reprocess their past, and heal, so they may begin living more fully in the present. She uses a combination of techniques and experiences to guide her clients towards the transformations they are seeking. Clients are left with a stronger sense of self, access to new and more empowering perspectives, self love and life skills. Clients experience break throughs and are left with positive changes which help them to face life’s challenges moving forward. Olivia is passionate about her work, and strives to leave all of her clients feeling resourced, healed, hopeful and inspired.

Miriam Rothman, LMFT (LMFT 48136)
Mindfulness Teacher/ CBT therapist / Brain Spotting

Miriam is a licensed Marriage Family Therapist. Her specialties include teaching Mindful meditation, treating clients with addiction through helping them to identify triggers for their unhealthy behaviors, and helping clients overcome their problems of anxiety and depression.

She received her BA from the University of Southern California in communications, and her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles. She has worked with patients recovering from drug and alcohol addictions during her time at the Southern California Alcohol and Drugs Program. She worked at the UCLA Dual Diagnosis Program leading psychotherapy groups which address a variety of psychological issues such as depressed mood, anxiety, impulse control and problems involving reactivity any of which co-exist with a variety of addictions such as sex addiction, eating disorders, and substance abuse.

Miriam is invested in the field of Mindful meditation. Having worked with children and adults, she is committed to helping her clients increase the vitality in their lives. Through helping them increase their ability to be present in the moment, rather than distracting themselves by obsessing over their pasts or their futures, clients to experience the ordinary of their lives as extraordinary.

Eleanor Pew, LMFT
Intake Coordinator

Elle is a licensed Marriage Family Therapist who specializes in helping people with the challenges brought on by early relational trauma and attachment disruptions. So often people learn to cope with these wounds through eating disorders, addictions, self-harm and dissociation, and these are the  areas in which Elle is passionate about helping people to find healing. She has worked in the field of eating disorder treatment, developing a women’s support group and spending many years as a Primary Therapist at an inpatient and partial hospitalization program. She believes her own healing and recovery has been an invaluable tool in her work with others. Additionally, much of Elle’s early career focused on helping children and families who were impacted by substance abuse, trauma and mental illness. She helped develop therapeutic community programs for at-risk youth and their families.

Elle utilizes different types of trauma therapies, depending upon the client’s needs, including EMDR and CRM with aspects of IFS and Gestalt work.

Anna Hollaender, LMFT
Primary Therapist

Anna is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) who helps people gain relief from mental health, relational, and addiction issues. She attended the EMDR institute and gained specializing training in the use of Eye-Movement Desensitization Reprocessing therapy. Anna’s academic background includes a Master’s Degree from the Antioch University and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Southern California (USC).

Anna’s resume includes several clinical and leadership roles in various prestigious treatment centers including Phoenix House where she worked as an Individual and Family therapist and served as the Director of Family Services. Further career highlights include her work as a Primary therapist and Interim Clinical Director at Evolve Treatment Centers, which focused on a dual diagnosis adult population.

Anna practices therapy from a client-centered approach and has a strong background in family systems work. Anna believes trauma can often drive addiction and other problematic behaviors that EMDR therapy can assist in resolving. She understands that each person has a distinct process in therapy and works to honor and validate each person’s experience through the use of compassion, kindness, and incorporating the use of specialized therapeutic modalities.

Matthew Porter, LMFT 42042

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and EMDR Trauma Specialist

Matthew Porter LMFT specializes in treating trauma, PTSD, and addictions. He has served as Clinical Lead, Primary Therapist and EMDR Trauma Specialist in various addiction and mental health treatment centers. His passions include teaching Mindfulness, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills, and making a personal connection with all of his clients. Matt obtained his Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology and Drama Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco in 2001 and has been Licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist since 2005. He led Drama Therapy and DBT skills groups at UCSF Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, taught psychology at Berkeley City College, and has trained and supervised dozens of therapists in DBT and Mindfulness skills. He is also trained as a Yoga Teacher and focuses on the body’s wisdom to heal and recover from trauma, addictions and other compulsive behaviors.

Kate

Kate Nesbitt, LMFT (MFC 38539)
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and EMDR Practitioner, Primary Therapist

Kate Nesbitt is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Kate received her Bachelor of Art’s
Degree in Human Behavior Psychology and her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology,
with an emphasis in Spiritual Psychology, and she has over 20 years of counseling experience
in private practice.
Kate began her career counseling children in the Santa Monica school system, working
extensively with the effects of trauma on early childhood development and family systems.
Kate moved from working with children and their families to opening a private practice in Santa
Monica where she has focused, for the past 18 years, on helping adults with a wide range of
challenges, from anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, to relationship
problems and life transition issues. Kate is particularly proud to be working, in partnership with
the Veteran’s Administration Choice Program, treating veterans with PTSD due to their military
experiences.
Kate has participated in numerous trainings over the years that add to her expertise in trauma
treatment. She studied Body/Mind Integrated Therapy with Dr. Ronald Alexander for five years
early in her career. This modality embodied what is now known as Mindfulness, and teaches
clients skills to feel and be more grounded in their bodies. Kate is also trained in the modalities
of EMDR, Brainspotting, and Self-Relations (developed by Stephen Gilligan, Ph.D.), and she
is currently studying Comprehensive Resource Management (CRM), a gentle system that helps
to integrate the mind, body and spirit by utilizing the breath, and mindful awareness of the body
and emotions, to help clients heal from trauma.

Janice Taylor, MFT
Primary Therapist

Janice is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and has both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in Psychology from Antioch University.  She is a certified EMDR therapist and trained in the Trauma Resiliency Model.

Janice works collaboratively with clients to explore behaviors that are preventing them from leading the kind of life they deserve.  Janice believes we all developed coping strategies when we were young to protect ourselves. While they helped us survive at the time, she finds they are often the very things holding us back now.  Janice uses EMDR and TRM to target the original traumas by employing both the body and the mind. Her belief is that once the original traumas are dealt with, the need for the now maladaptive behaviors are no longer there. She finds symptoms such as depression and anxiety can be alleviated faster when EMDR and TRM are used in conjunction with traditional talk therapy.

Janice became a therapist after seeing for herself the transformative effects of psychotherapy. She knows firsthand that EMDR and TRM are indispensable in the treatment of trauma.  Janice has a private practice in Santa Monica and finds helping people overcome difficult issues from their past to be a rewarding endeavor.

Bio coming soon…

Neurofeedback

Elana Christiansen, LMFT (MFC 53990)
Neurofeedback

Elana Christiansen is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist practicing Neurofeedback and Brainspotting. Her specialties include helping people heal from past trauma, complex
trauma, overcoming issues with depression and anxiety.

Elana started her career in psychology as a Crisis Intervention Specialist for the CSUN Helpline for more than five years. She has worked extensively as a therapist for at-risk children and their families in the foster care system and has further training in evidenced based practices such as Internal Family Systems, the Positive Parenting Program, Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Seeking Safety.

Elana also serves as a volunteer counselor for the Freedom to Choose Project spending time in prison with inmates in an experiential workshop format counseling and teaching them communication and life skills. Trauma is widespread in the foster care and prison systems and this experience has contributed to Elana’s ability to successfully support families in painful and difficult situations with empathy, caring, and compassion.

Lauren Dolinsky, MA LMFT 100511
Neurofeedback Clinician and Marriage & Family Therapist Intern

Lauren Dolinsky specializes in healing from trauma using neurofeedback and depth psychotherapy.  Lauren provides psychotherapy for adults, and teens, and is focusing on dream analysis in order to access and integrate trauma held deep within the unconscious mind.
Lauren also has extensive experience using neurofeedback with veteran and homeless populations challenged with PTSD and other emotional, psychological, and developmental disorders. Lauren received her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. She went on to complete her training in neurofeedback at the EEG Institute.  She has interned with the Los Angeles Child Development Center as well as the Center for Hope and Healing.  She has also volunteered at the Salvation Army Bell Shelter as well as the Salvation Army Haven at the Veteran’s Hospital. Lauren is passionate about holistic psychology: integrating the conscious with the unconscious, the mind with the body, and the person with the soul.

Ben Miller

Neurofeedback

Along with his work at Reconnect, Ben is the Neurofeedback Coordinator at the Salvation Army Bell Shelter where he helps Veterans heal from extreme PTSD. Ben has extensive experience in helping Veterans reduce symptoms ranging from lack of sleep to severe panic attacks. Additionally, Ben works on alleviating chronic pain, tinnitus, hyper-alertness, excessive worry and many other anxiety related symptoms. Specializing in Neurofeedback Ben has helped Veterans and Private clients improve memory, word finding, creativity and executive thought process. Ben realizes the importance of having the brain and body working together as efficiently as possible. He believes that Neurofeedback is a key component for Peak Performance in sports, the arts, and business. As an avid golfer, Ben especially enjoys working with golfers and other athletes of different levels to help improve their overall performance.

Somatic Therapists

Rebeca Farca, MA (IMF 80915)
Sensorimotor Psychotherapist and MFTI 

Rebeca is specialized in applying Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for the treatment of traumatic and developmental issues with clients and teaches for Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute internationally.

In 2003, she was licensed in the specialties of Humanist Counseling, Group Processing and Gestalt Psychotherapy at IHPG Institute in Mexico City. Rebeca started a private practice in Mexico City, while she travelled to the USA to complete the specialties in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy’s “Treatment for Trauma” in 2005 and “Development, Attachment and Trauma” in 2006.

In 2006, Rebeca established residency in Los Angeles, CA where she became a training assistant for Dr. Pat Ogden. She also lectured in Mexico and California on Somatic Psychology. In 2011 she was certified in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and became part of the faculty team teaching Sensorimotor Psychotherapy’s Treatment for Trauma trainings internationally. She recently completed her MA in clinical psychology and is now a registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern.

Kelli Sherine Fisher M.A. LMFT (LMFT 93442)

Kelli Sherine Fisher is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been in the healing profession for over 30 yrs.

Kelli became a Massage Therapist in 1982 and expanded this career into movement/ breath therapy (Aston Patterning/ Rosen Method Breath- bodywork/ Holotrophic Breath practitioner). She was a volunteer E.M.T./ Massage Therapist and Athletic Trainer for the 1984 Olympics, working specifically with Brazil and Morocco’s Football (Soccer) teams. Kelli graduated with a BA in Exercise Science/ Sports Medicine in 1987 from Cal State Northridge. Upon graduation, she started a successful private practice as an Orthopedic Massage Therapist/ Transformational Breath Practitioner.

Kelli continued to explore different healing modalities to support mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health throughout her professional career. Since the mid 1980’s, she has continued intensive study with various Native Healers and Indigenous Shamans. Her exploration of movement therapy has included Gabriel Roth’s Five Element dancing and Continuum dancing for close to 20yrs. Kelli is also an accomplished fabric artist with her works being held in private collections on both coasts.

In 2002, Kelli chose a sober lifestyle and became an active member of AA. This shift sparked another field of interest; addiction recovery. Soon after in 2004, She began studying Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing with Sharon Porter (under her LMT license) to bring in the benefit of trauma work to her clients. She furthered this field of study and went on to become a Practitioner as an MFT intern. Kelli’s interest in Somatic based Psychotherapy was a natural transition from body work. She graduated from Antioch University in 2009.

While interning at Exodus Recovery Center and Beit T’Shuva, she worked in dual diagnosis and used her knowledge of neurophysiology/ somatic therapy to support addiction/ trauma recovery.

Kelli is a client-centered therapist who strongly believes in attachment based therapy to support healing trauma–both developmental and complex. She is an SEP (Somatic Experiencing Practitioner) and has completed Level 1 & 2 EMDR trainings. Her goal as a therapist is to provide a safe loving transformational experience with humor and compassion.

Laura Melton, CMP, SEP, CATC

Laura Melton has worked in field of stress, pain management, and self-regulation for 25 years.  She is a bodyworker, Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, Certified NARM therapist, and graduate of the Pierce College Addiction STues counseling program.

As a bodyworker, Laura is trained in Esalen massage, Biodynamic and Upledger Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Ortho-Bionomy, Bodynamics, Savroopa, Ashtanga, and Hatha Yoga, and Thai Yoga Therapy. She has completed Kathy Kaine’s touch trainings. She has been a California State Certified Massage Therapist since 1992. In addition, she has an extensive background in classical dance as well as in contemporary healing movement such as Continuum and Gabriel Roth’s 5 Rhythm’s.

Since 2001, Laura has worked as a teaching assistant to Dr. Peter Levine and to numerous SE faculty throughout the USA, Canada, Brazil, and Australia. She is an approved SE session and consultation provider at all levels of training. She currently works in a clinical residential and IOP/PHP addiction treatment facility as an addiction counselor facilitating trauma resiliency education and process groups as well as meditation and grief process groups. Laura has been a student of Dr. Aline LaPierre for the past ten years. She is Executive Assistant at the NeuroAffective Touch Institute and teaching assistant to Dr. LaPierre in the NeuroAffective Touch trainings.  Laura is in private practice in Beverly Hills.

Rabbi Arielle Hanien is a Spiritual Counselor and Somatic Experiencing Practitioner

She brings an integrative approach to healing the trauma of sexual assault, accidents, and developmental trauma, as well as the effects of social and inherited trauma. 

Although she is able to work with clients using exclusively somatic techniques, many clients prefer to draw upon her extensive experience as a spiritual counselor to bring spiritual resources into therapy sessions.  When it is helpful, clients who identify with various religious traditions can integrate spiritual reflection and resources, orienting beliefs and practices, into the therapeutic experience to support healing.  This can help them feel the support of a power beyond themselves that helps them get through tough times.  Or it can support reaching a state of awareness, or self-realization, or a felt-sense of just how interconnected we all are with the rest of the world.

She already had degrees in Physical and Social sciences, as well as Philosophy, when she was ordained as a rabbi by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in 2006.  She applied this background to her study of neuroscience and psychology, and eventually studied Somatic Experiencing, developed by Peter Levine, with him and a number of his protégées from around the world.  Soon she was discovering how valuable the technique was in her work with individuals, families, and communities. 

Deepening her study of personal and collective healing with doctoral research at the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution at Columbia University, she began consulting internationally about how to apply contemporary understandings of trauma and recovery that can be discerned in ancient spiritual traditions, in integrative ways. 

Since becoming certified as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner in 2014, she has helped to teach that technique as well as derivative ones, including Integrative Somatic Psychology developed by Raja Selvam, EmotionAid developed by Gina Ross, and Full Embodiment developed by Ariel Giaretto.  These share a common thread, which is to help us emerge from the shadow of trauma and reconnect us to our innate capacity for a life of vitality, deep emotion, meaning, relationship, and dignity, by supporting the integration of our body, mind, and spirit. 

An award-winning writer, educator, and researcher, Rabbi Hanien has worked since 2011 with the International Trauma-Healing Institute to deepen understanding of contemporary research in trauma healing among religious leaders around the world and to create new resources in English and in Hebrew.

Her work has been featured by ELI Talks and the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Ethics and on podcasts produced by the Sinai and Synapses Fellowship, a national cohort of scientists and religious leaders who see Science and Religion as integral aspects of how we understand the world. 

Rabbi Hanien completed her doctoral studies in Clinical Psychology at Ryokan College in 2017.

Mahyar Nili, M.A., LMFT, SEP (LMFT 90969)
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Primary Therapist

Mahyar Nili is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist and Somatic Experiencing Practitioner who specializes in working with trauma from a holistic perspective and believes in the body’s innate wisdom and movement towards healing. Using modalities such as Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM), Brainspotting, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Somatic Experiencing (SE), and the Arts, Mahyar’s approach is gentle, non-judgmental, and client-centered, with a focus on assisting clients in building awareness and connecting with internal and external resources.

Mahyar began using the arts as a healing tool with women and children survivors at a domestic violence shelter, and with youth in various school, and community programs, worked in a transitional group home for several years with young adults, and extensively with elders in assisted living communities. She also works in private practice with adults of many backgrounds, including LGBQIA, Trans and Gender Nonconforming people.

Mahyar earned a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Expressive Arts Therapy from California Institute of Integral Studies, certification in Somatic Experiencing, is a Somatic Experiencing training assistant, has training in CRM, Level I and II training in Brainspotting, Level I in EMDR, and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Art, and Gender Studies, summa cum laude, from University California, Los Angeles. She is a conversational Farsi speaker. Her life and work are also informed and inspired by family, friends, nature, spirit, energy and movement practices, and social justice.

Specialists

Lisa Schwartz L.Ac.

Lisa Schwartz is a California state licensed acupuncturist and herbalist specializing in treating emotional trauma, addiction, depression, anxiety, stress, chronic pain and headaches.

Lisa received her Masters Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Emperor’s College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Californian board acupuncture license in 2000. She is also a Member of the National Addiction Detoxification Association.

Her passion for treating emotional trauma and addiction began during an internship at a hospital in Marina Del Rey, where she treated patients with great success recovering from PTSD, drug and alcohol addiction. Lisa started her private practice in 2001 and teamed up with a therapist, treating individuals suffering from PTSD and addiction and has continued her education through post-graduate studies in these fields. She has served as a clinic supervisor at UCLA’s Arthur Ashe student health center for acupuncture students, where she taught them proper diagnosis and treatment for stress, anxiety, insomnia and headaches.

Her specialized technique helps individuals who are suffering from drug cravings, stress, anxiety and panic attacks. Lisa offers her patients compassionate and personalized care, creating a safe, calm and relaxing environment for the sole purpose of healing the body, mind and spirit.

Gina Simonelli, M.A.
Expressive Arts Therapist

As an Expressive Arts Therapist, Gina includes the language of creativity as part of the therapeutic process. The arts, used individually or collaboratively, can help express those feelings that can’t yet be described with words, as well as enable us to feel hopeful, focused, calm, or playful. Through visual art, music, writing, movement, drama, and other creative mediums we can gain new perspectives, access our inner resources, and illuminate our wisdom and strengths, all leading to a deeper connection with ourselves. No artistic experience or skill is required to benefit from Expressive Arts Therapy.

Gina has directly experienced the healing capacities of creative expression throughout her personal life. Once she decided to pursue this work professionally, she obtained her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Expressive Arts Therapy from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. Since then she has worked in psychiatric hospitals, residential treatment programs, skilled nursing facilities, and in community outreach providing group and individual support. She specializes in trauma-sensitive, mindfulness based applications of the expressive arts. She has worked with adolescents, adults, and older adults coping with the effects of trauma, substance use disorders, chronic mental illness, homelessness, and dementia. Gina continues to maintain an active connection with the arts outside of her work with clients as a way to support both her personal and professional development.

Maia Akiva, writing teacher

Maia Akiva is a Motivational Speaker, Entertainer, Facilitator, a reality bender and an emotional researcher who dips into every flavor of human behavior and self-discovery using self-help fiction, magical realism, original visual storytelling and and emotional coaching.

Originally from Israel. Her award winning self-help plays and short stories have been produced and published all over the United States in the past 10 years, inspiring hundreds of people to go on a journey of understanding, get to know themselves better and deeper, and ask themselves some important questions about their inner emotional lives, their struggles and their relationship with themselves. She led workshops of self-discovery at Models of Pride conference in the US, and at Brave Trails Camp, Resilience Treatment Center, Reconnect center and many more awesome places. She teaches meditation at The Den Meditation in Los Angeles. Maia’s creative work and her desire to help people take a look at themselves come from her own experience. After turning her back on herself for many years, suffering from depression and self-negativity she finally decided to start a new relationship with herself and turned her life around, living a life full of Joy and positivity.

Nadine Flowers, MA, IMFT

Nadine is a graduate of the Institute for Psycho-Structural Balancing (IPSB) in Los Angeles, CA, and has also trained in Thai Yoga Massage and Bodywork. She is proponent of bodywork and massage for relieving physical as well as emotional stress, and strongly believes that massage is a viable modality for enhancing overall health and well-being.

Her learning has included, but is not limited to T’ai Chi Ch’uan, body psychology, anatomy/physiology, energy balancing, as well as mindfulness, somatic, crisis intervention and trauma informed care. Some of her main modalities for bodywork are circulatory (swedish massage), joint mobilization, moderate to deep body work, and a combination of reflexology, acupressure and assisted yoga.

Nadine’s personal experience with dance, yoga, olympic lifting, exercise and movement also informs her work. Her approach is fundamentally underpinned with compassion and sensitivity; and she strives to provide a flexible therapeutic space to work with each client in a way that works for them; wherever they may be in their therapeutic process or day. She deeply enjoys helping clients find a space of relaxation, connection and physical improvement that is aimed toward facilitating deeper healing, integration and wholeness.

Nadine greatly values working in a treatment setting as part of a clinical team; and is honored to have the opportunity to engage with each person throughout their personal journey at Reconnect.

A firm believer in the inseparable connection between body-mind, her mission is to support individuals in achieving life balance and optimal functioning through personal wellness.

Nadine graduated with a Master’s of Science with a Specialization in Clinical Psychology in December of 2015 and is also currently working towards her licensure as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (L.P.C.C) focusing on women, trauma and nature or wilderness based work.

Nicole Wiederecht

Music Therapist

Nicole is a board-certified music therapist who earned her B.A. in music therapy from California State University, Northridge. Nicole has worked in many clinical settings including eating disorder clinics, residential mental health treatment centers, trauma centers, hospitals, and children’s clinics. She works within a humanistic philosophy to help clients find a greater sense of balance and understanding between mind, body, and spirit. Nicole’s musical experience is based in classical flute performance, and through her education she has expanded her repertoire to include guitar, piano, ukulele, voice, and world percussion. Nicole is passionate about providing a safe, non-judgemental environment for clients to connect with themselves through music-based experiences.

Soleah Nicolis, CNHP, TRE, CEBT, C.Ht
Certified TRE® Provider

Soleah is a Certified TRE® (Tension & Trauma Release Exercises) Provider and graduated from the TRE® Los Angeles certification program. She also has extensive training and certifications in a variety of modalities some of which include Natural Health Practitioner, and Life Coach.

Soleah Nicolis found her way into the wellness field because of her own personal healing journey. She began her holistic health career in 2004, as an assistant to renowned holistic chiropractor Dr. Eileen Kenny. Under her guidance, Soleah assisted with clients of all ages, health concerns and backgrounds. Soleah’s curiosity about health, community, and service allowed her to apply her lifelong passion for helping people uncover and rediscover their wholeness.

Richard Chambers, LMFT (LMFT 36661)
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Brainspotting Practitioner

Richard Chambers is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been supporting the growth and healing of individuals and families for over 20 years.  He specializes in moving clients through complex and acute trauma resolution, complex PTSD, severe anxiety, addictions, depression, adoption issues, grief, loss and attachment disruptions.

In 1993, he received his master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from California Baptist University.  He worked with adolescents in residential treatment who were developmentally and emotionally impacted due to a myriad of childhood traumas and helped heal familial relationships and reunite the adolescents back into their families with significantly improved coping skills.

He shifted his focus in 1998, to working with at risk, neglected and abused children and their families within the Foster Care System.  He also continued his work as a therapist working with adults, adolescents and families who have experienced trauma, profound loss and attachments issues.

Richard’s goal is to create a safe, secure, nurturing and supportive environment to move clients towards transformation and healing with a deep personal connection to mind, body and spirit, through greater self awareness, self compassion and personal empowerment.  Richard has completed Brainspotting Phases 1 & 2, Resource Brainspotting with Attachment and Dissociation and Advanced Resourcing.  He also found he was working with more complex trauma and needed some more tools.  The Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM) met that need and he is a certified CRM Practioner.  CRM integrates the mind, body and spirit by utilizing a variety of experiential techniques including breath work, mindfulness awareness and body awareness to help in the releasing and healing of trauma.  He has found the CRM model has been able to process trauma more rapidly and completely with greater ease and comfort to the suffering client.

Bio coming soon…

Bio Coming soon…

Kathy Cass MA, BC-DMT, CYT, AHC Yoga Therapist, Ayurveda Health Counselor, Dance/Movement Therapist

Kathy believes in the ability of rediscovering one’s true nature through Yoga, nature, and the expressive arts.  Her passion is to educate and inspire clients to create a sustainable healing and wellness lifestyle that empowers and enlivens. Her encouraging and playful style makes therapeutic Yoga accessible to everyone.

She is lead faculty for UCLArts and Healing Social Emotional Arts Certificate Program. She has been a guest lecturer at Scripps College, CMER at LMU, UCLA and LA Chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Kathy is a part-time faculty member at SMC Emeritus Division, El Camino Community College and Center for Movement Education and Research. She has been an Advisory Board Member for CSU, Fullerton, Extended Education in Expressive Arts Therapies. She has co-written “Dance For All” Curriculum.

Rose Roseborough, CMT

A second generation massage therapist, Rose began her earliest ‘training’ under the tutelage of her mother. With a natural instinct for healing and helping others, she began her official training at the Maui Academy of the Healing Arts, graduating a 620 hr program and passing the Hawaii State board licensing exam in 2000. What began as a trade program for a side job to earn money while putting herself through college (where she took Anatomy and Psychology courses) turned into a lifelong love of studying the body and psyche and a passion for helping support people from all walks of life on their path to health, balance and wellness. She has taken hundreds of hours of continuing education courses in various massage and bodywork modalities and obtained California licensure in 2012. She has worked in spa/wellness, fitness as well as clinical environments and has been honored to provide hundreds of hours of ‘compassionate touch’ to medically fragile infants, children, elderly, and special populations as a volunteer with the Heart Touch program both in Los Angeles and Cambodia.

Rose discovered an interest in the Pilates method during her own path of injury rehabilitation and completed a 420 hour classical Pilates certification at Whole Body Gallery in 2007. Drawing on her training both in bodywork and functional movement, she loves to empower her clients by teaching them exercises and stretches to support better posture and help them feel stronger, healthier, and more limber between massage sessions.

With a passion to promote mind/body wellness for all, Rose truly believes that ‘health is wealth’. She feels that the mind, body and spirit are an integrated unit and one can not be addressed without the other to truly find balance and wellness. She is excited to be a part of such a dynamic, holistic team and the unique and progressive approach the Reconnect offers.

Administrative Team

Monet Davis

Billing & Insurance Coordinator

Monet has over 5 years experience in the
Insurance and Financial industry. She is here to assist with any of your
billing and insurance questions as you transition into your treatment
with Reconnect Psychological Services.

Eric Fromer, Office Manager

Eric Fromer holds a B.S. Degree in Chemistry from California State University, Los Angeles and applies the meticulous nature used in laboratory work to office management.  He is happy to help ease your transition into treatment by providing information and making you feel at home.

Marina Dumanyan

Intake Coordinator

Marina has eight years of experience in the banking industry and close to a decade in the herbal industry providing elaborative instruction in the use of herbal therapy and understanding and practicing principles of preventive nutrition, eradicating the cause of disease utilizing wholesome foods and intensive detoxification programs, and healing the body through natural methods. She holds a Nutritional Herbalist certification from the School of Natural Healing and is pursuing a BS degree in natural health science, concentrating on clinical nutrition. She loves the outdoors, traveling, watching documentaries, reading, decoding ingredient lists, yoga, drawing, festivals, has great appreciation for cultural diversity and listening to music from all over the world.  As program coordinator, she works closely with the clinical director as well as clinicians to ensure that clients are assigned the best possible schedule.

Paulina Fuster

Payroll and Accounting

Bio coming soon…


Always opens up the vision that maybe blocked when coming into session. I leave feeling more confident.”  — S.B., client

Intake Form