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.
Kim Low, LMFT
Kim Low is a licensed Marriage Family Therapist with experience in the addiction and mental health field since 1998. She received her Masters in Clinical Psychology from New College of California school of Psychology in San Francisco.
Kim began her career working with people struggling with HIV, mental illness and addiction using the holistic approach in residential treatment while attending graduate school. During her internship she worked with the SAGE Project (Standing against global exploitation) where she was as a sexual trauma counselor in collaboration with the district attorneys office. She has been a therapist for adolescents and adults in residential and outpatient settings and is certified in DBT (Dialectical behavioral therapy) and trauma focused CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy).
After receiving her license she worked with adolescents and transitional aged youth 18-24 in the criminal justice system and was the lead youth and family therapist and clinical supervisor for the Juvenile justice team in San Francisco where she also worked with the Juvenile Collaborative Reentry Unit which is unique and the only program of it’s kind in the nation, serving all youth who have been committed to out-of-home placement as part of a juvenile justice court disposition in San Francisco County.
A Los Angeles native, Kim has been back in Los Angeles since 2014 and worked as a program manager for homeless youth with mental health issues where she managed staff and provided clinical supervision to interns while running an outpatient clinic.
Kim is currently pursuing a doctorate in child development and clinical psychology from the Reiss Davis Graduate center.
Kim is passionate about helping individuals and their families create the change that they want to see in their lives. She believes that with support and guidance that anything is possible.
Lisa Schwartz, L.A.C.
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.
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 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.