Our Facility

Reconnect Center’s treatment facility allows clients to heal through our programs focused on a majority of 1:1 therapeutic modalities.

Our outpatient center is located in the Pacific Palisades, just minutes from Malibu and a short distance from the larger metropolitan Los Angeles area.

Housing Options

Whether you are coming from out of town, or you simply prefer to stay in a supportive environment, we help you find housing during your intensive treatment with us. Clients enrolling in the Day Treatment Program or the IOP can live at one of several local sober living/transitional living houses. These houses offer a safe and semi-structured sober environment. They provide transportation to and from our center, have activities during the evenings and weekends and 24 hours staff support for anything that you may need.

At Reconnect, clients can live in a real-world setting and function autonomously while they are immersed in treatment. We believe this allows for a more effective transition to the world when they finish their treatment program and need to return to work, school or family.

Copyright 2018 Reconnect | All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Created by Active Marketing

Dr. Karol Darsa

Psy.D. (PSY19847)

Founder and Executive Director

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.


Chief Financial Officer

Jorge is 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. His expertise includes designing information systems dashboards, data simulators and data base integrated solutions for investment firms, pension plans and other institutions.

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.

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

Parastoo Seidenfeld


Director of Outreach, Marketing and 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 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 assisting people find the help and treatment that they need.

Dr. Viviana Suaya


Medical Director

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.

She is an associate professor at Keck school of medicine USC teaching introduction to clinical medicine through the family practice department.

Today, she 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


Clinical Director

Shilloy Sanchez is Clinical Director of the Reconnect outpatient programs. A licensed marriage and family therapist, she has extensive administrative and clinical experience in trauma, addiction, eating disorder treatment, and school-based programs.

Her career spans three decades and a wide range of leadership positions in clinical psychology, crisis communications, public relations, technology, and youth theater activism. Her journey has been featured on CNN Health and in Seeking Serenity: The 10 New Rules for Health and Happiness in the Age of Anxiety (Penguin Random House 2015).

Before Reconnect, Shilloy was Program Director and Primary Therapist at The Bella Vita, a residential eating disorder treatment facility, and an administrator at Passages, a world-renowned addiction treatment center. In both facilities, Shilloy worked from a strong family systems orientation integrating multifamily and community support groups to the program’s experience.

She earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology specializing in Trauma from Antioch University and is a doctoral candidate in Analytical Depth Psychology specializing in Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She holds certifications in Trauma Focused CBT and Systematic Training for Effective Parenting. She is also trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Brain Spotting (BSP), and the Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM).

Shilloy’s approach at Reconnect focuses on the transformational process of restoring wholeness and a deep sense of purpose, achieved by bringing a creative alchemical balance of spirit and soul to structured treatment. Shilloy is committed to working closely with the founder, Dr. Darsa, on individualized trauma treatment that includes an elevated sense of awareness and compassion in its programming. She is also dedicated to ensuring ongoing compliance with licensing and regulatory standards consistent with The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), for all levels of care in the supervision and training of Reconnect’s multidisciplinary clinical team.

An aspiring runner, Shilloy has completed three marathons and is training for her fourth. Her hobbies include hosting backyard barbecues, trying new recipes, and hiking. She lives in Southern California with her partner and two bulldogs.

Nicole Moore

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)

Nicole Moore is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), and registered yoga teacher in California. She earned her master’s degree in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University. Nicole works with children, families, and adults. Using attachment theory, mindfulness, traditional, and alternative modalities to personalize each treatment plan, she strives to make a genuine connection with every individual to help inform her approach.

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.

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 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 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.


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, along with 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.

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.

Miriam is invested in the field of Mindful meditation. Having worked with children and adults, she is committed to helping 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.

Elle Jackson


Primary Therapist

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.

Matthew Porter

LMFT 42042

LMFT 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.

Janice Taylor


Marriage and Family 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.

She 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.

Kasey Curtis

LMFT (LMFT99698)


Kasey graduated with her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Argosy University, Twin Cities (MN) in 2008. Since then, she has worked with adolescents in detention, families, and children in outpatient and community mental health settings, and with people struggling with eating disorders. Her early work led her to seek out additional training to help clients with trauma experience deeper and more lasting change than she was seeing in traditional talk therapy. She has been trained in EMDR and has participated in other various modalities that focus on the mind-and-body connection such as iRest Yoga Nidra, and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. Most recently, Kasey has completed training in CRM (Comprehensive Resource Model) in the hopes of having more extensive tools and creativity in helping clients reach their goals.

Tara Brisco



Tara employs a mindfulness-based approach in helping clients to process and heal from trauma, connect to themselves, and build the capacity for deeper and more meaningful relationships. Her clients have described her as “compassionate, warm, and direct.” Through her years of experience working with clients with complex histories of addiction, eating disorders, persistent mood disorders and personality disorders, Tara recognizes the central role of trauma in the development and maintenance of these disorders. She sees that addressing and processing unhealed trauma is paramount to long-term symptom relief and recovery, and is fully trained in EMDR (Levels I and II).

Shaina McPhetridge

Primary Therapist

Shaina is a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Yoga Teacher, specializing in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), mindfulness and somatically-focused therapies. Clinically, she has worked with The Center for Individual and Family Counseling, Triune Therapy Group, and Cutting Edge Counseling where she mentored under experts in the field of Trauma, EMDR, and somatic therapies. As well, she has extensive experience teaching mind-body wellness through yoga and healthy living.

Before graduating from Antioch University in 2015 with a master’s degree in clinical psychology, Shaina worked in both higher education, team management, and the health and fitness world coaching individuals and teams in pursuing their goals toward living healthier, more robust lives. She integrates those experiences into her therapy practice, knowing that a healthier body contributes powerfully to the healing of the mind and organism as a whole.

Shaina has been fortunate to treat a diverse population of people with varying difficulties and believes that holding a space for and guiding people through healing past trauma is the foundation of a successful treatment program. She primarily works with adults and groups struggling with the effects of acute and complex trauma, PTSD, anxiety, disordered eating and body image, behavioral addiction, relational conflict, and codependency and attachment issues. She tailors her therapy approach according to an individual or group’s unique needs, meeting her clients with authenticity, candor and empathy, and taking great care to honor both the courage and the time given to the process of healing.

Elana Christiansen

LMFT (MFC 53990)

Neurofeedback Practitioner

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.

She 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 Practitioner and Dream Analyst

Neurofeedback Practitioner and Dream Analyst 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.

She 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

Certified Neurofeedback Practitioner

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.

Laura Melton


Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, Certified NARM Therapist

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

Laura 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. At Reconnect, Laura works as an addiction and SE counselor, facilitating trauma resiliency education and process groups as well as conducting individual sessions.

Sarit Z. Rogers

Somatic Experiencing Practitioner

Sarit Z. Rogers, is a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner, accomplished photographer, writer, group facilitator and trauma-informed yoga teacher. Sarit is certified to teach Hatha/Vinyasa, Accessible Yoga, Yoga for All©, Restorative and Yin yoga. Sarit has dedicated her life to being of service and sharing the gift of yoga and SE™ to adults and adolescents. She has experienced the power of SE in her own physiology and lights up when there is an opportunity to share it with others.

Sarit draws from different modalities, including movement, creative writing, art, mindfulness and Somatic Experiencing to promote the cultivation of healing and foster the development of accessible tools for self-care, self-regulation, healthy boundaries, and ultimately, a nervous system that is more regulated and has more capacity to live life at its fullest.

Sarit assists Somatic Experiencing® trainings and continues to participate in continuing education classes in order to deepen and broaden her ability to bring healing to her clients. Sarit strives to empower and support her clients, inspiring embodiment, presence, and a greater sense of aliveness.


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.

Lisa Schwartz


Licensed Acupuncturist Specializing in Emotional Trauma

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 master’s 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. 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


Gina obtained her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Expressive Arts Therapy from Lesley University. She has been working in the field of mental health and trauma treatment for approximately 10 years, in psychiatric hospitals, residential treatment programs, skilled nursing facilities, addiction treatment centers, and community outreach. Providing individual and group support, Gina has worked with clients across the life span to develop a deeper sense of meaning and fulfillment at every age.

Each of us possesses the inner wisdom to guide our unique healing journey. Gina utilizes compassion, attunement, and mindfulness to help connect with this wisdom. Her therapeutic process is person-centered and strengths-based, drawing upon creativity, warmth, and humor in each clinical relationship.

Gina is trained in expressive arts therapy, mindfulness, body-oriented psychotherapy, and Brainspotting. Gina is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in Massachusetts and is currently working towards obtaining California licensure. She continues to maintain an active connection with the arts 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

M.S., Associate Professional Clinical Counselor, CMT, EMDR, CRM

Nadine graduated her masters program in Clinical Psychology 2015 with a focus on healing from a holistic perspective; with an emphasis on trauma and the utilization of eco/wilderness therapy, somatic approaches, resiliency and post traumatic growth.

Nadine has had the privilege of working with clients who come to Reconnect since 2014.  Nadine’s personal approach is passionate, empowered, purposeful and authentic. When working with clients; compassion, empathy, and faith in the client and their process are primary.

Nadine works to nurture strengths, interests and passions while aiming to encourage radical self love and acceptance. Additionally, Nadine infuses eco therapy and nature based work, nested with various forms of resourcing to support clients in building self care skills and mindfulness to facilitate a deeper sense of connection and wellbeing to Self, that, in turn can support a person on their journey of ongoing healing and be- coming whole. Nadine is EMDR and CRM trained and continues her study of Somatic Based work as well.

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-judgmental environment for clients to connect with themselves through music-based experiences.

Soleah Nicolis


Certified TRE® Provider & Resilience Tool Kit Facilitator

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)

Certified CRM 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 Practitioner. 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.

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.

Marina Dumanyan

Outpatient Program Manager

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.


Briana Smith is the Lead Residential Advisor at Reconnect, where she manages a team of Resident Advisors, and supports them with scheduling and their own therapeutic process and training.

Briana has dedicated her professional life to helping at-risk groups receive the mental health services they need to live happy, productive lives, including troubled youths, survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, and individuals with anger management issues.

Her journey in the mental health field began at YMCA OZ, where, as a Resident Supervisor, her passion for working in residential treatment developed through her work in crisis management, planning transitions in life, and promoting self-advocacy.

These skills served her well as she went on to provide in-school mental health services and crisis interventions to high school students, implement treatment plans for foster youth in transitional housing programs, and facilitate therapy groups for middle school girls at the Counseling Partners of Los Angeles, Olive Crest, and Save Our Youth organizations, respectively.

Briana also has experience working with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, both teens and adults, through the Coalition for Family Harmony, where she co-facilitated support groups, advocated for clients’ needs and collaborated with law enforcement and child protective services.

Briana utilizes a trauma-informed, client-centered approach to treatment. This is expressed during sessions in her ability to understand the difference between the words a client may express and what they really mean to help clients get to the core root of the problem. Simultaneously, she utilizes solution-focused therapy to aide her clients in reaching the next step of life.

Briana Smith holds a B.A. in Therapeutic and Community Psychology and
Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Point Loma Nazarene University, an M.A. in Clinical Psychology (with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy) from Pepperdine University and a M.A. in Education-School Counseling from Alliant International University.

Lastly, Briana has been named the Champion of Skip-Bo and Rummikub at Reconnect and enjoys playing these games with the clients.

Sharon Holly

C-IAYT, YTRx-800c

Certified Yoga Therapist, The Resilience Toolkit Certified Facilitator, Certified TRE® Provider (Trauma / Tension Release Exercises)

Sharon is a graduate of the Loyola Marymount University Yoga Therapy Rx, TRE® Los Angeles and The Resilience Toolkit certification programs.

Sharon discovered TRE® and then The Resilience Toolkit on her own healing journey, discovering the benefits of turning on the body’s natural ability to restore itself to balance. She has built a private practice integrating yoga therapy and The Resilience Toolkit as needed for those who suffer from various illnesses, injuries, mood disorders and complex and/or shock trauma. Sharon believes that her role is to guide individuals into their own healing potential by creating a safe space whereby they can progress towards self-regulation and self-empowerment.

Sharon also teaches small therapeutic yoga groups and The Resilience Toolkit sessions at PCH Treatment Center as well as therapeutic yoga at several physical therapy offices, yoga studios, cancer centers and group classes in both public and private schools (preschool – 12th grade) throughout Los Angeles. Additionally, Sharon has experience with support in the 12-steps for addiction and codependency.

Colleen Kelly


Clinical Outreach Specialist, Europe Division

Colleen M. Kelly, PhD, MFT is a psychotherapist and clinical outreach consultant based in Paris, France specializing in addiction and couples work. She is a California Licensed Marriage Family Therapist and an APA Board Certified Professional Counselor. She holds a BFA from New York University, a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University and a Doctorate in Philosophy.

Colleen has worked in the substance abuse and mental health field in a variety of clinical settings, beginning 20 years ago with American Indian treatment centers. She was on the clinical staff of Promises Treatment Center in West Los Angeles as a therapist for four years and on clinical team at Promises, Malibu as a family therapist for 2 years in addition to designing family programs at several other treatment centers. She has been a regular group facilitator and clinical outreach consultant for over a decade at Promises, PCH Treatment Center, Cirque Lodge Utah, Milestones Ranch Malibu, Bridges to Recovery, Harmony Place, Avalon Malibu, AiR, Pacific Quest, Transcend, Riviera Recovery, Visions Adolescent Treatment, and Resolutions Treatment to name a few.

Dr. Kelly is a California Probation Certified Master Domestic Violence Group Facilitator and has participated in the development of culturally relevant substance abuse and batterers programs. She is a Board-Certified Subject Matter Expert in Substance Abuse with the Board of Behavioral Science and a BBSE licensed Continuing Education Provider. In 2005, Dr. Aletha Solter, a colleague of Piaget, certified her as an Aware Parenting Parent Educator Specialist.

As a clinician, she was the first Clinical Director of the CAST program in Santa Monica providing psychotherapy and clinical oversight. Colleen has also consulted with Jean Campbell at the Action Institute of California in working with corporate clients to facilitate team building, strategic planning, crisis intervention, and role training workshops. As an educator, she has had over 40 articles published on addiction and treatment and is the author of over 20 published Continuing Education courses for MFTs and LCSWs.

As an independent behavioral health care contractor, she began working with Jeri Davis International, a health care recruitment and consulting firm in DC, and Gregory Consulting providing direct sales to treatment centers and medical providers, strategic planning, promotional events, and advertising.

As a human rights advocate she works with Palestinian, Syrian, and North African refugees doing asylum interviews and advocating for civil rights and services.

She currently has offices in Paris, France and Santa Monica, California where she is on staff at Resolutions Treatment.

Michael Moore

Neurofeedback Practitioner

Michael A. Moore is a Neurofeedback Practitioner trained at the renowned Othmer Institute. He has conducted Neurofeedback Therapy sessions for individuals and families through his private practices and “remote” sessions throughout California and the United States for many years.

Neurofeedback Therapy is an amazing scientific breakthrough that is non-invasive, cutting edge brain training technology, which enhances optimal performance and can help resolve various physical and mental imbalances related to brain function including; anxiety, depression, OCD, addictions, trauma, PTSD and much more. It’s extremely safe, without the negative side effects medications can bring.

Michael is also an empowering Professional Life Coach who provides compassionate, solutions-oriented treatment dedicated to providing exceptional care and devising creative treatment plans for children, adolescents, and adults.

Alison Burmeister

500 HR RYT/Power Yoga 360

At the age of 3 Alison began her dance lessons at the Academy of Movement and Music just outside of Chicago.  Long before she knew what an “Asana” was, she was introduced to the importance of stretching, breath work and mindfulness by her teachers at the Academy.  Her passion for yoga, movement and music continued throughout her entire young adult life.  It was during her pregnancy and after the birth of her daughter when Alison truly realized how much yoga benefitted her mind and body.  She made the choice to get certified so she could share her personal experience of yoga with others.  As a fitness and beauty consultant for over 19 years, Alison has had the opportunity to work alongside and learn from some of the top trainers in Los Angeles.  When asked what style of yoga she teaches, her answer would be, “It depends on who is in the room.”  As a yoga therapist, Alison brings a lighthearted but careful approach to all her sessions with a focus on breath work, awareness and alignment.

Caitlyn Budd

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Caitlyn is a somatic therapist specializing in trauma and works with disordered eating and self-injury behaviors.  Caitlyn received her degree from Phillips Graduate University’s Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy program in 2013 and has a specialization in the Post-Modern therapies.  In 2014, Caitlyn was trained in the Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM) and in 2016, she was trained in Pat Ogden’s Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, a body-oriented talk therapy.

In her work, Caitlyn is informed by the teachings of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and offers her clients a space to have a different experience of themselves and to find a greater sense of safety within their own body.

Jane Alt

Licensed AMFT
Eating Disorder Specialist

Jane Alt Clark is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. She earned her B.A. in sociology from the University of Colorado and her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine, since then has been working to provide each and every one of her clients with a safe space and a bright future at every level of care. She integrates complementary methodologies to offer a highly personal approach uniquely tailored to each individual.

Jane believes that eating disorder recovery is an integral part of healing as trauma and eating disorders are highly correlated. At Reconnect, Jane strives to bring equilibrium to her patients transitioning into life and works to broaden their experiences with food and eating as they move forward in their recovery. Jane is an active member of the Women’s Association of Addiction Treatment (WAAT) in Los Angeles, a member of the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) and a member of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals.

Briana Smith

Assistant Clinical Director

With a passion for helping others within the psychological field, Briana Smith currently acts as the Assistant Clinical Director at Reconnect. Previous to becoming the Assistant Clinical Director, Briana managed a team of fifteen Resident Advisors at the residential facility while supporting them with scheduling, personal therapeutic processes and individual training.

Briana currently works at Outpatient, where she assists the clinical director by managing crises, supporting clients and clinicians in between sessions and co-facilitating groups.

Briana has dedicated her professional life to helping at-risk groups receive the mental health services they need to live happy, productive lives, including troubled youths, survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, and individuals with anger management issues.

Her journey in the mental health field began at YMCA OZ, where, as a Resident Supervisor, her passion for working in residential treatment developed through her work in crisis management, planning transitions in life, and promoting self-advocacy.

These skills served her well as she went on to provide in-school mental health services and crisis interventions to high school students, implement treatment plans for foster youth in transitional housing programs, and facilitate therapy groups for middle school girls at the Counseling Partners of Los Angeles, Olive Crest, and Save Our Youth organizations, respectively.

Briana also has experience working with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, both teens and adults, through the Coalition for Family Harmony, where she co-facilitated support groups, advocated for clients’ needs and collaborated with law enforcement and child protective services.

Briana utilizes a trauma-informed, client-centered approach to treatment. This is expressed during sessions in her ability to understand the difference between the words a client may express and what they really mean to help clients get to the core root of the problem. Simultaneously, she utilizes solution-focused therapy to aide her clients in reaching the next step of life.

Briana Smith holds a B.A. in Therapeutic and Community Psychology and

Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Point Loma Nazarene University, an M.A. in Clinical Psychology (with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy) from Pepperdine University and a M.A. in Education-School Counseling from Alliant International University.

Lastly, Briana has been named the “Champion” of Skip-Bo and Rumikub and enjoys playing these games with the clients.

Lauren Finerman

Yoga Therapist

Lauren Finerman is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher specializing in trauma informed yoga and yoga therapy. She brings to her sessions over 10 years of experience teaching various types of exploratory movement and embodied practices. Lauren believes that yoga can aid each individual in their healing journey by deepening the mind/body connection, softening physical imprints of trauma in the body, and making space for personal exploration. Lauren combines breath, movement and mindfulness to help individuals find relaxation and cultivate curiosity in their healing journey. Lauren has specialized training in therapeutic yoga for anxiety and depression, trauma informed yoga, the neuroscience of mindfulness, an epigenetic approach to yoga, yoga psychology and yoga for addiction recovery. Lauren has studied under revolutionaries in the yoga therapy field including Dr. Richard Miller (Ph.D.), Dr. Kulvinder Kaur (PHD), Ashley Turner (LMFT), Kyra Haglund (LCSW, SEP, RYT) and Hala Khouri (MA, SEP, RYT). Lauren is a 2020 candidate for the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

Jessica Calgav

Clinical Support

Jessica graduated Magna Cum Laude and currently holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside. Now, she is pursuing a Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology (PsyD). Jessica has been involved with the counseling and psychological services provided by the Board of the University of California, advocating and educating students to normalize mental health. Her passion currently resides working with individuals who have been affected by trauma as well as working with the underserved population.

Jessica has been working under the supervision of licensed psychologists and therapists for over two years, gaining experience and knowledge in trauma related disorders, crisis management, and grounding techniques. She previously worked at Reconnect in the residential facility as a Resident Advisor for 2 years catering to the adult female population that were survivors of trauma. Jessica currently also works in substance abuse treatment to provide case management services, implementing a treatment plan to individuals ages 18 to 26 years old. Jessica meets with clients weekly to maintain and work on goals set forth to increase their success in all areas of their life. She supplies guidance and support to all her clients while maintaining program guidelines and professional, yet empathetic boundaries.

Her academic research interests revolve around intergenerational trauma and how trauma affects brain development within cultural minorities. The focus of her research lies on how trauma affects individuals at the individual level, communal level, societal level, and the environmental level.

Karina Rayo

Program Assistant

Karina has over 12 years of experience working with executives and administrators. She is experienced in accounting, human resources, and client and vendor relations. Over the last 5 years, she has worked and volunteered with agencies that provide legal and social services to immigrants, homeless individuals, and survivors of domestic violence.

As a Program Assistant for Reconnect, Karina provides support to the Clinical Director and the Billing Coordinator. In addition, she is also the Health and Safety Officer and the Human Resources Coordinator. As part of the team, Karina provides most of the support during our expanding afternoon, evenings and weekend portions of our programming. Karina is currently pursuing a B.A. degree in Psychology and Gender Studies.

Day 1: Friday, November 15, 2019

8:15 – 9:00 – Registration


10:30-10:45  Break


12:30-1:30  Lunch


3:45-4:00  Break



Day 2: Saturday, November 16, 2019


10:30-10:45 – Break


12:30-1:30  Lunch


3:15-3:30  Break


The Body Remembers

Making Trauma Therapy Safer

Professional Training with Best Selling Author & Trauma Specialist:

Babette Rothschild

November 15 & 16, 2019
Los Angeles, CA

CEU’s for Licensed Psychologists, LMFT, LCSW, LPC

Charles Cook

Recovery Coach

Charles is a Registered Addiction Specialist and has spent the last 7  years working in the substance abuse and mental health wellness field.  During that time he has acquired extensive exposure and experience in  a myriad of roles: Resident Manager at Promises Treatment Center,  Group Facilitator, Sober Companion, Case Manager, Recovery & Life  Coach, Sober Living Program Manager and Meditation Mentor. Applying  his training in DBT Skills, Motivational Interviewing, Vippasana  Meditation, Core Values and Goal Setting as well as his personal  recovery experience, Charles has developed a philosophy of connection  vs control in working one on one with clients. He believes that  providing a safe, reliable, and secure base affords the most effective  opportunity to support clients in self actualization.

Rhona Rosenblatt

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

Rhona Rosenblatt is a Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Integrative Body Psychotherapy practitioner.  Using an integrative approach that favors somatic modalities, Rhona works with clients to explore what is held non-verbally in the body as an avenue toward healing and growth.  Using the body’s wisdom as a guide, therapeutic interventions address traumatic memory, post-traumatic stress, and nervous system dysregulation.  Rhona has found somatic work particularly effective with clients who have experienced acute and relational trauma, and clients often find a reduction in symptoms and an overall sense of improved well-being.

Rhona received her MSW from UCLA and is licensed as an LCSW.  Rhona has previously worked in the field of child abuse and neglect, foster care, and domestic and international adoption, including work with multi-racial and non-traditional families.  Rhona has presented at conferences and spoken on the subjects of adoption and foster care on NBC television and KPCC and KABC radio.  Rhona also worked as a school therapist in the Santa Monica-Malibu school district with children and families presenting with anxiety, panic, depression, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, family violence, and adjustment issues.

Jessica Improta


Jessica is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, with more than 10 years of clinical training and experience providing therapy to children, adults and families. Jessica has provided counseling to a range of populations and across multiple settings, from foster youth in LA County to sexual assault survivors at UCLA’s Rape Treatment Center.

As a fully-trained EMDR therapist, Jessica has a particular interest in helping clients heal from developmental trauma, and believes that current life stressors and challenges are often the unprocessed ghosts of past trauma and memories. Jessica specializes in working with binge eating disorder, body image issues, and bulimia and practices from a Health at Every Size perspective as well as being a certified Intuitive Eating counselor. Jessica offers a warm, congenial presence, compassion, and humor in the therapy room, and views the relationship between client and therapist as ultimately one of the most important factors in healing. Jessica graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Molecular Biology and received her MSW at UCLA.


Sherry Alamdari

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

Sherry is Level II trained in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, and working towards certification.  Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is a modality which blends somatic awareness with mindfulness, attachment work, and neuroscience.  She loves using this modality in her trauma work as she has witnessed healing happens as a result of bringing awareness to the wisdom within a client’s body.  She interned under the guidance of Bonnie Goldstein, Ph.D. at Lifespan Psychological Center.

Sherry assists current Sensorimotor Psychotherapy training at both levels and continues to stay active in staying informed and educated about advancements in the field of psychotherapy.  She earned her BA in Communication Arts at Loyola Marymount University and her MA In Psychology at Phillips Graduate University.

Caroline Lawson

Massage Therapist

Caroline developed an interest in Massage Therapy when she was working as Wellness Director and Yoga and Meditation teacher at a drug and alcohol treatment facility in New Jersey.  She witnessed the immediate effects of massage on clients’ mood and attitude, and realized that was what she wanted to make part of her life’s work. She is a graduate of the Cortiva Institute School of Massage and Bodywork in King of Prussia, PA. Caroline has been practicing massage for several years, first in Philadelphia, and for the past three years in California, in both treatment and studio settings.  Her passion is helping clients integrate muscular wellness with relaxation and self-care.  Her favorite expression is, “Massage doesn’t have to hurt to work.”  In her spare time she enjoys learning about nutrition, cooking, studying for her Recovery Coach certification, hiking, rock climbing, and days at the beach.

Sarah Patterson

Certified Yoga Therapist

Sarah is a Certified Yoga Therapist, trauma-informed yoga teacher, and Ayurvedic Health Counselor. Years ago, on her own path to healing from trauma, Sarah personally experienced the therapeutic power of yoga and body-based mindfulness. Since then, she has dedicated herself to assisting others on their healing journeys by offering guidance in these integrative practices in treatment centers and private practice. Sarah loves learning and is constantly engaged in continuing education in the field of somatic therapy and healing. She also frequently assists courses at her Yoga Therapy alma mater: Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy. Sarah received her certification through the International Association of Yoga Therapists, and has focused Yoga Therapy training in recovery from addiction and eating disorders, and processing trauma. In addition to her somatic work, Sarah also has an extensive background in art and loves to paint, draw, take photos, and create beautiful things from clay. She loves spending time in nature and with animals, and enjoys reading, cooking, and designing websites.

Erika Rodriguez

Admissions Manager

Erika has over 5 years of experience working in Substance Abuse and Mental Health. Erika started at Reconnect as the Program Assistant and then moved into the Admissions Manager position as her passion and knowledge in the field increased. Erika saw the impact Reconnect has on clients’ lives internally and wanted to move to the Admissions Manager position to shed light and hope on clients suffering outside of treatment to get the help they may need.

Her passion for working with others and developing client care all started when she attended school to get her CNA license which led her to working in programs for substance abuse and mental health. Learning everything she knows today all started from her position as a Lead Residential Advisor for a Substance abuse facility in Malibu, California and she continues to expand her knowledge to be the best that she can to help others in need.

Laura Gajda

Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist

Laura Gajda has a background in eating disorders and mental health diagnoses. Laura was the Adolescent Dietitian at Rosewood Centers for Eating Disorders and specializes in educating and working with families of adolescents with eating disorders.  She also specializes in working with adults that have eating disorders and building sustainability in their own recovery. Laura graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelors of Science in Dietetics where she also completed her internship.  She looks forward to providing individualized care to each and every client. She helps each client build their own sense of autonomy around food and decrease the power that food can have over their life.

Anita Patel

Certified Massage Therapist

Anita is a Certified Massage Therapist in the state of California and has been National Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork since 2008. She uses massage and bodywork to fulfill her passion of assisting others to decrease stress levels, relax the nervous system, relieve pain, trauma and physical disabilities. She is trained in somatic bodywork, a holistic mind-body approach used to release, integrate and heal emotions that remain in the body from past negative experiences. Consequently, restoring wholeness and well-being. Clients frequently comment on their increased ability to handle stress more effectively. She works with addiction, PTSD trauma, sexual abuse, and dissociative personality disorder. She also has experience working with special needs and terminally ill children and their families, in a Children’s Hospice Program. Anita is an Ayurvedic Health practitioner and has taken 200-hour Yoga Teacher training. Drawing on these holistic modalities she is able to assess dietary habits, lifestyle choices, and mental states. Thereby, assisting clients maintain a healthy life, eliminate impurities, reduce stress, and disease prevention. Prior to 2008 Anita has worked as a Radiation Therapist in Oncology both in hospital and private clinical environment for over 14 years. She has volunteered at Children’s Hospital Orange County, with the Homeless in Orange and Los Angeles counties. She recently volunteered at a global outreach program teaching and giving massage in India.

Samantha Giertych

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Samantha Giertych has a background in the treatment of eating disorders, substance use, and mental health. Samantha graduated with Distinction from the College of
Human Ecology at Cornell University, and completed her dietetic internship at the City University of New York, Hunter College, prior to relocating to Southern California. Since 2013, Samantha has provided individualized nutrition counseling and nutrition education to clients and groups within the mental health field. Samantha’s journey into healthcare began with a passion for helping those in need, and has sought to provide quality nutrition care services to all who require them, regardless of financial or insurance constraints. She has worked with multiple eating disorder and mental health treatment centers – The Renfrew Center of New York, Rosewood Centers for Eating Disorders, and
La Ventana Treatment Programs. Her specialty areas include intuitive eating, ERP, severe and enduring eating disorders (SEED), compassion-focused and values-based care, relational work, DBT skills for prevention of disordered eating behaviors, and sustainable and individualized treatment models. Throughout her time working in
treatment, Samantha has observed the necessity of a multi-disciplinary approach in producing positive medical and mental health outcomes for individuals. She is appreciative to be able to support Reconnect staff and clients in seeking holistic health and well-being.