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.
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, 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 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 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.
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 a 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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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 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. Janice has a private practice in Santa Monica and finds helping people overcome difficult issues from their past to be a rewarding endeavor.
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 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 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 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.