Vicki Berkus, M.D., Ph.D., CEDSMedical Director
Dr. Vicki Berkus is a Board-Certified Psychiatrist. She has been the Medical Director for several eating disorders programs around the country and has worked with patients at all levels of eating disorders treatment. Dr. Berkus is the past president of the International Association of Eating Disorders (IAEDP) and currently serves as a Member of the IAEDP Board of Directors. Dr. Berkus wrote a chapter in the book, “Eating Disorders in Special Populations.” In addition, Dr. Berkus has brought telemedicine to several facilities and is dedicated to treating patients who do not have access to substance abuse or eating disorder specialists in their area.
Dr. Christine Curtis Executive Clinical Director
Dr. Christine Curtis is the Executive Director of Akua Mind and Body in Sacramento, CA. She has a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from John F. Kennedy University and has worked in the field of Behavioral Health and Addiction Treatment for over 15 years. She has experience in a wide variety of clinical settings, including acute care hospitals, outpatient programs, and managed care. Dr. Curtis also serves as adjunct faculty for the graduate psychology programs at both The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and The University of Phoenix.
Lauren Cabaldon, M.A., LMFT Clinical Director
Lauren Cabaldon is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist trained in Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego, and her Master’s degree in Counseling and Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Cabaldon works from the strong conviction that transformative and life-changing treatment starts with a healthy, self-aware and balanced clinical team. She utilizes an integrative psychodynamic approach when working with clients and believes that an individual’s personal encounter with the unconscious is essential for the healing process. Cabaldon is passionate about helping clients get in touch with their spiritual selves and believes strongly in the power of community and connectedness to promote the growth of the individual mind, body and spirit.
Shannon Hybl, M.A., LMFT Program Director – LANI Women’s Residential
Shannon is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She graduated from Vanguard University with a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Shannon is passionate about empowering individuals to find healing and restoration. “There is nothing more rewarding than to be invited into someone’s pain and to watch them grow and experience the freedom from their bondages,” she says. Shannon also specializes in helping those struggling with addiction, depression, anxiety and relational issues.
Kristen Torp, M.A., Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist Program Director – KOA Men’s Residential
Kristen is a Marriage and Family Therapist and a Practitioner of Clinical Counseling. She received both her BA and Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology (with an emphasis in MFT) from Azusa Pacific University. Kristen also completed coursework for the Certificate in Alcohol and Drug Counseling at California State University Dominguez Hills and utilizes humanistic and existential models of therapy and an overall holistic approach.
Eaman Saddaifard, B.A., CADC-ll Program Director – OHANA Intensive Outpatient Program
Eaman is the Director of Detox at Akua and brings years of experience in substance abuse treatment to his position. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, with an emphasis in Philosophy of Psychology and Phenomenology of Addiction. Eaman is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Social Work. Eaman is passionate about helping those who struggle with addiction, giving them lasting tools to transform their lives through successful recovery.
Terrah Osborne, LVN Program Director – Detox MAHALO & ALOHA
Terrah obtained her license in Vocational Nursing from Northwest College. She has clinical experience in a variety of specialties, including psychiatric/mental health, surgical, pediatric, gastrointestinal, and community health care. Terrah’s medical capability and caring approach create the perfect combination for safe and effective detoxification treatment. Terrah has the ability to make clients feel personally cared for as she nurtures them towards their recovery.
Ellyn Silverman-Linnetz, R.D., M.P.H., CEDRDProgram Manager – MALANA Eating Disorder Track
Ellyn Silverman-Linnetz is a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian and Physician Assistant. Her expertise covers a wide area of practice, from integrating nutritional healing into addiction and recovery care to nutrition therapy in eating disorders. Her integrative approach to nutrition intervention helps clients improve their relationship with food and find peace in their bodies, so they can show up for what is most important in life. Silverman-Linnetz considers herself to be a “non-diet” Registered Dietitian and is committed to helping clients reach their goals through self-exploration and self-trust. She is an Intuitive Eating practitioner and comes from the philosophy of weight-inclusive wellness. Silverman-Linnetz has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nutrition from Rutgers University and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of South Carolina. She also completed a Fellowship and her Physician’s Assistant degree at the University of Southern California in Metabolic Dysregulation. Silverman-Linnetz is a member of IAEDP and The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and has authored many publications, written chapters on a variety of topics and is a national speaker on nutrition health.
Rachel Eckes, M.A., Registered Associate Marriage and Family TherapistProgram Therapist
Rachel is a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist and received her Master’s degree in Counseling from California State University, Long Beach. Rachel is also a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) and completed her 200-hour yoga teaching training program from Cloud Nine Yoga. Rachel is trained in Trauma-Informed Yoga and Yin Yoga. She uses mindfulness-based concepts to inspire clients to maintain a calm, open mind, allowing them to explore their thoughts, emotions and body sensations with curiosity rather than judgment. Rachel’s goal is to help clients rebuild their self-esteem, allowing themselves to succeed and reach their true potential.
Sara Povey, M.A., Registered Associate Marriage and Family TherapistProgram Therapist
Sara is a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist with a Master’s degree in Holistic Counseling Psychology. Her passion is empowering women to cultivate a succulent and loving relationship with themselves so they can express freely and experience life – fully free and alive. She recognizes the intimate relationship between the human body and psychological well-being and uses body-oriented psychotherapy to invite clients to view the body as a resource for self-discovery and healing. Her therapeutic style integrates DBT, mindfulness, and Jungian Shadow Work.
Kenyota Dokes, BLS, MA. LPC Program Therapist
Kenyota graduated from the University of Missouri Saint Louis with a Bachelor’s of Liberal Studies with an emphasis in psychology and communications. She received her Master’s of Art degree in Professional Counseling from Lindenwood University. Kenyota is currently working on her PhD in Leadership and Higher Education Administration at Saint Louis University . Kenyota has been a therapist in private practice and various organizations , for several years. She has worked heavily with co- occurring disorders, women’s issues, family systems, addictions, and under-served populations providing resources and treatment. Kenyota has extensive training in cognitive approaches to trauma therapy and has worked with Survivors of War who suffer from PTSD. Her therapeutic approach focuses on the “whole person”- mind, body and spirit and is a combination of cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic approaches. She focuses on short-term symptoms as well as long-term factors that underlie the client’s issues in order to help them reach a greater understanding of self to and help them on their path of healing.
Katie Marienthal, LAc Acupuncturist
Katie Marienthal LAc is a licensed acupuncturist and mindfulness meditation teacher. She gives group acupuncture at Akua and her meditations during these sessions are infused with topics that help those on the path of recovery. These topics include, self compassion, non judgement and cultivating awareness which leads to self discovery to better inform our choices. Katie is licensed in giving the NADA acupuncture protocol for addiction. This protocol was successfully studied at Yale, the results with acupuncture quadrupled the success rate of long term sobriety because of acupuncture’s healing impact on the brain. Katie has her Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Emperors College and her Bachelors degree from USC.
Christina Milucky, M.A., Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, CATC-IVTherapist
Christina is a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor, Case Manager, and Marriage and Family Therapist with a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. For the past six years, Christina has worked in both residential and outpatient facilities helping countless individuals, couples, and families, find their own path in the recovery process. Christina facilitates groups focused on relapse prevention and the recovery process.
Taleen N. Barsam, M.A., Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist Program Therapist
Taleen is a registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist with a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University. Taleen believes in the transformative power of relationship and approaches therapy from a person-centered, authentic and holistic perspective. Taleen views overall health as the integration of mind, body, emotions, will, and spirit in their true free-flowing form. Through insight-oriented, solution focused and mindfulness-based models Taleen’s goal is aimed at fostering self-love, awareness, and connection.
Elizabeth Irving, MFTtProgram Therapist
Elizabeth is a Certified Yoga instructor and a Reiki II Practitioner with experience in addiction recovery. She believes that mindfulness is the key to understanding one’s self and paving a path through recovery that is authentic and sustainable. Elizabeth loves to blend science and spirituality in her holistic approach to mindfulness meditation, and believes that people’s capacity to heal one another with open hearts and open minds is the greatest miracle there is.
Brandon Joffe, LCSW Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Brandon began his career with addiction counseling at the Substance Abuse Foundation in 2001. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Brandon deals with addiction issues, eating disorders, anger management problems, and significant mental health disorders. He has developed Inspired Resolutions, a center dedicated to families and teens. His dedication towards the integration of fitness, nutrition, and mental/physical health allows his clients to take ownership of their life goals and develop a spiritual approach to recovery.
Travis Grant, M.A.,Program Therapist
After working as a college basketball coach and recruiter Travis went back to school to pursue his passion for working with people and completed a bachelors degree in psychology from New Mexico State University. He then attended the University of Denver where he completed his Masters Degree in International Disaster Psychology with a focus on understanding the impacts trauma can have on a person’s life. Upon completion of his masters degree, he relocated to the East Coast where he worked in a variety of setting ranging from community work, hospitals, and both in patient and out-patient settings. Travis has experience working with mood and psychotic disorders, and a range of substance use related disorders. Travis believes appreciation and hope that recovery from challenging and traumatic experiences is possible, and that by addressing the deeper issues people can transition from a state of surviving to one of actual living.
Matt Opoien, M.A. Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist Program Therapist
Matt is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, receiving his Masters in Clinical Psychology and Marriage and Family Therapy from Brandman University. Matt has also received his B.A. in Clinical Psychology from California State University, San Bernardino. Matt has a passion for helping people find meaning and purpose through facing their own demons. “By addressing core beliefs and values, we can assess how beliefs dictate our behaviors and choices.” Matt believes that core beliefs can often be an instrumental root to our disease of addiction. By reassessing these beliefs, we can shed light upon the dots that connect our past to our present. Matt’s theoretical orientations lie within the schools of Gestalt, Psychodynamic, and Humanistic approaches. Two favorite quotes that inspire my work are both from Eleanor Roosevelt, they are: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” And, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Matt’s greatest passion is seeing the light come on in others. Matt is also passionate about art and music, being an accomplished artist himself. His favorite movies are mafia-styled movies like Casino and Good Fellas. He likes to read classics like A Movable Feast by Hemmingway. Matt’s favorite places to travel are Italy, Mexico, and Portugal. “I wanted to work for a team and company that reflects a close family, all striving to lift each other up, both workers and clients, bringing out the best of everyone. By focusing on this, we, together, build a solid common foundation in, and for, our work.”
Jordin Tate, CADC-ICase Manager
Jordin discovered a passion for working in the addiction field as a result of a personal experience in 2011. After earning her degree as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Jordin began helping women understand the issues that surround the cycle of addiction, such as self-esteem, body image, healthy relationships, and communication. Some of the women struggling with such issues have a history of abuse and she is committed to helping women transform into their authentic selves and create a fulfilling life of recovery.
Robin Morissette CADC-ICase Manager
Robin has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for the past 8 years. She has extensive experience working with substance abuse as well as eating disorders. Robin is licensed as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor with an extended education in eating disorders. Robin is passionate about helping and supporting her clients in finding a better way of life free from the addictions that hold them back from living their most fulfilling life.
Leslie Chappelle, CADC-ICase Manager
Leslie is the Case Manager at Akua’s Detox program. She has been working in the field of recovery since 2010 and brings with her years of experience helping struggling addicts and alcoholics take their first steps toward a new way of life. Leslie is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and is passionate about supporting and encouraging Akua clients while they work toward a healthy and happy future in recovery.
Dena Santos, CADC-IICase Manager
Over the twelve years that Dena Santos has been working in the treatment field, she has gained experience in both the clinical and administrative areas of care through a variety of modalities. Dena entered the substance use disorder treatment field as a certified counselor working with women suffering from substance abuse. Dena went on to be the director of a Residential Detox Program treating clients with acutely co-occurring medical and mental health issues. Dena’s passion is working one-on-one with clients by building exceptional treatment plans that support individual client care.
Eric Foti, CADC-II, MFTtCase Manager
Eric has worked in the field of mental health and addiction since 2002. He is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC II), and is currently completing his Master’s degree in Psychology to become a licensed marriage and family therapist. Eric has worked in all facets of treatment; from county psychiatric hospitals, private residential treatment centers, and intensive outpatient programs, and most recently assisting the homeless population in Orange County to obtain services for mental health, substance abuse, and housing. Additionally, Eric has been a certified trainer for staff on non-violent crisis intervention and de-escalation skills.
Dan Paulsell Case Manager
Dan has earned a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with majors in Management, Human Resources, Marketing and supporting emphasis in Psychology and Sociology. He is currently working toward the completion of his Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor designation. He uses a caring and practical approach to assist in transitioning clients thoughts, actions and perspective into a new way of life, emphasizing the necessity of a new design for living. His ability to connect with clients through respect and empathy, is an invaluable asset to those struggling with addiction and trust barriers. His approach to a 12 step lead spiritual experience is accessible and inspiring.
Angelina Horn Case Manager
Angelina is a graduate of Grand Canyon University. She possesses a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and she is currently pursuing her Master’s of Science in Counseling with an emphasis on Trauma. As a clinician, Angelina comes from a place of deep empathy and compassion for her clients. She enjoys working in the areas of child development, trauma and addiction. Her other interests include curriculum development, program development and group therapy.