Patty Baret, CAI, is a certified ARISE interventionist who has helped hundreds of chemically dependent individuals enter recovery. An advocate for recovering women, and with over three decades of personal recovery herself, Patty has facilitated groups on self-empowerment, relapse prevention and a wide breadth of gender-specific issues. Patty’s expertise in substance abuse, process addictions, psychiatric decompensation and emotional dysregulation has led to her recognition as an expert in recovery and aftercare support, as well as the highest respect from the international recovery community. Originally from Nice, France, Patty’s international experience, (including her years living in Morocco), as well as professional visits to investigate rehabilitation resources worldwide, have provided her the rare ability to align with, and relate to, individuals from virtually any cultural, communal or familial experience.
With over a decade of professional experience as a substance abuse counselor with UCLA training, Lauren Arborio, CADAC II, has worked with, and received training from, leading specialists in addiction recovery, psychiatry, and pain management. Born and raised in New York City, Lauren is familiar with the temptations, fast life and lure of drugs of living in such an international urban city. A graduate of New York University, with a BA in International Relations, Lauren is passionate about helping others struggling with addiction and co-occurring disorders. Utilizing her vast depth of professional resources in behavioral and mental health, addiction medicine, treatment providers, holistic therapies, alternative healing modalities, and sober living communities, she ensures that each client and family with whom she works with receives a customized recovery plan designed to support optimal outcome success.
With over 15 years of experience in the recovery field, Roxan has worked as a Recovery Companion, Case Manager, and Director of a transitional living. She also served as Director of Operations, Tech Manager, and Psych Tech for a premier dual diagnosis treatment center in Southern California. A skilled facilitator, Roxan has supervised workshops on chemical dependency, relapse prevention, crisis management, and neuroscience in recovery. She has received extensive training in both mental health disorders as well as psychopharmacology. Roxan earned her Masters in Social Work with a concentration on mental health at the University of Southern California (USC). While obtaining her degree, she enrolled in elective courses specifically connected to helping people who suffer with substance and mental health issues consisting of Substance Related and Behavioral Addictive Disorders, Brief Therapy and Crisis Intervention, and Domestic Violence. Roxan also holds a Bachelors of Science degree in psychology.
Dr. Georgina Smith is a licensed Clinical Psychologist, EMDR clinician, addiction specialist, case management consultant, public speaker and educator.
Dr. Smith’s treatment specialties include: addiction, trauma, relationship issues, borderline personality disorder, self-injury, impulse regulation issues, and eating disorders. Dr. Smith also has extensive experience treating: depression, mood and anxiety disorders, personality disorders, domestic violence related trauma, grief and loss, codependency, and phase of life difficulties.
Bringing a warm, supportive and direct approach to her work, Dr. Smith treats individuals (adult, adolescent and child), couples, and their families. She is an EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing) clinician trained through EMDR Consulting and utilizes this tool to treat trauma, reduce distress, and adapt negative core beliefs. Dr. Smith also utilizes an eclectic blend of relational, narrative, cognitive-behavioral, dialectical behavioral, psychodynamic, systems and interpersonal neurobiology based therapeutic interventions to assist individuals in stabilizing distressing symptoms and building coping resources to self-regulate. She also works with individuals to address underlying issues contributing to current symptoms, while identifying and adapting negative core beliefs, life patterns and internalized stories from the past, which a focus on integration of core self, working to heal from traumas, and learning to assert and meet needs in healthy and empowered ways.
Lauren Casey, PhD, has worked professionally with a variety of regional, national and international organizations committed to the reduction of health inequalities in society. She has created, developed and delivered successful government-funded harm reduction programs, and has been the recipient of several awards for her contribution to the betterment of health and well-being of individuals dealing with mental health and substance abuse. She has also published numerous academic book chapters and scholarly articles on the subject.
Dr. Casey has developed programs and services for incarcerated women and has delivered workshops to women and youth at a variety of detention centers and federal and state prisons throughout California. She has been an invited guest speaker at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), the American Society of Criminology and the Academic Health Policy Conference on Correctional Health held in Boston, MA. She continues to present her research at academic conferences worldwide.
While pursuing her PhD, Dr. Casey was the successful recipient of two major doctoral scholarship awards—the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research and the Integrated Mentorship Program in Addictions Research Training (IMPART). She is also past nominee of the prestigious Trudeau doctoral scholarship award.
As an international speaker and expert in qualitative research, Dr. Casey traveled to Kenya, Africa to provide interview training to a group of research assistants at the University of Nairobi, followed by three days in the slums of Kibera conducting interviews with adult women living with HIV/AIDS. This fieldwork was part of A Kenya Free of AIDS: Harnessing Interdisciplinary Science for HIV Prevention (KEFA), a United States National Institutes of Health-funded research project that interlinked the University of Nairobi, the University of Washington and the University of Victoria.
Colleen McBride has had diverse roles in the addiction treatment industry, such as recovery coach/companion, clinical case manager, business development, and therapist. She joined Connections in Recovery in 2017 initially as a recovery companion and has since expanded her roles to include clinical outreach—utilizing both her clinical background and extensive network of recovery professionals to expand CiR services in the San Diego County. Currently pursuing her MFT licensure, her personal recovery experience and overarching clinical perspective facilitates interactions between clients and their families with the valuable resources for sustainable recovery. Her underlying intention and motivations in her work are rooted in providing hope and strength to those afflicted with multiple diagnoses.
Colleen McBride also has done work for Saddleback Recovery in northern San Diego. There, as the bridge between them and the behavioral health community in San Diego, she has collaborated with the entire Sirona Behavioral Health family of programs to provide the highest standard of addiction treatment. In her clinical outreach role there, she has built authentic relationships etched in compassion and connection that create supportive spaces to foster healing and growth. Her focus has been set on forming alliances with mental health professionals whose clients may need detox and stabilization as well as developing relationships with like-minded partners in order to successfully transition Saddleback’s clients into the next level of care.
Colleen McBride’s experience in helping others also includes training and working at the San Diego Rescue Mission with the city’s homeless and underserved population, and Harmony Grove, a women’s residential eating disorder program. In addition, she volunteers at Rape Abuse Incest National Network (RAINN), The Joyful Heart Foundation, and San Diego State University. She earned her Master’s in Marriage & Family Therapy from Alliant International University (AIU) in San Diego, and holds a Bachelor degree in Advertising from San Diego State University.
Josh Mirmelli, Psy.D, has been collaborating with the Connections in Recovery team for nearly five years. His background involves working in private-practice, intensive outpatient, and residential settings, and he is currently in the midst of receiving supervision to complete his post-doctoral hours to obtain licensure in California. More recently, he has come on board to assist staff and clients in developing comprehensive case plans that encompass both short-term and long-term goals so that the connection between an individual’s aspirations and reality is all the more palpable.
Josh Mirmelli empowers clients to become involved in their own future planning and goal setting and helps to monitor progress toward goals along the way. Additionally, he assists in overseeing the work of CiR companions and provides adjunct support and consultation to the CiR team to enhance rapport and engagement. His empathic regard for each individual’s unique challenges and strengths fuels his commitment to supporting those who are healing.
Nathalie Baret has more than 17 years in media and public relations, a vast background in journalism (print, radio), business operations and strategic image management. A cum laude graduate of Fort Lewis in Durango, CO, with a BA in International Business Affairs, and a minor in Strategic Marketing and Public Relations, she is also certified with honors by BI/NMH, Norway’s top international business school of Management and Marketing, where she studied abroad for a year and a half in Oslo, concentrating on Marketing, PR, and Organization & Change.
Nathalie Baret brings her strategic marketing, compelling messaging campaign skills on enhancing an organization’s brand and position in a competitive market, and creative storytelling reporting (articles featured in print and digital editions of daily newspaper with circulations of up to 150,000+), to Connections in Recovery Los Angeles, Connections in Recovery East Coast, and Connections in Recovery Europe. She currently holds professional memberships, including serving as Co-Chair of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Colorado Chapter of Professional Development: Programs/Events, as well as is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).
Francesca Adair has been working as a clinician and administrator in acute mental health and substance use disorder treatment since 2004.
A native New Yorker, Francesca Adair moved to Los Angeles in 1998 with plans to stay one year. 18 years later, after building a wonderful career launching and overseeing treatment centers for some of the most reputable programs in the business, she decided to return “home” to find new growth opportunities. Having worked alongside the founders of CIR as they launched their business and became one the of premier coaching companies in the country, she is very excited to partner with them on the east coast to provide clinical oversight and supervision.
Francesca Adair’s work leaves her continually awed by the courage and passion of recovering clients, their families and the providers who facilitate this amazing process.
Kristin is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), with a background in both inpatient and outpatient treatment of substance use and dual diagnosis issues. Certified in Integrated Harm Reduction Psychotherapy (IHRP), she regularly works with couples and families coping with substance use, trauma, mental health and communications issues, as well as facilitating parent, family and peer groups focusing on support and psychoeducation. Kristin currently works in private practice as well as the family / couples therapist at the Center for Optimal Living.
Kristin has worked extensively with families and significant others to address maladaptive thinking patterns and integrate new behaviors to complement their goals and values. Prior to the Center for Optimal Living, she ran the Family and Parent Programs at New York Center for Living, an Intensive Outpatient Program for adolescents, young adults and their families. Additionally, Kristin facilitated numerous groups at The Addiction Institute of New York, where she worked with clients whose objectives ranged from substance use moderation to abstinence. She completed training at Summit Malibu in California, an inpatient treatment facility serving clients with dual diagnosis issues and their families. She approaches treatment from a psychodynamic perspective, integrating family systems, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), internal family systems (IFS), mindfulness skills and motivational interviewing in working with clients.
Kristin has lectured extensively on the topics of addiction, family systems and communications. She holds an MA in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University and BA from Barnard College of Columbia University.
Dufflyn Lammers is a Certified Professional Coach with a passion for empowering individuals and families in recovery. She is a Certified Arise Interventionist and a Certified Recovery Specialist. She has been an apprentice with the renowned spiritual teacher Dawn Cartwright. Lammers specializes in Codependency and Sex and Love Addiction.
In her sixteen years of personal recovery, she has been a regular contributor for TheFix.com, the world’s leading resource for addiction and recovery. She has worked with the Los Angeles Police Department and with At-Risk Youth in schools and community centers to facilitate recovery in traumatized and undeserved populations. Her workshops—-RESILIENCE GAMES, IDENTITY GAMES, and FINDING YOUR VOICE use improv games and creative writing to teach emotional intellligence, communication skills, and recovery skills through the power of play.
Her essay “Tinder in Paris” won a Silver Medal in the Love Story category for the Twelfth Annual Solas Awards, 2018. Her one woman show DISCOVERED was a 2017 Duende Distinction Award nominee in its debut at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. She has been published in Iowa Woman, Adelaide, the Museletter of the National Association For Poetry Therapy, and in Poetry Slam: The Competitive Art of Performance Poetry edited by Gary Glazner. She has appeared on RUSSELL SIMMONS DEF POETRY JAM (HBO), CRIMINAL MINDS (CBS), ENTOURAGE (HBO), and in BELLY from Artisan Films. She is the voice of the Baja Fresh “Spoken Word Radio” campaign. Lammers co-edited the spoken word anthology Chorus with Saul Williams, 2014 (Simon & Schuster).
In 2011 Lammers wrote, produced, and starred in the short film “Raven,” winning Best Experimental Short at the LA International Underground Film Festival. The film explores the story of a girl, her drug dealer and her boyfriend on the night she hits rock bottom. Lammers was Slammaster of the Los Feliz Slam team 1999-2002, leading her team to three nationals. Lammers has brought her unique style of “page-to-stage” poetry to universities from Smith College to UC Irvine. She worked as an arts & entertainment journalist for The Georgia Guardian and Morris News Service from 1995 through 2000. Lammers graduated from Sara Lawrence College in 1995 with a BA in Creative Writing. She won the 1993 National Silver Medal in Poetry Interpretation from Phi Rho Pi.
Originally from Palo Alto, California, she lives in Paris, France. Her personal website is: www.dufflyn.com
Colleen M. Kelly, Ph.D., LMFT, based in Paris, is a psychotherapist who specializes in addiction and couples work. She is a California Licensed Marriage Family Therapist and an APA Board Certified Professional Counselor. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York University, a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University and a Doctorate in Philosophy.
Dr. Kelly has worked in the substance abuse and mental health field in a variety of clinical settings, beginning 20 years ago, when she worked in 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 the clinical team at Promises in Malibu as a family therapist for two, 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, just 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 an independent behavioral health care contractor, Dr. Kelly began working with Jeri Davis International, a health care recruitment and consulting firm in Washington, DC, as well as Gregory Consulting, where she provided direct sales to treatment centers and medical providers, strategic planning, promotional events, and advertising. Furthermore, as an educator, she has more than 40 articles published on addiction and treatment and is the author of over 20 published Continuing Education courses for MFTs and LCSWs.
As a human rights advocate, Dr. Kelly works with Palestinian, Syrian, and North African refugees doing asylum interviews and advocating for civil rights and services.
Dr. Kelly currently has offices in Paris, France and Santa Monica, California, where she is on staff at Resolutions Treatment.
We warmly welcome Dr. Colleen Kelly and her expertise to the Connections in Recovery team!
CiR is proud of its invaluable advisory board which includes expert addiction psychiatrists and psychologists. With over 20 years of experience in the field, our cadre of professionals possesses the knowledge, skills and compassion to help you navigate your options and give you the tools to make the best decisions in taking control of your life.
Dr. Fong is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. Dr. Fong completed his undergraduate and medical school at Northwestern University in Chicago. He then came to UCLA and finished his residency in adult general psychiatry in 2002 and was the first accredited addiction psychiatry fellow at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute (2002-2004).
Currently Dr. Fong serves as co-director of the UCLA Gambling Studies Program. The purpose of this program is to examine the underlying causes and course of problem and pathological gambling and to develop effective, evidence-based treatments. He is also the director of the UCLA Addiction Medicine Clinic, a teaching clinic that specializes in the treatment of all disorders of addiction. Finally, he is also the director of the UCLA Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship, which provides high-level training in addiction psychiatry.
Dr. Jeffrey S. Ditzell is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Ditzell enjoys practice as a General Adult Psychiatrist working in Private Practice in New York City. Dr. Ditzell’s depth and breadth of clinical experience is unique, having served as the Chief of an inpatient Dual Diagnosis Unit, as the lead attending in two Psychiatric ER’s, and as the Lead Physician of an Assisted Community Treatment team. Dr. Jeffrey Ditzell is an Adult ADHD Psychiatrist in New York City.
Dr. Ditzell has been committed to the service of soldiers in the United States Army for over 16 years, having himself attained the rank of Major. During his deployment to Tikrit, Iraq in 2005, Major Ditzell served as the division psychiatrist in Tikrit, Iraq and was awarded the “Army Commendation Medal,” for his service with distinction. Dr. Ditzell has had the additional honor of serving as medical officer for a community-based warrior transition unit at Rock Island Arsenal, assisting soldiers and their families in making the oft-times difficult transition from overseas deployment to home.
Dr. Ditzell has completed Fellowships in Addiction Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine, and Public Psychiatry, and received his medical degree from The Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Dr. Don Grant is an internationally award-winning media psychologist, researcher, addiction specialist, and Chair of the new American Psychological Association (Division 46) “Device Management” Committee. He is also a certified chemical dependency counselor, nationally certified group facilitator, and clinician/educator trainer. Don received his B.A. with honors from the University of Michigan, an MFA from the University of Southern California, and both his MA and Ph.D. (summa cum laude) in Psychology (with an emphasis in media diagnosis comorbidity), from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara. In addition to his work with substance abuse and dual diagnosis comorbidity, Don is the Founder/CEO of “(un)BOOT CAMP,” a treatment program for teens, young adults, and families struggling with technology, Smartphone, online gaming, cyberpornography, and/or other technologically mediated platform/device dependence, addiction, and negotiation.
Dr. Grant was recipient of the 2015 American Psychological Association “Early Career Achievement Award.” In 2012, he was awarded an international “Best of Show” prize in London for his addiction recovery research work. His recent keynote speaker and conference presentations included: The Young Adult Transitions Association Conference (U-C Boulder), The Admissions & Marketing Symposium (Los Angeles), The Pop Culture Association Conference (New Orleans), the California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators (CAADE) Conference (L.A.), One Recovery Launch and Town Hall Symposium (Newport Beach), and The California Unified Collegiate Recovery Conference (UCSB). 2017 presentations will include: 1Recovery Technology & Device Management Town Hall II (Newport Beach), The Advance L.A. 2017 Conference (Los Angeles), and the 2017 American Psychological Convention (Washington D.C.). Don also designs, presents, and facilitates CEU training workshops for clinicians and educators nationwide on behalf of Vyne/Cross Country Education.
In 2015, Dr. Grant was invited to present his research at the 2015 APA Convention in Toronto. While there, his global study on technologically mediated vs. Face-to-Face sobriety recovery support was hand-selected by the convention committee. His current research explores how the use of technology and online media platform/devices affect/effect our biological, psychological, and sociological health and relationships.
Dr. Grant counsels individuals, couples, and families and facilitates groups through both his private practice and two Los Angeles based dual diagnosis treatment programs. He provides professional consulting, branding, program curriculum design/auditing, and content copywriting services to the mental health and addiction recovery community, and offers free education and recovery support to local schools. From 2001 through 2014, Don worked in residential dual-diagnosis treatment, serving for the last three years as Executive Director of a program for women which he created. In 2002, he created and implemented the Literacy in Treatment program, which today still offers adult clients in recovery the opportunity to earn their high school diploma.
Dr. Martinez has a diverse practice which focuses on the treatment of chemical and behavioral addictions. A coveted speaker, he has presented at many national and international conferences, addressing the issues of marijuana, mental health, and Cultural Psychiatry. Trained in Addiction Psychiatry at UCLA, Dr. Martinez is respected as a leader of cutting-edge treatments in the field. His approach to therapy involves non-judgmental listening, framed with elements of cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and psychodynamic therapy.
Dr. Martinez is a graduate of Harvard University and completed medical school at the U-C, San Diego, School of Medicine. He is board-certified in Psychiatry and completed his residency through the UCLA San Fernando Valley Program, before pursuing additional clinical training in Addiction Psychiatry from the UCLA-Neuropsychiatric Institute.