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Our Staff

The majority of staff at CASA Recovery is in recovery. This allows us an informed perspective having “been there and done that.”

Krishna Jessick, C.A.T.C. – Executive Director
Our founder and executive director Krishna has spent over 20 years in the field of drug & alcohol recovery, having helped in the creation and marketing of four other residential addiction treatment programs in California—Orange County. She studied Human Services: Drug and Alcohol Studies in Saddleback College and is a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor (CATC) as well as an educator for and member of the California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators (CAADE). She also trained in Relapse Prevention, Crisis Intervention, Denial Management, Primordial Sound Meditation, and Recovery Coaching.

Krishna has completed hundreds of successful interventions in the last 15 years. She continues to be involved in community advocacies, serving as liaison between Saddleback College and Drug Court, and working with County of Orange Risk Reduction Education and Community Health (REACH) Program. She is an advisory board member of the TEACH Program (also at Saddleback College), a Mental Health/Dual Diagnosis and Substance Abuse advisor at Orange Coast College, and a Drug Treatment panel member for the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act of 2000 (Prop 36). Krishna was the keynote speaker at the 2008 CAADE Conference in Costa Mesa and at the 2009 California Indian Law Association Conference, where she discussed substance abuse in Indian Country.

Dr. Randall Turner, D.O. – Medical Director / Psychiatrist
Dr. Randall Turner received his medical degree from Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his Psychiatry Residency training at Loma Linda University. He’s board certified in Psychiatry and also in Addiction Medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine.

Dr Turner is a founding member of the Progeny Psychiatric Group. He primarily works in general adult psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, and addiction medicine. Everyday he strives to thoroughly understand human psychology and psychopathology with a hope to relieve suffering and foster the growth of those he treats.

Dr. Turner is a talented musician; he plays the guitar, piano, and drums. In his spare time, he also enjoys reading, bird watching, and traveling. He currently resides in Southern California with his wife and four children.

Sandi Fontana, M.A., LMFT – Clinical Director

Sandi holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University. She has several years of working with clients who suffer from severe trauma, anxiety, and depression and with those currently battling substance abuse. She also has extensive experience working with those suffering from co-occurring mental health issues including bi-polar and personality disorders. Sandi also has a passion for collaborating with clients and helping them rebuild family relationships and also encourages clients to gain personal insight by increasing self-awareness and emphasize existing strengths in an effort to guide them to experience a more happy life.

Sandi brings many years of team leadership experience to her role as Clinical Director of our dual-diagnosis treatment center. She carefully guides the clinical team to strive for excellence in the continuity of health care for all CASA Recovery clients and promotes awareness of individual needs for all by fostering good communication among all persons.

 
TREATMENT STAFF

Nebiat “Lily” Habte, LMFT – Therapist

Lily holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles. She has more than 10 years of experience working in community agencies in Los Angeles and Orange County providing therapy and group services to clients who suffer from severe trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and domestic violence. She also has several years working in the capacity of Clinical Supervisor to trainees, and associate therapists. Her therapeutic approach is interactive, and she helps clients develop applicable solutions that can effectively be implemented in their daily life. Lily is also EMDR trained and certified.

Chris Jimenez M.A., LMFT – Therapist

Chris holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science from the University of California, Irvine. Chris chose to work in the field of recovery because he believes that every person deserves a chance to live his or her life free from addiction. Chris has almost 10 years of experience leading groups, and counseling individuals in the field of addiction and psychology. Along with substance abuse he has worked with clients who have a whole spectrum of needs from anxiety, depression, psychosis, bipolar, and adjustment disorders. Chris has personal experience in recovery and has found a solution to living life on life’s terms. He brings a compassionate, empathetic and person-centered approach to the therapeutic environment.

Sophie Kubichek, MA, AMFT – Associate Therapist

Sophie earned her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the School of Counseling at Hope International University. Sophie has extensive experience working with adolescents and adults who struggle with anxiety, depression, past trauma, divorce, and relationship issues. Sophie has also completed basic training in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), an effective form of trauma treatment. Sophie previously worked with underserved individuals and their families at Turning Point Center for Families where she specialized in helping the reunification of individuals into the family unit. She went on to work with children and teens at the elementary, middle and high school level schools providing psychotherapy and teaching coping and mindfulness skills to adolescents and their families. Sophie also has a passion for helping clients understand the psycho-social stressors that hold individuals back from recognizing their full potential in recovery.

Patrick Manion, MA, AMFT – Associate Therapist

Patrick graduated from Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology earning his Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. He holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology from UCLA. Patrick is clinically trained in working with trauma survivors including victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, military trauma, and their resulting issues of PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Patrick is EMDR trained and is working towards his full certification through the EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Program. Patrick’s client-centered approach to addiction therapy focuses on the underlying issues leading to addiction, viewing addiction as a symptom of greater issues troubling the client.

Michael Carlyle, CADC-CS, ICCS, MATS – Clinical Supervisor, Lead Counselor

Michael is a Certified Alcohol, and Drug Counselor-Clinical Supervisor (CADC-CS) as well as an Internationally Certified Clinical Supervisor (ICCS), and a certified Medication Assisted Treatment Specialist (MATS). Michael received his credentials from the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) and the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP).

For more than ten years, Michael has dedicated himself to finding multidimensional ways of providing care to clients with substance abuse issues, and mental health disorders, and he also helps family members become formally involved in their loved one’s recovery process.

Michael’s role as Lead Counselor and Clinical Supervisor assists clients in creating sustainable alcohol and drug addiction, and mental health recovery plans that will support long-term personal growth and sobriety. His strengths include guiding our clients to use positive cognitive approaches, holistic practices, and spirituality to raise self-awareness of individual strengths, and develop new coping strategies that will enable a successful transition into a positive lifestyle.

Sandy Szemenyei, CADC II – Biblical Counselor/Ordained Minister

With more than 26 years in recovery from substance abuse and over 23 years working with people struggling with their own substance abuse, Sandy serves as our Christian counselor here at Casa offering a faith based approach to recovery. She is ordained through National Association of Christian Ministers and holds an Advanced Certificate in Biblical Counseling through Light University

Sandy originally found her calling while working and living in Australia. Sandy was a house manager, then a counselor at Mandurah Calvary Services a crisis center serving mostly 15-25 year-old clients with substance abuse history. It was her pastor who encouraged her to become a certified drug and alcohol counselor. Sandy is passionate about helping others in recovery learn about how to “do life” without using substances and putting Jesus Christ at the center of their recovery. Sandy loves sharing her own recovery experience, strength and hope with clients to encourage them on their new journey.

Kevin Conlon, CATC-III, CADC-II – Counselor

Kevin has been working in the recovery community since 2013. He has earned certification in Drug and Alcohol Studies through Saddleback College as well as a Bachelor’s degree in pre-clinical psychology through the Chapman University system, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, and ultimately obtaining a license as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) through California State University Fullerton.

Kevin’s core beliefs and personal experience in recovery inspire a compassionate client-centered approach towards growth and development through the struggles related mental health and substance abuse disorders. Kevin’s ultimate goal in working with those whom he serves is to inspire a value-based and purpose-driven participation in life motivated by conscious awareness of thoughts, behaviors, and relationships between his clients and the world they choose to create for themselves.

Michele Lavigne, CADC-II, ICADC – Counselor

Michele is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor – Level II and has worked in the substance abuse treatment field for over 20 years. She has experience in many different settings and in several professional roles with various populations, including gender specific programs, adults, families, adolescents and court-ordered clients. She has completed advanced training in neuro-nutrient therapy and is the founder of Wellminded, an integrative whole-person approach that includes natural brain repair, traditional treatment, spiritual exploration, together as a comprehensive approach to substance abuse counseling and genuine wellness. Michele is passionate about not only helping people achieve and maintain sobriety but to attain their highest potential through mind, body and spirit. Michele also brings her talent of working with family members to CASA Recovery by facilitating our weekly Family Group which helps to educate loved ones about our program.

Kristen DeGeorge, CADC-II – Program Manager

Kristen has worked in the field of recovery for almost 10 years and brings with her vast experiences in helping struggling addicts and alcoholics surrender and be able to help themselves to begin a new journey in recovery. She graduated from InterCoast College with a certificate in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling and Co-occurring Disorders and is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor II (CADC-II). As the Program Manager at CASA Recovery she uses her experience and personable approach in ensuring an exceptional client experience from the first day through a successful discharge. She has a passion for providing the highest level of care to every client she comes in contact with and a genuine respect for our recovery community. Her heartfelt interest in helping men and women get and stay sober shows in her daily work with clients and motivating them to continue their personal journey in recovery. Kristen shares with her clients a simple message that “life does not end when entering recovery; recovery is just the beginning of a life worth living.”

Amy Gorman, A.S. – Program Assistant/UR Specialist

Amy holds an Associate in Science Degree in Drug and Alcohol Studies as well as being a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services-Mental Health at California State University Fullerton. She has been working in recovery since 2015 and takes pride in facilitating the recovery process by connecting clients to community resources and employment. She helps facilitate overall assistance of the organization through advocacy and overseeing program compliance to the highest ethical standards. Amy is a warm and compassionate team member who is dedicated to helping men and women achieve their potential.

Sarah Cook, RN – Nurse

Sarah is a Registered Nurse and received her Associates Degree in Nursing at Heartland Community College in Bloomington, Illinois. After proving her skills as a specialty cardiac nurse she went on to work with patients suffering from dementia and provided individual long term care as a home health nurse and case manager. Before moving to California, she served on the Logan County, IL Heroin Task Force dedicated to bringing community leaders together to battle the local heroin epidemic.

In addition to her extensive experience in nursing, she has passion for helping patients seek and find good health care options, specifically for detox and early recovery. Like many who work in the addiction treatment field, Sarah has been affected personally with family members who struggle with addiction and has many years of experience identifying the medical needs of those who seek help in treatment. Sarah is also currently working on additional credentials to include Certified Addiction Registered Nurse (CARN).

ADMISSIONS STAFF

Sean Treacy – Director of Business Development/Admissions
Sean brings to CASA his years of business knowledge and sales experience. He studied business and finance at the The Ohio State University. Sean’s talents have given him the opportunity to oversee both the intake coordination and well as the outreach efforts at CASA Recovery. As a recovering addict himself, Sean possesses the patience, understanding and compassion needed to help struggling addicts find help.

“In my own journey, I’ve found that spirituality, community connection and giving back were the solutions to the emptiness and isolation of addiction. I know that healing didn’t begin until I asked for help. My prayer is that I can help those calling to make the decision to change and guide them on their own journeys towards healthy, happy and fulfilling lives.”

Tiffany Martin, MBA – Marketing & Outreach Manager

Tiffany brings 10 years of experience and a deep understanding of business and marketing to her role as Manager of Marketing & Outreach. Having worked in a variety of industries, Tiffany is happy to have found her passion in the mental health sector. Not too surprising, as her father is a Clinical Psychologist and her mother is a Registered Nurse.

Tiffany earned her master’s degree in business administration from Chapman University in Orange, CA. She has a passion for professional and personal development, and continues to pursue additional training in the field of psychology. Her current educational endeavors include professional training in Somatic Experiencing.

WELLNESS CENTER STAFF

Grant Collins, M.S., Acupuncturist, Oriental Herbalistt
With a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine from the Southwest Acupuncture College, Grant is passionate about using acupuncture to help clients reduce cravings, aid against relapse, promote better sleep, and induce overall calmness of the mind. He is California Board Certified and started a private practice in 2003. He has spent many years studying, competing, and teaching martial arts and is an Elite Doctor’s Speakers Bureau member, allowing him to educate the public on nutrition and health.
Dr. Bahng – Acupuncturist
Scott S. Bahng is licensed with the California Board of Acupuncture and is board certified by the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Herbalogy and a Master’s Degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from South Baylo University in Southern California and is now an instructor of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine).
Celeste Seiler – Massage Therapist
Celeste describes CASA Recovery’s approach to rehabilitation as revolutionary and holistic. She has been a firsthand witness to the overwhelming effects of addiction not only on the mind and body, but the spirit. She is the owner of ‘A Touch of Heaven Massage and Holistic Healing’ and aims to use detoxification massages, Ayruvedic techniques, Oriental techniques, and nutritional therapy to help those struggling with addiction. Her massages relieve pain, restore proper bodily functions, and ultimately help clients reconnected with their bodies.
Andrew Zlatich – Massage Therapist

Andrew Zlatich, owner of AZ Therapeutic Massage, is a California state and nationally certified massage therapist bringing his 12 years experience to the CASA wellness staff. In 2006 he left a long successful career as a professional chef to pursue massage and graduated with specialization in deep tissue, Lomi Lomi, and Hot Stone therapies from the American Institute of Clinical Massage.

Having grown up in Orange County and living throughout the Northwest, Arizona, and Nevada, he has been witness to the devastating physical and emotional effects of drugs and alcohol in all walks of life. After meeting his massage therapist wife in 2015, they joined forces to focus on treating those in addition recovery. He feels blessed to be able to bring his personalized therapy to help reduce the stress, anxiety, and often times chronic pain of those seeking treatment at CASA.
Carolyn Long, E-RYT – Yoga Instructor
Carolyn’s passion for yoga began in 2000 when she first discovered a Bikram Yoga class in Laguna Beach. She was immediately addicted to the physical and mental challenge and greatly inspired by the sense of peace, calmness and grounding she felt after leaving class. Being a group fitness instructor for many years prior, Carolyn completed her yoga teacher training in 2009. She is 200hr E-RYT Yoga Alliance Certified in Power Vinyasa Yoga levels 1, 2 and 3, Hot Power Fusion, Yoga Sculpt and Meditation. Carolyn also is now certified in Yoga for Cancer Management and guides cancer patients, cancer warriors and caregivers.
Jennifer Wong, CHT, RMT – Guided Visualization/Meditation Instructor
Jennifer received her Hypnotist certification in 2007 at the College for Healing Arts in San Diego, CA and did advanced training and certifications with Calvin Banyan, MA CHT in London, UK. She specializes in Relaxation Therapy, Stress Management, Anxiety Reduction, Fear and Phobia Removal. Jennifer teaches CASA clients proper mediation techniques and provides weekly guided visualization group sessions tailored to helping those early in recovery let go of trauma and fear.
Bernie Wolfe, Certified Trainer and Nutritionist
For the past 18 years, Bernie has worked as a fitness trainer for the International Sports Sciences Association. Here at CASA Recovery, he designs tailored exercise programs and diets to help clients feel and function better. He uses his skills as an Afro-Cuban based drumming expert to lead CASA Recovery’s spiritual drum circles.  
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