Sober since she was just 16 years old, Becky Gatdula has dedicated her life to helping other women achieve sobriety. Her commitment to those suffering with substance abuse began with a volunteer position in 1996. She then went on to work full time in the substance abuse field beginning in 2003. In 2005, Becky earned her Chemical Dependency Counselor certification. With over two decades of experience in the field, Becky has opened, designed, supervised and operated numerous treatment programs. Her deep devotion and loyalty to this community inspired her to found Rising Roads Recovery Services for Women, LLC. Rising Roads Recovery has become a benchmark in the gender specific treatment world; a place where women can address their issues and take positive steps forward to build happy, meaningful lives. With a team of trustworthy and skilled professionals by her side, Becky is delighted to lead Rising Roads Recovery.
Will Sanchez, MA, LMFT, SEPClinical Supervisor
Will Sanchez is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 15 years of experience specializing in working with young adults. Will is currently pursuing his Doctorate degree. He earned his Bachelor’s in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Concordia University, Irvine. He completed his practicum hours working at Silverlake Medical Hospital in Rosemead, gaining invaluable experience as a counselor for adults with various chronic mental illnesses and co-occurring disorders. Will has a long history of working with the young adult population. He coached high school soccer at Newport Harbor High School for 5 years and worked for the City of Costa Mesa with the teen recreation programs for many years as well. Will has worked as a primary therapist at the adolescent and adult treatment center level for the last several years. Specializing in substance use disorders, adding an experiential approach to therapy both individually and in the group setting, Will believes in a Client-centered approach when he works with the ladies at Rising Roads Recovery. His groups are both informative and fun and allow our ladies to begin forming secure attachments to men.
Kimiko Miller, MA, LMFTPrimary/Family Therapist
Kimiko Miller is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist who has specialized in substance use disorders and mental health issues for over 7 years. Kimiko received her Masters of Arts from Fresno Pacific University. She has extensive training in Expressive Arts Therapy, Psychodrama, CBT (Cognitive Behavioral therapy), DBT (Dialectical Behavioral therapy), and love and sex addiction recovery. In her spare time, Kimiko also leads workshops for R.A.D Team Building which aims to empower and activate individuals to their highest potential. Kimiko provides an authentic and safe space for clients to experience and explore emotions in greater depth and to begin their journey by fulfilling their deepest hopes and dreams.
Andrew Schneider, DOMedical Director
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a licensed Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and a Child, Adolescent, and Adult psychiatrist. He completed a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center, after completing his General Psychiatry Residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. To supplement his Western medical training, he also studied Chinese Herbal Medicine at the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture in Phoenix Arizona. Dr. Schneider also holds a Master’s degree in Sports Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign and enjoys working with athletes of all ages.
I take a holistic approach to practicing psychiatry. I am a strong believer in the efficacy of cognitive and behavioral interventions as well as the benefits of psychopharmacology.
I use psychotropic medications in the safest possible manner‐‐the optimal dose for each patient with close monitoring.
Psycho‐therapy is encouraged in my practice, whether as the primary form of treatment or in conjunction with medication. My approach is eclectic and individually tailored to each patient. I
have received training in the areas of cognitive‐behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, behavior modification, and play therapy (for children). I emphasize the importance of a strong
therapeutic alliance with patients.
I received formal training in Traditional Chinese Medicine with an emphasis in Chinese herbal medicine. I also keep abreast of the latest research in complementary and alternative treatments
(CAM). I offer these treatment options to my patients, particularly those who may want to try CAM treatments as an alternative to Western psychotropic medication.
Stefani LaFrenierre, MDPsychiatrist
Dr. Stefani LaFrenierre is a licensed Medical Doctor and board-certified Psychiatrist. She received her Medical Degree from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and completed her Adult Psychiatry residency training at San Mateo Behavioral Health and Recovery Services. She also completed a fellowship through the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma with a certification in Global Mental Health, Trauma and Recovery.
Dr. LaFrenierre has expertise in the treatment of mental health and addiction conditions. She has performed in several leadership positions, including Medical Director of an addiction treatment group practice and as Chief Resident during her training. She also received the Resident Award in Excellence two years in a row during her training. She was awarded the SAMHSA Minority Fellowship award through the American Psychiatric Association and developed a Cultural Competency curriculum for her residents in training. She has worked in a variety of mental health settings, including inpatient, outpatient, residential treatment centers, state and forensic hospitals, academic settings, and has experience with assertive community treatment and full-service partnership teams. She is committed to providing safe, equitable, and inclusive treatment for all.
My treatment philosophy focuses on building resiliency through holistic, long-lasting changes to help my patients achieve a balanced and fulfilling life. I have been fortunate to develop many different skill sets in the treatment of mental health and addiction, and I am excited to be able to offer customized treatments to my patients. I provide a warm, empathic, and active therapy style, and I bring a conservative approach to medication while considering all aspects of health in treatment planning. My role is to help my patients reach their goals by providing clinical expertise, education, and compassion in a non-judgmental space. I incorporate prescription medications, plant-based diet changes, lifestyle changes, and elements of mind-body medicine into a complete treatment plan to help you reach your goals. I also provide education about treatment, diagnosis, and medications to my patients at every step to help guide treatment decisions and to maximize the benefits of our work together.
Christina Henderson, MA, LCSWPrimary Therapist
Christina is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Bachelor’s degree in History from California State University, Los Angeles, and a Master’s degree in Social Work from California State University, San Bernardino. Christina is a Southern California native and grew up in diverse, multi-ethnic, and multi-cultural environments. Christina has great enthusiasm for helping others break through their emotional barriers to become excited about change. As a therapist, she assists clients with co-occurring disorders, PTSD, substance abuse, and mental health challenges. Christina strives to provide trauma-informed care by utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Crisis Intervention. Christina’s passion is to educate and empower people to pursue a fully realized and healthy life, free from the shame of PTSD, addiction, and mental health stigmas.
Sue Gauthier-Pin, MA, LMFTClinical Compliance
Sue Gauthier-Pin is an Expressive Arts Clinician who specializes in working with women to nurture their recovering inner artist. Sue utilizes an arts-based integrative approach that blends traditional evidence-based practices like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with the healing power of creativity. She guides the women at Rising Roads Recovery through their emotional and spiritual healing process with explorative techniques, including intermodal expressive arts, dreamwork, sandtray and psychodrama. By engaging in intentional creative activities, the women at Rising Roads Recovery are given an outlet to express their thoughts, feelings, and experiences for which they “have no words.” Sue earned a Master’s of Counseling Psychology specializing in Expressive Arts Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies and is delighted to further explore the intersection of spirituality, creativity, emotional wellness and addiction at Rising Roads Recovery.
Lindsay Guin, MA, AMFTPrimary Therapist
Lindsay has an MA in clinical psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy from Pepperdine University. Through her own experience of addiction and recovery, Lindsay became passionate about helping others to achieve freedom from addictions and mental health struggles through connection, hope and presence.
Lindsay is an EMDR practitioner and takes a trauma informed, attachment focused approach to her work.
Lindsay has been a yoga and meditation teacher for almost a decade and brings a strong foundation of mindfulness and body-based healing to her work.
Dana Kert, M.S., AMFTFamily Therapist
Dana has a B.A. in Psychology and M.S. in Counseling with an emphasis in Marriage & Family Therapy from California State University, Northridge. Through seeing family members suffer from Mental Health issues at a young age, Dana became passionate about helping others through the art of Therapy. Dana’s clinical experience includes working with young adults and their families navigating anxiety, depression, addiction, grief & loss, trauma, etc. Dana specializes in relational dynamics and believes that the family system and an individuals childhood experiences directly impact their mental health. The ability to cope with life’s difficulties as they develop can be stunted for numerous reasons. Danas ability to hold unconditional hope and positive regard for each client leads to a secure attachment and increased healing.
Whitney Ashlock, MA, ACSWPrimary Therapist
Whitney has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from La Sierra University
and a Master of Social Work with a mental health concentration from the University of Southern California. Since Whitney was 18, her motivation in starting her psychology program has been addiction and mental health/co-occurring disorders. Her drive is to help young adults struggling with addiction to help them reclaim their lives before they have the wreckage of decades of untreated mental health and substance abuse disorders. Whitney practices from a strengths-based perspective, knowing that individuals who know their strengths and understand themselves allow them to find where they best fit in society–both personally and professionally.
Rock climbing is what has benefited Whitney’s physical, mental, and spiritual health the most.
“I believe it keeps me present and mindful—two things I find essential in recovery.”
Llysa Lott, MA, AMFTPrimary Therapist
Llysa Lott has experience working with a variety of mental health disorders including Major Depressive Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Llysa has previously worked as a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy counselor and is especially helpful in assisting clients to regulate their emotions and maintain positive relationships. Llysa takes a systems approach when working with families and believes that all clients operate as an extension of their family of origin.
Llysa has an MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from Chapman University. She is experienced in working with individuals, families, children, and couples. As a solution-focused therapist, she is passionate about helping clients find their potential and reach their goals. Her easy to talk demeanor and supportive nature allow her to build rapport quickly.
Chantal Herrada, MSW, ACSWPrimary Therapist
Chantal Herrada earned a B.A. in Social Work with an emphasis in psychology from Seattle University, and a Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California.
Chantal’s career in the mental health field was inspired by her firsthand experience witnessing the devastating impact of addiction on family, friends, and loved ones. Chantal’s curiosity about the human mind and behavior lead her to seek an understanding of how trauma shapes our human experience. As a social worker in the mental health field, Chantal has been trained in working with individuals and families using a trauma-informed and strength-based approach. Throughout her experience Chantal has worked with individuals and families in various settings, including residential treatment, psychiatric hospital units, and non-profit mental health agencies.
As a proud yogi, Chantal values the connection between the mind and the body, and understands the importance of exploring what your body is communicating to you. Chantal’s ultimate goal is to provide a safe environment for clients to explore and connect with the issues that are most impeding growth in their lives, through guiding clients in reclaiming their voice and discovering tools that can aid them in living a healthy life.
Christina Huxford, CTP, STRGroup Facilitator
Christina is a Certified Trauma Professional (CTP). She is also certified in Somatic Trauma Resolution, is a Reiki Master and has completed certification with Spirit2Spirit Healing. Christina uses Somatic modalities including Psychodrama and Psychodramatic Bodywork to help her clients heal from varying types of abuse, traumatic injury, abandonment, grief, loss or other events that results in the traumatic “overwhelming” of the nervous system. Her extensive work with trauma survivors has evolved to helping individuals with addiction and abuse issues, eating disorders, depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. Christina’s holistic approach to the recovery process is augmented by her passionate energy, creativity, intuition and natural healing talents. Her work in individual sessions and as a group facilitator brings her clients hope and dramatic, healthy changes.
Joanne Brennan, MS, LAADC, SEPGroup Facilitator
Joanne Brennan received her MS In Human Services in 1999 at National Louis University in Evanston, Illinois. Joanne grew up on Chicago’s North Shore, where she knew from an early age she wanted to help others who had experienced trauma. Joanne has been working with women in trauma treatment and addiction recovery since moving to California in 2007. Joanne has been trained in Somatic Experiencing and prefers to use this more gentle approach when treating trauma. She uses a variety of modalities, including SE, CBT, DBT, and Motivational Interviewing. On a personal note, Joanne has 3 children and two grandchildren and currently resides in South Orange County with her husband. Her hobbies include knitting, gardening, and reading.
Josie Trillo, CATC 1Case Manager
Josie has been in the substance abuse industry since 2015. She has always been on the frontline starting as a case manager from day one. Her journey began in her recovery in 2010 and found she had a passion for inspiring others who were beginning their Josie had been in the mortgage industry since 2004, and as her disease progressed she began to lose everything worthwhile in life. Thankfully, she ended up in addiction treatment with a case manager who challenged her and changed her life. Josie became passionate about helping others and decided she wanted to inspire people just like her case manager had done with her.
Jenna Shea-Evans, CADC-1Case Manager
Jenna has been in the substance abuse industry since 2017. She began her career as a treatment technician and worked hard to pursue her role as a case manager. Jenna spent 18 years working as a preschool teacher with an emphasis on behavioral modification for children and teenagers with special needs. After a personal experience with recovery, Jenna followed her true love of helping others. Jenna is grateful to be an active participant in watching others experience the freedom, and contentment recovery brings!
Brandie Ford, CADC-1Case Manager
Brandie began her career with the US Forestry Service where she became a Certified First Responder. She then joined the Inland Respite Center where she worked as a caregiver and provided in-home care services to clients in need. She always knew she wanted a more active role with those suffering from substance use disorders and mental health challenges so she returned to school once again and attended the Christian Institute to become a Certified AOD Counselor. Since then she has been dedicated to helping women find their path to recovery in all its forms. She is a mother and a much loved member of the RRR team.
Kayti Kaminski, CADC IICase Manager
Katherine (Kayti) Kaminski is a Southern California native and has been working in residential treatment since 2008. Kayti has an associates degree in human services from Cypress College and is a certified alcohol and drug counselor with the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals. After struggling with her own substance use issues and getting clean and sober in 2006 she knows firsthand what it feels like to create a beautiful life from what was ashes. Kaytis heart has always desired to help people and this career has aligned with her life’s mission. She believes everyone can transform and that each individual brings unique gifts to the world and her job is to make sure this happens.
Nicole Cavanagh, RADTOperations Director
With over five years of experience working in treatment compliance and insurance coordination, Nicole is a true asset to both Rising Roads Recovery staff and the family members of clients. Her tremendous knowledge and compassion arm her in her role as advocate for our clients and their families with the insurance companies. Nicole’s goal is to help families feel comfortable and secure in their decision to pursue treatment, and she strives to make the insurance and financial process as stress-free as possible. Nicole is also responsible for our licensure and compliance, ensuring Rising Road Recovery up to date with all city and state regulations.
Sarah Schauer, CADC-1 Financial Administrator
Sarah began working in the addiction treatment field after completing her substance dependency counselor education. She is a Chemical Dependency Counselor and an Addiction Specialist. Sarah specializes in working with individuals who struggle with substance use issues and mental health issues. Prior to returning to school Sarah earned a BA in History from Concordia University. However, she has always had a love for the field of psychology and counseling. Sarah all things accounting here at Rising Roads. Her responsibilities include working with clients’ families on a day-to-day basis, coordinating with community resources when necessary; handling insurance inquiries and billing correspondence, financial correspondence, and much more. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys scuba diving, and spending time with friends, and can often be found any place live music is being played.
Julie Landicho, RN, BSN, PHN, RN-COBNurse
Julie graduated from Cypress College in 1998 with her ADN and went on to receive her BSN from Western Governors University. For 18 years, she has worked at St. Joseph Hospital in labor and delivery and the last three years in OB triage. During this time, Julie worked closely with women who had substance abuse issues. It gave her a passion for reducing the stigma of addiction and dependency and helping women find the resources and support they need. She is excited to be working in the treatment of these issues with the women of Rising Roads. Julie has two teenagers and a dog, which keeps her plenty busy when not at RRR.
Vicky Shemer, RDNRegistered Dietician
Vicky Shemer, RDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and has been using the healing power of whole foods to successfully defeat her own health problems including gestational diabetes, postpartum weight, and leaky gut syndrome. Her nutrition journey began in Greece and continued in the USA where she graduated magna cum laude from CSULA. As a clinical and integrative dietitian, she has been helping her patients manage diabetes symptoms, inflammation, weight issues, and stop yo-yo dieting. Vicky’s professional interests include working with people who want to prevent disease, improve their relationship with food, and learn how to eat mindfully in order to maintain health. Being fluent in 4 languages, Vicky wants to reach clients in different communities and inspire them by introducing more whole foods to their lifestyles. Her passion is to share the knowledge of nutrition to empower and motivate patients. She wants to help others find sustainable pathways to mental and physical wellness.
Lisa Bahar, MA, LMFT, LPCCAdjunct Therapist
Lisa Bahar is licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed professional clinical counselor and a certified drug and alcohol counselor. Lisa Bahar provides psychotherapy to individuals, couples, and families and specializes in treating addiction, mood and personality disorders.Lisa Bahar specializes in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and works to provide clients the most comprehensive care based on their clinical needs and goals. Lisa Bahar serves as Adjunct Faculty for Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology program with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy; which is a program designed to serve those interested in counseling individuals, couples, and families as a marriage and family therapist as a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) or a licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC) in California.
Jordan Spektor, MBAChief Development Officer
Jordan is a native of Seattle, Washington. In 2007, He graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the Marshall School of Business. While in college, Jordan began an 8-year battle with alcoholism and addiction that affected every aspect of his life. After getting sober in 2011, Jordan discovered a passion for helping people struggling with alcoholism and addiction find recovery. He has 7 years of experience working in behavioral health working a number of different jobs within the treatment industry. In 2020, Jordan graduated from the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver with a Master of Business Administration, majoring in Healthcare. He attributes his recovery as the number one reason he was able to achieve a lifelong goal of getting an MBA. Jordan believes that if an addict learns to love his life in recovery anything is possible.
Shahan SuzmeyanChief Strategy Officer
Shahan has been employed in the recovery field for over two decades and brings best-in-class leadership in strategic initiatives, licensing, payor relations, quality management, and compliance to his role. As Chief Strategy Officer, Shahan focuses on coordination of insurance benefits for families, quality treatment, best practices, and providing the industry’s best standard of care to our clients. In addition to his work here, Shahan has been a four-term Governing Board Member of the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council, the Hollywood District Animal Welfare Representative for the LA SPCA, a member of the Intercoast College Business Development Board, a member of the Los Angeles Harm Reduction Task Force, and a Governing Board Member of East Hollywood Community Church.
Kim, McClaskeyInsurance Liason
Kim has worked in recovery for more than 10 years and is dedicated to being in an environment where people learn to live a happy, productive drug-free life. She has lived in Orange County her entire life and been in recovery herself for over 15 years. She knows the struggles of finding sobriety and happiness. She credits 12-step programming and the fellowship of AA for her recovery. In Kim’s spare time she loves to spend time with her 3 children and friends.
Jamie LongoSound Bath Healing
Jami has studied, trained, and practiced for years the benefits of sound, vibration and frequency has on the body and mind. The wide range of instruments such as 432hz crystal singing bowls, Native American flute, Jupiter gong and other shamanic tools curate a deeper state of consciousness.
When you sink into one of Jami’s Sound Bath’s the intention is to guide your awareness to your listening, allowing your brain waves to slow, shifting from a more active state (beta) to a more relaxed state (alpha) or even a dreamlike state (theta). The sounds introduced during a Sound Bath are an invitation into a deeper state of consciousness, an opportunity to unplug from external stimuli and to gain perspective on what’s going on within you.
Each sound journey provides a space to rest, replenish, restore and rejuvenate while the gentle sacred sounds nurture with a motherly love.
Sonny Mayo, CADC-1Rock to Recovery Facilitator
Sonny started his professional music career in 1995 with the band Snot (Geffen Records) and, in 1998, went on to play in the band Amen (Virgin, Roadrunner Records). Having been in rehab as a teenager, Sonny continued to struggle with alcoholism and drug addiction while touring the world and writing/recording/releasing major label albums. On occasion he was issued ultimatums from his fellow bandmates, which would bring brief periods of abstinence, but would inevitably lead to another relapse. Spiraling ever downward, Sonny hit bottom in late 2001.
Desperate for sobriety, Sonny sought and received the help he needed in 12 Step fellowships. In January 2002, with less than 30 days sober, he went on his first clean/sober tour in Australia, where Sonny attended 12 Step meetings and began laying the foundation for a whole new experience as a professional musician, and has maintained sobriety ever since.
In late 2002 he joined his friend, Wes Geer (founder of Rock to Recovery®), as a touring guitarist in the band (hed)P.E. and, in 2005, joined the band Sevendust (TVT, Warner/Asylum Records).
Since 2013, Sonny has been facilitating Rock to Recovery® sessions, serving substance use disorder and mental health facilities, as well as Air Force Wounded Warriors (AFW2), Semper Fi Fund, and other non profit organizations.
Sonny finds purpose and fulfillment in using his experience in recovery and music to help transform the lives of others.
James Shoffeitt CADC-IISurf Instructor
Serene Waters Adventure Therapy was founded in 2016 By James Shoffeitt in Orange County California. James has a deep passion for helping guide men and women of all ages to discovering their own internal peace, sense of serenity, & character strengths. He has been clean and sober since 2008, and has been counseling since 2011. James learned to surf at age 7, and rekindled his relationship with the ocean in 2009. He is an avid waterman and loves to spend time with his family, hike, and camp He started practicing surf therapy in 2014 at a local substance abuse program. From there he founded Serene Waters Adventure Therapy specifically to promote happiness & serenity, and help others open up in an alternative therapeutic environment.
Dani FaietaOperations Assistant
Dani Faieta has been working in mental health and substance abuse since 2017. After her own time in treatment, Dani realized she wanted to help others and obtained her RADT (registered alcohol and drug technician), and began embarking on a new career. She is currently in school to be a Radiology Technician where she can still help people but in a different way. In her free time, Dani enjoys traveling and exploring while looking through the lens and capturing the best of these places.
Dani is able to use her humor and strong work ethic to build rapport with clients quickly; they know she is a straight shooter who shows up when she says she will. Dani also works side by side with Rising Roads Recovery Psychiatrists to ensure all medications are up to date and medication protocols are followed by all employees.
Sydney EganTherapeutic Assistant
Sydney Egan graduated with a psychology bachelor’s degree in 2022 from Cal State Fullerton. Sober since 2016, Sydney has been drawn to helping women. Having experienced sobriety as a young person and her own healing journey, she loves walking with other young women recovering from the effects of trauma and substance use disorders. Fall of 2022 Sydney will continue her education and begin her journey with a master’s degree in clinical psychology. She hopes one day to be a therapist at Rising Roads.
Carli BarldwinYoga Instructor
Carli has been practicing Yoga Asana for over a decade, becoming intimately aware of the psychosomatic benefits and deep healing offered with mindful movement. Through years of study, personal practice, and intensive training, she has developed a passion and gift for holding space for the healing, grounding, and release in both private and group settings. Carli is trained in many styles, including Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga, and Ashtanga Yoga, all rooted in trauma-informed care.
In this practice of Yoga Asana, participants are offered a chance to practice somatic awareness, mindful breathing, simple postures and grounding meditation. These tools, combined with positive affirmations, create a sense of personal empowerment Carli aims to impart on each of her students, for use on and off their yoga mats.