Dr. Kristen Zaleski, PhD, LCSW

Chief Clinical Officer + Co-Founder

Kristen Zaleski, PhD, LCSW is a nationally-recognized author, researcher, and psychotherapist on trauma related disorders and an expert on sexual trauma within both civilian and military culture. Dr Zaleski is the author of two books, multiple research articles, and is a consultant and trainer on trauma disorders and survivorship to entities such as Facebook (Meta) and the U.S. Department of Defense. Dr. Zaleski came to the Mental Health Collective after a decade-long tenure at University of Southern California as Clinical Associate Professor for the Suzanne Dworak Peck School of Social Work. Dr. Zaleski continues to be affiliated with USC as the Founding Director of the USC Keck Human Rights Clinic which is a pro-bono organization offering forensic evaluations for survivors of international human rights abuse.

Dr. Zaleski sits on the board of two  non-profits- Center for Law and Military Policy and Sahiyo- where she advocates for survivors of human trafficking, sexual violence, female genital mutilation, and forced marriage around the world and within the United States military. She also consults with television production companies on how to represent mental health realistically on their programs.

Dr. Zaleski has specific training on neurobiology and modern day attachment theory. Her area of expertise centers around somatic and body-based treatments to heal trauma holistically. She has previously worked at UCLA Rape Treatment Center, Veterans Administration Healthcare Center in Long Beach, and Las Encinas Psychiatric Hospital. She also has a private practice based in Hermosa Beach, CA.

CERTIFICATIONS

EMDR, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, Stephen Porges Safe & Sound Protocol, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure, and various 2nd and 3rd generation cognitive behavioral evidence based practices.

EDUCATION

University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) BA in Sociology and BA in Psychology, University of Southern California (USC) Master of Social Work, and Sanville Institute for Social Work and Psychotherapy, PhD.

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATIONS

Dr. Zaleski utilizes a trauma-informed, attachment focused lens to client work.  Her training integrates interpersonal neurobiology to understand mental health holistically. Dr. Zaleski has advanced training in “bottom-up” somatic treatment modalities to assist the client to feel more in control of their body’s reactions to life events while coupling “top-down” narrative therapies to promote behavioral and cognitive changes. Her clinical experience has centered around military trauma and interpersonal violence that include sexual assault and human trafficking.

David Barr, LCSW

Clinical Director

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES

Bachelors of Arts in Dramatic Arts from the University of California, Irvine and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Southern California

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION

David brings a rich history of service to the Neurodiversity Collective. For nearly the past 20 years David has been a part of the military and veteran community. After beginning his journey as a commissioned officer in the United States Army, David returned to school to service the mental health needs of the veteran community. David has spent over 10 years in clinical practice and leadership at the locale, federal and community level. In this time David has developed an expertise in trauma treatment working directly with combat veterans and military sexual trauma survivors. David is excited to apply the experiences working with the veteran community to the cutting-edge work that the Neurodiversity Collective will pioneer in the mental health space for our Neurodiverse clients.

CERTIFICATIONS

Cognitive Processing Therapy

Parool Patel

Dr. Parool Patel, MD

Medical Director + Psychiatrist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES

[Doctor of Medicine] St. George’s University School of Medicine. [Bachelor of Science] Exercise Science and Physiology, Biology, Rutger’s University, Douglass College

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION

Dr. Parool Patel is a diplomate with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology specializing in adult psychiatry. Her expertise includes, but not limited to, evidence-based treatment and management of patients with thought disorders, mood disorders, ADHD, and anxiety disorder spectrums. Dr. Patel believes in the comprehensive management of her patients as “a whole”. Her treatment modalities include pharmacological management along with psychotherapeutic assessment and treatment. She is certified in TMS to adjunct pharmacologic and psychotherapeutic treatment.

CERTIFICATIONS

[Diplomat in Psychiatry] ABPN; [Completed Postgraduate Medical Training] Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, Resident in psychiatry. [Diplomat Medical Board of California Physicians and Surgeons]

Dr. Maddisen Espeseth, PsyD, RPT, RSP

Testing Psychologist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Irvine (APA Accredited) Doctor of Psychology (PsyD): Clinical Psychology with a Concentration in Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University (APA Accredited) Master of Arts (MA): Clinical Psychology with a Concentration in Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology Chapman University Bachelor of Science (BS): Health Science with a Minor in Psychology

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION

Dr. Maddisen Espeseth is a licensed psychologist who practices from an attachment-heavy, neurosequential lens. Specific to psychodiagnostic testing, she has a history of assessing for neurodevelopmental disorders (often coexisting with other mental health and medical conditions) in the pediatric hospital, community mental health, and private practice settings. Dr. Espeseth strongly values the provision of client-centered, holistic, neurodiversity affirming assessment services. Specific to psychotherapy, Dr. Espeseth specializes in treating trauma-related disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder with clients 3 to 35-years-old.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapist, Registered Play Therapist (RPT), Registered Sandplay Practitioner (RSP), Functional Family Therapy (FFT) Certified, Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) Phase I Trained, Theraplay Level I Trained

Dr. Joel Schwartz

Joel Schwartz, PsyD

Clinical Psychologist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES

Ferkauf School of Psychology, Yeshiva University [Clinical Psychology, MA, PSYD], University of California, Los Angeles [Psychology, BA]

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION

Dr. Schwartz is an expert and thought leader in neurodivergent affirming treatment, psychological testing, and empowered living. Dr. Schwartz specialization is working with neurodivergent individuals from a primarily humanistic, acceptance based, and existential perspective. His training was primarily in psychodynamic psychotherapy and trauma therapy. In addition, Dr. Schwartz has performed over 250 psychological evaluations for people of all ages and in many different settings – inpatient hospitals, schools, clinics, and even prisons. His orientation in both treatment and assessment is collaborative, relying on the lived experience of his clients to inform interventions and assessment results. Dr. Schwartz is recognized nationally as a trainer in both psychological assessment and working with neurodivergent people (particularly Autistic and ADHD individuals and their families).

Sarah Schall, PsyD

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Schall is a graduate of the International OCD Foundation’s (IOCDF) Behavioral Therapy Training Institute (BTTI) which consists of intensive training in the assessment and treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) utilizing Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). She specializes in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), incorporating value-based interventions tailored to an individual’s treatment goals, empowering clients to face their fears with her support. She is a member of the American Psychological Association as well as the IOCDF, where she is listed in their directory of specialized providers. Dr. Schall completed her pre-doctoral internship at M Health Fairview (Rotations: Inpatient Psychiatry & Inpatient Chemical Dependency). She completed post-doctoral fellowships at Garfield Park Behavioral Hospital (Rotations: Inpatient Psychiatry, Partial Hospitalization & Outpatient Programs) and at Rogers Behavioral Health (Rotations: Partial Hospitalization & Intensive Outpatient Programs).

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES

University of La Verne [Doctor of Psychology] University of La Verne [Master of Science in Psychology] Marymount California University [Bachelor of Arts in Psychology]

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION

Dr. Schall specializes in the treatment of OCD and anxiety-related disorders. She has experience working in a variety of mental health settings including inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs. Dr. Schall previously was a member of the Medical Staff at Rogers Behavioral Health (RBH), supervising clinicians in OCD/Anxiety and Depression Recovery partial/intensive outpatient programs. She continues to provide per diem assessment and consultation services to RBH, utilizing her expertise in evidence-based treatments. Dr. Schall has presented at the IOCDF’s annual conference discussing the importance of delivering justice-based ERP with OCD themes centered around marginalized identities (e.g., sexual and gender identity, race, body shape, socioeconomic status, etc.). Dr. Schall additionally has a private practice based in Newport Beach, CA

CERTIFICATIONS

Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

Dr. Julie DeVito

Julie DeVito, PsyD

Psychologist + Integrative Health Coach

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES

California Southern University [Doctor of Psychology, PsyD]; Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology [Master of Arts in Psychology]; Miami University [Bachelor of Arts double major in Political Science and Psychology].

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION

Dr. DeVito is a psychological consultant, professional coach, and psychotherapist with experience working in inpatient and outpatient treatment settings and helping a broad range of clients with various acute and chronic mental illnesses, traumatic experiences, and substance abuse challenges. Dr. DeVito has conducted extensive research in psychology and neuroscience, with a focus on the brain, neuroplasticity, and mechanisms of change that result in positive mental health outcomes. Her work includes the application of research-based treatment interventions that are shown to be effective in improving symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorders, emotional dysregulation, and impairments in executive functioning which are common to a variety of neurodivergent conditions and diagnoses. Dr. DeVito’s experience includes crisis intervention, assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning, psychotherapy, clinical social work with adults and children, mental health advocacy, research, and education. She has completed advanced training in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). She is passionate about helping people improve their health and their lives. Dr. DeVito founded Realization Partners, a consulting and training company, and she continues to work as a consultant to individuals and organizations on topics related to psychology, stress management, communication, leadership, and career development.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Professional Coach, Professional Career Counselor, and Integrative Health Coach; Strategic Learning Alliance.

Dr. Tony Meiners

Tony Meiners

Staff Psychologist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES

[Doctor of Applied Clinical Psychology, Psy.D.] The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. [Master of Social Work, Adult Mental Health and Wellness Concentration] University of Southern California. [Bachelor of Psychology] Maryville University.

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION

Dr. Meiners has a specialization in the treatment of dual diagnosis mental health disorders through a Narrative Therapy lens. His areas of specialty include clinical treatment of substance abuse disorders, co-occurring mental health disorders, the LGBTQ+ population, and psychological testing and evaluations for the purpose of improving diagnostic clarification and treatment outcomes. Dr. Meiners has spent most of his career working with individuals who have experienced significant trauma (high acuity youth in the foster care system, human trafficking/domestic violence survivors, trauma programs in substance use disorder clinics), and therefore ensures to always incorporate trauma-informed care. He combines evidence-based treatment with a collaborative relationship style in order to improve his patients’ overall well-being.

CERTIFICATIONS

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

Dr. Jon Fledzinskas

Jon Fledzinskas

Neurodivergent Expert Consultant

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES

California Lutheran University – PsyD and MS in Clinical Psychology; CSU Channel Islands – BA in Psychology

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION

Dr. Fledzinskas is a Neurodivergent Testing Psychologist and Therapist who focuses on supporting ADHD, Autistic, and OCD Adolescents and Adults. He emphasizes his client’s strengths and reinforces self-compassion and connectedness throughout his work. Dr. Fledzinskas recognizes the systemic challenges and oppressive forces his clients face throughout a variety of environments, advocating for his clients needs both within the therapeutic space and directly with others in local communities. He is also a Licensed Sport Psychologist and predominantly works with competitive gamers and esports players, helping them manage performance-anxiety, poor self-esteem and confidence, and various other problems related to high-level performance in gaming spaces.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Mental Performance Consultant

Hadley Vargas, MSOT, OTR/L

Clinical Occupational Therapist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES

California State University, Dominguez Hills [Occupational Therapy, MS], University of California, Los Angeles [TeachLA- Multiple-Subject Teaching Credential], University of California, Los Angeles [International Development Studies, BA]

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION

Hadley Vargas has extensive experience assessing and treating clients with a holistic approach addressing a variety of conditions including, but not limited to: sensory processing disorder (SPD), ASD, ADHD, dyspraxia, psychological disorders, and physical disorders. As a clinician, she utilizes an affirming and strengths-based framework for developing interventions. She has worked in a wide array of settings from sensory clinics to school-based to outpatient to home health to community mental health with an age range from birth to geriatric.

CERTIFICATIONS

Sensory Processing for School Based Practice (currently completing further in-depth coursework related to sensory processing), Licensed and Credentialed Occupational Therapist, Handwriting Without Tears, Training in Telehealth Treatment, Trauma-Informed Treatment

Dr. Hana Khan

Hana Khan, OTD, OTR/L, CCTP

Clinical Occupational Therapist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Themed Entertainment Design, Minor: Occupational Science [University of Southern California] Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy [University of Southern California] Doctor of Occupational Therapy [University of Southern California]

Throughout her academic journey, Dr. Khan developed a unique perspective, blending insights from psychology, themed entertainment design, and occupational science. Her interdisciplinary approach informs her work as an Occupational Therapist, where she leverages this diverse knowledge to create innovative and inclusive interventions.

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION

Dr. Khan combines a passion for inclusivity and nervous system regulation with a specialization in trauma-informed care. With a unique background in theme park design serving as the catalyst for her journey, she is driven by the belief in empowering others to become active participants in their own narratives. Her role in developing a Primary Care program within the Internal Medicine department at Kaiser has provided invaluable insights, exposing her to a myriad of diagnoses and allowing her to apply her skills in nervous system regulation across a broad spectrum. Beyond clinical practice, Dr. Khan is an author with publications ranging from children’s books to the American Journal of Occupational Therapy. In every facet of her work, Dr. Khan seeks to create a therapeutic environment that nurtures resilience and encourages individuals to rewrite their stories. Her unique blend of clinical expertise, creative inspiration from theme park design, and dedication to inclusivity reflects a compassionate and forward-thinking approach to the field of occupational therapy.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, CA State Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish, Cultural Competence for Behavioral Health Professionals, Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment, Mental Status Examination Training, QPR for Suicide Prevention, CITI Human Subjects, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Advanced Training (DBT), Motivational Interviewing, AOTA Fieldwork Educator

Jessica Abuchaibe

Jessica Abuchaibe, LMFT

Clinical Therapist

Multilingual Mental Health Therapist and International Certified Life Coach, Jessica Abuchaibe, speaks English, Spanish, French, Italian, and some Arabic. Abuchaibe graduated with her Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and did her Bachelor of Science in Communication with a double major in Psychology and Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Dance at the University of Miami in Florida.

Jessica is an experienced individual and group therapist, and specializes in teens and young adults struggling with suicidality and self-harm in addition to personality and mood disorders. Jessica is specialized in neuro-affirming psychotherapy with a specialized focus on ADHD and autism. Jessica’s has worked at nationally recognized behavioral health organizations throughout Orange County including Hoag Hospital. Her clinical experience ranges from working with the unhoused, survivors of human trafficking and other survivors of human rights abuses, and all ages from children to older adults.

Abuchaibe has extensive training and experience in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic, expressive arts, psychodrama, dialectical behavior therapy, person-centered and life coaching amongst others. Being an holistic integrative therapist, Abuchaibe customizes therapy sessions and uses the approaches that best suit the person to help them build awareness, self-efficacy, and effective coping strategies and succeed in navigating their dilemmas, ultimately creating a life worth living for themselves. She coaches people to help them find purpose, identify priorities, and take steps toward long-term goals.

Abuchaibe is passionate about helping people build and maintain confidence as well as nourish the different categories of life to help keep healthy physically and psychologically, and help them feel understood in their own language, culture and terms. Through validation, compassion, an open-mindset, directness, and flexibility, it is her objective to assist them in achieving self-acceptance, healing, and growth to live a happier, more fulfilled life, while also cultivating a strong support system.

Kelly Garrity

Kelly Garrity, LMFT

Clinical Therapist

Kelly draws from a diverse and broad range of experience across more than 2 decades of clinical experience working within community mental health, pediatric day treatment, addiction, and recovery – residential and IOP settings, bio and neurofeedback clinics, as well as group and private practice settings. Kelly specializes in helping those with childhood pain, old fears, and ineffective relationship habits, break free of old patterns and work toward the richer, more meaningful life they want and deserve to live.

As a parent of two children with learning differences and neurodiverse needs, Kelly has a passion for working with neurodivergent people and their families – those with ADHD, Autism, learning differences, or those who may consider themselves to be “highly sensitive”. Kelly leverages each person’s own gifts and strengths to overcome barriers, while connecting to their values and inspiration as a guide toward more joy, enthusiasm, and ‘purpose filled’ living.

Kelly cultivates a non-judging supportive space with and for her clients, serving as ‘a good guide’ on their path toward becoming more intentional in their lives, and especially their relationships. Kelly sees her job as helping people ask the right questions to elicit helpful responses from their “wise mind” inside – allowing them ultimately to recover their own truth and live more authentic, connected, fulfilling lives.

Garrity draws from training and experience in, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Gottman Method Couples Therapy, EMDR and other somatic therapies, Mindfulness and stress reduction techniques, and Creative/expressive arts therapies.

Kelly brings an integrated and systemic approach to therapy, blending the tools and wisdom of the arts with evidenced-based, neuroscience-informed interventions to heal and support the brain – Kelly endeavors to tailors her approach to each client’s unique personality, values, and needs.

Diadra Smith

Diadra Smith, ACSW

Group Therapist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES

University of Southern California, Master’s of Social Work, University of Kansas, BA in Theatre and BA in Psychology

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION

ADHD therapist practicing and providing individual and group therapy, specializing in adults and adolescents whose identities include, but aren’t limited to: neurodivergence, LGBTQIAA2S+, and/or BIPOC.

CERTIFICATIONS

LAPCA Certification for Foundation of Neurodivergent Affirming Care for Autistic Adults, 40-hour California Domestic Violence Counselor Certification, Trauma Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Advanced Training (TB-CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Advanced Training (DBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy Foundations Certification (CPT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT)/ Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP).

Gecole Harley, JD, LMSW, ASW

Psychodrama Facilitator

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES

University of South Carolina College of Social Work (MSW); University of Pennsylvania School of Law (JD); Swarthmore College (BA English)

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION

Psychodrama/Action Methods (J.L. Moreno) applying sociometry to groups and inviting group members to heal through increased spontaneity and creativity. The goal is to allow group members to expand their role repertoire within the safety of the group. Master’s thesis in Narrative Therapy, as theorized and practiced by Gerald Monk, PhD, Michael White, PhD and John Winslade, PhD.

CERTIFICATIONS

Hudson Valley Psychodrama Institute Advanced Student

Meagan Smith

Meagan Smith, AMFT

Clinical Care Coordinator

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES

Chapman University [M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy], Biola University [B.A. Psychology, Minor]

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION

Meagan Smith has prior experience working in an Intensive Outpatient Program, where she provided treatment to adolescents who experienced severe suicidal ideation, mood and personality disorders, severe childhood trauma, substance abuse, and a variety of other mental health disorders. During her time there, she provided therapy to individuals and families and also facilitated group and parent therapy sessions. Meagan has gained additional experience working at the Frances Smith Center for Individual and Family Therapy, a non-profit clinic. At the clinic, she provided treatment to adults, families, couples, and adolescents in the community. Meagan uses a trauma-informed and attachment-based approach while utilizing various therapy modalities, such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT).

Jessica Geiger

Jessica Geiger, MSc

Clinical Care Coordinator

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES

Jessica earned her B.S. in Psychology from Queen’s University Belfast and her M.S. in Child and Adolescent Mental Health from King’s College London. She is currently enrolled in a doctorate program through Capella University where she is specializing in clinical psychology and working towards licensure as a Clinical Psychologist (Psy.D.).

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION

She entered the field of behavioral health providing services to neurodivergent children and adolescents with a focus on enhancing skills of communication, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation and activities of daily living. Later, she pivoted to roles with more of an emphasis on mental health and broadened her skill set through her work with adults in dual diagnosis treatment at the intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization and residential levels of care. Jessica is specialized in assessment, diagnosis, case conceptualization and clinical care coordination. As a result of her extensive knowledge and wide breadth of experience, she has an in-depth understanding of the referral and intake process for mental health services and cultivated a strong aptitude for facilitating transitions in care and aftercare planning. As a clinician, Jessica provides evidence-based interventions for individuals and families with post-graduate training in CBT, DBT and Holographic Reprocessing.

Her passion for client-centered care is evidenced by a warm and empathetic nature. She is an advocate for her clients, respects their autonomy and strives to empower them on their healing journey. She recognizes strength in vulnerability, commits herself to authentic communication and strives to be a safe and stable space for her clients in their moments of need.

Angelinne Montero

Angelinne Montero, MA, BCBA

Art Therapist

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES

Ball State University [Applied Behavior Analysis, MA] University of California, Irvine [Psychology & Social Behavior, BA] SPECIALIZATION: Applied Behavior Analysis, Art Therapy

CERTIFICATIONS

BOARD CERTIFIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS (BCBA) Angeline has experience as an art therapist for a pediatric oncology department. While in Germany, she worked as the art director for a child education center. She has studied art theory, art history, and different mediums. Her specialty is in photography, drawing, and painting. She also has a background in applied behavior analysis, including working with individuals with developmental disorders, and research on autoclitics and increasing communication for individuals with autism.

Sophie Pyne, MSW, LCSW

Sound + Meditation Teacher

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES

University of Southern California [Psychology, BA] University of Southern California [Social Work, MA]

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION

Sophie has a specialty in using both evidence-based psychotherapy, somatic-based, and alternative holistic modalities such as sound healing, arts, movement, and the natural world around us to help clients explore and express their truest selves in the world. Her areas of specialization include substance use disorders, co-occurring anxiety and depression, mindfulness, meditation, and mind-body-spirit integration.

CERTIFICATIONS

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT-I), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Seeking Safety, Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP), Sound Healing, Holy Fire Reiki I & II, Trauma Informed Surf Therapy Sophie has a passion for helping clients learn to love and believe in themselves. What fulfills her professionally is seeing when each client surrenders to the process, opens up, and finally recognizes that they are worth it. Her superpower is being authentic, genuine, and sincere. Sophie believes it is important to help clients understand the purpose that their unhealthy behaviors served them while building new coping skills to live a healthier life. Sophie’s therapeutic style is warm, compassionate, fun, and direct. She uses a comprehensive and holistic approach, drawing from cognitive behavioral to somatic based and alternative healing therapies. She believes each of us is healing from something and everything we need to get there is already within us. Her job, as a therapist and facilitator, is to hold a safe and brave space for clients to dive in.

Ben Wachman

Ben Wachman

Music Therapist

Ben’s music therapy program combines his passion for music and desire to help others achieve new levels of being in tune with themselves. He has brought his music therapy program to a multitude of mental health facilities where he is the head of his own songwriting groups. Through these groups, participants learn to better manage stress, reduce anxiety, and minimize depression by stimulating the mind to trigger images, metaphors, and emotions in a less threatening way.

Creating through music allows the client to explore and process difficult emotions and experiences utilizing a more unique approach increasing self-esteem and self-worth in the process. The practice of turning adversity into art is therapeutic and not only helps participants in the moment, but provides a positive outlet that they can lean on throughout the rest of their lives.

Floral Photo

Rebecca Rosenzweig, BA

Peer Mentor

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES

Wheaton College, MA (BA in Psychology)

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION

I am well versed in neurodiversity affirming practices and sensory processing differences. I have over a decade of experience working in the neurodiversity sector and have spent most of my time with autistic individuals.

Madison Baker

Madison Baker

Intake Coordinator
Madison Baker earned his Bachelors of Science from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010 and has worked in a variety of treatment settings within the field of substance abuse, mental health and dual diagnosis treatment. He specializes in admissions consultations, case management and navigating access to appropriate healthcare. With an attitude of kindness and compassion, he strives to be a resource for families and professionals navigating the crises and often confusing process of accessing appropriate treatment. Beginning his career in the film industry as an audio visual editor on major motion picture movie trailers, he found his way to working in the behavioral healthcare field through his own personal journey in recovery. He attributes his passion for his work to his experience as a young adult, seeing his parents navigate the difficult process of quality treatment access. Through his work in direct client care, business development and admissions, he found a passion for providing quality assessment and consultation to families and professionals navigating one of the most difficult and unexpected processes of life. Originally from Austin, Texas, Madison takes pride in his accomplishments as an Eagle Scout, and serving local communities through service in and out of recovery. Previously serving on the board of directors for Austin’s Alano Club and working for several nationally known treatment programs in admissions and business development roles.
Aaron Oliver

Aaron Oliver

National Clinical Outreach

Aaron brings a diverse background and skill set to the Neurodivergent Collective, marked by his experience in the behavioral health industry and his dedication to service. Originally from Chesapeake, Virginia, Aaron attended Virginia Commonwealth University where he studied business administration. Aaron began his career in the behavioral health field in 2013 working in the intake department for a well known primary care behavioral health treatment program in Newport Beach, CA. He then transitioned to a hybrid marketing & operations role for a well-respected extended care treatment program in Huntington Beach, CA. Aaron steadily grew in the organization, eventually becoming executive director in 2017, a role he served in prior to joining the collective. Aaron strives to be a community resource for the families of those suffering from mental health issues and to connect them with appropriate treatment programs.

As co-founder of Leadwell, a wellness retreat for professionals in the behavioral health community, Aaron has demonstrated his commitment to the continuous development of both himself and his colleagues in the field.

Sarah Verrelli

Sarah Verrelli

Business Development Executive
Sarah Verrelli attended Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT where she majored in Business Administration with an emphasis on Marketing. She entered the behavioral health field in 2006, and has spent the past 17 years connecting those struggling with their mental health and substance use disorders with the treatment programs best suited to help them. In this time she has developed extensive industry knowledge as well as a sterling reputation as a leader in the field. During her career, Sarah has served as Outreach Coordinator, Director of Marketing, Vice President of Business Development, and Vice President of Market Insight for a nationally known treatment organization. Sarah has been recognized for her accomplishments by receiving multiple prestigious ‘Best in Class’ awards. Considered a “connector” amongst her peers, Sarah is dedicated to providing clients and families with the most appropriate resources in the country given their circumstances. In so doing, Sarah has built a rewarding career positively impacting the lives of those struggling with behavioral health as well as their families. Sarah resides in the beach community of Fairfield, Connecticut with her six year old son. She is a devoted member of Orangetheory and iCryotherapy. In her spare time, she enjoys travel and spending time by the water.
Jenna Goldsby

Jenna Goldsby

Intake + Admissions Coordinator
Jenna recently moved to California from Arizona, where she graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Northern Arizona University. During her undergrad program, Jenna completed an internship where she provided guidance, support, and crisis intervention to adults in traumatic distress. Her internship created a passion to advocate and find treatment for those living with mental health disorders. At The Collective, Jenna strives to make this transition for individuals and families as gracious and comfortable as possible.
Justin Krause

Justin Krause

Intake Coordinator
Hailing from Orange County, Justin studied locally at South Coast College. He began his professional journey working in treatment centers, providing support and care to individuals seeking help. While working in this field, he developed a deep understanding and compassion for the mental health industry. Outside of his professional pursuits, Justin continues to actively engage in the recovery community, supporting and empowering those in their journey toward recovery. His personal experiences and dedication to the well-being of others fuel his commitment to making a difference. Supporting families with a holistic understanding of the industry enables him to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those he serves at the Mental Health Collective.
Ryan Franke

Ryan Franke

CEO + Co-Founder
Ryan has a BA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California (USC). He has worked in the behavioral health field for over eighteen years. In a previous role, Ryan served as Chief Operations Officer & Partner of a dual site mental health treatment program and assessment clinic in Los Angeles, CA. Prior to this, Ryan spent nine years working for the nations largest provider of behavioral health treatment services where he held numerous positions during his tenure, including roles in marketing, operations, and executive leadership for the 140-site organization. Ryan grew up in Newport Beach, CA where he currently resides. Ryan’s passions include advocating for those struggling with mental health disorders, participating in and coaching athletics, and spending time with his two children.

Dr. Kristen Zaleski, PhD, LCSW

Chief Clinical Officer + Co-Founder

Kristen Zaleski, PhD, LCSW is a nationally-recognized author, researcher, and psychotherapist on trauma related disorders and an expert on sexual trauma within both civilian and military culture. Dr Zaleski is the author of two books, multiple research articles, and is a consultant and trainer on trauma disorders and survivorship to entities such as Facebook (Meta) and the U.S. Department of Defense. Dr. Zaleski came to the Mental Health Collective after a decade-long tenure at University of Southern California as Clinical Associate Professor for the Suzanne Dworak Peck School of Social Work. Dr. Zaleski continues to be affiliated with USC as the Founding Director of the USC Keck Human Rights Clinic which is a pro-bono organization offering forensic evaluations for survivors of international human rights abuse.

Dr. Zaleski sits on the board of two  non-profits- Center for Law and Military Policy and Sahiyo- where she advocates for survivors of human trafficking, sexual violence, female genital mutilation, and forced marriage around the world and within the United States military. She also consults with television production companies on how to represent mental health realistically on their programs.

Dr. Zaleski has specific training on neurobiology and modern day attachment theory. Her area of expertise centers around somatic and body-based treatments to heal trauma holistically. She has previously worked at UCLA Rape Treatment Center, Veterans Administration Healthcare Center in Long Beach, and Las Encinas Psychiatric Hospital. She also has a private practice based in Hermosa Beach, CA.

CERTIFICATIONS

EMDR, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, Stephen Porges Safe & Sound Protocol, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure, and various 2nd and 3rd generation cognitive behavioral evidence based practices.

EDUCATION

University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) BA in Sociology and BA in Psychology, University of Southern California (USC) Master of Social Work, and Sanville Institute for Social Work and Psychotherapy, PhD.

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATIONS

Dr. Zaleski utilizes a trauma-informed, attachment focused lens to client work.  Her training integrates interpersonal neurobiology to understand mental health holistically. Dr. Zaleski has advanced training in “bottom-up” somatic treatment modalities to assist the client to feel more in control of their body’s reactions to life events while coupling “top-down” narrative therapies to promote behavioral and cognitive changes. Her clinical experience has centered around military trauma and interpersonal violence that include sexual assault and human trafficking.

Catherine Mann

Catherine Mann

Director of Quality & Compliance

UNIVERSITIES + DEGREES

Pepperdine University [Clinical Psychology, MA] California State University, Fullerton [Psychology, BA] California State University, Fullerton [Health & Human Services, BS]

CLINICAL SPECIALIZATION

Insurance Utilization Management Catherine Mann was inspired to start working in the mental health field after losing a friend to suicide in 2011. She started working in the mental health field in the nonprofit sector at The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in 2014. Since then, Catherine’s passion for mental health has continued to grow, and she’s gained experience in evidence-based therapeutic modalities such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) at an IOP level of care and obtained her master’s degree from Pepperdine University in Clinical Psychology. She’s worked in Insurance Utilization Management since 2017 and is passionate about educating others on health insurance and behavioral health. Catherine lives by the statement: “I can’t do all the good the world needs, and the world needs all the good I can do.” Catherine is passionate about serving individuals of all ages and socio-cultural backgrounds. When she’s not in the office, you can find her with her toes in the sand, training at the gym, studying at a coffee shop, or cuddling with her niece.

Ruby Maher

Ruby Maher

Human Resources
Ruby Maher has been working with different elements of HR administration since 2010 and has focused on Compliance and HR in the Health Care industry since 2014. After graduating from UC Santa Barbara with a double major in Global Studies and Art History and working in both these fields, she landed in the field of Health Care Administration where she has held Compliance and HR managerial positions at multiple behavioral health organizations. Ruby is tasked with developing and maintaining sustainable, scalable HR practices and policies to support the employees and the company administration as a whole.
Jenna Goldsby

Jenna Goldsby

Finance + Compliance Administrator

Jenna moved to California from Arizona, where she graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Northern Arizona University. During her undergrad program, Jenna completed an internship where she provided guidance, support, and crisis intervention to adults in traumatic distress. Her internship created a passion to advocate and find treatment for those living with mental health disorders. At The Collective, Jenna strives to make this transition for individuals and families as gracious and comfortable as possible.