Our Treatment Staff
Jared Raymond – Chief Operating Officer
Jared has a variety of experience in the field of behavioral health and addiction services. In the recovery field he has held the roles of trainer, supervisor, and administrator. His competencies include clinical best practice implementation, treatment innovation, recovery programming, and organizational leadership. He has focused his career on achieving results, utilizing teambuilding, and motivating others to reach common corporate goals. Jared is deeply involved in improving the quality of the team and their results through coaching, troubleshooting, project planning, and problem-solving. Jared is passionate about the recovery process and is constantly improving the practices of this organization.
Zeinah Gollsneider – Admissions Coordinator
Zeinah is a highly motivated and passionate professional in the admissions department. She has helped many individuals who suffer from the disease of addiction through her empathetic approach. She has been working in the chemical dependency field since 2011 and is currently working on her Bachelor’s Degree as well as obtaining her alcohol and drug studies certificate. She adds a unique insight to the process, which helps clients to feel comfortable as she assists their various needs in the admissions process. Zeinah provides unparalleled support for her clients undergoing the process of entering treatment and their loved ones as well. Her personal ties to the recovery process and the loving support she provides to our community have made her a truly valuable asset.
Alejandro Alva, M.D. – Psychiatrist & Detox Specialist*
Dr. Alva received his education at the California State University, Fullerton and the Autonomous University of Guadalajara Medical School. After he completed his education and training in Guadalajara, Mexico, he returned to California to finish his residency at the University of California, Irvine.
Dr. Alva is the CEO and chief medical officer of Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists, a specialized medical group that focuses not only on psychiatric disorders but also on dual diagnosis conditions including alcohol and chemical dependency.
Prior to Dr. Alva’s formation of Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists (PNS), he was involved in multiple endeavors, including inpatient and outpatient detoxification and rehabilitation work with the VA Long Beach Healthcare System, Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, Chapman Medical Center in Orange, as well as multiple out patient rehabilitation centers in Southern California. Since the formation of PNS, Dr. Alva’s focus is on the latest treatments available for psychiatric disorders and chemical dependence as well as aspects of ethnicity and gender and their correlation to pathological states. Dr. Alva has over 20 years experience in serving the medical community in various capacities, including roles as a patient advocate, clinician, researcher, and medical director.
Dr. Alva’s expertise in adolescent, adult, and geriatric psychiatry and dual diagnosis utilizes the latest pharmacological and nonpharmacological approaches to treat depression (such as rTMS, which involves magnetic stimulation of the brain) as well as the use of anticraving treatments make him one of the nation’s most innovative and prominent psychiatrists.
Dr. Alva is a member of multiple professional organizations, including the American Medical Association, the Orange County Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the California Psychiatric Association, the American Board of Forensic Medicine, the American College of Forensic Examiners, the American Board of Psychopharmacology, and the California Hispanic American Association of Hispanic Professionals.
Lastly, Dr. Alva understands the stigma associated with chemical dependence disorders and the societal bias against these medical conditions. Dr. Alva and his staff have a mandate to work together with rehabilitation and recovery centers to optimize treatment and provide the best medical care available.
* “Independently affiliated Physician.”
Claire Yeager, MA, MFTi – Therapist
Claire has over 10 years’ experience doing individual and group psychotherapy, specializing in self-esteem issues and drug and alcohol recovery. She earned her Master’s Degree in Psychology from Phillips Graduate Institute in Chatsworth, California and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from UCLA and is currently registered as a Marriage and Family Therapy Intern.
Claire studied Rogerian Therapy, which creates a positive, solution-focused environment that is very helpful in healing each client’s unique self-esteem issues. This supportive counseling structure helps clients feel safe to experience and “work through” uncomfortable emotions that were likely avoided in the past by using drugs or alcohol. Claire enjoys helping clients build confidence in their recovery, learn appropriate self-care, and learn new emotional and behavioral coping skills.
She has also studied cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational-interviewing therapy, which are useful in helping clients discover and reflect on their motivations for a successful, lasting recovery.
Louise Bailey, CATC-I – Case Manager
Louise has been active in the recovery community for over 30 years. After a successful career as an Interior Designer, Louise had the opportunity to change her professional focus and obtained her education and certification in the field of Addiction Counseling. Louise feels passionate about helping others find solutions to addiction as a result of her personal journey in recovery.
Louise brings a loving, compassionate but realistic approach to others who suffer from substance abuse and dependence. Louise has extensive knowledge of 12 step programs, CBT therapy, behavior modification and holistic approaches to anxiety and depression that plague people in early recovery. Louise receives great personal satisfaction in seeing people’s lives change, families reunited, and her clients become productive members of society.
Sandi Thomas, AA, CMT, CATC-II – Case Manager
After developing a successful career as a massage therapist, Sandi returned to school to broaden her knowledge and understanding of the disease of addiction. In 2010 she graduated with an Associates of Arts degree in Human Services, in addition to completing the Alcohol and Drug Studies Certificate Program both through Cypress College.
Sandi enjoys the counseling aspect of developing with the client an individualize treatment plan that meets the client where they are at in their level of recovery and change. Having redeveloped her own life through recovery, Sandi set an example as a guide for the clients that she serves.
Christopher Jimenez, BA – Detox Case Manager
Christopher Jimenez is a Marriage and Family Therapist student, working towards his master’s degree at Pepperdine University. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science from University of California Irvine in 2011.
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. Along with substance abuse he has worked with clients who have a whole spectrum of needs from anxiety, depression, psychosis, bipolar, and adjustment disorders.
Christopher has personal experience in recovery and has found a solution to living life on life’s terms. He brings a compassionate, empathic and person centered approach to recovery. Christopher has six years of experience with leading groups and counseling individuals in the field of psychology.
David Knaak – Spiritual Counselor
David is a non-denominational Pastor and Counselor. Additionally, and uniquely, he has extensive training in the Eastern Healing Arts. David has worked in the substance abuse treatment field for over 20 years, providing invaluable support, compassion, and insight into the spiritual aspect of treatment and sobriety.
Sherry Tripp – Meditation & Holistic Instructor
My passion for yoga and meditation began 6 years ago. My purpose for starting a yoga practice was to heal from trauma and loss. I began with the physical practice or (asana) which started a relationship between my body and mind… The more I practiced the more present I became. The deeper I entered the present moment the more I came to understand there is a divine force at work in our lives. It is our work to cultivate a practice of mind body and spirit.
Yoga and Mediation are a few ways we “create” this unity. A meditation practice can seem daunting at first. To sit still with our thoughts can and will at times cases unease or restlessness. My belief is meditation “is finding the small gap in between the thoughts, if only for a brief moment”. I incorporate movement, guided imagery, silence, sound, and aromatherapy to create a safe a effective way to bridge thought and silence. I am humbled and grateful each time I am able to share my journey.
Edmund Erickson – Acupuncturist
Edmund is a California Licensed Acupuncturist/Herbalist and has over 16 years of clinical experience. He uses the following treatment methods in clinic: traditional Chinese acupuncture, traditional Japanese meridian therapy, and the balance method.
He treats such things as: detoxification, addiction, pain of any kind (physical or emotional), weak digestion, stress, anxiety, sleep problems, fatigue, and mind-body disconnection.
Edmund is Nationally Certified as a Diplomat in Acupuncture by the NCCAOM. He holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin and a Master of Science Degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, California.
Robert Karlsson – Certified Clinical Nutritionist (CNN)
Robert Karlsson is a certified clinical nutritionist and health care consultant working with local schools, community centers, and substance abuse recovery centers across Southern California. Over last decade, his fascination with nutrient deficiencies led him to focus on depletions caused by poor diet and toxic states that prevented the body from healing at its optimal performance. His techniques to healing are easily integrated into modern medical treatment programs of all sorts. Here is a little more background into his training and philosophy.
His main mentor was Dr. Frank Varese, M.D., who was a pioneer in longevity medicine and devoted his practice to finding health and wellness solutions for patients who could not find the answers they needed from their regular doctors. He worked with Dr.Varese for six years.
“Working alongside Dr. Varese, I saw firsthand how many natural, non-prescription remedies, including vitamin and enzyme therapies, bio-identical hormone replacement, and certain advanced technologies can accelerate the body’s natural power to heal itself. In addition, I met and developed relationships with many caring and skilled medical doctors, scientists, and everyday people who believe in enhancing the quality of life for their patients, rather than just treating symptoms. In my quest to constantly remain informed about the most effective remedies for various disease conditions, I regularly attend medical conferences and lectures at which the world’s leading medical experts share their research and opinions.”
“Like you, I often hear through the media about the disease epidemics in our modern world. I find myself consistently frustrated that, in many cases, the simplest and, often, most effective remedies for wellness and longevity are not offered to the average patient in our current healthcare system. I am also frequently disturbed by the amount of research time and money spent by major pharmaceutical companies in the race to develop new and ever more expensive drugs when the solution to a particular disease condition is often already available to patients in a natural, safer, less expensive, and more effective form.
I firmly believe that health care decisions should only be made based on a thorough evaluation of a patient’s health history and individual treatment needs. However, the thorough evaluation necessary to treat a particular patient is just not available in our current health care system where doctors often have no more than fifteen minutes during a typical appointment to devote to the patient. There is, for example, absolutely no reason why aspirin should be used as an automatic remedy when it is known that two thousand people die every year on first time use, even though they followed the labeling instructions for the correct dose. From my experience these last several years, I have learned that the only thing that can cure a disease is your own body. The body can heal physical ailments, diseases, and mental disorders, and there are many non-drug nutrients, natural supplements, and advanced technological treatments that, when used correctly, can stimulate the body to heal itself.”
Kelsey Lang – Yoga Instructor
I began my yoga journey in 2011 with a steady hot vinyasa flow practice. Like a spark to light my inner fire, yoga brought light and clarity to the corners of my life. I loved what I found; a deep peace. I was inspired to share what I found in myself with others through yoga.
My aim as a teacher is to empower the people around me and in the community to live a life they love. My classes focus on breath and awareness – either flowing through or relaxing into balanced and thoughtful sequences. I teach vinyasa, the 26 postures from Bikram Hot Yoga, restorative, and yin yoga styles as well as meditation and Yoga Nidra. I blend a variety of healing modalities with yoga and meditation including Reiki, Emotional Freedom Technique, Aromatherapy, visualization, and Sound therapy.
In yoga we return to our awareness to the mind, body, and spirit and in creating and nurturing this relationship, we cultivate deep and mindful relationship with ourselves. I am passionate and humbled by the sacred journey yoga has to offer and believe yoga is a path to open the doors of the mind, body, and spirit, connecting us to the present and to your true potential.
Jennifer Knowles LVN – Director of Insurance Verification & Billing
Jenny has been a nurse for over twenty years, providing quality care for individuals of all ages and demographics. She has worked in the areas of Surgery, Emergency Room, Pediatrics, Geriatrics, Utilization Review, Eating Disorder, and Behavioral Health/Substance Abuse. The last seven years Jenny has dedicated her focus to Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse. She has a passion to help individuals struggling with mental health issues, past trauma, self-inflicting behaviors, and substance abuse issues. Jenny finds it very rewarding to see the transformation that takes place in individuals suffering from substance abuse and addiction during their rehabilitation treatment.
There is a tremendous amount of growth and change that takes place starting from the clients’ initial detox phase, where the individual feels they can no longer go on or even survive, to the end of their treatment program where the individual leaves with the tools and fundamentals to achieve their sobriety and to maintain a healthy lifestyle that suits their individual needs. Jenny is an advocate of making positive lifestyle choices to maintain a holistic approach to wellness. She enjoys nutrition, massage, meditation, running, mountain biking, hiking, body building, Pilates, kayaking, and paddle boarding. Her other interests include spending time with her family and her two amazing sons, reading, dance, sports, movies and travel.
Barmak Hefazi – VP of Operations
Mr. Hefazi comes from an extensive background in Business, Recovery, and Management. Mr. Hefazi is passionate about recovery and creates an environment of compassion and structure. He brings to Monarch Shores his team building skills along with unmatched client care practices. He has been working in the field for several years mastering and understanding the needs of clients while simultaneously providing the infrastructural needs of the company.
Anthony Grignon – Client Advisor Supervisor
Anthony Grignon met his sobriety head on in February of 2012. He went through a treatment program, which made him realize his potential to share this wonderful new life with people looking for a change. Completing his education at the Training Institute of Addiction Counseling in 2013, he has managed both sober living and treatment centers specializing in substance abuse and dual-diagnosis.
Anthony is a believer in a balanced lifestyle, incorporating everything from sports, to meditation, to being a foodie. His motto is “If you want something you’ve never had, you need to do something you’ve never done.” He is committed to helping people figure out what that is for themselves.