Regional Clinical Director for La Ventana Dr. Pappas earned her Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology in 2003 and her Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology in 2005. She has over fourteen years experience in providing treatment for diverse populations utilizing a multidisciplinary theoretical lens. Her work includes counseling individuals, families, and couples recovering from eating disorders, drug and alcohol addictions, trauma, mood disorders, and life style transitions. She has worked with children, adolescents, and adults in both residential and outpatient settings, as well as group homes, public schools, and juvenile hall. She has a private practice in San Francisco treating people in recovery from Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder, and Obesity, as well as various mood disorders and abuse. Dr. Pappas also has experience working in partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs (New Dawn Recovery), she works in conjunction with Association of Professionals Treating Eating Disorders in San Francisco, and has over six years experience working at Recovery Systems in Mill Valley. Dr. Pappas was an Adjunct Professor at Argosy University in the Bay Area, where she taught graduate level courses. Dr. Pappas is the President of the San Francisco Bay Area iaedp, International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Foundation, which she started to help bring a high level of education and support to professionals in the area. Dr. Pappas possesses the passion to help support those in recovery and can relate to the profound grief that addiction may cause. For the past thirty years she has witnessed a loved one suffer from alcohol and drug addiction, as well as Anorexia and Bulimia. Dr. Pappas herself has learned to live with an autoimmune disease, culminating in the gift of developing a healthier relationship with food and her body. Dr. Pappas’s philosophy is that “food is medicine that refuels our body and mind in a balanced and healing manner.” With her extensive theoretical background, Dr. Pappas utilizes a family system and psychodynamic therapeutic modality while integrating cognitive behavioral, narrative, and experiential therapies in her practice. Given the psychological and physiological complexities of eating disorders, Dr. Pappas incorporates a comprehensive treatment team approach and feels that community connection and awareness is vital to a successful recovery.
Program Director, LMFT, RDT, RN – I am a Registered Nurse, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Drama Therapist who specializes in the treatment of eating disorders. I hold a BA in Theatre Arts from CSU East Bay, an MA in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Drama Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and completed the Eating Disorder Certificate Program at JFK University. For over a decade I have worked in a hospital-based Intensive Outpatient and Day Treatment program as well as private practice as an individual, group, family and drama therapist. My treatment philosophy stems from my belief that optimal healing and recovery is achieved through the integration of body, mind and spirit. Drama Therapy, as a creative, expressive arts treatment modality is holistic in its approach and through exercises that are active and experiential creates a space for individuals with eating disorders to experience a more flexible and open way of being with themselves and the world. With a compassionate and empathic presence, I use drama and theater processes to assist women with eating disorders achieve psychological and spiritual growth and change.
Lead Therapist, LMFT, RYT Alecia is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology, specializing in expressive arts therapy. She is also a Registered Yoga Teacher. For the last ten years, she has been working in a variety of clinical settings with adults, children, families and groups addressing issues of trauma, addiction, eating disorders and body image. She has been a therapist and has led groups at CPMC, New Dawn Eating Disorders Recovery Program and at the APTED (Association of Professionals Treating Eating Disorders) clinic. She also has a private practice in San Francisco. Alecia believes that optimal health comes from integrating body, mind and spirit and incorporates expressive arts therapy, EMDR, movement, guided imagery and mindfulness into her therapy practice.
MA, Licensed Clinical Psychologist PSY 25747- In 1999, after completing her Master’s degree, Linda began bringing healing arts groups into Chemical Dependency rehabs, where she worked for many years. In 2003, she then re-entered graduate school in Meridian University’s Clinical Psychology Doctoral program to train as a Psychologist. During this time, she completed predoctoral training and intern hours in an intensive outpatient Eating Disorder rehab working with clients recovering from anorexia, bulimia, and compulsive/binge eating. She also began presenting her doctoral work of using expressive arts to heal disordered eating and body image distortion at national conferences. Since then, she has continued working in residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient eating disorder programs. She completed her postdoctoral hours at the Association of Professionals Treating Eating Disorders (APTED) clinic, where she has a private practice. She loves working with clients indvidually, in groups, and in workshops being of service giving back the gift of recovery that she discovered herself 13 years ago.
M.A., MFT. – Shrein earned her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of San Francisco and her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin. She has provided individual, family and group therapy to adults, adolescents and children in a variety of clinical settings. Specializing in eating disorder treatment, Shrein utilizes a holistic treatment model of Psychodynamic, Family Systems and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy approaches. Further, she is passionate about the reunification of mind, body and soul to bring about lasting transformation and recovery. As a close friend to someone who overcame her battle with Anorexia, she understands firsthand the impact an eating disorder has on not only the person suffering, but on family and friends as well. In addition to La Ventana, Shrein provides individual and couple therapy at her private practice office in San Francisco. She is a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, The Association of Family Therapists of Northern California and The Women’s Association of Addiction Treatment.
Registered Dietitian – A former restaurant chef, Katherine Dittmann holds a Master of Science Degree in Nutrition Science from San Jose State University and is a Registered Dietitian. Katherine has been working in residential and outpatient treatment for eating disorders since 2006 and in private practice. Her favored treatment approaches include intuitive eating, mindful eating, and solid nutrition education to counter mixed messages. Her research has appeared in the peer-reviewed journal Eating Disorders: the Journal of treatment and Prevention (2009). She has also written several food-related and general interest articles for a local magazine and is a certified yoga instructor.
MA, REAT, RSMT, CHT Adriana has a well-established arts and healing practice in San Francisco where she works with individuals and groups. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Studio Art, a Masters in Psychology, is a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist, a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist and a Clinical Hypnotherapist. Adriana specializes in addiction/recovery, and has developed a specific body of work offering creative healing opportunities for people in recovery from all forms of addiction, eating disorders and co-dependency. Her areas of interest in her work include mindfulness practices, stress reduction, spiritual inquiry, women’s issues and creative coaching. For over a decade, Adriana has presented expressive arts workshops and classes at a variety of institutions and organizations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area including Sonoma State University, National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, Mandana Community Recovery Center, Epiphany Center for Women and Children, and Marin Outpatient Services. Adriana is faculty member of the Tamalpa Institute, an internationally renowned training center for movement-based expressive arts therapy in Marin County, California. She actively researches both experientially and didactically the ways that the arts and a body-based orientation can foster healthy living in individuals and communities.
Lead Therapist Intern, M.A., MFTI Arin earned her Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy from The American School of Professional Psychology, and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Neuroscience from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 2004. Arin has worked with children, adolescents, adults, couples and families in a clinical setting attending to the issues of eating disorders, body image issues, depression, anxiety and substance abuse, and she also has a private practice in San Francisco. She utilizes a Multidisciplinary theoretical perspective with emphases on Client Centered, Psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioral, and Family Systems models. Arin relates firsthand to the struggle of an eating disorder, and her own journey of recovery has guided the way into her work with eating disorders. She has a tremendous passion for working with those struggling with eating disorders and believes that a trusting therapeutic relationship, empathy and personal accountability are important components in therapy for recovery from an eating disorder. She is a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and the American Psychological Association.
Registered Dietician As a nutrition therapist, Karen brings her enthusiasm and belief in full recovery to help individuals heal their relationship with food and their bodies. She has a background in both psychology, and nutritional science as an undergraduate, well as a Masters from New York University. As a graduate student, she studied the effectiveness of the non-diet approach in the prevention and treatment of eating disorders. Her personal philosophy centers around permission and trust, using intuitive eating principals as the foundation for full recovery. She has worked in a variety of eating disorder treatment settings including, residential, in-patient as well as private practice since 2004. When she is not at work, she can be found on her yoga mat, skiing in Tahoe, hiking the Sierras or checking out what’s in season at the local farmer’s market.
CEO – Steve has worked in the Eating Disorder and Addiction field for the past six years. He has as a personal journey to help others with eating disorders and drug and alcohol addiction. His mother was affected by the disease and left this world too young from complications of living years with an eating disorder and his father suffered from the disease of alcoholism. Steve wanted to work at a treatment center that was affordable with excellent treatment and long term care for recovery. He has found in La Ventana a way to give back to the world and help others live a long and healthy life. Steve was born and raised in Southern California and earned his BA from USC and his MBA from Columbia University.
B.S. – Chief Operating Officer (COO) – Lisette “CJ” Fraser has worked at La Ventana over the past six years in several strategic positions and has an extensive background in the treatment of Eating Disorders and Drug & Alcohol addiction. She holds a degree in Human Service Management and is currently working toward her license in alcohol and drug counseling. She has a depth of knowledge in relationship building within the industry and is skilled in effective communication for the field of recovery. Lisette also carries a personal experience with the family dynamics surrounding addiction and has a passion for the education and awareness of this devastating disease. As COO Lisette is responsible for the day to day operations of all La Ventana locations and reports directly to the CEO.
MBA, Marketing Director - Christi comes to La Ventana with over fifteen years of outreach and sales experience in the healthcare and technology industry. She has been a nationally top ranked account manager with numerous awards such as the winner’s circle trip and rookie of the year. She has worked as a medical marketing manager in the past and has developed website and on line presence to improve exposure and sales. Christi managed press releases as well as social media campaigns. She has a passion to help those suffering from eating disorders and has been personally exposed to the disease within her friendships. She earned her MBA from the University of Dallas and her BA in Business and Marketing from Cameron University in Oklahoma. Christi is the Speaker Chair for WAAT, Women’s Association for Addiction Treatment, Social Media Chair for iaedp, International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Foundation, and a member of APTED and CAMFT.
Lead dmissions Specialist – Marcelina Gates is the admissions specialist at La Ventana, who is currently working towards her CADC at Oxnard College. She has been involved in recovery over 7 years, and has been working in treatment over the last year. Marcelina is a single parent raising her son in Thousand Oaks. During her free time Marcelina enjoys volunteering her time at her son’s school. Marcelina knows what it takes to live life without drugs and alcohol and the first step towards freedom is treatment. Marcelina feels very blessed to have a job where she can help people with drug and alcohol addiction live clean and sober lives. Marcelina hopes to one day be working with pregnant and single mothers working towards recovery.
Find out if La Ventana is in your insurance network, or learn how we can help you finance your treatment.