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Sharon Volner, LMFT

Clinical Director Chemical Dependency Programs, Thousand Oaks

“My philosophy is that people, whether they are struggling with mental health or addiction issues, need to know their reality. With a loving, supportive, and caring environment people can get through anything.”

Sharon brings a broad range of experience to her role as the Clinical Director of La Ventana’s Thousand Oaks Chemical Dependency Program. She has over twenty years experience working with at-risk youth, couples, families, and adults in the field of mental health and addiction. She has worked at various rehabilitation centers with youth and adults struggling with issues of addiction and their underlying psychological causes. Sharon has worked as a trainer and operator on a crisis suicide hotline. Sharon has worked directly with the homeless population in assisting them in stabilizing severe and persistent mental health and substance dependence as well as gaining housing and employment. Sharon maintains a private practice in Westlake and is a Clinical Supervisor to registered interns working towards their licensure. Sharon’s approach is multi-modal: she addresses the biological, psychosocial, spiritual, and nutritional aspects of addiction and treatment. Sharon earned her MS in Counseling with Distinction from California State University. She is a member of CAMFT, and a Co-Leader of her daughter’s Girl Scout Troop in efforts to help young girls develop empowerment and leadership.

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Gwendolyn Casella

Director of Detoxification and Chemical Dependency Programs, Thousand Oaks

“If I can make a difference in one person’s life, restore hope to an addict’s heart, my job is done. One person can make a profound difference.”

After Gwendolyn got clean and sober in 1997, she worked at Cri-Help, Inc. for over a decade in a variety of direct care and administrative roles while attending Drug and Alcohol Studies at Pierce and Mission Colleges. Since 2002, Gwen has been tied to the recovery community through her considerable experience as a sober coach and by conducting “extreme interventions” (defined as “recovery by any means necessary”). She has her own business, Recovery Services Unlimited LLC and, notably, was featured on A&E’s “Relapse, the Sober Coach Chronicles.”

Identifying integrity as the underpinning of her approach, Gwen considers herself very lucky to be trained by some amazing mentors for whom she has always had a tremendous respect.

Having worked at several treatment facilities, Gwen now passionately devotes all of her professional efforts to her role as Detox Program Coordinator at La Ventana. She believes she was meant to do this work and loves doing it. When Gwen is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and singing her heart out.

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Christine Kelly

Residential Detoxification Manager, Thousand Oaks

“One of the most rewarding things about my career choice in drug and alcohol treatment is the fact that I am able to see tangible results in our clients. Detox is only the beginning of an alcoholic or addict’s journey to recovery, but working at this integral stage of development provides me the opportunity to witness the splendor of life and light as it returns to a client’s eyes.”

Christine joined the La Ventana family in 2012 as a weekend Detox Supervisor. She is now working full time as the Detox Manager. She has been in recovery since 2003 and is an active member of NA. She has over a decade of Detox experience and has worked with a wide range of populations—from homeless to professionals and everything in between. Christy graduated with a degree in Addiction Studies from Glendale Community College. She is a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor and a member of the California Association of Alcohol and Drug Educators (CAADE). She is passionate about the treatment process, and the joy she finds witnessing alcoholics and addicts transition to actively working toward a better life.

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Shawn Wilson, M.A. MFTI

Shawn Willson M.A. MFTI, Has been with LA Ventana Treatment Programs since August of 2014. Shawn’s career with the Los Angeles Co. Probation Dept. is where he realized his passion for helping others through the challenging times in life. Shawn graduated from National University with his Masters Degree in Psychology and completed his training at the Center for Individual and Family Counseling.

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Tony Gomez

Tony Gomez is a professional with over seven years of dedicated experience in the Substance Dependence Treatment field. He has extensive knowledge in facilitating Relapse Prevention Groups , Crisis Intervention as well as applying Individual Counseling Techniques and is passionate of the services he provides to the client. Mr. Gomez attended Los Angeles City College where he earned his Addiction Studies Certificate and Is Registered with CCAPP as CADC-I (in-progress). Now as CD Floor manager for La Ventana he enjoys working closely with clients applying his skills and providing a safe environment where they can grow. When not working he enjoys spending time with his family and exercising on a regular basis as a form of self-care

La Ventana Treatment Centers