Christian Addiction Treatment Staff
At Celebrate Hope we consider our staff to be the backbone our Christian addiction treatment. That’s why we’ve put together a well-trained and experienced team to guide you through your Christian recovery. One of our main goals was to create a group of individuals who would make our clients feel comfortable, safe and open throughout the treatment process. When you join our Christian Addiction treatment community you’ll be cared for and counseled by a professional staff that is committed to every aspect of your recovery.
Our team has over 75 years of combined experience in addiction treatment. We have experts who specialize in addiction medicine, behavioral health, treatment of co-occurring disorders, family and marriage, trauma, sexual abuse, behavioral disorders and dual diagnosis among others. You’ll find that our staff is knowledgeable and caring and custom tailor treatment plans to meet the multifaceted needs of recovering addicts.
At Celebrate Hope we base our Christian treatment program on the standard 12-Step Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous program in tandem with Christian recovery modalities. Many of our staff members are also in recovery themselves which allows them to draw from their own personal experiences and foster a deeper understanding and connection with our clients. All of our clients spend time with our counselors and therapists on a one-on-one basis and in group settings covering the psychological and physiological root causes of addiction in tandem with Christian recovery principals.
Robert (Bobby) Nicholl
Admissions and Interventions
Bobby has spent over 15 years in the development and operations of several residential treatment centers in California. He is a Certified National Drug & Alcohol Interventionist, as well as a Registered Addiction Specialist. Mr. Nicholl is personally involved in Celebrate Recovery at Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, California. He says, “It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to him.” As Bobby says: “I’ve recently learned what really matters the most in life: God, my relationships, and my integrity. There is nothing more important!”
“If you have a hole in your life and your very inner being (your soul) feels empty and hungry? Then welcome, to Celebrate Hope, you’re at the right place for healing and restoration of mind, body, and spirit; we will provide you with a dignified setting and surround you with loving people. You’re going to get everything you need and even some of your wants while Celebrating Hope. Everywhere you look you’re surrounded by people who believe in you and believe you have what it takes to recover, heal, and be WHOLE. We believe in and love you because He (God) first believed in and loved us.” From day one, Bobby has focused treatment services on “What is in the best interest of the client?” With that in mind, the treatment team develops individualized treatment plans with each client’s specific needs in mind.
Penny Carlsen, R.N.
Penny Carlsen is a graduate of Loma Linda University School of Nursing. After graduation she spent the next few years working at Loma Linda University Medical Center on the Neurosurgery, Neurology and Rehabilitation Units. She later served as the business manager for Medical Imaging Specialists, Inc. She has an extensive background in both clinical and administration. She is a warm and loving person and is considered by the clients to be the "resident mom".
Ernest Carlsen, M.D., Ph.D.
Ernest Carlsen is the co-founder of Hope By The Sea. In 1972 Ernest Carlsen, Ph.D., M.D. developed the technique and equipment for what is known as "Grey Scale Imaging." This pioneering technological breakthrough has revolutionized diagnostic ultrasound. He has a dual Ph.D. one in bio-physics and one in nuclear medicine. Dr. Carlsen was a Graduate from the Loma Linda University school of medicine in 1969.
Director of Human Resources
Kelly Carlsen has been with Hope By the Sea since its inception. She spent several years working as an intervention aide for troubled elementary students. She currently works as our Director of Human Resources as well as working directly with the clients in job development skills and personal growth.
Sharon Stafford PhD
Dr. Stafford is a licensed ClinicalPpsychologist with years of experience working in in-patient and out-patient treatment settings. Her professional experience includes being a research coordinator, conducting research in the area of chronic pain, being the Program Director of in-patient psychiatric treatment for children, working in crisis management in an emergency room setting, serving as school consultant, and is currently employed as Clinical Director. and has her own private practice.
Ronald Honn, CATC II
Ronald is the Program Director and is a Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor II. Ronald completed the Alcohol and Drug Studies Certificate Program through San Bernardino Valley College and also holds an AA in Human Services and AS in Psychology. He is currently on track to receive his Bachelors in Human Services from the University of Phoenix this year and plans to transfer into the Masters program where he will major in Psychology. His passion for reaching out to those who struggle with addiction stems from his own personal recovery experience. The message of hope through recovery resonates through his commitment to the recovery community. His compassion and dedication with clients and their families extends far beyond the treatment facility.
College Program Director
Ryan began working in the field of education advisement in January 2009. As an enrollment advisor, Ryan effectively enrolled more than 250 students with a 91% continuation rate (meaning only 9% dropped out). He earned his Bachelor's of Arts in Management while working full time, and successfully finished his final class after completing a 90 day treatment program at Hope By The Sea. Having previously attended Saddleback Community College from 1998 - 2001, Ryan is extremely knowlegeable with all aspects of the school that is the main focal point of our college program.
Candy Carlsen, RN
Candy Carlsen has worked in the field of nursing for several years. She worked at UCLA Medical Center in the neuro/surgical trauma ICU and also at Hoag Memorial in the cardiac ICU. She has extensive training in psychoparmacology and works very closely with Hope By the Sea’s physicians. She educates clients and families on the importance of proper medication management and compliance, when necessary.
Cyndie J. Dunkerson, B.A.S, CATC III, CA-CCS
Certification #: 122981-III
Counselor/Clinical Supervisor Criminal Court Liaision
Cyndie Dunkerson is a certified chemical dependency counselor and clinical supervisor who has been working in the field of addiction since 2002. With Hope By The Sea since the beginning, she brings with her a compassion for recovery, as she had to overcome her own personal struggle with the disease of addiction. As a medical assistant with experience in the emergency room she brings calm to any situation. She works closely with clients who have legal issues by offering personal assistance in the criminal court process with the goal of alternative sentencing in treatment rather than jail time.
K. Mitchell Naficy, M.D., FAAFP
Dr. Naficy is a Board Certified specialist of Family Medicine whose style of patient care involves caring for the person as a whole, rather than just treating a particular symptom or illness. His credentials include a Bachelors degree in Microbiology from Rutgers University followed by obtaining his medical Doctorate in Puerto Rico. Dr. Naficy completed an internship in 1990 at USC Medical Center in Los Angeles and then 3 years of residency at UCI Medical Center in Irvine, CA.
Working in the field since 2005, Frank came to Hope By The Sea bringing with him his knowledge of the Co-Occurring Disorder population. He specializes in working with clients who suffer from sexual trauma and anger control issues. In addition, he enjoys helping clients identify and change old behavior patterns to implement healthy change and create a solid base to continue successfully into their future.
Jose Majias, C.A.D.C., N.A.D.C. II
Chemical Dependency Counselor / Case Manager
Jose Majias has been in the field of chemical dependency since 1981. His focus has been working with clients that suffer from Dual-Diagnosis as well as the substance abuse population. Whenever needed he also works with the family members, employers and probation department. He has found through the years that substance abuse is not just dealing with the use of mood altering chemicals, it is the underlying issues that need also be dealt with. He is a board certified substance abuse counselor C.A.D.C., N.A.D.C. II and has attended UCLA and USC.
Amanda Jaworski, ACSW
BBS Reg No: ASW 30872
Amanda is an Associate Clinical Social Worker with a bachelors in Psychology from James Madison University and a Masters in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University. She specializes in working with clients who have co-occurring disorders. Her focus is on helping clients to accept their emotions while learning to love themselves. Amanda facilitates individual, couples therapy, as well as family therapy.
George Graham, CATC
Chemical Dependency Counselor/Case Manager
George is a C.A.A.D.E. board certified substance abuse counselor who has been working in the field of addiction since 2007 after discovering his true calling; to be a role-model for other addicts and alcoholics struggling with their disease. As a recovering addict and alcoholic George understands the personal battle of addiction and has great passion working with clients who have substance abuse issues. George works closely with clients, family members, employers, probation departments and the court system in order to allow each client the greatest opportunity at long term sobriety.
Alison Emmil-Lugo, CATC
Chemical Dependency Counselor/Case Manager
Alison contributes her 20 years of experience working in the field of Mental Health and Co-occurring Addictions using motivational interviewing to educate and support growth stages of change and quality of life. She received a Bachelors of Science in Human Services, Mental Health track from CSUF in 1997 and became a Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor (CATC) in 1998. She believes in overall wellness and balance. She is compassionate about helping others achieve their full potential, emphasizing strengths and minimizing weaknesses.
Julie graduated from Laguna Culinary Arts Professional Chef Program in 2006. She is also a Chef Instructor, Private Chef and Caterer. Part of her talent is to construct creative menus that give the clients the very best nutrition. "I believe the role of good nutrition in a residential treatment center is an important part of the healing process".
Director of Operations
Bryan took on the roll of Director of Operations in 2011. Along with his own personal recovery experience, he brings over 5 years of operations and management experience in the recovery field. Bryan has worked in multiple treatment settings, from hospitals, to both inpatient and outpatient programs, and finds the work that he does extremely fulfilling. Bryan has exceptional skills and abilities in dealing with the issues that present themselves for people going through treatment. He is attentive, supportive and informative to our clients and staff making him an invaluable resource at Hope By The Sea.
Alumni / Family Program Coordinator
Karin is the Alumni and Family Program Coordinator, as well as our intake and orientation specialist. She truly understands the treatment process having emerged from her own addiction through Hope By The Sea in 2010 to a life in recovery. She started in the recovery field following treatment and truly understands the hopelessness that stems from the disease of addiction. With a compassion for people, she is able to meet the clients and their families on a deeply empathetic level. She has an extensive background in marketing and administration.
Stephanie’s experience has been spread over multiple roles in the field of recovery. She holds positions such as accounts receivable, women’s sober living manager, drug test supervisor and intake specialist. She primarily works closely with the clients and their families on the financial portion of the clients care. With her own recovery story beginning at Hope By The Sea in early 2012, she strives to help others achieve freedom from addiction.
Spiritual Guidance and Christian Counseling
Dale has a tremendous love for people and a desire to facilitate their spiritual growth. He brings the love of God through His Son Jesus Christ to every client on a personal and individual basis. Dale believes that to lead clients to successful recovery, God’s grace, forgiveness and love must be conveyed at the deepest spiritual level. When asked why he loves this calling he responds simply, “I want to do for others what God has so lovingly done for me!”
Let our team at Hope by the Sea serve as your guide to experiencing a faith based recovery from drug or alcohol abuse. Call us or fill out our contact form for more information on how we can help today.
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