Our Staff

Senior Clinical Staff::

Dr. Karlyn Pleasants, Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist - Executive Clinical Director

Dr. Karlyn Pleasants, Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist : Executive Clinical Director
Dr. Pleasants has a long-standing history with the Hanbleceya community dating back to 1997 when she first began as a psychological assistant. Over the years she has held many different posts before signing on in 2005 as Hanbleceya's newest director. She maintains a rich clinical background of experience with complex and challenging cases, including thought and mood disorders, substance abuse, eating disorders and traumatic stress. Dr. Pleasants believes in the ability to heal through the empowerment of personal strengths, encouraging the confidence to take risks and by teaching oneself to both give and receive support. She looks forward to advancing the Hanbleceya vision and continuing to provide a safe space for people to learn, grow and heal. Karlyn is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist (PSY19378).

Kayla Karesh, M.A.T., M.A., Licensed M.F.T. - Clinical Director

Kayla Karesh, M.A.T., M.A., Licensed M.F.T. : Clinical Director
A native San Diegan, Kayla moved to the Los Angeles area where she completed a bachelor’s degree in English, a master’s in Theology, and a master’s in Marital and Family Therapy with specialized training in Clinical Art Therapy. She began working in the mental health field in 2001 and has experience in residential, hospital, family clinic, school, and private practice settings. Kayla specializes in the treatment of eating disorders and accompanying mood, thought, trauma and substance abuse disorders. She primarily draws upon psychoanalysis, family systems, and attachment theory for case conceptualization, and she is skilled at using a variety of therapeutic techniques, particularly the modality of art therapy. Kayla seeks to foster an environment of warmth and safety where clients build on their strengths, heal from past wounds, and transform maladaptive patterns into healthy functioning. She enjoys, music, art, and outdoor adventures. Kayla joined the Hanbleceya team in December 2010. Kayla is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC48030) and Registered Art Therapist (11-018).

Hank Griffin, Licensed M.F.T. - Director Emeritus

Hank Griffin, Licensed M.F.T. : Director Emeritus
2010 marked Hank Griffin's 30th year working with clients with severe mental illness. After a decade as a carpenter and housepainter, his earliest professional experiences were with non-traditional approaches to inpatient and day-hospital milieu treatment. Abidingly curious, Hank trained in family, group and body-mind psychotherapies. More recently he has blended relational and Ericksonian approaches to healing. In addition to his good fortune in learning from a host of exceptionally talented, innovative, and dedicated people (many of them clients), Hank remains grateful for the opportunity to call upon a smorgasbord of interventions as people design higher quality lives. Although nowhere evident within this bio, Hank believes in the power of humor. Hank is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC33783).

Dr. David Tansey, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist - Director Emeritus

Dr. David Tansey, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist : Director Emeritus
Dr. Tansey earned his Ph.D. at mid-life after careers in engineering and management. He has provided clinical supervision for several San Diego organizations. From 1985 - 1991, he was clinical director at Hanbleceya and returned to that position in January 2001. His clinical work has focused on identifying and maximizing human talent and potential, improving communication, clarifying values and managing stress. Hanbleceya's clients typically suffer severe problems in these areas. The structured program of individual and group therapy, interaction and therapeutic confrontation with staff and peers, and productive contact with the wider community, give them the opportunity to function at their best. David is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist (PSY5081).

On-Site Psychiatry::

Mario Salguero, M.D., Ph.D. - Independent Psychiatrist

Mario Salguero, M.D., Ph.D. : Independent Psychiatrist
Dr. Salguero graduated from the University of Guadalajara Medical School after which he earned a Diploma of Clinical Nutrition at the National Institute of Nutrition and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology in Medicine, with a focus on personalized medicine and the clinical applications of genetic polymorphisms and epigenetics. Mario completed his Psychiatry Residency at the University of California at San Diego, where he received, the “Best Resident Clinician” award three years in a row and the prestigious “Lewis L. Judd” Research Award for his research in implementing a mindfulness self-compassion intervention for residents. Mario has authored articles and chapters in scientific journals and in textbooks and fostered international collaborations, especially around integrative medicine. A Voluntary Assistant Clinical Professor at the Department of Psychiatry, UCSD School of Medicine, Mario supervises residents in training. In addition, he has a Private Practice with a focus in personalizing the relationship with patients, promoting self-healing and integrating treatments from different healing disciplines as evidence supports. He is also Attending and Director of ASU-1 unit at Aurora Behavioral Hospital in San Diego and carries weekly office hours at Hanbleceya. Dr. Salguero appreciates establishing a balance between work and spending time with his family. Together, they enjoy walks on the beach, riding bikes and playing soccer, and take pleasure in traveling, trying new food and meeting people from different cultures.

Dr. Aneita Rashford, M.D. - Independent Psychiatrist

Dr. Aneita Rashford, M.D. : Independent Psychiatrist
Dr. Rashford grew up outside Charleston, SC in a rural community. Both her parents are immigrants from the Caribbean and worked in the medical field. Early on, she developed a passion for medicine and helping people. She majored in psychology at Yale University for her undergraduate degree and obtained her medical degree at Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Rashford completed her psychiatry residency and child fellowship at UCSD. Since then she has worked extensively with child and adolescent populations in community clinics, residential facilities, specialized foster care programs, school based settings, and juvenile probation. Currently she spends part of her time working at the state prison and the school district. Dr. Rashford believes in a holistic approach to mental wellbeing that involves the individual, their family, and community. She is dedicated to seeing her patients overcome the challenges that accompany mental illness and help them achieve their best level of functioning. During off hours, Dr. Rashford volunteers as a clinical supervisor for UCSD Child fellowship program. She enjoys cycling, involvement in her church community, and traveling to the east coast to maintain her position as favorite auntie. She also travels abroad regularly to volunteer and consult at an orphanage in Guatemala and a children’s feeding program in Kenya. She is very excited to join the Hanbleceya team and participate in the great work that they do.

Clinical Leadership::

Stephanie Coyle, M.A., Licensed M.F.T. - Lead Clinician of Milieu Services

Stephanie Coyle, M.A., Licensed M.F.T. : Lead Clinician of Milieu Services
Born and raised in Edwardsville, Illinois, just outside St. Louis, Missouri, Stephanie left home to attend the University of Colorado in Boulder where she received her Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology and English. After several years of working in marketing and sales, Stephanie moved to San Diego in 2008 and worked as the director of a national communication and assertion program for families, based on Carl Rogers’ humanistic approach. It was at this point she decided to pursue a career in therapy where she could work more closely with families. Stephanie then returned to school to receive her Master’s in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage & Family Therapy. Stephanie joined the Hanbleceya community in August 2010. A competitive rower, she also enjoys skiing, cooking, and playing the piano in her free time. Stephanie is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT85956).

Breanne Berkley, M.A., MFTI - Lead Clinician of Family Systems

Breanne Berkley, M.A., MFTI : Lead Clinician of Family Systems
Born and raised in Southern California, Breanne graduated from San Diego State University in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. During her education at San Diego State University she studied abroad in Florence, Italy where she realized her passion for culture and diversity. It was through Breanne’s education and experience that sparked her interest in working with the mentally ill population. And from these experiences at Hanbleceya a general desire to help others has been achieved. Breanne recently received her Masters in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy and hopes to one day run her own private practice. Breanne joined the Hanbleceya team in September of 2007. Breanne is a Marriage and Family Therapy Registered Intern (IMF81672) under the supervision of Kayla Karesh, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC 48030).

Core Clinical Staff::

Jeff Williams, LCSW - Clinical Supervisor

Jeff Williams, LCSW : Clinical Supervisor
A California native, Jeff moved to San Diego in 1994 to attend Point Loma Nazarene University, where he earned undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Theology. In 2005, he relocated to Virginia where he attended Virginia Commonwealth University and earned his MSW. His work in the field began in 2002 and includes experience in residential, primary care, community services, and in-home settings. Over the years, Jeff has come to a firm believe that family healing can lead to individual healing. Safety, acceptance, and identity are a few themes he finds particularly powerful within the therapeutic process. In his free time, Jeff enjoys time with family and friends, working in the yard, music, and imagining random possibilities. Jeff is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCS 28894).

Diandra Medina, M.A., Licensed M.F.T. - Therapist

Diandra Medina, M.A., Licensed M.F.T. : Therapist
Diandra was born in San Diego, but grew up in central California. She returned to San Diego to complete her Bachelors in Psychology at UCSD. Her work experience with Hanbleceya started in 2008 when over the course of a couple of years she held different roles in the community including milieu staff support and house management. In 2010, she moved to Portland, OR where she worked with severely emotionally disturbed children. Prior to returning to Hanbleceya as a clinician in 2015, Diandra worked with the dual diagnosed population throughout multiple programs in the San Diego county as well as completed her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy at Alliant International University. Diandra is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT 96724).

Megan Harrison, M.A., Licensed M.F.T. - Therapist

Megan Harrison, M.A., Licensed M.F.T. : Therapist
Megan was born in Madison, Wisconsin and spent the majority of her childhood years in the Midwest. Megan joined the United States Navy in 2002 and traveled to San Diego, CA where she served five years of Active Duty traveling to many countries around the World supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Following an Honorable Discharge in 2008, Megan worked as part of the developing team for the Chief of Naval Air Forces Sailors to Civilians Administrative Support Contract, and provided management and oversight of developing contracts creating jobs for Veterans. During this time, Megan obtained her Bachelors Degree in Psychology and went on to complete her Masters degree in Counseling, specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy and Professional Clinical Counseling. Megan has personal experience with caring for a loved one who struggle’s with a mental illness, and her clinical approach acknowledges the importance of transgenerational family therapy and empowering relationships through collaboration among family members and their therapist to provide a safe environment to experiment with growth and change. Megan is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT96731).

Amanda Walker, M.S., Licensed M.F.T. - Therapist

Amanda Walker, M.S., Licensed M.F.T. : Therapist
Amanda completed her Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology from Utah Valley University and her Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology from California State University at San Bernardino. Amanda also attended San Diego City College where she completed Drug and Alcohol Counseling Certification. She has worked in different program settings throughout San Diego: Residential and Outpatient programs, ACT model programs (providing intensive community based treatment for individuals with chronic mental illness), Wraparound programs (working with children and their families in their homes), and Substance Use outpatient treatment facilities. In her spare time Amanda enjoys traveling, scuba diving, camping and hiking, and participating in long distance, team based, overnight running relay events throughout the U.S. Amanda is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT # 96408) and a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor.

Moises Estrada, M.A., MFTI - Therapist

Moises Estrada, M.A., MFTI : Therapist
Moises received his BA in Psychology from California State University Sacramento and his Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Alliant International University in San Diego. He is currently studying at the California School of Forensic Studies program pursuing his doctorate in Clinical Forensic Psychology. Moises has worked in various community-based settings in San Diego and is experience in providing treatment for at-risk adolescents and their families as well as individuals with chronic mental illness. He has worked in an acute psychiatric facility and at Donovan State Prison providing individual and group therapy, as well as structured psychological evaluations for inmates. Prior to joining the clinical staff at Hanbleceya, Moises worked in a long-term IMD setting conducting comprehensive behavioral health assessments, group therapy, treatment planning, and orchestrating weekly treatment team meetings with clients to discuss their progress. He has a passion for providing treatment for individuals with chronic mental illness and has aspirations to one day have his own private practice and administer psychological testing as a consultant and expert witness. Moises is a Marriage and Family Therapy Registered Intern (IMF73547) under the supervision of Karlyn Pleasants, PsyD (PSY19378).

Kaely Hall, MSW, ASW - Therapist

Kaely Hall, MSW, ASW : Therapist
Having grown up in a military family, Kaely spent the majority of her years in New Jersey. In 2006, she attended Rutgers University where she double-majored in Social Work and Cultural Anthropology. Her passion for helping others led her to working with various populations including children diagnosed with emotional/behavioral disorders and intellectual disabilities, gang-affiliated teens, individuals struggling with homelessness and adults with disabilities. During college, Kaely became interested in Applied Medical Anthropology, which seeks to understand how cultures define health, disease and illness and the healing practices that result from those understandings. In 2008, this interest led her to Kenya where she studied local healing practices. Kaely completed her Bachelor’s Degree in 2010 with honors. While pursuing her Masters of Clinical Social Work at Fordham University, and having developed a passion for making an impact in the lives of others, she interned at a mental health center for survivors of recurrent trauma. In 2015 she completed post graduate coursework in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of North Texas. Kaely brings a whole-person therapeutic perspective to her work with clients, seeking to understand how they define well-being while combining behavioral activation and psychotherapy techniques into the therapeutic process. Kaely is an Associate Clinical Social Worker (ASW33777) under the supervision of Kayla Karesh, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC 48030)

Taylor Stead, M.A., MFTI - Therapist

Taylor Stead, M.A., MFTI : Therapist
Taylor was born and raised in North County San Diego where she completed her bachelor’s degree in Human Development with an emphasis in Counseling at California State University San Marcos. As a student she devoted her time to volunteering as a case manager working to connect the homeless to resources in the area and providing support for survivors of sexual assault. Through her education and experiences, she discovered her passion for helping others and decided to pursue a career in counseling. Taylor graduated with a master’s degree in Marriage and Family therapy from the University of San Diego. She has experience in public mental health, which includes work with individuals, couples, and families affected by chronic mental illness. In her free time Taylor enjoys running half marathons, reading fiction novels, watching football and spending time with her pets and family. Taylor joined the Hanbleceya staff in August 2015. She is a Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern (IMF 88306) under the supervision of Kayla Karesh, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC 48030).

Brooke Stephens, M.A., MFTI - Therapist

Brooke Stephens, M.A., MFTI : Therapist
Brooke was born and raised in Southern Kentucky and moved to Knoxville, TN where she completed her bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a Pre-Medicine Concentration. During her education at the University of Tennessee, Brooke discovered her passion for helping others through volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters and Clinic Vols. Through her work as a case manager and a Child Protective Services Investigator, Brooke gained extensive experience in public mental health and in the state judicial system, which includes work with children, adolescents, individuals, couples, and families. She has a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology, specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy from Argosy University, San Diego. In her free time, Brooke enjoys going to the beach, hiking, and spending time with family and friends. Brooke joined the Hanblceya team in August of 2015. Brooke is a Marriage & Family Therapist Registered Intern (IMF94588) under the supervision of Kayla Karesh, M.A.T., M.A., LMFT (MFC 48030).

Patrick Hunt, M.A., MFTI - Therapist

Patrick Hunt, M.A., MFTI : Therapist
Originally from Miami, Florida Patrick came to San Diego during his tour of duty in the U.S. Marine Corps. After serving in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom he received an Honorable Discharge. He decided to stay in San Diego and received his BA in Psychology from San Diego State University. He went on to earned his Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Alliant International University in San Diego, and is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Psychology. Prior to joining the clinical staff at Hanbleceya, Patrick worked as a therapist providing treatment to veterans’ struggling with addiction, severe mental illness, co-occurring disorders, as well as their families in a rehabilitation facility. His work included teaching, individual therapy, family therapy, and group therapy. Patrick primarily draws upon family systems and attachment theory for case conceptualization, and is adept at using a variety of therapeutic techniques in order to help clients. In his free time Patrick enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with his family. He has a passion for helping individuals and families struggling with addiction and severe mental illness. Patrick is a Marriage and Family Therapy Registered Intern (IMF84416) under the supervision of Supervised by Jeff Williams, LCSW (LCS 28894).

Rob Martin, M.A., MFTI - Therapist

Rob Martin, M.A., MFTI : Therapist
Rob grew up in New Hampshire and California. This dynamic experience exposed him to all that the East and West coast cultures have to offer. He earned his BA at San Jose State University with a major in Psychology and a minor in Business Management. He earned his MA in Counseling Psychology with a Specialization in Professional Clinical Counseling at John F. Kennedy University. Rob spent 2 years studying Ayurveda and Yoga followed by a one year internship with a local practitioner. Rob has also been an avid Buddhist practitioner for 13 years and spent 6 of those years living and studying in a Buddhist meditation house. Rob was fortunate enough to be able to teach various psychology classes at several high schools in Santa Cruz over the course of 5 semesters. Rob is passionate about helping others relieve their suffering and learn how to continuously work towards their healthiest and happiest selves. His professional experience began working with children/teenagers aged 6-18 and their families. During this time Rob was able to work with many good people including those recovering from trauma, experiencing depression, anxiety, ADHD, defiant behavior, autism, psychosis, gang-affiliation, homelessness, and poverty. In his free time Rob loves to play guitar, listen to live music, go hiking, travel, and consume various genres of books and movies. Rob is a Marriage and Family Therapy Registered Intern (IMF86470) under the supervision of Supervised by Jeff Williams, LCSW (LCS 28894).

Marquis Leauma, B.A., MFT Trainee - Therapist

Marquis Leauma, B.A., MFT Trainee : Therapist
Being raised in a military family, Marquis spent most of his years in Seattle, WA, Monterey, CA and moved permanently to the San Diego area in 2003. In 2010, Marquis completed his BA in psychology and a minor in communications from Tabor College in Kansas. Upon his return to San Diego, Marquis’ professional experience began working with at risk youth in the juvenile system ages 9 to 18 years of age. From there he serviced the elderly population with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s. Thereafter, his work as a case manager at the San Diego Regional Center provided him with extensive experience with county health services that included working with persons with dual diagnosis, autism spectrum disorder, and mild to severe intellectual disabilities. Currently, Marquis is pursuing his Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology; specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy from Argosy University, San Diego. In his free time Marquis enjoys traveling, going to the beach, and spending time with his family and pets. Marquis is a Marriage and Family Therapy Trainee under the supervision of Karlyn Pleasants, PsyD (PSY19378).

Joey Guzman-Kuffel, B.A., MFT Trainee - Therapist

Joey Guzman-Kuffel, B.A., MFT Trainee : Therapist
Joey is a Southern California native; born and raised in Los Angeles. He began working in the service of others as a medical interpreter for Spanish-Speaking clients in 1997. Simultaneously, he worked as a licensed cosmetologist helping to improve his client’s self-confidence by creating physical makeovers that improved self-image. In combination with verbal counseling many of his cosmetology clients reported an increase in self-esteem. His experience as a medical interpreter and licensed cosmetologist fed Joey's passion for helping others and led him to pursue a Psychology degree. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from California State University, Los Angeles in 2012. Following graduation, Joey remained in the Los Angeles area and became a full time Behavior Specialist for autistic children applying ABA techniques and as a Child and Family Specialist providing behavior interventions for at risk youth. Joey is currently attending Argosy University, San Diego pursing a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. In his free time, Joey enjoys traveling, hiking, spending time with family and dancing. Joey is a Marriage and Family Therapy Trainee under the supervision of Karlyn Pleasants, PsyD (PSY19378).

Lead Residential Team::

Kelly Parker, M.A., MFTI - Residential Therapist

Kelly Parker, M.A., MFTI : Residential Therapist
Kelly was raised in Colorado where she completed her bachelor's degree in Psychology from Metropolitan State University of Denver, focusing on social psychology and research. Volunteering early in her career at a Crisis Center for survivors of domestic violence, Kelly learned early on she had a passion for helping others and for the study of psychology, especially for those with severe mental illness. This led to a move to San Diego and Kelly obtaining her Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of San Diego. She spent her practicum year at Catholic Charities where she worked with a wide range of systems in individual, family, couple, and group therapy settings. She also volunteered at a homeless women's day center in downtown San Diego. In her free time Kelly enjoys going to the beach, reading, and exploring different San Diego neighborhoods. Kelly joined the Hanbleceya staff in March of 2016. She is a Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern (IMF 89871) under the supervision of Kayla Karesh, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC 48030).

Stephanie Marsella, B.A. - Residential Operations Coordinator (ClearBridge)

Stephanie Marsella, B.A. : Residential Operations Coordinator (ClearBridge)
Born and raised in San Diego, Stephanie adventured up the coast to attend the University of California, Santa Cruz where she earned her Bachelors degree in Psychology. During her undergrad, Stephanie volunteered at a homeless shelter helping run the after school program and interned at a residential facility for adults with severe mental illness. Her education and experiences shaped her passion of helping others as well as her belief in the importance of being part of a community for at risk and mental health populations. In her spare time, she enjoys anything beach related, hiking, running and spending time with family and friends.

Mary McWalters, B.A. - Residential Operations Coordinator (VisionQuest)

Mary McWalters, B.A. : Residential Operations Coordinator (VisionQuest)
Mary was born in San Diego and graduated from the University of California San Diego with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. During her time as a Triton she was a member of the women's collegiate soccer team. On top of her academic and athletic commitments she enjoyed volunteering for various organizations in the local community including the American Cancer Society (Relay for Life), and R.E.I.N.S. (equine therapy for individuals on the Autism spectrum). She also interned at a counseling center that provided intensive group therapy for sexual offenses and domestic violence. Some of Mary's hobbies include meditation, world travel, the beach, finding unique local eateries and spending time with her family. Her passion for the field of mental health has motivated her to pursue her Master's Degree in Social Work in the near future.

Billal Michael - Residential Medication Coordinator

Billal Michael : Residential Medication Coordinator
Billal, a native to southern California recently joined the Hanbleceya Team in August of 2016. Coming from a non-profit organization, he worked as an Enrollment Specialist serving San Diego’s low-income and homeless population by enrolling them in county programs such as Calfresh, Medi-Cal and Covered California. He has experience working with developmentally disabled adults in both treatment centers and in residential facilities. He loves working for Hanbleceya because its unique culture promotes personal empowerment and a balanced life for its clients. In his spare time he enjoys almost anything Sci-fi related, concerts, basketball, and spending time with his family.

Healthcare Team::

Daja Cayetano - Medication Support Coordinator

Daja Cayetano : Medication Support Coordinator
Born and raised in San Diego, Daja is our Medication Support Coordinator. She joined Hanbleceya after having worked multiple years with geriatric patients with Alzheimer's and dementia. Daja hopes to pursue her goal of becoming an RN with a specialization in pediatrics. In her free time she enjoys spending time at the baseball field with her husband and two kids.

Megan Ludington - Healthcare Coordinator

Megan Ludington : Healthcare Coordinator
Megan was born in Santa Barbara, but raised overseas in Russia and Uzbekistan where her parents worked in humanitarian aid. Megan returned to the States at sixteen to finish high school in Colorado, and then moved to California when her parents returned to Uzbekistan in 2011. Megan transferred to UC San Diego in 2013, and became very involved in global health, particularly in research. She worked on several projects and presented at multiple research conferences. She graduated with high honors with a B.S. in Public Health and a minor in Global Health. Megan has worked at a free clinic in Tijuana since 2014, initially as an intern and now as a clinic coordinator. She developed the medical records system, trains and coordinates interns, and also works directly with patients and physicians. Megan joined the Hanbleceya family in August of 2016.

Nutrition Sub-Program::

Ursula Ridens, RDN - Lead Dietitian

Ursula Ridens, RDN : Lead Dietitian
Born and raised in San Diego, Ursula graduated from San Diego State University in 1999 and became a registered dietitian in 2000. Her work experience, including clinical dietitian for Sharp Healthcare, Nutrition Director for a residential eating disorder treatment program, and private practice dietitian, gives her an appreciation of working collaboratively with the Hanbleceya team. Ursula’s passion for connecting with clients and understanding their health goals is fundamental in leading to positive outcomes. Her non-diet approach provides a unique look at lifestyle choices and movement towards balance between food and activity. Ursula’s specialty areas are working with those who struggle with eating disorders and weight issues. Knowing that changing eating and exercise patterns can be overwhelming and daunting, her authentic and compassionate ways help clients to take realistic steps towards mindful eating, challenge unrealistic expectations and irrational food beliefs, as well as build body confidence. Ursula is a Registered Dietitian (CDR877959).

McKenzie Damuth, RDN - Program Dietitian

McKenzie Damuth, RDN : Program Dietitian
McKenzie was born and raised in Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Samford University in Birmingham, AL, in May 2014 and is now a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. While working in a treatment center for eating disorders, her interest in mental health and the healing process grew. She is currently working on her masters in public health and has an interest in preventative health and wellness within the community. Her passion for delicious, yet healthful food push her to teach others about incorporating more fruits and vegetables into their daily lives. In her free time, McKenzie enjoys exploring San Diego, eating new foods, exercising and participating in her local church.

Addiction Sub-Program::

Ben Krause - Addictions Program Coordinator

Ben Krause : Addictions Program Coordinator
Ben, originally from Minneapolis Minnesota, attended St. Johns Northwestern Military Academy where he learned leadership, discipline and graduated with 4 years of JROTC training. He became an ISA certified arborist and traveled the country nurturing his love for climbing trees, logging, nature, and the outdoors. After years of misfortune with his own mental illness and chemical dependency, he committed his life to giving back to those who have yet to overcome the same struggles he has faced. His extensive life experience helps him to connect to those in need, which has made him a great asset to the team when he began his journey at Hanbleceya. Ben was hired on as Milieu Support Staff and was quickly promoted to CD case manager, then to Senior CD Case Manager and is now the Chemical Dependency Program Coordinator. He is currently enrolled in college and working on his degree in the AODS program (Alcohol & Other Drugs Study). He volunteers his time in the community helping others and is an active member of a Recovery Convention Committee. He enjoys surfing, snowboarding, rock climbing, golfing, and volleyball.

Lauren Sampson - Chemical Dependency Case Manager

Lauren Sampson : Chemical Dependency Case Manager
Born and raised in San Diego CA, Lauren is currently attending San Diego City College, where she is majoring in Psychology and working towards her degree in the AODS program (Alcohol & Other Drug Studies). Throughout various life experiences, Lauren gained a sense of empathy, compassion and insight towards helping others. Lauren also has extensive experience working with the 12 step model of recovery treatment and applies her life experiences to helping those who are struggling with the same problems she once faced. In her pursuit to help others, Lauren has volunteered her time with various homeless outreach programs and throughout the community. Some of Lauren’s hobbies include hiking, yoga, meditation, painting and spending time with her family.

Equine Therapy Sub-Program::

Kathy Plaisted, M.A. - Equine-Assisted Psychotherapist

Kathy Plaisted, M.A. : Equine-Assisted Psychotherapist
Kathy holds a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and an undergraduate degree in Marketing and Organizational Psychology. She is an active member of the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association and holds certifications in Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine-Assisted Personal Development. Kathy has worked in a number of settings including private practice, colleges, churches, and other non-profits and is known for her success with clients who have failed to thrive in the traditional “office therapy” environment. She has a long history of providing support within the community including more than 25 years of counseling and outreach services to youth and young adult survivors of trauma, those suffering from mental health disorders, the blind and disabled, as well as those just wanting to overcome life’s challenges. Kathy has been a part of the Hanbleceya community since 2007.

Physical Wellness Sub-Program::

John Malcolm - Physical Wellness Coordinator

John Malcolm : Physical Wellness Coordinator
A native of San Diego, John has committed himself to a life of health and fitness. He believes the only way to true physical health is through a combination of healthy eating and regular physical activity. John received his Personal Training Certification in 2009 and shortly thereafter became the MMA Director at a local San Diego athletic club. In his fitness career, John has taught over 4000 fitness classes and has been training and teaching the martial arts since 1990 (Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu, Boxing, Wrestling, Judo, Self-Defense). He gets tremendous joy from teaching women's self defense classes. In his spare time, John enjoys reading a good book, spending time with his beautiful fiancé and paling around with his canine compadres.

Lead Support Staff::

Yvonne Walsh, L.P.T. - Director of Milieu Support Services

Yvonne Walsh, L.P.T. : Director of Milieu Support Services
Yvonne began working at the Hanbleceya program in October 1989, one month after being licensed as a Psychiatric Technician. As a key member of the Hanbleceya Line Staff support team, Yvonne provides an important source of support for clients who struggle to stay in balance on a daily basis. Her efforts toward making special activities and outings a success are invaluable. Yvonne's talents are many and varied. Her current role in the company is to provide semi-independent living services to our clients in addition to acting as a sort of liaison between the client and their Psychiatrist. Her empathic and compassionate way of connecting creates a sense of safety and consistency for all those she interacts with. She is frequently successful in reaching people others cannot. Yvonne's worldview and spirituality make her the natural person to be our community's "Keeper of the Traditions." It is her knowledge of Native American philosophy and symbolism, as well as her understanding of the principles upon which the Hanbleceya community was formed, that enable us to remember and celebrate our roots. Our celebrations and ceremonies all reinforce the concept of community - many people helping each other. Yvonne is a Licensed Psychiatric Technician (PT27612).

Kevin Bullard, A.S. - Milieu Director

Kevin Bullard, A.S. : Milieu Director
Kevin has dedicated his life to giving back to the community and helping others. Earning an A.S. degree in criminal justice, Kevin graduated salutatorian of his class. Today he continues his education in pursuit of a B.A. in psychology. Kevin has extensive knowledge of the 12 step-recovery model and volunteers his time as a member of San Diego's public information committee for young people in which he visits schools and speaks to students on the seriousness of drug addiction and alcoholism. A member of the Hanbleceya team since April 2008, Kevin's life experiences and past challenges are a source of inspiration to both himself and those he supports around him.

Michaela Zermeno - Milieu Coordinator

Michaela Zermeno : Milieu Coordinator
Michaela was born and raised in San Diego, but lived in Mexico for some time. She has worked in the banking, real estate, mortgage and property management industries. She also started a small business from her home and worked as a contract mobile notary specializing in mortgage documents while working on her undergraduate studies in psychology. She is currently working on obtaining a Bachelor's degree in psychology and enjoys helping clients learn new skills and helping them use the skills they already have to be productive in treatment and in life. In her spare time, Michaela enjoys spending time with her family, exercising and cooking.

Keely Johnson, B.S. - Work Development Coordinator

Keely Johnson, B.S. : Work Development Coordinator
Keely was born and raised in Montana. However, her small town life style did not stop her from graduating from Rutgers University in New Jersey in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in psychology. During this journey, Keely gained experience as a research assistant for a Emotion and Psychopathology lab and as an intern for Rutgers Adult Inpatient Unit. Keely moved to San Diego in 2015 and became apart of the Hanbleceya team. She enjoys helping clients to develop skills related to work, school, and independent living. Her hope is to attend graduate school for psychology and continue her education. In her spare time, Keely enjoys paddle boarding, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

Administration & Admissions Staff::

Kerry Paulson, B.S. - Owner/CEO

Kerry Paulson, B.S. : Owner/CEO
A native of San Diego, Kerry graduated from San Diego State University in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science. After 6 years working in corporate America, Kerry co-founded Fitness For Her, a small chain of women's health clubs in the San Diego area. For one decade his health clubs provided a safe and upscale environment for women to stay fit and enjoy exercise. Kerry's extensive business background along with his own 12-step recovery experience has played a significant role in helping him guide the growth of Hanbleceya. Kerry has a daughter, three black Labrador sons, and a psychologist wife. In his spare time he enjoys working out & eating, playing golf and spending quality time with his four-legged (and two-legged) family members.

Meagan Benner, B.A. - Director of Admissions

Meagan Benner, B.A. : Director of Admissions
Born and raised in a small town in Maine, Meagan moved to San Diego in 2008 after receiving her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Holistic & Integrative Studies from the University of Maine. She has served in many different capacities including supervisor at Hanbleceya's VisionQuest Adult Residential Facility and Milieu Support Staff Supervisor. Because of her dedication and knowledge of the program, Meagan was the perfect choice for Director of Admissions. Dedicated to continuing her work with helping the mentally ill population, she hopes to return to school to earn her degree in Naturopathic Medicine. Meagan's career goal is to open a practice that utilizes conventional medicine, natural healing modalities and behavioral therapy. Meagan joined the Hanbleceya team in May of 2009. Meagan is also a certified Feng Shui consultant, which she practices in her spare time.

Christian Bumpous, B.S. - Admissions Coordinator

Christian Bumpous, B.S. : Admissions Coordinator
Christian Bumpous was born in Germany where he spent the first twenty years of his life. He joined Hanbleceya after having worked with a variety of populations ranging from children and young adults with developmental disabilities, to people with serious mental illness, to flight attendants and pilots having suffered from traumatic experiences to hospice patients. Christian has dedicated his professional career to help people live a rich, fulfilled and meaningful life. Having worked at other therapeutic communities, Christian knows that true recovery can only occur in a community. In his spare time, Christian is a passionate triathlete and finds joy in playing the piano, guitar, and spending time outdoors with friends and family. Christian joined the Hanbleceya community in February 2014.

Haley Grupe - Assistant Admissions Coordinator

Haley Grupe : Assistant Admissions Coordinator
Born and raised in Northern California, Haley graduated from San Diego State University in 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication. Haley became part of the Hanbleceya team in 2015, while searching for internship opportunities that centered around helping others. Starting out as a front office Administrative Assistant, she quickly realized that her calm and empathetic nature was a suitable fit for working with clients’ one on one. Haley quickly transitioned to working as a Milieu Support staff member, helping clients with organization, time management, and everyday living skills. Haley’s multifaceted knowledge of Hanbleceya culture and her communication background made her a perfect fit to work alongside the admissions and marketing team. In her spare time Haley enjoys outdoor activities, cooking, reading classic literature and spending time with family and friends.

Sara Lelevier, B.A. - Marketing Coordinator

Sara Lelevier, B.A. : Marketing Coordinator
Sara has always had a passion for working with people and knew she would want to someday work an environment where she could give back to community. After completing her degree in Communications from California State University of Northridge, she began a career in the Los Angeles area in Marketing. Sara quickly developed a love for Marketing but missed her beautiful home town of San Diego as well as her family and close friends. She found Hanbleceya in January 2015 and immediately knew she wanted to be a part of the team. At Hanbleceya, Sara gets to fulfill her love of Marketing and be a part of an inspiring work community. She wishes to continue a career supporting the mentally ill population and grow as a person within the company.

Katie Stainback, B.A. - Assistant Marketing Coordinator

Katie Stainback, B.A. : Assistant Marketing Coordinator
Katie was born and raised in the New Orleans area, but moved to Pensacola, Florida, to attend college. There, she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication with a specialty in Advertising and minor in Psychology. She recently moved to San Diego, and is excited to be a part of the Hanbleceya team. She loves working at Hanbleceya because she is able to use her marketing skills as well as her interest and knowledge of psychology in an environment that benefits others. In her free time, she enjoys scuba diving, yoga, and exploring the beautiful San Diego area.

Tanya Lutz, CADC-II - Director of Administrative Operations

Tanya Lutz, CADC-II : Director of Administrative Operations
Tanya has been a dedicated employee of Hanbleceya since September 2006. Her educational background includes a Psychology major at Mesa College, a Certificate in Phlebotomy, and extensive personal knowledge of 12-step recovery programs. Working as a professional, she has supervision experience at a residential dual diagnosis treatment facility, and has acted on the fund raising board for Turning Point Recovery Home for Women. Most notably, Tanya enjoys helping clients learn semi-independent living skills so they can live a well balanced, fulfilling, and productive life. By focusing on the safety and well being of each client and their individual needs, Tanya has created great value for herself in the Hanbleceya community. Tanya is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor II (A020500815).

Nathalia Luz - Adminstrative Coordinator

Nathalia Luz : Adminstrative Coordinator
Nathalia Luz was born in Brazil and spent the first 19 years of her life there until she moved to San Diego in 1999. Before joining Hanbleceya, she spent 9 years working in the Administrative field, including working as an Administrative Coordinator and Bookkeeper for a Software Engineer and Administrative Assistant in a Law Firm.

Katherine Wheaton - Scheduling Administrative Coordinator

Katherine Wheaton : Scheduling Administrative Coordinator
A native of San Diego, Katherine joined the Hanbleceya team in July 2011. With 30 years of administrative, marketing and business, Katherine has worked for a variety of companies, including Fortune 100s and non-profits. Combined with her own extensive experience of 12 Step recovery and meditation/mindfulness training, Katherine brings a unique skill set to the team. Passionate about helping others, she is very active in the local recovery community and volunteers with groups freely sharing meditation/mindfulness practice. Katherine is also a classically-trained musician and enjoys playing guitar in her spare time.

Diane Worley - Assistant Administrative Coordinator

Diane Worley : Assistant Administrative Coordinator
Diane, a native to southern California, joined the Hanbleceya Team in March of 2014. Coming from Corporate America and new to working in the Mental Healthcare Community, Diane has eased into her position as Administrative Support nicely. She brings a smile to the Reception Desk and enjoys helping staff and interacting with the clients. Hanbleceya is fortunate to have such a helpful and friendly person in such a vital role. In her free time Diane likes spending time with friends and family, relaxing on the beach and listening to music.

Ryan Horon - Computer Geek

Ryan Horon : Computer Geek
A native of Southern California, Ryan has been working in the Mental Health field since 2005. Ryan joined Hanbleceya in 2007 as started as a milieu support staff. Over the years, he has served in a variety of roles including house manager and scheduling coordinator. After a brief hiatus from the company, Ryan rejoined Hanbleceya in 2010 as IT and administrative support. Ryan has many duties at Hanbleceya including supporting the administrative and clinical staff with technical issues, managing the Hanbleceya website, marketing, payroll, and occasional milieu support duties.

Milieu Support Staff Personnel::

In addition to the above core staff positions, Hanbleceya employs more than a dozen full-time Milieu Support Staff personnel whose duties are assigned and directed by our clinical staff. The Milieu Support Staff personnel have significant interaction with clients and often act as the “eyes and ears” of our clinical staff. Milieu Support Staff personnel travel to each house multiple times daily: In the morning to ensure that all members of the household are out of bed with hygiene completed, and are off to begin their daily structures; randomly throughout the day to confirm that household chores have been performed and the house is in acceptable condition; and in the evening to make sure nutritious meals have been prepared and any conflicts have been resolved. Weekly house meetings facilitated by the Hanbleceya House Manager are conducted at the facility. In these meetings, the weekly meal plan and chore rotations are scheduled, and housemates are supported in practicing assertive and healthy interpersonal skills while learning the important tasks of efficient household management. From fixing a broken fixture to assisting in the intervention on a client in a crisis, from confirming medications to leading camp outs or even attending a movie, Milieu Support Staff personnel provide a vital role in the everyday function of Hanbleceya’s community as a whole.