Harmony Professional Team
The Professional Team at Harmony Heals
Farid Tabrizy, President
Farid Tabrizy holds an Honorary Doctorate in Human Resources Management, is a Certified Massage Therapist in Acupressure/Shiatzu with over 20 years experience. He is a Yoga Practitioner, Tai Chi Instructor, and Grand Master 7th Degree Black Belt in Shaolin Kempo, Kenpo Karate, HapKido, and Tae Kwon Do. He is a Board Member of the Masters Hall of Fame, with a World Master Title from WLOP. Farid also is an acting Board Member of the Martial Arts Division of WLOP, and Advisor of the Power Lifting Division.
Farid has a passion for motivating and advising people to become their very best. In his travels he has sought out the most challenging physical and spiritual experiences in order to become a more positive and constructive person in life. He had a vision to create a center where he could integrate the Body, Mind and Spirit with the belief that you cannot heal one without the others. In 1991, along with his wife, he created Harmony Heals Inc., fulfilling his vision to bring this care to all clients. He has been acting Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of Operations ever since.
On a daily basis he gives people advice on Nutrition, Fitness, and Alternative Medicine. He also provides combat training to local law enforcement and the military throughout the USA, as a Security Specialist for KI International. He holds several consulting positions in Human Resources and Recruitment Management and has held the position of Parks and Recreation Commissioner in Laguna Hills since 2011.
He actively participates in Local and National Tournaments in Power Lifting and Martial Arts holding many titles for his weight class divisions. At present he holds demonstrations to raise awareness to children and adults on the Mental and Physical Health benefits of Nutrition and Fitness as a way of life.
Farid has published training manuals and techniques in Tae Kwon Do and Shaolin Kempo, as well he has been featured in many publications. He is also the proud father of two children whom he considers his greatest accomplishment and joy in his life.
Gina H Tabrizy, MS, MFT, Executive Clinical Director
Gina H. Tabrizy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over twenty years of experience, knowledge, and expertise in the areas of Addiction, Trauma, and Codependency.
From a very young age she was driven by a passion to help people. She had the gift of seeing the good in everyone and supporting them in bringing that part of themselves back into their lives. In junior high school she was nicknamed “the shrink”. In 1994, along with her husband Farid Tabrizy, she founded Harmony of Body, Mind, and Spirit Counseling Center, now known as “Harmony Heals” Inc. Their vision was to create a holistic center where the traditional Western practice of therapy could join with the more non-traditional practices of the Eastern philosophies of healing: mentally, physically, and spiritually.
She has appeared on Local and National Television Programs, such as Montell Williams, speaking about the impact of Childhood Trauma/abuse and Addiction in Families. Gina has been a guest on several talk radio programs, including KEZY, and moderated programs on the Internet. She has presented at the National Conference on Codependency and given hundreds of lectures at Agencies, Corporations, Schools, Colleges and Universities. Gina has written feature articles for numerous publications.
Currently she is the Clinical Director for Harmony Heals, Inc. and Harmony Heals Sober Living, Inc. Gina also holds consulting positions for several other treatment and residential recovery programs. She enjoys a reputation for providing excellent clinical care with a high success rate. She is known for being direct, passionate, and loving in the art of practicing psychotherapy. She is blessed with a thriving practice, supervising interns and a staff of 10 therapists all providing care at Harmony Heals Inc. in Laguna Hills, CA.
In her desire to deliver the best possible care she gained several specialties: E.M.D.R., Certified Hypnotherapist, Director of Psychodrama, Inner Child Work, and P.I.T. ( Pia Mellody Training).She acts as a part time Professor at Cal State Long Beach, teaching Introduction to and Advanced Techniques in Psychodrama. Gina is a proud mother of two children whom she considers her greatest accomplishment and joy.
Pam G. Johnson, MS, MFT
Pamela Johnson, MS, LMFT received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from California State University Long Beach in 1999. In the spring of 2003, she received her Master of Science in Counseling with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy from California State University Long Beach. Pamela has provided services to a wide variety of clientele while working in several distinctive therapeutic arenas, including: elementary schools, outpatient treatment centers, inpatient drug/alcohol treatment centers, sober living facilities and hospital day treatment programs. Pamela’s areas of expertise include substance abuse, eating disorders and self-mutilation.
La Rhea U. Steindler, MSW, LCSW
La Rhea U. Steindler is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a decade of experience in dealing with a variety of difficult clinical problems including homelessness, financial/vocational insufficiency, domestic violence, addiction, major life transition, identification of special needs, family grief counseling, and the “acting out teen”. She has given numerous talks to therapists, teachers, camp counselors and lay people on many subjects including addiction, eating disorders, cutting, learning disabilities and other special needs, parenting and domestic violence.
La Rhea has a special interest in addiction and she published her original research on family relationships of addicted men in 2001, Parental Relationships of Substance Abusing Men. Because she believes strongly in the premise that addiction is a disease that involves the entire family, La Rhea has been active in developing family programming at Pat Moore Foundation, a non-profit inpatient treatment center, and in working with addicted families at Harmony. She is currently involved in planning new outpatient treatment programs for addiction at Harmony for both addicts and alcoholics, and their family members.
Elizabeth Joy Stipher, MFT Intern
Elizabeth J. Stipher is a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern who received her Bachelor’s degree from California State University Fullerton and her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from National University.
She has experience working with adolescents, adults, couples, and families from a variety of backgrounds throughout the Orange County area. Elizabeth also has experience in working with addiction, survivors of abuse and trauma, and eating disorders.
Sandra J Hanna, DC, LAc
A native to Orange County, Dr. Hanna practices Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture, and Holistic Chiropractic. She was a Presidential Scholar at the University of San Diego, earning degrees in Biology, Chemistry, and English Literature. She later graduated from the Southern California University of Health Sciences with a Doctorate in Chiropractic and Masters in Oriental Medicine.
She is certified in Yoga Instruction, Applied Kinesiology, Hypnotherapy, and is also a Reiki Master. Dr. Hanna’s mission is to help heal the body through holistic natural means.
Kristin Briscoe, PsyD, MFT Intern
Dr. Kristin Briscoe, PsyD has extensive experience assisting individuals, families, and groups achieve optimal wellness. Kristin has a natural and relaxed way of assessing the needs of her clients and employing a range of therapeutic techniques that are most suited for them. She has worked in numerous treatment centers in Southern California assisting individuals struggling with substance abuse and co-ocurring disorders. Utilizing a psychospiritual approach she has helped many make profound mental, emotional, and behavioral shifts so that effective change both personally and professionally is experienced. Her diverse background of working in both the clinical and emergency medical services/ crisis intervention setting allows her to readily recognize and help those experiencing physiological and psychological stressors and distress as they manifest in the moment.
For the last six years she has concentrated in the areas of stress management and relapse prevention. Assisting individuals and families understand the driving force underneath obsessive/compulsive and high risk behaviors, so that one may experience freedom from such preoccupation and the numerous compromises that are a result from such behavior, is the primary focus that Kristin brings to the recovery process for her clients. Developing a healthier view of one’s self, releasing limited thinking patterns, overcoming resistance and emotional blocks, and experiencing more peace are some of what one can expect from sessions with Kristin.
Kristin holds a Doctorate in Clinical psychology, a Masters Degree in Spiritual Psychology, A Bachelor of Arts in Communicative Disorders, and a certification in Kundalini Yoga.
Dr. Elahe Sagart: Psychiatrist
Diplomat of and Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Clinical Area of Interest: General Psychiatric Disorders (Mood, Anxiety, Psychotic, Personality and Substance Abuse disorders: ages 18 and up) Psychoanalysis and Individual Psychodynamic Psychotherapy.
Clinical Orientation: Psychoanalytic, Psychodynamic and Bio-Psycho-Social Model
Dr. Sagart is a diplomat of and certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She finished her psychiatric residency training at the University of Virginia and has worked in the private sector as well as the public health systems providing psychiatric care for severely mentally ill patients. She is also in psychoanalytic training at the New Center for Psychoanalysis (formerly known as LAPSI, Los Angeles Psychoanalytic Society and Institute). Dr. Sagart is a member of American Psychiatric Association and strongly believes in integrating medication management with psychotherapy.
Dr. Hamid Fadavi, M.D.
Dr. Hamid Fadavi is a Board certified and fellowship-trained pain physician. He completed his training in Interventional Pain Management through Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Dr. Fadavi performed his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Baylor College of Medicine and University of Texas PM&R Alliance, where he served as the Chief Resident and received Oliver A. Smith Award for his outstanding clinical achievements.
Dr. Fadavi graduated from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine where he was an anatomy mentor and chapter president of American Medical Student Association and was honored with multiple leadership awards and scholarship.
Before attending medical school, Dr. Fadavi had practiced physical therapy for nine years. In 1995 The World Congress of Physical Therapy was honored to have Dr. Fadavi presenting his research on managing labor pain using electrical stimulation at their 12th international meeting in Washington, DC.
Dr. Fadavi has been involved in multiple research projects and continues to participate in research activities and publishings. Dr. Fadavi is a member of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, International Spine Intervention Society, and American Osteopathic Association.
Dr. Fadavi’s background and training as a diagnostician in neuro-musculoskeletal field and multidisciplinary therapeutic approach makes him very unique in the field of pain management. His area of expertise includes pain management, musculoskeletal disease, sport injury, and spasticity management. Dr. Fadavi’s treatment approach includes using medical management, interventional procedures, osteopathic manipulation, and collaboration with other specialists in the team including physical/occupational therapists and psychologists.
Dr. Shahrokh Poormehr, D.O.
Dr. Poormehr graduated from the University of Illinois in Biological Sciences, followed by a Master’s Degree in Medical Sociology. Four years later, he received a Doctoral Degree in Medicine from the University of Health Sciences in Kansas City, MO. He continued his journey in a year of internship in Internal Medicine at the University of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign. He then moved to California to be close to his family and friends, and finished his second internship in Family Practice at one of the leading bloodless surgical centers in the country: Coast Plaza Doctor’s Hospital. After being licensed by the California Board of Licensure, he joined the Department of Family Medicine at the University of California in Irvine and received his specialty in Family Practice. Most recently Dr. Poormehr has achieved Suboxone Certification from The American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry. He believes that this community needs a medical facility in which patients can have access to prompt medical care when they need it, at a fraction of the cost, without waiting days or weeks for an appointment or hours in emergency rooms.
He and his family have lived in Orange County since 1990 and think this community is a great place to raise a family. They love this area because of its diversity, tranquility, friendliness, safety and, last but not least, the beautiful beaches.
Yi Jin, M.D.
Dr. Jin is a neuroscientist with over 25 years of experience in clinical psychiatric and electrophysiological research. His specialty in electroencephalogram (EEG) is particularly suitable to the work at Harmony Heals. His electrophysiological works included the studies of neural perceptual coding, mental disorders, substances abuse, genetics, and psychopharmacology. His research of mind has been extended to the study of harmonic coherence among all rhythmic organs in the body in the context of system stability. His recent findings have shown that a healthy mind depends not only on the healthy brain but also other parts of body as well as their harmonic relationships with the brain. Dr. Jin is a clinical professor and director of Behavioral EEG Lab of the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the University of California, Irvine. He is also an executive board member of the International EEG & Clinical Neuroscience Society (ECNS). He has served as director of Neuroscience Center at the Brookside Institute for two years. He is founder and director of The Brain Treatment Center and NeoSync Inc.
Dr. Fred Bekhrad, Ph.D
Dr. Fred Bekhrad received his B.A. in Biology with minors in Premed & Psychology, M.S. in Clinical Rehabilitation Engineering and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from St. Louis, Washington and Iowa State Universities, respectively. Dr. Bekhrad also holds certifications in Rehabilitation Technology, Brain Optimization, Eating Disorders and Biofeedback Methods & Procedures in Clinical Practice. Formerly associated with major rehab centers and university, Dr. Bekhrad, with his passion for helping others, worked as a Biomedical Rehab Engineer at the Cerebral Palsy Center for Disabled in NY. Dr. Bekhrad also served as the Assistant Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in NY, where he developed an Audio-Visual Self-improvement Program that utilized brainwave entrainment technology for positive thinking and self-motivation. As a Research Associate, he has developed prototype Biofeedback devices and techniques for treatment of Physical and Learning Disabilities. Currently a resident of Orange County, Dr. Bekhrad has been in private practice and served as a Rehab Technology & Bio/Neurofeedback Consultant for Addiction Treatment Centers, Rehab Tech Solution®, St. Jude Medical Center, Mission and Tustin Rehab Hospitals. Dr. Bekhrad, with his unique background in Engineering and Biomedical/ Healthcare Sciences, and more than 35 years of experience, has built a bridge between Biotechnology and Psychology by developing innovative techniques for better understanding of how our mind affects our body and behavior.
Dr. Andrew Mitchell, Chiropractic Physician
Dr. Mitchell comes to us from Las Vegas, where he has built and continues to oversee a very successful practice. In his Las Vegas practice, he has successfully treated all types of patients over the last 15 years, including individuals injured in car accidents, all types of pain symptoms, and the elderly and children. He has also had the pleasure of treating performers from Cirque du Soleil and other entertainers, including a member of the rock band, The Eagles.
Dr. Mitchell has recently relocated to Orange County with his family and is excited to continue his success in this area. He has a very soft approach to chiropractic treatment and is very understanding of patient needs and concerns.
Dr. Mitchell is also certified in Auriculotherapy which is a non-invasive treatment of the outer ear. This type of treatment is very effective for many disorders, including all types of pain and addictions. It also works wonders in getting people to quit smoking! He is also in the process of getting certified as an Addictionologist through the American College of Addictions & Compulsive Disorders.
Cindy Dupuie, B.C., C.N., (Nutritionist & Yoga Practitioner)
Cindy has always felt that the human body is an absolutely amazing machine with its own innate ability to heal itself given the right tools. Her focus encompasses not only nutritional guidance and therapy but also includes other healing modalities to support the health of the mind as well as the body.
Her educational background includes a B.S. in Dietetics and Food Administration in 1985 along with many advanced courses in nutrition as it relates to addictions/recovery, depression and cancer. She recently received a certificate from the Institute of Functional Medicine to bring Functional Medicine into her practice in order to facilitate healing from the inside out. She continues to increase her expertise with on going classes mainly through the Institute of Functional Medicine. Cindy has also been a certified Bikram Yoga Instructor since 2003.
Cindy’s professional background includes helping numerous individuals in their recovery from addictions, anxiety, their desire to lose weight, repair digestion, fatigue, allergies, type II diabetes, fibromalgia, migraines and more. She specializes in a detox /elimination protocol. She has taught nutrition and cooking in drug and alcohol recovery centers and various high schools. She has worked closely with the American Stroke Association as well as with the City of Newport Beach in developing an after school nutrition program. Guiding individuals to feel and look their best through balancing the body is her focus. She does this through individual counseling, workshops, as well as lectures.
Cindy has two grown sons who bring lightness and joy.
Elise Soboleske, MS, MFT Intern
Elise Soboleske is a Marriage and Family Therapist intern whose main focus is in the treatment of substance abuse and trauma, in addition to family/couple issues, depression and anxiety. Elise graduated from CSULB with a bachelors degree in psychology and a masters degree in counseling-MFT. She completed her pre-internship training at Health View Behavioral where she treated individuals suffering from severe mental illness combined with substance abuse and trauma issues.
Elise uses an eclectic approach combining the insight of Psychodynamic therapy, with the techniques of Cognitive-Behavioral therapy, Art/Play therapy, and Gestalt therapy. She has experience and is passionate about further aiding people in their journey to healing by integrating successful spiritual principles with their real life issues. These, along with her creativity and innate compassion, combine to make her an effective conduit of change for her clients.
Farnaz Kalbassi, Personal Trainer
Farnaz has been a full-time certified personal trainer since February 2000. She currently trains her clients at Family Fitness & 24 Hour Fitness and does home trainings in the South County area. Farnaz has over 12 years of exercise and nutritional experience. She has experience training people with different goals, limitations and individuals ranging from age 12 to 88.
Farnaz enjoys making custom workout programs for the different goals and needs of her clients. She offers help with their exercise program when they are not training with her as well as advice with supplements and nutrition. She believes that weight training and cardiovascular training are part of a healthy lifestyle and keep you feeling young and energized. Her passion is helping people reach their fitness goals
Lou Cirgnano, CR, Equine Practitioner
Lou Cirignano is a horse enthusiast whose riding experience and love for animals led her naturally to the equine healing world. Although she is not a professional therapist, Lou has found a great inner strength using horses as a catalyst for personal growth and success. Along with almost twenty years worth of experience with horses, she continues to nurture a 27 year long marriage, has raised two confident, well adjusted daughters, and has found deep fulfillment in her life.
Horses act as mirrors for the soul: they mirror body language, emotions and energy. Interacting in a safe space with the horses can help us access what is often lying hidden or dormant within ourselves, or witness habits and patterns that no longer serve us; what is revealed is the possibility for more freedom of expression in our day-to-day lives.
Horses possess power and healing energy; interacting with them is a great alternative resource for therapy. They are extremely responsive to human emotion and action, and will sense and respond accordingly, but, unlike humans, horses have no hidden agenda or conflicting feelings. Horses never lie. They do not respond to contradictory forms of communication such as manipulation, anger, or passive/aggressive behavior. To work with a horse, controlled and effective body language is essential, thus, the student must be aware of how they communicate and be able to problem solve if their usual methods of communication don’t work.
The size and power of horses is naturally intimidating, so accomplishing a task with one of them in spite of fear helps develop confidence and promotes self-growth. Horses are non-judgmental and have no expectations or motives. The horse helps bring awareness to your emotional state as she reacts to your behavior. Working with a horse, you will naturally gain insight into your feelings, behaviors, patterns, boundaries and stumbling blocks to recovery. The process can be very effective in addition to your primary therapy.
Solara Vayanian, BA, Movement & Energy Practitioner
During her time at San Diego State University, Solara did a research project for her degree in Physical Education and Dance, The Relationship of Movement to the Human Psyche, which became the basis of her life’s work. After graduation she moved to Sedona, Arizona, where she was mentored by Blanche Evan, one of the two founders of Dance Therapy in the United States, in Dance-Movement-Word Therapy. Solara went on to develop her own system of healing through movement, Kinesio-Emotional Release System, to release frozen and stagnant emotion and trauma from the cellular level of the body. She has been facilitating both private sessions and group workshops based on KERS for thirty years. The most recent version of this is the MOVE IT! Workshops.
In her development of the art of transformation, Solara also founded and is director of Winged Fire Productions, a multimedia, transformational theatre company producing original material. Also based on Solara’s developing work in education and healing through the arts, Winged Fire has produced hundreds of thought-provoking and emotion-purging performances and workshops in the spirit of the ancient purpose of theatre: to heal and to reveal, to enlighten and to celebrate life.
Solara’s personal specialty as a dancer is the Ancient Temple Dance, an alchemical form of sacred dance for the transmutation of heavy, stuck or negative energy. The performance is at once beautiful, powerful and transformational. It has been used to shift and lift people of all kinds, as everyone, regardless of background, is affected by this universal form of transmutation of energy. It speaks to the ancient racial memory we all carry deep within us.
Solara’s work is focused on the healing of the human heart, memory and spirit. Often the heart is wounded on very deep emotional levels by various kinds of trauma, which interfere with our ability to fully empower our dreams and live joyfully. Through the healing of her own broken heart emerged the interwoven body of Solara’s work.
Andrea Brokaw, Certified Neurofeedback Specialist
Andrea Brokaw who has worked with addiction, anxiety, depression, and ADHD. She completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology from The University of Arizona, where her interest in understanding the workings of the brain and how it relates to a person’s psychological health began. There she worked as a research assistant studying depression and using EEG, or brainwave recordings, to determine changes in brain function for those who were diagnosed with depression. Following graduation, Andrea began working as a research assistant at UCI Medical Center in Orange where she studied Alzheimer’s disease, Schizophrenia, and Bi-Polar Disorder.
Andrea soon took her interest in science and the brain and melded it with her interest in psychology and began to study neurofeedback in 2007. She worked with substance abuse clients at a treatment center in Orange County, helping them with addiction and co-occurring disorders. Our brain function often reflects how we feel, and neurofeedback allows the client to see and hear a representation of their individual brain function and effectively make changes over time. Andrea enjoys working with each client to guide the process of training the brain and the mind through neurofeedback techniques. She focuses on helping her clients to become aware of their thoughts and learn to control stress, reduce anxiety, improve concentration, improve relaxation, and more.
Rachel A. Dunton, MA, CMT, HHP
Rachel A. Dunton is a Licensed Massage Therapist and a Holistic Health Practitioner with over 1000 hours of Massage and Bodywork Training. Rachel is a graduate of Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, and holds a Masters Degree in Education from Pepperdine University. Rachel was an elementary school teacher prior to discovering her passion for the healing arts. Rachel currently combines her love for teaching and her massage training as an instructor at Healing Hands School in Laguna Hills. Additionally, Rachel enjoys working at a spa in Laguna Beach, and is grateful to assist her clients in the art of relaxation. Rachel is proficient in Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue, Shiatsu, Tui Na Chinese Acupressure, Hot Stone, and Sports Massage. Rachel has also had training in Craniosacral, and many other massage modalities, including energy healing and certification in Usui Reiki. Rachel is excited to begin this journey with Harmony Heals, as it allows her to utilize her BA in Psychology and to continue learning about holistic health and healing.
Lauren Cirignano grew up in southern California, where at a young age she developed a strong affection and passion for horses. For her birthday when she was seven she was given horseback riding lessons and has been hooked ever since. She has been professionally trained in many different disciplines of riding including, hunter jumper, dressage, and saddleseat. She now trains hunt seat and hunter jumpers over fences and keeps her horses at Serrano Creek Ranch in Lake Forest California. “Horses bring so much peace and joy to my life, they are not my hobby, my horses are my heart and soul.”
Robert Bombalier (‘Master Bob’)
Master Bob first took martial arts with Villari’s after a playground bullying incident where he was beaten up by six other children. He went on to teach at Villari’s full time since 1986, and is one of the youngest students to get a Black Belt in the Villari system as well as the youngest to earn the title/rank of “Master”. Master Bob is one of the seven foremost authorities in the Shaolin Kempo Karate (“the Seven Dragons”).
Master Bob also teaches karate and magic in the Irvine School district as part of their Afterschool Class Enrichment program.
Master Bob started his Qigong training in 1987. He became the first InnerChi T’ai Chi and Taoist Yoga instructor on the West Coast. On May 1st 1997 Master Bob became a Level 3 instructor.
Master Bob also received the certification “Treatment of Canter with Medical Qigong Therapy” on October 15th 2006. In addition, Master Bob is a certified First Aid/AED instructor with the American Red Cross.
For over 20 years Master Bob volunteers in Orange County’s official toy drive, Operation Santa Claus. He also serves on the City of Mission Viejo’s Character Committee and in October 2010 was featured in the city’s posters and publications highlighting the character of ‘Respect’.
Whatever you think about expands. Master Bob believes that the mind is greatly underestimated in making things happen. A change of mindset is necessary to take the lead in improving one’s life. What we think, good or bad, has a likely chance of being realized: one might as well have positive thoughts than waste precious energy on negative ones.
Meditate every day so that calmness and tranquility is a natural part of you. Take a few minutes every day in prayer or during a lull until your breathing is even and unhurried—you’d be amazed at how recharged you will feel after even a short session.
Annie Greynald, MA, MFT Intern
As a registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, Annie Greynald has assisted many families and individuals in working through a wide range of issues to achieve greater satisfaction with themselves and others. Annie has been passionate about pursing a career in this healing profession from a young age and she received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University. She then went on to earn her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University, at which time she completed extensive training hours working with the ‘at risk’ youth population at the Alternative, Community, and Correctional Education Schools and Services programs in Orange County, Ca.
Annie primarily assists individuals and families in addressing multiple forms of addiction and the unhealthy relationships that may form as a result of one more addicted family members. She has had a great deal of success working with those struggling with love addiction, sex addiction, substance abuse, codependency and trauma. Annie often utilizes a combination of therapeutic theories including Psychodynamic and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, however, she believes that each client and family is unique and will need a tailored approach to healing.
Denise Sher Rassp, Certified Nutritionist
Denise Sher Rassp is a certified nutritionist and recovered yoyo dieter who delivers crucial and timely message with passion, energy, and insight that transforms the way her audiences and clients view weight management.
Denise’s interest and expertise stem from her personal struggle with weight and negative body image. First she resolved her own weight issues, (maintaining an 80 pound loss for more than 20 years), and now she dedicates herself to helping others.
Through the years, Denise has shared a results oriented, compassionate and constructive approach to optimal nutrition and weight management with over 4,000 satisfied clients. Those who’ve had the pleasure of working with Denise say she has a talent for empowering individuals to take charge of their eating, their health and their lives.
Whether your goal is to shed 100 pounds or just a few, you can count on Denise Sher Rassp to design a program tailored specifically to meet your individual nutrition and weight management needs.
Mary Lou Vergara, CMT
Mary Lou Vergara is a Certified Massage Therapist with over 800 hours of Massage and Bodywork Training. Mary Lou is a graduate of Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, has over 20 years of experience. Mary Lou owned/directed a day spa in Coto De Caza before joining the Healing Hills team. Mary Lou is proficient in Kinesiology (Meridian Balancing, & Emotional Balancing), Reflexology, and Swedish massage & Deep Tissue. Mary Lou is excited to be part of the Harmony Heals team.
Joyce Dacpano, CMT, HHP
Joyce is a licensed Massage Therapist with 1000 hours of training from Healing Hands School. She believes in the healing power of touch and the inseparable connection between the Mind, Body and Spirit. Specializing in deep tissue and Swedish Massage, and also integrating various Western and Eastern modalities she has learned as a Healing Hands graduate, she is able to customize according to each client’s individual needs. She is also completing a B.A. in Human Development at CSULB. She enjoys being a part of someone’s healing process, knowing that true healing comes from within and she simply facilitates a safe space for healing to occur.
Brianna Leahy, B.S.
Brianna Leahy’s passion for horses began at the young age of 6 when her mother and father purchased riding lessons for her birthday at the Serrano Creek Equestrian Center. 18 years later, Brianna’s passion for horses has only increased. A Southern California native, she has received training and competed in a wide variety of disciplines including Western, English, and Dressage. Brianna was encouraged by her trainer Leslie Thomson (of Leslie Thomson Training) to always continue learning and to reach beyond her limits. She graduated in 2011 from Cal Poly Pomona with Bachelors’ degrees in Equine Sciences and Business, allowing Brianna to fulfill her dream of pursuing a career with horses. Because she also loves to teach,she created a business that helps others of all ages and riding levels unlock great communication skills between their equine companion and themselves while helping them reach their personal riding goals. Primarily located at the Serrano Creek Equestrian Center in Lake Forest, CA, Brianna is looking forward to meeting with you and to helping you discover the amazing bond and self-discovery that horses can provide for your life. Leahy Riding Academy builds confidence, knowledge, and memories in addition to a hobby that can last a lifetime.
Staying active has always been a source of inspiration in Dayna’s life. As a Southern California native, Dayna grew up swimming,snowboarding, and playing softball. Fitness and nutrition have always been her passion. She was raised in a fun loving family with two brothers and two sisters. At the age of four, she began dancing ballet, tap, and jazz, and has continued dancing throughout her life, including cheer leading and dance teams in high school. She also participated in junior lifeguard training for two years.
In addition to being a Certified Personal Trainer, Dayna is also certified as a Turbo Kick® and Zumba Fitness instructor. She also teaches senior fitness and boot-camp style classes and maintains certifications in first aid and CPR/AED. With years of fitness and nutrition experience, Dayna stays inspired by competing in runs, practicing yoga, weight training, and helping others to break down their walls and discover their true potential. With firsthand experience, she understands the resolve and commitment that is required to look, feel, and perform at one’s highest level, while achieving this in a controlled and safe environment. Those who join her program and learn these skills will never be the same.
Dayna says, “I feel that fitness and nutrition is the basis for overall health and wellness, and that becoming fit is the beginning of a new fulfilling and healthy lifestyle.”
Dayna views everyday as a new opportunity to improve and to be better than before: “We will often encounter set-backs and life won’t always cooperate the way we would like it to. However, if you focus on your goals and don’t let the past dictate your future, you will be surprised and thrilled by the rewards that you will reap. Work hard, stay positive, dig deep!”
Dr. Payam Ataii
Dr. Payam Ataii is a graduate of Tufts Dental School and has been in practice for over 15 years. He has experience in a wide range of dental areas including laser dentistry, oral surgery, cosmetic dentistry, endodontics, periodontics, and pedodontics.
Dr. Ataii is well-renowned in Orange County for Laser Dentistry, oral cancer detection, and painless treatment modalities. He has provided cosmetic dentistry on the television series “Whose Wedding is it, Anyway?” and has been honored as the Ultimate Makeover Dentist at the 8th Annual Valiant Women Afternoon Tea. Dr. Ataii has a passion for giving his patients a healthy smile and believes that everyone should have access to excellent, modern dental care at reasonable prices.
Scott Lassiter, MPH, MS, MFT Intern
Scott earned his Master of Public Health degree and began his career as an epidemiologist, investigating disease outbreaks as a commissioned officer in the Public Health Service. Scott worked for the United States Centers for Disease Control, where he conducted health studies in communities and witnessed the psychological impacts of disease on individuals and their families. His desire to help people dealing with those issues led him to a career in psychotherapy.
Scott earned a Master of Science in Counseling degree at California State University, Long Beach, with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy. He integrates therapeutic approaches so that therapy is relevant to his client at the particular point in their life when they are seeking help. Scott’s joy in life is helping clients discover the strength and hope that resides within their hearts so that they may gain mastery of their lives and achieve the goals in life that they desire.
Michelle Iturriria, Addiction Specialist
Michelle Iturriria has worked in the chemical dependency field for 5 years and is currently completing her certification as a Registered Addiction Specialist. Michelle has experience in several different areas of treatment, including detox, case management, and monitoring. Michelle also facilitates individual, group, and family sessions while focusing on areas such as relapse prevention, the dynamics of addiction, and the 12-step tools necessary for recovery. Michelle’s participation in 12-step recovery programs over the last 5 years allows her to provide excellent support to clients and their families who are affected by addiction.
Michelle is passionate about helping others with their recovery from substance abuse and behavioral health issues. While working in residential treatment, Michelle identified the need for strong aftercare planning, and continued care. Together with Harmony Heals, Michelle helped to create Harmony Monitoring Services which assists clients early in recovery based on the idea that each client desires to be seen and heard as they transition through recovery. Michelle feels honored to witness the miracle of recovery in her clients.
Jennifer Medina, Executive Assistant
Jennifer Medina is an Executive Assistant with a passion for languages and how they work. She has several years of experience working with words,whether it be writing articles andcontent for websites, editing the writing of others, or medical transcription. She is knowledgeable about computers and enjoys creating spreadsheets and databases. She works with many different types of software, and is currently working towards earning a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification. She is a collegestudent studying anthropology and Persian, and plans to become a linguist.
Tamar Brandeis, MS, LMFT
Tamar Brandeis, LMFT, received her Bachelor’s of Art from the University of California, Los Angeles in Women’s Studies and her Master’s of Science from California State University, Long Beach in Counseling with an emphasis in Marriage, Family Therapy. Tamar has over 7 years of experience working with different populations, including both female and male survivors of sexual and domestic violence, juvenile offenders and women with eating disorders. She has worked in many different places, including elementary schools, domestic violence shelters and outpatient clinics. Tamar believes that therapy works as a collaboration between the therapist and client and that the client is the expert on her/his own life. She asks the client to join with her to help find the right path for him or herself in therapy.
Terry Heptinstall, MS, MFT
Terry holds a Master of Science in Marriage Family Therapy from California State University Long Beach, and is currently working on his Doctorate of Psychology, at CalSouthern University. Terry has a variety of experience working with individuals and groups. He specializes in couples therapy, parenting skills, PTSD, anger management, and internet/sex addiction.Terry has extensive life experience along with his formal education. He spent 5 years in the military, then over 20 years in the business environment. He serves on the board of Orange County California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.
In his personal time, Terry enjoys motorcycle riding and martial arts. He is currently pursuing a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
Melissa Beck, MS, MFT Intern
As a registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, Melissa Beck focuses on providing a safe, therapeutic environment for individuals, couples, families and groups to help them achieve their goals, improve communication,and heal relationships. Melissa’s experience includes the treatment of addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, and co-dependency, in addition to extensive work with couples and individuals in the LGBT community. Her background also includes executive coaching and organizational development.
Melissa holds a Masters degree in counseling psychology from California State University Fullerton. She tailors her therapeutic approach to the client’s individual needs, drawing upon her training in Object Relations Therapy, Humanistic Psychology, Attachment Theory, Imago Relationship Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.Her warmth and compassionate insight foster an environment for personal growth, self-awareness, and healing for her clients.