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Helping You Rediscover Your Purpose In Recovery

Meet Our Team

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Philosophy

While society struggles to face an epidemic of addiction, the scourge of which seems very much a novel crisis, it is likely that our present conflict has its origin in our collective emotional history, a legacy which speaks to the limitations of our psychological development as a people. Early accounts dating from antiquity such as Homer’s The Odyssey detail the use of a magical drug, nepenthe, acquired from the Egyptians that was famed to quell all pain and strife and induce forgetfulness of every ill. Fittingly, the literal translation of nepenthe is “not sorrow” or “anti sorrow”. Its name and its fame offer us insight into the very compelling human drive to drown out or escape life’s suffering.

Equally popular in ancient times and famously celebrated in the cults of Dionysus was the potion, wine. Wine was believed to be a magical elixir that could lift one from the realm of the mundane into new heights of joy and ecstasy. Reverence for wine suggests another powerful and compelling human drive, to gain pleasure. Distinct though these potions were, nepenthe and wine, there was also much in purpose that they shared. Each provided a means of using something external to change how one felt and to thus get outside the limits of their own responses to life, each provided ways of working out challenges with powerful affective energies be they of sorrow or joy, and finally, each provided temporary, ineffective solutions to more enduring psychological challenges. While our culture is presently addicted to new and unique potions, the source of our addictions is not different from people of ancient times. We, like peoples of the distant past ignore latent and powerful capacities within our own hearts and minds and continue to rely heavily on mood altering substances to meet the vicissitudes of life.

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Michael Nolan, CADC-II, ICADC

Co-Founder, Chief Operating Officer
Michael has been dreaming of opening a treatment center since entering the addiction treatment field in 2010. Michael was finally able to realize this dream when he partnered with Greg Vorst and opened Embodied Recovery.

Michael’s passion for service began when he was in his early 20’s. Michael went to treatment at The Sequoia Center on August 8, 2007. Michael had been to other addiction treatment centers, but did not find true healing until he began working with Dr. Barry Rosen and The Sequoia Center. Michael has maintained continuous sobriety since August 8, 2007. Michael did the majority of his recovery work through Alcoholics Anonymous. Michael completed the 12 steps through Alcoholics Anonymous and also recognizes that recovery comes in many forms. Michael attended the Landmark Forum in San Jose, has an active meditation practice, and continues to explore new avenues for spiritual growth. Michael’s work has been inspired by such pioneers in the addiction treatment field as Dr. Barry Rosen, as well as the works of John Bradshaw, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Pia Mellody, Brene Brown, Charles Whitfield, and Eckhart Tolle.

Michael completed Bethany University’s Addiction Studies program in 2010 and became a CADC-II in 2012 (certification number A011980315). Michael feels blessed and grateful to have found such an exceptional partner in Greg Vorst. Michael firmly believes the pursuit of recovery offers a greater sense of life-fulfillment, purpose, joy, gratitude and peace.
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Greg Vorst, LMFT

Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer
Greg received his Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis on Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences from the University of Southern California. Greg received further training in addiction and recovery from The Meadows and the Center for Creative Growth. Greg is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (Lic. 115498) in the State of California. As a therapist, Greg has gained valuable experience working in a variety of clinical settings including outpatient and residential facilities. A skilled group facilitator, Greg also led a successful IOP program that utilized evidence-based early recovery and relapse prevention skills, family education groups, and mindfulness-based meditations.

Greg is versed in several therapeutic approaches including DBT, family systems, CBT, inner child work, depth, gestalt, and mindfulness-based relapse prevention. In addition to his work as a therapist, he’s s a skilled practitioner and instructor of Sundo, a Korean, Taoist form of yoga, breath work, and meditation. In his own words… “I am deeply passionate about assisting clients in the transformative work of recovery. While I fully enjoy therapeutic process itself there is probably nothing more rewarding than to see clients achieve their goals.”

Richard Cicinelli, M.D.

Medical Director
As a specialist in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, I feel privileged as a psychiatrist to be working in the field of recovery. Being in recovery myself the past twenty years, I try to inspire those just entering recovery to persevere in a process that ultimately brings unlimited happiness and a deep sense of fulfillment.
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Hyunmoon Kim, Ph.D.

Education and Programming Consultant
Dr. Kim is the founder of Sundology, a Master's Degree Program (MS) created in 2003 under the Department of Natural Health Management and Health Promotion Graduate School of Hanseo University (www.hanseo.ac.kr), South Korea.

Dr. Kim has taught such courses as the psychology of Carl Jung, Humanistic Psychology, Integral Counseling, Comparison Study of Eastern Thoughts: Hinduism/Budhism/Taoism, Reading and Comprehension of Tao Te Ching, Mind-Body Therapy, Meditation and Brain Science, as well as Meditation and Psychotherapy.

Dr. Kim holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Hartford, an M. Ed in Integrated Education from Cambridge College, and a Ph.D. of Philosophy in Psychology from Saybrook University. He retired as full-time faculty in 2018 and still serves as a Guiding Professor for the department that he founded at Hanseo University.

In addition to his extensive academic background, Dr. Kim is also one of twelve Sundo Masters sanctioned by Taoist Hermit Be-kyung and has been teaching since 1980 in North America, South East Asia, and Europe. He is also the founder and a President of the International Sundo Association, a US federal 503(C)(3) tax-exempt, educational non-profit organization.

Teaching the potential for human development and consciousness, Dr. Kim makes authentic Sundo practice readily accessible to people and in an effort to improve the quality of their lives.

Allen Berger, Ph.D.

Consulting Psychologist
Dr. Allen Berger is an internationally recognized expert in the science of recovery and the clinical director of The Institute for Optimal Recovery and Emotional Sobriety and the California Institute of Gestalt Experiential Therapy.

He wrote Hazelden’s popular recovery mainstay 12 Stupid Things that Mess Up Recovery (2008) as well as 12 Smart Things to do When the Booze and Drugs are Gone (2010), 12 Hidden Rewards of Making Amends (2013) and 12 More Stupid Things that Mess Up Recovery (2016). His first book, Love Secrets-Revealed (2006), was dedicated to Dr. Walter Kempler, his dear friend and mentor.

Dr. Berger is widely known for his work on several areas of recovery, including the integration of modern psychotherapy with the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, understanding the psychological forces operating in the 12 Steps, and Emotional Sobriety. He is also an expert at helping new patients understand the benefits of group therapy and how to get the most out of it and helping families adjust to the challenges of recovery.
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Brianne Smith, LMFT

Program Therapist
Brianne is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT 105848) in California. She received her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from University of California, Santa Barbara. Brianne has provided therapeutic services in the Bay Area for the past 7 years with a recent focus on individual and group therapy in intensive outpatient programs (IOPs). She has completed Level II Ecotherapy certification through the EarthBody Institute to support her use of nature connection in her work with clients. Brianne is a student and an instructor of Bikram yoga and she is passionate about guiding others to use body connection for emotional and spiritual healing.

Brianne began her personal journey of healing after hitting her bottom in a lifelong battle with addictions. She found refuge in sobriety from substance use in October 2015. Her recovery is rooted in 12-step programs and has deepened to focus on emotional sobriety, inner child reunification, and the roots of family dysfunction. Her own transformation inspires her work with clients. Brianne believes in the interconnection between mind, body and spirit and in the restorative powers of the natural world. She draws upon an array of energies to support growth including spirituality, movement, art, psychotherapy, meditation, nutrition, human community and connection with more-than-human beings. Her definitions of sobriety, health and recovery are ever evolving and she supports each person’s unique path to discovery. Brianne is grateful and ecstatic to be working alongside like-minded individuals in the Embodied Recovery community.

Nick Stavrides, RADT

Alcohol & Drug Technician
Nick graduated from Tufts University with a degree in English and continued on to a career in Finance in New York City for 20 years. Shortly after moving to California, Nick was forced to confront his struggles with addiction and decided to enter treatment. There, a seed was planted that would grow into a new career and outlook on life.

In addition to being a graduate himself of the Embodied Recovery program, Nick is a certified HeartMath Practitioner and a Registered Alcohol and Drug Technician. Nick is also currently working toward attaining his CADAC I certification.

Nick is inspired by the newfound vitality that recovery has afforded him. He’s motivated by the hope to be free from not only addiction, but also from the emotional turmoil that plagued him and the opportunities to help others with similar struggles. Nick believes that addiction, if confronted and realized, can be the gateway toward a happier healthier life.
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Inna Dagman

Bodywork - Craniosacral Therapy & Facilitator of Healing Through Creativity
CA certified massage therapist # 70318
Inna’s healing work is informed by her multidimensional background and life. Prior to manual therapy she studied and explored clinical psychology, holistic health, healing through creative and ceremonial arts, yoga & dance. She is grateful to have received her education in massage therapy from De Anza College, CA, where she came to specialize in Shiatsu, and her on-going studies in Craniosacral therapy from Upledger Institute, where she has been fortunate to study with some of the leaders in this field. She has been in private practice in Santa Cruz since 2016 (WildCreekHealingArts.com) and is deeply honored to join the Embodied Recovery team - a unique center so aligned with her belief that true healing must be rooted in the body.

In her work as a bodyworker, Inna’s passion is to provide a space within which the client’s physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual dimensions can become one again, and inform the multilayered healing process. She loves witnessing her clients regain a healthy and relaxed nervous system, as well as their own sense of empowerment. Inna has developed a specialty in recovery from emotional trauma, particularly sexual abuse. As part of her pro-bono work, she has had the honor and joy to share her healing work in Kolkata, India with survivors of sex trafficking, as well as in Santa Cruz's Walnut Avenue Women's center.

Inna is also a trained facilitator of healing through creativity, having studied and worked with some of the pioneers in this field, including Michael Samuels MD, Mary Rockwood Lane Phd, and Jill Sonke MA. Her work at Embodied Recovery center included running a 12-week program where clients are supported in reconnecting to creativity as a healing force in their lives.

Inna’s presence and work are also deeply rooted in her daily practice of self-cultivation, a committed spiritual path, and a devotion to service. She is a firm believer that a healer can only help one go as far as they themselves have gone... So hiking, dancing, receiving bodywork, practicing Sundo, and regular introspection and connection with Spirit are essential daily parts to her life. In her healing work she draws on all those experiences, and, most importantly, on the innate healing ability of the people she works with.

Philips Patton, L.Ac

Licensed Acupuncturist
Philips received his bachelors degree from Stanford University, and his Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches University. He is also a certified Yoga Teacher, a Qi Gong instructor, and a devout meditator, having trained as a Zen monk at Tassajara and Green Gulch Farm. He has a unique and gentle hands-on approach that incorporates acupressure, acupuncture, energy work, and relaxation to facilitate states of deep healing. He specializes in recovery from Depression, Insomnia, Anxiety, Addiction, Chronic Fatigue, and other Chronic Illnesses.

he’ll be offering a weekly group acupuncture session, focusing mainly on specific points on the ear that have been proven through decades of research to aid with recovery from addiction, soothe cravings, calm the mind and release it from mental loops, process emotions, reduce anxiety, induce a parasympathetic response in the nervous system, release endorphins and ease depression, remove pain, support the liver and kidney, and much more.

For those who don’t need the intensity of acupuncture needles, he’ll also have ear magnets available, and a soothing herbal tea will be served.
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Jeremy Miller, CADC-CS

Business Development & Marketing
Jeremy has been in the addiction treatment field for over a decade in a multitude of roles and is passionate about supporting people in recovery. In recent years, his passion for public speaking, media and PR lead him to a position in business development and marketing.

In his work in business development, Jeremy's goal is helping people navigate the sometimes overwhelming process of finding the right treatment program. Having roots as a 1 on 1 counselor, his primary goal is ensuring excellent clinical care is delivered to clients seeking help.

Through his network of treatment professionals, Jeremy is able to truly advocate for recovery and ensure that Embodied Recovery is at the forefront of the industry and accessible by the general public. Getting into treatment should be the easiest step of the process, and by fostering meaningful relationships with healthcare providers he's able to help facilitate that.

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