Our Experienced Staff
The staff here at Valley Recovery Center comes from a variety of backgrounds, and everyone of them is devoted to helping our patients find the treatment or treatments that really speak to their needs and address their history with addiction. The staff includes psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors, who work to guide patients through their entire recovery process. They also provide one on one therapy, develop a personal treatment program for each patient, and help patients set goals and achieve lasting recovery.
MICHAEL PITTS, PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Michael Pitts’s dedication to the field of mental health and substance abuse stems from personal experience which allows him to naturally connect with clients in a meaningful way. Mr. Pitts’ history with this organization displays his ability to be versatile, which has aided him in his ability to effectively oversee as Program Director. Further, his ambition to increase knowledge of mental health has led him to pursue his MFT license. It has been his long-time aspiration to continuously develop a therapeutic skill set in order to effectively assist individuals in conquering the problems which hold them back from the quality of life they dream of. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from California State University of Northridge, and is currently completing his Master’s in Psychology at Brandman University. His determination and passion prove he is an asset to our team.
AMY SPAHR, LCSW
Ms. Spahr has over 20 years of experience in the behavioral health field, primarily leadership roles in substance use and eating disorder treatment facilities. Her previous positions include Executive Clinical Director at Promises Treatment Programs, Director of Phoenix House Academy, Executive Director of Remuda Ranch, and Program Director of Developmental Behavioral Consultants. In addition to oversight of facility operations and management teams, Ms. Spahr also enjoys the provision of direct clinical services and has extensive experience with depression, anxiety, body image, addictions, trauma, and family relationships.
ALEAH SNIDER, CASE MANAGER
Aleah Snider is our Intake/Discharge Coordinator and Case Manager. She has been working in the field of mental health and substance abuse for over five years and has a personal experience in this area which allows her to connect with clients on a meaningful and supportive level. Aleah’s position creates opportunities for developing achievable aftercare goals collaboratively with clients which are tailored to the client’s circumstances; therefore, promoting the goal of longer-term recovery. She creates a safe environment for clients to feel comfortable and supported during their treatment process as well as after completion with continued communication after discharge. Her position also allows for her to meet with clients on a weekly basis to assist clients with all work or disability related issues so that the client can focus on their recovery, self-care, and treatment program. Aleah’s dedication to her work and clients has driven her to continue her education in Psychology and Addiction Studies.
GARY REMPE, M.A., LMFT, PRIMARY THERAPIST
Gary’s commitment to treatment is best seen through a fifteen-year work history that includes providing a broad range of mental health services to children, teens and families, foster care and at-risk youth, seniors and the physically disabled, as well as individuals with chronic or acute mentally illness and co-occurring substance use disorders. He has found success in the treatment of individuals suffering from traumatic or acute stress, depression and anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behavior and substance use. His work has also included services to low-income families and children struggling with violence or abuse, mental illness, behavioral disorders, learning differences, physical illness, parental loss and traumatic grief. He uses a psycho-dynamic perspective with a cognitive-behavioral and narrative therapies approach to treatment. He believes each individual, couple, or family can heal through this process, improve their relationships and achieve a greater quality of life.
JAMIE BELTON, COUNSELOR, CADAC II
Jamie is a seasoned professional in the field of Substance Abuse with over 13 years of experience. She graduated from Bakersfield State University in 2008 with a completion in Drug and Alcohol Studies. Jamie is a certified CADC ll and is accredited in Domestic Violence as a first responder. As an experienced counselor, Jamie specializes in facilitating state approved curriculums and provides her clients with education in restructuring new lifestyles and learning vital life skills. Jamie utilizes motivational interviewing, active listening, and CBT which includes other various counseling techniques. She demonstrates the ability to build strong rapport with the vast population she works with in a relatable way holding a deep passion for the work she does and the people who struggle with addiction.
TANYA NORD, MA, MFTI, C.HT
I am a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master/Teacher and a Marriage Family Therapist Intern. I have enjoyed success in my private practice as a Healing Art Practitioner specializing in Reiki and Pranic healing since 1992, as a Clinical Hypnotherapist since 2001, and as a Marriage Family Therapist Intern since 2009.
I find that the combination of my training and honed skills makes me uniquely suited to guide my clients through whatever challenges they wish to overcome and help them realize, and even surpass, their personal goals.
It is my conviction that each of us has within ourselves an infinite well of resources just waiting to be tapped; and it is my passion to help clients discover and cultivate their own unique gifts that will bring them joy and fulfillment in every area of their lives.
SEAN COE, LCSW
Sean Coe has been a clinical therapist for over 10 years providing therapeutic services for clients. He has been working in the addiction field for over 5 years working with clients to overcome their addictions, rebuild their lives, and repair family relationships. Sean specializes in working with family dynamics and mending strained family relationships. He also specializes in helping clients manage anxiety while building healthy life coping skills to promote healthy self esteem and self-authority. This allows clients to be able to live happier and healthier lives and promote recovery and relapse prevention. Sean is extremely honored and excited to be part of a recovery center that focuses on the clients and families well being and provides them an opportunity to rebuild the damage their addiction has done while setting a healthy foundation for the happier and healthier life they are building with the assistance of Valley Recovery.
CHRIS NELSON, COUNSELOR, SUDCC
Chris has worked in the field of addiction for over three years, working on his Associates of Science in Addiction Studies, and plans on continuing his education to become an LMFT. He has a wide range of experience in substance abuse, including motivational interviewing, CBT, and relapse prevention. Chris has great success in meeting clients where they are mentally and emotionally and building rapport with a diverse population of clients towards personal growth. Chris has been an active member in the recovery community for over seven years and is greatly experienced in the 12 steps.
RICK MACROREY, C.A.D.A.C-C.A.S.
Rick Macrory is a certified Chemical Dependent Counselor who has had experience as a case manager and facilitator in many treatment facilities, as well as extensive knowledge on how to work recovery in his life. Rick attended Point Loma College in San Diego where he studied Business Administration. Rick has excelled in sports and developed the art of working as a team player. He brings to our program compassion, love of recovery and straight talk. He is passionate about recovery and about helping our clients change the direction of their lives. Rick creates a trusting, vulnerable environment for our clients to navigate the most difficult emotional work.
MARLEE SIMON, MC-BC
Marlee Simon, MT-BC is a Board-Certified Music Therapist in Los Angeles, CA. She has been with us at Valley Recovery Center since we opened our Newhall residential care facility in 2015. Music therapy allows clients to explore their recovery process in fun, safe, noninvasive, and motivating ways through music. At Valley Recovery Center, clients participate in therapeutic, music interventions—such as receptive music listening, songwriting, lyric analysis and discussion, instrumental improvisation, and music and meditation—to express themselves, connect with peers, and develop coping techniques and transferable skills for recovery. Music therapy is an accessible modality of treatment for all ages and abilities; no prior music experience or skill is necessary to participate. “Music is a universal language that be used purposefully to motive, connect, heal, and inspire people. I am passionate about helping people to discover and actualize their fullest potential. It is my passion and purpose in life to provide opportunities for people to explore their sense of self and to enhance their quality of life with music.” Marlee received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Therapy with a minor in Psychology from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, and received her Associate’s Degree in Psychology from College of the Canyons in Valencia, California. For more information about Music Therapy, visit melimusicllc.com (Meli Music LLC – Los Angeles-based music therapy services) and musictherapy.org (American Music Therapy Assocation).
Jennifer Poynter is a yoga and meditation teacher who focuses on health and healing underserved communities and those impacted by trauma and abuse. Her classes are held in studios, drug rehabs, homeless shelters, and prisons. She has multiple certifications in yoga, meditation, yoga for trauma, and Tai Chi Qong. The power of yoga has helped her grow stronger emotionally, physically, spiritually, and artistically. Her care filled, balanced teaching style allows students to release tension and anxiety and open up to the knowledge, wisdom, and creativity that is already inside each of them.
RHONDA SLOAN, DARING WAY
Rhonda Sloan, Licensed Marriage and Family therapist, was a graduate of Phillips Graduate University with a Masters in Psychology and a specialty in Post Modern Therapy. Throughout her career as a therapist, she has worked with diverse populations in a wide variety of settings. These include her own private practice, group private practice, residential treatment centers, intensive outpatient programs, community clinics, school settings, juvenile probation camps, HIV clinics and working with the entertainment industry. She feels very fortunate to have trained with researcher and Ph.D., Brene Brown’s executive team and has been a Certified Daring Way Specialist for over six years. She incorporates the Daring Way and Rising Strong Curriculum in groups at various inpatient and outpatient treatment centers as well as with her clients in individual sessions. Rhonda has worked with an array of various diagnoses, including: Anxiety, Depression, P.T.S.D., Bipolar, Codependency, Couples and Family work. Her passion is working with clients and families struggling with the disease of addiction and helping them lead their lives in a healthy, happy and supported way. She takes a collaborative approach with her clients always building the therapeutic relationship based on mutual respect and trust and working on identifying and changing their maladaptive coping skills and learning to manage their mental health challenges.
WESLEY MCCARTHEY, LEAD TECHNICIAN
Wesley has been working in the field of addiction and mental health for over 4 years, and has a strong knowledge in relapse prevention, crisis intervention, and co-occurring disorders. Through his work, Wesley has provided clients with the utmost support and encouragement towards the benefit of their long term goals in recovery. His commitment and dedication to the drug and alcohol field has motivated him to continue on with his education, pursuing certification as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor. Wesley is passionate about his work in the field of substance use and mental health – as he has personal experience with both – allowing him to connect and genuinely understand our clients at every level of their treatment from detoxification to graduation.
MELVIN RIERA-CHAVEZ, CHEF
Long before Melvin acquired his formal education in 2005 from Le Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts he has always had a love of food. After being a sous-chef in many high end steak houses and Fusion restaurants from coast to coast for many years, he decided to help others by focusing on a health and wellness lifestyle. By creating delicious, nutritious meals he is able to fuel your journey towards a better tomorrow. Using a healthy, season ingredient driven menu along with local and international flavors, he will use good food to put you in a good mood.
AKIRA FUNAHASHI, BREATHWORK
Dr. Akira Funahashi, OTD, OTR/L, is a breathwork facilitator on the Breathwork for Recovery team, an occupational therapist, turntablist, and healer. Breathwork is instrumental in Akira’s healing journey. Grateful for what breathwork provides her, Akira is inspired to share the power of breathwork with others who are open and ready to heal. As a transgender female, Akira has particular interests in helping others in the LGBTQ community, as well as individuals who struggle with childhood and sexual abuse trauma. Akira earned an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from the University of Cal Poly Pomona and a Master’s and Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California. She has over a decade of experience as a clinical and school-based occupational therapist, specializing in pediatrics. With over 20 years of professional and competitive DJ experience, Akira is deeply passionate about turntablism and devotes her life to the DJ arts. She is driven to fuse her love for DJing and her experience as an occupational therapist to develop new forms of expression and healing. Akira is currently completing David Elliot’s, Healer Trainings, certification program. Her core values are education, awareness, and empowerment.
Jason Harper, Lead Technician
Jason Harper came to us in 2016 with 12+ years of experience working in the alcohol and drug dependency profession. Jason’s passion is working with individuals beginning their journey with recovery. He shows empathy and compassion to all he comes in contact with his goal to make our clients feel safe and welcomed. Jason has the ability to calm all around him, especially in the time of need or in a crisis situation. Jason continues his education in Addiction Studies at Glendale and he himself has 16+ years of sobriety.
A PASSION FOR HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Everyone at Valley Recovery Center knows that they are part of a team working together to provide our patients with the care and support they need to achieve sobriety. We are all deeply interested in the health and the success of our patients, and we take tremendous pride in the work we do. It truly feels great to see our patients return to their families and communities and enjoy a lasting recovery.
WIDE RANGE OF SKILL SETS
Our staff includes many other professionals, including hypnotherapists, art therapists, music therapists, and pet therapists, to name just a few. They share our commitment to providing patients with personalized care, and they give patients options to find treatment programs that they can really connect with. We know that each patient is unique, so we don’t expect that the same treatment will work for everyone. Instead, we provide patients with many options, so they will be able to find the treatment that works for them.