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Meet Our Staff

Our staff at Valley Recovery Center is dedicated to providing personalized treatment, and knows that everyone has a different story with different needs. Our team 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.

We Are Here For You

Your Treatment Dream Team

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Adrine Bazikyan, M.S., LMFT

Adrine Bazikyan, M.S., LMFT started her career when she first joined Valley Trauma Center as a rape crisis advocate 20 years ago. As a young therapist, she had the opportunity to work with the most vulnerable population, victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. From that point on, she started to do presentations, visit hospital settings to be with victims, provide individual counseling and crisis management, case management and participate in community outreach projects and presentations. Her learning continued and advanced when she earned her Master of Science in Counseling and started her employment as a therapist associate with Trinity Youth Services. Her learning expanded through providing treatment to individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, poor body image and relationship issues by using psycho-dynamic, existential, humanistic approach to treatment. Soon thereafter, she became a Clinical Director and started her career in Leadership. She understood the importance of leading a group of professionals in an organization, at the same time creating a program that served best for adolescent boys on probation with various mental health and substance abuse disorders. Additional leadership positions she held include Director of Clinical Quality Assurance, Utilization Review Analyst and Quality Improvement Director with Penny Lane Centers, and The People Concern. Her work continued with auditors on a state level, ensuring that clinical treatment interventions were appropriate and adequate and met the Joint Commission, State and Department of Mental Health standards. These experiences of many years helped her understand not only her love for providing and helping others grow and thrive but also help other professionals advance personally and professionally. Adrine Bazikyan is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Human Development to further her passion for knowledge and growth.

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 the 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.

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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.

Dr. Jack Kuo, MD

Dr. Jack Kuo began working in substance abuse treatment as a volunteer outreach worker for homeless teens in Waikiki. He then did residential counseling for at-risk youth in a group home as well as the homeless, mentally ill people at a transitional living program. Next, he worked as a community health outreach worker doing HIV prevention education and operating a needle exchange program with intravenous drug users. Dr. Kuo then completed his general and addiction psychiatry training at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. From 2005 to 2018 Dr. Kuo served as the Director of Psychiatric Services at the Promises Malibu residential treatment center.

Dr. Kuo has presented nationally and internationally on topics ranging from ethnic biodiversity in substance abuse and mental illness to an update on methamphetamine use disorder to an evidence-based review of virtual reality and other forms of cybertherapy in substance abuse and mental illness. In addition, he has presented extensively about videogame addiction and made several television appearances as an expert consultant on videogame addiction.

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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.


Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master/Teacher TANYA NORD, MA, MFTI, C.HT

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.

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Akira Funahasi

Akira Funahasi, Breathwork Therapist

 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.

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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.

Julio Munoz, Counselor

Julio Munoz has been with the VRC team for the last two years and in this time, he has been able to provide quality counseling services to clients with an array of difficulties. Mr. Munoz’s success stems from an understanding of providing individualized care which allows him to address underlying causes for addiction. The passion he has for substance abuse stems from personal and professional experience; thus, fostering rapport which lasts beyond treatment. These qualities make him an incredible asset to our team.

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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.

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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 (Meli Music LLC – Los Angeles-based music therapy services) and (American Music Therapy Assocation).

Jennifer Poynter, Yoga Instructor

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. 

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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.

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.

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Sammie Rae Booth, Case Manager

As the Case Manager at the Valley Recovery Treatment Center, I take great pride in creating a safe and supportive environment to allow each client to face their ugly truth without having to do it alone. I meet with clients on a weekly basis, In which I positively and eectively assist clients with work arrangements, financial responsibilities, and or advocacy on the client’s behalf, if necessary, in order to achieve wellness and autonomy for each individual. In return, clients can focus on recovery and self-care. Clients are genuinely encouraged to be mindful and to embrace the steps they are taking, nevertheless, successfully promoting the goal of long-lasting recovery. My very own journey through sobriety as well as my diverse understanding and experience has allowed me to compassionately help our clients in recovery. This being one of the hardest times of their lives, enhances my passion and has become my greatest mission and ultimate personal gratification.

Jan Click, EMDR Specialist

Jan Click is a licensed clinical social worker who has been in practice for over 40 years. She worked at the VA for 32 years treating combat and military trauma, including military sexual trauma. She is currently in private practice in the Santa Clarita Valley. Her specialty is working with clients with complex trauma, depression, anxiety and grief and loss. Ms. Click is an EMDR Certified Therapist and an EMDR Approved Consultant. She is also a Trauma Resiliency Model and Community Resiliency Model Master Trainer and Consultant.

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Christine Paz, LVN

Christine has been an LVN for 5 years. While being fairly new to Valley Recovery Center, Christine has worked with some of the most vulnerable populations such as geriatrics, mental health and now recovery. She creates a safe environment for clients to feel comfortable and supported during their treatment by managing their medications and educating them about their disease process. Her position also allows for her to meet with clients on a daily basis, as much as needed to assist clients with their medical needs and working with an IDT to treat the client holistically. Christine’s dedication to her career and passion to help others has driven her to continue her education in Bachelor of Science Studies.

Zoe Bentyne

Zoe Bentyne began her work in the behavioral health field in 2015 and immediately she developed a deep desire to further her clinical understanding as means to further assist clients in their individual journeys on the path to recovery. Zoe attended sober college school of addiction studies and began her work as a counselor soon after, applying clinical insights along with her innate warmth and compassion to help all who are struggling directly. Zoe continued to broaden her scope of how she could help those who were suffering and cofounded an all-women’s sober living creating a program based on the core principles derived from what she has seen work for so many others which included unity, accountability, and love for one another. These principles are the foundation and essence of the work Zoe embodies, and make her current role in business development a natural fit Unifying an industry through connection and commonality of helping others, accountability to ethical client care, and love for her coworkers, other professionals, and those who are currently suffering.

Zoe Bentyne
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