Our Staff

Being on the cutting edge of improving addiction treatment has allowed Serenity to attract a professional staff at the top of their game. The Serenity medical, psychiatric and psycho-therapeutic staff are amongst the best in their fields and are well known nationwide by reputation and through media and academic publications. We strive for excellence when it comes to our treatment methods and management styles, so our staff is comprised of the most experienced and advanced addiction recovery professionals.

Dr. Mark Stahlhuth, PhD

Clinical Director

Dr Mark

Dr. Mark Stahlhuth was born in Michigan, raised outside of Denver, Colorado and moved to Southern California before entering UCLA.  He has been working in the field of addiction since entering graduate school in 1980 at California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles, where he obtained his doctorate in Clinical Psychology. After 14 years of working with adolescents in residential treatment settings, which included directing programs in drug abuse treatment as well as in childhood physical, emotional, sexual abuse and trauma, Dr. Stahlhuth went into private practice in 1995. There, he continues to work with teens as well as adults and their families in the areas of addiction and trauma.

He became Clinical Director for Seasons Recovery Centers in July of 2009. During a period spanning 34 years, Dr. Stahlhuth has also specialized in conducting psychological assessments both on an in-patient basis and in residential and outpatient settings, an experience which has its foundation in several years of graduate study in psycho-diagnostic assessment, graduate teaching assistantships, internships and work at agencies specializing in psych-diagnostic assessment.

Dr. Damon Raskin, M.D., Internist & Detox Specialist *

dr-damon-raskinDr. Damon Raskin, Board Certified in Internal Medicine, received his Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University and graduated with distinction from George Washington School of Medicine, Washington DC in 1993. He did his residency at UCLA. For the last 16 years, Dr. Raskin, has been specializing in preventive and addiction medicine. He has a full-service office with X-ray, cardiac stress testing and a lab, and holds privileges at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. Dr. Raskin has extensive experience in helping patients with detoxification from alcohol, opiates, and other drugs.

Dr. Ashley Benjamin, M.D., Psychiatrist*

Dr-BenjaminAshley Benjamin, MD, MA graduated from medical school at the University of Kansas and completed his residency at Wright State University/Wright Patterson Air Force Base while on a prestigious US Armed Forces Medical Scholarship. Throughout his 21 years of total service as an Air Force psychiatrist (8 years of active and 13 years of reserves), he has served in many capacities including being both the medical and administrative director at Tinker Air Force Base’s Substance Abuse Program. These experiences resulted in his philosophy of using the least number of medications at the lowest doses as military medicine is truly about helping patients retain maximum functionality. He retired at the rank of a Lt. Colonel and proudly served as part of the mental health flight during the devastating tornado that hit Oklahoma City in 1998. He culminated his career by receiving a prestigious reserve physician of the year award. Dr. Benjamin has tremendous versatility having worked in numerous settings but takes exceptional pride in his work as the medical director for the OKC VA Iraq/Afghanistan return program as well as being the consulting psychiatrist for a dual diagnosis program aimed at helping mothers abstain from substances with the ultimate goal of reuniting them with their children.

Prior to medical school, he graduated as valedictorian while attaining his BS in Journalism at the prestigious William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas. He then received an MA from The Ohio State University in exercise science. His track and field and cross country coaching experiences while at KU and OSU really cemented his philosophy of seeing each patient as an “athlete” with the goal of helping maximize their potential as part of a multidisciplinary team. He utilizes this concept when working with every patient at Seasons/Serenity. In addition to his 30 plus publications in various areas of mental and non-mental health topics, he is the lead co-author of the book, The Student Athlete’s College Recruitment Guide, which focuses on helping high school athletes find the best ethical, academic, and athletic fit at the college level. In addition, he is a certified IGMCA Mental Game Instructor and Life Coach.

Dr. Shahla Modir, M.D., Psychiatrist **

Psychiatrist Dr. Shahla ModirShahla Modir, M.D. completed residency in Psychiatry at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and an additional 2 year Sub-Specialty Fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry at UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Modir is double board certified. This is a rare qualification in the treatment of dual diagnosis. She is a Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology for Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry.

Dr. Modir is an Integrative Medicine expert. She is certified by UCLA to perform medical acupuncture and has completed a 2-year Clinical Ayurvedic Medicine Specialist Program. She was a Bravewell scholar and completed the Associate Fellowship at the University of Arizona Program in Integrative Medicine, headed by the famous and well-respected expert Dr. Andrew Weil. She worked as a lecturer with Dr. Deepak Chopra and as an integrative medicine specialist at the Chopra Center. She wrote a chapter for the textbook, Integrative Cardiology, edited by Jack Vogel, M.D., on Ayurvedic approaches to cardiovascular disease. Additionally, she has made guest appearances as an Addiction Expert on the Dr. Oz show, Channel 7 News, and Dr. Drew Lifechangers.

Patrick Mitchell, RASi

Director of Client Services

Patrick MitchellPatrick Mitchell is a Registered Addiction Specialist and Life Coach, who brings to Seasons many years of experience in helping people in their quest for long term sobriety.

Patrick, who himself has been in recovery many years, understands the day-to-day challenges that new clients face in early recovery.  He takes great pride in providing an environment where lives can truly change.

Supervising a caring, well trained staff, Patrick’s team provides continuing support throughout a client’s stay.  Mr. Mitchell believes “a comfortable, structured and supportive living environment is an essential part of maintaining long term sobriety.”

Patrick is constantly thinking about ways to improve treatment and engage clients in the recovery process.

Dr. Nancy B. Irwin, Psy.D

Primary Therapist & Certified Hypnotherapist

Dr NancyOriginally from Atlanta, Dr. Nancy Irwin moved to New York City in 1985 to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian.  She worked all over the country and abroad, and moved to L.A. in 1994 when she heard that Hollywood needed more blondes…

Dr. Irwin experienced an epiphany when she began volunteer work for Children of the Night, a shelter for sexually abused children in Los Angeles. This work waked up the healer in her, and prompted her to pursue a doctorate in psychology at California Southern University to specialize in the prevention and healing of sexual abuse.

Dr. Irwin graduated from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in Tarzana, California, in 2003 with honors and the Director’s Award, and has been a frequent media expert on numerous radio and TV shows, including CNN, CNBC, Fox and MSNBC.  She is a member of the American Hypnotists’ Association, the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, the California Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, is a Diplomat in the American Academy for Experts in Traumatic Stress, and serves on the Education Committee of the California Coalition on Sex Offending.   Nancy treats over 100 emotional and behavioral issues ranging from addictions to fears and phobias to sexual abuse recovery.

A certified practitioner of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), Time Line Therapy, and Emotion Free Therapy, Dr. Irwin tailors each client’s treatment to effect the most rapid transformation possible. In addition to earning a doctorate in clinical psychology from California Southern University, her background as an opera singer and a stand-up comic add heart and humor to her healing.  A powerful keynote speaker, she insists: “Change does not have to be scary and hard. It can be creative and fun.”

Dr. Irwin is also the author of YOU-TURN: CHANGING DIRECTION IN MIDLIFE (2008), a collection of “over 40 stories of people over 40” who made amazing transitions in midlife.

Dr. Melissa Chisari-Noori, Psy.D

Primary Therapist

melissa-chisari-nooriDr. Melissa Chisari-Noori is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. She obtained her Doctorate Degree in Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University. She has worked in the field of addiction and recovery for nine years in a variety of clinical settings, including residential treatment programs, intensive outpatient programs, university counseling centers, and private practice. Dr. Noori specializes in treating adolescents, adults, couples and families struggling with addiction, co-occurring disorders, relationship issues, anxiety and depression.

Dr. Noori treats residents in individual, couples and family therapy. She utilizes an active and collaborative approach to address a client’s specific needs, working towards identifying and changing patterns in a safe, compassionate environment. Dr. Noori feels truly honored to support each client on their transformative journey.

Dr. Brandi Stoops, Ph.D

Primary Therapist

Dr. Brandi StoopsDr. Brandi Stoops is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, with over 20 years of clinical experience in the field of addiction. She has worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings, as well as in private practice.

Dr. Stoops received her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. After obtaining her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, she went on to complete her doctoral studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute.

Dr. Stoops specializes in co-occurring disorders such as bipolar, depressive and anxiety disorders, PTSD and physical and sexual trauma. She has worked with a wide array of populations, including “at risk” youth and homeless men and women at programs such as Project Recovery for the Salvation Army, local high schools and a homeless winter shelter.

Dr. Stoops’s clinical work is most influenced by Attachment Theory. Attachment theory holds that it is biologically impossible to regulate our own affect continuously, without the interaction of each other. Individuals that have experienced early developmental failures and lack the ability to establish and maintain emotionally regulating attachments are prone to enlist primitive defense mechanisms, such as addiction, to regulate their emotions.

Jennifer Brady, MSW, LCSW

Psychotherapist and Certified Brainspotting Professional

Jennifer BradyMs. Brady obtained her degree in psychology from the University of Michigan in 1991. She received her Master of Social Work in 1994 from the University of Southern California. Her focus of study was children and families as well as school based social work.

Ms. Brady utilizes a wide variety of therapy techniques specifically tailored to each client. These include Brainspotting trauma therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, expressive art modalities and spiritual based therapy. She helps clients transform their lives from within using motivational interviewing techniques and compassionate reflective listening. Ms. Brady engages clients in weekly groups that include Expressive Art Therapy, Women’s Empowerment, and Writing and Process, as well as individual and family therapy sessions focused on successful recovery from addictive and co-occurring disorders.

Audrey Hope

Spiritual Therapist, RASi

Audrey HopeAudrey Hope is a Spiritual Intuitive Healer and Addiction Expert with many gifts of insight, perception and healing. Audrey served for 8 years as Director of Spiritual Counseling at a popular rehab center in Malibu. Her revolutionary techniques of transformation have been lauded by people from all walks of life, and from all around the world.

Audrey’s Spiritual Counseling is a unique process that takes one beyond the limited concepts of the mind and the boundaries of traditional therapy into the deeper soul, where true healing happens. The goal of the journey is full transformation in the physical, emotional and spiritual body. “one must work with an alchemist, one who knows how to go down into the cave with you and solve the riddle of the soul, at the ‘root of the root of the root.’ When you unlock the keys, transformation is possible and life becomes a miracle of free creation.”

Marit Lee, M.A.

Admissions Director


Ms. Lee earned both her B.A. and M.A. in Psychology from California State University Humboldt, where she researched parental bonding and substance abuse, examining the relationship between attachment and addiction.

As Admissions Director, Marit will guide you through the process of admissions from your first contact with to the moment you walk through the door and your treatment begins. She will help arrange all aspects of your initial steps to recovery. Ms. Lee’s focus is on empathy and respect. She will help you and your loved ones to understand the unique benefits of our renowned treatment program and answer any questions you might have about options for insurance or financing. Please call Marit today to learn why our program is the best choice for those seeking a dual diagnosis program in a luxury setting.

John Lloyd

Admissions Counselor / Interventionist

John Lloyd

Mr. Lloyd has worked in the drug and alcohol treatment field for over fourteen years and has earned certifications in addiction and anger management.

Most often, your first contact with our facility will be with Mr. Lloyd. He is always happy to answer any questions you might have about our treatment plan and protocol, insurance coverage and our renowned one-on-one approach to healthy, holistic recovery.  He meets you where you are, and with understanding from personal experience, helps you to design an initial path for treatment, whether for yourself or a loved one.

“The most rewarding aspect of my job is seeing a new client grow from a place of darkness and despair, to a place of hope and joy in their future.”

Lucy Minassian, MSW, LCSW

Psychotherapist and Case Manager

Lucy MinassianLucy Minassian is an interactive, solution focused therapist with over 15 years of experience in the mental health field. As a licensed clinical social worker, her work history consists of working with individuals across the age spectrum. Utilizing various evidenced based approaches she encourages family involvement as a major part in the recovery process.

Specializing in addiction and dual diagnosis treatment, Lucy integrates complementary methodologies and techniques to offer a highly personalized approach to treatment. Along with compassion and understanding, she works in a collaborative partnership to uncover strengths and attain maximum potential for growth. Lucy utilizes the therapeutic relationship to explore the underlying causes of addiction in order to successfully move through pain and trauma, to develop healthy coping skills.

Jonathan “JR” Rackley, MA, MFTI

Case Manager

Mr. Rackley, who prefers to be known as “JR,” was born and raised in Southern California. He received a BA in Psychology from California Southern University and then went on to achieve a Master degree in Psychology from the same college that inspired him so much. He has been actively involved in the addiction field for over 17 years, volunteering for organizations such as Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), as well as several addiction-based charities.

As a case manager, JR is able to provide an informative, comforting, and welcoming presence to clients, and has a demonstrated compassion for those struggling with sobriety. He believes labels should be avoided when working with clients, as clients then begin to label themselves. His approach is strategic, yet, holistic, offering nurturing acceptance, non-shaming suggestions and non-blaming coping mechanisms. JR embraces providing unconditional positive regard, validation, emotional support and respect, using techniques which encourage clients on viewing themselves as experts on their own lives.

Laura L. Smith, LCSW, CAC, CEAP

Director of Business Development and Clinical Outreach

Laura SmithBased in the New York City area, Laura comes to Seasons in Malibu with a long career of developing and implementing large, multi-sited EAP, business development and clinical outreach programs for nationally and internationally recognized chemical dependency and mental health treatment centers.

She is a graduate of both Skidmore College and Hunter College School of Social Work, and has over 20 years of experience in providing clinical treatment to adults, adolescents, couples, families and groups. She formerly had private psychotherapy practices in New York City and Greenwich, CT., was a consultant to Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and an Adjunct Professor in Marymount Manhattan’s Department of Psychology.

When it comes to recovery, Laura believes that “the only thing harder than doing it, is not doing it” and looks forward to being a resource to anyone in that process!

Karen Rose

Chief Financial Officer


Kim Lange

Nurse, RN

3 Gina Silano

Gina Silano RRW

Administrative Assistant

4 Jay Lepito

Jay Lepito

RASi, Site Manager

Anel Peraza

Anel Peraza

Site Manager

16 Leo Silva

Leo Silva

Staff Supervisor

7 Hortensia Valencia

Hortensia Valencia

Massage Therapist

8 Rachel Orselli

Rachel Orselli


9 Lisa Carmichael

Lisa Carmichael

Yoga & Craniosacral Therapy


Dennis Garber

Executive Chef

Alma Ojeda

Alma Ojeda


Ronnie Mongeon

Sous Chef


Gavin St. Cyr

Client Advocate

Milan Josovic

Client Advocate

Kaitlin Christensen

Client Advocate

Sharie Lloyd

Sharie Lloyd

Client Advocate

Nikki Quiroz

Site Manager

Rashid Roashan

Client Advocate

Sean Fulghum

Sean Fulghum

Client Advocate


Spencer Scotti

Site Manager


Brandon Berman

Site Manager
Ako Eyong

Ako Eyong

Art Therapy


Alan Hamm

Client Advocate


Vandad Gashtili

Client Advocate


Erika Keszthelyi



Gabor Keszthelyi


** “Independently affiliated Physician.”


If you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism or addiction,
please call one of our caring, admissions counselors now for a
free, no-obligation and confidential conversation about
how Serenity Malibu can help.



Serenity Malibu rehab is a luxury addiction treatment center located in beautiful Malibu, California.
(424) 835-6094
6021 GALAHAD DR Malibu, CA 90265 US
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