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.

Sheila Shilati,
Chief Operating Officer

Sheila Shilati

Sheila Shilati has been in the behavioral health department for over 17 years now. Her work in the Middle East and Africa to help people affected by natural disasters and HIV/AIDS has been remarkable. She has taught students at various universities like California State University Northridge, Pepperdine University, California Lutheran University, and Oxnard College. She has also shared her expertise on rehab trends as a media consultant.

Sheila Shilati has been the Chief Operating Officer at Seasons Recovery Centers for more than 10 years now. She handles daily tasks including but not limited to practice standards, employee relationships, licensing, compliance, and corporate infrastructure. She is highly regarded for her exceptional leadership, unwavering integrity, and strong commitment to inclusivity. Sheila completed her BA from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2001 and then completed her Doctorate from the Phillips Graduate Institute in 2009.

Gregory Skipper, M.D.,
Program Advisor, Professionals Program

Dr. Gregory Skipper

Dr. Skipper is a certified medical expert in the field of addiction medicine. He has led the Alabama Physician Health Program and has been a part of creating and overseeing the Oregon Health Professionals Program. He is also known for his EtG testing method for alcohol and is an expert when it comes to alcohol biomarkers and drug testing. Dr. Skipper is one of the key members of the National Physician Health Program Blueprint Study and has published several articles on drug testing, physician health, and contingency monitoring. He has also served as the medical director at Springbrook Hazelden. He guided professional programs at Promises, Betty Ford Center, and Bradford Health Services.

Reuben Vaisman-Tzachor, Ph.D., FACFEI, DABPS, FAPA, DABCHS,
Primary Therapist

Dr. Reuben Vaisman-Tzachor

Dr. Reuben Vaisman-Tzachar is among the finest and most experienced professionals at Seasons in Malibu. He earned his doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 1993 and has been a licensed psychologist since 1997. Over 25 years, Dr. Rueben taught clinical and forensic psychology at institutions like The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He also worked as an Attending Psychologist at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for 16 years.

He also holds various prestigious titles, including being a Fellow at the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute and a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychology Specialities in Clinical and Forensic Psychology. He is also a member of the American Board of Certification in Homeland Security. He has published more than twenty professional journal articles and co-authored eight books and three psychology-based novels. His publications are focused on addiction and chronic mental disorders. Dr. Vaisman has also been an expert witness for various courts, including the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Before his career in psychology, he spent six years as a navy captain and gun-ship commander in counter-terrorism in the Israeli Navy. This military experience helped him to lead a research project at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. During this time, he produced the National Terrorism Prevention Protocol for the George W. Bush administration. This program was integrated by the CIA in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. It has since become a part of the official curriculum at the FBI Academy. Dr. Vaisman-Tzachar knows three languages - English, Spanish, and Hebrew.

Nancy B. Irwin, Psy.D,
Primary Therapist & Certified Hypnotherapist

Dr. Nancy B. Irwin

Dr. Nancy Irwin is originally from Atlanta and started her career as a stand-up comedian in 1985 in New York. After performing across the country and abroad, she decided to move to Los Angeles in 1994. Her life completely changed when she volunteered for Children of the Night - a shelter for sexually exploited children. This sparked a passion for healing in Dr. Irwin and she began pursuing a doctorate in psychology at California Southern University. She did her specialization in preventing and healing sexual abuse.

She graduated with honors and won the Director’s Award from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2003. She then became a certified practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Time Line Therapy, and Emotion Free Therapy. Dr. Nancy Irwin has also been featured on various radio and TV shows, including CNN, CNBC, Fox, and MSNBC where she shared her expertise.

She is a member of the

  1. American Hypnosis Association
  2. The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers
  3. The California Psychological Association
  4. The Los Angeles County Psychological Association

She is also a Diplomate in the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and actively serves on the Education Committee of the California Coalition on Sex Offending.

Dr. Irwin has treated over a hundred emotional and behavioral issues like addictions, phobias, and sexual abuse trauma. She tailors each client’s treatment with her certifications in NLP, Time Line Therapy, and Emotion Free Therapy. Her background in opera singing and stand-up comedy injects humor and heart into her approach to healing. She is also a powerful keynote and emphasizes that change can be creative and fun instead of being scary and hard.

She is also an author with many articles and two books to her name including the co-authored- “Breaking Through, Stories of Hope and Recovery”.

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

Dr. Damon Raskin

Dr. Damon Raskin is board certified in internal medicine and received his Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University. In 1993 he graduated with distinction from George Washington School of Medicine in Washington DC, after which he completed 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 equipment, and a lab, and he holds privileges at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. Dr. Raskin has extensive experience helping patients safely detoxify from alcohol, opiates, and other drugs.

Matthew Goldenberg, D.O.,

Dr. Matthew Goldenberg

Dr. Matthew Goldenberg is a double board-certified psychiatrist and addiction psychiatrist. He is also a certified Medical Review Officer (MRO) and with his expertise in evaluating and treating mental health disorders he has provided addiction psychiatry consultations at some of the country’s top addiction treatment programs. He is an author, researcher, and a prestigious speaker at various local and national conferences.

Dr. Goldenberg dedicates his time to teaching by serving as a clinical instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA. He is also an assistant professor of psychiatry at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Matthew completed his fellowship at UCLA in Los Angeles, California, and his psychiatry residency at Banner University Medical Center of the University of Arizona in Phoenix, Arizona. He also has a medical degree from Midwestern University, Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is originally from Los Angeles.

Tiffany Towers, Psy.D,
Primary Therapist

Dr. Tiffany Towers

Dr. Tiffany Towers is a clinical psychologist and has a very diverse background. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Theatre from Barnard College-Columbia University in 2023. She was an executive assistant to a renowned clinical/forensic psychiatrist for several years. She then pursued her Doctorate in Clinical Forensic Psychology in 2013 at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

With over a decade of experience in the mental health and forensic psychology department, Dr. Towers has worked across Los Angeles and Ventura counties in substance abuse treatment programs, university counseling centers, community mental health centers, community mental health centers, assisted living programs, and skilled nursing facilities. She also acquired international theatrical training from institutions like the Yale School of Drama, the New York Film Academy, and the Santa Monica Playhouse, before she stepped into psychology. She utilizes her theatrical background and collaborations with nonprofit organizations to fuel the impact of drama therapy techniques on veteran reintegration.

Dr. Towers often incorporates drama therapy and narrative therapy techniques to deepen patients’ insights during her clinical practice. She enables her patients to tap into their creative instincts in shaping their life stories by teaching the drama of life experiences. She has been involved in psycho-educational presentations and in-service training for various organizations, including The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She is also an active member of the Los Angeles County Psychological Association (LACPA) and the California Psychological Association (CPA).

Daniel Hai, PsyD,
Psychologist, Primary Therapist

Dr. Daniel Hai

Dr. Daniel Hai is a licensed clinical neuropsychologist who combines the latest research with the knowledge he has gained in his years of practice and lifelong study of both western and eastern psychotherapy treatments.

As an experienced neuropsychologist, trauma specialist, somatic practitioner, and brain-behavior specialist, he treats a wide range of issues, including neurological disorders, psychiatric conditions, autism, trauma, addiction, attachment issues, personality disorders, acculturation stress, and other clinical concerns.

He is passionate about helping and incorporates a humanistic approach that recognizes the uniqueness of each client. Dr. Hai considers the whole person from a functional holistic view that seeks to identify and resolve the root of the problem rather than just treating symptoms.

Dr. Hai is a published author and an associate editor of a peer reviewed journal. Dr. Hai received professional experience, training, and education at Berkeley, Cal State University Northridge, UCLA, Fielding, Ryokan College, and Cedars Sinai Hospital. His post-doctoral clinical neuropsychology degree was from Fielding Graduate University.

Benjamin Nakanishi Psy.D,
Primary Therapist

Dr. Benjamin Nakanishi

Dr. Ben Nakanishi is a licensed clinical psychologist with extensive experience in helping people with addiction and mental health challenges. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California Santa Barbara. He got his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University.

Dr. Ben has worked in diverse fields, including community mental health, schools, correctional institutions, and private practice. He offers therapy services to individuals, groups, couples, and families. He fosters collaboration and support and is driven by a commitment to create an environment where issues are openly and honestly explored.

Dr. Nakanishe utilizes a large variety of therapeutic orientations and techniques during his therapeutic practice. His specialty, however, is in psychodynamic and psychoanalytic approaches and focuses on unconscious motivations that influence human behavior.

Jennifer Tippet, Psy.D,
Primary Therapist and Consultant

Dr. Jennifer Tippett

Dr. Jennifer Tippett is a Licensed Clinical Forensic Psychologist and aims at treating addiction and severe mental health disorders. She has worked extensively in Denver while pursuing her Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology.

Dr. Tippett secured her spot in a competitive internship program at the New York University - Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan. Here, she developed and polished her expertise in psychological assessment and helped the underserved and special populations.

She received training in the Harm Reduction model of addiction during her internship. Here she explored various treatment models for addiction. This helped her develop her to approach the various complexities of addiction and compulsive behavior from different perspectives. Soon after her internship, Dr. Tippett continued her fellowship in Massachusetts. This helped her to focus on people dealing with sexual deviancy and sexual addiction. Her experience provided her with an integrated understanding of addiction, behavioral problems, and trauma. This contributed to her cohesive understanding of these challenges that individuals face.

Dr. Tippett has refined her skills throughout her training and now she utilizes them to use mindful and evidence-based approaches. She offers personalized guidance to people seeking mental wellness. She considers it a privilege to continue working with individuals on their journey to wellness at Seasons.

Tamara Bailey, Ph.D.,
Group Facilitator, Emotional Coach, and Certified Brainspotting Specialist

Dr. Tamara Bailey

Dr. Tamara Bailey is originally from Perth, Australia. She is a postdoctoral registered psychological associate, specializing in anxiety and related mood disorders, and sport and performance psychology. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fielding Graduate University in 2020, with her research and clinical training at UCLA's Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Dr. Bailey completed her Ph.D. internship at the University of Oklahoma's Division-1 Athletics Department. Her research experience includes examining Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in individuals with treatment resistant OCD and specific phobias; Traumatic Brain Injuries: Sports concussion and the autonomic nervous system; and the role of perseverative cognition and social interaction in the relationship between mood, anxiety disorders, and cardiovascular risk.

Dr. Bailey views clients' mental health concerns from a holistic, biopsychosocial perspective utilizing therapeutic modalities including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), cognitive processing therapy (CPT), exposure response prevention therapy (ERP), mindfulness, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), clinical hypnotherapy, brainspotting, and group therapy for adults. Dr. Bailey has experience treating generalized, health, and social anxiety disorders, OCD, panic disorder, PTSD, trauma, borderline personality disorder, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar and major depressive disorder, and she provides sport and performance psychological services for athletes.

Dr. Bailey believes a strong therapeutic relationship, based on compassion, trust, empathy and collaboration is vital to delivering effective, evidence-based and complementary treatments.

John Pustaver, MDiv, MA,
Case Manager

John Pustaver

John Pustaver, MDiv, MA, completed his undergraduate education at Arizona State University majoring in fine arts. After serving the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for ten years, John found his spiritual path within the 12-Step recovery community and retired from active ministry. John then completed 60 hours of MFT coursework while working at the Betty Ford Center’s professionals program. He became the director of their Clinical Diagnostic Program after learning the science and art of conducting professional evaluations. John has been involved in professional assessments, case management and treatment for fifteen years and has found a unique way serving professionals and others in crisis. John’s responsibilities with Serenity Malibu include case management and directing and overseeing professional evaluations, including, the collection and review of collateral information, remaining in contact with referents and preparing the Comprehensive Diagnostic Evaluation (CDE) final summary report for the CDE Team.

Audrey Hope,
Spiritual Advisor, RASi

Audrey Hope

Audrey Hope is a spiritual intuitive healer and addiction treatment expert and brings her finely-tuned perception and healing to her profession. She has worked as the Director of Spiritual Counseling for eight years at a renowned rehab center in Malibu. Audrey is extremely well-known and popular because of her revolutionary techniques that aid clients in personal transformations.

Her Spiritual Counseling extends beyond traditional therapy methods. She uses a mind-focused approach to help clients tap into their deeper souls, where the actual healing occurs. She aims to guide all her clients to complete transformation including physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects. She believes the cure lies in solving the riddles of the soul. Her methods lead to a life of free creation.

Marit Lee, M.A.,
Admissions Director

Marit Lee

Marit Lee has a B.A. and M.A. degree in psychology from the California State University Humboldt. She specializes in her research on parental bonding and substance abuse and focuses on exploring the connection between attachment and addiction.

She was the Admissions Director at Seasons, Marit and she takes you through the admissions process. She is there to help you from the very beginning - upon arrival, admission, and then through treatment. She treats her clients and their families with empathy and respect. She ensures that they understand and make use of the unique benefits of the renowned treatment program. Marit Lee is available to assist patients with all aspects of treatment. This includes guiding you through your initial steps toward recovery, answering any questions that you may have, and helping with insurance and financing options. For those seeking a dual diagnosis program in a luxury setting, Marit assists you in reaching out and briefs you on why their evidence-based approach is the best in class.

Michael Malone, M.A., AMFT, APCC,
Case Manager

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, with eight years of experience, is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and Associate Professional Clinical Counselor. His expertise is in the addiction recovery field. Mike completed his graduation from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and began working in the entertainment industry before embarking on a journey to pursue a dual master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with a specialty in Spiritual and Depth Psychology and Addiction Studies from Antioch University in Los Angeles.

For the past eight years, Mike has served in various capacities in in-patient and outpatient treatment programs as a Life Coach and Clinical Consultant. It was two years ago that Mike joined the team as a Live Coach, AMFT, and APCC. He draws a wide range of therapeutic orientations but is essentially a narrative therapist. He helps clients emotionally enter and rewrite their own stories to make new meanings of stories that emerge during the therapy.

Kate Maddox, MA, LMFT,

Kate Maddox

Kate Maddox received her master’s degree in psychology from Phillips Graduate University in 2013 in the marriage and family therapy program. Kate specializes in addiction and co-occurring disorders. She has worked in a wide variety of clinical settings, including residential treatment centers for drug and alcohol addiction, family counseling centers, juvenile facilities, and private practice.

Kate incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), narrative therapy and family systems in her therapeutic practice. Kate facilitates weekly groups on DBT, narrative therapy and journaling. In addition to working as a therapist, Kate has been a journalist for nearly 30 years and believes in the power of writing to help clients express themselves and transform their lives.

Laura Smith, LCSW, CAC, CEAP,
Director of Business Development and Clinical Outreach

Laura Smith

Laura brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the team with her extensive career in developing and implementing large, multi-sited Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), business development, and clinical outreach programs. Her expertise extends to chemical dependency and mental health treatment centers across the state and abroad.

She is a graduate of the Skidmore College and Hunter College School of Social Work and boasts over 20 years of experience in providing clinical treatment to people of all ages from adolescents to adults. She also works with couples, families, and groups. Previously, she operated several private psychotherapy practices in New York and Greenwich, CT. Laura also served as a consultant to the Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and her experience also includes the role of an Adjunct Professor in Marymount Manhattan’s Department of Psychology.

Her approach to mental health and addiction recovery is rooted in the belief that “the only thing harder than doing it is not doing it.” She aims to be a part of the journey of as many people as possible and assist them in their recovery journey.

Karen Rose

Karen Rose,
Chief Financial Officer

Ashley Stavrinou

Ashley Stavrinou,
Nurse, LVN II

Gina Silano

Gina Silano RRW,
Alumni Coordinator

Jay Lepito

Jay Lepito,
RASi, Site Manager

Anel Peraza

Anel Peraza,
Sr. Site Manager

Leo Silva

Leo Silva,
Facility Director

Barbara Carey

Barbara Carey, CHT,

Rachel Orselli

Rachel Orselli,

Lisa Carmichael

Lisa Carmichael,
Yoga & Craniosacral Therapy

Dennis Garber

Dennis Garber,
Executive Chef

Carey McCorkle

Carey McCorkle, MA,
Site Manager

Nick Latu

Nick Latu,


Erin O’Bryan, CHT,
Certified Health Coach

Kaziah Mraz

Kaziah Mraz, BA,
Site Manager

Hortensia Valencia

Hortensia Valencia,
Massage Therapist

Kathryn Tate

Kathryn Tate,
Admissions Counselor

Deborah Williams

Deborah Williams, BA,
Site Manager

Susie Moreno

Susie Moreno,
Client Advocate

Sophia Khan

Sophia Khan, BA,
Client Advocate

Danielle Ray

Danielle Ray,
Site Manager

Ako Eyong

Ako Eyong,
Art Therapy

Betty Pena

Betty Pena, BA,
Client Advocate

Katie Jane Clarkson

Katie Jane Clarkson,
Client Advocate

Bobby Castro

Bobby Castro,
Client Advocate

Andrew Ringlund

Andrew Ringlund, BA,

Gail Duncan

Gail Duncan, BA,
Client Advocate

Erika Keszthelyi

Erika Keszthelyi,

Gabor Keszthelyi

Gabor Keszthelyi,

Licensed by the State Department of Health Care Services | Program ID Number: 190655AP | Program Expiration Date : 4/30/2025
Copyright © 2022 Serenity Malibu, All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy | Accessibility Statement