Simple Recovery Addiction Treatment Professionals

Simple Recovery employs the services of a professional, multidisciplinary team to assess and address the needs of individual clients. Each team member is qualified by education, training and experience.

Simple Recovery’s clinically diverse team is comprised credentialed clinicians, including certified drug and alcohol counselors and licensed therapists who, by academic training and acquired expertise, have demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the chemical dependency field and have extensive clinical experience with individuals just like you, or your loved one.

Each staff member is encouraged to seek certification, licensure and continuing education, and Simple Recovery provides a generous tuition reimbursement benefit to defray these costs.

The Simple Recovery Team Approach

Members of Simple Recovery’s multidisciplinary team are not only expected to function as professionals representing their discipline but are also required to collaboratively integrate the techniques, skills and knowledge of other team members into each treatment planning phase. Our team members must be able to talk to clients about a variety of topics or problem areas and share input with a range of other disciplines during team meetings.

Simple Recovery Staff

Specific staff responsibilities are found in the job descriptions for each position. Simple Recovery’s multidisciplinary professional team consists of:

  • Marriage & family therapists
  • Certified addiction counselors
  • Hypnotherapists
  • Nutritionists
  • Recreation therapists

Our management staff maintains responsibility for all aspects of treatment programming and supervises respective disciplines. In addition, these members serve as an integral part of our team: performing direct client services and assisting with programs as needed.

Dr. Stephen Odom, CEO, Chief Clinical Officer

Stephen Odom is a notable healthcare and addiction treatment professional with more than 30 years of expertise in the field. He currently, serves as the CEO and Chief Clinical Officer of New Vista Behavioral Health, the parent company of Simple Recovery, Infinity Treatment Centers, Avalon Integrative Wellness and Avalon Malibu. In his distinguished and extensive career in chemical dependency treatment, Stephen has been a pioneer in the industry, and his vision is rooted by the guiding principle that people can, and do get well.

Stephen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Behavior from Covenant College, a Master’s in Experimental Psychology (Univ. of Tennessee), a Master’s in Clinical Psychology (Palo Alto University), and a Doctorate (Ph.D.) with a focus in Healthcare Administration (Capella University). He is also a licensed marriage and family therapist in the state of California.

Before joining New Vista Behavioral Health, Stephen has served as CEO & Chief Clinical Officer at Simple Recovery, where he aided the design and implementation of their unique treatment model. He also helped Simple Recovery obtain Joint Commission accreditation. Some of his experience includes, a Director’s post of Program Development for CRC Health and multiple Administrative and Clinical Director posts at various chemical dependency treatment centers and hospitals in California, including Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach and El Camino Hospital in the San Francisco Bay area. Moreover, Stephen worked in private practice and served as a university adjunct faculty member in Psychology and Child Development. Stephen is considered a substance abuse expert having published articles on Mental Health and Substance Abuse Parity, and has appeared on The Today Show and the 2016 Documentary film, California High.

Within his executive leadership role, Stephen’s empathetic and therapeutic approach has allowed him to connect not only with his clinical teams but each client who walks through the door.

Poppy Carmelo, CADC II, Executive Director

In joining the Simple Recovery team, Poppy brings 10+ years of experience in direct substance abuse/addiction work and a contagious passion of hope in Recovery. Her gentle and honest nature allows her to balance empathy with honest communication, providing a seemingly effortless, immediate gain of trust and accountability with clients and their families. Under the scope of her professional experience, Poppy is suitable to work with various addictions and co-occurring disorders.

Poppy’s professional skills continue to expand in her role as Simple Recovery’s Executive Director and in her pursuit to continue learning through continuing education and counseling licensure.

Poppy and her son Phillip reside in Orange County, California. As a family they share their free time camping, hiking and at the beach. In addition Poppy’s personal interests and hobbies are strongly rooted in her recovery and involvement focused on bettering the world through healing, love, and faith.

Adam Swanson, LMFT, Clinical Director

Adam is a compassionate clinician and team leader who strives to see the best in his clients, especially when they do not see it themselves. He is a Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California and received his Master’s of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from California State University, Long Beach. Adam has experience utilizing a variety of therapeutic approaches including Gestalt, Psychodynamic, Art, Play, Dialectical Behavioral, Cognitive Behavioral and Family Systems Therapy. In addition to his work in the field of addiction and recovery, he has also had the opportunity to provide therapeutic services to a diverse client population throughout his career including adults, children, adolescents, couples, and families. Outside of work, Adam enjoys surfing at one of the local beaches or spending time with his family.

Sean Johnson, LMFT, Therapist

Throughout his career, Sean Johnson has held various positions in the psychology and business fields. With more than 10 years experience in the mental health, Sean’s level of clinical experience ranges from treatment for severe schizophrenia to employee assistance.

After obtaining his Masters in Psychology from Pepperdine University, Sean’s internships provided multiple work environments including acute psychiatric hospitals, community mental health clinics, and at-risk youth programs.

As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Sean has provided therapeutic and case management services at a psychiatric rehabilitation program and assisted clients and families in a private practice setting. Since March of 2015, Sean has become an integral part of the clinical treatment team here at Simple Recovery.

Kurtis Girard, Director of Admissions

Kurtis entered the drug and alcohol treatment industry in 2014, some years after his own introduction to recovery. his desire to positively affect others, especially those affected by addiction was sprung out of gratitude for his own experience and followed by an eagerness to learn effective techniques landed him in admissions departments in Ventura and Los Angeles County facilities. After moving to Orange County with his wife has found himself excited to land at Simple Recovery. In addition to his work in the field, He is a member of National Ski Patrol working at local ski resorts during the winter months as the medical personnel, he also is an avid surfer and free-diver.

Chelsea Phernetton, Admissions Coordinator

Chelsea Phernetton is an Admission Coordinator with Simple Recovery. Chelsea came from high volume call centers providing supreme customer service, sales, and retention. Making the switch to the treatment industry has been a rewarding transition. She is passionate about being on the forefront of the recovery process. Chelsea has found that her drive comes from the service work she does within her community. Volunteering and helping others is the bright spot of her life that motivates her hard work and dedication to Simple Recovery.

Albert Perez, CADAC, Intensive Outpatient Case Manager

Albert Perez joined Simple Recovery in November 2017. He is a certified addiction treatment counselor through CAADE and is pursuing a degree in Human Services. With 7 years of experience in the field, Albert has seen the evidence that treatment works. Albert specializes on Evidence-Based Relapse Prevention and Early Recovery Skills with the ability to connect with clients and educate them in a way that keeps them engaged and interested. Albert’s passion is to see clients pass milestones in their recovery.

Albert’s background experience consists of working with three treatment centers which contract with the Orange County Health Care Agency in California. Albert once had a struggle with addiction but through treatment discovered the truths about the Disease Model of Chemical Dependency and discovered that it wasn’t a moral issue, but a disease. Since his awakening moment, Albert’s purpose in life is to share the freedom he has discovered to those who are chained by addiction.

Albert is also a motivational speaker and volunteers at his local community church. Albert enjoys sports, healthy eating, and physical fitness.

Daniel Toledo, Operations Manager

Since joining Simple Recovery in 2013, Daniel has supported Simple Recovery as the Operations Manager. Daniel is responsible for the scheduling and management of the day-to-day functioning of our residential home and outpatient center. This includes the schedule and safety of our client’s and the maintenance of our facilities.

Stephanie Hakim, Clinical Administrative Assistant

Stephanie Hakim joined Simple Recovery in 2015 as a clinical support technician. Within her role Stephanie has grown to work directly under our Executive Director and Clinical Director assisting the clinical team in the crucial operations of Simple Recovery’s clinical services. Stephanie’s passion for helping women find recovery is her motivation for pursuing further education and experience within Addiction Treatment. Currently, Stephanie is responsible for the coordination and execution of our monthly Family Program, client satisfaction surveys, the schedule of ancillary services and groups, as well as keeping track of clinical documentation and all other administrative tasks related to our clinical services.

Adrienne Carpenter, Occupational Therapist

Adrienne Carpenter joined the team as an Occupational Therapist at Simple Recovery in August 2017. She completed her masters degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of New England in May of 2017 and her undergraduate degree from Saint Michael’s College in 2008. After completing her undergraduate degree, Adrienne worked with transitioning adolescents from a high security detention facility in Vermont, to independent living where she initially fell in love with the field of Occupational Therapy. More recently, Adrienne worked at Spring Harbor Hospital in the Inpatient Adolescent Psychiatric unit working to stabilize teens experiencing acute psychological symptoms.

In her free time, Adrienne enjoys playing basketball, guitar, hiking, enjoying the beautiful California weather and spending time with her pets and fiancé. If you would like to know more about what Occupational Therapy does in chemical dependency, reach out and ask!

Chris Logan, CADC-II, ICADC, Program Supervisor

Chris Logan came to Simple Recovery in February 2014. After working with adolescents in treatment for over five years, his personal battle with addiction and alcoholism drove him to help other men find themselves and see that there is truly a better way of life. His experience as both a counselor and case manager has equipped him with a uniquely powerful way to connect with each client.

A sincere kid-at-heart, he loves to have fun. Chris enjoys overseeing our residential and outpatient programming, providing one-on-one support to clients in early sobriety and overseeing the clinical programming at each facility. In addition, Chris works with alumni clients to build the Simple Recovery Alumni Connection.

Michael Chase RADT-I, Intensive Outpatient Case Manager

Chase joined Simple Recovery in 2013 as a lead clinical support technician, and house manager for transitioning clients. After retiring from his union construction job of 30 years, Chase decided to pursue a career in recovery and help men build a foundation for sobriety. During his first two years at Simple Recovery, Chase attended UCLA and graduated with a certificate degree in Drug and Alcohol Counseling. He now works with transitioning clients as an Intensive Outpatient Case Manager, helping clients reintegrate back into the community outside the confines of treatment.

On the weekend, you can find Chase working on his latest Hot Rod, at the beach surfing, or spending time with his daughter.

Scott Sandland, CHt Certified Hypnotherapist

Scott Sandland is a highly sought-after practitioner for the medical and dental applications of hypnosis. He has risen to a level of expertise that has attracted the attention of hospitals, private practice doctors and drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers. Scott has worked with many clinicians in the fields of pain control and addictions. His success has led to a position on the board of directors for the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association and a chapter presidency for the International Association of Counselors and Therapists.

In his private sessions, as well as during group processes, Scott’s focus is on helping individuals achieve their goals, and walk through their fears.

Alexis Maron, M.A. Drama Therapist

Alexis Maron’s love for the performing arts started at age five. Since, she has harnessed a flair for the dramatic to create an exciting and unique therapeutic practice using Drama Therapy.

Alexis graduated from UCLA in 2003, and from NYU in 2010, where she earned her M.A. in Drama Therapy. While in New York, she worked with at-risk high school students, the homeless, mentally disordered, and adults battling drug addiction. Since returning to California, she has pioneered a Drama Therapy program at Orange County School of the Arts, and facilitated a Drama Therapy group for adults with Down Syndrome. She has also conducted groups at several facilities including Simple Recovery where she has been using Psychodrama as well as other Drama Therapy techniques to aid adults suffering from both drug and co-occurring addictions.

Tami Broderick, RD, CLT Nutritionist

Tami Broderick is a Certified LEAP Therapist and Nutritionist and has been in private practice for over 10 years. Tami’s expertise is in the area of nutrition as it relates to mental health and addiction; all of which includes weight loss, food sensitivities, sports nutrition, and disease management.

Her mission? “Balance life with nutrition.” Her greatest reward is in helping clients feel better. A significant part of her practice looks at food as it relates to optimal health. She spends hours researching and educating herself on the most current science and cutting edge research. Tami received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Food Administration with a minor in Chemistry from California State University Long Beach.

Bijan Risdana, Chef

Bijan Risdana is the head chef for Simple Recovery. Previously a Life Support Engineer at the San Francisco Aquarium, this Orange County native returned home to pursue his life-long interest in cooking. Bijan graduated from Laguna Beach Culinary Arts Institute and seamlessly transitioned from apprentice to head chef at the French inspired Picayo, a successful Laguna Beach restaurant in the early 2000’s. For the last 14 years, Bijan Risdana has become a well-known chef within the county of Orange, and is an expert in self-reinvention. He is a friendly, fun and supportive member of Simple Recovery who specializes in healthy conscious cuisine that is implemented into the health and wellness guide for clients at Simple Recovery.

Derynne Fuhrer, Yoga Instructor & Somatic Healing Coach, RYT 200, RYT 500, Y12SR

In Derynne’s 20 years of practicing yoga, her experience overtime has shown that when she steps onto her mat, she is actually stepping into the metaphor of her life. By staying present with the experience and paying attention, she notices that what shows up on the mat, shows up elsewhere. With every breath taken, every flowing movement and pose held, her mind becomes quieter, and her body speaks to her through sensation and she is guided into a closer relationship with herself. Derynne’s passion for self-inquiry and yoga directed her to the field of somatic and depth psychology, somatic bodywork and Yin Yoga, where one can heal the deeper levels of the self through quiet observations of the body in response to the mind.

Outside of teaching yoga in studio classes, her passion is working with people suffering from addictions in the recovery community. Derynne currently facilitates Yoga of 12 Step Recovery groups in intensive treatment facilities. With intentional themed group process followed by a related yoga practice, she hopes to facilitate her clients’ journey into a healing journey with themselves. Derynne says, “Yoga is a beautiful tool for self discovery and healing.”

Tami DiStefano RADT-I, Residential Case Manager

Tami Distefano started her journey with Simple Recovery as one of 7 employees 4 years ago. As our family and program has grown, Tami has grown simultaneously, graduating from Los Angeles Training Institutes’s Drug and Alcohol Counseling program in 2016 to pursue case management. A passionate and warm individual, Tami is a crucial part of our team, as she builds connection with men in their first phase of treatment as our Men’s Residential Case Manager.

Prior to joining Simple Recovery, Tami worked for Veterans First for Homeless Veterans, providing case management, employment and life skills training, and community reintegration. Outside of work, Tami enjoys spending time raising her children alongside her husband, Frank.

Chelsea Brigham, Clinical Outreach Manager

Chelsea Brigham is the Clinical Outreach Manager for Simple Recovery. She is a Cum Laude graduate of California State University, Fullerton with a BA in Communications, and is a tenacious young professional in the behavioral healthcare industry. With a background in public relations and business development, Chelsea works tirelessly to build and maintain effective relationships within the behavioral health industry. She dedicates her profession to effectively branding the programs she represents, and to ensure individuals find the best possible treatment to meet their individual needs. Chelsea is a team player who brings innovation, creativity and compassion to the work that she does.