Morningside Recovery Leaders:
Your California Staff Members
Morningside Recovery's licensed treatment leadership ranges from Psychologists, Psychiatrists to Medical Doctors (General Practice; Specialists); Certified Chemical Dependency Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, licensed Clinical Social Workers, registered Dietitians, Cognitive Behavioral (CBT) Therapists, Licensed Acupuncturists, Certified Tai Chi and Yoga Instructors...all bolstered by our consistently client-nurturing support staff in Southern California.
Morningside Recovery works with highly qualified, recovery focused physicians to oversee the medical needs of our clients. These doctors have longstanding experience with all detoxification protocols and are licensed Suboxone and Subutex providers, as well as a members of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and California Society of Addiction Medicine.
DR. NISHANT KUMAR, D.O.
DOCTOR OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE (D.O. #10184)
Dr. Nishant Kumar is a Board Certified General and Addiction Psychiatrist as well as Board Certified in Addiction Medicine. He attended the University of California, Los Angeles where he graduated with a degree in psychobiology and economics. He then went on to pursue his medical training at Western University of Health Sciences - College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific in Pomona, California, graduating with a D.O. degree. Dr. Kumar received his psychiatry residency training at the distinguished Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, where he served as the Academic, Research and Administrative Chief Resident. He has completed advanced training in Addiction Psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he is also serving as part of the Medical Staff and supervises Psychiatrists in training.
Dr. Kumar is an approved and licensed buprenorphine provider and naltrexone injection provider. He has extensive experience working with both outpatients and inpatients in treating substance abuse disorders, eating disorders and various other psychiatric disorders. In addition to his clinical skills, he is actively involved in addiction related research and is currently a Principal Investigator for Friends Research Institute in Torrance, California.
Dr. Kumar enjoys working with diverse populations, including underprivileged adults and adolescents struggling with various psychiatric and substance abuse issues. Having grown up in Southern California, He has a deep understanding of the various challenges faced by today’s diverse communities and attempts to bring this insight into every aspect of his clinical practice.
Dr. Grosso is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 20 years of experience assisting individuals and families struggling with issues such as addiction, depression, trauma, and all levels of psychiatric care. He brings his extensive experience over the past 15 years supervising over 25 mental health professionals including Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Marriage & Family Therapists, and Clinical Social Workers to Morningside Recovery.
As Clinical Director, he supervises our clinical staff, and performs clinical reviews and case consultations of treatment services along with chart audits for medical necessity and compliance with insurance billing standards. He is especially adept at shepherding high-risk cases through the treatment process, providing coordinated treatment planning, interventions, and discharge planning with treatment providers.
Dr. Grosso holds a credential as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with the State of California. He received his Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) credential from the American Behavior Studies Institute, with an additional Certificate of Specialty in Treatment of Chemical Dependency. He received his M.A. in Psychology specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy from Chapman University. He holds a professional membership in the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT).
ELIZABETH WATERMAN, Psy.D.
PSYCHOLOGIST (PSY 25081)
Dr. Waterman began her work in the recovery field in 2008 and has held positions as a clinician in residential treatment centers, mental health clinics, and private practice. She has extensive experience in conducting psychological evaluations and disability determination evaluations for children, adolescents, and adults. Her areas of professional specialties include addiction, personality disorders, and mood and anxiety disorders. She enjoys working with clients from a variety of evidenced-based treatment approaches and is currently in the process of completing an intensive training program in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Elizabeth is dedicated to providing superior therapeutic services to clients and their families, as well as educating the public about mental illness and chemical dependency.
Elizabeth graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology (Psy.D.) from the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Orange County, in 2010. In 2012, Elizabeth became a licensed Psychologist in the state of California.
JULIANNE PIASCIK, MA, LMFT
Julianne brings diversity, passion, and dedication to her clients. As she puts it, "I love seeing people get healthy, healed, and living a life without addiction." Her extensive background in dual-diagnosis treatment began at Charlee Family Care in Riverside, CA where she counseled children and families on how to break the cycle of dysfunction that is associated with abuse. Julianne continued at Providence Community Service in Orange County, specializing in ADHD, behavioral modification, and family communication and support. She is training in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT) and is bilingual in Spanish. Julianne graduated from Hope International University with a bachelors’ degree in Psychology and later received her Masters from Hope International University.
In addition to being a registered nurse (RN), Katy is a certified AA addiction counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). She has worked extensively in children’s and family programs, dual diagnosis, and with the chronically mentally ill in a variety of settings. Katy brings this expanse of knowledge and experience in mental health to her practice as a primary therapist at Morningside Recovery. Though dual diagnosis and substance abuse are a primary focus in her work, Katy specializes in relationships, families, parenting, female issues, and eating disorders.
She has gravitated towards psychology and the community of mental health and addiction her whole life, finding that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and addressing family systems are powerful therapies. She thinks that for anyone in need of help, a team approach (like that at Morningside) is the most effective, because addiction is such a complicated illness. Katy works with her clients holistically, addressing the complex interplay of the spiritual, biological/neurological, and nutritional within their own psychology. She firmly believes that the relationships you have with people is paramount and that one person or connective experience has the power to change your perspective and make a huge difference in your life. “It’s nice to see that there is hope, and I believe more than anything that everybody’s story matters.”
Katy received her B.S. in Nursing from Loyola University Chicago, and her M.S. in Counseling from Cal State Fullerton.
CINDY LARSEN, MS, LMFT
THERAPIST (MFT 39103)
Cindy brings her vast experience to Morningside Recovery, having worked with children, adolescents, and their families addressing trauma, abuses, grief and loss, and neglect for over 25 years. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who runs the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Group and Positive Self-Esteem Group. Psychology has been a life-long pursuit for Cindy, who encourages expressive therapies and hands-on work. Over the years, she has found that therapy through games, art, and other activities allows clients to relax by focusing on the kinetic and getting them out of their heads.
Cindy emphasizes that therapy is not only effective through talking and lecture: “Sometimes, people feel less intimidated and can go to a less vulnerable place with a box of crayons . . . If you can help someone change how they think, they can change how they live. It’s a very optimistic job — we all have the power to change our lives.”
Cindy received her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Cal State Fullerton and has been a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) since 2002.
GENA RICHCREEK, MS, LMFT
THERAPIST (MFT 39162)
Gena is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) who has been working with children, adolescents, and their families for the last 13 years providing individual and family therapy. She has extensive experience working with teenage girls in foster care who were victims of severe abuse, as well as children with mental health issues such as depression, OCD, ODD, ADHD, PTSD, anxiety, trauma, abuse, and dual-diagnosis, or co-occurring substance abuse disorders.
In addition to being an individual therapist at Morningside Recovery, Gena runs our Grief and Loss Group and Relationship Group, teaching clients healthy coping skills and incorporating cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to focus on their mental health and encourage the power they have to change their own lives and avoid old, dangerous habits. “Everything always seems so bad in the moment, and it’s easy for people to get consumed. I always tell my clients, ‘Tomorrow is always a new day, and we’re lucky to have that new day!’”
Gena received her B.S. in Psychology from San Diego State University and completed her Master’s degree in Psychology at Chapman University.
JASON AUSTIN, MA, LMFT
THERAPIST (MFT 34969)
Jason is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has worked in individual, family, and group therapy for over 18 years. At Morningside, Jason runs clinical groups to provide a mental health component for clients with dual diagnosis. He has extensive experience working with juvenile offenders, children and adolescents in the foster care system, chronically mentally ill youth and adults, juveniles and adults with substance abuse, and parents with teenagers who act out.
Jason has a common sense, solution-focused approach, and seeks to provide a safe, supportive group environment for clients so they can share and explore their emotions and substance abuse. He believes that it is imperative to have someone that you trust and can share the private details and patterns of your life with in order to find new solutions to problems in daily functioning and mental health.
Jason received his Bachelor's degree from the University of California Irvine and completed his Master's degree in Clinical Psychology at Pepperdine University.
BRAD KINGMA, MBA, MFTi
THERAPIST AND CASE MANAGER
Brad brings his thorough experience in dual diagnosis and mental and behavioral health to Morningside as a therapist and case manager. His approach works with object relations and an existential model of therapy that helps the client explore their life patterns in order to develop new patterns based on their values. He believes that by getting to the core of your own life patterns and understanding how they may or may not have worked for you, that you can then create a new value-based life. Brad finds this to be a more significant way of living, which then attracts relationships that are deeper, lasting, and more fulfilling.
He firmly believes that lives don’t need substances to be significant, meaningful, and enjoyable. “I began this work to help clients heal their broken hearts and lives, and to help them choose to live bravely with their own skills, talents, and ability to love and be loved—without substances.”
Brad has a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) and is currently finishing a second Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. Brad is a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern (MFTi) employed by Morningside Recovery being supervised by Dr. Gerald Grosso (MFT 34495), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
CARLOS ALCANTARA, MSW, LCSW
LICENSED CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKER
Carlos Alcantara is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker providing individual, family, and group therapy for the past 12 years. Carlos has extensive experience working with adolescents and adults within the juvenile justice system who struggle with mental illness and co-occurring drug addictions. Carlos has experience providing trauma-focused behavioral strategies to improve daily functioning, stabilize mood, and work on sobriety. Carlos has also worked with at-risk youth and their families providing therapy in multi-family group settings and on an individual basis out in the community.
Carlos provides solution-focused, strength-based mental health services through experiential and interactive therapeutic techniques. Carlos has experience providing drug/alcohol group therapy, dance therapy, like skills counseling, and addressing issues such as trauma, grief and loss, abuse, severe mental illness, and dysfunctional family dynamics.
Carlos received his Bachelor's degree from University of California, San Diego and completed his Masters in Social Work degree from the University of Southern California.
JOEL EDWARDS, BS, CADC-II, CATC, WFR, CFR
DIRECTOR OF EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION AND OUTREACH
If you don’t see Joel in his office you will most likely find him outside doing experiential work with Morningside clients. As the Director of Experiential Education, Joel facilitates or oversees all components of Morningside’s Experiential Programming including but not limited to: equine therapy, yoga, tai-chi, therapeutic arts, acupuncture, healthy living walks, sweat lodge, drum circle, and Morningside Adventure Program (MAP). In addition Joel takes advantage of the Southern California weather and leads clients on sensory awareness hikes and ocean excursions drawing upon his local knowledge and prodigious energy.
Joel also holds several national certifications which assure his clients safety while on remote adventures. He is a Wilderness First Responder (WFR), qualified to assess and handle medical emergencies and evacuations in the field. He is also a Clinical First Responder (CFR). At times, some clients may experience overwhelming emotional or psychological issues while on adventures. Joel’s CFR training enables him to “talk them off the ledge” until they can get to a safer place.
Aside from his work a Morningside Joel is active in the faith-based recovery community working with men and women in all stages of recovery. His own triumph over addiction led him into the treatment field and allows him the opportunity to provide support, empathy, and compassion to the clients he works with. Another facet of his work with Morningside clients are the groups that he facilitates and the one-on-one counseling that he provides focusing on substance abuse, motivational interviewing, and family dynamics. With a healthy love and respect for nature he can be found on the water, trail, ski slope, or with his dogs when not working with Morningside clients.
BETSY BRADLEY, BS, CADC-II
Betsy facilitates Morningside's Psychodrama Therapy group after receiving extensive training and supervision under the instruction of Jean Campbell of the Action Institute of California. Betsy is currently establishing certification as an Experiential Therapist in Psychodrama through the American Society of Experiential Therapists (ASET). Betsy completed her undergraduate work with California State Fullerton in Human Services; the concentration being mental health. She also completed a minor in Psychology. Betsy hopes to continue towards her masters in the fall of 2013 as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).
Betsy has worked in the field of addiction and mental health recovery for over 15 years at various local 'recovery' facilities in the Newport Beach area. She received her Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC-II) credential in 2000 through Saddleback College. Her own personal experience is relatable to others embarking on their own journey into recovery. Her style and delivery often reach the most ambivalent and obstinate cases to overcome their barriers and embrace recovery while at the same time discovering their own spirituality. "I get to work in recovery and watch people's perception of life change as they transition from being trapped into an experience of having the freedom to choose life and live more responsibly."
Betsy describes psychodrama as, "A treatment modality that allows for more creativity and spontaneity allowing others to transform their reactions to life by letting out their own personal bogeymen." She says, "Facilitating groups through using psychodrama techniques has become my favorite way to engage with clients. Its like jumping onto a magic carpet ride; you never quite know where the experience will take you but the ride is fascinating. One huge benefit is that a cathartic healing often occurs in a short amount of time. No one leaves the group without some type of personal prize."
JODY MARGOLIS, MS, RD
Jody Margolis has been dedicated to educating people on nutrition for over 14 years. She is a graduate of University of California, San Diego and hold’s a Masters Degree from Boston University in Human Nutrition and Metabolism. She is a Registered Dietitian and is certified by the American Dietetic Association in Child & Adolescent Weight Management -- she has been on the Expert Panel for Parenting O.C. Magazine and speaks for national organizations on nutrition and wellness. In addition, Jody is a member of the California Dietetic Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. As a valued team member of Morningside’s Healthy Living Program, Jody takes clients on educational shopping trips, teaches seminars, assists in meal planning and provides general nutrition advice. She also helps clients discover ways to find the long-term resources they need to accomplish their recovery goals.
Jody is committed to helping her clients by providing them with food and nutrition information they can trust. As a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) Jody helps you improve your eating habits to support a healthy life and teaches you how to break the cycle of disordered eating and addiction. She believes in making small changes to your diet that can help promote a lifetime of wellness. During counseling sessions she will empower you with nutrition knowledge, give you an individualized plan that is practical, and support you with words of encouragement to help you improve your body image. Jody believes that you truly are what you eat and will find which foods and lifestyle choices are right for you at any age.
A.S. "SANDY" GILTINAN, LAc
A graduate of the Masters of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, Sandy has worked as a licensed acupuncturist in private practice and in the recovery community for 10 years. He holds national board certification and state board certification in California, Oregon and Idaho. A former professional ski and kayak guide, Sandy brings his deep connection with the natural world into his approach, helping clients find wellness and energetic balance on their path to a whole, healthy and peaceful life.
CERTIFIED YOGA INSTRUCTOR
Jeff is a dynamic and inspiring Kundalini Yoga Instructor with Morningside Recovery. He is dedicated to uplifting and serving his students in overcoming challenges including pain management and addition recovery.
Jeff is a Level 1 certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor, a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, and Level 1 Mahbound Lotus Instructor. He is also interning at Aquarian Teachers Academy while completing his Doctorate in Ayurveda.
CERTIFIED YOGA INSTRUCTOR
In addition to being a Level One Instructor in Kundalini Yoga, Erin Lavinsky is a licensed acupuncturist and certified Thought Field Therapist. Thought Field Therapy (TFT) is a needle-free acupuncture technique that activates and clears energy channels throughout the body. During TFT sessions, a trauma, event, problem, emotion, or physical complaint is held within mind while Erin stimulates a specific sequence of acupuncture points by tapping you with her fingertips. This tapping sequence, known as the Callahan technique, (along with other techniques involved in TFT), has the ability to disable and often completely eliminate the troublesome emotional and physical responses stored in the psyche. Erin believes that TFT is useful for those in recovery because it completely resolves the emotions and traumas hidden under the mask of drugs and alcohol. It can also reduce or even abolish addictive cravings, ultimately freeing all blocks in the way of creating a new healthy and free life.
TAI CHI INSTRUCTOR
Joyce is a long time practitioner as well as a student of Tai Chi Chuan. As the owner of a local martial art school, the practice of Tai Chi keeps her focused and relaxed while providing avenues for her to give back to the community. Joyce brings both patience and discipline as an instructor to clients at Morningside Recovery. Her martial arts and communications training coupled with her natural talent for making people feel at ease serve her well in this area. Joyce shares with her clients her love for Tai Chi and its many health benefits, while demonstrating her value of others making classes relaxed and enjoyable for all of her students.
Kristi brings a creative outlet for self-expression to clients at Morningside Recovery. Combining her artistic background with counseling education and 12-Step theory, Kristi facilitates workshops that promote client self-discovery and confidence building through art making and process critiques. With personal experience in overcoming addiction, Kristi understands the dilemma faced by many in early recovery of suddenly feeling emotions that sometimes cannot even be identified, let alone expressed in simple words. Clients work in a variety of media including paint, ink, clay, and sculpture that are well suited to provide alternative avenues of self-expression that stretch beyond the limits of verbal communication. Communicating intuitively with color, brush stroke, and line quality give clients a new language to express their emotions.
Kristi holds a Bachelor of Fine Art degree in Studio Art and a Bachelor of Art degree in Art History from Chapman University. She has also completed the Drug and Alcohol Counseling Studies certificate program at InterCoast Colleges and holds a certificate in Therapeutic Arts Facilitation from Chapman University’s extended education program.
*Clients are free to make use of the services of any psychiatrist, physician, or prescriber, as well as receive second opinions, while in treatment at Morningside.