Dr. Minoo Shilati is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in addressing mental health and addiction related concerns. She is a certified grief and loss specialist and certified gambling addiction provider with the state of California. She has been a guest speaker and lecturer, most recently addressing the necessity for increased education regarding addiction services and awareness of cultural stigma. She is a former owner of a prestigious Malibu sober living facility and former international representative assisting victims of the Bam, Iran earthquake. Seeing a lack of high-quality mental health services available in the Thousand Oaks area, Dr. Shilati found Vantage Point Lifestyle Management and Recovery Center with a vision of becoming a positive influence in the community. She continues to be involved in the day-to-day operations of the business on both a clinical and administrative level.
Dr. Shilati has been involved in the behavioral health community for over 15 years. In addition to her extensive involvement in all aspects of VP’s business, she also serves as the CEO and COO of Seasons Recovery Centers, LLC., and Gate of Recovery, Inc. She is an expert industry consultant in the field of behavioral health providing feedback and insight to the existing trends of the dynamic marketplace. Dr. Shilati has lectured at various university settings including CSUN, Pepperdine, California Lutheran University, and Oxnard College, presenting on a variety of topics including Teenage Suicide, Dual-Diagnosis, PTSD, Family Process and Addiction. Additionally, she has been a media resource giving interviews to US News and World Report, E! Entertainment News, Rewired Radio and Coolchange Radio. She has served as an international ambassador and has participated in two separate medical and relief expeditions overseas, in Africa and the Middle East. She is the daughter of VP’s founder.
Mark provides a uniquely-situated perspective to the Vantage Point management team as its Chief Operations Officer, combining his legal and counseling backgrounds together to better understand and serve the needs of each individual at Vantage Point, both client and staff alike.
After graduating from UCSB with degrees in Psychology and Chemistry, Mark worked for nearly eight years as an academic counselor at UCLA. Eager to apply his counseling skills in another field, Mark pursued a degree in law at Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. While there, he gained invaluable experience in the areas of litigation, business associations, and employment practices. These experiences have provided Mark with a distinctive viewpoint on the American legal system and how the law and legal concepts weave themselves into all of our daily lives.
As Vantage Point seeks to fulfill its mission and vision, Mark utilizes his skills and experiences to ensure that we meet and exceed the highest standards set forth by the State of California and our industry. He is a regular practitioner of fitness and relishes the opportunity to be active outdoors. A native Californian, Mark loves traveling beyond the state’s borders and aims to visit each continent in his voyages (even Antarctica).
Adam brings his unique blend of business, marketing and life coaching experience to the Vantage Point management team. Graduating with a BS in Business Management, Adam spent the beginning of his career as a financial advisor for AXA Financial. It was here where Adam discovered his passion for marketing and brand development. For the next 10 years, Adam went on to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors and a career in event marketing and promotions, where he worked with many of the recognized brands bringing them to life in both a traditional and experiential ways.
In 2008, as a direct result of Adam’s own personal transformation, he left his event marketing and promotions career behind and began pursuing his true calling of working with individuals who yearned to transform their lives and live to their fullest potential. He went on to receive his life coaching certification from iPEC, the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching in March 2009. Adam immediately gained valuable experience working with various drug and alcohol treatment centers in the Los Angeles area as both a Recovery Empowerment Coach and Management Consultant. He joined Vantage Point, October, 2011 offering group and individual empowerment coaching. His programming, which combines down-to-earth solutions with the seven levels of consciousness, spiritual wisdom and holistic technologies passed down through the ages, has been embraced by clients and industry professionals alike. Adam is a regular practitioner of yoga, fitness and a vast array of spiritual practices.
Heather Heidt is a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, serving as Assistant Clinical Director at Vantage Point Recovery and Lifestyle Management.
Prior to pursuing a career in psychotherapy, Heather was working in management and sales for 15 years, when she found herself called to help others on a deeper level.
Heather took a leap of faith, moved to San Francisco, and soon secured a job for an Inpatient Facility treating co-occurring disorders. It was not long before she gained experience in Case Management, Group Facilitation, and as a Utilization Review Specialist. Working her way to Assistant Program Director, she coordinated the care for adults, adolescents, LGBT, and families struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues. Heather has worked in all levels of treatment including Detox, Inpatient/Residential, Partial Hospitalization, and Intensive Outpatient. Her experience in various levels of care as well as her skills in Assessment and Intake allow her to provide individualized treatment and exceptional attention to clients’ needs.
As a result of these experiences, Heather yearned for more knowledge and education. Relocating back to Southern California, Heather obtained her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology at Pepperdine University. During this time, she was certified as a Yoga Barre Instructor in order to gain a fuller understanding of the mind-body connection, which, she continues to utilize with clients. Heather’s belief about the importance of continued growth and learning also found her acquiring a Life Coach Certification.
Heather also works in Private Practice, providing individual therapy for those struggling with substance abuse, anxiety, depression, mood disorders, trauma, and self-esteem issues. She implements solution-focused therapy, CBT, communication skills training, family systems, motivational interviewing and various other modalities, depending on the specific needs of the client.
Heather is a member of California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. She has received training in Group Therapy Facilitation and Family and Addiction.
When not at work, Heather spends her time practicing yoga, investigating how food and nutrition affects our mind and body, exploring nature, and mentoring women in the community.
Courtney Gwyn is a Marriage & Family Therapist registered with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. He holds BA from the University of Rhode Island and a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University.
Courtney trained at Pasadena Mental Health Center where he provided individual therapy, family therapy and facilitated adolescent groups for the 1st Offender Program in conjunction with the Pasadena Police Department. He also spent a year at the Cancer Support Community, co-facilitating groups and seeing individual clients.
Careers as a Wall St Bond Dealer and a Commercial Fisherman have given him a broad range of life experience. With a background in Existential/Humanistic Psychology and extensive experience with substance dependence issues, Courtney is passionate about his work and is ready to collaborate with you in navigating toward a more comfortable, fulfilling life.
April Haney is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She earned her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from University of Santa Monica, an experiential program with an emphasis in spirituality. She also holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Pepperdine University School of Law.
Prior to joining the Vantage Point Team, April worked at Well Baby Center, which specializes in early intervention in primary attachment relationships. She provided individual, couples, and family therapy, facilitated Mindful Parenting Groups, and taught Reflective Parenting classes. She also worked as an on-campus school counselor for Outreach Concern and trained at California Graduate Institute Counseling Center. She has experience working with adults, adolescents, and children on a wide range of issues, including addiction, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism spectrum disorders, domestic violence, physical and sexual abuse, and the impact of divorce.
April’s varied background provides her with a multidimensional approach to treatment. Her experiences as a former actress in theater, television, and film inform the “Act-It-Out” group she facilitates at Vantage Point, which is a combination of drama therapy and psychodrama. She has attended numerous workshops and conferences that focus on attachment theory, developmental neuroscience, contemporary psychoanalysis, and couples therapy. In addition, her legal education provides her with a unique sensitivity to the legal and ethical issues associated with the practice of psychotherapy.
Rhonda J. David brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Vantage Point. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) specializing in Personality and Psychopathology. She earned her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from California Lutheran University (CLU) and achieved her California Licensure in 1996.
She is a professional member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists with extensive training in Diagnostic Assessment, Systems Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Intervention Therapy, Group Therapy, Addiction Treatment, Crisis Intervention and Systematic Desensitization. She considers it a great privilege to help those who are suffering in emotional pain to find a pathway to peace, self-acceptance, satisfying relationships and a new way of positive living.
Complimenting her professional identity, she is an outspoken advocate for the needs of Orphans and an active volunteer at the Ventura County Animal Shelter.
Dr. Gitty V. Rassouli is a bilingual English-Persian Psychological Assistant, MFTI/ATI, who has served children and youth population within several agencies with clinical and school-based settings. She has conducted numerous family therapy sessions as well as meetings with teachers and school personnel to assist hundreds of clients from diverse socioeconomic and psycho-social backgrounds.
Dr. Rassouli completed her undergraduate studies in economics and art history at the University of New Mexico and completed her graduate studies in marriage & family therapy and received her Masters of Psychology & Art Therapy degree from Phillips Graduate Institute in Los Angeles in 2003. She continued her studies at Ryokan College in Los Angeles, where she received her Doctor of Psychology Degree in Clinical Psychology in 2005.
Dr. Rassouli’seducation has focused on family dynamics, narrative, art and creative therapy. She has researched extensively in family therapy, general psychotherapy, and assessment and treatment of behavioral and deficit disorders and has developed and implemented treatment plans in educational arenas, and collaborated with school psychologists, principals and teachers.
As a psychologist, Dr. Rassouli worked at El Centro De Amistad in Los Angeles for three years, facilitating individual and group mental health counseling to children ages 5-18 as school based mental health therapist and collaborated with health-service professionals to develop treatment plans for emotionally disturbed adolescents. From 2005 until 2007 she held a position as Psychological Assistant/ MFTI/ATI at Advanced Psychological Services where she implemented art therapy and play therapy techniques within the Post Modern approach, Solution Focused, Narrative and Object Relations interventions.
Specializing in Gentle Yoga, Guided Meditation, and Restorative Yoga, Robbi La Londe is certified at the RYT-500 and E-RYT-200 levels with the Yoga Alliance and is a member of Namasta. Robbi leads guided meditations employing the technique of Yoga Nidra, and teaches Mindfulness Meditation based on the instruction of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn of the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Center for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. Robbi is also a professional artist painting in watercolors, oils, and acrylics, as well as designing and fabricating jewelry incorporating various metals and glass. She shares her love of creativity with VP clients by designing and facilitating artistic projects to encourage self-expression through engaging, pleasurable activities that calm the mind and lift the spirit. Her Master’s Degree in education and over 29 years of teaching experience inform her approach to whatever modalities she is instructing. Robbi’s teaching style is warm, supportive, and very nurturing.
Surreina is a certified clinical Hypnotherapist, certified Reiki practitioner and certified yoga teacher of Kundalini, Hatha, Vinyasa, and Prenatal Yoga. Surreina began teaching group exercise in 1993, practicing yoga and various spiritual healing modalities in the year 2000, then teaching yoga and meditation in 2003. Surreina blends all of her training together in her classes and sessions, specializing in self-healing, self-empowerment and self-mastery. Her classes are highly rejuvenating, igniting a deep appreciation for yoga and energy medicine while affirming the truth that within us all resides the blueprint for a radiantly healthy happy life. Surreina finds inspiration in the teachings and guidance of Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith, Abraham-Hicks, Amma and Yogi Bhajan. Surreina cultivates happiness and spiritual connection through the practice of bhakti yoga, affirmative prayer, ecstatic dance, a diet rich in organic fresh foods and daily sadhana that keeps her rooted in a life of gratitude, compassion and joy.
Ellen Morano took Pranic Healing in the Philippines with the Founder-Grandmaster Choa Kok Sui in 1993. Since then she has moved to California where she has started multiple Pranic Healing Clinics throughout the San Fernando Valley and a Private Healing Practice.
She is an Associate Certified Pranic Healer and a Certified Pranic Healing Instructor for the US Pranic Healing Center and Master Stephen Co.
Jacqueline Pinchuk is a registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern. She attended UC Irvine for her undergraduate studies and California Lutheran University for her Master of Counseling Psychology. She enjoys promoting the importance of balance, boundary setting, and self-care. Jacqueline not only treats clients, but she also communicates with insurance companies and advocates for client care.
Tracey Branch is a native Southern Californian, born and raised in Ventura County. Tracey has been in the medical administration profession for over 20 years. Tracey is active in giving back to the community as well as dedicated to her position at Vantage Point Recovery Center. Tracey is proficient in all aspect of the inner workings of our center. Please fill free to contact her with any questions about our program, insurance coverage, group and individual scheduling or for any concerns you might have.
Monique obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from California State University Northridge (CSUN). Monique comes to Vantage Point from Community Counseling Services; a mental health training facility where she served as an Administrative Assistant for the School of Graduate Psychology at California Lutheran University (CLU) for almost 5 years. Prior to this, Monique was a private Piano Teacher, a Music and Classroom Teacher for 20 years. She has also served in the retail industry in sales and customer service for Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. Monique enjoys reading, running, the theater, movies, going to the spa, dogs, traveling, playing piano and spending time with family and friends.
Sandra Vargas comes to Vantage Point after having graduated from California State University Northridge with a BA in Communication Studies. Originally from Northern California Sandra has a vast wealth of experience with community outreach, sales and marketing. Having previously worked closely with Community Action Agencies throughout the United States it became apparent that being part of a community that aims to assist individuals struggling with managing life events was something she had to continually be involved in. That’s why it makes perfect sense Sandra has joined our VP team. As Marketing Coordinator she strives to further develop and maintain community resources. Besides being a part of the VP family Sandra loves to travel. Having been to Nepal and Thailand her next planned adventure is Peru. As the poet Rumi states, “Travel brings power and love back to your life,” she believes opening your heart to exploring beauty and diversity within other cultures broadens your awareness and your capacity to find joy and happiness.
Born and raised in Los Angeles at a young age Talia began to pursue a career in competitive figure skating. Struggling with her own addiction she was led on a different path, ultimately one of recovery. Through her journey in maintaining a solid sobriety and dabbling in accounting she realized her joy came from helping others that struggle with addiction. As Client Advocate Talia uses her own experience, strength and hope to connect with clients and create a safe environment for all who come to Vantage Point. When not at Vantage Point Talia enjoys spending time at the beach, hiking, Greek mythology, studying ancient history and expanding her spiritual growth through meditation. Her goal in the future is to go back to school to become a Drug and Alcohol counselor.
Christopher “CJ” Johnson provides valuable daily support and extensive leadership qualities as client advocate to our Vantage Point team and clients. Christopher joined our team shortly after re-locating to California from Arizona. His personal journey of recovery and his commitment to give back to our community has given him passion for embracing those who seek to live healthier and more complete lives. Through building these relationships with the Vantage Point community Christopher feels he has found his home with us. In his personal journey to expand his horizons, he embraces all that Southern California has to offer – enjoying travel, cooking, surfing and spending time with his family.
Britt Youssef is a Care specialist and is responsible for performing utilization review and advocating for VP clients. Britt received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology with specializations in Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology. Prior to joining VP’s team, she received over 4 years of clinical research experience, including 3 years with UC San Diego School of Medicine, performing project coordination, neuropsychological assessment, and functional magnetic resonance image (fMRI) research. She has worked with diverse clinical populations, including individuals with substance abuse and dependence, individuals with schizophrenia, and US veterans. Britt’s passion for the recovery process and future plans to pursue a medical education in addiction treatment brings her to VP. Her goal is to build on her experience by gaining a deeper perspective on the needs of an individual in treatment, instead of looking at groups on a surface level as in research.
Britt also enjoys live music, volunteering with Heal the Bay, triathlon training with the LA Tri Club, and facilitating Refuge Recovery meetings. While on her own journey of personal transformation, she found that “we should concern ourselves not so much with the pursuit of happiness, but the happiness of pursuit.” (Hector and the search for happiness)
In keeping with Vantage Points mission to connect our clients with aftercare support in the community it was very fitting to partner with Mission Oaks Counseling & Wellness Center, Inc. They are an organization for healing that provides the tools for revitalization of the mind, body, and spirit. MOCWC is staffed by professional and licensed practitioners that utilize healing modalities which support a nurturing environment for adults, adolescents, children, couples, and families. MOCWC practitioners run a series of groups as part of Vantage Point Recovery’s Everyday Health programming. For more information you can visit their website: http://www.mocwc.com/
Seeing a link between Mental Health treatment and Fitness; Vantage Point Recovery has partnered with one of the best names in the fitness and rehabilitative industry to bring quality fitness to our group programming. Proactive Sports Performance has years of experience working with the best athletes in the world as well as professional coaches who are the leading experts in their field. Their unique state of the art performance institute integrates unparalleled sports performance training with rehabilitative services. We are grateful to have them as our community partner!