Gwendolyn Casella

Director of Detoxification and Chemical Dependency Programs, Thousand Oaks

“If I can make a difference in one person’s life, restore hope to an addict’s heart, my job is done. One person can make a profound difference.”

After Gwendolyn got clean and sober in 1997, she worked at Cri-Help, Inc. for over a decade in a variety of direct care and administrative roles while attending Drug and Alcohol Studies at Pierce and Mission Colleges. Since 2002, Gwen has been tied to the recovery community through her considerable experience as a sober coach and by conducting “extreme interventions” (defined as “recovery by any means necessary”). She has her own business, Recovery Services Unlimited LLC and, notably, was featured on A&E’s “Relapse, the Sober Coach Chronicles.”

Identifying integrity as the underpinning of her approach, Gwen considers herself very lucky to be trained by some amazing mentors for whom she has always had a tremendous respect.

Having worked at several treatment facilities, Gwen now passionately devotes all of her professional efforts to her role as Detox Program Coordinator at La Ventana. She believes she was meant to do this work and loves doing it. When Gwen is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and singing her heart out.

Christine Kelly

Residential Detoxification Manager, Thousand Oaks

“One of the most rewarding things about my career choice in drug and alcohol treatment is the fact that I am able to see tangible results in our clients. Detox is only the beginning of an alcoholic or addict’s journey to recovery, but working at this integral stage of development provides me the opportunity to witness the splendor of life and light as it returns to a client’s eyes.”

Christine joined the La Ventana family in 2012 as a weekend Detox Supervisor. She is now working full time as the Detox Manager. She has been in recovery since 2003 and is an active member of NA. She has over a decade of Detox experience and has worked with a wide range of populations—from homeless to professionals and everything in between. Christy graduated with a degree in Addiction Studies from Glendale Community College. She is a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor and a member of the California Association of Alcohol and Drug Educators (CAADE). She is passionate about the treatment process, and the joy she finds witnessing alcoholics and addicts transition to actively working toward a better life.

Saeed Shakeraneh

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

I’ve been in recovery since 1992. I went back to school in 2004 and got my masters in psychology in 2006. I spend 2 years of my internship working with dual diagnosed population. I was licensed in 2012 as a licensed marriage and family therapist. I love working in the field of addiction and my back ground has given me a good insight into the disease of addiction.

I feel lucky about working in La Ventana. This is a group of people that are passionate about what they do and they’re a dedicated team that works hard to help people change lives.

Alison Camhi

Primary Therapist

Alison brings over 20 years of work in the field of recovery from addiction and co-existing disorders. Currently a Therapist at La Ventana Treatment Programs in Chemical Dependency and Mental Health. Alison has focused her passion for dynamic, multi-modal work with Clients, integrating Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills, somatic experiencing, spirituality, psychodrama, and Post-Modern elements to facilitate meaningful growth and healing. Alison holds a Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) credential and has worked with students at elementary, middle and high school settings. In addition, Alison is a Certified Instructor for Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP).

She maintains a private practice in Agoura Hills, California, working with Clients struggling with trauma and complex PTSD, mood disorders, learning disabilities, eating disorders into her work with individuals, families and groups. Alison earned her Masters degree in Marital and Family Therapy in 1998 and PPS Credential in 2001. Alison is a Member of the Alpha Beta Chapter of Alpha Epsilon Lambda (AEL), the National Honor Society for Graduate Students.

A passionate advocate of early intervention in treatment of addiction and mood disorders, Alison has been involved with National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.

Tony Gomez

Tony Gomez is a professional with over seven years of dedicated experience in the Substance Dependence Treatment field. He has extensive knowledge in facilitating Relapse Prevention Groups , Crisis Intervention as well as applying Individual Counseling Techniques and is passionate of the services he provides to the client. Mr. Gomez attended Los Angeles City College where he earned his Addiction Studies Certificate and Is Registered with CCAPP as CADC-I (in-progress). Now as CD Floor manager for La Ventana he enjoys working closely with clients applying his skills and providing a safe environment where they can grow. When not working he enjoys spending time with his family and exercising on a regular basis as a form of self-care

John Mews, NMT, MA, MFTI

Music Therapist

“People often say, ‘Music is my Therapy’. I believe that we all are musical beings and most of us have naturally been drawn to use music to match and/or shift our moods
through music. My intention and passion as a music therapist at La Ventana is to help clients recognize their own abilities to use music to transform, become their best self, and to fully express and achieve ultimate health.”

John Mews, NMT, MA, MFTI, is the Founder, Director and Neurologic Music Therapist at Mewsic Moves, a private practice that offers support to families of individuals with special
needs. Mewsic Moves in addition, supports clients who struggle with eating disorders, addiction and mental health challenges in various treatment centers throughout the Los Angeles area.

John received his bachelor’s degree in music therapy from Capilano University in Vancouver, BC in 2004. After six years in private practice, John completed his master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from University of San Francisco in 2011. Since then he has expanded his practice to provide counseling, support, and education to the whole family. Recently, John has studied his advanced training in Neurologic Music Therapy and is supporting clients through evidenced-based neurological music therapy practice.

John has since moved his practice to Southern California in 2013, and is grateful to have a skilled team that shares in his passion in working with children and adolescents and
clients in treatment programs with eating disorders, addiction and mental health challenges. John originally started at La Ventana as a marriage and family therapy intern and has since helped build a supportive music therapy program. John loves to educate and advocate the benefits of music therapy and is a member of the Creative arts committee of
the Marriage and Family Therapy Chapter of Los Angeles. John also has presented at numerous workshops and conference throughout Canada and the United States. John’s passion is to educate and share the benefits of music therapy.

Paige O’Shea, MS, AMFT

Associate Marriage Family Therapist
Paige has worked in the mental health/recovery field for many years in different capacities. She worked in Camarillo State Hospital with a broad population as a Psychiatric Technician for just over five years before it closed. Paige took the opportunity of the closure to focus on being a mom before going back to school and getting her counseling certificate in Chemical Dependency Counseling with a specialty in Trauma. Paige started working for La Ventana in 2014 as an Addictions Counselor while continuing her Master’s program at California Lutheran University for Marriage Family Therapy. She is now an Associate Marriage Family Therapist working with both the Chemical Dependency and Mental Health Departments. Paige utilizes a mind body approach to recovery and treatment focusing on the individual’s life experiences.

Jimena Tobon

Yoga Instructor
My deep passion for fitness led me to begin practicing yoga over 10 years ago. I quickly learn that there are significantly more important gains from practicing yoga than just the physical ones. My classes are carefully planned as observing students’ bodies and adjusting their poses with the help of props such as pillows, straps, and blocks as needed is part of my teaching routine. I am grateful to share something that I am passionate about with others.

Quote Why I love working at this field/ at LV: Yoga gives people the opportunity to be alive, loved, and free. I am grateful to share something that I am passionate about with other people.

Wendy Roehr

Primary Therapist
Wendy Roehr is a Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, who comes to La Ventana with 12 years of clinical experience. She has spent over eight of those years in the field of addiction recovery and co-occurring disorders helping individuals, couples and families in their process of recovery: repairing, rebuilding and supporting them in motivation toward a healthier lifestyle.

In addition, Wendy spent several years gaining experience in working with children, adolescents and their families in foster care, adoption and family reunification. She counseled families in crisis while working hand in hand with a California State Agency to meet court ordered requirements for the ultimate goal of family reunification. She provided in-home support for many families using attachment and family system based modalities. She was also on-site at a California Community college seeing students and working with teen mothers. She developed a program that ran weekly to aide students in skill development and communication. She held interactive groups, psychoeducation, didactic groups to support interpersonal development, relationship and positive change.

Wendy received her Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and a Master of Science degree in Counseling with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy from California State University, Northridge. Wendy has gained a wealth of experience during her career working with individuals in trauma, addiction, family reunification, mental health and co-occurring disorders. She has worked with children, adolescences and adults in family, couple and group settings. She uses multiple modalities of therapy, designed to best meet the needs of the client. These styles include DBT, CBT, Psychodynamic, Person-Centered, Motivational Interviewing, Family Systems & Trauma focused. Wendy has a passion for her work in helping other’s and a strong belief in the therapeutic process as a healing tool.

Outside of work, Wendy supports her personal well being with physical fitness, yoga, hiking, healthy cooking & nutrition. She is spiritually motivated, and believes in a healthy mind and body connection. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to church, travel and having new adventures & experiences.