Who We Are
Halim has a personal passion for helping people and families on their road to recovery. After managing and operating multiple sober living facilities across the Los Angeles area, Halim felt the need to design a recovery program that focused on ethical care, affordability, and true support for those struggling with addiction and their family members. Thus, Nexus was born. Halim is proud to bring his knowledge of the recovery process, compassion for people, and wealth of relationships with professionals and businesses that support the recovery community to Nexus and it’s clients.
Through his own personal journey, Robert has a developed a profound passion for helping alcoholics and addicts overcome their struggles and learn to live a meaningful and happy life. As one of the co-founders of Nexus, he brings nearly twenty years of CEO experience as well as a background in case management at a sober living facility. Robert is dedicated to ensuring that Nexus always offers the most effective treatment programs possible in order to give clients the best chance of success in the recovery process.
Dr. Thomas Wood
Dr. Thomas Wood, PhD, LPCC
Originally from Texas, Dr. Wood is excited to bring his wealth of knowledge and expertise to the recovery community of Los Angeles. Having worked in the field of addictions and mental health for 21 years, Dr. Wood has spent the the last two decades providing addiction treatment and psychotherapeutic services to groups, individuals, couples, and families. With a Ph.D. in Sociology with an emphasis in Addiction Studies and Family Systems, Dr. Wood specializes in the assessment and treatment of chemical dependency, behavioral addictions, emotional and mental health, PTSD, trauma, and family and relationship conflict. He is an experienced EMDR™ practitioner and a designated Master Trainer for the Say It Straight™ program—a research-based education and training program that results in empowering communication skills and behaviors.
Dr. Wood frequently presents education and training regarding the neuropsychological basis of addiction to colleges, universities, hospitals, agencies, and community-based support groups. While in Texas, Dr. Wood was a regular contributor to local radio and television programs on issues of addiction, and the past host of a weekly Internet-based radio show featuring recovery and mental health topics.
Dr. Kimberly Brown
Dr. Kimberly Brown, MD
A graduate of USC/Keck School of Medicine, Dr. Brown is board certified in General Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry. She completed her internship at Cedars-Sinai and residency at USC/Keck, where she served as Chief Resident of Outpatient Services and received specialized training in psychodynamic, intensive short-term and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques. Following graduation, Dr. Brown pursued an Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at the UCLA/Sepulveda Valley program, and has since practiced in a variety of settings including the Veterans Administration, emergency psychiatry, and hospital based psychiatric services. She is currently a staff physician at Cedars-Sinai for the Consult-Liaison department and also has a private practice.
Nexus coordinates with Dr. Brown to provide psychiatric evaluations and medication management with special attention to individual requirements. She is flexible and integrative in her approach, and carefully explores each client’s personal history, attitudes towards medication, and life experiences during treatment. Dr. Brown believes that empathy, understanding, and helpful explanations are crucial to facilitating treatment and gaining a client’s sense of comfort and trust. She is excited to join the team at Nexus, and believes that the holistic, client-centered approach to recovery truly sets Nexus apart from other programs.
Jacqueline Bocian, MA, LCSW
Jacqueline Bocian is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a specialization in Mental Health. She worked for 21 years in Silicon Valley as the owner of a firm that specialized in Organizational Management for individuals with ADHD, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Hoarding Disorder. Jackie was trained at AIDS Project LA and Beit T’Shuvah, a residential rehabilitation center in West LA. Currently, her major passion is directed toward recovery from substance and process addictions. Her approach is humanistic, client-centered, and embraces Somatic Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Logotherapy, and Existential Psychotherapy. Jackie’s theoretical foundation is based on her extensive background in Religious Thought, Philosophy, and Spirituality; she holds two master’s degrees in these areas. Jacqueline is currently engaged in a doctoral program in Psychology; her dissertation will explore the relatively new field of inquiry known as “Moral Injury.”
Melissa Solem, MA, AMFT
Melissa is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and her graduate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Arizona State University. She began her career working for a non-profit state agency, focusing on the healing and safety for children and families that have experienced trauma. Gaining experience and training in trauma-informed care, Melissa relocated to Los Angeles where she began working in the field of addiction. She has since worked at every level of care and is passionate about helping both the individual and the family navigate through underlying issues in order to find healing and connection through recovery. Melissa uses a strengths-based approach to empower individuals in navigating through life’s struggles and to help those find solution and fulfillment in recovery.
Director of Admissions
Director of Admissions and Clinical Outreach
Lauren Duerson, MEd, LPCC
Lauren is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor who brings over eight years of experience assessing and treating substance use and mental health disorders. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from The University of Arizona and her graduate degree in Community Mental Health from Clemson University.
Lauren began her therapeutic career in South Carolina, treating substance use and co-occurring disorders while specializing in supporting trauma and domestic abuse victims. In 2012, she moved to Los Angeles to continue her work treating substance use disorders, this time focusing on at-risk youth. In addition to her work as a therapist, she has been responsible for assessments, patient intakes, and outreach at multiple facilities in the San Fernando Valley.
With additional training in motivational interviewing and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Lauren does not believe that there’s a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to treating substance abuse and mental health disorders. She’s passionate about understanding every potential client’s circumstances and working together to find the right program for that individual. Lauren firmly believes that everyone has the capacity to live a fulfilling life where they can use their abilities to reach their highest potential.
Mandy Giangardella, BA
With a passion for bettering her community, Mandy has a special interest in advocacy for individuals and families seeking addiction recovery support and mental health care. She brings extensive experience in administrative office support and project management from her years working at a multi-dimensional entertainment and artist management company. Mandy holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Mount Union and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Legal and Forensic Psychology.
Jeffrey Phillips, RADT
Jeff spent 35 years as a professional touring and recording musician, performing all over the world and living in seven different countries. Upon retiring from the music scene, Jeff decided he wanted to give back to the community. Having worked as a Case Manager for various sober living sites and as the lead technician at a detox facility, Jeff has extensive experience in the addiction treatment industry. Jeff is also a Registered Drama Therapist (RDT) and is board certified in the practice of drama therapy. Jeff’s wealth of knowledge and expertise is a great asset to the Nexus team, and he looks forward to helping create an individualized program that treats and guides Nexus clients on their path to recovery.
Daniel Goldman, CADC-II, ICADC
Daniel “Dano” Goldman is a graduate of UCLA’s drug and alcohol counseling program and a CADC-II, ICADC licensed addiction counselor. Since 2012, he has dedicated his time to counselling clients and their families as they navigate the path to recovery. When it comes to the recovery process, Dano is passionate about combining community, spirituality, proper boundaries, and goal setting to promote change. He also firmly believes that individuals struggling with addiction can have wonderful, fulfilling futures once they can see the truth of their situation and act towards re-creating their lives. Dano is excited to bring his philosophies and experience to the Nexus program.
Johnnie Mollin, MA, AMFT
Johnnie is a Local Angelino; growing up in Santa Monica. He studied Psychology as an undergrad at the University of Southern California (USC) and continuing on to Antioch University Los Angeles gaining his Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology. Johnnie specializes in a spiritual and depth approach to psychotherapy; combing Mindfulness, CBT, DBT, Narrative, Trauma informed, and Jungian approaches to heal the whole person mind body and soul. Johnnie’s knowledge and wisdom in the field of Addiction and his devotion to the well being of others is a deeply rooted calling from the pains of his own journey.
Johnnie has worked for many years as a Lead Therapist in both the worlds of non profit and for profit treatment. His profound love for others, his ability to connect with all people and populations, and his belief in the power of transformation are among his greatest gifts.
Johnnie is thrilled to be part of the grand collaboration that is Nexus Recovery Services.
Alexis Maron, MA, RDT
Alexis began acting at the age of 5 and has since allowed her performance background to infuse her career choice of becoming a Drama Therapist. After graduating from the Orange County High School of the Arts in 1999, Alexis went on to receive her B.A. in Musical Theatre from UCLA. Upon receiving her degree, Alexis performed professionally in LA for several years before following her instincts to New York to earn her M.A. in Drama Therapy from NYU.
While in New York, Alexis had the opportunity to work with at-risk high school students, members of the homeless community, and the aged and infirm at the Menorah Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care. After returning home to California, she was hired at her high school alma mater, OCSA, to pioneer a Drama Therapy class and teach this subject to seniors in the Integrated Arts Department. She also works with the Down Syndrome Association of Orange County where she facilitates a weekly Drama Therapy group for adults with Down Syndrome.
For the past four years, Alexis has worked at various treatment centers where she has been using Psychodrama as well as other Drama Therapy techniques to aid adults suffering from both drug and sex/love addictions. Between her Psychodrama groups, she runs her own private practice and uses Drama Therapy with couples and individuals working through a vast multitude of challenges.
Kurt has been involved in the recovery community for over thirty years and is passionate about working with others in the process of spiritual transformation. He has led workshops, retreats and meditation groups involving seekers from both in and out of the field of addiction. With extensive knowledge of the wisdom traditions, Kurt has a unique ability to access insights into transcending the dysfunction of the human condition. He meets privately with individuals, facilitates, and hosts larger gatherings at Two Trees Insight Guidance in Redondo Beach, California.
Therapist/Family Program Facilitator
Jeanie Griffin, DD, LPC, LMFT, LCDC
Jeanie is a licensed psychotherapist and treatment program consultant. In her efforts to assist in the transformation and healing of her clients on a physical, psychological, emotional and soul level, Jeanie combines the spiritual path of the 12 steps with sound clinical practices and non-traditional practices. She is also trained in EMDR therapy, equine therapy and psychodrama.
With licenses in Texas and California and over 30 years experience working in the addiction field, Jeanie has been clinical director of treatment programs, faculty member at UCLA addiction counselor training program, private practice therapist, clinical consultant to treatment programs, facilitator and developer of family programs and spiritual director. She enjoys 32 yrs of sobriety, has learned to laugh, to experience joy in sobriety and to practice self-care.
Over 1200 clients and families have attended her nationally acclaimed Family Program, Head Heart and Feet, where she combines psycho-educational sessions, experiential activities and 12-step spiritual principles. Ms Griffin’s work is grounded in simplicity, driven by spirituality, fueled by a sense of humor and dedicated to healing individuals, families, communities and the planet.
Family Program Facilitator
Candy Finnigan is a nationally recognized addiction specialist and interventionist and has been involved in all areas of recovery for over 25 years.
She received her Certificate in Alcohol-Drug Counseling skills and her Certificate in Alcohol-Drug Abuse Studies from UCLA in 1993. Involved not only as an interventionist but also in relapse prevention, she holds a certificate in the Gorski method and was trained in 1996 by Terence Gorski. Her internships were done at Cedars-Sinai Hospital where she worked in Addiction Services and C.P.C. Westwood Hospital. She was certified in Sex Addiction by Dr. Patrick Carnes in 1997 and attended Post Induction training with Pia Mellody, R.N. in 1997 at the Meadows. She received her intervention training in 1991, from Dr. Vernon Johnson, when intervention was relatively new. In 2001 she was trained in Systemic Family Intervention. She has enjoyed professional relationships with many treatment centers nationally and internationally
Tracy Stanbury, CADC-I
Being a body in motion has always been a passion for Tracy. Growing up as a competitive athlete, she has always been driven to discover her physical potential. During her first year of college in 2008, she began to study multiple formats of yoga including Vinyasa, Hatha and Yin. Intrigued by this invigorating form of movement, Tracy began to study many forms of expression, which led to her pursuit of dance in tandem with yoga.
After commencing her education at UCLA and obtaining an additional Alcohol and Drug Counseling certification from CSUDH, Tracy knew that she needed to merge her creative desires by teaching and helping others. Completing her training with CorePower Yoga in early 2015 spurred her journey into instructing and healing. Since embarking her teaching journey, Tracy has been awarded a Lululemon Athletica Ambassadorship in 2017 and assists with Teacher Training programs at her home studio, SoHo Yoga, in Hermosa Beach and DTLA.
Kristie Moore, MS, RDN, CEDRD
Kristie specializes in treating eating disorders and addictions and is dedicated to helping her clients succeed by using an intuitive eating and mindfulness approach to nutrition counseling and education. Kristie works directly with clients to create an individualized treatment plan that will empower them with confidence and knowledge so that they can reach their personal nutrition goals.
Kristie earned her Bachelors of Science in Nutritional Science from California State University, Los Angeles. She completed her dietetic internship at California State University, Long Beach where she also earned her Master of Science degree in Nutritional Science. For her Master’s thesis, Kristie created a hands-on nutrition and culinary intervention to promote healthy eating, cooking, and lifestyle skills for individuals in substance abuse treatment. Kristie is a certified yoga instructor (Ryt – 200) with Yoga Alliance and believes that mindful movement can aid in the healing process. To further increase her level of expertise in the eating disorder field, Kristie became a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) through the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP).
David Wiss, MS, RDN
David is the founder of Nutrition in Recovery, which specializes in: Addictions, Eating Disorders, Mental Health, Body Image, and General Wellness. He works closely with individuals to help them revolutionize their relationship with food and has shared his expertise with numerous eating disorder and addiction facilities throughout the greater Los Angeles area. David is a nationally recognized expert in nutrition for addiction and is currently working on his PhD in Public Health from UCLA.
Delena Zimmerman, MA, AMFT
Leanne brings a lifelong passion for helping others, a keen interest in both mental and physical health, and an innate capacity for organization to her role at Nexus. Prior to joining the Nexus team, she was the senior editor at a digital media company based in LA, initially working with websites focused on various health-related topics, including addiction. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from CSU Long Beach, where she minored in psychology, as well as an Associate’s degree in the Social and Behavioral Sciences.
Sign up for our Monthly Newsletter and get our blogs delivered right to your inbox!