Victor J Ramblaz is experienced working with young adolescents in a program setting. As a student of sociology, Victor continues to learn and experience new opportunities and is devoted to creating long-lasting healthy impact for each teenager’s life.
Esther Choi has been a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) since 2014. She is currently working towards her A.D. in nursing. We are grateful to have Esther as one of our clinical staff members at Hillcrest.
Ericka Christensen brings to Hillcrest over 25 years of experience in business administration and office management in the fields of entertainment, real estate and most recently healthcare. She studied business law and psychology at Santa Monica College and is a Licensed Realtor.
As the Office Manager at Hillcrest, Ericka strives to positively impact our clients and staff by creating a warm, inviting and seamless environment.
Ericka is a native of Southern California. She enjoys life at the beach and spending time with her teenage daughters.
Roxana Esquivel is our in-house chef at Hillcrest. Cooking has always been her passion. Being in this industry for over 10 years, with her father as an executive chef for about 2 years has taught her the stellar cooking skills she has today. Her father’s passion and dedication to the kitchen inspired Roxana to become a chef. Roxana’s family owns an Italian restaurant, where she was able to practice and begin harnessing and developing her passion.
Vallerie E. Coleman is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, practicing for over 25 years. She is the founder and Clinical Director of Stand InBalance and also maintains a private practice in Westlake Village, CA. Certified by both EAGALA and E3A (Equine Experiential Education Association), Vallerie specializes in helping adolescents and adults improve their lives and relationships through an integration of depth psychology and equine assisted psychotherapy. Her work is based on a combination of mindfulness, object relations theory, attachment theory, and sensorimotor psychotherapy.
In addition to speaking at conferences and leading workshops, she has been on faculty at Loyola Marymount University, the Newport Psychoanalytic Institute, and Antioch University. Vallerie was a guest expert on the Dr. Phil show and is a contributor in the book: Harnessing the Power of Equine Assisted Counseling.
Danny Lobell is a stand-up comedian, podcaster, and talk show host, and is known for his quirky storytelling style. Danny has traveled the world performing comedy shows in South Africa, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Spain, and Holland. He has been featured on This American Life and recently presented a TEDx in Phoenix AZ. Danny coordinates the MediaExpressive Group at Hillcrest, where our clients are encouraged to express themselves on a podcast forum in a recording studio. This therapeutic session facilitates a form of non conventional talk therapy, all in a safe environment with our clients using pseudonyms to respect privacy and protect confidentiality. Danny’s passion for his work has proven to be a highly successful healing modality that is aligned with the trend of our times.
Paola Kemsley is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been providing mental health services throughout Ventura County since 1999. As a child she lived through the Nicaraguan Civil War and immigrated to the United States shortly afterwards. It was her early childhood experiences that led her to later pursue a career in psychology and dedicate her life to facilitating the healing process for others.
As a bilingual and bicultural clinician, Paola has worked with various populations, including individuals with developmental disabilities, children in foster care and their families, adolescents in alternative school settings, and victims of domestic violence. She utilizes different modalities including CBT, Family Systems, Motivational Interviewing, Psycho-Education, and Person-Centered Therapy, to assist her clients in accomplishing their therapeutic goals. Most recently, Paola has been assessing and diagnosing individuals with severe mental health conditions and co-occurring disorders at Ventura County Behavioral Health. She is also a Clinical Supervisor at Turning Point Foundation and oversees Marriage and Family Interns and Trainees through their process of becoming licensed professionals. Paola is passionate to share her diverse skill-sets and stellar background with our Hillcrest clients.
Nathaniel has worked as a professional healer for almost a decade, using the power of breathwork as a catalyst for positive changes in clients’ lives. Equipped with an arsenal of techniques – with a special focus on breath – Nathaniel has helped thousands of people process trauma, disarm negative thought patterns, and maintain healthy and happy relationships with themselves and loved ones. Nathaniel’s client base ranges from those seeking relief from everyday anxiety, to those suffering from severe emotional and physical trauma. His specialty includes working in addiction treatment facilities to help accelerate clients’ journeys to recovery.
Erin Anguino supportively encourages growth in her clients with a warm and welcoming personality. She moved to California on her own as a young adult, and has become a positive role model for teens striving to establish independence and to develop a stronger sense of self. Erin’s experience and training in working with trauma empowers her to help clients recognize how one’s past may impact the present but does not need to define their future.
She has a professional background in play and somatic therapy, allowing her to create an integrative approach with her work. In addition to being a therapist, Erin is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach. She has worked as a personal trainer and strongly believes in the powerful connection between mind and body. She also has a private practice at Teen Therapy Center in Woodland Hills where she helps teens, young adults, and families live happier and healthier lives.
Her ability to seek and provide inspiration brings about a positive outlook for change and courage in navigating difficult times. We are blessed to have her on staff at Hillcrest.
Kathy Thompson lived on the East Coast and in the Midwest before arriving in California in 2011. She owns and operates transitional housing for displaced women in two states, Ohio and California. Her educational background includes a Master’s of Science, an MBA, and significant coursework in a Doctorate of Education program. Her passion is working with at-risk populations. She has worked as a Case Manager, Program Assistant, and Counselor for those who struggle with substance abuse and co-occurring medical issues. An avid reader, Kathy shares music and videos to help clients cope and sustain healing.
Vanessa Ruiz is a graduate of psychology from CSUN and looks forward to continue to expand in the field. She is currently employed by United Imaging as an accounts payable specialist and is assisting at Hillcrest. She enjoys working with and among individuals of all ages and cultures, and helping them to heal and productively manage and progress within the myriads of social structures.
Elizabeth Morales has always been passionate about working in a helping profession. Every person has a story and that story is sometimes not able to be told due to trauma or hardships wherethe person’s voice is not easily heard. Elizabeth loves to help others feel empowered to tell their story and regain their voice.
She has worked in various settings in the non-profit sector, including, helping adults with developmental disabilities increase their independent living skills, as well aschildren and families with mental health disabilities, and at-risk adolescents. With professional training in Triple Incredible Years, Seeking Safety, and MAP, as well as a major degree in psychology with a minor in criminology from the University of La Verne, Elizabeth is skilled to facilitate sustained healing and progress for our Hillcrest clients.
Daniel Hebert is a former college basketball player for Montana Tech of the University of Montana and San Diego Miramar College. Daniel moved on from college basketball and began his coaching and teaching career at Trinity Classical Academy in Valencia, CA. Currently, Daniel is the Varsity Girls Basketball Head Coach, Girls Basketball Program Coordinator and Physical Education teacher at Trinity Classical Academy. Daniel is passionate to work with children within a coaching role and looks forward to further developing this passion at Hillcrest.
Laura Hamiter has been an LVN for 30 years. She has worked in numerous positions from Pediatrics to Geriatrics, in supervisory roles for most of her nursing career. Laura enjoys enjoy working with different people to achieve projected goals and brings diverse skill-sets for healing at Hillcrest.
Izora Fisher is a Program Assistant at Hillcrest as well as employed at Marks House. She assists youth by helping them acquire the necessary skills to help them remain functional. Izora previously worked as a Family Life Specialist with the Children’s Home of Wyoming Conference in New York, where she mentored youth suffering from trauma. Izora’s background and passion for helping underserved youth has given her the perfect foundation for her current role at Hillcrest.
She has earned a degree in Liberal Arts and Human Services from Suny broome Community College.
Sebastian Davies is CPR/AED/First-Aid certified, as well as water safety trained. He is knowledgeable in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and has basic Spanish speaking capabilities. As a current college student, Sebastian is always learning and expanding. His varied skils and eclectic work background, ranging from the military to the food industry, make him a wonderful asset to our Hillcrest staff.
Dr. Ray Armstrong is an interactive, solution-focused narrative therapist with over 20 years of experience. His therapeutic approach aims to provide support and practical feedback to help clients effectively address family or relationship challenges. Ray integrates complementary methodologies and techniques to offer a highly personalized approach, tailored to each client. Along with compassion and understanding, Ray works with each individual to help them build on their strengths and attain their maximum personal growth.
Ray has special training in working with individuals from diverse walks of life. He received his B.A. from Eastern Washington University, where he majored in Applied Psychology and minored in fine arts. He received his Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology (Marriage and Family Therapy) from Antioch University, Los Angeles, and completed his doctorate level studies at Ryokan University in Los Angeles. In his spare time, Ray enjoys outdoor recreational activities, such as, biking, jet skiing and hiking.
Dr. Laura Cavarretta is a licensed psychologist with over 25 years of experience in the mental health field. She previously directed an outpatient clinic, and is currently on staff at Hillcrest. Laura received her B.A. in Psychology at the University of Colorado, and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Graduate School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. She has a special interest in working with adolescents and their families, and has recently guided her own three children through this challenging and rewarding period of life.
Dr. Sonji F. Harold has earned a Doctorate degree in Instructional Leadership, as well as, a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Nova Southeastern University. In addition, she has earned a Bachelors degree in Middle School Education-Mathematics from Lindenwood University. She is a conscientious professional with over 15 years of experience in proficient, educational leadership.
Dr. Harold has a proven track record of successfully working with diverse groups, improving academic achievement, cultivating positive parent/community relationships, providing relentless support, holding students to high levels of personal accountability, implementing standards and performance-based practices while ensuring an impeccable school/ work culture and climate. Her warm personality is infectious, inspires others to do well, and makes her a joy to be around.
Lucy Minassian is a licensed clinical worker with over 15 years of experience in the mental health field. Her work history consists of working with diverse populations across the age spectrum. Utilizing various evidenced based approaches, she encourages family involvement as a major part of the recovery process.
Specializing in addiction and dual diagnosis treatment, Lucy integrates a variety of strength based techniques to collaboratively explore the underlying causes of addiction and defiant behavior. She uses the therapeutic relationship to guide the exploration of healthy and adaptive coping tools. Her experience and skill-sets are an asset for our team at Hillcrest.
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