Senior Leadership Team
Brad Lamm is an author, teacher and interventionist best known for helping people make life-enhancing change on The Today Show and The Dr. OZ Show.
In 2013, Brad realized a dream come true as he opened the first two Breathe Life Healing Centers in Gramercy Park (NYC) and West Hollywood (LA). Breathe Life Healing Centers + Treatment Services provide powerful residential insurance-driven trauma treatment in urban environments under the direction of a clinical A-Team that includes Director of Clinical Programming Tian Dayton, PhD.
“With powerful educational and spiritual development programming in place, we’ve created in Breathe the first-of-its kind program in the nation.”
Deb Hughes comes to Breathe with a dynamic background in program and business development, strategic planning, and a tremendous foresight on execution and expansion. Her experience with dual diagnosis, eating disorder treatment, adolescent and adult programming, as well as a deep working knowledge of business development, transitional living, outpatient treatment programs, and IOP services provides her the opportunity to make an unsurpassed difference in the lives of Breathe guests. “This is such a profound opportunity for Breathe Life Healing Centers to shift the paradigm of how wounded people heal their lives and those of their families. By implementing our Phases of Change curriculum, people are afforded the chance to remake their lives and find a new way of living.”
Dr. Dayton has a Masters in Educational Psychology, a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology, and is a Board Certified Trainer in psychodrama. She is the director of The New York Psychodrama Training Institute where she runs training groups in psychodrama, sociometry and experiential group therapy. Dr. Dayton is a fellow of the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama (ASGPP), winner of their Scholar’s Award, Editor in Chief of the Journal of Psychodrama, Sociometry & Group Psychotherapy, and sits on the professional standards committee.
Dr. Dayton is faculty alumna of New York University, where she taught psychodrama for eight years. She has been awarded the Ackerman/Black Award and The Mona Mansell Award for contributions to the field of addiction. Dr. Dayton is author of twelve books including ACOA Trauma Syndrome, Trauma and Addiction, Emotional Sobriety, bestseller Forgiving and Moving On, and The Living Stage. She has been a guest expert on NBC, CNN, and MSNBC.
Kathleen Murphy, M.A., LPC is the Clinical Director of Breathe Life Healing Centers LA. She comes with a world of knowledge and a depth of experience. She is known for being a conversationalist who leans towards philosophical discourse informed by passion and a commitment to generating interpersonal dialogues that contribute to the meaningful treatment of relational and developmental trauma.
Kathleen’s career is founded on 28 years of experience working with people with substance abuse issues complicated by relational trauma. Her most recent years have been mentored and guided by Ann Smith, LMFT and Austin Houghtaling, PhD, both of the profound Breakthrough at Caron program, where she developed an expertise in experiential group processes as a facilitator. Kathleen has made use of didactics, psychoeducation, lectures and experiential group processes that are heavily influenced by attachment theory and psychodramatic techniques to assist clients in re-framing and reclaiming the self as a being in relationship.
Kathleen now lives in the Los Angeles area with her family.
A respected psychiatrist, Dr. Kiriakos joined Breathe as Medical Director in 2014. Prior to joining Breathe, she operated her own private practice focusing on medication management and psychotherapy in Beverley Hills, California, since 2005. In addition, she acts as a Staff Psychiatrist at A New Journey Eating Disorder Center, based in Santa Monica. Dr. Kiriakos has held similar positions with an array of mental health clinics in the San Fernando Valley, including the Center for Family Living and the Central Valley Youth & Family Center. Her career has focused on many areas, including therapy for a wide range of diagnoses: addiction, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, generalized anxiety, panic disorder, ADHD, women’s health issues and eating disorders.
Dr. Kiriakos’ Medical Director duties at Breathe include the consultation and treatment of clients with food and weight issues, as well as addressing the complexities of co-occurring disorders. Additionally, she provides consultations and opinions on different aspects of patient psychiatric care relating to dietary management, therapy services necessary, medical referrals needed and levels of care for which clients are eligible.
Prior to embarking on her career in psychiatry, Dr. Kiriakos assumed several academic positions during her residencies. While completing a residency in adult psychiatry through the University of California-San Fernando Valley Psychiatry Residency Training Program, Dr. Kiriakos also worked as Co-Coordinator of the “Psychiatry in the Media” Seminar for PGY1-4 residents. During the same period, she also acted as a Staff Inpatient Psychiatrist at Olive View Medical Center, Group Therapist for the psychodynamic psychotherapy weekly group at the UCLA-San Fernando Valley program, Course Chair for the “Brief Psychotherapies for Depression & Borderline Personality Disorder” Seminar at the UCLA-San Fernando Valley program, Clinical Instructor of the Applied Psychopharmacology Course for psychology interns at California State University at Northridge (CSUN), and Administrative Chief Resident in Psychiatry at the UCLA-San Fernando Valley program.
Dr. Kiriakos possesses a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Doctor of Medicine from the Pennsylvania State College of Medicine. She is a board certified psychiatrist.
David A. Wiss grew up in Los Angeles, and earned a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at California State University, Northridge, and completed his training as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). He specializes in the nutritional management of: food addiction, substance abuse, eating disorders, weight management, sports nutrition, and general wellness.
As a masters level clinician, David shares his expertise with a myriad of eating disorder and addiction programs throughout the greater Los Angeles area. He has conducted targeted nutrition interventions for adolescent drug offenders through Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and for post-guilty plea defendants in the United States District Court, Central District of California.
David is a regular contributor to Behavioral Health Nutrition Newsletter and a founding clinical team member of Breathe Life Healing Center, Los Angeles.
Larry Hymes transitioned to Breathe Life Healing Centers after 2 years at Michael’s House Residential Treatment Facility in Palm Springs. Prior to that, he had worked many years in Los Angeles as a licensed therapist. He holds a Master’s degree in clinical psychology and has worked within a variety of populations and environments.
Larry practices affirmative therapy and places great importance on self-nurturing and self-discovery, building self-esteem, motivation, and creating one’s personal community.
Matt is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC 42042). He received his Master’s degree in Drama Therapy at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco in 2001 and has worked as a therapist in a variety of settings. Matt specializes in the areas of Trauma and Addiction and is proficient in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). He takes a client-centered, supportive, strengths-based approach to mental health, teaching his clients to develop and utilize skills and internal resources that help with ongoing recovery from addiction and mental illness. Before starting with Breathe, Matt worked at Summit Malibu, a dual diagnosis residential treatment center for addiction and mental health in Malibu, CA. Previously Matt worked at UCSF Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute in the Partial Hospitalization Program and has also worked as a therapist and supervisor of therapeutic special education programs in schools. Matt attended a Buddhist University in 1996 in Boulder, Colorado, where he first learned to meditate, and has been meditating and engaged in mindfulness practices since that time. He also attended a Yoga Teacher Training program in Palo Alto, CA in 2013 and enjoys integrating mindfulness, somatic approaches, and drama to help his clients to heal and grow through experiential therapy methods.
Andrew Saunders, MA, MFTi, comes to Breathe after completing a two-year clinical internship at Beit T’Shuvah, a cutting-edge long-term residential treatment center in Culver City. He received his MA in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles, in 2013. Prior to that time, he spent twenty years as an executive in the media and entertainment industries. His clinical approach involves treating of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit — and draws from various theoretical models including cognitive-behavioral, developmental, attachment and psychodynamic, with the goal of achieving integrity and a sense of purpose in relationship to oneself and one’s community.
Donna Trujillo comes to Breathe with more than 10 years of recovery work in the areas of food addiction and codependency. She completing a clinical traineeship at Being Alive, an HIV/AIDS service organization, helping diverse individuals deal with chemical dependence, trauma, and co-occurring health challenges. While in her traineeship, she worked at Promises Treatment Centers in Malibu, where she assisted clients in the Substance Abuse and Intimacy Disorders (SAID) program, addressing co-occurring substance abuse and sex addictions. Donna is a graduate of Antioch University, where she earned a Master of Arts in Psychology with an LGBTQ Specialization. Donna has had a lifelong fascination with storytelling, and she looks forward to harnessing the creative power of individual narratives to help clients discover solutions to personal challenges and to weave new tales of purposeful lives.
Cara Timko, MA, MFTI comes to Breathe Life Healing Centers after several years of clinical work specializing in eating disorders. She has worked and managed residential facilities, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and outpatient facilities. Cara is certified in trauma training based on her abroad efforts in Rwanda, Africa. Further, her scope includes working with children, individuals, couples and families, who are dealing with a variety of issues including depression, anxiety, addiction and recovery, grief and loss, trauma, learning disabilities, ADHD and PTSD. Cara is a graduate of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology where she earned her MA in Clinical Psychology.
Kamy is a lifelong student of wellness, a professional motocross racer for 10 years, and an advanced golfer. He has literally traveled the world to research wellness and spirituality in different corners of the Earth. Kamy specializes in massage therapy, earth grown nutrients diets, weight and no-weight core workouts, low and high impact cross training, martial arts and water aerobics. Kamy has built his lifestyle and career around helping people make new healthy choices and start on a path to holistic well being.
“The fact alone that you are here, you have already won. From this moment on, it doesn’t matter how much you have struggled this is the beginning of the new you, and the beginning of the rest of your life. This is the story of your life going forward, and you decide what’s written. It is an honor to be a part of your story.”
Kamy lives in Los Angeles.
On Campus, Breathe’s Spiritual Life Team is led by Parashakti and founder Brad Lamm, where the focus is on working on the ‘inside job’. We explore, through non-religious, but uniquely spiritual ways of discovery to the question: what is the spark or spirit that is uniquely you. Our Campus is where we focus on a notion of self and spirit.
Parashakti was born in Jerusalem, Israel and descends from a long line of spiritual teachers. Exploring the essence of spirit and dance from the age of four, Parashakti moved to the United States, where she spent two years studying yoga and living at the ashrams at Integral Yoga. While at the ashram she began her studies of Trance Dance™ with Shaman Wilbert Alix, this drew her to the wisdom circles of Native American ceremonies. Both of these profound in depth teachings and inspiration led her to develop the powerful, life-changing process known as Dance of Liberation™.
Breathe’s Spiritual Life team embrace many approaches to spiritual development including conversation, prayer, meditation, movement, vision quest, deep relaxation techniques, a variety of yoga traditions.
Clients arrive at Breathe with many preconceptions about spirituality and that’s a starting spot in its own right. On Campus we practice patience and flexibility to allow for all paths and traditions. Often the concepts of RELIGION, SPIRITUALITY + GOD live in us as HEADLINES from the past. Breathe’s Spiritual Life team are not prescriptive. We will never preach, offer a creed, dogma or script for residents to follow.
Our goal is to help each one, swim in spirit, and grow in their ability to identify and connect with the amazing spark of life.
The film Dance of Liberation™ is now in the hands of the Wolper Organization/Warner Brothers and is being released in 2015, along with her book.
Miguel Palacios is a Case Manager for Breathe Life Healing Center Los Angeles. He brings more than 15 years of experience and expertise to his role.
Prior to Breathe Life Healing Centers, Miguel worked in management with experience in public relations, community relations, media relations and event planning.
Miguel believes that success is not in the results but in the effort. Being the best is not what really matters but doing the best is all that matters.
Rawland “Rawly” Glass, LCSW, MSW has been a clinician and social worker for the past 30 years, including 14 years in private practice and as a presenter of inner healing workshops. He has a broad experience base including managing addiction treatment contracts for the state of Idaho; serving as executive director of a non-profit that provided transitional housing; working with various vulnerable populations in adult and child protection; managing group homes for at-risk children; and most recently Chief Clinical Officer of The Bridge To Recovery based in Bowling Green KY.
Being a workshop facilitator has been a constant in his career. Workshops for clients on the underlying dynamics of addiction, recovery, and healthy relationships has been a theme for many years. Rawly also focuses on addressing trauma using Brainspotting, a practice that identifies and processes neurophysiological sources of emotional pain, trauma, and dissociation. In 2013 Rawly acknowledged his life work of encouraging and supporting people seeking healing and an authentic connection with themselves, their Higher Power, and others by launching his own business. Intra-Connected offers short, powerful workshops for individuals and families working through addiction and trauma by creating healthier relationships.
Well-organized and a strong problem-solver, Rawly is an asset to any team, providing guidance and gentle coaching to build trust and confidence in his group sessions and workshops. He is open-minded and easy to communicate with, immediately putting his audience at ease with his powerful, calm demeanor. Rawly is naturally positioned to work well with any population, allowing everyone to settle in to a trusting and safe conversation; he helps people explore and identify the work that needs to be done to live the lives they dream to live.
Rawly holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Pacific Union College and a Master of Social Work degree from Walla Walla University, with a dual emphasis in Clinical Work with Children & Families and Addiction Treatment. He is licensed in Oregon and California as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). He was the recipient of the Addiction Professional 2012 Outstanding Clinician Award.
Lauren has been building on her experience helping families and loved ones affected by addiction for many years. Most recently she has been with Breathe Life Healing Centers as a Family Class Teaching Assistant. She takes great pride in her ability to relate to, calm, and empathize with families and loved ones taking the brave step towards engaging in a treatment program. She has worked with other treatment facilities in various positions for the past five years.
Currently Lauren is completing her Bachelors of Psychology, where her classes are teaching her a great deal about working with others, cultural diversity, and the importance the family plays in the life of the addicted loved one. Working with hundreds of families who are at the end of hope with no where to turn, spending time sitting and talking with an identified loved one who is on the verge of giving up completely, Lauren has a special way of connecting, engaging, and changing the lives of those with whom she works. Her empathy and understanding speak volumes to those suffering at the crossroads of making a life-changing step towards self care and whole change.
Al-Anon has been a foundation for Lauren on which to build her expertise working with families and their loved ones. From personal experience, she can speak to what families are going through, the decisions and crossroads they are facing, as well as what it all looks like from the side of hope and knowing that life can and does get better after addiction. She has attended Brad Lamm’s Break Free Intervention skills trainings, as well as sitting in on interventions with Brad. This first-hand experience of being invited into a family at the crux of crisis has allowed her to understand what the ‘bottom’ of addiction looks like, what it does to a family, and how important it is to accept love and support while moving blame and shame aside for hope and help.
Sam was born in South Florida and grew up in Georgia, where he had both parents who struggled with addiction and alcoholism. Sam learned from a very young age first-hand, what that lifestyle brings. This led him to have a special empathy & patience while working with our clients. After college he worked for several treatment centers in South Florida before moving to California, where he enjoys working at Breathe because of the diversity of disorders we treat, and most importantly, his deep passion for helping others.
William has worked at Breathe for over two years as a Community Mentor. He loves service work with people and always has. He has so much gratitude for opportunity that to share his experience, strength, and hope on addiction on a daily basis. He enjoys giving back to a fellow addicts what he has learned, and gained in his new life.
Juan is a motivated individual, who for the past 10 years, has enjoyed working with adults and families in various roles. He has provided case management and facilitated resources for those in need. He has participated in Motivational Interviewing trainings at AltaMed, and supported many people and family members with 12 step programs. He is a patient individual who enjoys making a difference in people’s lives.
Jeff moved from south Florida and joined Breathe Life Healing Center Los Angeles in January 2014. He brought with him a wealth of combined admissions, finance, marketing and utilization review experience in the addictions treatment field. His philosophy of
effective, trauma informed treatment for those struggling with addiction combines personal accountability with care and compassion. Jeff believes that effective, open communication with referents, families and clients is the most integral part of the admissions process at Breathe.
Jeff is skilled in residential substance abuse and mental health treatment after working in
various treatment centers and intervention services for the greater part of the last 10 years. He holds a vast perspective of admissions, insurance (verification and pre-certification) and relationship building. He has the proven ability to flourish in high pressure, deadline oriented environments, while possessing a high level of organizational and communication skills.
Professionally, Jeff is drawn to situations that provide hands-on access to the admissions
process, allowing him to build symbiotic relationships that support the Identified Loved One’s admission to a program that benefits their sobriety and lifelong healing. By focusing on partnerships, Jeff maximizes the resources available for clients in need of support.
Jeff is both personally and professionally committed to assisting individuals and families
struggling with addictive disorders and trauma and is actively pursuing certification as a
Certified Addiction Counselor.
Jeff lives in Los Angeles, CA.
Tiffany Thomas is a certified drug and alcohol counselor and active member of the California Association of Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC). She has extensive experience working with eclectic, multicultural and social economic populations in the field of recovery. Tiffany is considered an expert in the treatment and treatment management of those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. Tiffany’s experience as a group facilitator, case manager, drug counselor and paraprofessional mental health professional have provided her with a strong empathic and holistic approach to treating those in crisis. Tiffany continues to gain professional experience in drug and alcohol treatment and is currently enrolled in undergraduate work where her focus on substance abuse, anxiety, depression and anger have enabled her to contain the seemingly unmanageable feelings of those clients with whom she works.
Richard grew up in Paterson, NJ, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Seton Hall University and subsequently earned his graduate professional degree of Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine (DC) from New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, NY.
Relocating from New York City where he resided for over 10 years, Richard joins the Breathe Team with a wealth of diverse past experience including teaching, coaching and private practice. His extensive experience with health, wellness and recovery provide a rich passion for the possibility of change.
“Transformation is available to all of us and it can happen in an instant”
Fern comes to Breathe Life Healing Centers with a wealth of experience in operations and project management, yet her heart continues to pull her back to her true love of working with those who have the desire to recover from addiction. Her professional experience includes: building new IOP/PHP programs, sober living and transitional living homes for eating disorders; aid in the transition of developmentally disabled, mentally ill adults out of locked state institutions into less restrictive environments. Fern’s passion is providing the best possible care, under any given circumstance, to those who are willing to undergo a total lifestyle transformation. Her true admiration and dedication provokes a different way of thinking that empower them to live rich, fulfilling lives in recovery.
Robby comes to Breathe with a varied background in Costuming and HIV Prevention and harm reduction.
He worked 10 years in Costuming with the Walt Disney Company traveling the globe and culminating as the assistant Costumer on the team that won the 1997 Emmy award for Outstanding Costuming for a Miniseries or a Special.
He also worked for 12 years through state and federal funded programs with the LGBT community in the field of HIV Prevention and Harm Reduction. His targeted population consisted of active substance users in various degrees of mental illness, homelessness and recovery.
Robby strives to bring his various personal and professional experiences to Breathe in an effort to understand and serve its Clients with understanding, care, compassion and direction.
Brandon Kneefel comes from a organizational leadership background in non-profit, writing and operations. Coming to Breathe, Brandon enlists his personal passion for working in the behavioral health and substance use disorder field. Brandon is excited to continue growing at Breathe, as their holistic approach to healing is not only something that he understands, but incorporates in his daily life. Brandon is a former Jonathan D. Lewis Point Foundation Scholar awarded for his academic excellence and “merit as a future progressive leader.”
Kelly brings several years of human resources and staffing experience to Breathe Life Healing Centers, as well as an understanding for business. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State University, Los Angeles and a Master of Business Administration from Loyola Marymount University.
Kelly has worked as a Human Resources Manager in various industries. Having a broad background in HR, Kelly is thrilled to work for an organization where she can see how the people she hires and works with have a direct impact on improving other people’s lives.
Mike joins Breathe with a strong academic background in psychology and business, having worked extensively with dual diagnosis, mental health, and substance abuse populations as well as patients on the autism spectrum. Grounded in a strong work ethic, Mike brings a constant positive energy to Breathe.
Mike is driven by his commitment to enhance and expand treatment options for clients struggling with anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder as well as other addictions. Mike draws on both personal and professional experience in his passion to help
others regain a sense of hope and peace in their lives as they move along their individual path to recovery.
A graduate of UCSD with a Masters in Business Administration with an emphasis in healthcare management, Mike also holds a BS in Psychology & Kinesiology from Arizona State University. Mike has been an active leader in the mental health community
within several organizations throughout Southern California.
He is a true 21st Century thinker, mining new ways of improving the client experience at Breathe through marketing and advertising practices. Reaching people in need, providing life healing programs, and supporting clients on the road to recovery is the primary goal of all of Mike’s work.
“I really enjoy witnessing clients on the journey to recovery. It is amazing to see the constant evolution and unfolding as clients begin to trust and collaborate with their team. Genuine hope begins to resurface through smiles and laughter as clients begin to create a sense of community and fellowship. If I can bring that message to people in need, to bring them hope and the opportunity to embrace the change they need in their life, then I know I’m doing the right work.”
Tara began working with Intervention Specialists in 2012 supporting the BreakFree Intervention skills training curriculum design and training conferences. Her position evolved into a key support role to Brad Lamm, eventually expanding to include Change Inc and Breathe Life Healing Centers. Her role as Executive Project Manager spans a large portfolio, including organizational and business management projects, internal and external communications, documents, and copywriting for print and web-based products, as well as organizational design and strategic planning.
Tara has been writing for seven years, combined with 22 years of professional development, she has refined her dexterity in providing quality service. Her skill set encompasses both technical and creative writing and editing, policy, procedure and protocol design and implementation, project and event management, as well as professional development and oversight.
Her career began working with teens at Wesleyan University’s summer residential visual and performing arts program, as well as teaching high school at The Woodhall School. When she relocated to Seattle, she began an extensive career with the Boys & Girls Club. Over the course of 15 years, she held multiple positions both direct service in the field as well as in the corporate office including Program Services and Training Director and Human Resources Manager. She has spent the last few years as an independent contractor as Principle Technical Writer of Tara Irvin Creative. Her extensive career has afforded her the opportunity to learn and understand program design, business management and organizational culture, while writing and implementing program development, processes and protocols, and employee development programs. Through this journey, Tara has recognized her professional niche: writing and producing clear and concise manuals, trainings and curricula that are usable, relevant and impactful. With that also comes an astute ability to organize, manage, and deliver projects and special events in comprehensive detail.
Tara’s career has spanned a multitude of positions including varying levels of management and director positions, both direct service and administrative. Her innate ability to communicate and relate to people has allowed her to lead by example, inspire greatness in colleagues and programs, as well as being the information hub of the company. Tara enjoys working with a team of professionals that are making a difference in the world, one life at a time. Tara lives in Connecticut with her family.
Myrtle Leon is a graduate of Cal State University of Los Angeles with a bachelors degree in Social Work. She has more than 20 years experience in clerical work and office coordinating. Additionally, Myrtle has more than eight years of experience in the health insurance call center. She is motivated by teamwork and loves connecting across departments to ensure Breathe’s clients receives the proper attention and reception to Breathe’s program and team.