Senior Leadership Team
Brad is an author, teacher and interventionist best known for helping people make life-enhancing change on The Dr. Phil Show, The Doctors, TODAY, and The Dr. OZ Show. Brad’s mission is to help families have “more good – less bad” in their lives.
Brad began his own recovery journey in 2003 from drugs, bulimia, nicotine + alcohol. What seemed an impossible challenge proved how even the most challenging cases might not just recover, but thrive from a starting point of hopelessness and brokenness.
He has managed more than one-thousand interventions, visited hundreds of treatment facilities across the country, presented before Parliament in the UK, served on the board of the Association of Intervention Specialists, and collaborated with the most knowledgeable and effective specialists in the field of recovery treatment and worked at the state level to introduce treatment options to communities.
In 2012, Brad realized a dream come true as he opened the first Breathe Life Healing Center to provide powerful residential, insurance-driven trauma treatment in urban environments utilizing 21st Century solutions; powerful collaborations, outstanding clinical and 12 Step participation. Breathe’s treatment techniques are industry-leading and aimed to support mind, body, and spirit.
“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.”
Kathleen Murphy, M.A., LPC is the Executive Clinical Director of Breathe Life Healing Centers West Hollywood. Kathleen’s career is built on more than 30 years of experience working with people suffering from substance abuse issues complicated by relational trauma.
Kathleen has made use of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, IFS, AEDP, Interpersonal Neurobiology, polemics, and didactics. Her focus on psycho-education, and experiential group processes heavily influenced by attachment theory as well as psychodramatic techniques, assist clients in reframing and reclaiming the self as a being in relationship.
Prior to joining Breathe as the founding Clinical Director, Kathleen had the honor of deepening her experiential group therapy skills at Breakthrough at Caron Treatment Center in Wernersville, Pennsylvania.
Kathleen earned her BA in Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Texas, Austin and then her MA in Counseling at St Edward’s University.
With has a passion for the practice and teaching of Kundalini Yoga, Sound Healing, Zen Buddhism, and all the wisdom traditions she enjoys mental gymnastics, poetry and philosophical discourse as a way to help clients change their state of being.
Licensed Professional Counselor and a Nationally Credentialed Counselor, Kathleen is trained in Hakomi body-centered psychotherapy, Level 2 EMDR L and as a Sensorimotor Psychotherapist and is a member of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute and National Board of Credentialed Counselors. Additionally, Kathleen is a Certified Level 1 Kundalini Yoga Teacher and certified by Mehtab Benton in Gong Yoga therapy.
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.
Andrew Saunders, MA, LMFT (Lic. #: 96008) came to Breathe Life Healing Centers in July, 2015, following a two-year MFT clinical internship at Beit T’Shuvah, a long-term residential treatment center in Culver City, CA. During that time he worked extensively with young men struggling with co-occurring substance and process addictions, including sex addiction, internet addiction, and gambling addictions. At Breathe, he has expanded his clinical focus to working with gay men with co-occurring crystal meth, sex addiction and flight attendants with alcohol or other substance use disorders. He is one of approximately 300 clinicians authorized by the State of California to treat problem gambling. He has received additional education in trauma-informed treatment of addiction and eating disorders, including Sensorimotor psychotherapy, DBT, and Internal Family Systems. He received his MA in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles, in 2014. Prior to that time, he spent twenty years as an executive in the media and entertainment industries focusing on the development and marketing of motion pictures, television, and video-games. Digital media properties he helped develop and promote to consumers include IGN, Rotten Tomatoes, MySpace, and TMZ.com.
Tara began her journey as a volunteer, making art with and providing emotional support to the patients of Caring Hospice Services. This experience reinforced her decision to change her career path in merchandising and become a psychotherapist. She graduated from the Department of Marital and Family Therapy at Loyola Marymount University, specializing in clinical art therapy. She began her training at OPICA Adult Day Care Center, working with older adults with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, and continued her training at the Kayne Eras Center, a special needs school, working with children and young adults. Upon graduation, Tara provided therapy services in a private practice setting in California and led an art therapy group at City of Hope Hospital and Children’s Institute. Subsequently, she launched an art therapy program and provided individual, group, and family therapy services. She worked as a part of a treatment team in a dual diagnosis and mental health setting for 2 years before coming to Breathe.
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.
Jack Soll has been counseling clients with eating disorders since 1982 and licensed since 1988. In private practice for decades, his passion continues to be working with the compulsive overeater and the overweight and obese. Jack has been a Clinical Member of both The International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals and The Academy for Eating Disorders for 25 years. He has taught, lectured, consulted, and facilitated classes, trainings, workshops, seminars, retreats & in-services at various schools, professional organizations, community programs, religious organizations, facilities and public media throughout the country.
Personally, Jack has been enthusiastically and continuously involved with 12-step recovery for over 33 years while maintaining a 120-pound weight loss for that entire time.
Mackenzie Phillips joins the team at Breathe as a substance use disorder counselor bringing with her a unique perspective, much of which has been shaped by her own battle with substance abuse, in addition to her ongoing professional training as an addiction counselor.
“My addiction was so powerful, and so rooted in early trauma, that I lost myself for many years. Now, with a strong recovery I’m committed to helping others find their voice at Breathe Life Healing Centers,” says Mackenzie.
Tiffany Thomas is a certified drug and alcohol counselor and active member of the California Association of Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Counselors. 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.
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.
Family Life Team
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.
Nutritional Services Team
Ashley Lytwyn, MS, RDN, is the Director of Nutrition at Breathe Life Healing Centers. She earned her master’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from the University of Illinois at Chicago in Clinical Nutrition. She believes in the ability to make peace with food and your body. She aims to help individuals ditch the diet mentality and learn to nourish the body, mind, and soul.
In addition to her work at Breathe, she owns and operates a private practice, focusing on eating disorders, disordered eating, and chronic dieting.
Spiritual Life Team
Growing up to become a pastor ministering to a community of faith prepared David in rich ways for the work he does today at Breathe Life on Campus + Clinic with clients. In long-term recovery, David speaks to the still small voice inside us all, building on resilience and faith in principles of change. Using drums, and many other instruments, the beat of the heart comes alive in David’s community circles.
Rituals and techniques David employs:
- Breathing techniques
- Grounding exercises
- Awareness hiking
- Creative writing
- Prayers of the Medicine Wheel
- Drum Circles
Rene Collins first connected with Breathe founder Brad Lamm through his longtime collaborator Dr. Sam Sharmat. Rene is honored to be apart of Breathe’s Spritual Life Team, using his practices of Qi Gong and a variety of meditation and spiritual development work including BREATHING!
He hails from the San Francisco Bay Area, where he began his education in the performing arts and spiritual development. His background in the performing arts includes martial arts, circus acrobats and acting, and music. His spiritual background includes Kabbalah, Kemetic spirituality, Zen, Qi Gong and meditation.
Rene has an array of inner tools he uses to teach and inspire clients. His meditations are used to focus on the pre-frontal cortex, the part of the brain which houses self regulation.
From St.louis Mo Jason has worked for Breathe as a mentor for the last 2 years. Jason brings a unique perspective to breathe clients for he was an former Breakfree client. He can really relate to clients because he has lived walked in their shoes and let people know there is a life out there to be lived. Jason loves to motivate and let client’s know that he never gave up and if he can do it they can do it!
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.
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.
Adam Peters received his culinary degree in 2010 from Le Cordon Bleu, Los Angeles after being a personal chef and care giver for three years. After graduating, he worked at I was Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. At Disney world he worked as a line cook and pastry assistant. Through his time with Disney he was promoted to Prep/Sous Chef. After moving back to California, he expanded his culinary experience by working with several catering companies before receiving his personal chef certification. Before joining the Breathe team, he worked for a LA based restaurant consultant where he helped to create menus for up and coming restaurants in Central and Southern California.
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
Alan was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and had been in the construction business for 10 years. At Breathe he ensures the facilities are always operating efficiently and effectively. Prior to joining Breathe, Alex was a part of the building operations department at the California science center and equinox fitness corporation. He enjoys working his hands loves feeling a sense of accomplishment when he has completed a task.
Intake + Referral Relations Team
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.
Stemming from South Florida, Emily moved to Los Angeles in October of 2015, and began her journey at Breathe in January of 2016. Emily’s passion, love, and dedication to the field of Mental Health and Substance Abuse originated at the University of South Florida, where she gained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, concentrating on Substance Use/Dependence, Behavioral Health, and Mental Health. In conjunction with her college courses, Emily volunteered her extracurricular time at a Psychological Research Lab actively studying how Anxiety/Bipolar Disorder correlate with Substance Use and Dependence. Emily has experience working in both Residential, and Outpatient treatment settings over the course of her career in Substance Use Treatment, and is excited to be working in Admissions. Emily believes fervently in the resilience of the human mind, heart, and spirit, and works enthusiastically to inspire others to nurture their value and worth. Emily hopes to help lift the spirit of others through integrity, honesty, patience, and smiles, and to create a spark to help others find their light.
Shauneen Fleischner began working with Breathe in January of 2017. She has worked in the treatment industry for the last 10 years. Shauneen joins the team with experience in admissions, detox and residential treatment. She has a wealth of knowledge in several levels of care. Shauneen has overcome her own battle with addiction and has been dedicated to helping others ever since. With her own experience as well as understanding of what the clients’ are going through in making that first initial step to enter treatment, Shauneen brings a depth of passion to the team
Clinical Outreach Team
After a 15+ year career as a corporate marketing and advertising executive, much of it in the healthcare arena, Kristen took a break to take on the hardest job of all: being a mom. Kristen returned to school and received a Master of Public Health degree. With her relationship marketing expertise, and her new public health knowledge, Kristen set out to find her place in the treatment and recovery field. She comes to Breathe from an adolescent treatment program where she was Community Outreach Liaison. Kristen has also been very active in marketing and fundraising for numerous non-profit organizations. Kristen also has a BA in Communications from Drake University, along with the Master of Public Health degree from National University.
Brandon Kneefel has been a part of Breathe since 2013, beginning as the Admissions and Office Coordinator before moving on to become the Performance Improvement and Electronic Health Records Manager. In his current role as HR + Compliance Director, he oversees all licensing, accreditation, electronic health records, and human resource functions.
Brandon came to Breathe with a organizational leadership background in non-profit, writing and operations. He 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. He is currently enrolled in an Inter-Faith Ministerial Program and is a former Jonathan D. Lewis Point Foundation Scholar awarded for his academic excellence and “merit as a future progressive leader.”
As Executive Project Manager Tara’s role 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.