Meet Our Team
OPI Executive Director Jessica Breton shares with us her thoughts on the passionate and skilled team here at OPI. Several team members have been with OPI for more than 10 years, and all team members focus on our core values of empathy, service, trusting relationships, and growth.
Jessica Breton is the Executive Director at the Optimum Performance Institute and has been with OPI since 2009, holding the positions of licensed therapist and Clinical Program Director.
Jessica’s background and expertise are well suited to serve the young adults at OPI. She holds a BA in psychology from University of California at Santa Barbara and has a Masters degree from Phillips Graduate Institute in Marriage and Family Therapy.
She received Training in Mentalization-based Treatment Approach in Psychotherapy for Borderline Personality Disorder through UCLA Semel Institute. She also has training in Treating Multiple Severe Disorders with Dialectical Behavioral Therapy with Michael Hollander, Ph.D., from Harvard/McLean Hospital. Additionally, Jessica has participated in Social Skills and Violence Prevention Training from the California Family Counseling Center.
She has served as a Marriage and Family Therapist with the California Family Counseling Center, has worked in several Los Angeles Unified School District elementary, middle and High Schools and has maintained a small private practice.
Ms. Breton is a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, as well as Evolving Women.
At her heart, She is a passionate clinician. Jessica strongly believes that the relationships we build with clients and staff members helps to create an environment conducive to growth, healing, and change.
When not at work, Jessica loves spending time with her husband and 2 small boys.
Alisa received a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Phillips Graduate Institute. She has a strong passion for the field of psychology and for supporting others on their life path through the power of therapy.
She began her work at the California Counseling Center providing therapy to children, adolescents, couples and families. She also served as a child therapist, for the Los Angeles Unified School District, where she conducted both individual and group therapy for students at an elementary through high school level.
Her passion for the mental health field began as an undergraduate student at UCSB where she volunteered as a Paraprofessional Counselor, for the Family Service Agency Suicide Crisis Helpline. She also worked as a research assistant at Verdugo Mental Health Clinic.
She has had extensive training in Social Skills and Violence Prevention/Anti-Bullying and has run countless social skills groups and parenting workshops.
Alisa is enthusiastic about the work that she does at OPI and the opportunity to help young adults on their journey to independence. She believes in the importance of finding joy and balance in life and building a healthy repertoire of skills to manage day-to-day life.
When Alisa is not working she is focused on her other passion which is her family. She loves spending time with her husband and two daughters.
Jill Hausen M.S., LMFT is the Admissions Clinical Intake Coordinator at Optimum Performance Institute. Jill received her B.A. in Sociology from the University of California Santa Barbara and spent nearly ten years working in advertising and digital marketing before obtaining her Master’s Degree in Psychology from California Lutheran University in 2015. After completing her degree she worked as an outpatient therapist at Roundtable Counseling in Camarillo, CA where she provided therapy to adolescents and adults dealing with a range of mental health issues. She is excited to combine her marketing experience and clinical background into her current role at OPI.
Dr. Carroll Brown is a graduate from Phillips
Graduate University, where he obtained his Doctorate in Psychology with an emphasis in Organizational Management and Consulting. Dr. Brown previously attended California State University Northridge where he obtained his B.A. Dr. Brown has been working in residential treatment/mental health for over a decade. He first started off working at a juvenile facility for boys (Rancho San Antonio Boys Home) where he has been involved in multiple levels of the treatment team ranging from direct care staff, supervisor, to child and family mental health specialist. While continuing to be an agent of change in the lives of his clients, Dr. Brown has continuously used his education and skills to help provide clients with great quality care that is customized to their individual needs.
Dr. Brown has over 10 years of direct Staff Development & Supervision experience working in residential treatment. He is a highly respected team builder and leader whose responsibility is delivering ideal services, resources and programs for clients. Further, Dr. Brown is deeply committed to building a cohesive team through new member orientation and team building exercises that would help improve the quality of life for clients.
April came in to the field of mental health inspired by her own life experiences. As the daughter of a family member who endured decades worth of unsuccessful treatment stays April knows first hand the importance of finding quality treatment, not just for the participant but for the entire family. This life experience is what fuels her passion to only advocate for the absolute best treatment providers who operate with the most upstanding integrity. As she will tell you, she knows exactly what it’s like to be the family member believing in a treatment center with your whole heart and hanging on to every word with the hope that “this time it will work”.
James Hollis is the Admissions Advisor at Optimum Performance Institute in Woodland Hills, CA. He’s been assisting with operations of the Education Department at OPI since March 2019. He’s looking forward to building lasting relationships throughout the Admissions landscape as well and the entire mental health community.
James is originally from Las Vegas, NV where he graduated from his alma mater UNLV with a B.S. in Physical Science. He’s been married to his H.S. sweetheart, Ali, since 2007 and they have 2 furry children together. After receiving his P.S. in Education, James and his wife moved to Australia where he earned his MEDL at the University of Wollongong. In 2017 he discovered his passion for Coaching and Mental Health while becoming a certified life coach at Accomplishment Coaching in San Diego, CA.
Mental health and wellness has always held a huge piece of James’ heart and he is honored to be part of the OPI team!!
Dr. Red is a board-certified adult psychiatrist who sub-specializes in children and adolescents. Her specialized training allows a big picture view of development over a lifespan. She believes that a person is a “whole person,” and practices medicine with this in mind. She has a thoughtful approach and uses evidence-based medicine to compassionately help others.
She has been recognized for excellence in leadership, clinical care, and dedication to service. She is currently the President-Elect of the Southern California Psychiatric Society, a professional organization representing over 1,000 psychiatrists in Southern California.
Also in the SCPS, Dr. Red has served as Treasurer, Secretary, Regional Councilor, Early Career Representative, and Resident/ Fellow Member Representative.
Dr. Red completed an Adult Psychiatry Residency at Los Angeles County USC Medical Center, followed by a subspecialty fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Red received her MD degree from the University of Texas at Houston Medical School. Her undergraduate degree was in biology and chemistry at Howard Payne University in Texas.
Dr. Red is also a member of the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, and American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Janet Martin, M.D., Ph.D. is a Board Certified (ABPN) psychiatrist with over 10 years of private-practice experience, committed to helping patients using psychotherapy and psychopharmacology. She completed her residency training at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in 2006, where she was Chief Resident of the Consultation & Liason service. She received her M.D. from UC Irvine, where she also completed a Ph.D. in neuroscience research, studying neuropathology in dementia. She completed her undergraduate education at UCLA, where she majored in Psycho biology, graduating magna cum laude.
Darin received his Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from California Lutheran University and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. He received his Bachelors degree in Psychology from California State University Northridge where he also minored in Human Sexuality.
He is a naturally present and empathetic clinician that has joined the OPI team after 6+ years of providing direct therapeutic services to young adults, adolescents, and their families. He has experience providing group, individual, and family therapy in Intensive Outpatient Programs, community counseling centers and in private practice.
Darin has a passion for helping young people find their own path into adulthood. He enjoys the process of connecting with each individual and trying to help them learn the skills and self confidence they need to achieve their goals.
In his free time he can be found cavorting outdoors with his wife and two sons, coaching his boys’ basketball teams, listening to music, or “geeking out” on random psychology books, the NFL, and the NBA.
Currently employed at Optimum Performance Institute, Woodland Hills, CA, as a Marriage and Family Therapist, Salter Giddens provides treatment/counseling to a young adult population struggling with mood disorders, identity issues, substance abuse/addiction, and personality disorder related life challenges. Before graduating from Antioch University, Los Angeles with a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy, Salter began his career providing individual and group therapy at local community counseling centers, working with diverse populations of individuals with diagnoses ranging from depression and anxiety, to PTSD, addiction, bi-polar disorder, and personality disorders. Salter also has more than 12 years’ experience working as an academic tutor and mentor for students, of all ages, and learning styles.
It is my absolute pleasure and honor to still be considered a part of the OPI family . I have been fortunate to work with OPI for several years, and have the utmost respect for the entire team, and for the unparalleled work they are doing, helping to relaunch young adults, toward a future of success and wellness.
I have been a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for almost 25 years. My experiences range from working in a locked psychiatric unit of a hospital (for over 10 years), running and working at various residential and outpatient mental health and drug and alcohol programs, to having a successful private practice. I am passionate about helping individuals get unstuck, reconnect with their true self, find hope again, and start to see their life full of potential and promise.
Most people seeking treatment (if not all), have some history of trauma, and this trauma is impacting their present ability to be as effective as they would like to be, and often gets in the way of them reaching their personal goals. OPI does amazing work in providing its participants with many tools, a safe environment to practice them, and support and guidance to help move them forward, in all areas of their lives. There are times when one's trauma becomes an obstacle to continued growth. When this happens, I am here to help.
EMDR allows me a way to work with a client that is being controlled by the impact of their past. EMDR is an evidence based approach proven successful in helping people suffering from PTSD, and other symptoms of trauma. As a certified EMDR therapist, I have been able to help people work through trauma, that they long ago gave up hope of ever doing. I have learned to trust the process of EMDR, and have seen miraculous results.
May you be happy, may you be at ease, may you be free from suffering; as you pursue your life's journey.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Certified EMDR Therapist
Brittany holds a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Mercer University School of Medicine and received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Spelman College. Brittany specializes in the treatment of individuals struggling with addiction/substance abuse, mental health disorders, trauma and dysfunctional family dynamics. Before joining the OPI team, Brittany worked over 10 years in inpatient mental health and addiction treatment services. She strives to provide a nonjudgmental, empathetic, safe place for clients to share their experiences. She utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Bowenian Family Therapy to meet clients and families where they are and provide a nurturing environment to grow.
In her free time she loves to cook, travel, shop, walk and spend time with loved ones.
Monique holds a Masters degree form Phillips Graduate Institute and received her Bachelors of Arts degree from Antioch University. She began her therapeutic work at the California Family Counseling center providing therapy for children, adolescents, couples and families.
Monique specializes in the treatment of individuals and families dealing with Autism, Trauma, OCD, ADHD, PTSD, Familial Dysfunction, Anxiety, Mood and Bi-polar Disorders.
Monique has worked for over 15 years in a Short Term Residential Therapeutic Program with foster and adopted children, adolescents and their families.
She utilizes Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral, Narrative, Solution Focused, and Bowenian family therapies to assist clients with successfully navigating through their lives. She strives to create a safe environment that is conducive to the healing and growth process, where clients and families can thrive and create trusting relationships.
Additionally, Monique has worked with pregnant homeless women and with a Short Term Residential Therapeutic Program specializing in LGBTQ foster youth.
In her spare time, she loves to travel, cook, plan events, spend time with her twin granddaughters, family and friends.
Lacey holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from California Lutheran University and a Master of Arts in Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Phillips Graduate University. She then began her career in psychology working for various Department of Mental Health contracted programs in both Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. Her approach to therapy utilizes concepts from treatment modalities such as; Narrative, Family Systems, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Existential Psychology to provide a non-judgmental and warm environment where clients feel safe to explore their struggles. Lacey believes that a strong therapeutic alliance is critical to effective treatment as well as working collaboratively with clients and building a therapeutic relationship based on trust, honesty, and openness.
In her spare time, Lacey enjoys spending time with loved ones, partaking in confectionary masterpieces, watching action movies, and playing with her animals.
Introducing participants to the world of work to become job-ready is something that Jenny strives to do in the Department of Volunteer and Career Services. Jenny has been the Director since 2010 and previously worked with the Los Angeles Community College District working at both Pierce and Valley College in the Job Placement Center, Disabled Student Services, and EOPS.
As Director for Volunteer and Career Services, Jenny works with participants to use volunteering as an opportunity to build transferable skills, to obtain work experiences and professional references, gain confidence, and set and meet short term goals. Jenny helps participants in all phases of career counseling including exploration, career related tool building and the job search process. She coaches participants in the value of networking, professional image and mock interviewing. Jenny also coordinates the monthly community service events in various service areas and industries.
Jenny earned her Master’s of Science degree in Counseling and Guidance, College Student Personnel from California Lutheran University, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University, Northridge, and a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from San Diego State University.
Madison Moore attended California State University Northridge where she earned her B.A. She is currently working towards her doctorate in clinical psychology. Madison started out at OPI in 2018 as an AM Independent Living Specialist. Months later, she transitioned to Activity Coordinator, then served as Interim Director and is now the director of Extracurricular Activities. Madison has a passion for mental health, helping others, and maintaining a positive attitude in any situation. With the experiences of working in many different areas of OPI, she offers a unique perspective for creating an engaging environment for participants.
The Extracurricular Activities Department strives to offer an array of clubs, ranging from hiking club to horror movie club. The department plans Friday lunches and Saturday experiential activities in the LA area in order to provide participants the opportunity to experience their community. Madison loves to exercise and enjoys pushing her body with marathons, races and mud runs. Madison enjoys hiking, traveling, camping, laughing and spending time with loved ones.
Young adults face a myriad of challenges on the path to independence, and it is not uncommon to face some setbacks along the way. Melissa is passionate about supporting young adults in building the skills and knowledge to conquer the developmental tasks that come with transitioning into adulthood. She has been with OPI since 2008, working as front line staff, life coach and therapist. Currently she serves as the Director of Life Coaching Services and as a Therapist/Case Manager.
As Director of Life Coaching, Melissa hires and trains all life coaches at OPI to ensure participants are receiving one-to-one support and attention from our life coaching team. Life Coaches help participants define and work toward their goals, by creating small action steps that are accomplished and measured through a system of accountability. As a Therapist, Melissa works one-to-one with participants to work though the emotional obstacles keeping young adults from actualizing their full potential.
Melissa earned her Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Phillips Graduate Institute. Prior to that, she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Promotions and Disease Prevention Studies with a minor in Psychology from the University of Southern California. Her experience outside of OPI includes working as a Behavioral Interventionist, utilizing her training in Applied Behavioral Analysis in her work with children and adolescence on the Autism spectrum. Additionally, Melissa offered counseling and crisis management with female adolescent foster youth living in group homes. Melissa holds a membership with the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
Krista has been with the Optimum Performance Institute since 2008 when she began working as an Independent Living Specialist. She then was promoted to a Site Supervisor and eventually transferred into Human Resources.
As the Human Resources Generalist for Innerchange/OPI Krista helps with the new hire onboarding process; this includes recruiting, orientation, and welcoming the new staff to our family. Krista assists with employee relations and development, creation of policies and procedures, and is familiar with HR rules and regulations.
Krista earned her Bachelors degree in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She went on to pursue her Masters degree in Psychology from California State University, Long Beach. Krista is from the South Bay. She enjoys going to sporting events, concerts, hiking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
Janet has been working at OPI since 2015. Starting as an Independent Living Specialist, Janet soon moved in to the Clinical Site Supervisor position. Having over 5 years experience in addiction treatment and recovery, Janet joined the Addictions Department as an addiction specialist, working side by side with the Director of Addictions, facilitating addiction workshops, doing addiction check ins and coordinating community meetings and support.
Janet is a certified instructor in non-violent crisis intervention and instructs and certifies the OPI team. Janet is a bit of a Renaissance woman. She loves experiencing new adventures and is a sponge for information. She has a broad knowledge base and is able to connect with a diverse population of people in a variety of situations.
Along with her husband Chops and their kitty Kona, Janet likes the beach, dancing, scuba, and shopping. She has been skydiving, bungee jumping and loves roller coasters! Her favorite is visiting her baby grandson Jay and her 23 year old son Phoenix, who is a Staff Sergeant in the US Army.
Tricia graduated with her Bachelors in Business Marketing and Minor in Studio Art from Sonoma State University. She joined the OPI team in 2010 as the receptionist and has since transitioned to Office Manager where she enjoys being part of the vibrant OPI team. As Office Manager, Tricia works closely with the administrative assistants to ensure the office is running smoothly and efficiently.
Tricia was born and raised in Southern California and enjoys traveling, hiking, baking and spending time with her husband and friends when she’s not at work.
Alice Padilla has a Bachelor's in Sociology from the University of California, Riverside and a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration. She has worked in the Education field for 5 years and in mental health for 6 years. As Director of Education she strives to encourage participants to further their education or get back on track with their educational goals. The Education Department offers several opportunities for participants to do so -- stemming from connecting with our local community colleges to enroll in classes and participating in educational activities and seminars. Her college and personal life experiences are what have led her to this position and she is happy to share them first-hand with our participants and be a relatable source. She is passionate about education and breaking down the barriers related to college access. She absolutely loves dogs, iced coffee, and spending time with her loved ones. During her free time she enjoys working out, reading or watching movies.
Alex has been with OPI since 2009 and began working as an overnight Independent Living Specialist. Alex was soon promoted to Clinical Site Supervisor.
Alex has an incredible ability to engage and connect with the participants and really push them to meet program expectations. Alex is a master tour guide for visitors coming to OPI and ensures that all new participants feel at home and comfortable with their environment.
Alex recently took part in OPI’s first Casa Hogar trip to Mexico and also went on the first OPI camping trip. Alex actively encourages participants to join him in workouts and other outside physical activities. He has been a sports coach for over 20 years and a Karate teacher for 13 years. Alex enjoys the opportunity to be positive every day, and when he is not at the gym he enjoys spending his free time with his wife and kids.
Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, Isaias graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology. Isaias joined the OPI team in 2015 as an Independent Living Specialist and transitioned to Clinical Site Supervisor. In his free time Isaias enjoys the many privileges and opportunities that come along with living in the great city of Los Angeles.
Mario has been with the Optimum Performance Institute since 2008. He started as an Independent Living Specialist and transitioned to a Site Supervisor/Fleet Manager role. Mario works closely with his fellow supervisors and scheduler to ensure all participant transportation needs are met on a daily basis.
Mario grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Psychology. In his spare time Mario likes to spend time with his family and fixing things around the house.
Monica graduated with a Bachelors in Criminal Justice and a minor in Sociology. She began working at Optimum Performance Institute as an Independent Living Specialist since 2009. After few months, Monica transitioned to Site Supervisor. Throughout the years of employment, Monica has collaborated with the development of OPI’s Policies and Procedures in different areas such as medications, safety, and emergencies, One of Monica’s greatest passion is to bring healing to people who have been through a traumatic/stressful experience.
As self-care, Monica has found a passion in Crossfit. She loves working out and shares her experience with coworkers/participants. She has participated in several competitions. Other things she enjoys is to travel around the world, hikes, camping, parasailing, zip line, massages, and concerts.
Sal has been with the Optimum Performance Institute since 2005. He started as an Independent Living Specialist and transitioned to a Site Supervisor/facilities manager.
Sal works closely with his fellow site supervisors to ensure the safety and security of participants and staff. As facilities manager, Sal ensures all apartments are up to JCAHO standards. This includes monitoring the apartments for safety concerns, training staff on emergency preparedness, and training all staff on CPR and First Aid. Sal is intensively trained in DBT through Behavioral Tech.
Sal grew up in southern California and graduated from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Psychology. In his spare time Sal enjoys working out and watching movies with his son.
Marc Botezatu graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelors degree in Health and Humanities. Marc joined the OPI team in 2017 and transitioned from an Independent Living Specialist to a Clinical Site Supervisor.
Marc is able to build a great rapport with all our participants and is able to keep them motivated and driven to succeed in the program.
Marc leads an indoor rock climbing club that challenges our participants, takes them outside of their comfort zones but also builds self confidence and courage.
When Marc is not working he enjoys backpacking, running marathons, free diving, and flying single engine planes.
Marvyn has been with OPI since 2015, starting off one of our drivers. He later became an Independent Living Specialist, then transitioned to a Lead Overnight ILS, and soon after promoted to Clinical Site Supervisor.
Marvyn builds strong, trusting relationships with our participants and staff. He knows that no single approach is right for every individual, seeking to understand each person by listening and engaging. He is able to encourage participants to complete daily goals and is helps them out when they are faced with challenges. Marvyn's humor makes him very approachable, which makes the participants feel they can come to him with any concerns
Marvyn loves to cook, and in his spare time explores ways to fuse different dishes and perfect his recipes. He is also a comic book fanatic and can talk hours about the Marvel Universe. He likes long walks on the beach and equally long naps.
Alexa graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Psychology. At OPI, she started as an Independent Living Specialist, then quickly moved up to be the AM Lead, and the Residential Department Representative in Treatment Team. She was able to keep participants accountable and motivate them to achieve their treatment goals. She then transitioned into a Site Supervisor and continues to connect very well with participants and staff and is able to build trusting relationships with them. Alexa also enjoys creating memorable experiences for participants, such as starting Make-Up Club and Sunday Brunch.
Alexa was born and raised in Downtown Los Angeles. In her free time, she likes to work out and hang out with family. She enjoys trying new restaurants and tasting different types of foods throughout LA.