Clinical Team

Burr Cook

Burr Cook

CADC II, NCAC, CIP, RN

As Executive Clinical Director, Burr oversees clinical operations at Balboa Horizons. He has worked in healthcare since the mid-1970s and has worked in state-licensed inpatient addiction treatment centers and detoxification facilities as a nurse, counselor, program developer and director, educator, and director of admissions since 2003.

Burr is a Board Registered Interventionist through the Association of Intervention Specialist Credentialing Board (AISCB), a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC II), a Nationally Certified Addiction Counselor (NCAC), Certified Intervention Professionals (CIP), and a Registered Nurse. He is a member of the California Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC), the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC), and past President of Network of Independent Interventionists (NII). He also served on the boards of NII and PALM (Problems of Addiction in Labor and Management). His experience and knowledge of the intervention, treatment, and recovery process has given him the resources and skills necessary to implement comprehensive, effective recovery plans for clients and their families.

Burr believes an essential piece of recovery is the participation of the entire family in the recovery process.

Elizabeth Roberts

MD

Dr. Elizabeth Roberts has been guiding, caring and advocating for children and adults for over thirty years, half of those years as a physician. Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology, Dr. Roberts serves as Medical Director at Balboa Horizons. She is responsible for evaluation and diagnosis of every patient who comes through the program. Dr. Roberts manages psychiatric medication for all of Balboa Horizons clientele, as well as screening for medical referrals.

She has also appeared as an expert witness before the House Committee on the damaging effects of misdiagnosis and over-diagnosis of children with psychiatric disorders. Dr. Roberts is a medical expert widely in demand in the media, and has appeared on The Oprah Show, The Today Show, ABC News in Chicago, CBS News Los Angeles, NBC News in San Francisco, Real Life with Mary Amoroso in New Jersey, and KZSW-TV in California. Her radio appearances include: Washington Post Radio, Washington D.C.; The Milt Rosenberg Show, Chicago; The Pete Wilson Show, San Francisco; Positive Parenting, San Francisco, and many others. Dr. Roberts has been widely published, including her op-ed in The Washington Post, “A Rush To Medicate Young Minds,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Forum, “Bipolar Kids or Bad Parents?” as well as in the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun Times. She is the author of “Should You Medicate Your Child’s Mind.”

Dr. Roberts believes an essential piece of recovery is good mental health.

Allyssa James

LMFT

Allyssa is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, as well the Clinical Manager at Balboa Horizons. She also supervises therapist interns currently obtaining hours toward licensure. She has worked with addiction and eating disorder programs for the past six years.

A supportive and personable therapist, Allyssa is passionate about helping her clients grow and heal along their own recovery path. She chose the recovery field after undergoing recovery of her own.

Allyssa believes an essential piece of recovery is learning to find gratitude in everyday life—both the triumphs and the challenges.

Marissa Murray

CADCA

As Detox Program Manager, Marissa is responsible for supervising all aspects of the detox center, including staffing and working one on one with clients—coordinating admissions, treatment planning, scheduling, and facilitating medical needs.

A registered member of the California Drug and Alcohol Counselor Certification Program (CADCA), Marissa has worked in the recovery industry since 2008—in every role from case management to detox program director at another recovery center.

Marissa believes an essential piece of recovery is practicing it as a spiritual journey.

Caitlin Murashie

CADC-II

As Program Manager, Caitlin is responsible for managing the Treatment Counselors for the Balboa Horizons’ Women’s Program. Her duties include staff and program development, documentation audits, crisis interventions, and client and employee scheduling. She is also responsible for advising the support staff and support staff supervisor.

A Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor and Registered Recovery Worker, Caitlin acquired her degree from Health Staff Training Institute in 2008 and has worked in a variety of treatment programs, including adolescent and detoxification facilities. Caitlin’s years of participation in 12-Step recovery programs allow her to provide outstanding support to clients and families affected by addiction.

Caitlin believes an essential piece of recovery is the willingness to take action to unseat old patterns.

Bruce Kolberg

CADAC, CASS

After spending nearly 20 years in construction, Bruce made the decision to follow his passion for helping men recover from addiction. He is currently the lead counselor for the Men’s Program helping supervise the other men’s counselors. He studied at Intercoast College in the California Certification Board of Alcohol and Drug Counseling (CADAC) program where he graduated on the Director’s Honor Roll.

In the recovery industry since 2012, Bruce believes an essential piece of recovery is realigning priorities and changing perceptions.

George Hoke

CADC-CAS

As IOP Case Manager, George is responsible for crisis management and one-on-one client counseling sessions, as well as facilitating psychoeducational group sessions.

A Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor with over 14 years in recovery, and 20 years experience in sales, he parlays his business acumen into helping clients develop life skills and a workable plan for the future. Through volunteering, George found his life’s purpose in helping other people with their personal recovery.

George believes an essential piece of recovery is learning how to form authentic relationships.

Joanne Brennon

MS, PCCI, LAADC

Joanne is a Primary Therapist for Balboa Horizons’ Women’s Residential Program. She obtained her B.S. in Psychology from Depaul University, and her Master’s degree in Counseling/Human Services from National-Louis University in Chicago, Illinois, and is a Licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor.

She has been serving the female population of recovering addicts since 2008 and has training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing, and Psychodrama.

Joanne believes believes an essential piece of recovery is the initial relationship with your therapist as that provides a sense of connection and acceptance.

Julia Westman

RAS

Julia is a Women’s Residential Case Manager at Balboa Horizons, responsible for case management, group and individual counseling, treatment, and discharge planning. Day-to-day responsibilities also include crisis intervention, process groups and client education. She also works closely with the clients’ families.

A Registered Addiction Specialist, Julia has worked in the recovery industry since 2012 and has wide experience in the field of addiction treatment, having served in roles from support staff to case management.

Julia believes an essential piece of recovery is to always ask yourself where you are in  your spiritual journey and who are you helping.

Ammar Altowaji

MA

Ammar earned his B.A. in Psychology from Cal State Fullerton, where he did a three-year research project on twin studies, garnering multiple publications and recognition. He holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University in Los Angeles, CA. In the field of addiction recovery since 2014, Ammar’s experience includes working in a Group Home for teenagers, dealing with both treatment for substance abuse as well as attachment/abandonment issues.

He has been trained in many therapeutic modalities including Trauma Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Narrative Therapy which are known to be successful in the treatment of patients suffering from addiction and other psychological disorders. He’s volunteered with Metropolitan State Hospital, working with individuals dealing with Schizophrenia; he’s also volunteered extensively with mentoring programs and adolescent studies.

Ammar believes an essential piece of recovery is commitment to personal growth.

Helene Shotwell

LMFT

Helene is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been working with clients struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues throughout Orange County for the past 12 years. In addition to her other therapeutic modalities, she is a Certified Hypnotherapist, and a practitioner and teacher of various meditation techniques.

Her recovery background includes creating substance abuse and mental health curriculum for the Orange County Health Care Agency and other facilities, and facilitating therapy groups. She has also worked with at-risk adolescents, Juvenile Hall, and homeless families throughout Orange County, and has spoken widely on topics such as Parenting and Substance Abuse.

Helene believes an essential piece of recovery is to strive to learn and grow every day.

Bonnie Dewidt

CATC-1

Bonnie serves as a Case Manager and Counselor for the Balboa Horizons’ Men’s Residential Program. She received her CATC-1 (Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor) from Saddleback College, and has been involved in the recovery community for over five years. Bonnie is experienced in multiple treatment modalities including Gender Specific Therapy and Trauma Therapy.

Her experience includes volunteering for many years with an indigent woman’s shelter. She has also worked with formerly incarcerated women and men in treatment to help them reenter life and thrive in recovery.

Bonnie believes an essential piece of recovery is to surrender and trust the process.

Jarrod Flynn

CATC

Jarrod Flynn is a certified alcohol and drug counselor with the addiction certification board of California. He started working in the recovery industry in 2006, and soon discovered he had a true passion for helping those suffering from addiction.

He then decided to follow his lifelong dream of becoming a paramedic, and earned his California Paramedic License in 2012. Jarrod uses his varied experiences and certifications to contribute to his ability to see clients through the full phases of recovery from addiction.

Jarrod believes an essential piece of recovery is seeking out the right supportive environment and believing that a joyous and sober future is possible.

Wesley Geer

Director

Wes has been a professional musician for over 20 years. He first found success as the founding member of Jive Records artist Hed P.E. as guitarist, songwriter and producer. After touring the world for eight years, Wes left the band for a lifestyle change and ultimately landed in rehab. Then in 2010, at almost three years sober, he was approached to play with the legendary band Korn. He joined Korn and worked with them as their touring guitarist for the next several years, traveling to 42 countries, headlining shows, playing to crowds of 80,000 people, and appearing on a number of recordings and cable and TV shows.

Wes’s music has been featured in many feature films, video games, radio, and television shows. He has also long had a passion for teaching music. Previously a music teacher at The Fusion Academy’s Huntington Beach campus, Wes now directs Balboa Horizons’s Rock to Recovery program.

Wes believes an essential piece of recovery is walking through the discomfort of sober feelings—challenging oneself through personal growth.  By learning to create deeper connections with others, we ultimately find new ways of feeling “high” through life experiences. In playing music together, these elements coalesce organically, providing an uplifting and transformative experience.