Cristina brings a valuable blend of mental health and case management experience to our clinical team. Prior to joining The Ranch Pennsylvania, Cristina supervised case managers treating clients with mental health and substance abuse issues. She has provided outpatient therapy to individuals and families struggling with addiction and mental illness and has extensive crisis management and assessment and intake experience. Cristina earned a bachelor’s degree in human development and family science from Ohio State University and a master’s degree in community counseling from the University of Dayton.
Melissa began her career as a personal care home assistant at the age of 14 and worked as a certified nursing assistant for several years. She’s studying social services at Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) and plans to pursue a master’s degree in social work. At The Ranch, Melissa does a little of everything, from planning offsite meetings and activities for the clients to handling RA scheduling and quality assurance tasks. Her team helps clients feel safe and supported. Melissa has been in recovery since February 2012 and is passionate about her work at The Ranch. “The best part about what I do is I get to pass on what was given to me,” she says. “I leave work with a full heart and know I am living out my purpose.”
Michael brings both personal and professional addiction recovery experience to The Ranch Pennsylvania. He’s a member of the advisory board for York/Adams County Drug and Alcohol Commission, and belonged to the committee that helped get an opioid treatment clinic built in York County. Michael also teaches classes for people who’ve been charged with driving under the influence (DUIs). Before joining The Ranch Pennsylvania mental health and drug rehab, he served 20 years as operations manager for the York County transit system. Michael oversees our residential assistants and helps with clients. He says he loves his job and has always been interested in helping people in recovery. Michael has more than two decades of sobriety under his belt. “The Ranch has given me a chance to help others and for that I’m extremely grateful,” he says.
Daisy is a bilingual, double board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and a family nurse practitioner certified with the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from West Chester University. Daisy completed the registered nursing program at Brandywine School of Nursing and received a master’s degree in nursing from Wilmington University where she is currently pursuing her Doctor of Nursing Practice. Daisy is a member of Chester County Suicide Prevention Task Force and is a Mental Health First Aid and QPR instructor in the community. She is an active member of several nursing organizations including the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the American Nurses Association and Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society of Nursing. Daisy says she always strives to provide outstanding, high-quality, compassionate treatment and pursued this work because she is passionate about helping people.
Joe began his career in the field of behavioral health in 1972 with the U.S. Marines. He completed a course in leadership and substance abuse to be certified as an active duty drug and alcohol counselor. Since then, he has held the positions of mental health technician, therapist, director of admissions, marketing director and regional vice president of operations. He also worked for more than 30 years as CEO of a behavioral health hospital.
Dr. Fuller is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He completed medical school at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and residency at Vanderbilt University. Additionally, he has completed the Nashville Advance Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program, a two-year intensive program to better integrate traditional psychotherapy into his psychiatric practice. Dr. Fuller began his post-residency career in psychiatry running a psychotherapy-oriented private practice. Looking to help more people than he could working alone yet still provide treatment that emphasizes the importance and value of talk therapy, he joined The Ranch in 2017.
Dr. Fuller is passionate about helping people who have survived trauma and/or are struggling with addiction and strongly believes that the life we all deserve is within reach, no matter the adversity that one must overcome. He views medications as tools rather than solutions and his prescribing philosophy is to use the lowest dose necessary of non-addictive medications to help aid the process of recovery.
Syed has more than 15 years of health care management experience. A foreign medical school graduate, he has worked as a director of admissions and referral, director of operations, director of quality assurance and performance improvement, and nursing home administrator. He holds a Masters in Healthcare Administration from Hofstra University in New York, and a nursing home administrator license in New Mexico and Texas.
Jason served in the U.S. Marine Corps for five years, in roles ranging from team lead and logistics manager to master instructor and chief of operations and training. During his time in the Marines, Jason earned three Navy and Marine Corps achievement medals, five certificates of commendation and two meritorious masts. He also completed the Department of Defense Fire Academy and an Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Apprenticeship course. He feels it is his calling to be a stepping stone or bridge over rocky waters for other people and military members struggling with trauma and other issues.
Courtney joined Promises Behavioral Health in 2017 as a national admissions specialist. The Ranch holds a sacred place in Courtney’s heart as she completed residential treatment at the facility in 2014. For the past four years she has served on the alumni advisory board, and then transitioned into her current role as director of alumni services.
Karen has worked in mental health, substance abuse, love/relationship/sex addiction and trauma therapy for 17 years. She has served as a primary therapist and director of clinical services in residential and outpatient settings. Karen is an LPC-MHSP supervisor as well as a certified sex addiction therapist supervisor.
Karen is a well-known educator and presenter, providing continuing education units for all licensure levels in the mental health field. She has been on many radio talk shows in the U.S. and Europe. Karen also appeared on “The Dr. Oz Show” documentary about The Ranch and sex addiction. Karen continues to develop and implement new programs in residential settings.
Kathy has worked in mental health and addiction treatment for 25 years. She has worked in direct client care as well as administration, helping to establish best clinical practices and protocols that best benefit the residential treatment setting and the overall clinical product. She has extensive experience working with addiction, trauma and other mental health issues, including most recently working with PTSD and combat veterans. Her mission is to find what works best for each client and help other clinicians expand their skills to meet the needs of their clients. Kathy has a bachelor’s degree in pre-medicine and pre-professional psychology from Lipscomb University and went on to complete her Master of Science in Social Work at the University of Tennessee.
Dr. Robertson has worked with families for over 40 years. He is licensed in the state of Tennessee as a licensed alcohol and drug addiction counselor level 2. He is also a clinically certified domestic violence counselor, a clinically certified criminal justice specialist, and certified sexual addiction therapist.
Dr. Robertson’s doctoral dissertation looked at the principles that form the foundation for effective family communication. In addition to his doctoral work, he has a master’s degree in human services and a Master of Divinity degree. He has a private counseling practice focusing on the needs of families and individuals. He has also provided counseling services for other community and civic organizations including churches, local school systems and the Miami City Ballet. Dr. Robertson is a member of the National Association of Forensic Counselors and has taught continuing education units on a variety of mental health topics.
A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Jamie began her nursing career at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the level I trauma unit. Jamie then became a nursing supervisor at Skyline Madison Campus for nine years before joining The Ranch in 2017. She feels her calling is in the behavioral health field and loves the opportunity to witness patients improve from the care provided. Jamie feels her favorite quote by Leo Buscaglia sums up her perspective: “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
Zachary is level II licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselor. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Tennessee State University. Since 2012, he has trained management, ensured compliance with regulations and overseen facility maintenance as our director of operations.
Terra has a bachelor’s degree in telecommunication and media arts and is working toward becoming a licensed alcohol and drug counselor. Prior to joining The Ranch, Terra worked at YANA where she learned the workings of a small women’s treatment center. She joined The Ranch in 2014. Driven by her passion for helping those impacted by mental health and substance abuse issues, Terra is dedicated to contributing to changing the industry of behavioral health to raise awareness, education and understanding so that every person struggling can get the help they need.
Rhonda is a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She attended Middle Tennessee State University for her Bachelor’s degree. After working in the intensive care arena for 18 years, she found that her interest changing from caring for the physically wounded person to caring for the emotional wounds of her patients and their family. She obtained her Masters of Science in Nursing from Vanderbilt University. She holds certifications in Advanced Cardiac Life Support. She has been an instructor of Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Fundamentals of Critical Care Medicine. She is passionately interested in the study of addiction in all forms, both substance and process addictions and the underlying processes that drive these addictions. She has a beautiful three and a half year old daughter.
Marilyn obtained her nursing degree from Tennessee State University in 1992. She worked in various areas of nursing including pediatrics as well as working with patients suffering from addiction and mood disorders. She earned a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University and is board certified in mental health. Her passion is being part of a collaborative team working toward optimum results for her patients.
Dr. Rodriguez has been working in the field of behavioral health for 25 years. She received her nurse practitioner license in 2009, specializing in family psychiatry, and obtained her Doctor of Psychiatry in 2013. She has worked in acute care as well as residential and outpatient services. She has also worked with specialty populations such as children, adolescent, geriatric and military.
Brandi is a certified family nurse practitioner who provides acute and primary care for clients at The Ranch. Brandi is certified through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and is also a member of the organization. She is originally from West Texas and moved to Tennessee in 2000.Brandi graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University. She became a member of Sigma Theta Tau and participated in the nurse residency program at Vanderbilt where she worked in the emergency department and level one trauma center. During this time, she obtained a master’s degree for Advanced Practice Nurse at Vanderbilt School of Nursing’s family nurse practitioner program. Soon after graduation, Brandi was offered a position with Northcrest Physician Services and worked as a family nurse practitioner in primary care for over four years. She later worked for Urgent Team in Springfield, TN in both acute and primary care.“I am very blessed and humbled to be a part of such a compassionate and caring team where the client comes first,” Brandi says. “I am honored to have the opportunity to help clients achieve optimal health during their time of healing and recovery.”
Sarah provides individual, group and family therapy as well as crisis intervention services to clients in The Ranch’s partial hospitalization program. She has a master’s degree in mental health counseling from Mercy College. She recently applied to become a licensed professional counselor in the state of Tennessee and is EMDR certified. Prior to joining The Ranch, Sarah provided counseling services to at-risk youth at a counseling center in Virginia.
Meghan earned a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience psychology from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Millersville University. She completed her internship as a dual diagnosis therapist in an intensive outpatient program at Retreat of Lancaster County, providing her a diverse view of treatment from multiple levels of care. Meghan also worked as a research assistant at Pennsylvania State University where she was a team member of the FaMILY Study, researching the didactic parent-child relationship in families characterized by the trauma of physical and emotional abuse or neglect and abandonment. Meghan provides individual and group therapy at The Ranch Pennsylvania drug rehab, focusing on topics such as spirituality, codependency, trauma, the 12 steps and mindfulness.
Dara is one of our primary therapists in our mental health track. She is also a facilitator in our family day program, helping families understand and manage the issues that they face due to a loved one’s substance abuse and mental health issues. Dara earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Albright College and a master’s degree in counseling-psychology from Rosemont College. She is also a certified advanced alcohol and drug counselor in Pennsylvania. Prior to coming to The Ranch Pennsylvania, Dara worked at Caron Treatment Center. She is passionate about her work and encourages clients to identify and develop their individual strengths and capabilities. Dara uses various techniques to challenge clients in a respectful manner to change their old patterns. Dara works with those who have trauma issues, she explores spirituality with clients, and she has been utilizing experiential techniques to motivate internal growth since 2007. She is certified as a Level II from the American Society of Experiential Therapists and has hundreds of hours in psychodrama training.
Jill has been part of our team since 2016. She earned a master’s degree in social work from Temple University in Philadelphia, and has almost two decades of experience in the behavioral health field with a focus on crisis intervention. Jill has held positions in foster care management, emergency departments, learning support classrooms, and psychiatric hospitals and acute care units. She strives to meet clients where they are in their recovery journey while establishing a trusting client-therapist relationship.
Ryan brings diverse experience in program coordination, outdoor recreation and mental health treatment to The Ranch Pennsylvania. After earning a bachelor’s degree in recreation administration and management with a concentration in psychology from York College, Ryan began his career at Baltimore County Parks and Recreation. He then transitioned into a role at a residential treatment center where he developed three alternative therapy programs including a low ropes course, a horticultural therapy program and a pet therapy program. For eight years, he combined his experience in recreation skills and addiction treatment to help families reconnect and heal through in-home family therapy.Ryan is a certified Level 2 Archery Instructor and is both Safe Sports and Range Pass certified. He develops one-of-a-kind archery programs, helping individuals learn to “let go” of their past and develop mindfulness skills. Ryan’s diverse background in outdoor recreation and mental health services complements the unique, adventure-based approach to treatment at The Ranch Pennsylvania.
Kristy is a registered nurse with over 14 years of experience. Prior to shifting her career focus to substance abuse and mental health treatment, she worked in maternal newborn nursing for several years. Kristy decided to change client focuses after working with mothers battling addiction as well as having personal relationships affected by substance abuse. Realizing the hardships people with addictions face, Kristy decided to be an active participant in fighting the opioid epidemic. She has found a real passion in caring for clients facing addiction and mental illness.
Nancy is a licensed psychologist with over 20 years of experience. She is also a certified master trainer in dialectical behavior therapy. Previously, Nancy spent several years overseeing mental health services with the Tennessee Department of Corrections and the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute. She has also worked as an adjunct professor in psychology and as a psychological examiner. Nancy has a Doctorate of Psychology from Tennessee State University and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from Middle Tennessee State University.
Debbie has over 15 years of experience in behavioral health care. She holds a master’s degree in counseling from Alabama A&M University and a post-graduate degree in human and organizational development from Vanderbilt University. Debbie is specially trained in cognitive behavioral therapy and EMDR. Prior to joining The Ranch, Debbie worked at an inpatient hospital providing individual and family therapy to seriously mentally ill patients. She also had an outpatient practice for 10 years.
Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Brockport. Her interest in promoting positive life-changing messages through the arts led her to obtain her bachelor’s degree in communication and human relations. Subsequently Jennifer earned her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Trevecca Nazarene University. She specializes in counseling individuals, couples and families at The Ranch, as well as in her private practice. .Jennifer also completed additional training with Dr. Patrick Carnes Ph.D. and the International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals and she is a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT). “I have a desire to help persons recover from shaming, controlling and abusive behaviors and practices. I utilize therapeutic modalities that best fit the individual including experiential, cognitive behavioral and family systems.”
Julia spent 15 years working with children who were experiencing alcohol and drug addiction and behavioral problems at a group home for adolescents and the Juvenile Justice Department of Children Services. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Alabama and a master’s degree from the University of Tennessee. Through various trainings, Julia is able to utilize an array of methods including EMDR, experiential therapy and SomEx healing to help clients deal with past and present issues.
Lauren lives in Nashville and is passionate about walking alongside clients in their journey to recovery. She earned a bachelor’s degree in child and family studies and a Master of Social Work in evidence-based interpersonal practice from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Lauren has completed internships at NeedLink Nashville and Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. Prior to joining The Ranch, she worked as a family intervention specialist at Youth Villages and a SOS coordinator at Project Transition. She uses an eclectic array of modalities including experiential therapy, DBT, CBT, some family systems ideals, as well as EMDR when appropriate. Outside of work she enjoys practicing yoga and hanging out with her dog, Decker, and is currently working toward becoming a licensed clinical social worker.
Emily has worked in the mental health field for over 15 years. She holds a master’s degree in professional counseling, is a certified sex addiction therapist candidate and is working to become a licensed professional counselor. She also completed Gestalt training through the Esalen Institute. Prior to joining The Ranch, Emily worked in addiction, HIV and teen pregnancy prevention with Centerstone. In her free time, she enjoys sharing life with her son, daughter and cat. Emily says, “I love working in the mission field of helping women come to know their worth and have a deep passion for the spiritual side of recovery.”
Jeff Rooney holds a Masters Degree in Science and Social Work from the University of Tennessee. He has worked in the field of co-occurring disorders since 2003. Jeff has served clients in outpatient and residential settings working with adults, adolescents, and families. He also worked in HIV service settings, providing therapy and treatment to persons living with or affected by HIV. Jeff achieved specialized training and experience in Psychodynamic Object Relations Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Bowen Family Systems Therapy, Clinical Mindfulness, Contemplative Psychology, Motivational Interviewing, and Twelve Step Facilitation. Jeff’s approach to therapy is technically eclectic, pulling from many modalities, for the purpose of resolving the internal and systemic barriers to ongoing recovery and living from a place of authenticity and spiritual connection.
Tommy Williams is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor including a strong clinical and 12-step background with a heart to help others embrace effective change and learn new skills. Since 2004 he has delivered care to those suffering from addiction and behavioral health disorders. Tommy has worked as an Intensive Outpatient Counselor and Family Counselor at Cumberland Heights and for Tennessee Prison for Women Therapeutic Community. He is an apt presenter and appreciates the opportunity to teach concepts useful for lasting recovery, such as: Boundaries; Relapse Prevention; Shame and Addiction; Spirituality. Tommy also is trained in role-playing, ropes/challenge course, labyrinth walk and many others. His diverse set of clinical skills fit right into The Ranch team approach.
James Nihan is a licensed alcohol and drug addiction counselor and an associate sex addiction therapist. He has been associated with The Ranch since 2000 and he has been involved with the Center for Relationship and Sexual Recovery since its inception. His personal recovery began in 1975 and in 1980 his story was featured in a book published by the Rutger’s Center of Alcohol Studies. Special interests include healing through music and art, The Four Agreements and meaning of metaphor. With extensive studies in spirituality he supports those who seek connection through medicine wheel, labyrinth and the native ancestral landscapes that have become The Ranch. Working with clients who have adoption and abandonment histories is close to his heart. Of the creative process, James asserts, “Each one of us is an artist and each day we are given an opportunity to create. I think of life as a canvas and each day a brushstroke.” An award-winning songwriter and artist, his personal experience gives him an understanding of the unique recovery challenges faced by clients within the entertainment industries.
Haley meets clients where they are while creating a safe, non-judgmental space to process their reality. She holds a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Lipscomb University. Haley’s previous work at Lipscomb Family Therapy Center and the Tennessee Prison Outreach Ministry gives her a holistic lens that aligns with The Ranch’s treatment approach.
Haley’s preferred style of therapy is collaborative. Her approach includes integrating cognitive behavioral therapy, EMDR, narrative therapy, internal family systems therapy, experiential therapy, and 12-step facilitation. She does this work because she believes the journey of being restored to one’s authentic self is the most respectable work and the greatest triumph one can make.
Danielle grew up outside of Atlanta, Georgia. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Georgia. She went on to receive her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Valdosta State University and is certified in the EAGALA equine therapy model.Danielle came to The Ranch in 2012 to serve as equine therapist, joining both her passion for helping others heal with her love for horses. She attributes her love of horses to visiting her grandmother’s California ranch as a young child. Danielle says, “Many people work and never get a chance to do what they love. At The Ranch, I am fortunate to combine my professional goals with the powerful and honest horse who creates space to be our true, unique selves.”
Chris earned a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Trevecca Nazarene University and is working toward licensure to become a licensed marriage and family therapist. He loves seeing clients experience the calming effect that horses can have on them and develop a relationship with the four-legged friend that for many initially caused a fear response within them.
Paul has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in mental health counseling, both from Cambridge College in Massachusetts. Prior to joining The Ranch in 2017, Paul was the activities coordinator and therapist for the acute psychotic disorders unit at Mclean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate. He also served as a member of the hospital’s patient family advisory council, which worked on improving the client experience.
In addition to the experiential group work he does as The Ranch’s adventure therapist, Paul meets individually with clients. He uses a person-centered approach along with cognitive behavior therapy, motivational interviewing and EMDR therapy, depending on the client’s particular needs. He is a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps, having served in Southwest Asia and Somalia in 1993. It is from this experience that he is drawn to a career in service of something greater than himself. He finds that in the work he does at The Ranch.
Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree from South University in Savannah, Georgia and is specially trained in EMDR and cognitive processing therapy (CPT). She specializes in substance abuse, trauma and self-harming behaviors and has worked with teens, adults and active duty service members. Amanda uses compassion-focused therapy and gestalt therapy techniques to help people find their authentic self, relate themselves to the world, appropriately let go of the qualities holding them back, and move forward with acceptance.
Bethany holds a master’s degree in social work and is a licensed master social worker. A Nashville native, she has worked with adults with co-occurring addiction and mental health disorders as well as adolescents at a trauma center in Nashville and teenage boys in state custody. At The Ranch, Bethany educates families about the science of addiction, codependency and boundaries. She also leads groups using music, art, psychodrama and other types of experiential therapy. She is certified in low ropes course for adventure therapy and is currently working toward certification as a trauma-informed yoga instructor.
Chris is a licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselor candidate. She has a 12-step background and a strong spiritual background. She practices Shamanism and is certified in many spiritual modalities. Chris has a deep understanding of our connection to everything in the Universe and brings forth that aspect to facilitate clients’ mental, emotional, physical and spiritual growth. She enjoys holding space for clients to allow them to have the experience they need to grow in their own recovery. Chris facilitates various experiential therapy activities here at The Ranch including the maze, low ropes courses, labyrinth walk, medicine wheel and kayaking.
Cassie is a registered dietitian, originally from Austin, Texas. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nutritional sciences – dietetics from Texas Tech University and completed a dietetic internship at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN. Through a family member’s struggle with addiction, Cassie found her passion for working with addictions and mental health.
Jane has offered ancillary services at The Ranch for the past 17 years. An energetic healing is a gentle, relaxing therapy that clears and balances the energy body or “biofield.” The client experiences “a shift” as congested energy (blocks) release during the full body balance. This allows the energy centers to reactivate where they were blocked, closed or imbalanced, enhancing the healing process. Understood through the science of Quantum Mechanics, an energetic healing relates to one’s physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.
Krisi is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor and has worked in the mental health industry for 13 years as a counselor, college instructor, and content writer. Krisi is also a freelance ghostwriter, a lifelong martial artist, a “Game of Thrones” fanatic, and a single mother. Being active by running or lifting weights helps Krisi battle her own anxiety and depression.
Meghan is the content and media relations director for Promises Behavioral Health. In this role, she oversees a team of staff and freelance writers. Meghan holds a bachelor’s degree in English and psychology from University of California, Irvine and a law degree from Syracuse University. She has specialized in addiction and mental health for over 10 years, writing hundreds of blogs for leading behavioral health companies.
Sara has been a staff writer with Promises Behavioral Health since 2014. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and 15 years of experience in writing and marketing. From health care and higher education to documentary television and culinary arts, her writing career is diverse. Sara has written for organizations such as Northwestern University, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Everyday Health, LIVESTRONG, Towers Productions and The Chitown Daily News.
Laurie Sue is a staff writer with Promises Behavioral Health, a journalist and author. She has written extensively on relationships, emotional health, spiritual well-being and addiction. Her work has appeared in leading publications including Woman’s Day, Country Living, Everyday Health, NY Metro Parent and The Huffington Post. She was emotional health editor for EverydayHealth.com, family editor for Beliefnet.com, and senior editor for DrLauraBerman.com. She is the author of 12 books and holds a bachelor’s degree in human development.