Stuart’s career was launched as a comedy writer penning for Lily Tomlin, Chevy Chase, Redd Foxx, Christopher Guest and Tim Conway and is the recipient of a Writers Guild Award and an Emmy nomination. He is also co-author of the feature comedy Summer School (1987) directed by Carl Reiner. Struggling with his own demons, Stuart’s recovery, now in it’s 31st year, lead him to transition from the entertainment business to the foundation of a national outpatient opiate detox program called Meditox. In 2007, with the creation of Recovery Advocates, he expanded his services to provide comprehensive care for substance abuse. Birnbaum was co-founder of “Meditox” – a cutting edge medical drug detox program with locations throughout the United States and is currently CEO and Executive Director of the Lakehouse Recovery Center.
Jenna’s passion has always been to help others accomplish their personal best and be free of the baggage of their past.
From her first job as a swim teacher at age 15 to giving back to the community of those struggling to overcome addiction, Jenna’s passion has always been to help others accomplish their personal best and be free of the baggage of their past. Jenna has worked in the field of recovery specifically for 5 years.
Alcohol and Drug addiction has been a part of her story since she was a young girl. Growing up in a home where alcoholism and drug addiction was present allows her to fully connect with both sides of our clients from the client themselves to the families. She has the ability to gently assist clients in laying a foundation for their future. Jenna works closely with all of our employees to gain a team-like atmosphere in order for us to meet each client where they are at in order for them to succeed on their personal path to recovery.
Laura is the Program Director, Therapist, and Group Facilitator in Lakehouse Recovery’s Intensive Outpatient program. Laura holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Fordham University, and is also a Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor. She has worked in the field of addiction in a number of modalities for over 9 years. Laura expertise lies in working with adolescents, adults, couples, and families.
Laura’s vocational experience includes working as Program Aide for Visions Adolescent Treatment Center mentoring adolescents recovering from addiction, at New York Center for Living as the Intake Coordinator and Individual Therapist, and Hazelden Betty Ford’s New York City Intensive Outpatient. Laura’s training at Hazelden Betty Ford’s New York City Intensive Outpatient facility facilitated experience working with dual-diagnosis adults and young adults, personality disorders, family systems, and trauma-related issues. Laura utilizes several modalities (DBT and Mindfulness, CBT, attachment, MI, and ACT) in order to create a more tailored therapeutic setting for her client’s. Laura works collaboratively with her clients to create a safe environment where client can move towards alleviating symptoms, change in behavioral patterns and negative thinking, transform family-of-origin dynamics, and improving interpersonal relationships. She helps clients develop insight, identify their values, and gain tools to better manage their substance abuse and mental health symptoms.
Megan has worked in Recovery for 2 years. As a Clinical Nursing Assistant, she is incredibly passionate about the physical and mental health along with the overall well being of others. She attends school to expand her knowledge in the field and is obtaining her Bachelors degree in nursing.
Megan is boundlessly devoted to caring for others. When not at work she spends the weekends outside with her golden retriever, Ollie.
Dani comes to this work with nearly 10 years of experience leading and facilitating groups of adults and adolescents, specializing in areas of trauma, women’s issues, anxiety, addiction, and eating disorders in both outpatient and residential settings. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and a Minor in Women’s Studies from California Lutheran University and is currently pursuing an M.A. in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Santa Barbara, where she is working towards her licensure as a Marriage & Family Therapist. Additionally, Dani is certified as a Trauma-Informed Yoga Instructor – allowing her to be uniquely immersed in both the traditional mental health field, while also understanding the deep connection between the mind and body.
Dani believes that while we are incredibly resilient as human beings, she also recognizes that distressing or traumatic experiences often play out through emotional, psychological, or physical turmoil – leading us to have a sense of dysregulation and internal unrest. Therefore, by bridging the connection between the mind and body, Dani’s work involves helping individuals establish a sense of connection, integration and grounding within through traditional counseling and also evidence-based holistic practices such as mindfulness, yoga, and meditation.
Rachel McMurray, MA, LMFT owns her own private practice, is a program and clinical consultant, provides clinical trainings on eating disorders and related topics and is the clinical director at Lakehouse Recovery Center. Rachel specializes in treating people with one or more of the following diagnoses: eating disorders, personality disorders, chronic/complex post-traumatic stress disorder, self-injurious behaviors, substance use disorders, and bipolar disorder. Rachel brings a level of expertise to her work as a result of spending the majority of her career working in eating disorder and substance use disorder treatment centers, performing a variety of clinical and programming roles over the past fifteen years. Rachel identifies openly as a person in recovery from anorexia nervosa and self-injury, creating an authentic sense of purpose and connection with her clients and fellow colleagues.
Billy has been working in the field of addiction counseling for 8 years. He has experience in a variety of specialties including Domestic Violence, Anger Management, Youth Offenders and Residential treatment. Billy was inspired to pursue the field of Substance Abuse Counseling after spending his early years in the music business as a musician in Hollywood, CA during the 80s and early 90s. Billy shared his thoughts about his reason for taking a different path and states, “After surviving the destructive lifestyle and losing some close friends to overdose and suicide, I began to look at life differently”.
Billy is a husband and father to a son he and his wife fostered and later adopted 6 years ago. When he isn’t working on home improvement projects, he enjoys playing sports with his son, outdoor grilling and playing his guitars.
Practicing for over 28 years, Dr. Taylor is a board-certified psychiatrist in private practice who has provided care to addiction, forensic and geriatric specialty populations in addition to treating patients in general adult psychiatry. He graduated from Stanford University School of Medicine in 1991, completed his internship in general surgery at University of California, San Francisco, and then returned to Stanford University Hospital to train in psychiatry where he served as Chief Resident.
Dr. Taylor is the former VCBH Medical Director for the Ventura County Health Care Agency and Past Chief of Staff at Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC). He previously served as the VCBH Quality Medical Director, Medical Director for both Hillmont House, a mental health rehabilitation center, and the Anka-Ventura Crisis Residential Treatment center, as well as Chief of the VCMC Department of Psychiatry.
Dr. Taylor is a recipient of the 2015 David Fainer, M.D. and Leo Tauber M.D. Behavioral Health Professional of the Year Award and has also been recognized by both Top Doctors Magazine 2019 and by the Consumers’ Research Council of America 2015 as one of America’s Top Psychiatrists.
Joseph Sparks has worked in the recovery field for 4 years. Joseph struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction for 7 years.
Joseph attempted to attend several treatment centers early in his addiction but it was not until 5 years ago when he was ready to surrender and ask for help that he got the help he needed. Because of his own experience he made a choice to return to school at the University Of Denver to obtain his Masters in Social Work to help individuals and their families recover.