OUR STAFF

Our Staff - Dr G 1rr

DR. RICHARD GRANESE MD, MBA

FOUNDER / MEDICAL DIRECTOR

Dr. Granese is a Board-Certified psychiatrist who has been practicing in Orange County since 2005. Very soon after relocating to Southern California he found the need to make better psychiatric services available to the public. Prior to forming the ACCESS Mind Institute, Dr. Granese was the Medical Director of one of the Orange County Behavioral Health programs. He currently serves as Medical Director for Southern California Psychiatric Associates and Chief Medical Officer for A Better Life Recovery and A Mission for Michael’s, Dual-Diagnosis program. He is on faculty at Marshall B. Ketchum University PA School where he enjoys teaching PA students

JOE HISEL

FOUNDER / DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Joe was introduced to the field of recovery in 2012 as a Facilities Manager. As Joe’s passion for recovery progressed, so did his career. In 2014, Joe became Program Director for a 60-bed facility, which included overseeing transportation and logistics, coordinating admissions, providing crisis intervention, state licensing and CARF accreditation. Joe’s dedication to the betterment of others led him to founding A Better Life Recovery. His goal was to create a seamless transition for individuals in early recovery by offering an opportunity to develop essential life skills. Joe understands that recovery can be a tumultuous time for family and the recovering person. His goal is to ease this process. Joe maintains involvement in admission, intake and ongoing treatment to ensure that all individuals feel supported and guided through the recovery journey. With the help of his partners, Joe has created a team of experienced, passionate and educated experts to assist in the treatment process. Joe believes that the foundation of recovery comes from hard work and he and his team are dedicated to providing the support necessary for the work to begin.

Our Staff - joehrr
Our Staff - davidmuncerr

DAVID MUNCE CADC-II

FOUNDER / PROGRAM DIRECTOR

David Munce is a founder and Program Director at A Better Life Recovery. He has been actively working in the field of recovery since 2010 and has held various positions in administration including Admissions Director and Associate Director. He brings with him a passion to help others achieve their goals through recovery. His immense recovery knowledge, not only through his personal experience but also his ongoing education in the Human Services field, sets him apart as a professional. David takes great pride in his work and holds the utmost ethical standards. His number one priority is helping clients and families on the road to recovery.

JEFF ROBBINS

FOUNDER / GENERAL COUNSEL

Jeff Robbins possesses over 15 years’ experience as a practicing attorney. Over the last 9 years Mr. Robbins has served as partner in the firm of Watt Tieder Hoffar & Fitzgerald, LLP, Irvine, CA where he specialized in litigation. He holds a B.A. degree in English from UCLA and a J.D. degree with great distinction from University Of The Pacific McGeorge School Of Law. Mr. Robbins is a founder of A Better Life Recovery LLC.

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Our Staff - stackhouserr

PAUL STACKHOUSE

FOUNDER / DIRECTOR OF FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION

Paul Stackhouse possesses over 30 years of experience in investment banking, private equity capital, and advising and managing startup companies across a variety of industries. His career experience includes positions as Senior Vice President with Bank of America and Founding Partner of Frontier Capital, both located in Charlotte, NC. Mr Stackhouse believes that the professional management and sound operating platform he has helped build at A Better Life Recovery translates into higher quality of care and greater success for our clients. Mr. Stackhouse holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from Harvard University and an MBA, Finance, from The University of Chicago. He is a founder of A Better Life Recovery LLC.

DR. MEGHAN MARCUM

CHIEF PSYCHOLOGIST

Dr. Meghan Marcum serves as Chief Psychologist of A Better Life Recovery in San Juan Capistrano, California. Dr. Marcum’s role is to ensure the highest standard of clinical care for each client. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Arizona State University and a doctorate in clinical psychology from The American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University. She completed her pre and post-doctoral training in the specialty field of chemical dependency and has also achieved specialized training in treating traumatic disorders with eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Dr. Marcum previously worked in the Neurosciences Institute at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, California where she continues to hold full privileges. She has developed an interest in helping those with co-occurring disorders by examining substance abuse as it relates to neurological changes over the course of the illness.

Our Staff - meghanmarcumrr
Our Staff - jaq

JACQUELINE HOAGLAND LCSW

EXECUTIVE CLINICAL DIRECTOR

Jacque Hoagland is a strong believer in individualized treatment plans based on each client’s strengths and desired goals. She has varying and plentiful experience in working as a clinical supervisor for state-funded programs, as well as being a clinical leader at A Better Life Recovery, a nationally recognized substance abuse treatment center. In addition to incredible vision in guiding the clinical care of clientele, Jacque is a highly-qualified in EMDR, CBT, DBT, solution-focused therapy and is particularly well-suited for trauma work. Jacque was instrumental in developing a workforce development program for non-profit and utilizes her skills and connections to help current clients find gainful employment beyond treatment. Prior to joining A Better Life Recovery, she  successfully opened a substance abuse facility where she helped write the license and  built the clinical program from the ground up. Jacque holds a Masters of Social Work from University of Michigan and has been a LCSW since 2011. 

NEHA KUMAR

CLINICAL COORDINATOR/PRIMARY THERAPIST

Neha Kumar is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist who provides psychotherapy to adults and adolescents and serves as Primary Therapist at premiere treatment factility A Better Life Recovery in Orange County. As Primary Therapist at A Better Life Recovery, Kumar provides individual, groups and family therapy sessions for those dealing with substance abuse disorders, mental health conditions and more. She draws on a variety of modalities including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Solution-focused brief therapy and Narrative therapy. She enables them to redefine and take control of their lives through through the active exploration and modification of negative thoughts and behaviors. Neha graduated from University of Southern California, Los Angeles earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and from Antioch University with a Masters in Clinical Psychology. 

Our Staff - Neha
Our Staff - drlicrr

DR. BRIAN LICUANAN, PHD, PSYCHOLOGIST

PSYCHOLOGIST

Dr. Licuanan is a California Board of Psychology Licensed Clinical Psychologist. He received an M.A. in Psychology from Pepperdine University as well as an M.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Oklahoma. He completed his doctoral internship at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Dr. Licuanan has extensive experience treating individual adults and adolescents, couples, and groups presenting with a wide range of concerns including depression, anxiety, PTSD, substance abuse, ADHD, and eating disorders. He also specializes in treating sleep problems using Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Insomnia and is working towards a certification in Behavioral Sleep Medicine. Dr. Licuanan employs an integrative approach to therapy drawing mainly from Cognitive-Behavioral and Psychodynamic therapeutic approaches. Dr. Licuanan facilitates patient groups multiple times per week and sees the clients for individual sessions weekly while also serving as one of the treatment team’s clinicians. Additionally, he is chief clinician for a psychiatric medical group and lead facilitator for a family solutions group for the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) in South Orange County. 

ALICIA HUTTON LMFT

ASSISTANT CLINICAL DIRECTOR

Alicia is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been working in the mental health field since 2016. Alicia obtained a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa and has experience working with children, families, and individuals struggling with substance use and co-occurring disorders. Her dedication and passion for helping others enables her to assist individuals as they address the underlying issues that have led them to substance use.

Our Staff - aliciahuttonrr
Our Staff - Samantha

SAMANTHA GRIMES

THERAPIST

Samantha Grimes is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist whose passion for mental health and ending the stigma of addiction has led her to be one of the primary therapists at A Better Life Recovery. Samantha has worked in various mental health settings since 2013 including inpatient treatment for adults struggling with addiction, outpatient clinics working with families and couples and at schools working with at-risk youth. Samantha’s personal mission is to help people believe in their own worthiness, break down shame, and navigate challenging relationships with themselves and others, and find ways to embrace the unknown. Samantha works from a collaborative and authentic approach, using eclectic ways to support others navigate recovery. Samantha received her BA from UC Santa Barbara in Cultural Anthropology with a minor in Applied Psychology. Samantha continued her education by receiving her MA in Counseling Clinical Psychology from Argosy University in Alameda, CA. Samantha has received specialized training in anxiety/panic disorders and trauma-informed approaches to healing. 

MANDY MADRID, ACSW

PRIMARY THERAPIST

Mandy Madrid is a Psychotherapist that believes all people should have the opportunity to reach their full potential, contribute to society and have a voice. She has worked in a spectrum of services including community based, acute, crisis, residential, at-risk youth programs, and longer-term outpatient treatment settings. At a Better Life Recovery, Mandy is a primary therapist who empowers clients by using an integrative approach to her clinical work, matching evidence-based treatments from Social Worker therapies, Psychodynamic, Cognitive-Behavioral, Transtheoretical Model and Family Systems that is individualized to each client. Mandy received her BA from Beloit College and Master of Social Work from The University of Southern California. In addition, Mandy has specialized training Mental Health Disorders, Trans-Cranial Magnetic Stimulation, Treatment-Resistant Persistent Depression, Substance/Addiction Abuse Disorders, Grief and Loss and she is also Licensed Psychiatric Technician. 

Our Staff - mandyrs
Our Staff - billymararr

BILLY MARA

PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Billy Mara joined the staff of A Better Life Recovery in July 2016 after deciding that he wanted to follow his longtime passion: to help and serve those in need. A graduate of Quinnipiac University, Billy obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Law in 2013 and moved into an administrative position at Boston University. It was after relocating to California and undergoing his own journey of self-discovery that Billy decided to join the ABL team so that he can help addicts, alcoholics and those with a dual-diagnosis to discover their potential. As the Director of Safety and Environment of Care Billy ensures compliance with the requirements that the Joint Commission outlines to ensure that A Better Life Recovery continues on its path to becoming the premier destination for substance abuse treatment and providing outstanding, quality client care.

BRETT ALLEN CATC-R SUD

CASE MANAGER

Brett is a certified CATC-R SUD counselor and is currently enrolled in the Alcohol and Drug Studies Human Services program at Saddleback College. Brett has worked in recovery for 3 years and has a passion for helping others on their recovery journey. He specializes in 12-step modalities and enjoys connecting with clients on an individual basis.

Our Staff - brettallenrr
Our Staff - victorgeorgescorr

VICTOR GEORGESCO CADC II

CASE MANAGER

Victor is certified through CCAPP as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. He received his certificate and Associate’s Degree in Alcohol and Drug studies from Saddleback College and began employment in related fields in 2014. Through extensive work with substance use related difficulties, Victor has developed a strong sense of compassion and empathy towards the problems that substance abuse creates for each individual. He embodies the core belief that anyone who struggles with addiction has the potential to stay sober. With thorough ethical background and diligence on continued education and exploration of the factors that contribute to substance use problems, Victor continues to strive to make recovery a reality for everyone who has a desire to change their life for the better.

JUSTIN SANCHEZ CADC

CASE MANAGER

Justin is a registered recovery worker who has been working in the field of addiction since 2014 as a chemical dependency counselor and case manager. Justin currently holds an associate’s degree in alcohol and drug studies and is currently working towards furthering his education to provide the best services possible to the clients he serves. His personal journey in recovery started over five years ago when he was introduced to a treatment center that set him on the path of recovery by providing him with insight and education into the disease of addiction and assisted him in developing the tools necessary to live a clean and sober life. As a result of his own personal experience in recovery, Justin developed a passion for helping others better their lives and takes great pride and responsibility in his role of assisting clients down the path of recovery in their pursuit of a better life.

Our Staff - justinsanchezrr
Our Staff - Kimupdate

KIMBERLY SITTSER SUDCC III

CASE MANAGER

Kimberly is certified and registered with CADTP as a substance use disorder counselor III (SUDCC III) and has 20 years working in the field of Human Services. Kimberly’s education includes counseling certifications in victimology, criminal justice, family counseling, general counseling,  mediation, crisis intervention, trauma informed treatment and sexual assault as well as SUD counseling.  Kimberly came to ABLR  with a strong belief in individualized client focused care, and extensive experience working with clients at various stages of recovery.  Kimberly has enjoyed many positions from secondary staff as an intern, to quality control adviser, to Clinical director of detox and residential treatment as well as several other roles. Along with her education and career experience, Kimberly has enjoyed a life of personal recovery for 33 years.  Kimberly is passionate and strong in her ability to meet clients where they are and recognize their unique needs.  She believes she is providing many tools and options in order to empower individuals to make informed choices in their own recovery to allow them to live not only a better life, but their best life.

COREY RICHMAN

VICE PRESIDENT OF ADMISSIONS

Corey joined the Better Life Recovery Team in 2015. He has over 4 years experience in the Recovery field and possesses more than 10 years’ experience in management, strong leadership skills and exceptional work ethic. Corey is emotionally invested in helping others, whether it be his staff or our clients. Corey is a graduate of San Diego State University, with a major in Business Management Technology and a Minor in Business Administration. His personal ties to the recovery and the loving support he provides to our community have made him a valuable asset.

Our Staff - coreyrichmanrr
Our Staff - frank

FRANK NALLY

VP OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Frank joined the AMFM team in 2015, he brings experience from his work with substance use, dual diagnosis, and mental patients. His work with the mentally ill at the Orange County Crisis Center is where he found his passion helping those struggling with mental illness. After leaving the Crisis Center, Frank embarked on a journey into the Substance Abuse and Co-Occurring Disorder treatment industry. His close interaction during the intake process and working with families struggling to find help for their loved ones struck a chord with Frank. He knew this was his calling. Since then, Frank has developed a team of men and women devoted to that mission. Frank works with treatment centers, hospitals, and clinicians nationally to educate them about AMFM’s treatment offerings and build relationships with trusted partners for any patients who are not appropriate for AMFM’s treatment program.

ROBIN LOVELL CADCII

DIRECTOR OF CLINICAL OUTREACH

Robin began her career in the behavioral health field in 2007 as a clinician providing counseling and support to clients. She has since fulfilled director and CEO positions within behavioral health organizations including opening her own treatment center. Her vision of connecting clients to the best services possible remains her priority. Robin’s amazing personality along with her extensive experience as a clinician gives her the ability to work with clients and families on a deeply personal yet clinical level. She has a strong love for the field and truly enjoys watching her clients progress in life. Her objective is to connect families and those in need to the resources within our community. Robin has a passion for helping those in need, along with the experience required to find a solution for those suffering from the most dire behavioral health situations.

Our Staff - robin
Our Staff - kristenadamsrr

KRISTEN ADAMS NCDA

DIRECTOR OF CLIENT DEVELOPMENT

Kristen Adams is a fully licensed and credentialed Secondary Education teacher. Over the past 20 years she has worked in both the classroom and in corporate America helping build and shape educational and career pathways. Kristen specializes in working one and one with clients to formulate a specific plan to help them reintegrate successfully back into society. She is well versed in helping clients wherever they are at on the educational and career spectrum whether its helping clients obtain their High School Equivalency certificate to successfully reentering their former profession. Kristen believes firmly that helping clients successfully transition out of treatment requires a solid educational foundation, a clear career pathway and concrete goals to help them achieve these milestones. 

MARK GEORGESON

OPERATIONS MANAGER

Mark is a long-time resident of Orange County, CA. He graduated from Pepperdine University in 1992 with a B.S. in Liberal Arts. He brings his passion for education and 20 years of corporate America experience to our family. Mark is often the first face a client sees. Mark oversees the residential component and all logistics that apply to the day-to-day operations of A Better Life Recovery. Mark brings a level of compassion and safety that is critical to foster the transition into ABLR treatment and equally important in the transition or reintegration as a client’s treatment plan dictates. Mark is well-versed in many modalities of treatment and is constantly evolving to provide solution and support to staff and clients alike. Mark is a passionate and consistent presence in the recovery community and a proud and active member of A.A. He is a loving and present father of two who has been blessed by The Promises of sobriety. He lives by the code of, “to keep it you must freely give it away.”

Our Staff - markgeorgesonrr
Our Staff - garrylarabeerr

GARRY LARABEE

DIRECTOR OF COMPLIANCE AND QUALITY

Garry Larabee is the Director of Compliance and Quality at A Better Life Recovery. He has over 15 years of administrative experience working in the field of behavioral healthcare and professional consulting for numerous successful addiction treatment providers. Garry specializes in state regulatory compliance, Joint Commission accreditation, quality assurance, and healthcare data analytics. A firm believer in ongoing compliance and performance improvement concepts and its positive relationship to best business practices and quality of care outcomes, Garry regularly researches the latest technological trends in healthcare data management and analysis for A Better Life Recovery in their overall goal of achieving and maintaining clinical excellence.

JEFFREY FARBMAN

BILLING MANAGER

Jeffrey has been working, volunteering and studying in the field of mental health and substance abuse for several years. He has an unyielding passion for helping others struggling with mental illness and substance use disorders. Jeffrey studied psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has extensive experience and knowledge in the realm of behavioral health, from both clinical and administrative paradigms. Jeffrey’s passion and drive for helping others has led him to our administrative department where he manages our billing and financial operations team. Jeffrey works closely with insurance companies and advocates on our client’s behalf to ensure that everyone has a chance to get the treatment and the “better life” they deserve.

Our Staff - jefffarbmanrr
Our Staff - Dr G 1rr

DR. RICHARD GRANESE MD, MBA

FOUNDER / MEDICAL DIRECTOR

Dr. Granese is a Board-Certified psychiatrist who has been practicing in Orange County since 2005. Very soon after relocating to Southern California he found the need to make better psychiatric services available to the public. Prior to forming the ACCESS Mind Institute, Dr. Granese was the Medical Director of one of the Orange County Behavioral Health programs. He currently serves as Medical Director for Southern California Psychiatric Associates and Chief Medical Officer for A Better Life Recovery and A Mission for Michael’s, Dual-Diagnosis program. He is on faculty at Marshall B. Ketchum University PA School where he enjoys teaching PA students

Our Staff - joehrr

JOE HISEL

FOUNDER / DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Joe was introduced to the field of recovery in 2012 as a Facilities Manager. As Joe’s passion for recovery progressed, so did his career. In 2014, Joe became Program Director for a 60-bed facility, which included overseeing transportation and logistics, coordinating admissions, providing crisis intervention, state licensing and CARF accreditation. Joe’s dedication to the betterment of others led him to founding A Better Life Recovery. His goal was to create a seamless transition for individuals in early recovery by offering an opportunity to develop essential life skills. Joe understands that recovery can be a tumultuous time for family and the recovering person. His goal is to ease this process. Joe maintains involvement in admission, intake and ongoing treatment to ensure that all individuals feel supported and guided through the recovery journey. With the help of his partners, Joe has created a team of experienced, passionate and educated experts to assist in the treatment process. Joe believes that the foundation of recovery comes from hard work and he and his team are dedicated to providing the support necessary for the work to begin.

Our Staff - davidmuncerr

DAVID MUNCE CADC-II

FOUNDER / PROGRAM DIRECTOR

David Munce is a founder and Program Director at A Better Life Recovery. He has been actively working in the field of recovery since 2010 and has held various positions in administration including Admissions Director and Associate Director. He brings with him a passion to help others achieve their goals through recovery. His immense recovery knowledge, not only through his personal experience but also his ongoing education in the Human Services field, sets him apart as a professional. David takes great pride in his work and holds the utmost ethical standards. His number one priority is helping clients and families on the road to recovery.

Our Staff - jeffrobinsrr

JEFF ROBBINS

FOUNDER / GENERAL COUNSEL

Jeff Robbins possesses over 15 years’ experience as a practicing attorney. Over the last 9 years Mr. Robbins has served as partner in the firm of Watt Tieder Hoffar & Fitzgerald, LLP, Irvine, CA where he specialized in litigation. He holds a B.A. degree in English from UCLA and a J.D. degree with great distinction from University Of The Pacific McGeorge School Of Law. Mr. Robbins is a founder of A Better Life Recovery LLC.

Our Staff - stackhouserr

PAUL STACKHOUSE

FOUNDER / DIRECTOR OF FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION

Paul Stackhouse possesses over 30 years of experience in investment banking, private equity capital, and advising and managing startup companies across a variety of industries. His career experience includes positions as Senior Vice President with Bank of America and Founding Partner of Frontier Capital, both located in Charlotte, NC. Mr Stackhouse believes that the professional management and sound operating platform he has helped build at A Better Life Recovery translates into higher quality of care and greater success for our clients. Mr. Stackhouse holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from Harvard University and an MBA, Finance, from The University of Chicago. He is a founder of A Better Life Recovery LLC.

Our Staff - meghanmarcumrr

DR. MEGHAN MARCUM

CHIEF PSYCHOLOGIST

Dr. Meghan Marcum serves as Chief Psychologist of A Better Life Recovery in San Juan Capistrano, California. Dr. Marcum’s role is to ensure the highest standard of clinical care for each client. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Arizona State University and a doctorate in clinical psychology from The American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University. She completed her pre and post-doctoral training in the specialty field of chemical dependency and has also achieved specialized training in treating traumatic disorders with eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Dr. Marcum previously worked in the Neurosciences Institute at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, California where she continues to hold full privileges. She has developed an interest in helping those with co-occurring disorders by examining substance abuse as it relates to neurological changes over the course of the illness.

Our Staff - jaq

JACQUELINE HOAGLAND LCSW

EXECUTIVE CLINICAL DIRECTOR

Jacque Hoagland is a strong believer in individualized treatment plans based on each client’s strengths and desired goals. She has varying and plentiful experience in working as a clinical supervisor for state-funded programs, as well as being a clinical leader at A Better Life Recovery, a nationally recognized substance abuse treatment center. In addition to incredible vision in guiding the clinical care of clientele, Jacque is a highly-qualified in EMDR, CBT, DBT, solution-focused therapy and is particularly well-suited for trauma work. Jacque was instrumental in developing a workforce development program for non-profit and utilizes her skills and connections to help current clients find gainful employment beyond treatment. Prior to joining A Better Life Recovery, she  successfully opened a substance abuse facility where she helped write the license and  built the clinical program from the ground up. Jacque holds a Masters of Social Work from University of Michigan and has been a LCSW since 2011. 

Our Staff - Neha

NEHA KUMAR

CLINICAL COORDINATOR/PRIMARY THERAPIST

Neha Kumar is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist who provides psychotherapy to adults and adolescents and serves as Primary Therapist at premiere treatment factility A Better Life Recovery in Orange County. As Primary Therapist at A Better Life Recovery, Kumar provides individual, groups and family therapy sessions for those dealing with substance abuse disorders, mental health conditions and more. She draws on a variety of modalities including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Solution-focused brief therapy and Narrative therapy. She enables them to redefine and take control of their lives through through the active exploration and modification of negative thoughts and behaviors. Neha graduated from University of Southern California, Los Angeles earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and from Antioch University with a Masters in Clinical Psychology.

Our Staff - drlicrr

DR. BRIAN LICUANAN, PHD, PSYCHOLOGIST

PSYCHOLOGIST

Dr. Licuanan is a California Board of Psychology Licensed Clinical Psychologist. He received an M.A. in Psychology from Pepperdine University as well as an M.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Oklahoma. He completed his doctoral internship at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Dr. Licuanan has extensive experience treating individual adults and adolescents, couples, and groups presenting with a wide range of concerns including depression, anxiety, PTSD, substance abuse, ADHD, and eating disorders. He also specializes in treating sleep problems using Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Insomnia and is working towards a certification in Behavioral Sleep Medicine. Dr. Licuanan employs an integrative approach to therapy drawing mainly from Cognitive-Behavioral and Psychodynamic therapeutic approaches. Dr. Licuanan facilitates patient groups multiple times per week and sees the clients for individual sessions weekly while also serving as one of the treatment team’s clinicians. Additionally, he is chief clinician for a psychiatric medical group and lead facilitator for a family solutions group for the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) in South Orange County. 

Our Staff - aliciahuttonrr

ALICIA HUTTON lmft

ASSISTANT CLINICAL DIRECTOR

Alicia is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been working in the mental health field since 2016. Alicia obtained a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa and has experience working with children, families, and individuals struggling with substance use and co-occurring disorders. Her dedication and passion for helping others enables her to assist individuals as they address the underlying issues that have led them to substance use.

Our Staff - Samantha

SAMANTHA GRIMES

THERAPIST

Samantha Grimes is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist whose passion for mental health and ending the stigma of addiction has led her to be one of the primary therapists at A Better Life Recovery. Samantha has worked in various mental health settings since 2013 including inpatient treatment for adults struggling with addiction, outpatient clinics working with families and couples and at schools working with at-risk youth. Samantha’s personal mission is to help people believe in their own worthiness, break down shame, and navigate challenging relationships with themselves and others, and find ways to embrace the unknown. Samantha works from a collaborative and authentic approach, using eclectic ways to support others navigate recovery. Samantha received her BA from UC Santa Barbara in Cultural Anthropology with a minor in Applied Psychology. Samantha continued her education by receiving her MA in Counseling Clinical Psychology from Argosy University in Alameda, CA. Samantha has received specialized training in anxiety/panic disorders and trauma-informed approaches to healing. 

Our Staff - mandyrs

MANDY MADRID, ACSW

PRIMARY THERAPIST

Mandy Madrid is a Psychotherapist that believes all people should have the opportunity to reach their full potential, contribute to society, and have a voice. She has worked in a spectrum of services including community based, acute, crisis, residential, at-risk youth programs, and longer-term outpatient treatment settings. At a Better Life Recovery, Mandy is a primary therapist who empowers clients by using an integrative approach to her clinical work, matching evidence-based treatments from Social Worker therapies, Psychodynamic, Cognitive-Behavioral, Transtheoretical Model, and Family Systems that is individualized to each client she sees to best meet their actual needs. Mandy received her BA from Beloit College and Master of Social Work from The University of Southern California. In addition, Mandy has specialized training Mental Health Disorders, Trans-Cranial Magnetic Stimulation, Treatment-Resistant Persistent Depression, Substance/Addiction Abuse Disorders, Grief and Loss, and she is also Licensed Psychiatric Technician. She is dedicated in helping our clients discover a new perspective on others, their future, and themselves so they can enjoy recovery and experience a happier life!

Our Staff - billymararr

BILLY MARA

PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Billy Mara joined the staff of A Better Life Recovery in July 2016 after deciding that he wanted to follow his longtime passion: to help and serve those in need. A graduate of Quinnipiac University, Billy obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Law in 2013 and moved into an administrative position at Boston University. It was after relocating to California and undergoing his own journey of self-discovery that Billy decided to join the ABL team so that he can help addicts, alcoholics and those with a dual-diagnosis to discover their potential. As the Director of Safety and Environment of Care Billy ensures compliance with the requirements that the Joint Commission outlines to ensure that A Better Life Recovery continues on its path to becoming the premier destination for substance abuse treatment and providing outstanding, quality client care.

Our Staff - brettallenrr

BRETT ALLEN CATC-R SUD

CASE MANAGER

Brett is a certified CATC-R SUD counselor and is currently enrolled in the Alcohol and Drug Studies Human Services program at Saddleback College. Brett has worked in recovery for 3 years and has a passion for helping others on their recovery journey. He specializes in 12-step modalities and enjoys connecting with clients on an individual basis.

Our Staff - victorgeorgescorr

VICTOR GEORGESCO CADC II

CASE MANAGER

Victor is certified through CCAPP as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. He received his certificate and Associate’s Degree in Alcohol and Drug studies from Saddleback College and began employment in related fields in 2014. Through extensive work with substance use related difficulties, Victor has developed a strong sense of compassion and empathy towards the problems that substance abuse creates for each individual. He embodies the core belief that anyone who struggles with addiction has the potential to stay sober. With thorough ethical background and diligence on continued education and exploration of the factors that contribute to substance use problems, Victor continues to strive to make recovery a reality for everyone who has a desire to change their life for the better.

Our Staff - justinsanchezrr

JUSTIN SANCHEZ CADC

CASE MANAGER

Justin is a registered recovery worker who has been working in the field of addiction since 2014 as a chemical dependency counselor and case manager. Justin currently holds an associate’s degree in alcohol and drug studies and is currently working towards furthering his education to provide the best services possible to the clients he serves. His personal journey in recovery started over five years ago when he was introduced to a treatment center that set him on the path of recovery by providing him with insight and education into the disease of addiction and assisted him in developing the tools necessary to live a clean and sober life. As a result of his own personal experience in recovery, Justin developed a passion for helping others better their lives and takes great pride and responsibility in his role of assisting clients down the path of recovery in their pursuit of a better life.

Our Staff - Kimupdate

KIMBERLY SITTSER SUDCC III

CASE MANAGER

Kimberly is certified and registered with CADTP as a substance use disorder counselor III (SUDCC III) and has 20 years working in the field of Human Services. Kimberly’s education includes counseling certifications in victimology, criminal justice, family counseling, general counseling,  mediation, crisis intervention, trauma informed treatment and sexual assault as well as SUD counseling.  Kimberly came to ABLR  with a strong belief in individualized client focused care, and extensive experience working with clients at various stages of recovery.  Kimberly has enjoyed many positions from secondary staff as an intern, to quality control adviser, to Clinical director of detox and residential treatment as well as several other roles. Along with her education and career experience, Kimberly has enjoyed a life of personal recovery for 33 years.  Kimberly is passionate and strong in her ability to meet clients where they are and recognize their unique needs.  She believes she is providing many tools and options in order to empower individuals to make informed choices in their own recovery to allow them to live not only a better life, but their best life.
Our Staff - coreyrichmanrr

COREY RICHMAN

VICE PRESIDENT OF ADMISSIONS

Corey joined the Better Life Recovery Team in 2015. He has over 4 years experience in the Recovery field and possesses more than 10 years’ experience in management, strong leadership skills and exceptional work ethic. Corey is emotionally invested in helping others, whether it be his staff or our clients. Corey is a graduate of San Diego State University, with a major in Business Management Technology and a Minor in Business Administration. His personal ties to the recovery and the loving support he provides to our community have made him a valuable asset.

Our Staff - frank

FRANK NALLY

VP OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Frank joined the AMFM team in 2015, he brings experience from his work with substance use, dual diagnosis, and mental patients. His work with the mentally ill at the Orange County Crisis Center is where he found his passion helping those struggling with mental illness. After leaving the Crisis Center, Frank embarked on a journey into the Substance Abuse and Co-Occurring Disorder treatment industry. His close interaction during the intake process and working with families struggling to find help for their loved ones struck a chord with Frank. He knew this was his calling. Since then, Frank has developed a team of men and women devoted to that mission. Frank works with treatment centers, hospitals, and clinicians nationally to educate them about AMFM’s treatment offerings and build relationships with trusted partners for any patients who are not appropriate for AMFM’s treatment program.

Our Staff - robin

ROBIN LOVELL CADCII

DIRECTOR OF CLINICAL OUTREACH

Robin began her career in the behavioral health field in 2007 as a clinician providing counseling and support to clients. She has since fulfilled director and CEO positions within behavioral health organizations including opening her own treatment center. Her vision of connecting clients to the best services possible remains her priority. Robin’s amazing personality along with her extensive experience as a clinician gives her the ability to work with clients and families on a deeply personal yet clinical level. She has a strong love for the field and truly enjoys watching her clients progress in life. Her objective is to connect families and those in need to the resources within our community. Robin has a passion for helping those in need, along with the experience required to find a solution for those suffering from the most dire behavioral health situations.

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KRISTEN ADAMS NCDA

DIRECTOR OF CLIENT DEVELOPMENT

Kristen Adams is a fully licensed and credentialed Secondary Education teacher. Over the past 20 years she has worked in both the classroom and in corporate America helping build and shape educational and career pathways. Kristen specializes in working one and one with clients to formulate a specific plan to help them reintegrate successfully back into society. She is well versed in helping clients wherever they are at on the educational and career spectrum whether its helping clients obtain their High School Equivalency certificate to successfully reentering their former profession. Kristen believes firmly that helping clients successfully transition out of treatment requires a solid educational foundation, a clear career pathway and concrete goals to help them achieve these milestones. 

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MARK GEORGESON

OPERATIONS MANAGER

Mark is a long-time resident of Orange County, CA. He graduated from Pepperdine University in 1992 with a B.S. in Liberal Arts. He brings his passion for education and 20 years of corporate America experience to our family. Mark is often the first face a client sees. Mark oversees the residential component and all logistics that apply to the day-to-day operations of A Better Life Recovery. Mark brings a level of compassion and safety that is critical to foster the transition into ABLR treatment and equally important in the transition or reintegration as a client’s treatment plan dictates. Mark is well-versed in many modalities of treatment and is constantly evolving to provide solution and support to staff and clients alike. Mark is a passionate and consistent presence in the recovery community and a proud and active member of A.A. He is a loving and present father of two who has been blessed by The Promises of sobriety. He lives by the code of, “to keep it you must freely give it away.”

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GARRY LARABEE

DIRECTOR OF COMPLIANCE AND QUALITY

Garry Larabee is the Director of Compliance and Quality at A Better Life Recovery. He has over 15 years of administrative experience working in the field of behavioral healthcare and professional consulting for numerous successful addiction treatment providers. Garry specializes in state regulatory compliance, Joint Commission accreditation, quality assurance, and healthcare data analytics. A firm believer in ongoing compliance and performance improvement concepts and its positive relationship to best business practices and quality of care outcomes, Garry regularly researches the latest technological trends in healthcare data management and analysis for A Better Life Recovery in their overall goal of achieving and maintaining clinical excellence.

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JEFFREY FARBMAN

BILLING MANAGER

Jeffrey has been working, volunteering and studying in the field of mental health and substance abuse for several years. He has an unyielding passion for helping others struggling with mental illness and substance use disorders. Jeffrey studied psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has extensive experience and knowledge in the realm of behavioral health, from both clinical and administrative paradigms. Jeffrey’s passion and drive for helping others has led him to our administrative department where he manages our billing and financial operations team. Jeffrey works closely with insurance companies and advocates on our client’s behalf to ensure that everyone has a chance to get the treatment and the “better life” they deserve.

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Phone

(866) 278-8804

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FAX

(949) 579-2876

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Address

30310 Rancho Viejo Rd.

San Juan Capistrano, CA, 92675

WE ARE FULLY LICENSED AND ACCREDITED

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
APA Approved Sponsor
CAMPF Approved Continuing Education Provider
California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals
National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers
Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
APA Approved Sponsor
CAMPF Approved Continuing Education Provider
California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals
National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers