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At Center for Professional Recovery, our highly-skilled and compassionate staff are extensively trained in chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health treatment for professionals. Our perspective is uniquely different than that of most treatment centers, as many of us have walked in your, or your patient’s shoes, and thus have first-hand experience with professional treatment and recovery. With our distinct and combined specialties, we demonstrate unwavering compassion and provide comprehensive evaluations and personalized treatment plans utilizing a broad range of evidenced-based therapeutic modalities.

Gregory Skipper MD

Medical Director

Dr. Skipper is a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and a certified medical review officer. He previously served as medical director for the Alabama Physician Health Program and was on the council that created and oversaw the Oregon Health Professionals Program. Dr. Skipper was the primary innovator of ethyl glucuronide (EtG) testing and is an expert in alcohol biomarkers and drug testing. He was a principal investigator of the National Physician Health Program Blueprint Study, funded by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant, and is the author of many articles regarding drug testing, physician health, and contingency monitoring. Dr. Skipper was formerly medical director of Springbrook Hazelden, and he was a chief advisor to the development of the professional’s program at Promises, Betty Ford Center and Bradford Health Services.

Matthew Goldenberg D.O.

Associate Medical Director

Matthew Goldenberg D.O. is double board-certified in psychiatry and addiction psychiatry and is a certified Medical Review Officer (MRO). He is an expert in the evaluation and treatment of mental health disorders and has provided addiction psychiatry consultations to some of the nation’s top addiction treatment programs. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Goldenberg is an active author, researcher and invited speaker at local and national conferences. He volunteers his time as a clinical instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA and is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Goldenberg completed an addiction psychiatry fellowship through UCLA, in Los Angeles, California, and psychiatry residency at Banner University Medical Center of the University of Arizona, in Phoenix, Arizona. He completed medical school at Midwestern University, Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine, and is a native of Los Angeles.

John Pustaver, MDiv, MA

Comprehensive Diagnostic Evaluation Program Director

John Pustaver, MDiv, MA, completed his undergraduate education at Arizona State University majoring in fine arts. After serving the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for ten years, John found his spiritual path within the 12-Step recovery community and retired from active ministry. John then completed 60 hours of MFT coursework while working at the Betty Ford Center’s professionals program. He became the director of their Clinical Diagnostic Program after learning the science and art of conducting professional evaluations. John has been involved in professional assessments and treatment for fifteen years and has found a unique way serving professionals in crisis. John’s responsibilities with the Center for Professional Recovery include directing and overseeing professional evaluations, including, the collection and review of collateral information, remaining in contact with referents and preparing the Comprehensive Diagnostic Evaluation (CDE) final summary report for the CDE Team.

Melissa Chisari-Noori, Psy.D

Primary Therapist

Dr. Melissa Chisari-Noori is a licensed clinical psychologist, specializing in treating residents in individual, couples, and family therapy. She obtained her doctoral degree in psychology from California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University. She has worked in the field of addiction and recovery for many years in a variety of clinical settings, including residential treatment programs, intensive outpatient programs, university counseling centers, and private practice. Dr. Noori specializes in treating adolescents, adults, couples, and families struggling with addiction, co-occurring disorders, relationship issues, anxiety, and depression.

Dr. Noori takes an action-oriented, collaborative approach to address each client’s specific needs, working towards identifying and changing negative patterns in a safe, compassionate environment. Dr. Noori feels truly honored to support each client on their transformative journey.

Reuben Vaisman-Tzachor

Reuben Vaisman-Tzachor

Ph.D., FACFEI, DABPS, FAPA, DABCHS

Dr. Rueben Vaisman-Tzachor brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Center for Professional Recovery. He obtained his doctorate degree in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in 1993 and has been a Licensed Psychologist since 1997. He has taught as an adjunct professor of clinical and forensic psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles and others for over 25 years, and served as an Attending Psychologist at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for 16 years.

Dr. Vaisman is a Fellow at the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute, a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychology Specialties in Clinical and Forensic Psychology, a Fellow at the American Psychotherapy Association and a Diplomate of the American Board of Certification in Homeland Security.

He has conducted research and published over 20 professional journal articles, and has written or co-authored 8 books and 3 psychology-based novels. Many of his research articles are about addiction and chronic mental illness. Additionally, he has served as an expert witness for various courts including the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

During 6 years of counter-terrorism service as a navy captain and gun-ship commander for the Israeli navy, he developed an expertise in terrorism prevention. He was subsequently recruited to head a research project at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico to study and produce a national terrorism prevention protocol for the George W. Bush administration. The project was subsequently integrated by the CIA into the pursuit of Osama Bin Laden and has been adopted into the official curriculum at the FBI Academy.

Dr. Vaisman-Tzachor is a writer, reader and speaker of English, Spanish, and Hebrew.

Nancy B. Irwin, Psy.D

Primary Therapist & Certified Hypnotherapist

Originally from Atlanta, Dr. Nancy Irwin moved to New York City in 1985 to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian. She worked all over the country and abroad, and moved to L.A. in 1994 when she heard that Hollywood needed more blondes…

Dr. Irwin experienced an epiphany when she began volunteering for Children of the Night, a shelter for sexually abused children in Los Angeles. This experience awoke the healer in Dr. Irwin, prompting her to pursue a doctorate in psychology at California Southern University with a specialty focus on the prevention and healing of sexual abuse.

Dr. Irwin graduated from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in Tarzana, California, in 2003, with honors and the Director’s Award. She has frequently been called upon to provide her expertise on numerous radio and TV shows, including CNN, CNBC, Fox, and MSNBC. She is a member of the American Hypnosis Association, the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, the California Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, and she is a Diplomate in the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. Nancy also serves on the Education Committee of the California Coalition on Sex Offending, and she treats more than 100 emotional and behavioral issues, including addictions, phobias, and sexual abuse trauma.

A certified practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Time Line Therapy, and Emotion Free Therapy, Dr. Irwin tailors each client’s treatment to effect the most rapid transformation possible. Dr. Irwin’s academic accomplishments, life experience, and personal approach together enable her to provide clients with a unique treatment experience. She earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from California Southern University, and has a background as an opera singer and stand-up comic—this unique combination of skills enables her to inject heart and humor into her healing. A powerful keynote speaker, she insists: “Change does not have to be scary and hard. It can be creative and fun.”

Dr. Irwin is also the author of YOU-TURN: Changing Direction in Midlife (2008), a collection of “over 40 stories of people over 40” who made amazing transitions in midlife.

Benjamin Nakanishi, Psy.D

Primary Therapist

Dr. Ben Nakanishi is a licensed clinical psychologist who has many years of experience working with clients struggling with addiction and mental health issues. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California Santa Barbara and went on to obtain his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University.

Dr. Nakanishi has worked in a range of settings including community mental health, schools, correctional institutions, and in private practice providing individual, group, couples, and family therapy. He strives to create a collaborative and supportive environment so that issues can be explored openly and honestly. He draws from a wide range of therapeutic orientations and techniques but specializes in psychodynamic and psychoanalytic approaches which focus on exploring the unconscious motivations that drive our behaviors.

Jennifer Brady, MSW, LCSW

Psychotherapist and Certified Brainspotting Professional

Jennifer Brady obtained her degree in psychology from the University of Michigan in 1991 before moving on to earn her Master of Social Work in 1994 from the University of Southern California. Her study focus was on children and families, as well as school-based social work.

Ms. Brady utilizes a wide variety of therapy techniques specifically tailored to each client. These include Brainspotting trauma therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, expressive art modalities and spiritual based therapy. She helps clients transform their lives from within using motivational interviewing techniques and compassionate reflective listening. Ms. Brady engages clients in weekly groups that include Expressive Art Therapy, Women’s Empowerment, and Writing and Process, as well as individual and family therapy sessions focused on successful recovery from addictive and co-occurring disorders.

Kate Maddox

Kate Maddox

MA, LMFT

Kate Maddox received her master’s degree in psychology from Phillips Graduate University in 2013 in the marriage and family therapy program. Kate specializes in addiction and co-occurring disorders. She has worked in a wide variety of clinical settings, including residential treatment centers for drug and alcohol addiction, family counseling centers, juvenile facilities, and private practice.

Kate incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), narrative therapy and family systems in her therapeutic practice. Kate facilitates weekly groups on DBT, narrative therapy and journaling. In addition to working as a therapist, Kate has been a journalist for nearly 30 years and believes in the power of writing to help clients express themselves and transform their lives.

Cary McCorkle, MA

Site Manager

Barbara Carey, CHT

Hypnotherapist

Rachel Orselli, LAc

Acupuncturist

Marit Lee, MA

Admissions Director

Dennis Garber

Executive Chef

Hortensia Valencia, CMT

Massage Therapist

Kim Lange

Nurse, RN

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Center for Professional Recovery