Meet Our Team
OPI Executive Director Jessica Breton shares with us her thoughts on the passionate and skilled team here at OPI. Several team members have been with OPI for more than 10 years, and all team members focus on our core values of empathy, service, trusting relationships, and growth.
Jessica’s background and expertise are well suited to serve the young adults at OPI. She holds a BA in psychology from University of California at Santa Barbara and has a Masters degree from Phillips Graduate Institute in Marriage and Family Therapy.
She received Training in Mentalization-based Treatment Approach in Psychotherapy for Borderline Personality Disorder through UCLA Semel Institute. She also has training in Treating Multiple Severe Disorders with Dialectical Behavioral Therapy with Michael Hollander, Ph.D., from Harvard/McLean Hospital. Additionally, Jessica has participated in Social Skills and Violence Prevention Training from the California Family Counseling Center.
She has served as a Marriage and Family Therapist with the California Family Counseling Center, has worked in several Los Angeles Unified School District elementary, middle and High Schools and has maintained a small private practice.
Ms. Breton is a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, as well as Evolving Women.
At her heart, She is a passionate clinician. Jessica strongly believes that the relationships we build with clients and staff members helps to create an environment conducive to growth, healing, and change.
When not at work, Jessica loves spending time with her husband and 2 small boys.
She began her work at the California Counseling Center providing therapy to children, adolescents, couples and families. She also served as a child therapist, for the Los Angeles Unified School District, where she conducted both individual and group therapy for students at an elementary through high school level.
Her passion for the mental health field began as an undergraduate student at UCSB where she volunteered as a Paraprofessional Counselor, for the Family Service Agency Suicide Crisis Helpline. She also worked as a research assistant at Verdugo Mental Health Clinic.
She has had extensive training in Social Skills and Violence Prevention/Anti-Bullying and has run countless social skills groups and parenting workshops.
Alisa is enthusiastic about the work that she does at OPI and the opportunity to help young adults on their journey to independence. She believes in the importance of finding joy and balance in life and building a healthy repertoire of skills to manage day-to-day life.
When Alisa is not working she is focused on her other passion which is her family. She loves spending time with her husband and two daughters.
Graduate University, where he obtained his Doctorate in Psychology with an emphasis in Organizational Management and Consulting. Dr. Brown previously attended California State University Northridge where he obtained his B.A. Dr. Brown has been working in residential
treatment/mental health for over a decade. He first started off working at a juvenile facility for boys (Rancho San Antonio Boys Home) where he has been involved in multiple levels of the treatment team ranging from direct care staff, supervisor, to child
and family mental health specialist. While continuing to be an agent of change in the lives of his clients, Dr. Brown has continuously used his education and skills to help provide clients with great quality care that is customized to their individual needs.
Dr. Brown has over 10 years of direct Staff
Development & Supervision experience working in residential treatment. He is a highly respected team builder and leader whose responsibility is delivering ideal services, resources and programs for clients. Further, Dr. Brown is deeply committed to building
a cohesive team through new member orientation and team building exercises that would help improve the quality of life for clients.
When the opportunity arose to work for OPI and she met Jessica and team, April enthusiastically jumped aboard! April previously worked for InnerChange and established many long and enduring friendships along the way. She is thrilled to back in the family!
April grew up on a farm in Arizona and attended Arizona State University where she obtained her degrees in psychology and business. Go Sun Devils!!! She now resides in Orange County where she can be found cheering from the bleachers of her daughter’s volleyball games, rescuing kittens for OC Small Paws, raiding the nearest Sephora or cooking up some of her favorite Mexican recipes.
James Hollis is the Admissions Advisor at Optimum Performance Institute in Woodland Hills, CA. He’s been assisting with operations of the Education Department at OPI since March 2019. He’s looking forward to building lasting relationships throughout the Admissions landscape as well and the entire mental health community.
James is originally from Las Vegas, NV where he graduated from his alma mater UNLV with a B.S. in Physical Science. He’s been married to his H.S. sweetheart, Ali, since 2007 and they have 2 furry children together. After receiving his P.S. in Education, James and his wife moved to Australia where he earned his MEDL at the University of Wollongong. In 2017 he discovered his passion for Coaching and Mental Health while becoming a certified life coach at Accomplishment Coaching in San Diego, CA.
Mental health and wellness has always held a huge piece of James’ heart and he is honored to be part of the OPI team!!
She has been recognized for excellence in leadership, clinical care, and dedication to service. She is currently the President-Elect of the Southern California Psychiatric Society, a professional organization representing over 1,000 psychiatrists in Southern California.
Also in the SCPS, Dr. Red has served as Treasurer, Secretary, Regional Councilor, Early Career Representative, and Resident/ Fellow Member Representative.
Dr. Red completed an Adult Psychiatry Residency at Los Angeles County USC Medical Center, followed by a subspecialty fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Red received her MD degree from the University of Texas at Houston Medical School. Her undergraduate degree was in biology and chemistry at Howard Payne University in Texas.
Dr. Red is also a member of the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, and American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
During her academic time with CSUN Rebecca worked in the Child and Family Studies Center which acknowledges the needs of the individual child and the values of the family with the provision of a safe and nurturing environment. She trained with New Directions for Youth during her graduate program working with court referred adolescents in therapy.
Rebecca participated in Behavioral Tech’s Dialectical Behavior Therapy 10-Day Intensive Training Course© as well as several other DBT trainings such as, Using DBT on the Front Lines.
Rebecca has worked at OPI in both the residential and clinical capacity and assisted in the development of the Intensive Program.
In her down time she enjoys activities with her husband and daughter as well as with friends.
He is a naturally present and empathetic clinician that has joined the OPI team after 6+ years of providing direct therapeutic services to young adults, adolescents, and their families. He has experience providing group, individual, and family therapy in Intensive Outpatient Programs, community counseling centers and in private practice.
Darin has a passion for helping young people find their own path into adulthood. He enjoys the process of connecting with each individual and trying to help them learn the skills and self confidence they need to achieve their goals.
In his free time he can be found cavorting outdoors with his wife and two sons, coaching his boys’ basketball teams, listening to music, or “geeking out” on random psychology books, the NFL, and the NBA.
When she is not at work, Azra enjoys hiking, art-making, gardening, attending concerts, cooking, traveling, and spending time with loved ones.
I have been a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for almost 25 years. My experiences range from working in a locked psychiatric unit of a hospital (for over 10 years), running and working at various residential and outpatient mental health and drug and alcohol programs, to having a successful private practice. I am passionate about helping individuals get unstuck, reconnect with their true self, find hope again, and start to see their life full of potential and promise.
Most people seeking treatment (if not all), have some history of trauma, and this trauma is impacting their present ability to be as effective as they would like to be, and often gets in the way of them reaching their personal goals. OPI does amazing work in providing its participants with many tools, a safe environment to practice them, and support and guidance to help move them forward, in all areas of their lives. There are times when one's trauma becomes an obstacle to continued growth. When this happens, I am here to help.
EMDR allows me a way to work with a client that is being controlled by the impact of their past. EMDR is an evidence based approach proven successful in helping people suffering from PTSD, and other symptoms of trauma. As a certified EMDR therapist, I have been able to help people work through trauma, that they long ago gave up hope of ever doing. I have learned to trust the process of EMDR, and have seen miraculous results.
May you be happy, may you be at ease, may you be free from suffering; as you pursue your life's journey.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Certified EMDR Therapist
Elizabeth’s own journey to having a mind, body, and spirit connection really began when she moved to the Big Island of Hawaii in 2003 with her husband and started a family. That’s where she discovered some of her greatest passions. They include dancing Hula & Tahitian, swimming with dolphins in the day & manta rays by night, fishing, waterfall hiking, zip lining, and free diving. Now that they are back in California, her family still continues to make outdoor “playtime” a top priority!
As Director for Volunteer and Career Services, Jenny works with participants to use volunteering as an opportunity to build transferable skills, to obtain work experiences and professional references, gain confidence, and set and meet short term goals. Jenny helps participants in all phases of career counseling including exploration, career related tool building and the job search process. She coaches participants in the value of networking, professional image and mock interviewing. Jenny also coordinates the monthly community service events in various service areas and industries.
Jenny earned her Master’s of Science degree in Counseling and Guidance, College Student Personnel from California Lutheran University, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University, Northridge, and a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from San Diego State University.
Whether it is exploring past hobbies, maintaining current joys, or sparking new found curiosities, Jenna is a true believer that motivation sparks from passion. She strives to influence positive motivation through encouraging support and realistic goals for each participant. Jenna charismatically reminds participants that fun, healthy activities are crucial for self-improvement, healthy living, and happiness. In the Extracurricular Activities Department, participants engage in OPI in-house clubs, participate in individual activities, build confidence in the kitchen, and socialize at weekend outings to best strengthen their OPI activity adventures.
Born and raised in the "City of Trees" Jenna has a strong love for nature and outdoor adventures. When she's not busy at work, Jenna most enjoys yoga, hiking, dancing, traveling, camping, and making memories with her family.
As Director of Life Coaching, Melissa hires and trains all life coaches at OPI to ensure participants are receiving one-to-one support and attention from our life coaching team. Life Coaches help participants define and work toward their goals, by creating small action steps that are accomplished and measured through a system of accountability. As a Therapist, Melissa works one-to-one with participants to work though the emotional obstacles keeping young adults from actualizing their full potential.
Melissa earned her Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Phillips Graduate Institute. Prior to that, she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Promotions and Disease Prevention Studies with a minor in Psychology from the University of Southern California. Her experience outside of OPI includes working as a Behavioral Interventionist, utilizing her training in Applied Behavioral Analysis in her work with children and adolescence on the Autism spectrum. Additionally, Melissa offered counseling and crisis management with female adolescent foster youth living in group homes. Melissa holds a membership with the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
As the Human Resources Generalist for Innerchange/OPI Krista helps with the new hire onboarding process; this includes recruiting, orientation, and welcoming the new staff to our family. Krista assists with employee relations and development, creation of policies and procedures, and is familiar with HR rules and regulations.
Krista earned her Bachelors degree in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She went on to pursue her Masters degree in Psychology from California State University, Long Beach. Krista is from the South Bay. She enjoys going to sporting events, concerts, hiking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
Janet is a certified instructor in non-violent crisis intervention and instructs and certifies the OPI team. Janet is a bit of a Renaissance woman. She loves experiencing new adventures and is a sponge for information. She has a broad knowledge base and is able to connect with a diverse population of people in a variety of situations.
Along with her husband Chops and their kitty Kona, Janet likes the beach, dancing, scuba, and shopping. She has been skydiving, bungee jumping and loves roller coasters! Her favorite is visiting her baby grandson Jay and her 23 year old son Phoenix, who is a Staff Sergeant in the US Army.
Tricia was born and raised in Southern California and enjoys traveling, hiking, baking and spending time with her husband and friends when she’s not at work.
Vanessa earned an associate’s degree at Mount Saint Mary’s College, a bachelor’s degree at University of California, Santa Barbara, and a master’s degree at California State University, Northridge. The colleges Vanessa attended were vastly different as they varied in size and culture. This provides her with well-rounded and first-hand experiences that she teaches to each of the participants.
She has experience in applied behavior analysis working with special needs, youth and senior population. She maintains a spiritual practice and loves creative writing. Vanessa has taught a college-level class in oral and written communication. She also served as part of the faculty, an academic activities facilitator, and an English coach at a nonprofit.
Vanessa is an upcoming associate member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) with professional development courses in college counseling. She holds a professional credential from International Coach Federation (ICF) and an alumnus at Life Purpose Institute. She thrives in the community integration of the education and life coaching fields.
Alex has an incredible ability to engage and connect with the participants and really push them to meet program expectations. Alex is a master tour guide for visitors coming to OPI and ensures that all new participants feel at home and comfortable with their environment.
Alex recently took part in OPI’s first Casa Hogar trip to Mexico and also went on the first OPI camping trip. Alex actively encourages participants to join him in workouts and other outside physical activities. He has been a sports coach for over 20 years and a Karate teacher for 13 years. Alex enjoys the opportunity to be positive every day, and when he is not at the gym he enjoys spending his free time with his wife and kids.
Mario grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Psychology. In his spare time Mario likes to spend time with his family and fixing things around the house.
As self-care, Monica has found a passion in Crossfit. She loves working out and shares her experience with coworkers/participants. She has participated in several competitions. Other things she enjoys is to travel around the world, hikes, camping, parasailing, zip line, massages, and concerts.
First generation born in America to Haitian immigrants Yanik enjoys traveling, spending quality time in nature, free style dance, creative writing, filmmaking and exploring the magical world of tea!
Sal works closely with his fellow site supervisors to ensure the safety and security of participants and staff. As facilities manager, Sal ensures all apartments are up to JCAHO standards. This includes monitoring the apartments for safety concerns, training staff on emergency preparedness, and training all staff on CPR and First Aid. Sal is intensively trained in DBT through Behavioral Tech.
Sal grew up in southern California and graduated from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Psychology. In his spare time Sal enjoys working out and watching movies with his son.
Marc is able to build a great rapport with all our participants and is able to keep them motivated and driven to succeed in the program.
Marc leads an indoor rock climbing club that challenges our participants, takes them outside of their comfort zones but also builds self confidence and courage.
When Marc is not working he enjoys backpacking, running marathons, free diving, and flying single engine planes.
Marvyn builds strong, trusting relationships with our participants and staff. He knows that no single approach is right for every individual, seeking to understand each person by listening and engaging. He is able to encourage participants to complete daily goals and is helps them out when they are faced with challenges. Marvyn's humor makes him very approachable, which makes the participants feel they can come to him with any concerns
Marvyn loves to cook, and in his spare time explores ways to fuse different dishes and perfect his recipes. He is also a comic book fanatic and can talk hours about the Marvel Universe. He likes long walks on the beach and equally long naps.