Meet Our Instructors

Elevate CE instructors are leading experts. They will present the most cutting-edge knowledge and scientific research in the mental health field. They will also provide practical strategies for you to use immediately to enhance the quality of your work.

A variety of methods will be used to engage you in the course, which include didactic instruction, case studies, thought-provoking questions, break out groups and interactive discussions.

Susan Hess

MSW, LCSW-IL

SUSAN HESS, MSW, LCSW-IL, is a Clinical Associate Professor at USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Hess is an advocate, consultant and relational organizer within the intersections of intimate partner violence through a trauma informed healing centered approach. Hess collaborates with social work students who were formerly incarcerated to provide support in navigating through school, licensing issues and pushing back on systemic barriers that students who were formerly incarcerated face through a trauma informed healing centered approach.

Hess is the Co-Founder of Trauma Informed LA whose mission is to foster resilient communities that promote healing and well-being through collaboration, education, and community engagement. Hess is the co-host of Trauma Informed LA’s Our Stories Matter Podcast, which celebrates the complex lived experiences of activists and healers by sharing their inspiring stories. In recognition of her dedication, Hess was presented with the distinguished Dr. Marjorie Braude Award by the City of Los Angeles Domestic Violence City Task Force in October, 2013 for innovative collaboration in serving victims of domestic violence.

Susan lives in Los Angeles and stays balanced by hiking by the ocean and fostering puppies.

Tobin Shelton

LCSW, MPH

Tobin Shelton believes education is an opportunity for connection, personal growth and social justice. With a background in social work and public health, he focuses on bringing the values of harm reduction into healthcare and psychotherapy.

Tobin has done workshops for security guards, medical providers and residents, elementary school teachers and mental health professionals. As a bilingual clinician, he is curious about how language expresses our embodied experience. Tobin offers a mix of skills-building, intellectual inquiry and joy in his teaching.

Tobin was raised in Colorado and stays balanced by biking, playing music and making ceramics.

Nicholas Barr

PhD, MSW

Dr. Nicholas Barr is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dr. Barr received his BA in comparative religion from Columbia University.

As part of this course of study, he focused on Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and spent 6 months at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Dharamsala, India. After graduating, Dr. Barr earned a Princeton in Asia fellowship and worked in education and development in Laos. He went on to complete his MSW with a concentration in adult mental health at the University of California, Los Angeles.

He was a clinical social worker for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health for two years before completing his PhD at the University of Southern California School of Social Work, while continuing his clinical work in private practice. Before joining the faculty at UNLV, Dr. Barr was a Cohen Veterans’ Network funded postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families at USC.

Dr. Barr’s program of research focuses on enhancing understanding of risk and protective factors for populations with traumatic experiences, like homeless young adults and military service members. His work includes intervention development and implementation leveraging principles of mindfulness to develop adaptive coping behaviors and improve mental and behavioral health outcomes in these populations. He holds certifications in a number of evidence-based practices including Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

Nick was born and raised in Washington, D.C. and stays balanced by training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and reading science fiction.

Yehudah Pryce

MSW

Yehudah Pryce is a therapist at a residential addiction treatment center and is a policy advocate for smart decarceration. He currently presents to MSW students on “Collateral Consequences and Smart Decarceration” for the University of Southern California Experiential Learning Lab series. Yehudah has lived experience as a ward of the court and was incarcerated for over 16-years after being arrested as a teenager for a non-violent robbery. Interacting with social workers while in juvenile detention facilities, county jails and prison; designing curriculum and facilitating process groups and self-improvement classes for incarcerated persons while in-custody; and providing therapy to “Lifers” who parole directly to the residential treatment center that he provides therapy at, has provided Yehudah with invaluable insight that informs his research to optimize therapeutic modalities towards smart decarceration. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a Master in Social Work and is currently a Doctor of Social Work student at Simmons University.

Yehudah lives in Irvine, California and finds balance through his daily study of the Talmud.

Maxine Diggs

Maxine Diggs is the Chief Executive Officer at the Personal Involvement Center, Inc. (PIC), headquartered in South Los Angeles. PIC is a social service organization assisting the communities of South Los Angeles, South Bay, Compton, Watts, and the Antelope Valley.

For the last 23 years, Maxine has been devoted to PIC’s mission to ensure access to services promoting child safety, self-sufficiency and wellness to children and families regardless of their race, creed or color. During her tenure, Maxine has been able to grow the infrastructure of the agency by implementing best practices, new technologies and methodologies to ensure accountability and improved service delivery. She developed a number of annual community events to improve the health, psychological wellbeing and safety of community members.

Maxine attended Prescott College and received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, attended Liberty University, and received her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Counseling. She currently is working toward her Doctorate Degree in Social and Community Services at Capella University.

Maxine grew up in south Los Angeles and is a woman of great spiritual faith, married with three children, three step-children, and her big baby German Shepherd, Barkley.

To learn more about Maxine’s work visit https://personalinvolvementcenter.com

Liza Auciello

PsyD

Dr. Liza Auciello is the CEO and Founder of My Best-Self Coach. She has specialized training in trauma (primary and indirect), psychological testing, early identification and intervention, behavioral conditions, strengths-based interventions, relaxation management, and the body-mind connection. Liza has developed numerous training programs focused on leadership and comprehensive wellbeing for both mental health clients and professionals. In addition to educating professionals, Liza provides personal development coaching where she blends over 20 years of leadership experience with her skills as a clinical health psychologist. Her understanding of human behavior and the mind-body-soul connection combined with movement, energy and reflective methods accelerate growth and healing. Liza shares her gifts worldwide through virtual coaching. For those interested in equine facilitated learning, Liza integrates horses into the growth process.

Liza was raised in New York and moved to Los Angeles in her mid-twenties. She stays balanced by meditating, hiking, laughing with and loving her husband, and spending time in nature with her horse, Tara. To learn more about Liza’s work visit https://mybestselfcoach.com

Mimi Lind

LCSW

Mimi Lind, LCSW is a psychotherapist who specializes in the dynamics of domestic violence/intimate partner violence. She received her master’s in social work from USC and was trained in domestic violence in 1991 from Emerge Counseling Center. After her move to Los Angeles in 1994, she started the Safe Families Domestic Violence Intervention Program at the Venice Family Clinic. During her 13 years as Director of Behavioral Health and Domestic Violence Intervention at the Venice Family Clinic, she helped integrate domestic violence, harm reduction/substance use disorder, and trauma informed care practices into primary care services. Back in Boston, she worked as an ER social worker of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where she saw the immediate impact of all types of trauma, including domestic violence. She became a psychotherapist specializing in victims of trauma, specifically victims and perpetrators of domestic violence from then on.

Ms. Lind has been teaching and consulting about domestic violence/intimate partner violence since 1991, after completing a training program in Boston, where she was an emergency room social worker. Since then she has trained thousands of medical, legal and mental health professionals about treating victim/survivors as well as working with abusers/perpetrators. She incorporates up to date data, trauma informed care principles, and likes to spend a lot of time on questions and challenging situations. Her teaching experience also includes 4 years at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Loyola Marymount University (MFT Art Therapy program) and has been a guest speaker at various graduate schools around Los Angeles.

As part of her efforts in bridging the medical and domestic violence communities, Ms. Lind was the director of the Westside Domestic Violence Network in Los Angeles, which improved community collaboration by bringing together local agency staff of all disciplines.

Ms. Lind lives and works in Hawaii with her school-aged son. She speaks Spanish and French and stays balanced by laughing, watching movies, hiking, traveling and connecting with friends. She stays up much too late watching late night political comedy.

Karen Eastman

PhD

Karen is a licensed clinical psychologist committed to meditation and mind-body interventions. She conducted mind-body research in the UCLA Department of Pediatrics and served as the assistant director of the UCLA/RAND Center for Adolescent Health Promotion, where she led the training core.

A recipient of a Yale-China Teaching Fellowship to the Chinese University of Hong Kong, she has taught at UC Irvine and UCLA, led seminars for child-focused organizations, and served on parent boards of her children’s schools.
Karen is a member of Circles, a group that combines deep reflection, dialogue and collaboration with a spiritual practice of Light giving from a path known as Sukyo Mahikari. The purpose of engaging in Light and reflection is to elevate consciousness, develop spirit-centeredness and generate well-being.

Raised in North Carolina, she enjoys running, dancing, book clubs and listening to her kids play music. She has a private practice in Los Angeles.

Leena Banerjee Brown

PhD

Dr. Leena Banerjee Brown is a licensed psychologist and a Sukyo Mahikari practitioner of eighteen years. She developed and managed a child abuse prevention program in Honolulu at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children and served as professor of clinical psychology at Alliant International University in Los Angeles.

There she taught self-awareness development, family systems, infant mental health and multicultural psychology. She is author of Circles in the Nursery: Practicing multicultural family therapy. Her forthcoming book is Giving and Receiving True Light: Ordinary people on the Extraordinary path of Sukyo Mahikari.

Leena is a member of Circles, a group that combines deep reflection, dialogue and collaboration with a spiritual practice of Light giving from a path known as Sukyo Mahikari. The purpose of engaging in Light and reflection is to elevate consciousness, develop spirit-centeredness and generate well-being.

Leena was raised in India and stays balanced by giving and receiving Light with family and friends, doing water aerobics and writing letters by hand.

Helene Moore

PsyD, MAPP

Helene is a licensed clinical psychologist who has been working at Northwestern Medicine since 2008. Currently she maintains a clinical practice at the Northwestern’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, conducting both individual and group sessions.

Helene is also on the medical staff at Northwestern’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and she is an assistant professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

Helene’s treatment and teaching focus was primarily on CBT, but since 2011, when she received her Master’s in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, she began integrating positive psychology into her work.

Helene runs positive psychotherapy groups, conducts positive psychology seminars for medical students and psychology interns, teaches positive psychology classes to graduate students, and partakes in many other interesting and fun projects related to this field.

Genevive Julien

PsyD

Dr. Genevive Julien, PsyD is a health psychologist at Kaiser Permanente Chronic Pain Program in San Jose CA. She facilitates psycho-educational classes, utilizing CBT, ACT and mindfulness approaches in conjunction with a biopsychosocial model to better understand her clients and create treatment plans that work. Genevive graduated from Alliant International University, Los Angeles.

She has always had an interest in mind and body-based techniques that enhance traditional therapy. Her doctorate project focused on using yoga to prevent burnout. Genevive taught trauma-focused mindfulness-based curriculums with at risk youth, indigenous peoples, and in correctional facilities. Her interest in the psychology of pain was piqued at Synovation Medical Group, where she taught classes on the mind-body connection in relation to pain, applying behavioral medicine techniques of visual imagery, meditation and relaxation interventions.

Genevive holds certifications in CBT, Seeking Safety and Psycho-physiological disorders. She is the research co-investigator of Sha Research Foundation, San Francisco studying the impact of a meditative tool on anxiety, depression, and lower back pain.

Born and raised on Maui, Hawai’i Genevive has an innate affinity with the natural elements, reveling in ocean-orientated activities, hiking, trail running, and meditating in nature.

Kim Fuller

LMFT

Kim Fuller, LMFT, psychotherapist, author, trainer, runner, and founder and CEO of Fuller Life Concepts, Inc., a therapeutic agency that helps women and children manage anxiety and depression using evidence-based models. Her goal is to inspire hard working professionals to experience healing from within both physically and emotionally by challenging their fear-based habits and focusing on personal growth. Before starting her own agency, Kim provided leadership and treatment interventions at the largest nonprofit mental health agencies in Los Angeles County.

With more than 20 years of working as a marriage and family therapist, Kim came to understand how successful individuals make bigger strides towards goals when they are being held accountable to themselves and others. She encourages her clients to manage their nutritional health side by side with emotional well-being.

Her clear way of sharing her story and breadth of knowledge has led her to be featured in Balanced Mom Magazine and earned her opportunities to speak on trauma, stress and healing at various local mental health agencies as well as at University of Southern California and University of California Irvine.

Kim understands stressful situations can cause stress and overwhelm. Her first-hand knowledge of triumph after tragedy can be read in the amazon best-selling book Mommy Divas on the Move: 16 Essential secrets for Mompreneurs.

Kim received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from California State University, Fresno and a Masters of Arts in Counseling from California State University, Long Beach. She is the youngest of four girls raised in Atwater, CA. To manage stress and create balance, she takes long walks and works out regularly while listening to thriller and espionage novels. To learn more about Kim’s work visit http://www.fullerlifeconcepts.com

Diana Schoeller Hamilton

PsyD

Dr. Diana Schoeller Hamilton has spent the better part of the last 20 years treating men and boys in correctional settings. She earned her doctorate from William James College in 2007 and has enjoyed a 14-year career with the Bureau of Prisons.

In 2017, she opened a small private practice for adult patients, specializing in the treatment of men. Other interests include suicide prevention, the Mental Illness Management & Recovery model, trauma treatment for victims who are also perpetrators of sex offenders, modified therapeutic communities, group therapy, and supervision. She is licensed in Massachusetts and Texas.

Diana grew up in New Hampshire and, after several relocations, she now lives in Massachusetts. She stays balanced by listening to podcasts, cleaning and organizing, connecting with family, skiing, and traveling.

Elizabeth Prather

As a Mindfulness Consultant and Mentor, Elizabeth works in the area of burnout with adult professionals looking for more focus and energy, enhanced relationships, and improved performance.

Elizabeth is also a leader in mindful leadership, employee engagement, and resilience programs for organizations. Elizabeth has led mindfulness programs for Potential Project, a global leader in organizational effectiveness training, and continues to offer programs for non-profit and for-profit companies.

Elizabeth Prather has more than twenty years of leadership experience in healthcare management, non-profit and travel. As a former C-suite executive, Elizabeth found that meditation helped her cope and find success, even in stressful environments.

Elizabeth brings a depth of meditation experience with over 20 years of practice, training, and teaching. In 2012, she completed a three-year silent meditation retreat in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Soon thereafter, she started The Prather Group, a consulting and training firm dedicated to mindfulness programs rooted in neuroscience and positive psychology principles.

Elizabeth is interested in helping mental health professionals integrate mindfulness and emotional intelligence interventions into their work as a way to help clients calm anxious minds, transform negative emotions, and enhance self-acceptance and inner happiness.

Elizabeth has completed training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) through the University of California San Diego’s Center for Mindfulness, is certified in Emotional Intelligence training with sixseconds.org, and has undergraduate degrees in Biology and Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Elizabeth lives in Los Angeles and spends her free time hiking, enjoying the ocean, and searching for the perfect remote spot for her next meditation retreat.

Jason Dana

PsyD

Dr. Jason Dana has been the Chief Psychologist at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Chicago, Illinois, since 2010. He supervises the professional activities of three Forensic Psychologists, a Drug Abuse Treatment Coordinator, and oversees a Pre-Doctoral Externship. Dr. Dana serves on the Executive Staff at the institution, utilizing his professional expertise to assist the Warden with significant decisions regarding the orderly running of institution. He has also overseen an institution wide Health and Wellness program, promoting healthy living habits and development of self-care programs for staff.

Dr. Dana graduated from Pepperdine University with a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology. He began his career in the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), as a Pre-Doctoral Intern at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles, California. Upon completion of his internship, Dr. Dana transferred to the Federal Correctional Institution in Phoenix, Arizona, where he worked in the Special Housing Unit with disruptive inmates, provided treatment for chronically mentally ill inmates, conducted crisis intervention services and served as the Mental Health Liaison for the Hostage Negotiation Team.

He promoted to Forensic Studies Unit Psychologist at MCC Chicago in 2002, where he completed more than 400 forensic evaluations for the Federal Court System before being promoted to his current position. He has been an Adjunct Professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology since 2003, teaching forensic assessment, correctional psychology, and violence risk assessment classes.

Jason was born and raised in Los Angeles and stays balanced with a program of high intensity interval training and walking with Erin his wife, Dillon and Sierra his children, and his dogs, Taz and Sammie.

Kyra Haglund

LCSW, SEP, ERYT

Kyra Haglund (she/her) is a licensed clinical social worker, Somatic Experiencing practitioner, and yoga teacher that specializes in finding secure attachment, somatic (body-based) trauma resolution, and chronic stress syndromes. She has 20 years of experience using mind-body practices that guides clients towards health and well-being. Kyra takes an integrative and individualistic approach to therapy that draws traditional psychodynamic and cognitive interventions, mindfulness practices, and somatic psychotherapy. The result of this work is a restored sense of empowerment, personal growth, and a greater capacity to experience life.

Kyra is originally from Western New York. She lived and studied holistic arts and ethnoperformance extensively in India and Nepal and has now been a yoga teacher for 20 years. Kyra loves all things movement and music based, and has been known to keep herself regulated by having dance parties by herself in between therapy sessions. To learn more about Kyra’s work visit https://kyrahaglund.com/ or http://collectiveresilienceyoga.com

Kate Huffman

Kate Huffman is a certified body confidence and wellness coach, and an award-winning actor & playwright. She helps people who struggle with diet, exercise, and body hatred to rewire their brains towards self-acceptance so they can channel their time, energy, and money into living in greater alignment with their life purpose.

Her world-toured one woman show, I'M TOO FAT FOR THIS SHOW, tells her story of twenty years of anorexia, eating disorders, OCD, chronic pain, and body dysmorphia. It was the sharing of her story that sent her on her mission to help others who struggle with the unnecessary oppression of body hatred.

After digging deep into her own thoughts and beliefs, facing the terrifying steps to embrace real change, she experienced healing like she would never have expected. She went on to earn certifications from The Body Positive and The Institute for Body Confidence Coaching before developing workshops and courses and working one-on-one with people.

Michelle J Pearce

PhD

Michelle Pearce, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and Professor in the Graduate School at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where she directs the Integrative Health and Wellness graduate certificate program. Dr. Pearce received her Ph.D. from Yale University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) at Duke University Medical Center and a second fellowship in Spirituality and Health at the Duke Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health.

She is the author of the books “Night Bloomers: 12 Principles for Thriving in Adversity” and “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Christians with Depression: A Practical, Tool-Based Primer,” and coauthor of “Religion and Recovery from PTSD.” Dr. Pearce is also a board-certified health and wellness coach and is passionate about helping people achieve their wellness goals and live balanced, thriving lives. Her clinical and coaching practices focus on using the connection between mind, body, and spirit to improve health and transform through adversity.

In her spare time, she enjoys salsa dancing, hiking in the woods, and curling up with a good novel.

Ryan C. Warner

PhD

Ryan C. Warner, Ph.D., CRC assists teams with creating a culture of inclusion to maximize their potential. Dr. Warner is a sought-after licensed clinical psychologist, researcher, speaker, and consultant. He is also a certified rehabilitation counselor and credentialed National Register health service psychologist. His research interests involve PTSD and substance use, clinical health psychology, and the analysis of social forces affecting racial/ethnic minorities. He has conducted talks and trainings at both national and international levels, has been published in various peer review journals, and has served as a graduate-level instructor. Dr. Warner received a bachelor’s degree in Community Health-Rehabilitation from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, a master’s degree in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a PhD in Counseling Psychology from Marquette University.

As the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of RC Warner Consulting, LLC, Dr. Warner provides leadership development, diversity training, and wellness enhancement for a broad array of organizations and Fortune 500 corporations. He specializes in integrating psychological, multicultural, and evidenced-based principles to enhance team performance and effectiveness. Dr. Warner utilizes a tailored and interactive approach to accelerate meaningful change when consulting with small and large organizations around the globe.

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