Meet Our Team

Luxury Addiction Treatment

Get to know our dedicated staff:

We believe in a person-centered approach. Every member of the team here at AToN is here to support your path to recovery. We will not shame you or use stigmatizing language. We have passion and compassion for everyone that walks through our doors. Our multidisciplinary team is here to support the start of your recovery journey. Get to know our staff in the videos below.

Clinical Team

Dr. Christian Small

Medical Director

Dr. Christian Small

Medical Director
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Dr. Leslie Sanders

Program Director

Dr. Leslie Sanders

Program Director
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Dr. Kevin Murphy

Clinical Director

Dr. Kevin Murphy

Clinical Director
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Dr. Alicia Tolerico

Psychologist

Dr. Alicia Tolerico

Psychologist
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Dr. Nicole Muller

Psychologist

Dr. Nicole Muller

Psychologist
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Dr. Rachel Conway

Psychologist

Dr. Rachel Conway

Psychologist
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Maryalice Valles, LMFT

Clinician

Maryalice Valles, LMFT

Clinician

Chris McDuffie, MSW, CADCII

Clinician

Chris McDuffie, MSW, CADCII

Clinician
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Devon Broeske, MFT

Clinician

Devon Broeske, MFT

Clinician
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Taylor Avery, MFT

Clinician

Taylor Avery, MFT

Clinician

Laura Mouanoutoua, MSW

Clinician

Laura Mouanoutoua, MSW

Clinician

Rob Brockman, LAADC, ICAADC

Clinician

Rob Brockman, LAADC, ICAADC

Clinician
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Kristin Colton, CADCII

Clinician

Kristin Colton, CADCII

Clinician
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Karen Yazzie-Meyer, CADCII

Clinician

Karen Yazzie-Meyer, CADCII

Clinician
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Intake Team

James Reed, RADT

Intake Director

James Reed, RADT

Intake Director

Greg Liggett, RADT

Intake Coordinator

Greg Liggett, RADT

Intake Coordinator
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Lauren Mann, CADC

Intake & Alumni Coordinator

Lauren Mann, CADC

Intake & Alumni Coordinator
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Administration

Pat Brady, MA

Director of Operations & Outreach

Pat Brady, MA

Director of Operations & Outreach
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Keith Fosgett

Outreach Coordinator

Keith Fosgett

Outreach Coordinator

Kristen Patterson

Director of Human Resources

Kristen Patterson

Director of Human Resources
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Micah Diaz

Office Manager & Program Coordinator

Micah Diaz

Office Manager & Program Coordinator
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Desiree Duran

Office Assistant

Desiree Duran

Office Assistant
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Lead Medical and Resident Assistant (RA) Staff

Schuyler P.

RA Supervisor

Schuyler P.

RA Supervisor
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Mitch B.

RA Supervisor

Mitch B.

RA Supervisor
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Geanna K., R.N

Nursing Supervisor

Geanna K., R.N

Nursing Supervisor
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Katey A., R.N.

Nursing Supervisor

Katey A., R.N.

Nursing Supervisor
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Liz D., R.N.

Nursing Supervisor

Liz D., R.N.

Nursing Supervisor

Meexia C., R.N.

Nursing Supervisor

Meexia C., R.N.

Nursing Supervisor

Culinary Team

Cameron Hay

Chef

Cameron Hay

Chef

Holistic Providers

Gal Rahimi

Massage & Watsu

Gal Rahimi

Massage & Watsu

Ashley Lanahan

Acupuncture

Ashley Lanahan

Acupuncture

Jeninifer Fritschy

Acupuncture

Jeninifer Fritschy

Acupuncture

Brad Tunis

Hypnotherapy & Breathwork

Brad Tunis

Hypnotherapy & Breathwork
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Alison Nelson, DPT

Physical Therapy

Alison Nelson, DPT

Physical Therapy

Taylor Westenberger

Personal Trainer

Taylor Westenberger

Personal Trainer
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Wyatt Duncan

Personal Trainer

Wyatt Duncan

Personal Trainer
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Yvonne Lazarto

Yoga & Mindfulness

Yvonne Lazarto

Yoga & Mindfulness
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Jessica Carrol

Sound Bowl Healer

Jessica Carrol

Sound Bowl Healer

Leslie Edgarian

Art Instructor

Leslie Edgarian

Art Instructor

Dr. Christian Small

Medical Director

Christian Small, MD is board certified in addiction psychiatry, general psychiatry and family medicine. He is one of a handful of doctors in the US who have the experience and training to treat full spectrum medical and psychiatric illness.

Dr. Small has become a leader in delivering evidenced based addiction practices, medical and psychiatric care to patients suffering with addiction. He is the founder of Headlands Addiction Treatment Services. Dr. Small was previously employed by the Veterans Administration in La Jolla as an addiction psychiatrist and at the University of California San Diego. He is a graduate of the University of Hawaii John A Burns School of Medicine and completed a residency in Psychiatry and Family Medicine at UCSD.

Dr. Leslie Sanders

Program Director

Dr. Sanders, AToN’s Program Director, is a licensed clinical Psychologist with over ten years of experience. Originally from the east coast, she realized her passion for psychology during a high school psychology class and went on to graduate from Northeastern University with a Bachelors degree in Psychology. While living in Boston, Dr. Sanders worked for many years in residential care and community mental health. After moving to San Diego in 2003, Dr. Sanders enrolled in the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University.

Her APA accredited program culminated with her dissertation on the opinions of child custody evaluators with regard to domestic violence and alienation. Throughout her graduate education, Dr. Sanders gained experience with many populations in multiple clinical settings such as inpatient assessment and short-term treatment, long-term insight oriented therapy with adults, trauma informed treatment with children, and child custody evaluations. Most recently she was a department director at a large private facility assessing and treating dually diagnosed in and outpatients.

Dr. Sanders takes an eclectic approach, pulling from CBT and psychodynamic modalities to help individuals overcome substance use disorders, address underlying psychological conditions, and ultimately realize their full potential. As an active member of the San Diego Psychological Association she regularly attends committee meetings and conferences in order to stay current with community standards in the field.

Dr. Kevin Murphy

Clinical Director

Dr. Murphy has more than 15 years of experience working in the addiction services industry, with training in SMART Recovery and Motivational Interviewing.

APA and CCAPP certified to provide continued education on the Neurobiology of Addiction and The Use of Exposure Therapy in Addiction Services, Dr. Murphy has facilitated trainings at professional conferences, clinics, and in hospitals over the last 10 years. Along the same lines, Dr. Murphy has supervised both predoctoral students and postdoc clinicians, with broad experience in curriculum development.

Dr. Murphy has completed more than 5000 psychological assessments, highlighting his expertise in diagnosis and treatment planning.

A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Dr. Murphy completed his graduate studies at the California School of Professional Psychology, completing his dissertation studies on addiction disorders. Licensed via the Board of Psychology in California (PSY 23323).

A parent to two young children, Dr. Murphy spends most of his free time bending over to pick up random toys. Otherwise, Dr. Murphy is an avid sports fan and particularly enjoys watching hockey during downtime.

Dr. Alicia Tolerico

Psychologist

Dr. Tolerico received a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. She received her Master’s Degree and Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University. Dr. Tolerico received clinical experience in diverse settings including multiple residential substance use treatment centers, a men’s correctional facility, inpatient psychiatric hospital and a local LGBT community center.

Dr. Tolerico completed Post Doctoral residency at a residential substance use treatment center in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Tolerico is the Chair of the Early Career Psychologist Subcommittee of the Los Angeles Psychological Association and a member of the San Diego Psychological Association.

Dr. Tolerico is dedicated to providing an empowering environment for clients to thrive in all aspects of their lives. Dr. Tolerico has experience providing psychological services to men, women, and non-binary individuals suffering from mood and anxiety disorders, trauma, sexual violence, betrayal trauma, body image concerns and disordered eating, living with HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ+ issues, and substance use disorders.

Her approach to treatment is collaborative, client-centered, and supportive. She desires to foster client’s inner strength to overcome life’s adversities. Dr. Tolerico is passionate about assisting clients on their healing journey towards achieving personal growth, connecting with others, and living a purposeful and intentional life.

Dr. Nicole Muller

Psychologist

Dr. Nicole Muller earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She earned her Ph.D. from the California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University – San Diego in 2018. Dr. Muller has worked a variety of settings including an integrative health center, a psychiatric hospital, a dual diagnosis clinic at a methadone treatment center, and private practice. Her specialty areas include PTSD, addiction issues, and anxiety. Dr. Muller also has experience treating insomnia, depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, chronic pain, personality disorders, and life issues such as grief, personal growth, and relationship problems.

Dr. Muller completed her postdoctoral residency at an integrative health center with the primary focus of treating PTSD and chronic pain. She has a particular interest in the intersectionality of trauma, addiction, and pain disorders.

Dr. Muller is trained in evidence-based practices such as EMDR, Prolonged Exposure, Trauma Focused CBT. She takes an integrative approach to treatment with an emphasis on utilizing mindfulness, cognitive-behavioral approaches, and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). She believes in treating the whole person and is committed to a strength-based approach.

Dr. Muller holds the therapeutic relationship in the highest regard, taking great care to make sure that every individual feels heard and cared for within the therapeutic relationship. She strives to understand each individual’s point of view and create a therapy experience that feels safe and genuine.

Dr. Rachel Conway

Psychologist

Dr. Rachel Conway earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from Yeshiva University in New York City and Doctorate in Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University in Fresno, CA. She has 15 years of experience in many different settings, with experiences ranging from assessing and treating individuals of many different ages with learning disabilities, as well as assessing and treating adolescents and adults with a wide range of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia, PTSD, etc.

In recent years, Dr. Conway has received more training in treating trauma and returned back to a long-time interest of hers by beginning to treat individuals with trauma, with a special interest in treating those with a history of childhood trauma. The fact that Aton Center values trauma treatment coupled with the fact that Dr. Conway is also sober herself seem to make a perfect fit for the two.

Possibly above all else, Dr. Conway values unconditional positive regard as a tool in therapy with residents at Aton. She also values Attachment Theory. She is also certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) through EMDRIA. Most recently she has expanded her tools for treating trauma by also receiving extensive training in Internal Family Systems.

Chris McDuffie, MSW, CADC-II

Clincian

Chris is a retired high school principal and is the CEO of his health and wellness corporation. Chris completed his CADAC Drug and Alcohol Counselor coursework and his internship through UCSD’s Chemical Dependency Program. Chris has worked in the recovery field for over 6 years as a therapeutic Surf Coach for Naval Hospital Balboa’s servicemen and women suffering from PTSD, amputations, and dual-diagnosed addictions. He has also worked with recovery work at the Navy’s Intensive Out- Patient facility at Camp Pendleton and the Navy’s Intensive Inpatient facility at Naval Base Point Loma.

Chris enjoys introducing our clients to the many benefits of Buddhism, Mindfulness, and Meditation. Chris and his family moved from New York eleven years ago, after vacationing in San Diego for 14 summers before that. Chris enjoys surfing, golf, music, canyon running and travel.

Devon Broeske, MFT

Clincian

Devon Broeske is a Marine Corp Veteran and a compassionate clinician with over a decade of experience working in diverse Mental Health settings. Devon’s experience includes direct and indirect client support in residential and intensive outpatient programs in Utah and California. He has worked with adults and adolescents living through traumatic events, adjusting to life changes, and learning to manage addictive behaviors. Devon maintains an individualized person-centered approach with every client he encounters.

Devon received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Phoenix in San Marcos, CA. He earned his Masters at the University of Phoenix in San Diego, CA with a focus on Marriage, Family, and Child Therapy. Devon is a BBS Registered Associate Marriage Family Therapist. He is a member of the Association of Black Psychologists and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

As a husband and father, Devon spends his free time playing board games and video games with his wife and children. Devon is skilled at deciphering Pictionary art and losing to small children at video games. When outdoor adventure beckons Devon enjoys hiking with family most of all.

ROB BROCKMAN, LAADC, ICAADC

Clinician

Kristin Colton, CADC-II

Clincian

Kristin Colton is a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor, and is also Certified in Corrections and Criminal Justice. Kristin has been helping people in addiction / recovery treatment since 1997 and has continued to find her work exciting and purposeful. She completed her studies and certifications at Saddleback College in Orange County, CA and has also studied life coaching course work as well as becoming certified in Pranayama Breathwork. Since beginning her personal recovery in 1995, she has continued to grow in her compassion and drive to help others on their journey. Kristin has broadened her studies on addiction to include Eating Disorders and Food Addiction, as well as other behavioral and process addictions.

Kristin is skilled in using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness to treat cross addictions and co-occurring disorders. She believes in a holistic approach to addiction treatment and also teaches Yoga, Breath work, and Meditation as a form of Body/Mind/Spirit Recovery. Kristin is a Certified Yoga Instructor as well as certified in teaching Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga and Pranayama Breathwork. Kristin is also an Ordained Minister and has previously worked as a Pastoral Counselor in treating addiction from a Christian/ Spiritual perspective. Kristin loves living an active lifestyle including surfing, stand up paddle boarding, and snowboarding and believes in creating a value driven life.

Karen Yazzie-Meyer, CADCII

Clincian

Karen Yazzie-Meyer is a Native American Navajo residing in North Coastal San Diego County. Working in the behavioral health field as a Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor II, CADC II, Certified Tobacco Cessation Specialist, CTCS, and Gateway Intervention Professional, GIP, she has an extensive background of counseling adults, transitional age youth, TAY and families for 20 years.

Karen brings a unique multi-cultural perspective focusing on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of addictive disorders. Her experience varies from her current position as a Chemical Dependency Counselor at AToN Center, Indian Health Council, Inc, with Indian Health Service, Employee Assistance Program counselor to trainees, TEAP, and Tobacco Use Prevention Program, TUPP, Coordinator at Department of Labor Job Corps Vocational Training Program and Substance Use Disorder counselor and supervisor at a co-occurring residential treatment facility, in addition to coaching and directing for various recreational and gymnastics organizations and high school.

In behavioral health counseling, Karen has had the opportunity to work with various county agencies, such as Child and Adult Protective Services/Child Welfare, Indian Specialty Unit, county court system and probation department, as well as local school districts. Being a member of San Diego CADRE, Change Agents Developing Recovery Excellence and RIHS, Responsive Integrated Health Solutions, Karen has provided training’s on Cultural Competency that lends an enhanced and comprehensive approach to my counseling. Karen looks forward to continue in providing counseling services here at AToN Center to deserving population with professionalism, integrity and compassion.

Gregory Liggett

Intake Coordinator

Lauren Mann, CADC

Intake & Alumni Coordinator

Lauren grew up in Encinitas before departing to Harvard University where she attained a BA in Psychology and Sociology. Upon returning to San Diego, she was thrilled to join the AToN team and help people make positive changes in their lives. Since working at AToN, Lauren felt called to help our residents in a more clinical role and obtained her CADC I. Although her primary function is still helping individuals and families navigate the process of getting into treatment, she can also facilitate individual and group sessions. Lauren believes you can always be learning and progressing and is currently in the Master’s program for Social Work through Columbia University.

Pat Brady, MA

Director of Operations & Outreach

Pat is an Encinitas native that started working at AToN Center in 2009. She paused her employment to finish her Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Psychology from USD. She then went on to travel for a year before attending NYU, where she received a Master of Arts in Philosophy. After accomplishing her educational goals she moved to Brazil to play professional soccer. Pat returned to the AToN Center in 2018 as the Director of Operations, with a drive to help people make positive change in their lives. In her free time she likes to explore the outdoors, run, and engage in coffee snobbery.

Kristen Patterson

Director of Human Resources

Kristen was born in Massachusetts before moving to Encinitas, CA in 2000. She graduated with a bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and has been working at AToN Center since January 2011. She is currently taking classes at UCSD-Extension towards obtaining a certificate in Human Resources Management to help further her Human Resources knowledge. In her free time, Kristen enjoys volunteering, playing soccer, and spending time with her friends and family.

Micah Diaz

Office Manager & Program Coordinator

Desiree Duran

Office Assistant

Schuyler Patterson

Lead RA Supervisor

Mitch Brown

RA Supervisor

Geanna K., RN

Nursing Supervisor

Geanna is a Registered Nurse who is proud to be a part of the team at AToN Center. After schooling, she was hired as an LVN in home healthcare and hospice care. Now she is the Nursing Supervsor at AToN Center as a Registered Nurse.

Geanna has always had a passion for helping others. In her spare time she enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, snowboarding, as well as spending time with family and friends.

Katey A., RN

Nursing Supervisor

Katey began her schooling at California State University where she finished her prerequisites and continued on to National University where she obtained her Bachelors in Nursing in 2016. Katey has worked as both a floor nurse and charge nurse within a post-rehabilitation center as a new graduate. She is currently the Nurse Manager of a pregnancy resource center. Katey is excited to expand her nursing practice with the AToN team. Having a family link to substance abuse, Katey is passionate about helping others within their recovery process in order to overcome addiction.

Katey plans to continue her education in the future in order to receive her masters in nursing. In her free time, she enjoy spending time with her family and her rescue puppy Petunia!

Jeff Bonilla

Chef

Classically French trained Jeff Bonilla is the award-winning Executive Chef, Executive Pastry Chef and Micro Green Farmer in San Diego. A native of Southern California, Jeff started young by watching his mother create immaculate cakes, pies and seasonal goodies in their home kitchen. In his free time, Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife, surfing and playing string instruments.

Dee Tran

Chef

Brad Tunis

Hypnotherapist

Taylor Westenberger

Personal Trainer

Taylor Westenberger was born and raised in Southern California. She received her bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara in psychology. As a former competitive gymnast and cultivating a passion for health and fitness, she then moved forward with her education at San Diego State University and holds a double masters degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. Taylor has since helped spread her love of health and wellness as a certified Vinyasa Yoga Teacher and, most recently, a personal trainer at AToN Center.

Wyatt Duncan

Personal Trainer

Yvonne Lazarto, EdM

Yoga and mindfulness putting

Yvonne joined AToN Center in May 2012 and is grateful to be part of the holistic team. She earned her undergraduate degree in Exercise Science from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Master of Education degree from Boston University. She studied Yoga in Costa Rica at Samasati Nature Retreat under Marianne Wells.Yoga has helped her find balance, maintain strength/flexibility and sense of calmness. Yvonne offers private and group classes to the residents and staff of AToN on the beautiful Yoga Deck. She believes that Yoga is for every body and can serve as an outlet for those in recovery. Nothing is more rewarding than to hear that a resident is going to continue their yoga practice after AToN! Namaste