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Our Mental Health Disorder Treatment specialties, at our New Haven, CT a residential center specializes in Anorexia, Anxiety, Depression, & Self Harm Recovery.

Mental Health Treatment Team | Mental Health Treatment

Amy Brown, MA

National Director of Operations
Mental Health

After completing her Master's degree in Psychology at Pepperdine University, Amy Brown began working to help individuals and families find healing and hope. Ms. Brown came to Discovery's Resilience with extensive experience managing various eating disorder programs as well as behavioral health facilities. Under Ms. Brown's leadership, Discovery's Resilience's substance abuse and mental health programs have flourished and Ms. Brown now oversees numerous mental health and substance abuse programs throughout southern Virginia. Ms. Brown feels very deeply about the contribution she is making to improve the quality of life for adolescents and their families. One of the things that attracted Ms. Brown to Discovery's Resilience was the shared commitment to providing the best quality of care to each patient and his or her family.

Nichomi Higgins, MFT

Assistant Director of Operations

Nichomi Higgins is the Program Director and Primary therapist at Center for Discovery La Habra. Generally speaking, Nichomi’s education and experience working in both eating disorder treatment, community counseling and domestic violence and abuse has been an integral part of her work as a marriage and family therapist. As a result she considers herself to be an attentive, culturally sensitive and empathic clinician, who is dedicated to considering all of the biopsychosocial factors that may impact a client and family’s emotional and interpersonal wellbeing. Nichomi is truly passionate about her work and believes that despite its challenges, recovery is possible.

Nichomi earned her Master of Science degree in family therapy from Mercer University’s School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA and considers herself a Georgia peach at heart! Her professional areas of interests include: eating disorder treatment and the process of achieving recovery, identity negotiation/development, grief and loss, family communication patterns as well as struggles concerning faith and spirituality.

Susan Fila, LCSW, PhD

Program Director and Clinical Supervisor

Susan Fila is the Program Director at Teen Mental Health Treatment House for Center for Discovery. Prior to this position, Ms. Fila was the Senior Director of Health Care Programs at Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles overseeing all aspects of the agencies health care initiatives. This included overseeing the agencies county mental health residential short and long term programs which included evidenced based interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, seeking safety, and problem-solving therapy. In this role, Ms. Fila also contracted with managed care organizations in LA County overseeing comprehensive psychiatric assessment and case management services for adults of all ages.

Prior to this, Ms. Fila worked as Director overseeing a Care Transition Program with the goal of reducing re-hospitalization for psychiatric and chronically ill patients with the goal of successfully transitioning them home to a lower level of care. In this role she partnered with many urban hospitals in LA County successfully reducing re-hospitalization for the psychiatric and chronically ill. Other past responsibilities have included supervising therapeutic interventions and case management for clients with careers entertainment at The Actors Fund in NYC, supervising a foster care program working closely with birth parents on issues of attachment, and direct practice in hospital based emergency departments, school based, and residential mental health settings with children, youth and families. Ms. Fila is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Master’s in Social Work from Hunter College School of Social Work and Doctoral Candidate at Fordham University’s School of Social Welfare. Ms. Fila’s dissertation is a qualitative study looking at the impact of the Care Transition Program on clients who were at risk for depression.

Robert Sperring, LMFT

Primary Therapist and Clinical Supervisor

Robert Sperring has worked for The Center for Discovery for 7 years both as a therapist and counselor. Robert is a 2008 graduate of Hope International University where he received his Master in Marriage Family Therapy. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Goddard College in Vermont in the subjects of Psychology and Organizational Development. Robert has private practice in Huntington Beach CA where he works with couples, families, and children & individuals to reach their goals, restore the self, and grow. Robert specializes in Trauma, Family, Couples, and issues surrounding Attachment.

Marc Kitano, MFTI

Primary Therapist

Marc is a client centered therapist placing an emphasis on therapeutic alliance. Marc works hard to enable his clients to engage in their treatment while presenting a non-anxious presence to build and maintain rapport. Marc encourages his clients to envision a positive future while providing psychoeducation through CBT & DBT techniques. Marc allows his clients to share their narratives through role play and experiential interventions. He aids his clients to discern systemic patterns through Bowenian interventions. Marc's future goal is to continue training that will specialize him in working with at-risk adolescents and their families.

Mike Lemley, ASW

Primary Therapist

Michael Lemley is a New Jersey native and received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from Florida Southern College in 2005. Michael moved out to Virginia in 2007 and has since worked in numerous residential treatment settings. Music is major part of Michael's life and he enjoys using music as a therapeutic tool. Michael went back to school to get a Master's Degree in Social Work at Virginia State University Long Beach and graduated in 2015. Michael has been with Center for Discovery since 2009 and has worked with the various populations in the residential setting. Currently Michael facilitates music therapy groups, multi-family group, and provides individual and family therapy at Center for Discovery's Teen Mental Health Treatment facility.

Elisa Braggins, MFTI

Primary Therapist

Elisa is an eclectic therapist who works predominately from a psychodynamic framework with an emphasis on solution focused and family systems. Elisa graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a BS in Human Services and also earned an MS in Counseling from CSUF. Elisa began her career as a counselor at Center for Discovery, Teen Mental Health Treatment in 2013. She is a dedicated clinician focused on supporting clients in achieving the goals they design for their own personal growth. Elisa has a passion for working with adolescents and transitional aged youth and enjoys being a witness as they flourish into Adolescents, ages 10-17. Elisa currently works with individuals, families and groups in a residential treatment setting.

Samantha Werner, MFTI

Primary Therapist and Clinical Coordinator

Samantha's approach to treatment it to meet clients where they are at and to challenge them therapeutically to assist them in meeting their goals. Samantha utilizes an emotion focused approach in individual therapy and utilizes an attachment theory framework when working with families. Additionally, Samantha brings in existential theory by helping clients own their feelings and actions and find meaning in their lives.

Bethany Meischner, MFTI

Primary Therapist

Bethany received her Master of Science degree in Psychology from Cal Poly Pomona in 2013 and has since been passionate about helping people with their emotional and mental issues through the medium of psychotherapy. Bethany values a strengths-based approach and believes that clients often have an untapped ability to improve and heal. She strive towards being client-centered, feedback-oriented, as well as integrating multiple approaches to provide services that fit each client's needs. Bethany is constantly looking to refine her skills, techniques, and experience. Bethany highly values the therapeutic alliance and seeks to help my clients move in a direction that is positive and beneficial for them.

Jack Emery, MFTI

Primary Therapist

My approach to treatment is primarily based in a family systems method. I utilize concepts and theoretical strategies from narrative therapy, motivational interviewing, and solution focused therapy while working with families and individuals. I regularly incorporate mindfulness and somatic based therapy into my practice. My approached is also informed by DBT, CBT, and brief therapy.

Teri Diette-Nelson, MFTI

Primary Therapist

My greatest reward as a therapist is to bring healing to adolescents and their families. I provide therapy in a safe, non-judgmental environment and enable my clients to grow stronger and have healthier relationships. My therapeutic interventions include a person-centered approach along with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, DBT and psycho-education. Working with adolescents and their families in various stages of crisis for the past 8 years has been a fulfilling and rewarding experience, one I continue to enjoy.

Macey Willis, MFTI

Discharge & Aftercare Outreach Coordinator

Macey has been a member of Center for Discovery since 2013. Macey serves as the Discharge & Aftercare Outreach Coordinator. After she served in the United States Air Force, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Ashford University with a BA in Psychology, and her MA in Counseling Psychology at National University. She enjoys providing therapy for adolescents and their families, in assisting them with social skills training, communication, and psychoeducation.

Macey has had the opportunity to have worked in non-profit community agency in which she provided, individual and group therapy to adults, children and adolescents within the community, court and school setting. Macey's experiential approach to treatment encourages her clients to explore their subconscious thoughts while connecting them with emotions, using creative interventions. Macey's internal motivation is reflected in her ability to empower her clients to identify and articulate their physical and emotional needs. In her role Macey is instrumental in ensuring that the transition from our program to another is one that is smooth and supportive.

Vickie McCracken, RN

Nursing Staff Supervisor

I have been at Center For Discovery for 1 year and 5 months. I have been a nurse for many years starting my career working for Samaritan Behavioral Health in a psychiatric hospital on a long term adolescent unit, moving to their residential treatment unit. I also worked for Devereux in Arizona and Santa Barbara which served clients aged 7 to 90, predominately clients on the Autism spectrum. I also worked in an residential pediatric clinic for 10 years doing vaccinations, hearing and vision screenings, treatments etc. I also did pediatric triage doing telephone assessments with parents regarding injuries, illnesses, normal growth and development, worrisome concerns etc. I have also done Occupational Medicine nursing and Employee Health nursing for some large health facilities in Santa Barbara and Orange County. I am so happy I will be ending my career right back where I started my career. I work as the Nurse Supervisor here at Teen Mental Health Treatment.

Marissa Raymond, RD

Registered Dietitian

Marissa started working with the company as a diet tech in 2012. After completing her undergraduate work at Long Beach State and dietetic internship, she was promoted to the dietitian role. Marissa's responsibilities include providing each of our client's with education surrounding balanced nutrition within our "All Foods Fit" philosophy. As well as providing more treatment specific support for those individuals exhibiting disordered eating behaviors. On my free time I enjoy long distance running and chasing around my young son.

Heather Tetiva

Facility Manager