Outpatient Addiction Services Staff
At right, San Diego harbor
Karen Sorensen, Ph.D.
Charles Moreau, M.D.
Wendy Khentigan, M.D.
Maryann Dean, M.D.
Bruce Hubbard, M.D.
Mike Markopoulos, M.D.
Anthony Martinez, M.D.
Linda D. Lewis, B.S., LAADC, CADC, CCP
Reg Pyrke, CHT
Solluna Moyoah, L.M.T.
Yoga, Meditation & Energy Healer
Nirvair Singh Khalsa, B.S.
Debbie Simon, R.D.
Sue Dieffenback, RN, MS, CCN
Herbal and Nutritional Pharmacist
James Mattioda, Ph.D.
Acupuncture Center of La Jolla
Receptionist, Administrative Assistant
The outpatient services of Practical Recovery, a division of Pyrysys Psychology Group, Inc. (PSY7732; pyrysys.com), operate under the licenses of its psychologists. License numbers are listed at the end of each biography. All staff work under the supervision of Dr. Horvath. Postdoctoral psychology fellows and predoctoral psychology interns, because they are preparing for independent licensure as psychologists, have additional individual supervision with Dr. Horvath or another staff psychologist.
A. Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP
A. Tom Horvath was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio. He earned a B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, Annapolis, Maryland, in 1975, and a Ph.D. from the California School of Professional Psychology at San Diego in 1981. From 1981 to 1984 he served as an active duty Navy Psychologist. In 1984 he entered full time independent practice. In 1985 he founded Practical Recovery, which offers a self-empowering alternative to 12-step and disease-oriented addiction treatment. He became a board certified clinical psychologist of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) in 1990. In 2006 he founded Pyrysys Psychology Group, Inc., which offers a wide range of services, including Practical Recovery, Supporting ME (Moderate Eating), and the Center for Cognitive Therapy La Jolla. The Practical Recovery system of services now includes residential rehab, office-based services (Pyrysys), and sober living home.
Dr. Horvath has been active in professional psychology and behavioral health at the local, state, national and international levels. He is a Past President (1990) and Fellow (1993) of the San Diego Psychological Association and a Past President (1988-1990) of the San Diego Phobia Foundation. In 1992 he was appointed by Speaker Willie Brown to the California Controlled Substances Prescription Advisory Council, which produced recommendations regarding California’s triplicate prescription program for controlled substances. Since 1990 he has been a Volunteer Advisor for SMART Recovery San Diego.
At the national level, he was the Secretary-Treasurer (1995-98) of the American Psychological Association’s Society of Addiction Psychology (Division 50), and served as President from 1999-2000. The Division has over 1200 members and is the world’s largest organization of addictive behavior psychologists.
He is the President of SMART Recovery (1995-2008, 2009 to present), an international, non-profit network of free, self-empowering, science-based support groups, face-to-face or online, for abstaining from any substance or activity addiction.
From 2000-2010 Dr. Horvath was adjunct faculty at the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, University of San Diego, where he helped leaders in all fields develop their leadership and executive potential. Since 2010 Dr. Horvath has been adjunct faculty at Alliant International University in San Diego, teaching substance abuse treatment courses. He is the author of Sex, Drugs, Gambling & Chocolate: A Workbook for Overcoming Addictions (2nd ed.; Impact, 2003).
Dr. Horvath’s publications, media interviews, and presentations to professionals and the public are helping to change how individuals, professionals, and societies understand addictive behavior. California Psychology License PSY7732.
Karen Sorensen, Ph.D.’s post-graduate degrees are a Ph.D. in psychology with a specialization in Chemical Dependency/Addictions, and a Masters in Stress Management. She has worked for Practical Recovery/Pyrysys and The Center for Cognitive Therapy since 1996. Dr. Sorensen has also been a Program Manager for the Chemical Dependency Unit of the Palomar/Pomerado Hospital System, worked in alcohol and drug abuse prevention programs for San Diego County, and been a counselor in a variety of clinical and university settings including Sharp Hospital and UCSD.
Dr. Sorensen treats individuals, couples, and families covering various emotional problems, addictions, anxiety disorders, compulsive thoughts and habits, chronic pain, depression, and relationship issues.
The therapeutic approaches Dr. Sorensen uses are individualized and determined by the needs of each person, combining both Eastern and Western psychology. In addition to Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Schema Therapy, Dr. Sorensen specializes in mindfulness practices such as Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. She also provides skills training in the areas of communication, assertiveness, anger management, stress reduction and problem solving. PSY23540
Dr. Galant is a clinical psychologist and holds Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, and a Bachelors degree from UCLA. In addition, he is a certified hypnotherapist through the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners (ACHE). He has been on staff at UCSD and Kaiser Permanente. His areas of specialty include depression, anxiety, PTSD, addictive behavior, smoking cessation, weight loss, stress management, pain control, phobias, and business/sports/skills enhancement. Specific therapeutic modalities include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT, REBT), Clinical Hypnotherapy, EMDR, and EFT/TFT. California Psychology License PSY18543.
Dr. Jacobs received his Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of Chicago. His clinical background includes training in the Person Centered Approach with , psychodynamic , and . He has broad treatment experience over a 25 year period. He is an active scholar and has published numerous scientific papers in journals in psychology, psychoanalysis, and medicine. He serves as Associate Editor of two scholarly journals in psychology.
Since arriving at Practical Recovery in 2002, Dr. Jacobs’ work has focused primarily on treating self-harming over involvement with drug use and sexual activities. He sees such self-harming activities as attempts to cope with emotional injuries that the individual has been unable to heal. In general, Dr. Jacobs has found that over-reliance on drugs as a major coping strategy indicates that the individual’s experience in life has provided him/her little reason to trust other people and feel they can be safely turned to as a source of comfort. Reliance on solitary sexual activity can de facto be very much like reliance on drug use. Driven sexual activity with many partners suggests a bottomless need for affirmation—affirmation that was missing during formative periods of. Treatment requires attention to self-harm in the present and the emotional foundations of desperate efforts to cope with past injuries. PSY10926.
Dr. Tom was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH. He attended Indiana University, where he received his Bachelors Degree in Social Studies and Literature. Later he received his Masters Degree in Human Communication from the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Tom was engaged in a successful university career when he experienced a transforming life event, which eventually led him to pursue an interest in Transpersonal Studies at the Union Institute and University. There he received one of the earliest Ph.D’s in the emerging field of mind, body, spirit integration.
Dr. Tom’s interest in the brain and consciousness has proven invaluable in understanding how people experience depression, anxiety, and addictive behaviors. He believes that within each of us is the potential to live a full and meaningful life. However, the effort to fulfill this potential is often at the core of what causes many mental, emotional, and even physical problems.
Dr. Tom has received many awards for his work in behavioral health, including a Presidential Award for his efforts in humanizing the work place and a Leadership Award from the Institute for Behavioral for his efforts in improving outcomes in behavioral health. He was a resident fellow and later a Board Member at the Center for Studies of the Person, where he was a colleague of Carl Rogers.
Dr. Tom employs a solution-focused approach to his work, emphasizing clients’ strengths and potentials.
Working with Dr. Tom is a caring experience that will help you develop a mindfulness about who you truly are and how you can live your truth in a healthy, rewarding, and meaningful way.
Dr. Mojgan Jahan is a clinical psychologist with over 22 years of experience in a variety of clinical and organizational settings. In addition to her Doctorate degree, she has two Masters degrees. She assists clients to gain a clear perspective on becoming confident and balanced in their private and professional lives.
Dr. Jahan is passionate about helping clients set personal goals. She supports them in overcoming obstacles to realizing their dreams. These obstacles often involve unacknowledged limiting beliefs and assumptions. She has a deep appreciation and respect for each person’s individuality which is reflected in her warm and informal interpersonal style.
She has a special interest and expertise in leadership and organizational development, with a focus on providing a safe environment for people to realize their potential, and to work and live meaningfully and in alignment with their core values.
Dr. Jahan’s areas of specialty include addictive behaviors, trauma, EMDR, personal growth, and midlife transition. Her approach integrates cognitive behavioral, schema, narrative, and psychodynamic modalities. She has extensive training and teaching experience in multicultural counseling and is bilingual in English and Farsi. PSY19101
Amy K. Epner, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in the assessment and treatment of eating disorders. She has worked extensively in both clinical and research eating disorder treatment settings. She is passionate about helping individuals understand and overcome their eating and body image issues.
Additionally, Dr. Epner has specialized training in health psychology, including coping with chronic illness (e.g., diabetes), stress reduction, time management, lifestyle changes (e.g., nutrition, exercise), and parenting issues.
Dr. Epner earned her bachelor’s degree at Cornell University, her master’s at Brandeis University, and her doctorate at the California School of Professional Psychology-San Diego. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, San Diego Psychological Association, Society of Behavioral Medicine, and International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals. PSY18455
Dr. Gibson specializes in the treatment of addictions in addition to general psychotherapy, mediation, and problem solving. He earned his B.A. at the University of California, Riverside, M.A. and Ph.D. at the California School of Professional Psychology, and J.D. at California Western School of Law. He is licensed both as a psychologist and attorney in the state of California.
His experiences range from private practice to various inpatient and outpatient hospital settings, the treatment of substance abuse, sexual offending and sexually compulsive behavior, and psychological correlates of various medical conditions in a skilled-nursing setting. Other areas of specialization include the psychology of religious fundamentalism and domestic violence. In addition, he has conducted SSI appeals hearings and interned at the California Attorney General’s office of Health Quality Enforcement.
Dr. Gibson’s experience is also rooted in his past practice of Aikido and current practice of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaido. PSY18827, CA Bar 202349
Abbe Long, LMFT
Abbe Long earned her Master’s degree in Counseling with a specialization in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling, from San Diego State University. Ms. Long began her work in the treatment of addictions in 1997 and has served as a clinical supervisor for a statewide smoking cessation program in California, in conjunction with UCSD. In addition to her work in the field of addictions, Ms. Long has extensive experience helping clients work through grief and loss following the traumatic death of a loved one. Her work in grief and trauma began with staff positions she held at two San Diego area hospices. She has since expanded her work by helping clients process other universal yet significant losses including divorce, job loss and loss associated with other major life transitions. Ms. Long is also listed as a provider of co-parenting classes for divorcing parents on the San Diego County Court Referral List.
In conjunction with traditional talk therapies, Ms. Long utilizes modalities such as EMDR and Sandplay Therapy to facilitate the therapeutic process. She has also incorporated mindfulness practice into both her personal life and her work with clients. More recently, she has added the treatment of internet addictions to her areas of specialization and has more specifically developed an interest in the application of mindfulness principles and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to the treatment of internet addiction. Internet addiction is becoming increasingly prevalent in our society and can include many different subcategories of behavior involving chat rooms, gaming, pornography and cybersex, gambling, shopping and even excessive surfing on the web. As we become more reliant on the use of technology in our everyday lives, there is a strong liklihood that more and more people will be seeking help for these technology-based addictions. Lic.# MFC 52374.
Masha Godkin is a post-doctoral fellow in Marriage and Family Therapy, with an emphasis on addictive behavior. Ms. Godkin earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Music from UCSD, and her Master’s and Doctorate Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Alliant International University in San Diego. Her professional experience includes group, couples and family therapy, and facilitating SMART recovery meetings. Ms. Godkin also has an extensive background in drama and music. She integrates her experience in the liberal arts with her clinical work in addictive behavior and relationships.
Lois Mehnert earned her Bachelor’s Degree in nursing from Arizona State University as well as a Master’s Degree in Maternal and Child Health from San Diego State University. Ms. Mehnert has worked extensively with trauma, intensive care patients and high risk infants. She has been a registered nurse, a health educator, and a women’s retreat leader. Ms. Mehnert obtained her Master’s Degree in Marital Family Therapy from Bethel. She is EMDR trained and working towards her certification in sand-play therapy as well as play therapy.
Ms. Mehnert’s background as a wounded healer has sensitized her to life’s hurts. Her approach is collaborative and strength-based, integrating narrative and experiential elements into the healing process.
Charles Moreau, M.D. is a board certified psychiatrist. He received a Bachelors of Science degree from the University of California, Los Angeles where he graduated with honors. He returned to his childhood home in Louisiana to earn his medical degree from Louisiana State University, New Orleans. Dr. Moreau then completed his psychiatry residency at the University of California, San Diego. During his final year of residency, he served as chief resident.
Dr. Moreau has published in the area of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and mood disorders and has conducted research in the area of bereavement. He has given lectures on addictions, bereavement, depression, and coping with the holidays in both community and university settings. He is a volunteer clinical faculty member of the University of California, San Diego and serves as a consultant to the Survivors of Violent Loss Program of San Diego, CA. Dr. Moreau is an analytic candidate at the San Diego Psychoanalytic Society and Institute.
In addition to his practice in La Jolla, he is a staff psychiatrist at Scripps Mercy Hospital. He is a member of the American Psychiatric Association, the San Diego Psychiatric Association, and the San Diego Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. Dr. Moreau has a special interest in psychotherapy and psychopharmacology for the treatment of substance use disorders, depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.
Ms. Lewis provides Relapse Prevention counseling. She uses cognitive-behavioral techniques to help clients maintain lifestyle balance, and identify high risk situations and alternative methods for coping with them. She also provides life coaching, and is certified as a coach practitioner by the Certified Coaches Federation.
Before entering the counseling profession Linda was a Certified Property Manager and President of a real estate management company. Along the way she also overcame her own addiction problems. In 1997 she changed careers, to help others benefit from the insights gained from her own painful background. In 2000 she also co-founded the Bobby Jo Lewis Foundation, named for her 17 year old sister, who along with their mother was killed in a domestic violence incident. The Foundation helped disadvantaged parents overcome addiction and domestic violence problems. Her workshop, Courage is Contagious, has been presented around the country, and she has been a featured speaker at the Million Mom March in San Diego and Washington, DC.
Mr. Pyrke, a master hypnotherapist, specializes in helping individuals overcome addictive behaviors. He also has sub-specialties in stress-related problems and pain management. Mr. Pyrke says “hypnosis is a state of focused consciousness. Your hypnotherapist will assist you in learning how to achieve this state by guiding you into it. Once this state has been achieved, you will then receive what are called hypnotic suggestions. These suggestions will enable you to use the power of hypnosis in your life and make the changes you desire.”
Mr. Pyrke’s college degree is in psychology. He counseled others while obtaining that degree from McMaster University, Ontario, Canada. His career path led him to operating several businesses. One business designed commercial furniture, and another created and serviced computer networks for medium sized businesses. After retiring from these ventures Mr. Pyrke launched his career in hypnotherapy. Mr. Pyrke has a broad background in hypnotherapy, including being a Certified Hypnotherapist, a Master Hypnotist, a Certified 5 Path Hypnotherapist, and a Certified 7 Path Hypnosis Instructor. He is also Pain Management Certified and a Member of the National Guild of Hypnotists. For many individuals struggling with addiction, stress or pain, hypnosis offers a new opportunity to feel better and move forward in life.
Solluna is a Master Holistic Health Practitioner, Herbalist, Minister, Teacher, Empathic Personal Insight Counselor, and Reiki Master. She is specializing in the diminishing and elimination of pain and all its derivatives: physical and mental.
Her education and experiences, in the U.S.A. and abroad, focuses on gaining greater knowledge of the benefits of Massage Therapy and improve her techniques. She has a BA in Biology (USD); Koroyo Hand Therapy, Medical Massage, and Reiki Master Certifications, professional member of American Massage Therapy Association and National Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, and a member of Pyrysys Psychology Group, AToN Center, and Radiance Yoga.
She continues to develop and refine her abilities and Self. For example, she is currently conducting research about fatigue and posture; also, available for workshops, seminars and lecturing. She delights in sharing her scientific and artistic knowledge. Her experiences include providing therapeutic massage and counseling therapies for forty year.
The “techniques”, “populations”, and “problems” she impacts are as follows:
Acupressure; Aromatherapy; Cranio-Sacral; Deep Tissue; Energy Touch; Facial Massage; Myofacial Release; Empathic Personal Insight Counselor; Polarity; Pregnancy/ Infant Massage; Reflexology; Reiki Master; Sport Massage; Stone Massage; Swedish; Trigger Point.
Assisting anyone (man, woman, and child; pets, also) with physical and / or mental pain(s) to: reclaim vitality; connect with their senses; alleviate long standing complaints: structurally and functionally; healings and renewals; take long, deep, slow breaths; better rest and sleep; connect to and sustain bliss; connect with the Sacred via transformations of mind, body, and soul.
“Massage Therapy is not a luxury; it is a most profound modality for Prevention of dis/ease and Maintenance of health for the body, mind and soul…” Solluna
Solluna & Company Therapeutic Massage & Spa
Blessings of Light and Love
“…LIFE is about healings transformations of our mind, body, and soul connections for the cultivating of the Spirit…” Solluna
Energy Healer, Yoga Instructor
A student of Master Yogi Bhajan, Nirvair has been trained in the Healing Arts, Yogic and Tantric traditions since 1977. He does intuitive energetic healing, and Kundalini Yoga and Meditation. These techniques are used to identify and release limiting patterns, beliefs, and emotional blocks to create more freedom, understanding and choice.
Debbie Simon is a Registered Dietitian and an active member of the American Dietetic Association. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1988 with a B.S. in Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics. Her 20 year career in nutrition and dietetics has included work in hospitals and outpatient clinics, and with individuals with eating disorders and psychiatric disorders. She is a Certified Diabetes Educator, and was the dietitian at the Scripps’ Dean Ornish Reversing Heart Disease Program. She also focuses on non-dieting approaches to weight loss, wellness promotion and the nutritional needs of athletes.
Herbal and Nutritional Pharmacist
Dr. James Mattioda is a licensed, registered pharmacist with more than 15 years of experience in clinical herbalism. He consults clients on the nutritional approaches to healing and teaches homeopathy, herbalism and nutritional pharmacology to both the public and professional communities. Dr. Mattioda earned his Doctoral Degree in Integral Health from the California Institute of Human Science and his Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmaceutical Science at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. Dr. Mattioda received his Diploma of Homeopathic Medicine from Hahnemann College of Homeopathy and has pursued advanced studies in clinical herbalism and human subtle energy research. Dr. Mattioda has also been involved in a number of professional memberships & affiliations including: The Association of Natural Medicine Pharmacists, American Herbal Pharmacoepia Review Committee, Faculty advisor to the British Institute of Homeopathy, Consultant to Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine. He is a faculty member at the California Institute for Human Science and the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. Dr. Mattioda provides patients with expertise in both conventional clinical pharmacy and complementary therapies.
Ms. Ferraro has many years of billing management experience and has operated as an accounts receivable manager, human resource coordinator, and billing manager. She earned her billing certificate at Comprehensive Training Systems in 1994. In addition to Ms. Ferraro’s many contributions to Practical Recovery, she offers thorough attention to detail and strong customer service skills.
Receptionist, Administrative Assistant
Ms. Inzunza is a licensed real estate agent who has many years of customer service experience. Her previous employments include credit & collection agent, employment case manager and child care eligibility specialist. She likes to greet our clients with a smile!