Our Staff

Dr. Reef Karim, D.O.

Founder, Medical Director Expertise: Addiction Medicine, Detoxification, Mental Health Disorders, Relationship Therapy, Spiritual Healing Dr. Reef Karim is a board certified psychiatrist, board certified addiction medicine specialist, and a certified relationship therapist. He is a senior attending physician and an Assistant Clinical Professor at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience as well a published research scientist in the field of behavioral & chemical addictions with articles in the International Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Addiction Medicine, and other prestigious journals. Dr. Reef has been a consultant at many well-known rehab facilities and is the Founder and Medical Director of The Control Center. Additionally, Dr. Reef is a well-known media personality in the field of mental health, relationships, and addictions with multiple appearances on: Oprah, Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper 360, The Today Show, Dateline NBC, and many others. Dr. Reef has trained with Sufi mystic leaders, Navajo and Hopi shaman, and other spiritual practitioners in addition to his strong training in traditional western medicine. As such, he created The Control Center to fully integrate neuroscience, psychological testing, specialty psychotherapy, and trauma work with nutritional support and spiritual healing.

Dr. Priya Chaudhri, Ph.D.

Chief Operating Officer Expertise: Addictive Disorders, Behavioral Medicine, and Biofeedback Dr. Chaudhri is currently the Clinical Director of The Control Center and is trained in behavioral medicine and addiction. Dr. Chaudhri has over 10 years of experience working at various outpatient and residential substance abuse programs. Dr. Chaudri has been the clinical director of several addiction rehabs. Dr. Chaudhri received her academic and research training from UC Berkeley. She completed an APA accredited postdoctoral fellowship through Yale University in cardiovascular behavioral medicine. During her fellowship, she received specialty training in treating cardiac patients with co-occurring addictive disorders and became certified in biofeedback. Dr. Chaudhri has extensive experience in integrating alternative medicine and other advanced techniques into treatment for chemical and behavioral addiction.


Sterling Zielinski, Psy.D.

IMAG0108AExpertise: Addictive Disorders, Relational Therapy, Identity & Self-Awareness

Sterling holds a doctorate in clinical psychology, and specializes in individual psychotherapy, mindfulness, family systems, and integrated approaches to addictive disorders. Sterling’s work experience spans business, military, entertainment and education. Both a clinician and educator, Sterling integrates meaning, psychoeducation, insight and process therapies in the here-and-now. With years of study in substance use disorders, Choice Theory®, existential discourse, spirituality, and East-West consciousness studies, he brings a strong background to matters of identity, personal growth, relationships and addiction. He is a Registered Psychology Assistant  (PSB36930) supervised by Dr. Reef Karim.



Dr. Farzin Yaghmaie, M.D., M.A.

Clinical Psychiatrist Expertise: Mental Health Disorders, Addiction Medicine, Detoxification Dr. Yaghmaie is a psychiatrist specializing in the treatment of mood, anxiety, and addiction issues. He completed his medical residency and psychiatric training at UCLA, where he was chief resident of the UCLA Integrative Substance Abuse Programs and the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Opioid Treatment Program. He has extensive training and experience in the evaluation of addiction, detoxification, and treatment of chemical dependency with medication and therapy. Dr. Yaghmaie has academic and research training from UC Berkeley, where he studied integrative biology and endocrinology. He has numerous professional publications and has been a sub-investigator researching medication development for the treatment of opiate and methamphetamine dependence. Dr. Yaghmaie is currently a psychiatrist at The Control Center and also has a private practice in Beverly Hills.

Rebecca Van Horn, M.D., M.A.

rebecca photoExpertise: Psychiatric Medicine, Psychotherapy Dr. Rebecca Van Horn, M.D., M.A. grew up on the North Fork of Long Island. She received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University in English Literature and attended UCLA for graduate school in Film and Television Studies. After several years writing both on-air and general promotional material for a number of major studios and networks, Dr. Van Horn spent a year in India working with a UN NGO examining the influence of media and culture on healthcare issues. After returning to the US, Dr. Van Horn attended medical school at the Keck School of Medicine at USC and will complete her Psychiatry Residency at the Semel Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCLA. Areas of particular clinical interest include addiction, trauma, and integrative mental health. Dr. Van Horn is a member of the American Psychiatric Association as well as the Southern California Psychiatric Society and currently serves on the SCPS board as a member-in-training representative.

Brad Carow


A Los Angeles native, Brad has years of experience working with addiction and co-occurring mental heath issues.  In addition to “talk therapy”, Brad also uses EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) in treating individuals with trauma, and is trained in providing Neurofeedback for a variety of issues. Prior to getting into the mental health/addiction field, Brad worked as a film editor and music composer for television and film. Brad continues to use and teach music as a therapeutic tool, and performs live on a regular basis.


Dr. Deborah Sweet, Psy.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist deb-sweetExpertise: Addiction Therapy, Trauma, EMDR, Compulsive Shopping Dr. Deborah Sweet specializes in helping people recover from a variety of traumas, addictions and life issues.  Many people suffer from some form of childhood trauma, which take place over time, or shock traumas which are disturbing incidents that happen quickly but have lasting effects. Three interrelated areas that are frequently affected by trauma are a sense of choice, a sense of safety and a sense of self. The past affects the present. Though talk therapy is essential, it doesn’t always improve symptoms of unresolved trauma. She is certified in EMDR, Somatic Experiencing and Brainspotting in addition to using CBT, 12 Step and Buddhist recovery models. She also incorporates concepts from Internal Family Systems and Scott D. Miller (International Center for Clinical Excellence). Additionally, her extensive experience includes working with a wide array of addictive disorders including drug, alcohol and spending addictions. In addition to trauma informed recovery, she provides skills and tools to help people self-regulate as they enter recovery, gain clarity and gently begin to deal with their material. Her approach, in alignment with The Control Center, is to offer a holistic point of view is designed to identify, access, and build upon each person’s capacity for internal resourcing and resilience, encouraging each person to grow physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Amy Doublet

amyExpertise: Energy Work, Somatic Experiencing, Body Work As a Trauma Therapist, following the innate intelligence and body’s wisdom is Amy’s fundamental principle in the healing process. With almost two decades of bodywork experience, Amy combines touch work with Somatic Experiencing. Her training includes Craniosacral and Polarity Therapy. She specializes in the connection between developmental-attachment and shock trauma. For those who prefer not to be touched, work is done in the relational field energetically and via Somatic Experiencing. Amy helps people’s nervous systems function better under stress and/or anxiety; creating the capacity to be fully present in the moment. People are able to become fully self expressed and embodied in who they are. Amy holds space from the wellness paradigm.

Andre Zitcer

Holistic Practitioner Expertise: Somatic Experiencing, Yoga, Acupuncture Andre Zitcer is a licensed Acupuncturist & Herbalist in the state of California with a Masters Degree in Oriental Medicine. He has extensively trained to help clients find ways of resolving stress and anxiety, beginning with various forms of meditation, yoga, and tai chi, in his utilization of holistic medicine. Andre has been practicing oriental medicine for 10 years. He has trained with Peter Levine, PhD, in the art of somatic experiencing and he is also a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher. Andre teaches Pranayama for health and has developed an expertise in the complex relationship of addiction, anxiety, and trauma.

Rohini Ross, MFT

Spiritual Psychotherapist Expertise: Meditation, Breathing, Visualization, Mindfulness, Personal Development, Executive Coaching Rohini Ross is a licensed marriage and family therapist and spiritual psychotherapist. Rohini specializes in integrating practical spirituality with therapeutic work to promote transformational healing. She helps clients quiet their mind and tap into their own resources through alternative healing techniques in an effort to help diminish anxiety and impulsivity. Rohini received her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology with a Certificate in Consciousness, Health, and Healing from the University of Santa Monica.

Sharon Skok

Expertise: Traditional Chinese Medicine – Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine, Hatha and Restorative Yoga Sharon Skok is a California State Licensed Acupuncturist and a nationally recognized Diplomate in Oriental Medicine by the NCCAOM. She graduated with honors from Yo San University in Los Angeles, CA where she earned her Masters Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine (M.A.T.C.M). Sharon began treating individuals recovering from addiction during her clinical internship at Yo San University and saw the positive benefits of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine in patients with addiction and aiding in recovery. She is happy to be part of the integrative team at The Control Center. Sharon has worked in integrative health care settings in the past, including working with HIV+ individuals and also with cancer patients, their families, and their caregivers. Sharon has devoted her adult life to studying health and eastern healing practices. Sharon helps her patients reach better health and well being though the use of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and Chinese nutritional guidelines to support and harmonizes an individual’s body, mind, and spirit. In addition, Sharon has been teaching yoga in Los Angeles since 2002.

Dr. Dana Kiesel, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist Expertise: Eating Disorders, ADHD Dr. Dana Kiesel, a psychologist with a specialty in the clinical treatment of eating disorders as well as CBT work with ADHD, has maintained a private practice in Beverly Hills for 18 years. Dr. Kiesel works in an interactive and collaborative way that works towards gaining insight, self-awareness, and strength for each client. Therapy is held in a supportive atmosphere and at the same time the client is encouraged to face the issues that have been causing them to engage in disordered eating. This collaborative kind of psychotherapy helps clients become “unstuck” from the self-destructive behavior and other patterns of the eating disorder. Dr. Kiesel was trained in many modalities and uses them to keep her work current and effective. Some of these modalities include psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, hypnosis, and mindful meditation. Dr. Kiesel earned her Masters and Doctorate from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant University. She did her Pre and Post Doctoral training at the Wright Institute in Los Angeles.

Robyn L. Goldberg, RD

Registered Dietitian Expertise: Nutritional Services, Eating Disorders Robyn began her career at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles as the inpatient dietitian in the Department of Cardiology. She currently works in Beverly Hills, CA, where she specializes in medical, psychiatric, and self control conditions such as disordered eating. Dr. Goldberg also works with an eye toward preventative nutrition for all clients as well as for athletes, helping them reach optimal nutrition. Additionally, she serves as a Nutrition Consultant for the Celiac Foundation. Robyn is a contributing author for and has been quoted in the following publications, among (but not limited to) Shape and Fitness, BH Weekly, and Todays Dietitian. For the last eight years, Robyn was the Nutritional Counselor for the Susan Krevoy Eating Disorders Program at The Wright Institute Los Angeles.

Sara Barthol, LCSW

Expertise: Sex Addiction, General Addiction Sara Barthol is a psychotherapist with an extensive history of providing help for clients with the following; sex addiction, general addiction and mental health therapeutic services including assessment, as well as providing individual, group and family therapy. She has worked as an inpatient psychotherapist at Malibu Rehab Center and she trained and worked as an individual and group psychotherapist at the Sexual Recovery Institute for over 10 years. Sara’s work in sex addiction includes conducting assessments and working with couples and individuals to stabilize and control their impulses while building their coping skills. She has an Associate of Sex Education degree from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and she is a licensed clinical social worker. She also has a small private practice for adults. License # is LCS 18733.

Dr. Louise Stanger

louiseStangerExpertise: Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral, Solution Focused Coaching, Family Systems, DBT and 12 Step Facilitation Louise Stanger received her bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Pittsburgh, her Masters in Social Work from San Diego State College and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of San Diego. Dr. Stanger has over thirty years experience as a college professor, researcher and licensed clinician working with families and individuals who experience substance abuse and mental health disorders. She serves as the Director of All About Interventions and as President of The Sydney D Holland Foundation. She has been performing Collaborative Interventions with families since 1980. She continues to explore the efficacy of treatment strategies such as Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral, Solution Focused Coaching, Family Systems, DBT and 12 Step Facilitation. Louise has conducted extensive research on the effects of alcohol and other drugs on college age students. She has published scholarly articles and public health handbooks that support harm reduction strategies and environmental management systems. She has been the principal investigator/ project director and /or co-investigator of over 15 grants, which focus on collegiate substance abuse, six of which totaled over four million dollars from the United States Department of Education and the National Institute of Health- National Institute of Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism . Findings have been published in The Journal of Alcohol Studies and elsewhere.

Chloe Russell, Pharmacist and Certified Reiki Practitioner 

Chloe RussellExpertise: Reiki Practitioner

Chloe learned the practice of Reiki under the tutelage of Victoria Vives Khuong of Los Angeles, and is part of the lineage that can be traced to Usui Mikao, the founder of Reiki.  After several years of practice as a licensed pharmacist, she recognized the need for holistic healing, which not only addresses the physical, but mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of a person’s being.  She was drawn to Reiki after several sessions she received herself, where she recognized the gentle yet profound ability of Reiki to restore balance and facilitate healing.

Chloe earned her Bachelor’s of Biology from Ohio University, and her Bachelors of Pharmacy from the University of Cincinnati, and she is committed to assisting individuals in their healing journey, by restoring their sense of peace, wellbeing, and vitality.  She is happy to be a part of the integrative team.

Abeer Othman, LMFT

Abeer Othman works wabeer othmanith individuals, couples and families struggling with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, occupational dissatisfaction, relationship difficulties, personality disorders, grief & loss and family conflict.  Abeer’s style is collaborative, active and engaged with the intention of creating a safe environment to empower growth and healing.  She guides her clients by helping them modify their lives according to their needs and lifestyle.  With Abeer, you will explore and understand the underlying causes and concerns as well as access hidden abilities and resources. The therapeutic relationship focuses on re-establishing emotional strength and well-being, addressing inter-personal & familial concerns, and most importantly, regaining self-esteem and confidence.  Abeer has a M.A. in Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage & Family therapy and is a licensed MFT. In addition, she is certified in working with cases of Domestic Violence and Anger Management. She also has a private practice in West Los Angeles and Sherman Oaks.

Lisa Knakal, MA, LMFT

tcc-staff-3Expertise: Individuals, Couples, Family Therapy, Trauma Recovery

Lisa’s qualifications as a licensed marriage and family therapist include a BA from UCLA in Art History and a Master”s Degree from The Phillip’s Graduate Institute in Clinical Psychology. . She has additional and specialized training in Attachment and Object Relations Theories, Family Systems theory, Trauma Recovery and Affect Regulation and Experiential and Mindfulness based therapies. In addition to her work at The Control Center, she maintains a private practice in Calabasas and is adjunct faculty at Phillip’s Graduate Institute. Lisa’s treatment plans are individualized and integrate a combination of creativity based and theoretical disciplines on a case by case basis aimed at both symptom reduction, insight and empowerment.

David Pavia, LCSW

David is a Licensed Psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of behavioral addictions and mental health disorders. Integrating psychology, spirituality and creativity, David engages clients with a warm and compassionate approach…while challenging them to develop insights and preparing them to initiate substantive life changes. David graduated with his Masters in Clinical Social Work from New York University and has most recently worked as a Primary Clinician at Promises Treatment Center here in Los Angeles. 

Pia Artesona

IMG_3416Expertise: Recovery, Yoga

The focus of this group is on the release of traumatic experiences held in the body, addictive thoughts and self-destructive patterns that separate, disconnect, and prevent clients from flourishing in relationships with themselves, family, friends, and their surroundings. This occurs through the integration of postures, breath work, and meditation.


Jimmy Doyle, CATC-1

Expertise:  Addiction
Jimmy DoyleJimmy is a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor who brings 27 years of 12 Step experience to his work with those who struggle with addiction.  A writer and performer for over 25 years, Jimmy is able to tap into a patient’s creativity to find what brings them joy.  Jimmy works with the clincial team, office administration, and sober livings, to allow patients to have the fullest experience of treatment at The Control Center.