Our Staff2019-09-14T06:15:21+00:00

Lifeskills South Florida Staff

Our highly qualified staff is here to help you or your loved ones find the path to recovery.

All Team

Leadership Team

Klay Weaver, LCSW

Klay Weaver, LCSW

Chief Executive Officer

With over 25 years of behavioral healthcare management experience, including over 18 years in executive leadership, Klay Weaver joined Lifeskills South Florida in 2015 as its Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining Lifeskills South Florida, Klay served as the COO of Skyland Trail, a national center of excellence, where he oversaw the organization’s strategic growth, financial operations, clinical operations, and marketing. With roots in community mental health, Klay led two of the largest community mental health centers in the state of Georgia, providing services to over 17,000 individuals annually in 11 counties.

Klay received a Bachelor of Arts in Education and an M.Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary and an M.S.W. from the University of Kentucky. A licensed social worker for more than 20 years, he has enjoyed being active in the community serving on multiple non-profit boards including the Red Cross, Georgia Community Service Board Association, and most recently on the Delray Drug Task Force. Klay is passionate about developing evidence-based best practices and outcomes.

Daniel Bober, DO

Daniel Bober, DO

Medical Director

Dr. Bober attended medical school at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his adult/child/adolescent psychiatry training at the Yale University School of Medicine and a fellowship in forensic psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine.

Dr. Bober served as a mental health policy fellow in the U.S. Senate through the American Psychiatric Association and the Yale University School of Medicine. While in Congress he championed the cause of veterans and active duty service members with mental illness. Dr. Bober currently holds a faculty appointment as an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale Child Study Center.

In treating adults, Dr. Bober’s clinical interest and expertise lay in working with individuals that have addiction, trauma and personality disorders. His career has afforded him the opportunity to treat co-occurring disorders in inpatient, outpatient and research settings.

Dr. Bober is Board Certified in General Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Forensic Psychiatry, by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Additionally, as a Diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine, Dr. Bober is a Certified Addiction Medicine physician. He belongs to several professional societies including American Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Child, and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law and the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

Heather Hendren

Heather Hendren

National Director of Business Development & Provider Relations

As National Director of Business Development at Lifeskills South Florida, Heather oversees our team of highly trained Regional Clinical Outreach Directors who provide invaluable resources for professionals and the patients they serve. She is an Emmy-nominated television host, writer, and producer with over eight years of experience in the field of broadcast journalism. From conducting celebrity interviews to producing award-winning documentaries, her passion for giving an authentic voice to an otherwise stigmatized population has always been a driving force behind her personal and professional life. Her passion for behavioral health was ignited during the creation of an educational program on mental health and addiction for PBS in which she interviewed brave people at war with their own mental health symptoms, heartbroken family members who’d lost loved ones to addiction, and those inspiring people who journeyed on to find recovery. As Heather emotionally signed off on that very show, she knew it would be her last. Thus, began her personal and professional journey into the field of mental health.

Since 2010, Heather has served our industry in various capacities from Director of Admissions to Professional Outreach Representative. She has a natural curiosity and innate ability to connect people which has served her well in being a liaison for healthcare professionals, families and individuals as they explore treatment options. She’s co-founded Mental Health Professionals of Boca Raton and Mental Health Professionals of Broward County – both networking groups for female mental health providers in South Florida. Heather is a proud Boilermaker having graduated from Purdue University.

David Ockman, PsyD, CAP

David Ockman, PsyD, CAP

Clinical Director

Dr. Ockman, a licensed Psychologist, and Certified Addictions Professional, has worked in the field of mental health and addiction for more than 20 years, beginning his career in 1993. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Florida International University, a Masters and Doctoral degrees from The Miami Institute of Psychology, and has been licensed as a Psychologist since 2002.

Dr. Ockman brings a broad range of experiences to his role at Lifeskills South Florida focused primarily on the Substance Use Disorder track which includes clinical, supervisory and administrative capacities in therapeutic/residential communities, hospital settings, IOP and state regulatory positions. He has spent most of his career utilizing CBT and MET modalities and finding ways to provide the most effective interventions for patients and their families.

Dr. Ockman spent seven years as one of the supervising Psychologists of interns and residents for an APPIC approved program. He was born and raised in South Florida and enjoys finding great places in Florida to take the family.

David Duquette, PsyD

David Duquette, PsyD

Director of Quality Improvement & Utilization Review

Dr. Duquette, Director of Quality Improvement and Utilization Review at Lifeskills South Florida, earned his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Carlos Albizu University and completed his pre-doctoral internship at South Florida State Hospital. Prior to joining Lifeskills, he was the Utilization Review Manager at the largest community mental health center in Colorado, where he authorized all levels of mental health services for Medicaid consumers. He also brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in obtaining authorizations from private insurance companies.

Admissions Team

Michelle Williams, RN-BC

Michelle Williams, RN-BC

Admissions Director

Michelle has over 37 years of experience working as a Registered Nurse in Psychiatry and Addictions. She is nationally Board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse. Michelle has worked in both the public and private sectors in a wide variety of settings which include Inpatient hospitals, Community Mental Health Centers, Detox Facilities and Residential Treatment Centers. She has worked in various capacities treating individuals with acute and chronic mental illness, co-occurring disorders, and addiction. Michelle worked previously at Lifeskills South Florida for over 16 years and now returns in the capacity of Admissions Director. She returns with a mission to assist clients in gaining admission to excellent evidence based treatment so they can return to their optimum level of functioning.

Lara Eisenberg, MSW

Lara Eisenberg, MSW

Clinical Admissions Coordinator

For several years, Lara worked in a treatment setting with adults suffering from mental health and substance abuse dependency issues. Shortly after beginning her career at Lifeskills as a clinical intern, she was introduced to the clinical and admissions team. Her work at Lifeskills allows her the opportunity to work with clients and witness the transformation they make and the strength they have as they journey to recovery. Lara received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Florida followed by her Master of Social Work degree from Florida Atlantic University. She is also intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy by The Linehan Institute. Lara looks to continue working in the field of Social Work and receiving her license as a Clinical Social Worker.

Gerri Lynn Busold, MS

Gerri Lynn Busold, MS

Clinical Admissions Coordinator

Prior to joining the team in 2013, Gerri Lynn actively worked for eight years in the outpatient field with children, young adults, and seniors suffering from both mental health and substance abuse issues. She is dedicated to providing clients and their families with support and guidance during the first steps to a new healthy life. Gerri Lynn received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Social Psychology from Florida Atlantic University and her Masters of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University.

Outpatient Clinical Team

Myrlande Banica, RN

Myrlande Banica, RN

Director of Nursing

As a Registered Nurse for 19 years, Myrlande began her career as a Psychiatric Nurse working with children and adolescents. Her experience includes patient care in post-orthopedic and neurological surgeries, labor and delivery and in the operating room. Although she has enjoyed her work with patients in the medical and surgical areas, psychiatric nursing is her field choice. Myrlande worked as a Psychiatric Nurse and later a Nurse Supervisor at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Westchester Division, which had specialization in child-adolescent, forensic adult, borderline, substance abuse and eating disorders. Myrlande eventually relocated to Connecticut, where she worked at Yale New Haven Hospital as an ECT Nurse and Nursing Manager/Supervisor of a 70-bed hospital that specialized in treating adolescent, adult and geriatric clients with mental illness and substance abuse. After moving to Florida three years ago, Myrlande began working at Fair Oaks Psychiatric Hospital at Delray Medical Center as an Assistant Nurse Manager. Lifeskills South Florida is very lucky to have Myrlande as our Program Nurse.

Miguel Nerys, LMHC, NCC, CAP

Miguel Nerys, LMHC, NCC, CAP

Director of Outpatient Services at Lifeskills

Miguel is the Director of Outpatient Services at Lifeskills South Florida, specializing in addiction and trauma. A Licensed Mental Health counselor and National Certified Counselor, he brings a wide array of experience from the mental health and addiction field. He earned both his undergraduate and master’s degree from Lynn University. Miguel has worked in a trauma-specific unit of a community mental health organization dealing with abused children and their families, and has also worked with active duty military at a psychiatric facility in North Carolina. He has mostly recently worked with relapsing clients that are treatment resistant. Miguel has traveled to Cambodia and Vietnam to establish a foundation for the poor and provide training on the western practice of psychology. Additionally, he has volunteered for the Big Brother Big Sister organization in providing child support in Boca Raton, Florida. In his spare time, he enjoys listening to a good TED Talk/Podcast and enjoys astronomy and photography.

Brett Passeroff, LCSW

Brett Passeroff, LCSW

PHP Program Manager and Family Therapist

For the past two decades, Brett has worked with mental health and substance abuse clients in South Florida. He received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan and received his Master of Social Work from Barry University. Brett’s focus has been on treating family systems rather than just the identified client in treatment which is an “evidence-based” practice. Brett’s was previously a Director of Family Services, and has held leadership positions in both administrative and clinical capacities. He also spent three years as the Director of Acute Care Services at a 50 bed Inpatient facility. Brett is a valued member of the team due to his unique ability to help clients and families that have been through multiple treatment episodes with limited success. Brett is a licensed Clinician in the State of Florida and a seasoned therapist and interventionist who adds strength and experience to our team.

Ian Rosenberg, MS

Ian Rosenberg, MS

Primary Therapist

As a Primary Therapist and group faciliatory, Ian utilizes person-centered and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy to empower his clients to learn the importance of self-acceptance. He is responsible for facilitating the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Male Trauma pathways at the Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), and helping clients along their continued journey through recovery. Ian has shown a tremendous interest in the treatment for trauma and PTSD, which has fueled his passion for DBT. He has remained intensively trained by the Behavioral Tech, A Linehan Institute training company and utilizes his deep understanding of the conceptual model within individualized DBT coaching sessions, as well as in his skills training groups. He often uses mindfulness perspectives to help his clients become more in the present in their moment-to-moment experiences, in a non-judgmental way, to live life to the fullest potential. Ian has a master’s degree from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, and has also attended Trenčianske Teplice Slovakia, at the International Committee of Adlerian Summer Schools and Institutes (ICASSI) where he learned the Adlerian concepts of Early Recollection with Substance Use Disorder and the conceptual model of neurosis.

Christine Quinn, LCSW, EMDR

Christine Quinn, LCSW, EMDR

Primary Therapist

Christine is a Primary Therapist at Lifeskills South Florida, with a broad range of experience in residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs. Her experience has also included providing therapeutic services to patients suffering from substance abuse and dual diagnosis disorders at Addiction Treatment Centers, Community Health Emergency Psychiatric Care Unit, and at a VA Medical Center. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree at Palm Beach Atlantic University and an MSW from Florida Atlantic University. Christine is a nationally trained and certified EMDR therapist, and uses a variety of evidence-based modalities, such as CBT, Motivational Interviewing, DBT, and MET, and EMDR, to provide the most effective interventions for clients and their families. Being solution-focused in her approach, Christine believes in empowering clients to take control of their lives. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her husband Bill and spending time with their family and pet Chihuahua and Shih Tzu.

Courtney Appel, MFT

Courtney Appel, MFT

Primary Therapist

Courtney is specialized in treating individuals with mental health issues using a Solution Focused Approach, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Family Systems Theory. She is strength-based and considers the entire family system during her work with clients to optimize immediate and long-term successes. Courtney received her Undergraduate degree from The University of Florida in Psychology and received her master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Reid Boland, MS, RMHCI

Reid Boland, MS, RMHCI

Clinical Services Coordinator

Reid serves as the Clinical Services Coordinator and operates as a Primary Therapist as well as facilitating the case management needs of our clients. Reid manages both the PHP track as well as the Vocational Skills track to provide substance abuse and mental health psychoeducation, as well as vocational skills training. As a former client of Lifeskills South Florida with over eleven years in recovery, Reid brings a unique perspective to the clinical team. He has worked with both teenage and adult dual diagnosis clients and has an interest in personality disorders. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Miami University and his Master of Science in Applied Psychology at Lynn University.

Danielle Casey, LMHC

Danielle Casey, LMHC

Outpatient Primary Therapist

Danielle brings 20 years of experience in providing individual, couples and family therapy in various settings. As a Primary Therapist for our outpatient services, she works with our clients in a group and individual setting. Danielle holds two master’s degrees from Lesley University and Columbia University with a concentration in both counseling and clinical psychology. She is also licensed in the state of Florida as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and is a qualified supervisor.

Buffy Rouse

Buffy Rouse

Yoga Instructor

As a lifelong dancer, singer, and creative artist with a degree in Psychology, Buffy completed her Yoga Teacher Certification in 2016 at the 500-hour level under Philip Christodoulou of Anuttara Yoga Shala.  Certified in Hatha, Vinyasa, and Anuttara Raja Yoga (Kriya), her teaching experience includes Yoga Basics and Alignment, Mindfulness Meditation, Hatha, Vinyasa, Raja, and Yoga Barre at commercial studios, treatment centers, and as a guest teacher for the Dance Department at Broward College.  With a deep love of the creative-expressive and healing arts, Buffy experienced the transformation power of yoga first-hand and embraced its connection with music, dance, and psychology.  From this platform she encourages the use of intention and imagination, mindfulness and conscious breathing, yogic philosophy, and asana to initiate the healing process from the inside out.

Heather Wright, ISSA

Heather Wright, ISSA

Personal Trainer

Heather has worked in the fitness industry for over 28 years, and has been a nationally certified personal trainer for the past 17 years. She specializes in weight management, endurance, strength, and sports specific training. The Metabolic Fitness groups that she facilitates at Lifeskills are specifically tailored to meet the needs of the individual client in weight loss, increasing strength, regaining balance and coordination or improving flexibility. The goal is to make sure the clients fitness needs are met and to improve their overall self-esteem, health and wellness. Increasing self-confidence, mind-body awareness and mastery of skill are at the heart of Heather’s’ work

Karen Gauci, MPH, RD, LD

Karen Gauci, MPH, RD, LD

Nutritionist

Karen is the owner and president of 2001 Nutrition Services, Inc., a company with a philosophy of providing education and counseling in all areas related to nutrition. Karen is a licensed Dietitian and Nutritionist, with a Master’s degree in Public Health. Her specialties include nutritional evaluation, advice and diet recommendations for weight management, chronic disease risk reduction, health promotion and wellness, sports nutrition, pediatrics, eating disorders, substance abuse, and psychiatric problems. She previously traveled around the world to train personal chefs in the preparation of foods low in fat, cholesterol, sodium, and sugar. She also offers assistance in menu planning, label reading, and proper portion control. Not only is she the nutritionist at Lifeskills South Florida, but she is also a nutritional consultant at the Palm-Aire Spa Resort in Pompano Beach, Florida. Karen is the author of the cookbook, “Delicious Nutritious Spa Recipes from the Spa at Palm-Aire.” A few years ago, Karen wrote a program for large corporations to help lower their health cost entitled “Superitis, A 5 Star Plan For Better Health”. She is a frequent speaker at corporate conventions and has appeared in programs for Toyota, The American Cancer Society, and Northern Trust Bank. Karen works with professional athletes and has consulted for the NFL’s Chris Carter’s FAST Program to increase athletic performance.

Joe Soutar, CRRA

Joe Soutar, CRRA

Director of Operations

Born and educated in the U.K., Joe has worked extensively in an operations role in the mental health and substance abuse field. His experience includes working as a Director for inpatient detox and crisis stabilization through every level in the continuum of care. As an advocate for spirituality through the 12-Step model, and simultaneous neutralization of co-occurring dual diagnosis profiles, Joe works passionately to advance the quality of support offered to each client he oversees. Joe has served as a line of communication between clinical staff and clients and has focused on cases of high acuity and chronic relapse. He has worked closely with the FARR certification body, as well as DCF and JCAHO, and has acted as an educator to direct care staff through training and management. As a Residential Supervisor at Lifeskills, Joe has a desire to ensure that every client is set up for success in their treatment.

Clinical Partnerships

Amanda Bassos, MS

Amanda Bassos, MS

Regional Clinical Outreach Director- North Florida

Amanda has worked in behavioral health services for several years supporting the growth and healing of children, adolescents, adults, and older adults in both Broward and Palm Beach Counties. In her role as a therapist, Amanda has served individuals and families within the community helping people to reach the best versions of themselves. She has worked extensively with mental health and substance use concerns with a focus in adolescent and young adult trauma providing a strength-based, person-centered, and trauma informed quality of care. During her years providing mental health counseling, Amanda created long-lasting and mutually beneficial partnerships within the community, leveraging these partnerships to connect those in need with the best possible providers. Amanda received her master’s degree in Applied Psychology, Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. Amanda is a native of South Florida and currently resides in Palm Beach County with her husband, her rescue mix Roxie, and her golden retriever Blair. In her free time, you will find Amanda passport in hand planning her next adventure.

Leadership Team

Klay Weaver, LCSW

Klay Weaver, LCSW

Chief Executive Officer

With over 25 years of behavioral healthcare management experience, including over 18 years in executive leadership, Klay Weaver joined Lifeskills South Florida in 2015 as its Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining Lifeskills South Florida, Klay served as the COO of Skyland Trail, a national center of excellence, where he oversaw the organization’s strategic growth, financial operations, clinical operations, and marketing. With roots in community mental health, Klay led two of the largest community mental health centers in the state of Georgia, providing services to over 17,000 individuals annually in 11 counties.

Klay received a Bachelor of Arts in Education and an M.Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary and an M.S.W. from the University of Kentucky. A licensed social worker for more than 20 years, he has enjoyed being active in the community serving on multiple non-profit boards including the Red Cross, Georgia Community Service Board Association, and most recently on the Delray Drug Task Force. Klay is passionate about developing evidence-based best practices and outcomes.

Daniel Bober, DO

Daniel Bober, DO

Medical Director

Dr. Bober attended medical school at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his adult/child/adolescent psychiatry training at the Yale University School of Medicine and a fellowship in forensic psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine.

Dr. Bober served as a mental health policy fellow in the U.S. Senate through the American Psychiatric Association and the Yale University School of Medicine. While in Congress he championed the cause of veterans and active duty service members with mental illness. Dr. Bober currently holds a faculty appointment as an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale Child Study Center.

In treating adults, Dr. Bober’s clinical interest and expertise lay in working with individuals that have addiction, trauma and personality disorders. His career has afforded him the opportunity to treat co-occurring disorders in inpatient, outpatient and research settings.

Dr. Bober is Board Certified in General Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Forensic Psychiatry, by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Additionally, as a Diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine, Dr. Bober is a Certified Addiction Medicine physician. He belongs to several professional societies including American Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Child, and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law and the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

Heather Hendren

Heather Hendren

National Director of Business Development & Provider Relations

As National Director of Business Development at Lifeskills South Florida, Heather oversees our team of highly trained Regional Clinical Outreach Directors who provide invaluable resources for professionals and the patients they serve. She is an Emmy-nominated television host, writer, and producer with over eight years of experience in the field of broadcast journalism. From conducting celebrity interviews to producing award-winning documentaries, her passion for giving an authentic voice to an otherwise stigmatized population has always been a driving force behind her personal and professional life. Her passion for behavioral health was ignited during the creation of an educational program on mental health and addiction for PBS in which she interviewed brave people at war with their own mental health symptoms, heartbroken family members who’d lost loved ones to addiction, and those inspiring people who journeyed on to find recovery. As Heather emotionally signed off on that very show, she knew it would be her last. Thus, began her personal and professional journey into the field of mental health.

Since 2010, Heather has served our industry in various capacities from Director of Admissions to Professional Outreach Representative. She has a natural curiosity and innate ability to connect people which has served her well in being a liaison for healthcare professionals, families and individuals as they explore treatment options. She’s co-founded Mental Health Professionals of Boca Raton and Mental Health Professionals of Broward County – both networking groups for female mental health providers in South Florida. Heather is a proud Boilermaker having graduated from Purdue University.

David Ockman, PsyD, CAP

David Ockman, PsyD, CAP

Clinical Director

Dr. Ockman, a licensed Psychologist, and Certified Addictions Professional, has worked in the field of mental health and addiction for more than 20 years, beginning his career in 1993. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Florida International University, a Masters and Doctoral degrees from The Miami Institute of Psychology, and has been licensed as a Psychologist since 2002.

Dr. Ockman brings a broad range of experiences to his role at Lifeskills South Florida focused primarily on the Substance Use Disorder track which includes clinical, supervisory and administrative capacities in therapeutic/residential communities, hospital settings, IOP and state regulatory positions. He has spent most of his career utilizing CBT and MET modalities and finding ways to provide the most effective interventions for patients and their families.

Dr. Ockman spent seven years as one of the supervising Psychologists of interns and residents for an APPIC approved program. He was born and raised in South Florida and enjoys finding great places in Florida to take the family.

David Duquette, PsyD

David Duquette, PsyD

Director of Quality Improvement & Utilization Review

Dr. Duquette, Director of Quality Improvement and Utilization Review at Lifeskills South Florida, earned his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Carlos Albizu University and completed his pre-doctoral internship at South Florida State Hospital. Prior to joining Lifeskills, he was the Utilization Review Manager at the largest community mental health center in Colorado, where he authorized all levels of mental health services for Medicaid consumers. He also brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in obtaining authorizations from private insurance companies.

Admission Team

Michelle Williams, RN-BC

Michelle Williams, RN-BC

Admissions Director

Michelle has over 37 years of experience working as a Registered Nurse in Psychiatry and Addictions. She is nationally Board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse. Michelle has worked in both the public and private sectors in a wide variety of settings which include Inpatient hospitals, Community Mental Health Centers, Detox Facilities and Residential Treatment Centers. She has worked in various capacities treating individuals with acute and chronic mental illness, co-occurring disorders, and addiction. Michelle worked previously at Lifeskills South Florida for over 16 years and now returns in the capacity of Admissions Director. She returns with a mission to assist clients in gaining admission to excellent evidence based treatment so they can return to their optimum level of functioning.

Lara Eisenberg, MSW

Lara Eisenberg, MSW

Clinical Admissions Coordinator

For several years, Lara worked in a treatment setting with adults suffering from mental health and substance abuse dependency issues. Shortly after beginning her career at Lifeskills as a clinical intern, she was introduced to the clinical and admissions team. Her work at Lifeskills allows her the opportunity to work with clients and witness the transformation they make and the strength they have as they journey to recovery. Lara received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Florida followed by her Master of Social Work degree from Florida Atlantic University. She is also intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy by The Linehan Institute. Lara looks to continue working in the field of Social Work and receiving her license as a Clinical Social Worker.

Gerri Lynn Busold, MS

Gerri Lynn Busold, MS

Clinical Admissions Coordinator

Prior to joining the team in 2013, Gerri Lynn actively worked for eight years in the outpatient field with children, young adults, and seniors suffering from both mental health and substance abuse issues. She is dedicated to providing clients and their families with support and guidance during the first steps to a new healthy life. Gerri Lynn received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Social Psychology from Florida Atlantic University and her Masters of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University.

Outpatient Clinical Team

Myrlande Banica, RN

Myrlande Banica, RN

Director of Nursing

As a Registered Nurse for 19 years, Myrlande began her career as a Psychiatric Nurse working with children and adolescents. Her experience includes patient care in post-orthopedic and neurological surgeries, labor and delivery and in the operating room. Although she has enjoyed her work with patients in the medical and surgical areas, psychiatric nursing is her field choice. Myrlande worked as a Psychiatric Nurse and later a Nurse Supervisor at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Westchester Division, which had specialization in child-adolescent, forensic adult, borderline, substance abuse and eating disorders. Myrlande eventually relocated to Connecticut, where she worked at Yale New Haven Hospital as an ECT Nurse and Nursing Manager/Supervisor of a 70-bed hospital that specialized in treating adolescent, adult and geriatric clients with mental illness and substance abuse. After moving to Florida three years ago, Myrlande began working at Fair Oaks Psychiatric Hospital at Delray Medical Center as an Assistant Nurse Manager. Lifeskills South Florida is very lucky to have Myrlande as our Program Nurse.

Miguel Nerys, LMHC, NCC, CAP

Miguel Nerys, LMHC, NCC, CAP

Director of Outpatient Services at Lifeskills

Miguel is the Director of Outpatient Services at Lifeskills South Florida, specializing in addiction and trauma. A Licensed Mental Health counselor and National Certified Counselor, he brings a wide array of experience from the mental health and addiction field. He earned both his undergraduate and master’s degree from Lynn University. Miguel has worked in a trauma-specific unit of a community mental health organization dealing with abused children and their families, and has also worked with active duty military at a psychiatric facility in North Carolina. He has mostly recently worked with relapsing clients that are treatment resistant. Miguel has traveled to Cambodia and Vietnam to establish a foundation for the poor and provide training on the western practice of psychology. Additionally, he has volunteered for the Big Brother Big Sister organization in providing child support in Boca Raton, Florida. In his spare time, he enjoys listening to a good TED Talk/Podcast and enjoys astronomy and photography.

Brett Passeroff, LCSW

Brett Passeroff, LCSW

PHP Program Manager and Family Therapist

For the past two decades, Brett has worked with mental health and substance abuse clients in South Florida. He received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan and received his Master of Social Work from Barry University. Brett’s focus has been on treating family systems rather than just the identified client in treatment which is an “evidence-based” practice. Brett’s was previously a Director of Family Services, and has held leadership positions in both administrative and clinical capacities. He also spent three years as the Director of Acute Care Services at a 50 bed Inpatient facility. Brett is a valued member of the team due to his unique ability to help clients and families that have been through multiple treatment episodes with limited success. Brett is a licensed Clinician in the State of Florida and a seasoned therapist and interventionist who adds strength and experience to our team.

Ian Rosenberg, MS

Ian Rosenberg, MS

Primary Therapist

As a Primary Therapist and group faciliatory, Ian utilizes person-centered and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy to empower his clients to learn the importance of self-acceptance. He is responsible for facilitating the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Male Trauma pathways at the Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), and helping clients along their continued journey through recovery. Ian has shown a tremendous interest in the treatment for trauma and PTSD, which has fueled his passion for DBT. He has remained intensively trained by the Behavioral Tech, A Linehan Institute training company and utilizes his deep understanding of the conceptual model within individualized DBT coaching sessions, as well as in his skills training groups. He often uses mindfulness perspectives to help his clients become more in the present in their moment-to-moment experiences, in a non-judgmental way, to live life to the fullest potential. Ian has a master’s degree from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, and has also attended Trenčianske Teplice Slovakia, at the International Committee of Adlerian Summer Schools and Institutes (ICASSI) where he learned the Adlerian concepts of Early Recollection with Substance Use Disorder and the conceptual model of neurosis.

Christine Quinn, LCSW, EMDR

Christine Quinn, LCSW, EMDR

Primary Therapist

Christine is a Primary Therapist at Lifeskills South Florida, with a broad range of experience in residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs. Her experience has also included providing therapeutic services to patients suffering from substance abuse and dual diagnosis disorders at Addiction Treatment Centers, Community Health Emergency Psychiatric Care Unit, and at a VA Medical Center. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree at Palm Beach Atlantic University and an MSW from Florida Atlantic University. Christine is a nationally trained and certified EMDR therapist, and uses a variety of evidence-based modalities, such as CBT, Motivational Interviewing, DBT, and MET, and EMDR, to provide the most effective interventions for clients and their families. Being solution-focused in her approach, Christine believes in empowering clients to take control of their lives. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her husband Bill and spending time with their family and pet Chihuahua and Shih Tzu.

Courtney Appel, MFT

Courtney Appel, MFT

Primary Therapist

Courtney is specialized in treating individuals with mental health issues using a Solution Focused Approach, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Family Systems Theory. She is strength-based and considers the entire family system during her work with clients to optimize immediate and long-term successes. Courtney received her Undergraduate degree from The University of Florida in Psychology and received her master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Reid Boland, MS, RMHCI

Reid Boland, MS, RMHCI

Clinical Services Coordinator

Reid serves as the Clinical Services Coordinator and operates as a Primary Therapist as well as facilitating the case management needs of our clients. Reid manages both the PHP track as well as the Vocational Skills track to provide substance abuse and mental health psychoeducation, as well as vocational skills training. As a former client of Lifeskills South Florida with over eleven years in recovery, Reid brings a unique perspective to the clinical team. He has worked with both teenage and adult dual diagnosis clients and has an interest in personality disorders. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Miami University and his Master of Science in Applied Psychology at Lynn University.

Danielle Casey, LMHC

Danielle Casey, LMHC

Outpatient Primary Therapist

Danielle brings 20 years of experience in providing individual, couples and family therapy in various settings. As a Primary Therapist for our outpatient services, she works with our clients in a group and individual setting. Danielle holds two master’s degrees from Lesley University and Columbia University with a concentration in both counseling and clinical psychology. She is also licensed in the state of Florida as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and is a qualified supervisor.

Buffy Rouse

Buffy Rouse

Yoga Instructor

As a lifelong dancer, singer, and creative artist with a degree in Psychology, Buffy completed her Yoga Teacher Certification in 2016 at the 500-hour level under Philip Christodoulou of Anuttara Yoga Shala.  Certified in Hatha, Vinyasa, and Anuttara Raja Yoga (Kriya), her teaching experience includes Yoga Basics and Alignment, Mindfulness Meditation, Hatha, Vinyasa, Raja, and Yoga Barre at commercial studios, treatment centers, and as a guest teacher for the Dance Department at Broward College.  With a deep love of the creative-expressive and healing arts, Buffy experienced the transformation power of yoga first-hand and embraced its connection with music, dance, and psychology.  From this platform she encourages the use of intention and imagination, mindfulness and conscious breathing, yogic philosophy, and asana to initiate the healing process from the inside out.

Heather Wright, ISSA

Heather Wright, ISSA

Personal Trainer

Heather has worked in the fitness industry for over 28 years, and has been a nationally certified personal trainer for the past 17 years. She specializes in weight management, endurance, strength, and sports specific training. The Metabolic Fitness groups that she facilitates at Lifeskills are specifically tailored to meet the needs of the individual client in weight loss, increasing strength, regaining balance and coordination or improving flexibility. The goal is to make sure the clients fitness needs are met and to improve their overall self-esteem, health and wellness. Increasing self-confidence, mind-body awareness and mastery of skill are at the heart of Heather’s’ work

Karen Gauci, MPH, RD, LD

Karen Gauci, MPH, RD, LD

Nutritionist

Karen is the owner and president of 2001 Nutrition Services, Inc., a company with a philosophy of providing education and counseling in all areas related to nutrition. Karen is a licensed Dietitian and Nutritionist, with a Master’s degree in Public Health. Her specialties include nutritional evaluation, advice and diet recommendations for weight management, chronic disease risk reduction, health promotion and wellness, sports nutrition, pediatrics, eating disorders, substance abuse, and psychiatric problems. She previously traveled around the world to train personal chefs in the preparation of foods low in fat, cholesterol, sodium, and sugar. She also offers assistance in menu planning, label reading, and proper portion control. Not only is she the nutritionist at Lifeskills South Florida, but she is also a nutritional consultant at the Palm-Aire Spa Resort in Pompano Beach, Florida. Karen is the author of the cookbook, “Delicious Nutritious Spa Recipes from the Spa at Palm-Aire.” A few years ago, Karen wrote a program for large corporations to help lower their health cost entitled “Superitis, A 5 Star Plan For Better Health”. She is a frequent speaker at corporate conventions and has appeared in programs for Toyota, The American Cancer Society, and Northern Trust Bank. Karen works with professional athletes and has consulted for the NFL’s Chris Carter’s FAST Program to increase athletic performance.

Joe Soutar, CRRA

Joe Soutar, CRRA

Director of Operations

Born and educated in the U.K., Joe has worked extensively in an operations role in the mental health and substance abuse field. His experience includes working as a Director for inpatient detox and crisis stabilization through every level in the continuum of care. As an advocate for spirituality through the 12-Step model, and simultaneous neutralization of co-occurring dual diagnosis profiles, Joe works passionately to advance the quality of support offered to each client he oversees. Joe has served as a line of communication between clinical staff and clients and has focused on cases of high acuity and chronic relapse. He has worked closely with the FARR certification body, as well as DCF and JCAHO, and has acted as an educator to direct care staff through training and management. As a Residential Supervisor at Lifeskills, Joe has a desire to ensure that every client is set up for success in their treatment.

Clinical Partnerships

Amanda Bassos, MS

Amanda Bassos, MS

Regional Clinical Outreach Director- North Florida

Amanda has worked in behavioral health services for several years supporting the growth and healing of children, adolescents, adults, and older adults in both Broward and Palm Beach Counties. In her role as a therapist, Amanda has served individuals and families within the community helping people to reach the best versions of themselves. She has worked extensively with mental health and substance use concerns with a focus in adolescent and young adult trauma providing a strength-based, person-centered, and trauma informed quality of care. During her years providing mental health counseling, Amanda created long-lasting and mutually beneficial partnerships within the community, leveraging these partnerships to connect those in need with the best possible providers. Amanda received her master’s degree in Applied Psychology, Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. Amanda is a native of South Florida and currently resides in Palm Beach County with her husband, her rescue mix Roxie, and her golden retriever Blair. In her free time, you will find Amanda passport in hand planning her next adventure.

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