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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sergio Muriel

Sergio Muriel

Admissions Director

Sergio is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, a Certified Addiction Professional, and is trained in EMDR. He has worked in the field of substance use and mental health for over 17 years. Sergio graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a master’s degree in Education, specializing in mental health and rehabilitation counseling. He is also a member of the Golden Key Honor Society. Throughout his career, Sergio has received several recognitions, including Sierra Tucson’s “Gratitude for Giving, Compassion Award” in 2016; “Above & Beyond” Award from Elements Behavioral Health in 2015; “Employee of the Year” from Miami-Dade County in 2007; “Appreciation Award”, Lindsey Hopkins Education Center-School Advisory Council in 2010; and “Appreciation Award”, Miami-Dade County, Mayor and Board of County Commissioners in 2009.

His passion and vision include helping individuals and families that have been affected by the disease of addiction and mental health. Having served in previous roles as Executive VP of Clinical Services, Executive Director, Admissions Director, Assistant Clinical Director, Primary Therapist, Judicial Services Coordinator, Family Therapist, and BHT Supervisor, Sergio brings extensive experience to his position. He is also fluent in English and Spanish.

Michelle Williams, RN-BC

Michelle Williams, RN-BC

Director of Nursing

Michelle has over 37 years of experience working as a Registered Nurse in Psychiatry and Addiction. 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.

Admissions Team

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.

Jorge A. Vázquez-López, BA

Jorge A. Vázquez-López, BA

Admissions Counselor

With a professional background in both luxury hospitality and residential treatment admissions, Jorge Vázquez-López is distinguished by his passion for excellence in customer service and his constant striving to exceed client expectations. In addition, he has extensive experience working with complicated clinical cases and is accustomed to working with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds. Jorge is currently enrolled in Palm Beach Atlantic University where he is pursuing a Master’s of Science in Mental Health.

Kaleigh Dietz, MEd, CRC

Kaleigh Dietz, MEd, CRC

Admissions Counselor

Kaleigh Dietz is an Admissions Counselor at Lifeskills South Florida. Kaleigh originally joined the Lifeskills team as an Intake Coordinator, where she welcomed clients to Lifeskills and helped guide them through the intake process. Kaleigh brings experience in concierge patient care and hopes to bring a concierge experience to clients here at Lifeskills, while also creating a warm and welcoming environment for them to begin their healing process. Kaleigh graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Master’s in Counselor Education and is also a Master’s level Certified Rehabilitation Counselor in the state of Florida. Kaleigh is also in the process to obtain her Mental Health clinical license in the state of Florida.

Denise Etherton, MA, LPC

Denise Etherton, MA, LPC

Admissions Counselor

Denise has worked in the mental health space for over 20 years. She is an experienced Admissions Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor, and mental health advocate. She takes pride in providing education about the best care possible for those seeking mental health and substance abuse treatment. Her passion is to pave the way to hope and healing for potential clients and families who are navigating the treatment world at Lifeskills.

In undergraduate school, she holds a double major in Psychology & Criminal Justice from Lindenwood University. She also holds a graduate degree in Professional Counseling from Lindenwood University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) through the State of Missouri and telehealth for Florida. Her treatment modalities include CBT & ACT along with mindfulness training.

She is a married mother of 4 children and 2 dogs (Kylo Ren, the Goldador and Baxter the Shorkie). She enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, watching true crime documentaries (this makes her husband nervous), being with family and friends, and going to the beach and theme parks.

Barbra Quirk, BS

Barbra Quirk, BS

Intake Coordinator

Barbra joins the Lifeskills team as an Intake Coordinator, where she welcomes clients to Lifeskills and guides them through the intake process. Barbra brings past experiences working for a non-profit organization delivering substance abuse prevention programming to young adults, families, and teachers within the South Florida community. She approaches her work with a warm, caring, and open attitude to provide the best care and a welcoming environment to clients here at Lifeskills. Barbra received her B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Social Welfare from Florida State University. She is currently working towards her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Lynn University. In her free time, Barbra enjoys listening to music, going to the beach, and spending time with her friends and family.

Outpatient Clinical Team

Danielle Casey, LMHC, DBT & EMDR-Intensively Trained

Danielle Casey, LMHC, DBT & EMDR-Intensively Trained

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.

Reid Boland, MS, LMHC, REBT-Trained

Reid Boland, MS, LMHC, REBT-Trained

Primary Therapist

As a Primary Therapist at Lifeskills South Florida, Reid brings a unique perspective to the clinical team. Reid earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Miami University and his Master of Science in Applied Psychology at Lynn University. Following an intensive clinical internship at Lifeskills South Florida, Reid has provided both case management support and clinical care. Reid is REBT (Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy) Trained through the Albert Ellis Institute in New York City. He has worked with both young adults and adult dual-diagnosis clients and also has an interest in social anxiety and personality disorders. Over the years, Reid has worked in several settings including as a studio engineer while working on Music Row in Nashville, TN.  Given Reid’s passion and musical expertise, he currently shares his office with the Lifeskills South Florida Outpatient Program’s music studio.

Amy Max, MSW, DBT-Intensively Trained

Amy Max, MSW, DBT-Intensively Trained

Primary Therapist

As a primary therapist at Lifeskills South Florida, Amy works with clients in group and individual settings. She utilizes a strengths-based, non-judgmental and supportive approach in order to empower clients to move towards their goals. Amy uses a variety of evidence-based interventions such as CBT to help individuals explore different perspectives so they may develop more positive and accepting views of themselves.

Amy earned her Master’s of Social Work from Florida Atlantic University, as well as a graduate degree certificate in Addiction. Amy plans to continue her work towards earning her LCSW.

Amy considers herself a foodie and enjoys trying new restaurants, as well as cooking and entertaining. She loves traveling, watching movies, and running outdoors. Mostly, she loves spending time with her family and making memories.

Celin Thomas, MS

Celin Thomas, MS

Primary Therapist

Celin is committed to providing an atmosphere that fosters authenticity and encourages individuals to not only reflect, but feel their emotions without reservation. She supports her clients in exploring and strengthening their relationship with themselves and others, developing skills needed to enhance emotional awareness, and navigating life’s past wounds and present stressors. Celin strives to offer her clients with new perspectives so that they are able to gain insight and make meaningful changes.

Celin utilizes a strengths-based approach as it empowers clients to recognize their own courage and resilience. She enjoys working from a client-centered and collaborative lens to meet the needs of her clients and values culturally sensitive therapy as it is vital in understanding how a client’s background and belief system impacts their worldview. Celin is influenced by therapeutic approaches such as Family Systems Theory, Emotionally Focused Therapy, and Narrative Therapy. Celin obtained her Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Healthcare from the University of South Florida and earned her Master of Science in Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University. She is continuing to work towards her LMFT. Celin has a deep love for music, and enjoys spending time with loved ones, baking desserts, and practicing calligraphy.

Jason Weed,LMHC, EMDR-Trained

Jason Weed,LMHC, EMDR-Trained

Primary Therapist

Jason Weed is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Florida who has experience treating adolescents, adults, and families seeking help with depression, anxiety, life transitions, Trauma, men/women’s issues, and relationship issues. He completed his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from South University and received his Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from South University. Jason has completed both his Part 1 & Part 2 trainings in EMDR through EMDRIA’s institute making him an EMDR trained Clinician.  Jason utilizes relational, collaborative, strength-based, cognitive behavioral, mindfulness based, solution-focused and emotionally focused approaches to therapy always maintaining the creativity, flexibility, and awareness necessary to best meet the needs of every unique individual and couple. Jason seeks to establish a warm and caring relationship with you in order to assist in building on your strengths and better collaborate with you towards meeting your goals and living the meaningful life you value and desire.

Sheryl Gross, MS

Sheryl Gross, MS

Family Therapist

Sheryl earned her bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of South Florida and a Master of Science Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. She focuses on building better family relationships and dynamics, improving communication styles, and supporting necessary therapeutic interventions. Sheryl is highly skilled in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Motivational Enhancement Therapy techniques in her approach with clients and families. She has more than a decade of experience in effectively treating addictions, trauma, and severe mental health issues. Sheryl supports motivating and empowering clients and families to make the healthiest and most proactive choices for their lives. When not working, Sheryl enjoys family time with her husband and daughters and exploring family activities in South Florida.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sergio Muriel

Sergio Muriel

Admissions Director

Sergio is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, a Certified Addiction Professional, and is trained in EMDR. He has worked in the field of substance use and mental health for over 17 years. Sergio graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a master’s degree in Education, specializing in mental health and rehabilitation counseling. He is also a member of the Golden Key Honor Society. Throughout his career, Sergio has received several recognitions, including Sierra Tucson’s “Gratitude for Giving, Compassion Award” in 2016; “Above & Beyond” Award from Elements Behavioral Health in 2015; “Employee of the Year” from Miami-Dade County in 2007; “Appreciation Award”, Lindsey Hopkins Education Center-School Advisory Council in 2010; and “Appreciation Award”, Miami-Dade County, Mayor and Board of County Commissioners in 2009.

His passion and vision include helping individuals and families that have been affected by the disease of addiction and mental health. Having served in previous roles as Executive VP of Clinical Services, Executive Director, Admissions Director, Assistant Clinical Director, Primary Therapist, Judicial Services Coordinator, Family Therapist, and BHT Supervisor, Sergio brings extensive experience to his position. He is also fluent in English and Spanish.

Michelle Williams, RN-BC

Michelle Williams, RN-BC

Director of Nursing

Michelle has over 37 years of experience working as a Registered Nurse in Psychiatry and Addiction. 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.

Admission Team

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.

Jorge A. Vázquez-López, BA

Jorge A. Vázquez-López, BA

Admissions Counselor

With a professional background in both luxury hospitality and residential treatment admissions, Jorge Vázquez-López is distinguished by his passion for excellence in customer service and his constant striving to exceed client expectations. In addition, he has extensive experience working with complicated clinical cases and is accustomed to working with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds. Jorge is currently enrolled in Palm Beach Atlantic University where he is pursuing a Master’s of Science in Mental Health.

Kaleigh Dietz, MEd, CRC

Kaleigh Dietz, MEd, CRC

Admissions Counselor

Kaleigh Dietz is an Admissions Counselor at Lifeskills South Florida. Kaleigh originally joined the Lifeskills team as an Intake Coordinator, where she welcomed clients to Lifeskills and helped guide them through the intake process. Kaleigh brings experience in concierge patient care and hopes to bring a concierge experience to clients here at Lifeskills, while also creating a warm and welcoming environment for them to begin their healing process. Kaleigh graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Master’s in Counselor Education and is also a Master’s level Certified Rehabilitation Counselor in the state of Florida. Kaleigh is also in the process to obtain her Mental Health clinical license in the state of Florida.

Denise Etherton, MA, LPC

Denise Etherton, MA, LPC

Admissions Counselor

Denise has worked in the mental health space for over 20 years. She is an experienced Admissions Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor, and mental health advocate. She takes pride in providing education about the best care possible for those seeking mental health and substance abuse treatment. Her passion is to pave the way to hope and healing for potential clients and families who are navigating the treatment world at Lifeskills.

In undergraduate school, she holds a double major in Psychology & Criminal Justice from Lindenwood University. She also holds a graduate degree in Professional Counseling from Lindenwood University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) through the State of Missouri and telehealth for Florida. Her treatment modalities include CBT & ACT along with mindfulness training.

She is a married mother of 4 children and 2 dogs (Kylo Ren, the Goldador and Baxter the Shorkie). She enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, watching true crime documentaries (this makes her husband nervous), being with family and friends, and going to the beach and theme parks.

Barbra Quirk, BS

Barbra Quirk, BS

Intake Coordinator

Barbra joins the Lifeskills team as an Intake Coordinator, where she welcomes clients to Lifeskills and guides them through the intake process. Barbra brings past experiences working for a non-profit organization delivering substance abuse prevention programming to young adults, families, and teachers within the South Florida community. She approaches her work with a warm, caring, and open attitude to provide the best care and a welcoming environment to clients here at Lifeskills. Barbra received her B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Social Welfare from Florida State University. She is currently working towards her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Lynn University. In her free time, Barbra enjoys listening to music, going to the beach, and spending time with her friends and family.

Outpatient Clinical Team

Danielle Casey, LMHC, DBT & EMDR-Intensively Trained

Danielle Casey, LMHC, DBT & EMDR-Intensively Trained

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.

Reid Boland, MS, LMHC, REBT-Trained

Reid Boland, MS, LMHC, REBT-Trained

Primary Therapist

As a Primary Therapist at Lifeskills South Florida, Reid brings a unique perspective to the clinical team. Reid earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Miami University and his Master of Science in Applied Psychology at Lynn University. Following an intensive clinical internship at Lifeskills South Florida, Reid has provided both case management support and clinical care. Reid is REBT (Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy) Trained through the Albert Ellis Institute in New York City. He has worked with both young adults and adult dual-diagnosis clients and also has an interest in social anxiety and personality disorders. Over the years, Reid has worked in several settings including as a studio engineer while working on Music Row in Nashville, TN.  Given Reid’s passion and musical expertise, he currently shares his office with the Lifeskills South Florida Outpatient Program’s music studio.

Amy Max, MSW, DBT-Intensively Trained

Amy Max, MSW, DBT-Intensively Trained

Primary Therapist

As a primary therapist at Lifeskills South Florida, Amy works with clients in group and individual settings. She utilizes a strengths-based, non-judgmental and supportive approach in order to empower clients to move towards their goals. Amy uses a variety of evidence-based interventions such as CBT to help individuals explore different perspectives so they may develop more positive and accepting views of themselves.

Amy earned her Master’s of Social Work from Florida Atlantic University, as well as a graduate degree certificate in Addiction. Amy plans to continue her work towards earning her LCSW.

Amy considers herself a foodie and enjoys trying new restaurants, as well as cooking and entertaining. She loves traveling, watching movies, and running outdoors. Mostly, she loves spending time with her family and making memories.

Celin Thomas, MS

Celin Thomas, MS

Primary Therapist

Celin is committed to providing an atmosphere that fosters authenticity and encourages individuals to not only reflect, but feel their emotions without reservation. She supports her clients in exploring and strengthening their relationship with themselves and others, developing skills needed to enhance emotional awareness, and navigating life’s past wounds and present stressors. Celin strives to offer her clients with new perspectives so that they are able to gain insight and make meaningful changes.

Celin utilizes a strengths-based approach as it empowers clients to recognize their own courage and resilience. She enjoys working from a client-centered and collaborative lens to meet the needs of her clients and values culturally sensitive therapy as it is vital in understanding how a client’s background and belief system impacts their worldview. Celin is influenced by therapeutic approaches such as Family Systems Theory, Emotionally Focused Therapy, and Narrative Therapy. Celin obtained her Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Healthcare from the University of South Florida and earned her Master of Science in Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University. She is continuing to work towards her LMFT. Celin has a deep love for music, and enjoys spending time with loved ones, baking desserts, and practicing calligraphy.

Jason Weed,LMHC, EMDR-Trained

Jason Weed,LMHC, EMDR-Trained

Primary Therapist

Jason Weed is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Florida who has experience treating adolescents, adults, and families seeking help with depression, anxiety, life transitions, Trauma, men/women’s issues, and relationship issues. He completed his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from South University and received his Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from South University. Jason has completed both his Part 1 & Part 2 trainings in EMDR through EMDRIA’s institute making him an EMDR trained Clinician.  Jason utilizes relational, collaborative, strength-based, cognitive behavioral, mindfulness based, solution-focused and emotionally focused approaches to therapy always maintaining the creativity, flexibility, and awareness necessary to best meet the needs of every unique individual and couple. Jason seeks to establish a warm and caring relationship with you in order to assist in building on your strengths and better collaborate with you towards meeting your goals and living the meaningful life you value and desire.

Sheryl Gross, MS

Sheryl Gross, MS

Family Therapist

Sheryl earned her bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of South Florida and a Master of Science Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. She focuses on building better family relationships and dynamics, improving communication styles, and supporting necessary therapeutic interventions. Sheryl is highly skilled in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Motivational Enhancement Therapy techniques in her approach with clients and families. She has more than a decade of experience in effectively treating addictions, trauma, and severe mental health issues. Sheryl supports motivating and empowering clients and families to make the healthiest and most proactive choices for their lives. When not working, Sheryl enjoys family time with her husband and daughters and exploring family activities in South Florida.

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.

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