M.A. LMFT, Clinical Director
Susan is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 18 years of experience as a private practice therapist, certified mediator and clinical and program director. She has Masters Degrees in both Counseling Psychology from Notre Dame de Namur University and Human Resource Management from Pepperdine University.
Susan specializes in providing program development and clinical management for adult and adolescent mental health and addiction treatment programs.
Susan has served on numerous board of directors for professional organizations and for nonprofit agencies that provide services for families affected by poverty, domestic violence, mental illness and addiction. She was inducted into the San Mateo County Women’s Hall of Fame for her numerous contributions to the community.
Dr. Michael Hwang
Dr. Michael Hwang was born and raised in Southern California. He graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Biology from UC San Diego, and then crossed the country to attend medical school at NYU School of Medicine. While in medical school, he unexpectedly became intrigued by psychiatry, and decided to enter the field. Dr. Hwang then did his psychiatry residency training at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he had the opportunity to experience living in the south of the country. Finally, Dr. Hwang returned to Southern California to do a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UC Irvine, which he completed in 2014.
After completing his training, Dr. Hwang has settled down in Southern California with his wife and 2 young children.
M.S. LMFT, Lead Therapist
Leilani is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has training in EMDR, Seeking Safety, and DBT.
She has a B.S. in Human Services and an M.S. in Counseling from CSU Fullerton. Over the past decade, Leilani has worked in community counseling centers, intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization programs, residential treatment and inpatient hospital settings.
Leilani has a passion for helping adolescents connect with their personal strengths while empowering them with coping skills to overcome their mental health and addiction challenges.
M.S. LMFT, Program Therapist
Michael has dedicated his career to working with children, teens, and adults across cultures and socioeconomic status.
He has served as a Lead Counselor, Program Administrator and Clinical Supervisor in his previous roles at a local community counseling agency and various county contract programs. There he also created multiple programs for teens and children as well as teaching Spanish parenting classes. Michael has training in Seeking Safety, Solution Focus, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Expressive Arts Therapy.
Michael is passionate about working with teens and helping families. He also provides bilingual services in Spanish to our clients and families.
RADT-1, Admissions Specialist
Kyle is originally from North Carolina and his passion for helping people brought him to Orange County in 2015. His past experience includes working as a residential treatment manager for a substance abuse recovery program assisting individuals in learning ways to sustain abstinence and create a purposeful life. His experience has opened up new opportunities for growth and development working with individuals suffering from mental health symptoms.
He is thrilled to be pursuing his passion for helping the adolescent population and their families. When he isn’t helping people, he enjoys living an active lifestyle and trying to get his dog to play fetch.
“The best exercise for your heart is reaching out and helping somebody”
– Tim Russert
Jean-Marc Tardieu is a Music Therapist as well as a singer and writer, born and raised in the twin island republic of Trinidad & Tobago in the southern Caribbean. He is a graduate of the internationally acclaimed Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA where he majored in Music Therapy, received a minor in Psychology.
Jean-Marc is also the Associate Producer for the award winning and internationally acclaimed performing arts group “The Love Movement” in Trinidad & Tobago. He has written, co produced and sung on their albums. He currently works with Get in Tune Music Therapy and several other companies doing Music Therapy sessions at various Hospitals and Rehabilitation centers throughout Southern California.
MA, AMFT, Group Facilitator
Rupa Ward has an MA in Psychology with Marriage and Family emphasis from Chapman University. She is an EMDR certified therapist who specializes in treating trauma related issues.
She utilizes different therapeutic techniques, including CBT, ACT, EMDR, voice dialog, assertiveness training, Gottman Couples Therapy and strategies derived from mindfulness practice and body-mind integration theories. She has extensive experience in facilitating recovery from grief and loss.
She has taught yoga and meditation in the community for years and offers regular workshops on mindfulness.
Ray received his Bachelors of Arts from California Lutheran College in 1980. In 1988 he received his Masters of Social Work from the University of California, Los Angeles. Since graduating from UCLA he has worked in psychiatric hospitals and residential treatment centers for boys in the juvenile justice system. He has been in private practice since 1990 in Laguna Hills California.
He is the vice president of a charity organization called Going To Bat. It is a non-profit organization to help improve the lives of youths around the world. The mission is to provide any child who wishes to play baseball or softball with the means and the opportunity, providing a viable option to other destructive options.
Ray was born in Washington D.C. and has two sisters and one brother. He has been happily married for 23 years and has twins, one boy and one girl. He enjoys all types of sports and leisure activities. He is a licensed clinical social worker with a thriving private practice in Laguna Hills California. He specializes in helping individuals and families shift from living in a state of constant crisis to living with balance.
Associate Clinical Social Worker (ACSW)
Briana Eckels received her Master’s in Social Work in May of 2018 from the University of Southern California. She is currently an Associate Clinical Social Worker (ACSW) for adolescents at SoCal Adolescent Wellness in Lake Forest. Briana’s passion for working with youth began as a childcare provider. She has worked with youth with autism spectrum disorder and their families as an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapist from September 2018-to September 2019. Briana is passionate about eradicating the early cycles of problematic behaviors so that they do not continue as our youth grow into adults. She honors providing a safe, supportive, and empathetic environment when providing therapeutic services. Working under the supervision of a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) at So Cal Adolescent Wellness, Briana is excited to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing in working with youth who have experienced trauma and abuse. For self-care. Briana enjoys reading, spending time with loved ones, and watching a movie while enjoying a pint of Ben &Jerry’s ice cream.