Jonathan graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 where he earned his MSN in psychiatric nursing. He has received the Connecticut League of Nurses Award and the Joan Lynaugh Award for Outstanding Clinical Scholarship. Jonathan has worked extensively with adolescents and adults with co-occurring psychiatric and substance abuse disorders. His philosophy is to educate and empower clients to become better self-advocates and consumers of mental health services.
Jack Britton is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor. After receiving a master’s degree in accounting from Southern Methodist University and having worked in that field, Jack decided to change careers and entered the helping profession through earning a master’s degree from Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School.
Prior to Turnbridge, Jack worked as a Licensed Professional Counselor in Texas, first in Lubbock and later in Austin. Since 2010, in both inpatient and outpatient programs Jack has engaged with people struggling with substance use disorders and mental health challenges.
Clinically, he utilizes rational emotive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing techniques, enjoys exploring identity change and resolution, and likes to consider how we select mates and friends. Jack loves to golf, supports the performing and visual arts, appreciates a good tailor, and prefers cowboy boots.
Joy received her Doctorate in Psychology and a Master’s of Arts in Clinical Psychology from the Florida School of Professional Psychology. She has also completed a Master’s of Philosophy in Education and a Master’s of Science in Education in Professional Counseling and Psychological Services, respectively, from the University of Pennsylvania. Joy completed her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and Sociology with a minor in Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Joy is also credentialed as a National Health Service Psychologist.
Most recently, Joy was the Supervising Psychologist at the University of Southern Mississippi, providing therapeutic services in the college counseling center, and had worked in several other college counseling centers during her training and education. Joy also has experience working in private practice settings and community mental health. As the Director of Eating Disorder Services at Turnbridge, Joy uses evidence-based practices and treatments to help both men and women who are struggling with addiction and eating disorder concerns. Additionally, Joy provides psycho-diagnostic assessment to those engaged in services at Turnbridge. Joy also continues to teach at the graduate level to help prepare the next generation of mental health clinicians.
Dr. Elsamra received his medical education and specialty training at the University of Connecticut. He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in psychiatry. He spent four years as a staff supervisor at the APT Foundation and at the Yale Substance Abuse Fellowship program in New Haven, CT. His special areas of interest include addictions and trauma recovery. Dr. Elsamra believes strongly in the resilience of the human spirit and sees the role of the psychiatrist as assisting the person in removing obstacles to the natural healing and recovery process.
Lexi is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She earned her MSW from Southern Connecticut State University in 2013, and a Bachelors of Arts in both Legal Studies and Sociology from the University of Massachusetts in 2004.
Before coming to Turnbridge, Lexi worked as a treatment coordinator at St. Vincent’s dual diagnosis intensive outpatient program where she provided crisis management, family, group, and individual psychotherapy, as well as case management. Lexi utilizes a trauma-informed, integrated approach to therapy, pulling from such models as EMDR, CBT, DBT, person-centered, experiential, and motivational interviewing.
Lexi has traveled much of the United States, and her passion for social work and addiction recovery truly began in Northern California while serving in AmeriCorps. Lexi practices yoga and meditation daily, loves music, the outdoors and being present for her son. She considers herself a lifelong learner and is dedicated to her continued growth as an individual, mother, and practitioner.
Joanne Ruggiero is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 20 years of experience. She received her Masters’ in Social Work from the University of Vermont and her Bachelors in Psychology from Providence College. Joanne began her career working as a direct care staff in a residential program for adolescents with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.
Joanne has worked extensively with people with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders in a variety of settings from in-home to the wilderness to group homes to outpatient. Most recently she managed an FQHC Behavioral Health Outpatient clinic for Wheeler Clinic in New Britain CT.
Joanne's practice is strongly informed by a whole person, solution focused approach. Most recently she has completed her training to be an EMDR therapist. Joanne has a passion for helping people recover from addiction in part by her own experience with recovery.
Ashley DeBella is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RD) and a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian (CEDRD). She received her Master of Science in Nutrition and her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics & Nutrition from University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, CT. Ashley spent her first year of college at Sacred Heart University, where she was recruited as a Division 1 track athlete with a specific interest in cross country running.
Prior to joining Turnbridge, Ashley worked for 5 years as a Dietition at Institute of Living’s Eating Disorder Programs, while also performing nutritional consults and facilitating nutritional groups in their Schizophrenia Treatment Center for young adults and adolescents. Additionally, she worked as a consultant dietitian for Newport Academy in Bethlehem, CT.
Ashley believes nutrition plays a crucial role in recovery from an eating disorders and substance use disorders. At Turnbridge, Ashley helps clients to establish a balanced, sustainable relationship with food, free from negative or distorted thoughts about oneself. She believes in the “All Foods Fit” philosophy, and uses psychoeducation as a tool to help clients recognize the adverse medical implications of disordered eating and the importance of recognizing hunger and satiety cues related to physical need, rather than emotional triggers.
Lynn is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and certified in School Social Work and the Seven Challenges model of treatment. Lynn earned her Master’s of Social Work degree at Springfield College and Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Criminal Justice at Central Connecticut State University. She completed several years of internships and employment within the school setting in both New Britain and West Hartford, CT districts. Lynn worked as an intensive in-home family therapist at Wheeler Clinic for the Multi-Systemic Therapy program (Court Support Services Division), where she worked with families of youth who were involved with the court system in order to improve client performance at school and home, by developing contingency plans to address client’s negative behaviors and substance abuse, as well as family communication.
Prior to coming to Turnbridge, Lynn worked as a lead clinician at Rushford at Stonegate, a residential treatment center for adolescent males in Durham, CT. She provided intensive individual, family, group therapy, and crisis management services. Lynn also works at a private practice on the weekends providing individual, couples, and family therapy for adults and children at Stokes Counseling Services in Naugatuck, CT.
Katina Varzos holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and a Master of Science degree in nursing from Yale University. She graduated with honors as a member of Sigma Theta Tau honor society and later went on to complete additional post-graduate training in psychiatry at Drexel University.
Katina is dually certified in both women’s health by the ACNM and as a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner by the ANCC. She has over a decade of experience in community mental health providing in-home care for clients with severe mental illness and substance use disorders. Most recently, she provided all medication management services for college students seeking mental health care at Wesleyan University’s counseling center. Prior to devoting herself full-time to Turnbridge, Katina maintained a small private practice in which she provided specialized care for women struggling with perinatal and postpartum mood disorders. Her approach to care is holistic and collaborative; she combines evidence-based treatment modalities and ongoing education to empower clients in their path towards recovery.
We know that addiction is a disease which affects the entire family. As the Family Liaison for Turnbridge families, Lauren offers support, caring guidance and education to parents and families as they negotiate the pathway to their own recovery. She believes that parents having their own recovery program is not only essential to their own health and well-being, but in turn aids in their sons’ or daughters’ recovery.
Much of the insight Lauren brings to the position of Family Liaison is from her personal experience as the mother of a son who has the disease of addiction. Lauren believes that much of her strength comes from involvement in recovery programs as well as in helping other parents build a program of recovery to find peace and serenity in their own lives. Lauren is a Licensed Master of Social Work. She earned her Masters Degree from the University of Pennsylvania, with a concentration in adolescent health care. She has worked with adolescents and their families throughout her career in hospital setting, child protection, judicial system, special education and social service development in NJ. Lauren currently facilitates a Caron Foundation support group for parents of addicted children in Northern NJ.
Victoria Massey is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She earned her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Southern Connecticut State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Fairfield University. Before coming to Turnbridge, Tori worked in a private practice agency serving couples, families, and individuals who struggled with anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and eating disorders. She is passionate about helping people on their journey in recovery.
Working with both systemic and experiential approaches, Tori embraces a sense of curiosity, open heartedness, and compassion with her clients starting wherever they are at in their journey in life. She believes in tailoring the therapeutic process to meet each individual client’s needs. Tori practices from a solution focused approach as well as uses motivational interviewing. Another component of Tori’s work is the intersection of psychotherapy with spirituality and the 12 steps. She has recently completed additional training in the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model and embodies its belief that every human has the capability of tapping into a deep source of inner wisdom. She remains convinced that with developing self-knowledge and self-acceptance each individual can overcome their challenges and restore balance to their lives.
During Tori’s free time she enjoys spending time outdoors in nature and at the beach. She likes to exercise, spend time with family and friends, and enjoys cooking.
A licensed clinical social worker with 15 years experience in the behavioral health field, Jessica Hamilton has provided both direct care and clinical supervision for some of Connecticut’s largest treatment providers of addiction, mental health and co-occurring disorders.
Jessica began her career in the mental health field working at Hall-Brooke Psychiatric Hospital in Westport, CT and has since provided a variety of co-occurring clinical services for children, adolescents and adults prior to holding clinical leadership positions. With Liberation Programs, she served as Clinical Administrator of Bridgeport Services and provided programmatic oversight for research studies for Yale University and The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Jessica was chosen as site supervisor for mastered level interns for NYU and Fordham University students. Most recently, Jessica was Program Manager for Rushford where she was responsible for clinical supervision to staff and implemented evidence based practices and overall service delivery for co-occurring outpatient services.
As a lead clinician with Turnbridge, Jessica utilizes a client centered, strength based approach with CBT and dual recovery principles. In this capacity, Jessica collaborates closely with Turnbridge’s staff to offer clinical oversight for implementation of interventions tailored specifically to the unique recovery needs of each of her clients.
Josh Watson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a Master’s degree in Family Therapy from Southern Connecticut State University
Josh has nearly a decade of clinical experience working families and treating mental health and substance abuse disorders. He has seen the transformational impact that families have when they are engaged in the recovery process. Before coming to Turnbridge, Josh served as the Clinical Team Leader for Young Adult Services at BHcare and as a Primary Clinician at the Yale Child Study Center working with youth and their families. He has a private practice in Greenwich, CT where he works with individuals, couples and families.
As a family therapist at Turnbridge, Josh brings his expertise and understanding in working with family systems and families in recovery. He has additional certifications and training in Gestalt Psychotherapy, Attachment, Regulation, & Competency (ARC), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Trauma-Informed Care, Mind/Body Modalities and 12-Step Philosophies. He is also an AAMFT Clinical Member and holds AAMFT Approved Supervisor Status.
Kat holds master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University and Marriage and Family Therapy from Fairfield University. Originally from San Francisco, she moved to the East Coast for graduate school after graduating from San Francisco State University with a BA in Psychology and a BA in Criminal Justice. While living in San Francisco, she worked at Seneca Center For Families as a behavioral therapist for at-risk youth.
As a graduate student in New York, Kat held several research assistant positions exploring the impact of trauma on survivors of 9/11, depression and suicide in spouses of deployed active military personnel, and conducted assessments for a charter school. Following graduation from Columbia University, Kat worked as a substance abuse clinician at The Addiction Institute Of New York where she provided both individual and group therapy. She also has experience working as a domestic violence therapist and case manager. Prior to starting at Turnbridge, Kat worked at Fairfield Counseling Services/LifeBridge Community Services as an individual and family therapist.
Parker Hampson is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 20 years of experience in mental healthcare. He earned his Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology Practices from the University of Hartford and subsequently taught at his alma mater for eleven years, maintaining an academic focus on psychological assessment. Parker holds additional certifications and training in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and the Sanctuary Model for patients suffering from trauma.
Parker’s career includes extensive work in both direct-care and supervisory roles. Most recently, he was the director of an inpatient substance abuse treatment program, during which he successfully integrated alternative medicine therapies such as yoga, drum circle, and mindfulness meditation.
Parker is a lifetime member of the International Honor Society in Psychology. He maintains a special interest in neurocognitive substrates of the disease of addiction, while recognizing the need for a holistic approach to treatment for successful outcomes.
In his free time, Parker enjoys exercise, attending live jazz concerts, and traveling with his family.
Diana aids and educates the family members of our clients. Recognizing that family members often live in a constant state of stress and anxiety, Ms. Clark authored and facilitates the workshop: Family Healing Strategies, which provides participants with tools they need to become or remain healthy. As both a specialist in addiction and family systems, she is a recognized force of clear speech, logic and loving acceptance – moving families to engage in behaviors which aid in the recovery process.
With a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Antioch New England Graduate School in 1997, Diana has been employed as a therapist, interventionist and consultant addressing issues of addiction and chemical dependence. Prior to her work in the field of psychology, she was a practicing Labor and Employment Attorney advising employers about the need for clear, compassionate and enforceable policies.
Lila holds dual Master’s Degrees from Mercy College in School and Professional Counseling. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Springfield College, where she also played on the soccer team.
Before working at Turnbridge, Lila was employed at Newport Academy’s IOP at their Therapeutic Day School, where she served as a recovery counselor for adolescents and young adults suffering from substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety and depression. She is well-trained in DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), as well as trauma focused CBT.
She has also worked as a (MDFT) Multi-dimensional family therapist at the Wheeler Clinic’s Multi Dimensional Family Program in Waterbury, CT. There, she helped adolescents and their families find healthier ways of coping and communicating with each other.
Specializing in the treatment of anxiety, depression and grief, she has a strong background in dealing with abusive relationships, substance abuse, and eating disorders. She is a certified Eidetic Image practitioner— a methodology that helps clients free up their deepest positive potential.
Lila practices mindfulness meditation daily, and enjoys playing soccer, going to spin classes, and practicing yoga in her free time.
Gordon helps families in crisis find hope and help for their loved ones in need. As a board certified addiction counselor, Gordon’s intimate understanding of Turnbridge’s powerful ability to help young men and young women overcome addiction and mental health disorders is informed by both personal and professional experience. This perspective allows Gordon to relate deeply to these issues, and to explain at a foundational level the many aspects of Turnbridge’s programs.
After receiving his undergraduate degree from Southern Connecticut State University, Gordon realized a newfound desire to help others overcome addiction and mental health disorders. He completed a specialized counseling certification program and joined Turnbridge where he excelled in a variety of direct-care roles. In July of 2013, Turnbridge asked Gordon to apply his knowledge and insight to the work of Admissions, where he has the privilege of being among the first points of touch between families seeking help, and Turnbridge’s ability to give hope.
David’s extensive business background combined with his personal story of recovery led to the founding of Turnbridge in 2003. Under his direction, Turnbridge has evolved into a nationally recognized program for young men and young women. He has pioneered innovative approaches and developed programs specifically for young adults that have changed the way the industry approaches transitional living. His educational background includes a Liberal Arts education from Harvard University. In addition to spending most of his career in the non-profit world, his professional experience also includes a variety of leadership roles with start-up organizations and educational institutions. He enjoys spending time with his ten year old daughter Alexis, is an aspiring musician, and an avid golfer.
As Executive Vice President, Brett provides oversight and support to all departments within Turnbridge. He joined Turnbridge in February 2010 and is responsible for maintaining focused and driven business operations, project management and execution, increasing programmatic efficiencies both clinically and residentially, and ensuring quality client care is accomplished.
As a graduate of the Turnbridge Men’s Program, Brett offers a unique perspective on client centered treatment. He is always willing to speak with families and residents to share his experiences and knowledge of the Turnbridge Program. Before joining Turnbridge, Brett worked for Blum Shapiro, the largest regional accounting, tax and business consulting firm in New England. He graduated from Champlain College with a B.S. in Professional Writing. In his free time, Brett enjoys maintaining an active lifestyle, the arts, and the pursuit of personal growth.
As Vice President, Jamie not only participates in and oversees the admissions process, but also spearheads the effort to build bridges between Turnbridge and other high quality treatment programs across the country. Maintaining close ties with other centers gives Turnbridge two distinct advantages. First, knowing the people, philosophies and practices of primary treatment centers makes the process of integrating new residents from these centers smoother and easier. Second, by understanding the specialties of other centers, it allows Turnbridge to recommend the best care option for young men and young women when Turnbridge may not be their best solution. Jamie has helped hundreds of families navigate the difficult road of choosing an addiction treatment program that best suits their loved one’s needs.
Himself a Turnbridge graduate, Jamie offers parents seeking hope a compassionate ear and first-hand knowledge of the Turnbridge Program and its unique benefits. Before joining Turnbridge, Jamie attended college for nursing, and has extensive experience caring for people in need including his work with veterans for the American Red Cross. Jamie continues to live his passion for helping others as a Turnbridge Leader.
With over a decade of professional experience in the field of substance abuse treatment, Bill has held a variety of positions in both management as well as direct-care capacities. He is a Nationally and Internationally Credentialed Drug and Alcohol Counselor, and a BLS & CPR trainer through the American Heart Association. Bill’s passion and motivation for helping others stems largely from his personal experience in recovery.
Bill is a certified firefighter, having spent time as an officer at his local Fire Department. He believes in volunteering his time to those less fortunate, and is actively involved with his local food pantry.
John makes sure every Turnbridge family is getting the support and direction they need to become and remain healthy. John helps both the individual and family members understand how to build a strong foundation in recovery. He facilitates a practical path to rebuilding lives using the tools that the resident and his family already possess.
Throughout his 30 year career, John has held a variety of leadership positions with national and international organizations. His own personal experience with recovery, along with a strong desire to help young men achieve their goals, brought him to Turnbridge in 2009. He graduated with a degree in Social Work from Southern Connecticut State University in 1979.