Chapters Staff has over 200 years of Combined Experience and Clinical Excellence in the Addiction Treatment Field. Below you can find our full time staff.
Dr. Sharon Stafford, PhD – Therapist
Dr. Stafford is a clinical psychologist with years of experience with child, adolescent, and adult populations. She obtained her BA from USC, her MA from Notre Dame and her PhD from CSPP San Diego. She has worked as a program director for inpatient child psychiatry, a clinical director for a dual diagnosis treatment center, and in the ER, cardiology, and inpatient/outpatient psychiatry in hospital settings. She has also worked as a research coordinator in the area of chronic pain. As clinical supervisor Dr. Stafford provides program oversight, clinical supervision and facilitates groups and individual sessions as well as provides patient education at Chapters Capistrano.
Shauna Forsythe – Therapist
Shauna obtained her BA in psychology from The City College of New York as well as her M.A in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of San Diego. Shauna has experience in group and family sessions as well as individual care. She utilizes a wide range of approaches through CBT, EFT and solution focused therapy. Her empathetic and motivational approach provides her patients with a strong sense of guidance and genuine care throughout their journey to sobriety.
Matthew Beck, MA, AMFT, APCC – Primary Therapist
Matthew is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor.He completed his Master of Arts degree inPsychology from California Southern University in 2016, and he completed hisBachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University in 2003.He joined Chapters Capistrano in 2018 after working in the chemical dependency unit at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, CA. Matthew uses a multi-modal approach; he is a solution-focused, cognitive behavioral therapist with a person centered, experiential approach. He supports clients with unique connectedness and unconditional positive regard. He cultivates a safe and secure therapeutic environment in an effort to address core issues that support negative thoughts processes which drive unhealthy behavioral patterns. Matthew has a passion for working with clients in recovery and his dedication to the field has inspired and motivated clients to seek out continued growth, development, and success post-treatment.
Sandra Thomas – Case Manager
Sandi graduated from Cypress college with an Associate Degree in Human Services and a certificate in Alcohol and Drug Studies. Sandi is both certified in CAADE and CCAPP as a level II Counselor. She has worked in the field of addiction and counseling since 2008 with experience in facilitating and leading groups utilizing self-awareness, evidence-based material and processing, and solution focused discussion. Her warm and compassionate spirit combined with her tenacity in the field provides clients with a sense of support and community.
Joseph Pruitt – Case Manager
Joe started his own journey to recovery in 2015. Finding that helping others struggling with substance abuse was extremely rewarding. He jumped into working in treatment in early 2016. Beginning his work as a Behavioral Health Technician, he was promoted to a Lead Technician, then to the role of Case Manager as a result of his work ethic, compassion, and love for client care. Joe studied Philosophy and Secondary Education at St.Clair County Community College and is currently continuing his education in the pursuit of a degree in nursing. He is also a Certified Personal Trainer through NASM, with a specialization in Fitness Nutrition and Corrective Exercise.
Joe uses his life experience, along with a philosophical foundation, to help reach clients in a relatable way. He focuses on creating healthier lifestyles, changing perspectives, and finding and implementing appropriate coping skills.
Dr. Alejandro Alva – Medical Director
Dr. Alva received his education at the California State University, Fullerton and the Autonomous University of Guadalajara Medical School. After he completed his education and training in Guadalajara, Mexico, he returned to California to finish his residency at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Alva is the CEO and chief medical officer of Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists, a specialized medical group that focuses not only on psychiatric disorders but also on dual diagnosis conditions including alcohol and chemical dependency.
Prior to Dr. Alva’s formation of Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists (PNS), he was involved in multiple endeavors, including inpatient and outpatient detoxification and rehabilitation work with the VA Long Beach Healthcare System, Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, Chapman Medical Center in Orange, as well as multiple out patient rehabilitation centers in Southern California. Since the formation of PNS, Dr. Alva’s focus is on the latest treatments available for psychiatric disorders and chemical dependence as well as aspects of ethnicity and gender and their correlation to pathological states. Dr. Alva has over 20 years experience in serving the medical community in various capacities, including roles as a patient advocate, clinician, researcher, and medical director.
Dr. Alva’s expertise in adolescent, adult, and geriatric psychiatry and dual diagnosis utilizes the latest pharmacological and nonpharmacological approaches to treat depression (such as rTMS, which involves magnetic stimulation of the brain) as well as the use of anticraving treatments make him one of the nation’s most innovative and prominent psychiatrists.Dr. Alva is a member of multiple professional organizations, including the American Medical Association, the Orange County Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the California Psychiatric Association, the American Board of Forensic Medicine, the American College of Forensic Examiners, the American Board of Psychopharmacology, and the California Hispanic American Association of Hispanic Professionals.
Lastly, Dr. Alva understands the stigma associated with chemical dependence disorders and the societal bias against these medical conditions. Dr. Alva and his staff have a mandate to work together with rehabilitation and recovery centers to optimize treatment and provide the best medical care available. * “Independently affiliated Physician.”
Yvette Elpido – Nurse Practitioner
Yvette Elpidio received her Master’s degree in nursing with an emphasis on family practice from the California State University at Long Beach. She is Board Certified through the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
Yvette has been working as an Nurse Practitioner in the psychiatric field for many years with Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists after completing her MSN degree. She also provides treatment and care for patients with substance abuse and addiction.
Prior to this she worked as a registered nurse for five years before going back to school. She has worked in a varied number of specialized settings which include: telemetry, oncology, medical-surgical, home health and hospice. Yvette has also been instrumental in clinical research having worked for three years as an infusion nurse for ATP Clinical Research.
Valuing education, she works as a preceptor for Touro University. Yvette worked with nursing students as a clinical instructor for the Cerritos College nursing program.
Yvette’s focus is on clinical care looking to provide patients a wealth of expertise, knowledge and a personal warmth in a very real humanistic and holistic approach.
Jennifer Knowles – Charge Nurse LVN
Jenny has been a nurse for over twenty years, providing quality care for individuals of all ages and demographics. She has worked in the areas of Surgery, Emergency Room, Pediatrics, Geriatrics, Utilization Review, Eating Disorder, and Behavioral Health/Substance Abuse. The last seven years Jenny has dedicated her focus to Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse. She has a passion to help individuals struggling with mental health issues, past trauma, self-inflicting behaviors, and substance abuse issues. Jenny finds it very rewarding to see the transformation that takes place in individuals suffering from substance abuse and addiction during their rehabilitation treatment. There is a tremendous amount of growth and change that takes place starting from the clients’ initial detox phase, where the individual feels they can no longer go on or even survive, to the end of their treatment program where the individual leaves with the tools and fundamentals to achieve their sobriety and to maintain a healthy lifestyle that suits their individual needs. Jenny is an advocate of making positive lifestyle choices to maintain a holistic approach to wellness. She enjoys nutrition, massage, meditation, running, mountain biking, hiking, body building, Pilates, kayaking, and paddle boarding. Her other interests include spending time with her family and her two amazing sons, reading, dance, sports, movies and travel.
Shelby Hickey, B.A. – LVN
Shelby is a Licensed Vocational Nurse who embodies compassion and strives to provide the best possible care for clients. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies at San Francisco State University where she soon discovered her passion for nursing after volunteering at a local hospital. After returning to Orange County, she decided to pursue a career in nursing at Stanbridge College. Shelby has experience in various areas of nursing including geriatrics, school nursing, mental health, and addiction. Throughout the recovery process, she ensures that clients are in optimal health and is very supportive in assisting with any medical concerns. She is committed to promoting wellness education, and advocating healthcare needs. Shelby is very grateful to be involved in a client’s journey to sobriety as they continue to take steps into a healthy lifestyle.
Sheena Patel – PA
Usiel Gutierrez – LVN
Usiel has worked in the medical field for 6 years in the areas of Home Health, Geriatrics, Tetraplegia, Hemodialysis and Behavioral Health/Substance Abuse. For the past two years, he has devoted his time and efforts to Behavioral Health/Substance Abuse. Usiel loves to help others and this field allows him do so on a daily basis. He believes the best feeling is knowing you can make a difference in someone else’s life for the better. Seeing clients transition to sobriety and regain control of their lives is one of the key factors in choosing to enter this field. In his free time, Usiel loves to write short stories, bake and spend time with his family.
Kimberly Prosser – LVN
Kim is a highly motivated and passionate professional. She has been nursing for nearly 10 years. She has a family history of substance abuse and mental health issues, so she enjoys working with our clients to overcome their personal obstacles. She has compassion for our clients because she can identify with them having had the personal experience with her own parents and their sobriety. She is dedicated to educating our clients on our protocol and palliative care for withdrawal symptoms that are available to keep them as comfortable as possible while going through the detox process and beyond. She believes in the holistic approach our company takes in the healing process and enjoys being an integral part of the team. Kim has been married for 12 years and is a mother of 3.
Laura Svette – Art for Healing Group Facilitator
Laura works with art expression, using it as a therapeutic processing medium. Her work has taken her to aiding in connecting emotion to expression with the wounded warriors program for veterans, struggling teens at Orange County Department of Education, as well as those struggling with psychotic disorders. She was honored at the 2017 Palette of Colors Gala with the Facilitator of the year award. Laura continues her work by providing an alternative means for expression for clients during their process of sobriety.
Brianne Koenig – Yoga Instructor
Brianne Koenig discovered a new enthusiasm for life and a way out of depression when she opened the doo t Yoga in 2005. She fel the need to share this gift of yoga and sought out an incredible education; Yoga Teacher Certification from Yoga Works in 2007. Bree has more than 5,000 hours teaching experience and she has participated in many trainings, apprenticeship programs; workshops to continue her education including: Core Power, Hot Yoga, Restorative/Yin; Power Vinyasa Flow.Bree utilizes her enthusiasm for proper alignment to encourage students to find acceptance and love for their body. She also encourage positive affirmations, patience and trust in the transformational process. Teaching yoga to students recovering from addictions and eating disorders, since 2010, has taught Bree how important and challenging it can be to have the strength and courage to harmonizing your mind, body and spirit. Bree’s intention is to safely guide you through a blissful moving meditation to stimulate the physical and metaphysical healing benefits of Yoga.
Liz Post – Massage Therapist
Liz has been a massage therapist since 2005 emphasizing the importance of relaxation and self-care. Liz studied at the Dr. Vodder School and especially enjoys utilizing her extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology to determine the client’s specific needs. Liz is well versed in an array of techniques including, sports specific massage, Swedish and deep tissue, as well as Manual Lymph Drainage to increase the flow through the lymphatic system and rid the body of toxins.
Edmund Erickson – Acupuncture Specialist
Edmund is a California Licensed Acupuncturist/Herbalist and has over 16 years of clinical experience. He uses the following treatment methods in clinic: traditional Chinese acupuncture, traditional Japanese meridian therapy, and the balance method. He treats such things as: detoxification, addiction, pain of any kind (physical or emotional), weak digestion, stress, anxiety, sleep problems, fatigue, and mind-body disconnection. Edmund is Nationally Certified as a Diplomat in Acupuncture by the NCCAOM. He holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin and a Master of Science Degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, California.
Bernie Wolfe – Certified Fitness Trainer
For over twenty years Bernie has been training clients in all facts based in whole body wellness. He puts an educational emphasis on Kinesiology and nutrition working to create a system that is simple, adaptable, and sustainable. His philosophy is to “develope fitness from the inside out” and he has found this approach yields the best results. With Bernie’s guidance you will have a standard operating procedure for how to implement your personal fitness regimen with a wide range of approaches from resistance training methodology, to nutritional balance, and cardiovascular development. Bernie prides himself in partnering with you to put your health in capable hands and work to support you in achieving your goals to overall health.
Jennifer DeVore – Clinical Director
“It is truly amazing to witness an individual connect their experience with their emotions and begin a new journey with recovery” Jennifer Devore, LMFT
Jennifer entered the behavioral health field in 2004 that includes spectrum disorders, psychotic disorders, and substance abuse. Her roles have included implementing direct intervention with clients, case supervision, individualized programming, parent training, and program development.
Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from California State University, East Bay. Her passion for working with families, individuals, and couples led her to her master’s degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy from Pepperdine University.
Jennifer truly enjoys working with her clients to facilitatea safe and open environment forchange and growth.
Manuel Perez – Director of Operations
Manuel Perez has extensive background helping clients in the medical field and healthcare industry. He got his associates certification in clinical research in 2005 and also got certified as a medical assistant and an E.M.T.
He did his internship at Costal Community hospital of Tustin and has also done numerous clinical research studies for big pharmaceutical companies helping patients find medication to help deal with Mental illness, Autism, PTSD, Bipolar, Depression. He has been working in treatment since 2012 and has helped over3000 clients fight their addiction and begin their journey in sobriety. He takes a lot of pride and is passionate about making a difference in peoples life’s.