Melisa Tablada CDS, CATC II, NCIP, NCRC-1
Assoc. Executive Director
Ari Labowitz, MA, LMFT
Ari Labowitz is the clinical director at The Villa Treatment Center. Ari has worked in all facets of recovery and has a strong understanding of dual diagnosis challenges. He has consulted with treatment centers at all phases of their business and has increased efficiency in staffing, accreditation, training, and clinical consulting. Ari has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California. He is a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.
Director of Administration
Director of Operations
Marco Pardo, MA, is an addictions counselor whose areas of specialty are Spirituality and Grief Counseling for people in recovery. Marco first got involved with the work of recovery in 1978 as part of his studies for his Masters Degree in Counseling and Guidance from CSUN. In the 1980’s and 90’s, Marco pursued his interest in spiritual practice and studies by doing pastoral work and acquiring his Masters Degree in Pastoral Theology. In 1997, Marco was invited to start a group at a local treatment center to help the clients resolve concerns in spirituality that were obstacles to their recovery. A couple of years later he was asked to take over their Grief Group. He has done this work continuously from 2000 until the present. Marco has also done staff training sessions for several agencies on issues of Cultural Sensitivity, Professional Ethics, Spirituality in Recovery, and Grief in Recovery. He teaches in the Addiction Studies Program at Pierce College. Marco currently facilitates weekly groups at four local treatment facilities. He started facilitating groups and conducting individual counseling sessions at the Villa in 2014.
Renee Stokes, M.S., MFTi/IMF
Therapist, Case Manager and Substance-abuse Counselor
Renee graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a Master’s degree in Counseling in 2008. She is registered in the state of California through the Board of Behavioral Sciences as a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern and is trained as an EMDR therapist as well. Renee began her training at the Sexual Assault Crisis Agency (SACA) in Long Beach, CA where she worked with survivors of sexual abuse and violence, who often also struggled with alcoholism and/or addiction. She has personal and family experience with alcoholism, addiction and trauma that has led to an intimate and unique understanding of the disease. Her passion for the intersection between trauma and addiction began at SACA and continued to grow as she expanded into county contracted positions, residential and outpatient treatment facilities.
Renee has worked with individuals and families in treatment, private practice, non-profit, school based and county contracted organizations, including court mandated clients involved with the Juvenile Dependency Court and foster care. She is skilled and sensitive to the complexity trauma can add to addiction, while also encouraging individual recovery through taking personal responsibility. Renee has found examining individual and relational patterns beneficial in order to encourage making the shift towards greater empowerment and healing. She also specializes in 12-step facilitation to assist with this process and journey of looking within and loves working with her clients individually, as well as in the group setting in treatment.
David Ibrahim, CATC 1, IMFT
David Ibrahim is an Addiction specialist certified with CAADE. David loves supporting those seeking to change their life and let go of old cycles that no longer serve them. David has worked with thousands of recovering addicts and has trained in various approaches to addiction.
David was born and raised in a ‘wild and crazy neighborhood’ in Queens, Nyc and in his 12 step programs is affectionately called “New York!” and “Queens in da house”.
David is also a father who champions men in recovery to show up in their children’s lives as healthier, available and present men. Additionally, David has trained as a Yoga teacher, and Yoga Therapist with Doctors and Yogis alike and has taught Yoga in various settings ranging from War Veterans in Hospitals to retirees in hospice and retirement homes, as well as children with autism, down syndrome and physical handicaps. David is a E-500 RYT, YTRx, and owns his own Yoga school which certifies teachers. And is currently attending Pacific Oaks College for his Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy.
David loves working at The Villa and states “I am proud of the treatment we put out for the community. We have an amazing team of clinicians and staff, who are passionate, caring, straightforward, and actualized individuals in recovery themselves”.
Rudy Castro, MS, ACSW
Rudy is a co-facilitator at The Villa Treatment Center and The Villa Outpatient Services, where he brings an integrated, client-centered approach to healing. Rudy is an Associate Clinical Social Worker and has worked in the addiction field for more than a decade, including as a medical social worker for an acute drug detox and the drug treatment program director at Rancho San Antonio, a home for adjudicated youth. Rudy is proud to have been sober since he was fifteen years old, ending three generations of addiction in his family. Rudy is a graduate of California State University, Northridge, where he received his Master’s in Social Work.
Shane Coyle, CATCI, CDS
Shane serves as a group facilitator at The Villa Treatment Center and The Villa Outpatient Services, where he focuses on clients struggling with dual diagnoses and trauma. Shane also serves as an EAGALA-trained equine therapist focusing on dual diagnosis challenges. Prior to joining The Villa, Shane worked as the director of community outreach, at a Los Angeles based facility that helped young adults overcome substance abuse and as a counselor at an adult treatment center in West L.A. Shane is a graduate of Pierce College and is a certified counselor under the California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators, or CAADE. He is currently pursuing a degree in Psychology with a special focus on trauma and addiction.
Rick Macrory, CADC-CAS
Rick Macrory serves as a group facilitator for The Villa Treatment Center. Rick is a Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor with the California Certification Board of Chemical Dependency Counselors. He has experience as a Case Manager and facilitator in other treatment facilities, and has a thorough knowledge of the 12-step program and how it works for recovery as well as life. A native of Southern California, Rick attended Point Loma College in San Diego, CA. where he studied Business Administration and excelled in basketball and baseball for the school teams. Rick's strengths are his genuine love, care, and concern for those who struggle with addiction, as well as helping his clients find meaning and purpose in their lives. He has a unique ability to build trusting relationships that allow him to mentor and counsel, and to bring his own unique experiences to the groups he facilitates. Rick is very spiritual and thanks God daily for all the ways he has been blessed.
DaMarcus Morton, AS, NCRC-1
DaMarcus is a co-facilitator at The Villa Treatment Center and The Villa Outpatient Services, where he brings an in-depth knowledge of addiction and recovery. In addition to his work at The Villa, DaMarcus is a life coach. During his time in Washington state, DaMarcus served on the Training Advisory Board for Law & Ethics for Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Professionals and in the Department of Social and Health Services. He is a graduate of the University of Akron in Ohio, where he studied Sociology, and was trained in addiction studies in Los Angeles.
Mercedes Cusick, M.A., CATC IV, IMFT
Mercedes Cusick is a registered MFT Intern with the Board of Behavioral Sciences and an CATC IV from California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators. She obtained her Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy at Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena specializing in Trauma. She has nearly a decade of addiction and mental health experience working in various capacities in residential treatment centers, outpatient treatment centers, transitional livings, sober livings, homeless shelters and counseling centers. She works from an eclectic theoretical perspective with a focus on psychodynamic psychotherapy. When emotional injuries are unable to heal on their own, they predispose us to the development of depression, anxiety, and addictive disorders. This is particularly true of emotional injuries resulting from traumatic events or chronic stressful experiences from our childhood. The goal of psychodynamic psychotherapy is to heal these types of emotional injuries and gain insight into the way they affect our current patterns of thinking, feeling, and behavior. Some of the other approaches she works with closely with includes: Attachment-Based, Cognitive Behavior, Mindfulness, and Trauma-Focused. Most importantly, she comes from a humanistic point of view, perceiving and respecting you as a unique individual. In addition to being a therapist and group facilitator at The Villa Treatment Center, she maintains a private practice as an IMFT in Encino helping people who suffer from addiction, trauma or any areas that are blocking them from living a fulfilled life.