Therapists & Staff
Joseph Chambers, LPC-Intern
Joseph Chambers is an LPC-Intern who provides therapy services to adolescents and their families as well as facilitates the Recreational Alternative Program for teens within juvenile probation. His clinical interests include interpersonal effectiveness, addiction, trauma, and positive psychology. He focuses on using Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and client-centered therapy. He completed his Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Houston – Clear Lake, and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Texas in Austin. He enjoys facilitating groups to develop new and exciting ways to develop essential skills for overcoming challenges. In his spare time, Joseph enjoys playing video games and listening to music.
Stefanie Fisher, LMSW
Stefanie Fisher serves as a Psychotherapist at TCSI. She provides individual, family and group therapy in the Residential and Intensive Outpatient programs, including co-facilitated teen and multifamily groups focused on Addictive Behaviors and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Theological Studies from Ouachita Baptist University. After a year of teaching high school students, Stefanie continued her studies at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work where she earned her MSW with a Clinical Concentration and Political Social Work Specialization. While obtaining her MSW, Stefanie served as a Research Assistant for the Child Welfare Education Project, obtained a certificate in Mediation, and participated in the National Center for Social Work Trauma Education and Workforce Development Project. As a trauma project fellow, Stefanie obtained TF-CBT training and experience providing trauma-informed treatment to children and adolescents affected by abuse and violence.
Alvaro Guevara, LPC
Alvaro Guevara serves as a bilingual psychotherapist with the Intensive Outpatient Program at The Center for Success and Independence. Alvaro earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston in 2007 and attended graduate school at Houston Baptist University. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor – Intern and joined The Center for Success and Independence in November 2014. Alvaro began his career in 2008 providing direct care services with clients in the community mental health system. His clinical interests center around personality disorders and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). He views therapy as a collaborative experience where there is an opportunity for growth for all parties involved. He enjoys helping clients to identify and develop tools to meet their own personal goals.
Pat Hartmann, MS, RN, CNS
Pat Hartmann, Psychotherapist, earned her Master of Science from the School of Nursing at Texas Woman’s University Graduate School following her undergraduate studies at the School of Nursing at the University of Texas in Austin where she earned her BSN. Ms. Hartmann completed her post graduate clinical studies at UTMSI in the Texas Medical Center, a mental health center focused on serving children, adolescents, couples, families and adults dealing with a variety of mental illnesses. Pat is an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in the State of Texas. Her clinical experience over the past 35 years in the Houston community includes inpatient as well as in private practice settings. She has completed intensive training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and has provided DBT based therapy in residential and outpatient settings. Ms. Hartmann’s clinical interests include, but are not limited to: adolescent and family psychodynamic therapy, grief/loss therapy, trauma work, personality disorders treatment, DBT individual and skills group therapy, and assisting clients with chronic mental illness to find services to support in-community living. Personal interests include traveling and having adventures with family. During her free time Pat enjoys gardening, supervising nursing students both at undergraduate and masters level, and spending time at her beach house.
Danielle Jenkins, MSW
Danielle Jenkins serves as a psychotherapist with the Residential Treatment Program, where she facilitates individual, group, and family therapy. Danielle originally joined the Center’s team as a psychotherapist intern in Fall of 2016. Once she completed her internship, she had the opportunity to join the treatment team as a full time therapist after graduating from The University of Houston as an MSW. While obtaining her MSW, Danielle served as a research assistant studying homeless youth needs in the state of Texas. She also had the opportunity of becoming a trauma fellow where she obtained TF-CBT training. Danielle is a long way from home, originally born in North Carolina. She moved to Washington D.C. where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice. She has grown to love working with adolescents involved in the criminal justice system, as well as those that suffer from trauma, addiction, and depression. During her free time she enjoys traveling, exercising, and spending time with friends.
Brenda Lazorwitz, LPC
Brenda Lazorwitz is a psychotherapist in the Intensive Outpatient Program at TCSI. She provides individual, family, and group therapy to adolescents and their family members as well as psycho-educational groups surrounding Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Addictive Issues, and Multifamily support. Brenda earned her Masters in Clinical Psychology at the University of Houston-Clear Lake and her Bachelors in Psychology at the University of Houston with minors in Human Development and Family Studies, and Business Administration. She completed her graduate internship at The Center for Success and Independence and began working in the IOP program in July of 2015. Brenda’s clinical interests include DBT, personality disorders, substance abuse, and adolescent psychology. When not working Brenda enjoys traveling, bicycle riding, listening to live music, enjoying the outdoors, and spending time with her family and friends.
Jessica Ortiz, LPC
Jessica Ortiz serves as a bilingual case manager and psychotherapist with the Residential Treatment Program at The Center for Success and Independence. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor; earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Minor in Women and Gender studies and a Masters in Counseling from The University of Texas at San Antonio. Jessica began her career working at the universities community counseling center, the juvenile justice center, and a battered women and children’s shelter. She develop her counseling skills through hands on experience counseling and facilitating for individuals, couples, families and groups. Her clinical interest are working with individuals of all ages and from varied backgrounds. Working with diverse populations provided her the opportunity to refine her theoretical knowledge developing personalized approaches for each client. She choose counseling as a career because she wants to help others improve their lives, ultimately having a positive impact on their families and communities. She believes that everyone has a story to tell and can benefit from support, knowledge, and encouragement. During her free time she enjoys reading, playing sports, traveling, spending time with her family and dog, Remy.
J. Gabriel Ramirez, MSW
J. Gabriel Ramirez, psychotherapist, is experienced in providing inpatient psychiatric treatment and maintaining emotional and physical safety for those experiencing illness or addiction related distress. He has been recognized repeatedly for demonstrating a high-level of client care, achieving these high standards of excellence by understanding and meeting client/patient needs. Mr. Ramirez is experienced in Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT). He earned his Masters in Social Work from the University of Houston following a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology from University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas.
Elizabeth Santamaria, LMSW
Elizabeth Santamaria, LMSW serves as a bilingual psychotherapist with the Intensive Outpatient Program at TCSI. She provides individual, family and group therapy to adolescents and their families. Elizabeth is experienced in providing services to adolescents and families from various backgrounds. She received her bachelor’s in Child Development from Texas Women’s University and continued her studies at the University of Houston receiving her Masters in Social Work. Elizabeth also completed her graduate internship at the Houston Area Women’s Center, working with survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Her clinical interest include DBT, CBT, and trauma work. Outside of work, Elizabeth enjoys attending festivals, watching plays and musicals, and spending time with her family.
Katie Stavinoha, LMSW
Katie Stavinoha serves as a Psychotherapist and Case Manager at TCSI. She provides individual, family and group therapy in the Residential and coordinates admission process, including co-facilitated teen and multifamily groups focused on Addictive Behaviors and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Her studies focused on children and adolescents in relation to substance abuse and mental illness. She enjoys working with clients and their families on issues related to substance abuse, grief/loss and trauma related issues. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Psychology from the University of Houston. She continued her studies at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work where she earned her MSW with a clinical concentration. Katie began working at TCSI as an intern in August of 2014 and began her full-time position in May of 2015. When not at work, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Brandt Taylor, MS, LMFT-Associate
Brandt Taylor is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate trained in individual, group, and systemic family therapy with an emphasis on addiction and recovery. Brandt works primarily within the Residential and Partial levels of care that Center for Success and Independence offers its clients. Brandt also serves as the Utilization Review Coordinator at Center for Success and Independence. A graduate of Texas Tech University, earning a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies with a minor in Addiction Disorders and Recovery Studies. Experience includes working therapeutically within the Lubbock County Juvenile Justice Center and the Texas Tech Family Therapy Clinic. Born and raised in west Texas, Brandt Taylor enjoys Texas barbecue, the great outdoors, live music, riding bicycles, dogs, and traveling.
Emily Trof, MSW
DBT Trainer and Case Manager
Emily Trof serves as a DBT skills trainer and yoga instructor in the Residential Treatment Program at the Center for Success and Independence. She earned her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Houston following a Bachelors in Communication Disorders from the University of Houston. Emily is experienced in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and is the coordinator of the DBT program at TCSI. As a native Houstonian, Emily enjoys serving her community by helping clients and families improve their lives. In her spare time, Emily enjoys reading, traveling, hiking, yoga, and spending time with her two dogs, Greta and Bean.
Rebekah Wallace is a psychotherapist at the Center for Success and Independence Residential Treatment Center and facilitates individual, group, and family therapies for adolescents and their families. Rebekah’s journey at the Center began in the fall of 2015, when she had the opportunity to join the treatment team as an intern for the treatment center. She was able to continue this journey as a full-time psychotherapist after graduating from the University of Houston as an MSW. Rebekah enjoys utilizing multiple therapeutic approaches, such as CBT, psychodynamic theory as well as Structural Family Therapy. Born and raised in San Angelo, TX, Rebekah graduated with an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Angelo State University, with an ever increasing interest in social justice and social work as a whole. After being inspired to continue her work with children and adolescents when working primarily with children who possess learning and behavioral disabilities, Rebekah had the chance to be trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and participating in the the Graduate College of Social Work’s Trauma Fellowship. When Rebekah is not at TCSI working with her clients, she enjoys reading, running, and spending time with her family and friends.
Matt Winter, LCSW
Matt Winter is a Licensed Master of Social Work and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Originally from New York City, Mr. Winter worked with homeless youth, counseling and case managing as well as conducted outreach and counseling with homeless men and women living in the NYC subway system. At an outpatient mental health clinic in Southeast Washington DC, Mr. Winter conducted trauma groups for men. His therapeutic interventions vary depending on his client’s individual needs, but include motivational interviewing, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, cognitive behavioral techniques, and strategic family therapy. He has since found a niche at The Center for Success and Independence, where he thoroughly enjoys working with clients and their families on addictions, trauma, and relationship building. Mr. Winter graduated from Union College and earned his masters from the University of Texas at Austin.
Robbin Barnes, LVN
In April 2006 Paula Harrington retired from Harris County Juvenile Detention Center with 27 years of experience, working with adolescents first as a Detention Officer, Inventory Manager, and then as a Floor Supervisor. After retirement Ms. Harrington worked at The Center for Success and Independence as a Mental Health Technician from April 2006 until April 2011 when she accepted a newly created position as Medical Coordinator. She assists our on-site nurse in making our clients' medical appointments and transporting them to their appointments. Ms. Harrington's greatest strengths are dependability and honesty. She is also a self-starter and team player. She keeps in mind what is best for our clients and makes that her priority.
Our Accounting team, led by MJ Gernale, are highly experienced in reconciling insurance and client payments, setting up payment schedules and resolving account disputes, all with compassion, effectiveness and efficiency.
As a residential treatment facility, our food service personnel, led by Martin Guzman, are an important part of our team. After all, caring for adolescents is as much about nourishing their bodies as it is their minds and emotions.
Just as important at a residential treatment facility, is the care and maintenance of our buildings and grounds. Sigi takes pride in keeping “our house” running smoothly.