Our Leadership

Our leadership is committed to superb patient care, research, and education.
Before The Center, I was a kid lost in a cold and dangerous world, with no hope, no direction -- only dreams of becoming something important. Now I’m a young lady whose reality is finally better than her dreams.
~ 16 year old girl at time of treatment



Co-Founder and CEORobert Woods

Robert Woods has 20 years of experience in the mental health field including specialties in child and adolescent psychotherapy; parenting of attention deficit hyperactivity disordered (ADHD) children and behavior problem children; as well as treatment of individuals with substance abuse problems. His private practice and very diverse clientele provides a broad perspective which is beneficial to both individual patients and in his role as Executive Director. Mr. Woods received his graduate degree in Counseling from Texas Southern University, and his undergraduate degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Grambling State University. He is also well known for the three years he played with the Houston Oilers. Playing football, including his four years in the NFL, taught Robert Woods that teamwork and a great coaching staff leads to success on and off the field.


Co-Founder and Executive Clinical DirectorMarylou Erbland, PhD

Marylou Erbland, PhD, Clinical Director is an intensively trained Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) psychotherapist specializing in clinical neuropsychology, including testing and cognitive rehabilitation. Dr. Erbland has worked extensively with children and adolescents, as well with their families, who are struggling with oppositional defiant and conduct disorders, depression, anxiety disorders, and post traumatic stress disorder. She has also developed a program of group therapy and education for attention deficit disordered students and their parents. A licensed psychologist with 25 years of private practice experience, Dr. Erbland is a graduate of Akron University in Akron, Ohio, where she received her PhD in psychology, as well as two Masters Degrees in Special Education and School Psychology. Her post-doctoral fellowship in neuropsychology was completed at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Marylou gets a sense of peace and enjoyment in touring art galleries, events and openings, especially for local and regional artists. Supporting historic homes and their neighborhoods through local organizations and events is also one of her passions.


Chief Financial Officer & Human ResourcesMJ Gernale, MBA, MSA

MJ Gernale serves as the Chief Financial Officer and Human Resources for Center for Success & Independence, Inc. MJ joined the team in August 2015. She has over 15 years of experience in non-profits and community health centers. She has a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Accounting, Master’s of Science in Accounting, and a Master’s of Business Administration in Human Resources. MJ is responsible for all functions of the accounting and billing department.


Director of Clinical Services and PsychotherapistJessica Ruiz, LPC

Jessica Ruiz serves as a bilingual admissions coordinator 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. Additionally, she has received training in DBT, RO-DBT, EMDR, and TBRI. She develop her counseling skills through hands on experience counseling and facilitating for individuals, couples, families and groups. Working with diverse populations provided her the opportunity to refine her theoretical knowledge developing personalized approaches for each client. During her free time she enjoys reading, playing sports, and spending time with her family and dogs.


Administrative DirectorAntonio Brinkley, LCCA

Antonio Brinkley is a 1986 graduate from Rice University where he received a Wiess College service award. He’s an Honorable Mention All-American and 1985 All Southwest Conference football player. He played professionally with the Kansas City Chiefs briefly as a free agent and later played in Italy with the Rome Gladiators.

He has over 30 years of experience in the mental health field providing guidance, assistance and mentoring to many young children thoughout Texas. He has an affinity to serve and help those who are less fortunate than himself. In his spare time, he is active in church activities involving the youth, volunteers at the Downtown YMCA and at Texas Norhill Heights summer little league as a coach. As therapy for himself, he restores old and vintage VW buses (go figure!) and spends time with his wife and three sons.