Dr. Ted Bender earned his doctorate in clinical psychology at Florida State University. He then went on to complete his residency at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine – Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Later in his career, he earned a Master’s in Business Administration at Texas A&M, and recently completed the Harvard Business Analytics Program in order to gain a solid position in the evolving field of predictive algorithms and machine learning.
Dr. Bender’s career began in 2011 in southern Florida working in the addiction field. He has served over the years as a clinician and in administrative leadership roles. Early in his career, Dr. Bender was an integral part of a large military grant designed to fund research surrounding military suicide which led to his help in starting the Military Suicide Research Consortium. He then went on within the consortium to complete a four-year post-doc. Treating veterans and improving access to care for veterans has always been a central point of focus for Dr. Bender, one which he hopes to continue to develop.
Dr. Bender recently moved to the Southern California area to lead the newly formed BeWell Network in June of 2021. He is most proud of his wonderful family including his wife, Thy (pronounced Tee), and two children, Dominic and Maia.
Scott brings 25 years of well-rounded and diverse executive management experience. He is passionate about helping individuals and families achieve a myriad of personal goals, no matter the scale. He has worked with many senior executives with Miramax Films, DreamWorks Pictures, Universal Pictures, and television network associates. His dedicated work with Sunspire Health and his years with Foundations Recovery Network has ideally positioned him for BeWell’s role as Chief Operating Officer.
He graduated from the Pittsburgh Institute of Art and holds a degree in business. Scott is a Certified Anger Management Facilitator and is a Certified Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Recovery Specialist.
Dr. Marjorie Gies graduated Magna Cum Laude in Psychology from Princeton University. She got her Medical Doctorate from the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. She completed her residency at UCLA in Psychiatry and was the Academic Chief Resident and later the Chief Resident of the UCLA – NPI Adult Outpatient Eating Disorders Program. Dr. Gies started her Santa Barbara Psychiatry private practice in April of 1993. She got her Ph.D. in psychoanalysis from ICP-LA in 1999 and was later deemed the medical director of Cottage Hospital’s eating disorder program from 1995 – 1997. Prior to working at Good Heart Recovery, she was La Ventana’s Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient Medical Director for four years. She is now the Medical Director for Good Heart Recovery IOP & PHP. At Good Heart Recovery, Dr. Gies provides all clients with weekly medication management, psychiatric evaluations, and a compassionate, psychoanalytical experience of one-to-one sessions between clients and their psychiatric experience.
As Good Heart’s Program Director Danielle has a passion for driving the mission of seeing and treating the whole human. Danielle believes people are more than the labels placed on them by society and deserve the dignity and grace to heal in a safe healing community. Danielle has a heart for those not seen by society and believes everyone deserves to be seen through the lens of love, which is what attracted her to the Mission and Vision of Good Heart.
Danielle’s expertise is focused on helping people find healing from addiction and mental health. In 1994, she began her career working in a dual diagnosis residential treatment setting. She has spent most of her career working with underserved populations with a focus on supporting individuals and families suffering from the aftermath of addiction. Danielle has clinical expertise working with women in the child welfare system as well as families caught in the grips of violence. Danielle has over 15 years’ experience as a program director on Hawai’i Island before returning to Santa Barbara in 2015. While in Hawai’i, she taught substance abuse courses at Hawai’i Community College and facilitated professional workshops and trainings. Danielle considers herself a lifelong learner and is a PhD ABD in Psychology. She received her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Phoenix in 2002. Prior to pursuing her master’s degree, Danielle completed her undergraduate program at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo where she double majored in Sociology and Communication. Danielle was an internationally certified substance abuse counselor while working in Hawai’i
Jill A. Frandsen is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist providing Clinical Psychotherapy services to community members of the Santa Barbara for over a decade.
She has extensive experience working with clients in mental health, substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Some of her past work experience includes: Program Director for Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (CADA) Daniel Bryant Youth and Family Treatment Center; Clinical Therapist for The Salvation Army Residential Treatment Center, Clinical Therapist for Casa Serena Women’s Residential Treatment Center, and Clinical Therapist for Life Stance Heatlh (formerly Santa Barbara Behavioral Health).
Jill earned her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University in Santa Barbara, completed Addiction Studies courses at Santa Barbara City College and received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from University of California Santa Barbara.
Jill enjoys listening to music, walks with friends, meals with family, watercolor painting, and walking her dog on local beaches.
Deneen comes to us with over two decades of being a liaison for clients in various industries and she has always held a passion for helping those in need, specifically those struggling with mental health and substance use problems. She has extensive experience with customer service and building rapport with human beings who are needing help to get their life back on track. Before coming to Good Heart Recovery, Deneen held a certification in Physical Medicine and provided somatic healing to her clients struggling with physical pain concerns. She believes that everyone matters, and every soul is precious. Deneen is currently enrolled at Saddleback College to complete education to be a Certified Drug & Alcohol Counselor and Mental Health Counselor.
Crystal joined the Good Heart team in 2019 to expand upon her interest and training in person-centered, humanistic, and holistic healing in order to best assist others in finding their genuine and authentic selves. She completed both her undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Applied Psychology and Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University Santa Barbara. Prior to joining Good Heart, Crystal worked as an admissions counselor at Antioch University Santa Barbara, harnessing the skills to meet people where they are at and to assist them in the pursuit of their continued growth. Since joining the Good Heart team, Crystal has gained clinical experience as a case manager, primary therapist, and group facilitator, as well as administrative experience in the admissions and outreach department as she pursues MFT licensure. She is honored to work with clients and their loved ones, fellow clinicians, and members of the community all while bearing witness to the amazing growth in each and every individual she comes across.
Kelsey (she/her) is a counselor, artist, and advocate dedicated to social and environmental justice, LGBTQ+ visibility and inclusion, and promoting equity in mental health services. As a clinician, Kelsey is interested in integrating creativity, spirituality, and experiential learning as a way to provide inclusive, affirming, and person-centered therapy. She believes in the power of art and the restorative potential of re-connecting with our natural world. Kelsey began her career in mental health in 2014 as a crisis counselor working with survivors of sexual assault in acute trauma in Chicago ER rooms. She has since acquired experience working in psychiatric hospitals, detox units, and Family Justice Centers in addition to non-profit organizations and luxury drug and alcohol treatment facilities. Kelsey is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA, 2013) and is currently completing her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, CA. She is a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor (CADC-I) with specialized training and certification in experiential art therapy, crisis intervention, trauma, and addiction studies. When she is not in her studio or working with clients, she can be found falling off surfboards, climbing on rocks, and dreaming of becoming a river guide.
Annie has a longstanding passion for working with others in all walks of life, and she believes that through a mindful, humanistic approach, healing can always be achieved. After receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Annie decided to deepen her reach into the community of mental health by pursuing a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. Annie joined the team at Good Heart Recovery in 2020 and is constantly fulfilled by the mending that occurs throughout her roles in individual Case Management and group session facilitation. With experience working with humans of all ages, from early adolescence to adulthood, she has witnessed and firmly believes in the goodness that exists in all people. Growing up amongst the redwoods of Northern California, she quickly grew an understanding of the human connection to nature and its ability to heal. As she pursues her MFT and LPCC licensure, Annie meticulously designs her approach to healing by the coalescence of her clinical knowledge with that of her spiritual, natural upbringing.
Challis is passionate about integrating the healing powers of nature with attention to clients’ goals and aspirations. Named after the Challis National Forest in Idaho, she grew up exploring Idaho’s mountains, valleys and rivers and understands the therapeutic effects of outdoor experience on physical and mental health. She utilizes Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and a client-centered approach that honors the lived experience and inherent wisdom of her clients. After completing her BA at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy, and a career in broadcast journalism, she moved back to the states to pursue a different kind of storytelling. She graduated from Antioch University in 2019 with an MA in Clinical Psychology.
Alexah was born and raised in Santa Barbara, and returned to the area after living in Cincinnati, Ohio for four years. She attended University of California Santa Cruz, where she earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology in 2017. To intertwine her passion for social justice and helping others, she completed her Master’s in Social Work at the University of Cincinnati in 2021. While in Cincinnati, Alexah interned at a community mental health agency in Cincinnati, providing individual psychotherapy and advocacy for LGBTQ+ clients. She also worked as a school-based case manager at an elementary school, collaborating with teachers, therapists, and families to coordinate client care. She understands that compassion toward the self and others is essential to the path of recovery.
Julien has a strong passion for personal growth through community, self-reflection, and mindfulness. Growing up, Julien witnessed how effective therapy can create healing and transformation within individuals, families, and entire communities. Combined with a background of mentoring Youth and Young Adults of Color, he became dedicated to creating safe spaces for those looking to rediscover their authentic selves. Julien received his undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Applied Psychology from Antioch University of Santa Barbara in 2019. He is currently in the process of completing his Masters in Clinical Psychology. As a part of the Good Heart team, Julien works with clients as a primary therapist, case manager, group facilitator, and intake coordinator. A quote by activist Miriam Rose sums up Julien’s treatment philosophy, “When we heal ourselves, we heal our ancestors from wounds that run deep in our family. When we heal our ancestors, we heal the world from wounds that run deep in humanity”.
Jessica has worked in the addiction treatment field for four years. Harnessing her life experience, education, and time in various roles in the field, she is able to advocate for her clients with passion and authenticity. Jessica is currently enrolled at Santa Barbara City College to finish her internship to be a certified drug and alcohol counselor and was recently accepted to Arizona State University’s online program to pursue her bachelor’s degree. She works tirelessly to ensure her clients come first. Jessica is a mother to two young boys and looks forward to integrating more into service in the Santa Barbara community.
Emily graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Psychological and Brain Sciences degree. She is currently involved in The UCSB Cognition and Development Laboratory as a research assistant under the Project Rainbow Study. In this study her attention to detail has allowed her to code qualitative survey responses on aspects of participants’ life experiences as LGBTQIA+ individuals. Her research interests include the different modalities of treatment that are useful in the reduction of symptoms regarding mental health disorders.