Carl Davenport is in active recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction. He completed a residential treatment program in 1989 and is dedicated to helping clients and their families access the same kind of freedom and happiness he has experienced in recovery. He is passionate about recovery and driven to see his clients succeed. Carl is the Director of Intake and Community Outreach at Ventura Recovery Center and is involved in all phases of recovery. What makes him unique is his ability to keep his focus on results for his clients without being overly pushy or dominant. He credits his ability to temper his ambition while staying focused on results to 40 years of progressive leadership and management experience. When you call, you can expect a compassionate ear, a knowledgeable voice and someone who cares deeply about his clients.
Robyn Blythe has over 20 years of experience and a thriving private practice treating individuals, couples, and families. At Ventura Recovery Center, Robyn works as a Clinical Director overseeing the clinical program and providing supervision to psychotherapists. She specializes in EMDR therapy to help clients work through trauma and overcome addiction by finding a healthy balance between body, mind, spirit, and emotions. This allows for success in relationships and work, self-empowerment, and to live a life full of hope, meaning, recovery, and purpose.
Bob Pautsch is also in active recovery from alcoholism & drug addiction. He completed a state mandated treatment program in 1988. His personal passion lies in seeing his clients’ eyes come alive after their spirit opens up to the possibility of a different way of life. Bob’s experience at a prominent Southern California Treatment Center deepened his innate ability to remain calm in the midst of highly emotional situations. He excels at creating a safe emotional space for clients experiencing any degree of agitation in the early phases of their recovery. Bob is the Executive Director at Ventura Recovery Center. In addition to overseeing the day to day operations of the treatment center, he stays in close contact with the clinical team to ensure that each client is receiving the best care possible.
Michael Baxter has been in recovery since 2012. He attended a treatment center almost 5 years ago where he had finally realized that he could no longer keep battling his addiction. After surrendering to Alcoholics Anonymous, Michael has dedicated his life to helping others. Michael is an Operations Manager at Ventura Recover Center’s sober living facility and finds fulfillment helping struggling alcoholics achieve long term recovery and sobriety. He is always available to lend a helpful hand to anyone who needs his help. Michael truly loves his job and could not see himself working in any other field.
Carrie Simmons is from the Washington D.C metropolitan area and left after high school to study fine art at The Savannah College of Art & Design. After pursuing her dreams of fashion in NYC, then music & entertainment in Hollywood, Carrie decided to return to school to earn a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. Carrie’s new passion is to help others achieve sobriety and reach their fullest potential. Carrie has studied Mindfulness Meditation in Japan and utilizes specific techniques to guide her clients into a calmer mental state, so they can feel a true sense of ease, peace and well-being. Carrie’s approach integrates Positive Psychology, Solution Focused Therapy and Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention.
Dr. Robert P. Waldman, a graduate with Distinction in Internal Medicine at Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia,completed his internship and residency at Hahnemann University Hospital. Afterwards he was appointed as Clinical Instructor of Internal Medicine at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia where he served his Nephrology fellowship. He later moved to California where he became Co-Medical Director of the Recovery Unit at Daniel Freeman Marina Hospital in Marina del Rey. Dr. Waldman belongs to the American Society of Nephrology and currently holds the appointment of Medical Director of the Hemodialysis Unit at RSG Inglewood. He holds hospital staff privileges at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center,Daniel Freemen and Centinela Hospitals while also maintaining a successful private practice in Marina del Rey. Dr Waldman has trained to use Subutex and Suboxone for opiate detox and has extensive experience with these medicines.
Randy Thompson is a passionate addiction counselor who has been blessed with the gift of disturbing the comfortable. Randy has many passions, but none greater than watching the transformation of an individual who considers themselves to be hopeless, later becoming interested in living a life they know is a gift. He is an active member of the California Association for alcohol/drug educators. Randy is also active in recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction for over 20 years. Randy was fortunate enough to enter and complete a long-term rehabilitation program in 1993 in which he is eternally grateful for and understands the importance of building a solid foundation in early recovery. Randy enjoys coordinating groups of people to cater to the homeless on skid row as a means of giving back as well as pushing overall health (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual) to recovering alcoholics and addicts. Randy is convinced that an exercise regimen is essential to maintaining recovery. He also understands the importance of twelve step meetings, sponsorship and the application of the twelve steps as he joins in with the rest of the treatment team at Ventura Recovery Center to persuade clients to follow the path that so many have traveled. Randy provides services for the clients of VRC at the location of the Center for Change as the Intensive Outpatient Coordinator. Here, Randy addresses treatment issues as well as day to day living issues with the assistance of the treatment team.
Donna Paul has joined our treatment team as counselor. Donna is a Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor, Level III, who has been facilitating groups and counseling individuals since 2009. She is an active member of the California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators. She has several years of personal, 12-step based recovery and is thankful to be able to share this, as well as other recovery and relapse prevention tools, with those who are fighting addiction. She is passionate about recovery and the life available to those who choose this path. In addition to her work, Donna enjoys hiking, traveling, reading and baking while in the company of family and friends.
Matt McNutt is a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern (#84669) and received a Masters in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from California Lutheran University. Additionally, Matt is a Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor (#156722) through the California Association of Alcohol/Drug Educators (CAADE). In his clinical experience, he has worked with adolescents, individuals, couples, and families. In doing so, he encountered a range of mental health issues and found his passion in the addiction recovery field. Matt believes the therapeutic relationship is an integral part of achieving positive change in the individual. Based on the individual’s needs and concerns, he utilizes a variety of therapeutic theories and an interpersonal approach. He incorporates this method to encourage personal growth, self-awareness, and purposeful living.
Danielle Joel conducts individual, family, and group therapy sessions at Ventura Recovery Center. Danielle is a Professional Clinical Counselor Intern, registered by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (PCCI#2302). Danielle achieved a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCLA in 2009 and a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013. Throughout her university experiences, Danielle was involved in important addiction research conducted in the research labs of well-known scientists in the field. Danielle has always had a passion for studying the underlying causes of addiction and for studying helpful interventions to treat substance abuse problems. Danielle is grateful to work at Ventura Recovery Center where she can use her skills to help people transform into the beautiful and resilient individuals they are destined to be.
Dr. Rod Amiri immigrated to the United States at the age of thirteen, with the help of his family. After completing high school and college at the top of his class, he attended medical school at St. George’s University. He proceeded to complete his residency in psychiatry at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles where he served as Chief Resident. During residency, Dr. Amiri mastered intensive psychotherapy skills and won several awards, scholarships, and fellowships offered by various organizations such as the California Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Furthermore, he has gained experience in teaching and was professor of anatomy and physiology at the American University of Complementary Medicine in Los Angeles from 2002-2004. Dr. Amiri has presented nationally on the psychiatric effects of HIV/AIDS at the 2004 & 2005 APA annual meetings,and was invited to be on the faculty of the Sexual Medicine course at the 2005 APA meeting. He has coauthored the chapter on Sexual Dysfunction due to general medical conditions for the Guidebook for Sexual Medicine. Additionally, Dr. Amiri has been awarded the Patients’ Choice recognition every year since 2008. This is an honor given to less than five percent of the nation’s 720,000 active physicians.
Randi Halcon is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. From an early age, Randi knew her passion in life was to help others. In 2008 Randi received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from California State University of Northridge. After working with children with Autism, Randi pursued a higher level of education and went on to receive her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapist from California Lutheran University in 2012. Randi has since gained experience in working with adolescents and adults who struggle with mental health and addiction issues. Randi utilizes an eclectic approach to humanistic, cognitive behavior and psychodynamic therapies. Randi believes that all people make a variety of mistakes throughout life and utilizes a person-centered approach to help people learn to practice love and acceptance of self while healing from painful past experiences.
Chris Ryan is a dedicated member of Ventura Recovery Center’s team, managing and overseeing the daily activities of our IOP. Chris has been in sobriety since 2013 and he is an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous. Chris has devoted his life to helping other alcoholics and addicts not only maintain sobriety but to thrive in many other aspects of their lives. He offers support and encouragement to our clients every step of the way, while always contributing a few laughs. His passion for recovery and personal experiences in the grip of addiction makes him invaluable to our clients as they go through this journey.
Our Intake Director, Carl Davenport, was recently interviewed for Recovery Today Magazine. In his talk with Sherry Gaba, LCSW, he discusses the philosophy behind Ventura Recovery Center. As the article describes,”he has dedicated his life to helping clients and their families access the same kind of freedom and happiness he has experienced in recovery. He is passionate about recovery and driven to see his clients succeed.”
In the interview, Carl talks of his personal experiences with his own recovery and how that helps him relate to our clients. He also describes some of the many programs we offer that create a community of healing at Ventura Recovery Center. We help our clients learn to live a “life of purpose, passion and fulfillment.” To learn more, please visit Recovery Today Magazine.