I was born in the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Throughout my formative years and into high school I was a good student and competed in both football and track and field and graduated with meritorious honors. After graduating from high school, I started college (which I subsequently dropped out of due to my addiction to drugs) and worked at a cleaning service company where I worked my way into management within one year. For many years I was able to obtain work as a manager in the services industry, but unable to maintain the job (again due to drug addiction).
Unfortunately, during my early adult years, I experimented with drugs and alcohol and fell victim to the powerful grip of addiction. I tried desperately for over 20 years, to break free from the grip of drug addiction, going in and out of treatment centers and churches, begging “God” for deliverance. My addiction to drugs led me to many years of unemployment, loss of finances, homelessness and sleeping in abandoned buildings and “crack’ houses. I was in and out of jails, shot in the head and stabbed, suffering many other tragic and near-death situations. Moreover, and most regrettable, my addiction to drugs caused so much hurt and pain in the lives of others.
For example, I lost my marriage to my 1st wife (1991) due mostly in part, to my addictive behaviors, which subsequently prevented me from providing financial support to her and my oldest children. Furthermore, my addiction caused major disruptions in all my family and personal relationships, and in the end; I lost my self-respect and self-worth.
In the early 2000’s, I had a very powerful spiritual experience (that I know was God) that helped me to surrender and use courage and faith, which subsequently lifted my obsession to use drugs. After the obsession to use drugs was lifted, I made up my mind to take full responsibility and change my life. I decided to stop blaming others for my failures, my feelings, and my fears. With the help of a few friends in recovery and a mentor, I conducted painstaking and introspective work on myself, made amends to as many people as I could (especially my children and family members), and forgave myself. During the early course of my recovery from addiction, I realized that my past transgressions and addiction to drugs, led me to my true passion and purpose in life, which is to influence, inspire, encourage, teach, and help others suffering from addiction and human developmental struggles.
In my efforts to become more effective at helping others I walked through my fears and went back to school in 2006 and earned an Alcohol and Drug Specialist Certificate from Glendale Community College in 2007 and became a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor by the Addiction Counselor Certification Board of California & the California Alcohol and Drug Educators (C.A.A.D.E). In 2007 I attended Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena CA., and earned both my bachelor’s degree with a Specialization in Early Childhood Education (2010) and master’s degree in human development (2012). In addition, I also completed all the core course requirements in the Marriage and Family Therapy program before changing my major to Human Development.
During my years in school I worked as a clinical director for two different drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers. I also worked as a substance abuse counselor at various mental health and substance abuse treatment centers working with adults and adolescents. I obtained certification as a personal fitness trainer and started my own fitness training business.
In the spring of 2012, I was accepted to the Chicago School of Professional Psychology where I earned my Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology all the while maintaining a perfect grade point average of 4.0 throughout my entire school process.
Earning Professional Fitness Instructor and Trainer Certifications gives me a unique understanding of how to emphasize and integrate holistic health to patients. My areas of specialty are administration, psychoeducation, group and individual psychotherapy, family therapy and education, motivational speaking, life skills education, substance abuse counseling, communications skill training, twelve step education, specialized forensic mental health treatment, and health & fitness and nutrition consultation.
I am also the Executive Director of Dedicated Behavioral Health Foundation, a non-profit aimed at providing housing, counseling, and life skills to homeless and ex-non-violent offenders deserving of a second chance. These important tools will help them maintain housing and cope with daily stressors in a healthy manner and live a self-supporting life. Donate to the foundation here.
“Let fear be what it is…but do not let fear determine who you are.”
Dr. Keith Marshall, Psy.D.,M.A., LAADC, SUDCC-IV-CS, C.A.TC.V
Clinical Supervisor and Mental Health Consultant
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Dr Johnson is both a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, specializing in Depressive Disorders. Dr Johnson earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Anthropology and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Black Studies from the University of California, Riverside.
Dr. Johnson continued to advance his education and earned a Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California (USC) Los Angeles, and his Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Clinical Psychology from Cambridge Graduate School of Psychology, Los Angeles California.
Dr. Johnson brings a vast amount of education, experience, and guidance and direction, to Dedicato Treatment Center. In addition to his duties with Dedicato, he is also the President and Head Deacon of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Los Angeles.
Kirsten Winter has been trained in many brain-based modalities, among them EMDR, Brainspotting, and Image Transformation Therapy. These modalities help and support individuals in their healing from trauma, depression and anxiety. She is a very compassionate therapist and works closely with Dedicato clients to support them in their healing recovery. Her core strength is in her almost magic ability to help clients identify old wounds, notice patterns in their lives and begin the work on healing. Kirsten acknowledges that trauma that has been repressed with no conscience memory, is stored in the body and can lead to other challenges. Through the modalities she utilizes she can even help release these traumas from the nervous system and focus on healing. Her work is central to our integrative model of Mind, Body, Spirit, releasing the self from limiting beliefs.
Lilly Marshall was born and raised in the city of Pasadena, California. Lilly knows firsthand the negative ramifications of substance abuse because she grew up the child of an alcoholic father and then watched her husband struggle for many years with an addiction before he got clean and sober. After growing up witnessing and dealing with an alcoholic parent and then watching her husband suffer from addiction Lilly decided that she wanted to work in the field of addictions treatment in a supportive role.
In her efforts to grow and develop Lilly went back to school to Northwest College to earn a Certificate in Medical Insurance Billing, and to the University of Phoenix to earn both her Associate and Bachelors Degree’s in Health Care Administration.
Currently Lilly is the Corporate Secretary and Administrator for Dedicato Treatment Center, handling and coordinating all the administrative and secretarial functions.
Substance Use Disorder Registered Counselor
Jeffrey was born and raised in the Southern California area. Jeffrey is an avid football fan and enjoys spending time with his children and family. In 2004 Jeffrey suffered severe injuries in an automobile accident which subsequently led him to being prescribed pain medication to deal with the pain from the injuries.
As a result of taking main medications, Jeffrey developed an opiate addiction which placed him on a troubled path. Jeffrey experienced many years of addiction replacing one substance for another attempting to self-medicate. In 2017 after so many of the negative consequences from his addiction, especially almost losing his wife and children, Jeffery surrendered to the recovery process.
Jeffrey’s freedom from addiction and continued work in the 12-step process has given him a passion for helping others who suffer from addiction. Thanks to his growth and development here at Dedicato Treatment Center, Jeffrey has continued his education and is preparing for his certification exam..
Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor
Certified Addictions Specialist
After many years of struggling with her own addiction Sheila overcame her addiction and rebuilt her life. As a result of those changes Sheila decided to pursue the necessary education requirements to become certified as an addiction professional under CCAPP, so that she could be better equipped to help others overcome their addictions and rebuild their lives.
In addition, Sheila pursued her education to become an AFPA Certified Yoga Instructor so that she could use other specialized approaches to help people. Sheila shares her yoga practice and her love of the outdoors with clients as a way to connect with their own spirituality and to find their personal center. By including physical exercise and fresh air into her work with clients she is able to help them build structure, discipline and fun into their daily routine. Her goal and her passion are to help clients discover and reach for their personal “best”. Setting goals and celebrating our client’s personal achievements is a core component of her philosophy and a cornerstone of the Dedicato mission.
Case Management and Clinical Support Services
Kalen has been working at Dedicato Treatment Center since 2016. Kalen’s interest and passion to help people who suffer from addiction and human development struggles, came after hearing and reading his father’s traumatic story of addiction, abuse, homelessness, and how he overcame his struggles. In addition, Kalen witnessed a close family member struggle with addiction and mental health issues.
Kalen’s is a State of California, Rio Hondo League, and San Gabriel Valley, High School Track and Field Champion (100, 200, and 400 meter run and the 100- and 400-meter relays). Kalen was also a Basketball All-Star and helped his high school team make the playoffs and compete for a state div 4 championships for three straight years. In addition to his high school athletic career Kalen participated in college Track and Field winning many races in the 200 and 400 meters, and 4x 400-meter relays. His outstanding high school and collegiate sports career have given him a strong work ethic and team work approach.
Kalen earned two Associate Degrees in Psychology and Social and Behavioral Science from Pasadena Community College, and his Bachelor of Psychology Degree from California State University-Fullerton.
Registered Alcohol Drug Technician
With 7 years sobriety and a passion for living a clean and healthy life, Yesenia embodies what it means to live a life in recovery. Constantly pursuing new certifications and trainings available for connecting on a deeper level with the clients she meets every day, Yesenia serves as a mentor and coach.
Yesenia not only works full time as a support technician, but she is also a regular volunteer at the Union Rescue in Los Angeles’ Skid Row neighborhood. She also works with HIV patients doing intervention and screening for substance abuse red flags. Yesenia does not shy away from community outreach and working with the most vulnerable populations. She is dedicated to helping our Dedicato clients find their path to recovery by sharing her story.
Chef and Food Services Manager
Melanie is phenomenal chef who puts caring, love and compassion into the foods she prepares. She also strives to help her clients build a healthy relationship with their body, taking stock of what they put into it and how they feel as a result. Food is love, food is nutrition, and food is medicine. Melanie works with each client while they are in our care to build healthy meal preparation into their daily routine. Taking stock in what we put into our bodies helps to keep us mindful of the relationship between our health and our ability to impact it.
The nutrition program at Dedicato is not just about how great the food tastes (and it does!), it is the foundation of how we remind our clients to love and care for themselves. We are blessed and lucky to have a chef who has such a whole body and mind holistic approach to building nutrition roadmaps.
Clinical Support Technician
Alex comes to Dedicato Treatment Center with a wealth of experience in the addiction treatment and recovery community helping others. He has both experiential (overcame his own battle with addiction), and formalized training working at other treatment centers and getting education.
He is someone that has a lot of passion and empathy for his work and desires to see people get free from their addiction. Alex provides essential functions to help our patient have a comfortable and rewarding treatment experience. One of his greatest gifts is his compassion and sensitivity to a diverse population of people with a heart that loves everyone.
His goal is to complete school and become a Marriage and Family Therapist.
Registered Alcohol and Drug Technician
Stephen was born and raised in Southern California in the town of San Gabriel. He loves music and concerts; he loves to hike, and he loves the outdoors.
As a troubled youth Stephen started experimenting with drugs and alcohol which lead him to 28 years of addiction. His addiction leads him down a troubled path, replacing one substance for another, attempting to self-medicate. In 2019 after so many of the negative consequences from his addiction, especially the loss of contact with his family and the loss of contact with his true friends, Stephen surrendered to the recovery process.
Stephen’s freedom from addiction and continued work in the 12-step process has given him a passion for helping others who suffer from addiction. He is studying at Mt. Sac college, addiction counseling and hopes to one day become a Drug and Alcohol counselor.
In addition to our core clinical and administrative staff, Dedicato Treatment Center is dedicated to providing some of the best treatment options available. In addition to the “core” staff highlighted above, we also employ and utilize a number of Licensed and Certified Independent Clinicians for group facilitation and individual counseling.
Dedicato Treatment Center is dedicated to caring, and seriously committed to providing treatment that will enhance our patient’s ability to achieve optimal mental health and recovery from chemical dependency.