Mr. Ray Estefania is the former Director of South Miami Hospital’s Adolescent Addiction Treatment Program. His current role is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Family Recovery Specialists (Miami, FL), an intensive outpatient program for adolescents and adults that also provides concierge crisis/case management and intervention services for all ages. Mr. Estefania has been working as an addiction counselor for over 20 years and was formerly the Adolescent Program Supervisor at Suburban Hospital’s Addiction Treatment Center in Bethesda, Maryland. He has worked extensively as drug abuse counselor and alcohol abuse counselor, interventionist and as a family therapist in the field of addiction treatment. Mr. Estefania is a considered an expert in the field and frequently provides education and training to physicians, nurses, other mental health professionals, teachers and school administrators on topics related to addiction and recovery.
Mr. Estefania earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Florida and his graduate degree in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. He is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, a Certified Addiction Professional in the state of Florida, an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and a Certified Intervention Professional. In addition, he has received intensive training and supervision at the University of Miami’s Center for Treatment Research on Adolescents Drug Abuse (CTRADA). Mr. Estefania also has extensive education and experience working with many other mental health issues. He has specific experience working as an adolescent counselor but is also comfortable working with adults as well. Ray is also very culturally sensitive and is accustomed to working with individuals and families from very diverse backgrounds. He is also a SMART Recovery Certified Facilitator.
Over the span of his career, Mr. Estefania has also been very involved in the prevention of substance abuse in children. He has organized and implemented numerous substance abuse prevention programs in both public and private schools in the Washington D.C. and South Florida regions. He has acted as a consultant to numerous independent schools to address the issue of student alcohol and substance abuse. He has coached thousands of parents on ways to prevent substance abuse in children. Mr. Estefania is also in private practice in the South Miami area providing psychotherapy, recovery coaching, parent effectiveness training, as well as intervention and placement services to adults, adolescents and families.
He is a member in good standing of the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) and a member of the Network of Independent Interventionists. He was selected to be a member of the City of South Miami’s Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking and Drug Use as well as a member of the Board of Directors for Informed Families, The Florida Family Partnership. Ray is also a member of the Advisory Board for The Health Information Project, a school based health education program which increases awareness and access to healthcare for students in Miami Dade County schools. In addition, Ray is a founding board member of the Therapeutic Consulting Association (TCA), a professional association for therapeutic placement consultants and other referring professionals, dedicated to advancing the field of therapeutic consulting through collaboration, training and education, outcome-based research, support of ethical standards, and an ongoing review of best practices. Mr. Estefania is a frequent speaker to schools, parent groups and community organizations and has been a guest on both radio and television programs on various topics including prevention, parenting, addiction and recovery.
Ana Moreno, MS, LMHC, CAP, ICADC, CIP, CDWF is a psychotherapist and addiction specialist working in Miami, FL. Ana is Co-Founder and Clinical Director of Family Recovery Specialists, an outpatient treatment program and consulting practice that works with those suffering from addiction and other mental health disorders. Ana has been working in the mental health field for over 14 years and began her career at South Miami Hospital’s Addiction Treatment Center, where she worked as a primary therapist and ultimately as supervisor of the adolescent program.
Ms. Moreno has worked extensively with those individuals who suffer from addiction and other mental health disorders and specializes in working with the families of those in recovery. Ana has specific expertise and experience working with multicultural families both locally and internationally. She has traveled extensively abroad providing education to other professionals on many topics related to addiction and recovery. Ms. Moreno is fluent in Spanish and enjoys utilizing her own multicultural background and upbringing to help guide families through the treatment and recovery process. She often provides consulting services and performs interventions in both English and Spanish and has developed a highly regarded reputation for working with multicultural families from very diverse backgrounds.
Ms. Moreno is former Associate Clinical Director of Lucida, a substance abuse and mental health treatment program in Lantana, Florida. This program was created as a multicultural program taking into account the family dynamics of the Hispanic and Latin population that includes the family as an integral part of the process of recovery.
Ms. Moreno earned her undergraduate degree from Florida International University and her graduate degree from St. Thomas University. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, a Qualified Clinical Supervisor in the state of Florida and a Certified Interventions Professional. Ms. Moreno is a certified facilitator for The Daring Way ™ curriculum, a shame resilience approach to help people recovering from addictions. In addition, she is certified as a SMART Recovery Facilitator. She is a frequent speaker to schools, parent groups, community organizations and has been a frequent guest on both radio and television programs, including CNN (Español), Zona Politica con Helen Aguirre-Ferre and Ahora con Oscar Haza, dealing with issues related to substance abuse and mental health. She has conducted several educational presentations internationally for families and professionals and is often called upon for her expert opinions. Ms. Moreno has been published in an October 2011 study titled “Synthetic Cannabinoid Use: A Case Series of Adolescents and literature review on Autism Disorder and Substance Use in Youth that was presented at The World Psychiatric Conference in Madrid, Spain in 2014.” Ana is a member in good standing of the American Counseling Association and volunteers her time frequently to several organizations, including Informed Families and others.
She is a member in good standing of the American Counseling Association (ACA), a Daring Way Certified Facilitator and a certified SMART Recovery Facilitator.
Ms. Moreno contributed to a study titled Synthetic Cannabinoid Use: A Case Series of Adolescents. This article was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health in October of 2011. To read the article please click here.
Ms. Moreno was interviewed by WSVN in a news story about the dangers in our own homes. There has been an increase in the abuse of prescription medications and over the counter medications by teens and young adults. To learn more please click here.
Parents dreams for the children is for them to accomplish more than they did. What happens if your child is struggling in school? What can a parent do to help their teenagers complete their high school education? Here are some tips
Diana Garcia received her graduate degree in Counseling Psychology from Florida International University and is currently a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with the state of Florida. She has been working in the addiction field for the past four years providing treatment to adolescents and adults presenting with co-occurring disorders. Her experience ranges from working with juveniles involved with the legal system to an inpatient residential program for adults. Through her experience with the legal system, she has been able to provide much needed support and intervention to adolescents in order to prevent further escalation of their addiction. Most recently, she was working with a dually diagnosed, high socio-economic population in an inpatient setting. She has had significant experience working with multicultural clients and is fully capable of providing services in Spanish. She is dedicated to helping her clients and their families through their journey of recovery. In addition, she is a certified SMART Recovery Facilitator and a Daring Way Facilitator.
Leslie Gil is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who has been intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. As a DBT therapist, she facilitates the adolescent DBT skills training group at The Counseling Group, a private practice in Miami, Florida. In addition to working with adolescents, she also works with adults, individuals and families. FRS is proud to announce Leslie is now part of our team and will help us to bring valuable DBT skills to our patients and families.
Before entering into private practice Leslie worked as a substance abuse counselor at Here’s Help in Miami. While at Here’s Help she worked with teenagers and adults who were court often mandated to receive treatment. She provided group and individual therapy with a focus on relapse prevention, drug education and improving coping skills for her young clients.
Her clinical focus is to help those struggling with anxiety, depression, self-harm, relational issues, substance abuse and emotional augmentation. She facilitates a DBT skills training group at Family Recovery Specialists. The group offers skills training to both patients and their families. Leslie is able to weave crucial DBT components like mindfulness, validation, distress tolerance and emotion regulation into the various treatment options provided by FRS. We hope to help clients become more self aware of their emotional experience and develop ways they may use those skills effectively in their recovery. FRS is excited to have Leslie on our team and we look forward to continuing to improve our services so we can provide the latest in evidence based treatment for our clients.
Dr. Nodarse obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from Florida International University in 1975, with a major in education. She became a school teacher for Dade County Public Schools, and in 1976, was awarded a full scholarship from the University of Miami. In 1978, she obtained a Master’s Degree in Education, focusing on exceptional student’s needs.
In 1990, after teaching for 15 years, she went back to school and obtained a Master’s Degree in School Psychology, from the Miami Institute of Psychology. Once a licensed school psychologist, she worked at an educational/psychiatric center for children and adolescents for 16 years. During that time, Dr. Nodarse went back to school and obtained a Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology. She has been in private practice since 1996 specializing in children, adolescents, and adults. She does individual and family therapy, and a variety of psycho-educational assessments to determine an individual’s level of functioning, treatment needs, and appropriate interventions. Dr. Nodarse has been working as a consulting school psychologist with FRS since 2011.
Daniel Yero is currently a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with the state of Florida and is working toward his certification in addiction counseling. He has been working for the past 4 years in the Miami area, providing addiction treatment to adolescents and young adults. His experience in the field of substance abuse ranges from working with at-risk youth to adults across all socio-economic statuses. He is also bilingual and is very comfortable working with individuals and families from very diverse backgrounds. For about 8 years prior to entering the field of substance abuse, Daniel worked with children and adolescents diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis he taught academics and life-skills to this population. He also provided parent effectiveness training, teaching parents to use key skills in dealing with the many challenges faced by families with Autism. Daniel earned both his undergraduate degree in Psychology and his graduate degree in Mental Health Counseling from Florida International University. He also received specialized training in Applied Behavior Analysis and has effectively used these skills with substance abusing young people. Daniel is now a primary therapist at Family Recovery Specialists having joined the team in October of 2014. He is also a SMART Recovery Certified Facilitator.
Sarah Naturman received her Master’s degree at New York University in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness and her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Florida State University. She returned to Miami, Florida, where she was born and raised, and is now a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern. She has been providing treatment for individuals and groups who suffer from addiction and co-existing disorders, as well as family members affected by substance users. Sarah worked in NYC at the Weill Cornell Medical College in their adult outpatient substance abuse program. Her previous experience involves counseling adolescents, at-risk youth, and children with behavioral disorders. She is also accustomed to working with individuals and families from very diverse backgrounds. Sarah joined FRS in 2015 and provides case management for our program.
John Springle has been an addiction counselor for nearly 15 years and is a Certified Addiction Professional (CAP) in the state of Florida. He has worked all levels of addiction and mental health treatment, including residential and outpatient programs and is quite accustomed to working with individuals and families from very diverse backgrounds. John worked with both Ana Moreno and Ray Estefania at South Miami Hospital’s Addiction Treatment Program in his role as Primary Therapist and later, Residential Program Supervisor. Prior to joining the FRS team, John worked with individuals with co-occurring psychiatric disorders in a residential setting and most recently; he was running an Intensive Outpatient Program in Broward County. For the last 10 years, John has been a facilitator for the Intervention Project for Nurses (IPN), working with licensed health care workers who are suffering with addiction. He is experienced in Joint Commission accreditation and was a professor at the Academy for Addiction Professionals, teaching addiction related courses to students seeking certification. John joined FRS in 2015 and works primarily in the adult outpatient program. John is also a SMART Recovery Certified Facilitator.
Jorge Vazquez-Lopez is the Admissions and Outreach Director for FRS. With a professional background in both luxury hospitality and residential treatment admissions, Jorge is distinguished by his passion for excellence in customer service and his constant striving to exceed client expectations. In addition, he has extensive experience working with complicated clinical cases and is accustomed to working with clients from very diverse backgrounds.
Jorge is a graduate of Cheshire Academy where he earned his high school diploma in 2004. He went on to earn his Bachelors in Business Administration from the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico in 2011. His career highlights include his role as Concierge at The Breakers Palm Beach Hotel where he fostered his high standard for quality customer service, as well as his role as Admissions Counselor for Lucida Treatment Center, where his passion for client care and his sharp clinical eye was developed. Under the supervision of esteemed addiction psychiatrist, Christopher La Tourette La Riche, MD, Jorge developed his clinical admission skills, which paired perfectly with his extensive training in customer service. Jorge is bilingual and played an important role at Lucida in developing the multi-cultural program, ensuring the Spanish-speaking clients received the highest quality clinical care and cultural sensitivity. Jorge joined the team at FRS in late 2015.
Suzan Blacher has over 39 years of nursing experience which includes addiction nursing, home health care, critical care and medical-surgical nursing. Suzan is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Drexel University. She received her BSN from Barry University in Miami Shores and her MSN from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. She has a Certificate in in Complementary Integrative Therapies from Drexel University. Suzan is currently a PhD student in the Barry University Nursing PhD program. Her area of interest is stigmatization in persons with the disease of substance used disorders. Suzan is a Certified Addictions Registered Nurse (CARN) and is Co-Chair of the Addictions Nursing Certification Board. Suzan is also a Tobacco Treatment Specialist and has set up and run tobacco treatment and dependence programs. Suzan began her career in addiction nursing at South Miami Hospital Addiction Treatment program where she worked as a nurse clinician and a staff development educator.