Our Teaching Faculty

We have brought together some of the leading experts in the field of addiction, diagnosis, treatment, management, research, funding, and recovery. All have years of experience in their fields of expertise and are members of the post graduate faculty of the American College of Addictionology & Compulsive Disorders.

Carmine Pecoraro, Psy.D., CAP, C.Ad., DACACD
Doctorate of Psychology with specialty in Neuropsychology and Clinical Psychology; Master of Science in Counseling Psychology; Master of Science Degree in Psychology; over 25 years in the field of counseling; Certified Addiction Professional; Internationally Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor; President of the American College of Addictionology & Compulsive Disorders; Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Master’s Program in Mental Health Counseling, Springfield College, Tampa Campus; Nationally Certified Gambling Counselor II; private practices in Fort Lauderdale and Tampa Bay, FL.

Christina A. Caufield, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist with an Internship and Post-Doctoral Residency at Harvard Medical School in Geriatric Neuropsychology.  She is a Governor Appointee on the State of Florida Substance Abuse and Mental Health Corp., and is a Co-Chair on Florida's Optimal Aging and Mental Health Board.  She also serves on the Executive Committees of Florida Council on Aging, Brain Injury Association of Florida, and Smart Justice of Florida.  Clinical expertise in substance abuse, trauma, recovery, integrated health and bain disease disorders.

Phillip Diaz, MSW, LLD, DACACD
Former White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Assistant Deputy Director, responsible for 17 Federal Agencies and a 1.5 billion dollar budget, directing Drug Prevention Policy and International Demand Reduction, 1989-91; Former Development Officer, Nova Southeastern University; Former Governmental Affairs Officer for Recovery Network and faculty at over 10 institutions; Partner and Family Therapist for Lifescape Solutions Recovery Center in Delray Beach, FL; over 30 years developing governmental and private enterprise ventures for business, state and federal agencies, projects and grants and other opportunities; holds many awards, 2 from the Executive of Office of the President; co-author of 7 books.

Amy Effman, LMFT, CAP
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified in Addictions. She operates from a Systemic lens and empowers clients using Narrative therapy and post-modern techniques. She has spent years working with the drug court system and has since started a private practice where she sees both Misdemeanor and Felony drug court clients, in addition to the private sector. She currently works as a Program Director for a holistic drug treatment center and has extensive experience working with addicts and their families. Amy has experience teaching for the Addictions Training Institute, where she developed curriculum and taught courses for professionals wanting to become Certified in Addictions counseling, in addition to serving as an Adjunct Professor at Barry University, School of Social Work, where she taught a graduate course in Domestic Violence. 

Matthew McCoy, D.C., DACS(C), DACACD
Director of Research, Life University, Marietta, Georgia; Professor in Clinical and Chiropractic Sciences. Developer and Lead Instructor for the Clinical Rounds and Case Study Program at Life University. President, Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation Research. Editor, Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health.

Ed McGowan, MPA
CEO, Concept House, Miami; 20 years of government & senior level management experience developing and managing behavioral health & Human service programs, i.e., V.P. Strategic Planning/ResCare/Lockheed Martin/Calif/Indiana/New York City & Arizona's TANF Program; Subject Expert for USAID-Baghdad & Basra; Assistant Mayor, City of New York, Social Services and Behavioral Health Programs.

Matthew Gissen, M.S., D.H.L., J.D, C.Ad.
Founder and President, Village South inc., Village South Institute of Human Resources Inc., Miami FL; Consultant to U.S. Department of Justice; Office of Juvenile & Delinquency Programs, Washington, D.C. and other Federal Agencies; Consultant to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Therapeutic Communities of America; Adjunct Professor, University of Miami, Addiction Training Program; Initial appointee to the National Advisory Council of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Washington, D.C.; Member, Miami Dade Addiction Services board; Trainer and Frequent Conference Presenter.

Joseph Bradley, M.S., D.C.,DNS, C.Ad, DACACD, Psy.D.(c)
Adjunct Professor, College of Southern Nevada and the University of Phoenix. Postgraduate Faculty, Life University, Marietta, Georgia. Director of Chronic Pain Program & Family Day Presenter, Solutions recovery, Las Vegas, NV, specializing in Addiction Medicine and Pain Management. Former Director of Physical Medicine, Las Vegas Recovery Center. M.S. Degree in Education with emphasis in Substance Abuse Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. D.C. Degree from Life West Chiropractic College, Hayward, CA. Certified Interventionist and Certified in Manipulation Under Anesthesia. Dr. Bradley lectures extensively on the pharmacology, psychopharmacology and intervention strategies of the addictions and compulsive disorders.

Jay M. Holder, D.C., CAP, CASAP, DACACD
Laureate, Albert Schweitzer Prize in Medicine from the Albert Schweitzer-Gesellschaft, Austria; Adjunct Professor, St. Martin’s College, Milwaukee, WI; Postgraduate Faculty, Life University, Marietta, Georgia; former Distinguished Faculty, Pharmacology, University of Miami, Center for Addiction Studies and Education; Founder/Director, Israel Certification Board of Addiction Professionals, Jerusalem, Israel; Founder/Director, Holder Research Institute, Miami Beach, Florida; Primary Investigator of numerous scientific research studies; inventor of many medical devices, modalities, and medical patents; author of several texts.

Gerald F. McKeegan, Ph.D., ABPP, MCP, BCBA-D, FAACBP
Licensed Clinical Psychologist; Diplomate in Behavioral Psychology; Licensed Behavior Analyst & Board Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctoral; Postdoctoral Masters in Clinical Psychopharmacology American Academy of Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology – Fellow, Forensic Examiner-Commonwealth of Virginia; & a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.
Adjunct Professor at University of Nevada, Adjunct Professor at Bridgewater College; Assist Professor School of Medicine, University of Virginia.  He is the author of numerous studies, papers & book reviews.
 
Michael Schaefer, DC, OMD, MPH, DACACD 
He earned his D.C. Degree with Honors from Life University, A Masters in Public Health from University of South Florida; A graduate of the University of Science, Arts, & Technology Medical School, Montserrat.  He holds various licenses among different states.  Board Certified in Addictions & Compulsive Disorders. currently he is the CEO of a licensed DCF substance abuse facility that focuses on detox and treatment of opioid and alcohol dependence patients, with special interest in treating HIV and HEP-C co-occurring illnesses.
 
Linda Wilson,  B.S., MSW, LCSW:
Currently Clinical Social Worker & Clinical Care Manager at Lutheran Services Florida Health Systems, Adjunct Professor University of Phoenix. For the past 10 years she has worked extensively treating survivors of childhood sexual abuse, providing psychotherapy for youth and families, and advocating for best practices throughout the behavioral health service delivery system.  CFARS and FARS trained Brief Strategic Family Therapy Certified: Targeted Case Manager Supervisor.

Valera Jackson, M.S., D.H.L., C.Ad.
President, resources Development Group, a National Consulting Firm Specializing in the Development of Health Service Projects. Holds a master's degree in health education with an emphasis in substance abuse; more than 25 years experience in community, state and national services for people with substance abuse problems; is Chairperson of the National Women and Children Task Force, a national organization formed to focus attention on increasing services and funding for Women with Children Treatment Programs; has a strong background in program development and design; a frequent conference presenter; a consultant for the U.S. Center for substance Abuse Prevention & U.S. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Washington, D.C.

Ali Hall, J.D., M.I.N.T.
Ali is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) & has designed and facilitated over three hundred Motivational Interviewing workshops, & provides training for trainers in evidence-based practices. Ali is a training associate for Center for Strength-Based Strategies as well as the Behavioral Healthcare Institute of the University Of North Carolina School Of Social Work. She completed her graduate studies at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University as well as the Cornell University School of Law.

Ron Jahner, ND, LAc.,C.Ad,
Ron has over thirty years of experience in clinical nutrition & natural therapies & is a Charter Instructor with Neuro Somatic Programming Seminars (NSP) & Total Body Modification Seminars (TBM). He has extensive experience in cooperative integrated therapy in hospital environments & medical clinics working with medical doctors, chiropractors & other health specialists in developing innovative therapy protocols individualized for metabolic management of the seriously ill.

Michelle McGuire, Psy.D
Licensed Psychologist.  A diverse background working with many populations, including developmental and intellectual disabilities, serious mental illness, & chemical dependency.   Clinical Director, Creative Behavioral Connections, providing neuropsychological testing and oversight of treatment services for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  She teaches for the University of Phoenix in the Master’s in Counseling Program and is the Lead Faculty Area Chair for the Psychology Program.

Maritza Paz, D.C., DACACD
A graduate of Life College and has been in private practice since 1993. Recipient of the Chuck Gibson Scholarship for Clinical Excellence; Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee, Chaminade-Madonna College. She has achieved advanced standing in the fields of Clinical Auriculotherapy, Torque Release Technique. Internationally renowned lecturer and great communicator.

Christina Winsey, LMT, D.C. DACACD(C)
Dr. Chris specializes in Health Coaching and addiction recovery through mind-body & energy medicine. She has extensive experience in the science of human potential & the application of its many clinical modalities. Medical Director, VP & Co-Owner of Wellformance, Inc., an innovative corporate wellness coaching company founded in 2003.

Rita M. Holder, C.Ad., CAC, CASAP, DACACD
Director of Family Therapy and Aftercare at Exodus Treatment Center; Associate Director of the Clinical Residency Training Program at Exodus-Concept House; Board of Directors of Concept House, a residential and outpatient addiction treatment center in Miami. She is on the Executive Board of the Israel Certification Board of Addiction Professionals, Jerusalem, Israel; NADA Certified in Acupuncture Detox, Certified in Auriculotherapy, and has extensive training and experience in other alternative modalities and their impact on addictions and compulsive disorders. In the 1960's, she co-founded one of the nation's first holistic health and nutrition centers, in Mill Valley, California; and is an internationally renowned lecturer, writer, and poet.

Sony Canteenwala, D.C.
Graduated Magna Cum Laude from Life College; Awarded Member of the International Chiropractic Honor Society; ICA Representative Assemblyman for Manitoba, Canada; Recipient of the International Leadership Award by the ICA, 2004. In private practice in Winnipeg, Canada.

Mary Walker, MS, LMHC, LMFT
Mary is the owner manager of Mary Walker & Associates, LLC where she and her associates provide clinical services, consultation and training. She is co-owner of New Friendships Sober Living. Additionally, she has been an adjunct faculty member at Springfield College, Department of Human Services at their Tampa campus since January of 2008. She has taught in the undergrad, Masters in Mental Health Counseling and Masters in Community Psychology Programs. Mary has worked with many diverse populations including consumers with Mental Health diagnoses, Substance Abuse and dependence issues, Co-occurring disorders, Sexual offenders and Victims of trauma and abuse. She has worked with clients of all ages from children through the elderly.

Elizabeth Fildes, EdD, RN, MAC, CNE, CARN-AP, DACACD
Associate Professor at Touro University School of Nursing and Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry. Founder & Principal Investigator of the Nevada Tobacco Users Helpline, the state's quitline with funding of $7million. Received the Public Health Hero Award in 1999 for outstanding dedication to reducting tobacco use. Appointed by the Governor of Nevada as a member of the Healthy Nevada Task Force for 8 years. Dr. Fildes is a grant reviewer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Servies & appointed to the Addictions Nursing Certification Board of the International Nurses Society on Addictions. She has authored several books, articles and many abstracts.

Michael Schaefer, DC, OMD, MPH, DACACD
Postgraduate Faculty for Texas Chiropractic College; University of Bridgeport; and Life University. He graduated with Honors from Life University; M.P.H Degree from USF in Public Health Practice. He has published research on the effects of cocaine on the nervous system. He has an O.M.D. degree from USAT. He is licensed in both Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and Chiropractic Medicine. He is certified in Family Mediation. He is Board Eligible in Clinical Neurology and preformed NCV/SSEP and Needle EMG evaluations for an Orthopedic group 1998-2002. He has worked with the Florida DOH as an expert witness for 5 years. Dr. Schaefer is Board Certified in Addictions & Compulsive Disorders.

William Berry, LMHC, CAP
Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Addiction Professional; over 20 years in the field of addiction treatment; teaches at Florida International University and Nova Southeastern University; maintains a private practice in group, individual and family therapy; authored the book "Addiction: A Human Experience"; writes for Psychology Today online.

Calixto Garcia-Abid, CSW, Ph.D.
President of Community Technological Institute of Miami; licensed clinical psychologist in the State of Florida; former Associate Director of Florida International University, Counseling and Psychological Service Center; lecturer and speaker at many state and national conferences on crisis intervention, behavioral medicine, neuropsychology, Cognitive Reflex Therapy (which he founded), biculturalism, gerontology and education; founder of the Student Counseling Center’s Biofeedback Lab at Florida International University; over 20 years of experience teaching at various levels of academia.

Lynn Lafferty, Pharm.D., MBA, N.D., CNC, CNHP
Doctor of Pharmacy and licensed pharmacist; Naturopathic Doctor, Herbalist, Nutritionist and Chef; Assistant Professor at The College of Medicine at Nova Southeastern University; wrote the In-DEPTH (Drug Education & Prevention Tools for Your Health) and The Perfect Time to Quit (smoking and marijuana cessation program) for high schools; worked with veterans exploring alternative treatments for PTSD, brain injury, hormone imbalances, depression and sleep disorders; published in consumer and peer reviewed journals.

Larry Ashley, Ed.S., LADC, LMSW, LPC, CPGC
Clinical Assistant professor, Department of Psychiatry and Internal Medicine, University of Nevada School of Medicine; Addiction Specialist & Undergraduate Coordinator, Dept. of Counselor Education & Director, Problem Gambling Treatment Program, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Linda Ehlers, D.C., C.Ad.
Board member of the American College of Addictionology and Compulsive Disorders; Diplomate, American Academy of Pain Management; Diplomate, International Board of Chiropractic Diagnosis and Preventative Medicine; Graduate of National College of Chiropractic. Dr. Ehlers has treated over 20,000 addicts during her first 10 years of private practice in Hickory Hills,IL.