Michelle Hirschman, LCSW
Founder and Coach
Michelle is a clinical professional with a deep understanding of adult mental health and addiction challenges. Her work has ranged from clinical work at treatment centers in California, to the town of Ho in Ghana, West Africa, where Michelle provided case management services at a psychiatric unit with addicts and alcoholics and pioneered an AA meeting for the town. “I was able to educate the staff about the disease of addiction/alcoholism and provide them with AA literature that they had never seen before.”
Michelle’s journey to become a therapist began with a counseling internship as an undergraduate at University of California, Santa Barbara, where she practiced hospice work, psychiatric social work, and counseling at a transitional living home serving clients with co-occuring disorders. Michelle pursued her Master’s of Social Work at Washington University in May ’99 and obtained her MSW.
With her graduate degree, Michelle began her professional journey on Capitol Hill supporting various Senators and non-profits on legislation and lobbying efforts that revolved around women’s issues. From there, she served the homeless population in Washington, D.C., working primarily with the chronically mentally ill as well as those suffering from alcoholism and addiction. She eventually returned to California where she worked at a Suicide Prevention Center and also started her own nutritional consulting business, educating athletes and newly sober folks on nutrition and supplements. Michelle has worked with clients at all levels of care: outpatient, extended and residential treatment programs.
Michelle created the concept of “My Sober Coach” which is now part of the services Hirschman Clinical provides. This coaching concept was designed to bridge the gap between treatment and independent living, with the focus being on continued life skills development. The coach’s role is to empower, inspire and resource each client and help them find passion and purpose in their lives.
“Recovery from mental health and addiction issues can be an excruciatingly painful process without the right supports. Having a professional coach, helping with daily and sometimes hourly challenges, is crucial in not only preventing crisis/relapse, but supporting a more peaceful and happy existence in each person’s life.”
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Chris is completing his MBA through Pepperdine University. Chris entered the mental health and addiction fields in 2012 with a diverse background in business, marketing, event planning and coordinating.
Chris’ desire to be a part of the mental health community began with a passion for helping people and giving back to his community. In 2012, Chris co-founded Smash Life, LLC, a philanthropic, action sports-based lifestyle company that promotes a positive attitude, community outreach, and helping others reach their full potential. Chris brings to the table a can-do attitude and the belief that we can always “do better.”
Chris helps to provide his clients with the skills needed to live a full and productive life while guiding them to make positive life choices. Goal setting, creating action plans, accountability, scheduling and sharing his experience, strength and hope are all things in which Chris takes great pride.
Before entering the mental health field, Chris was a touring musician and responsible for coordinating and planning over 400 events up and down the West Coast. Through his work as a tour coordinator, event planner, his role at Smash Life, and a desire to help others, Chris has a unique background that combines his passion and strength for bringing people together through the coordination of special events.
Amber Lopez Molnar, AMFT
Coach & Psychotherapist
Amber is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist that specializes in maternal mental health ranging from infertility and conception through postpartum issues. In addition, she has worked within the addiction and mental health field for the past three years. Amber has a B.A Degree in Psychology from California State University Northridge and a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University. Prior to this, she received her Master of Arts Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from St. John’s University in New York,
Amber’s passion for specializing in maternal mental health developed after her own experiences with infertility and becoming a mother. She believes that it truly does take a village when having children, and hopes to offer a supportive and non- judgmental space during this time. She is a graduate of Postpartum Action Institute and holds a certificate in maternal mental health from Postpartum Support International where she is also a member.
Amber began her traineeship at CLARE Foundation where she provided individual and family therapy to clients with addiction and mental health issues. She also ran several groups such as; Seeking Safety, Mindfulness, Healthy Relationships and Anger Management. She continued to her postgraduate training at Sovereign Health where she was part of a comprehensive team of psychiatrists, psychologists and nurses to provide psychotherapy for dual diagnosis clients.
Currently, Amber is working with the Hirschman Clinical team as a Mommy Coach, Sober Coach and psychotherapist.
Coach & Psychotherapist
Rebecca is a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist and Professional Clinical Counselor. She received her Bachelors in Social Work from Arizona State University and then went on to get her Masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. She began her clinical experience in a Residential Treatment Center working with individuals experiencing a current crisis and co-occurring disorders. Here she provided psychotherapy, crisis intervention and ran bi-weekly therapeutic groups. These groups included: seeking safety, mindfulness and relapse prevention. She then went on to work at Didi Hirsch’s outpatient clinic. There she provided individual and family psychotherapy, crisis intervention and case management services to individuals struggling with mental health, trauma, homelessness and co-occurring disorders.
Rebecca worked as a Child Development Specialist in a nursery with children in crisis experiencing homelessness. She was also a behavioral coach for children exhibiting disruptive behavior and teens in the juvenile justice system. Additionally, she worked with children and adolescents diagnosed with autism. During her Social Work Internship Rebecca developed and facilitated a group for at-risk teens and implemented mindfulness and stress reduction workshops in public schools. She was also involved in efforts to decrease and prevent substance abuse within the community. Additionally, she worked alongside her Professor at ASU conducting research on domestic sex-trafficking.
Rebecca is passionate about and skilled at working with eating disorders, substance abuse, and other self-defeating behaviors. Rebecca utilizes individualized and holistic interventions, empowering others to develop a healthy relationship with themselves, discover their authenticity and build a life they want to live.
Mary Ann Rege
Coach & Psychotherapist
Passion to see people thrive, instead of just survive, is the underpinning of Mary Ann’s work. As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist from Antioch University and a Trained Mindfulness Facilitator from UCLA, Mary Ann takes a whole-person approach when supporting the well-being of others. She has a broad background in the treatment of mental health and co-occurring disorders over the past eight years working as a primary therapist and group facilitator at several agencies including Clare Foundation, Promises Professionals Treatment, Center for Professional Recovery, and Resolutions Teen Center.
Mary Ann is an AAMFT Certified Substance Use Disorder Provider who is trained in Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction through UCSD. She combines holistic practices from HealthRhythms® Group Empowerment Drumming, universal mindfulness, and SoulCollage® art modality with traditional approaches such as motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral methods. She is skilled in working with the LGBTQ+ population and has a specialized master’s degree in Affirmative Psychotherapy. Mary Ann’s own journey into wellness has led her to understand that growth is not a solo adventure. She views the first step of reaching out for help as a radically brave act.
Coach & Psychotherapist
Cari is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist who has extensive experience with eating disorders and complex trauma. She received a Master of Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy from Antioch University, Los Angeles. Cari has a B.A. Degree in Theatre from the University of Southern California. Before going back to earn her masters Cari was a producer of Broadway musicals and documentary films.
Cari’s self-awakening came after returning home from teaching in Arusha, Tanzania. Working closely with the community she developed a now established educational curriculum and AIDS awareness program.
Cari began her training at Peace Over Violence where she provided individual, group, and family therapy to clients who were survivors of domestic, sexual and interpersonal violence. Cari is a yoga instructor who has taken additional trauma informed yoga training, implementing it as an intervention with her clients. At Peace Over Violence she led trauma informed yoga classes for teens and women. Cari has experience with Dialectal Behavior Therapy (DBT) and uses individualized, empowerment, and holistic approaches to help clients live a life worth living.
In her free time, Cari enjoys racing road and mountain bikes, swimming, yoga and running. She has a passion for antiques, especially jewelry and enjoys bringing life back to neglected pieces.