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.
Gillian Bieler, LCSW
Coach & psychotherapist
Gillian Bieler is a mental health practitioner passionate about working with adults struggling with chemical dependence and dual diagnosis. She received her bachelor’s degree in family and child studies from Northern Illinois University and her master’s degree in social work with an emphasis on mental health from the University of Southern California. She is also a Certified Family Life Educator through the National Council on Family relations.
Gillian’s interest in the mental health field began in an undergraduate internship at The Josselyn Center for Mental Health in Northfield, Illinois. There she provided case management and life skills classes to adults with severe mental illness. She really found her passion for working with dually diagnosed adults during her capstone master’s internship at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute where she worked as part of a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, social workers, and spiritual care professionals. She has also worked in hospice care, charter schools, transitional living programs, day treatment programs and inpatient hospitals.
Currently, Gillian is working as a sober coach and psychotherapist in private practice with Michelle Hirschman, LCSW.
Seth Menachem, LMFT
Seth Menachem has a B.A. in Psychology from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles. Seth’s goals as a therapist are to help you understand your history, recognize patterns in your life, resolve your inner conflicts, and find your truth.
Seth spent 20 years working in entertainment and works with clients in all aspects of the industry, helping them deal with the uncertainty of the business, creative blocks, and the unique challenges of working in the entertainment field.
Seth also specializes in addiction, having begun his traineeship at Beit T’Shuvah, an inpatient addiction facility—some of whom are formerly incarcerated residents on alternative sentencing—who are dealing with an array of addictions. Seth continues to split his time between working with clients at Beit T’Shuvah, and in private practice at Hirschman Clinical Services.
Seth has a great deal of experience working with those who have terminal illnesses, and believes very strongly in working through the complicated feelings in both individual and family therapy, as illnesses affect everyone, not only the person who is ill.
Seth is Certified and Trained to work with gamblers through CalGETS (The California Gambling Education and Treatment Services).
Seth is also a writer and has been featured on various radio and news stations such as HLN/CNN, and HuffPost Live, where he discussed gender norms after writing a viral essay about his son who at the time was wearing dresses: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/my-son-wears-dresses-and-thats-ok-with-me_b_5578709.html
His latest essay deals with how he spoke with his own children about death and dying: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/i-will-be-here-for-as-long-as-you-need-me_us_59a4701ce4b03c5da162aeb3
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.
Megan House, AMFT
Coach & Psychotherapist
Megan is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist that has worked within the addiction and mental health field for the past three years. Megan has a B.A Degree in Psychology from California State University Northridge and a Master of Science Degree in counseling with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy from California State University Northridge
Since graduating with her Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2015, Megan has been providing mental health and addiction services in Los Angeles. She has extensive knowledge in substance abuse and relapse prevention, having worked in both detox, residential, and IOP treatment facilities. Megan also has a special interest in treating eating disorders and sex and love addiction, guest lectured on these topics at UCLA extension, and volunteered at the Eating Disorder Center of California, where she helped young girls navigate their emotions as they battled with their urges to restrict and purge. Megan also worked at a non-profit organization that focused on providing children of low-income families mental health services through their school. In her therapeutic practice, Megan uses a collaborative approach to develop self-understanding in her clients and encourage healthy new attitudes and feelings toward their life situations.
Currently, Megan is working with the Hirschman Clinical team as a Sober Coach and psychotherapist.
In her life outside of coaching and psychotherapy, Megan paints, draws and enjoys designing for her own jewelry line.