Jackie is a licensed marriage and family therapist, who has been working in the field of mental health for over nineteen years.
Jackie started her career at Desert Aids Project, where she worked as a case manager to clients affected by HIV and mental health or addiction. She completed her practicum at DAP, providing individual therapy and case management to clients with co-occurring disorders. She moved to Los Angeles as an intern to work for LA Free Clinic (now Saban Free clinic), on a grant which provided social work support to a newly opened charter middle and high school. She developed the school’s first mental health program. This included: assessing all students for support, providing group therapy, individual therapy, parenting support, and mental health training. After this grant ended, she worked many years in community based clinics, including: Didi Hirsch, Masada Homes and Eisner Pediatric. During this time Jackie worked with families, adolescents, and at-risk youth, providing outreach work and therapy in English and Spanish. Her passion grew for working with marginalized groups, and wanting a better understanding of how to provide support to clients with addiction issues. She landed a job working for UCLA’s Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine. She worked on medication clinical trials for the treatment of methamphetamine dependence as well as health studies working with people of color who are affected by HIV. Jackie was trained in providing manualized cognitive behavioral therapy to clients enrolled in the medication studies. Jackie provided direct oversight and supervision to the health navigators, who were working with clients enrolled in the HIV prevention trials. During this time she also took on an outside study with San Francisco’s department of public health. She was trained in motivational interviewing and began providing MI and case management to participants who were recently enrolled into sober living, and were considered high risk. This included: alcohol/drug dependent, history of incarcerations, or at risk of contracting HIV. Jackie eventually began focusing all of her attention on working in the field of addiction. She worked at a residential treatment center for almost five years, initially as a primary therapist, and eventually as the executive director.
Jackie believes in the importance of creating programming that evolves and is tailored to fit the needs of the clients. She feels that having the foundations of recovery, artistic exploration, evidenced based practices, and health and wellness is the key to assisting a person with making progress and change.