Stuart Birnbaum
Founder & CEO
  • Winner of the prestigious Writer’s Guild of America Award and Emmy Nomination

Stuart Birnbaum has been in recovery for 32 years and is founder, CEO and Executive Director of the Lakehouse Recovery Center and Recovery Advocates.

Stuart's career was launched as a comedy writer; penning for Lily Tomlin, Chevy Chase, Redd Foxx, Christopher Guest and Tim Conway and is the recipient of the Writers Guild Award and an Emmy nomination.


Dr. Brian Taylor

Practicing for over 28 years, Dr. Taylor is a board-certified psychiatrist in private practice who has provided care to addiction, forensic and geriatric specialty populations in addition to treating patients in general adult psychiatry.

Dr. Taylor is on faculty for the Community Memorial Health System psychiatric residency program.
He graduated from Stanford University School of Medicine in 1991, completed his internship in general surgery at University of California, San Francisco, and then returned to Stanford University Hospital to train in psychiatry where he served as Chief Resident. He is the former VCBH Medical Director for the Ventura County Health Care Agency and Past Chief of Staff at Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC). He previously served as the VCBH Quality Medical Director, Medical Director for both Hillmont House, a mental health rehabilitation center, and the Anka-Ventura Crisis Residential Treatment center, as well as Chief of the VCMC Department of Psychiatry.
Dr. Taylor is a recipient of the 2015 David Fainer, M.D. and Leo Tauber M.D. Behavioral Health Professional of the Year Award and has also been recognized by both Top Doctors Magazine 2019 and by the Consumers' Research Council of America 2015 as one of America's Top Psychiatrists.


Laura Berman
Program Director, Therapist, Group Facilitator

Laura is the Program Director, Therapist, and Group Facilitator in Lakehouse Recovery’s Intensive Outpatient program.

Laura holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Fordham University, and is also a Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor. She has worked in the field of addiction in a number of modalities for over 9 years. Laura expertise lies in working with adolescents, adults, couples, and families.

Laura’s vocational experience includes working as Program Aide for Visions Adolescent Treatment Center mentoring adolescents recovering from addiction, at New York Center for Living as the Intake Coordinator and Individual Therapist, and Hazelden Betty Ford’s New York City Intensive Outpatient. Laura’s training at Hazelden Betty Ford’s New York City Intensive Outpatient facility facilitated experience working with dual-diagnosis adults and young adults, personality disorders, family systems, and trauma-related issues. Laura utilizes several modalities (DBT and Mindfulness, CBT, attachment, MI, and ACT) in order to create a more tailored therapeutic setting for her client’s. Laura works collaboratively with her clients to create a safe environment where client can move towards alleviating symptoms, change in behavioral patterns and negative thinking, transform family-of-origin dynamics, and improving interpersonal relationships. She helps clients develop insight, identify their values, and gain tools to better manage their substance abuse and mental health symptoms.


Lindsey Araiza
Clinical Director

Lindsey is Clinical Director of the Lakehouse Recovery Center; she runs her own local private practice and works as a clinical supervisor.

She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a
strong background in addiction and mental health recovery work.
Lindsey is an individual and family therapist, group
facilitator, and administrator at numerous inpatient and outpatient
treatment facilities. She works with adults, adolescents, families and
couples. Her specialties include the treatment of substance abuse,
anxiety, depression, personality disorders and trauma.

Lindsey is an East Coast native, and received her undergraduate
degree from Barnard College of Columbia University. She received her
Master of Social Work degree from California State University,


John Herrera
Case Manager

John Herrera studied at Sober College School of Addiction Studies and is credentialed as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor through CCAPP.

He has specialized in Substance Abuse Residential Treatment, John holds a passion to counsel those suffering from the effects of substance abuse. He has assisted individuals in recovery through identifying behaviors and problems relating to their addictions and has provided support for behavioral change and maintenance of sobriety. He offers psychoeducation on relapse prevention and coping skills as well as a safe and non-judgmental space for individuals to address issues that are occurring in their lives.


Brian Jacobs
MA Counseling Psychology, Pranayama Breath work Facilitator

Brian has a unique understanding and way of working with people of all ages.

He is a very compassionate, kind and empathetic person and these qualities lie at the core of his work. He combines a blending of traditional Psychology, with his passion Pranayama Breath Work. His work is geared towards assisting people to experience the interwoven connection that exists in, body, mind and spirit. He received his Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from LMU, where he developed his fundamental foundation of studying various perspectives, theories and practices in the field of psychology. He spent several years training at The Maple Center working with children, adolescents, and adults. In addition, Brian spent some time volunteering at The Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCLA where he worked with kids who had Schizophrenia in a physical therapy milieu. He spent several years volunteering at Vista Del Mar, where he counseled adolescents at the high school. He recently completed his educational requirements for his CADAC at LMU and is now working on obtaining the required hours for licensure. Brian is currently facilitating Breath Work groups in the field of Alcohol and Drug recovery. He is also leading adolescent and young adult groups in mental health facilities, and in meditation centers. Finally, Brian also works in private practice.


Nathaniel Hodder-Shipp

Nathaniel Hodder-Shipp, B.Msc, CADC-II, is President and Founder of Breathwork for Recovery and has worked as a professional healer for over a decade.

Using an arsenal of techniques with a special focus on breathwork, Nathaniel has helped thousands of people process trauma, disarm negative thought patterns, and maintain healthy and happy relationships with themselves and loved ones. Nathaniel’s client base ranges from those seeking relief from everyday anxiety to people suffering from severe emotional and physical trauma and desperate for help, and his specialty includes working in addiction treatment facilities to help accelerate clients’ journey to recovery.

Nathaniel was trained to facilitate breathwork professionally and has completed the David Elliott Healer Training series multiple times. He also is the founder of The Recovery Circle, a weekly support group led by trained breathwork professionals to offer an effective alternative to traditional 12-step programs.

To learn more about Nathaniel, please visit


Ben Campbell
Group Facilitator

Ben began working in the addiction and recovery field five years ago, hoping to help others find their voice using techniques from drama therapy and playback theater.

He is currently pursuing his Masters in Social Work with a focus on continuing his work with the addiction and prison populations. He is a founding member of LA’s Playback Theater which does performances for at-risk populations.

In addition to working in the recovery field, Ben is an actor with a BFA from NYU Tisch. He's performed on London’s West End and on stages across LA.


Lindsey Cooper
Program Therapist

Lindsey earned her Masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles and her BS in Sociology from Mount St. Mary’s University.

Her clinical training began at Airport Marina Counseling Service where she received in-depth psychodynamic training prior to immersing herself in comprehensive DBT. She is trained in the EAGALA model of equine therapy and Brainspotting. Lindsey is dedicated to her own growth as a professional as well as supporting others through conducting clinical trainings and presentations, participating in conference panels (NATSAP 2019), and advocacy work.

Lindsey uses an eclectic approach when working with clients, often incorporating DBT and mindfulness, narrative therapy, family systems, attachment-focused, and object-relations. She takes an empowerment approach when working with clients and believes that humans are always seeking to develop and heal.


Spencer Posey
Primary Therapist

Spencer has earned a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University.

In addition to serving as a Primary Therapist at The Lakehouse, he also enjoys the opportunities he has as a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist at a local private practice.


Elysse Rhodes
Office Manager

Elysse earned her B.S. in Health Science from California State University, Channel Islands.

She began working in addiction and recovery with hopes to gain experience in the field.



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