Therapist Staff at the Center for Recovering Families

We have the knowledge, experience, and compassion to help you

The Council's Center for Recovering Families employs a highly skilled and experienced therapist staff. They will help you and your family with problems related to alcoholism, substance abuse, other addictions, and co-occurring mental health disorders. The personalized treatment plans they use are comprised of powerful and proven therapeutic techniques that create healing through self-discovery, recovery, and support.

Cheryl Kalinec, LCSW-S

Therapist, Director of Clinical Admissions & Operations
Education: University of the Pacific & Arizona State University
Areas of specialization: Addiction & Recovery, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT); Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT); Children’s Therapy, Family Systems

Cheryl oversees The Council’s intake team at the Center for Recovering Families, as well as the Welcome Center staff. Her team is responsible for clinical utilization reviews and coordination of Substance Use Evaluations. She has clinical experience and extensive training in Addiction & Recovery, Family Systems, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and Children’s Therapy. Originally from Southern California, Cheryl worked for as the Mental Health Program Manager for a children’s counseling center prior to relocating to Houston in 2008. She worked for Cenpatico for two years before joining The Council on Recovery in 2010. In her free time, Cheryl enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.

Keely O'Donnell, LCSW

Therapist, Manager of Clinical Admissions, Referrals, and Engagement
Education: University of Houston & University of Texas at Austin
Areas of specialization: Addiction & Recovery, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy skills, Family Systems, grief, life transitions

Keely O’Donnell, LCSW, has worked at The Council on Recovery for more than five years. She started as a Mary Bell Clinical Fellow before transitioning into a role as therapist and clinical intake coordinator. She facilitates substance abuse aftercare process group, and she previously facilitated the Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills group for the Healing Choices intensive outpatient program. Keely believes in the importance of cultivating self-compassion for where we have been and acceptance of where we are in order to grow and heal. As imperfect humans, we are all doing the best that we can with what we know, and it is possible to make transformative changes in the areas where our best is no longer serving us.

Rachel Evans, LMSW

Family Therapist
Education: University of Houston & Greenville University
Areas of specialization: Addiction and Recovery, Adult Therapy, Couples Therapy, Family Systems, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Rachel is the Family Therapist for The Center for Recovering Families. Along with earning a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Houston, Rachel completed an internship and clinical fellowship with The Council on Recovery. Rachel also held a Master’s level internship with Child Advocates of Fort Bend. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Greenville University. In her free time, Rachel enjoys live music of all kinds and visiting the beach as much as possible.

Nina Tahija, LMSW, LCDC, TCTSY-F

Primary Treatment Therapist
Education: University of Houston
Areas of specialization: Addiction & Recovery, Internal Family Systems, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Nina Tahija, LMSW, LCDC, TCTSY-F is the Primary Treatment Therapist for the Center for Recovering Families at The Council on Recovery. Previously, she served as the Center’s Mary Bell Behavioral Health Clinical Fellow and as a Clinical Social Work Intern for Baylor Psychiatry Clinic. She holds a master’s degree in social work and is published in the Journal of Teaching in Social Work for her work on “Teaching and Learning During and After COVID-19: Lessons Learned from the Social Work Classroom.” She is also a Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga Facilitator (TCTSY-F). In her free time, Nina enjoys reading books and connecting with nature.

Alejandra Ortiz, LMSW

Adolescent Therapist
Education: Columbia University, San Diego State University
Areas of specialization: Addiction and Recovery, Adolescents & Young Adults, Family Systems

Alejandra is the Adolescent Therapist for The Council on Recovery’s Center for Recovering Families. Alejandra holds a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University in Child and Family Development and a master’s degree from Columbia University in Clinical Social Work. She is bilingual and has previous experience working with attorneys to find legal relief for children, working with at risk youth in the Sunnyside area of Houston, and working with non-offending caregivers of children who may have experienced abuse or neglect. Alejandra was previously a CHOICES Counselor at Episcopal High School before being hired as adolescent therapist. Alejandra’s passion is working with adolescents and young adults within their family systems to help heal the generational wounds that continue to affect their life.

Lori Fiester, LCSW-S, MAC, CIP, CDWF

Education: University of Texas at El Paso & University of Houston
Areas of specialization: Addiction & Recovery, Family Systems, Codependency, Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator

Lori has nearly 30 years of experience in the field of social work including addiction, mental health, community supervision and corrections. She is a board registered interventionist, and has special training in eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR), post-induction therapy (PIT), critical incident stress management (CISM), and Acudetox among others. In her free time, Lori enjoys motorcycling and has a deep love for her three dogs and other creatures great and small.

Ann Spataro, LCSW, CDWF

Therapist Education: Kent State University & University of Houston Areas of specialization: Addiction & Recovery, Adult Therapy, Couples Therapy, Family Systems. Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator

Ann works with individuals, couples and families who struggle with the impact of addiction on their family system. She facilitates both intensive and supportive outpatient treatment programs for her clients and their families. Ann leads weekly family recovery sessions, as well as a weekly educational/support group known as the Multi-Family Group.  In addition to therapeutic counseling for her clients, Ann also facilitates the Family After Care interpersonal process group and the Mindful Eating process group. She has been a member of the Kids Camp team for 4 years and facilitates the parent component of that vital program. In her time away from work, Ann plays tennis, practices yoga, and enjoys traveling, especially to spend time with her children and 13 grandchildren.

Andrea Washington, LCSW-S, CSAT, CDWF

Education: University of Texas at Austin & University of Houston
Areas of specialization: Addiction & Recovery, ADHD, HIV/AIDS; Anxiety, Bipolar, Behavioral Addictions (including Sex Addiction), Depression, Couples Therapy, LGBT issues including gender identity, Older Adolescents Therapy, Young Adult Therapy, Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator

Andrea provides therapeutic counseling to individuals with substance use or mental health disorders and their families. Her specialization as a CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist) allows her to work with people struggling with problematic or compulsive sexual behavior. Her work focuses on family of origin issues and the part they play in other relationships throughout life. Andrea has been a presenter at SAMHSA’s national conferences. She was also sole clinical/practice consultant to CSWE and SAMHSA in the development of an integrated primary care behavioral health practicum curriculum used by many graduate social work programs. Outside of work, Andrea enjoys attending festivals, the zoo, and museums. She loves poetry readings, books, volunteering, creating zentangles, and spending time with friends and family.

To make an appointment for a clinical assessment, or if you have any questions, call 713-914-0556 or contact us online.