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.

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

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

Lori is our agency Clinical Director. She 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 current role, Lori oversees all clinical aspects of The Council’s work, including the Behavioral Health Training Institute; outpatient treatment, crisis intervention; individual, group and family therapy; and clinical supervision. She also plays a crucial role in developing and providing community education on a range of topics related to addiction and co-occurring disorders. In her free time, Lori enjoys motorcycling and has a deep love for her three dogs and other creatures great and small.

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.

Viola Chavez, LCSW

Education: Cornell University & University of Houston
Areas of specialization: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Eating Disorders, Personality Disorders, Veteran Populations, Trauma, Grief, Gerontology, Suicide Prevention, Crisis Interventions

Viola is the adult and IOP therapist for the Center for Recovery Families. Prior to joining The Council, she worked at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center serving the veteran population of Houston and their families. She provided therapy and case management services in the hospital’s mental health clinic, and later transitioned to the Hospital’s Suicide Prevention Team. While at the VA, Viola was a member of both the DBT Team and the Eating Disorder program. Viola in trained in evidence based treatment, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Motivational Interviewing (MI). She has experience addressing issues related to addiction, trauma, and grief. She has a special interest in veteran populations, suicide prevention and crisis interventions. Viola enjoys walking her dog along the bayou trails in Houston, as well as experiencing an endorphin release by regularly attending spin classes.

Ann Spataro, LCSW, CDWF

Family 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.

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.

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.

Joanna Robertson, M.MFT, LMFT, LPC

Education: Abilene Christian University
Areas of specialization: Family Systems, Mindfulness-Based Practices, Adolescent and Young Adult

Joanna is the Manager of the Choices Program at The Council on Recovery. In addition, she provides counseling services to adults and adolescents in multiple programs at The Council. Joanna obtained her master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Abilene Christian University. Her previous work includes managing the therapy program at a domestic violence shelter, crisis intervention, school-based therapy, private practice, family therapy, and more. She is certified through The Center for Mind Body Medicine and provides mindfulness-based groups and training in the community. Joanna is passionate about supporting her clients in their healing and growth journeys. When not at work, she enjoys gardening, reading, 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.