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 team of highly skilled and experienced therapists. 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 for the Center for Recovering Families
Education: University of Texas at El Paso & University of Houston
Areas of specialization: Addiction & Recovery, Family Systems, Codependency, Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator Read more...
Lori oversees a team of eleven clinical staff who serve clients in the Center's various programs. These include the Healing Choices intensive outpatient treatment program and supportive outpatient program, as well as all clinical services (individual, family and couples therapy). She also directs evaluation and assessment services, aftercare, intervention, and executive services. Prior to her 14-year tenure at The Council on Recovery, Lori worked with the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Department of Public Safety, and Montrose Center. Lori’s vast experience focuses in several areas of specialization for which the Center for Recovering Families is nationally-known, including Addiction & Recovery, Family Systems, and Codependency. 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
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.
Lisa Connelly, M.Ed., LPC
Education: University of Colorado & University of Houston
Areas of specialization: Adolescent, Trauma and Attachment Informed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Family Systems, Motivational Interviewing, Mindfulness
Lisa provides individual therapy adolescents and adults, and co-facilitates the Mindful Choices high-risk behavior course for adolescents and their parents. Prior to joining The Council, Lisa worked with MD Anderson’s Integrative Medicine team and Baylor College of Medicine’s Choices Plus Program for Tobacco and Alcohol Cessation. She also worked at the Women’s Home Residential Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program. Lisa helps adolescents and families examine parts of their lives blocking their mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, and create ways to prosper and grow. Lisa is trained in Trauma & Attachment Informed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Family Systems, Motivational Interviewing, and Mindfulness. Outside of work, Lisa has a dedicated yoga practice, enjoys live music, and loves to travel.
Margaret “Maggie” Giles, M.Ed., LPC
Education: The University of Tennessee & The University of St. Thomas
Areas of specialization: Adolescent, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Family Systems
Maggie works with adolescents and adults, and specializes in treating substance use and mental health disorders, grief, and eating disorders. She leads a group for women in active recovery and also co-facilitates the Mindful Choices high-risk behavior course for adolescents and their parents. Maggie is trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Family Systems, Solution Focused, and Gestalt and Rogerian techniques. Prior The Council, Maggie worked in private practice and as a clinician at IntraCare North Psychiatric Hospital, where she became familiar with differing diagnoses of people from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Outside of work Maggie is an avid reader, movie goer, self-proclaimed “foodie,” enjoys live music, working out and challenging anyone to a game of soccer.
Kara Grant, LPC-S, CDWF
Education: University of Houston & Texas State University-San Marcos
Areas of specialization: Addiction & Recovery, Mindfulness, Psychodynamic Process Groups, Family Systems, Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator
Kara is a trauma and relational therapist who works with individuals and couples. She also facilitates the Monday and Wednesday night process groups for the Healing Choices IOP. Kara has deep respect for her clients’ journey and believes creativity, nature, connection, and stillness are some of the greatest teachers. She infuses the gifts from Experience into her work at The Council and guides her clients through expressive arts, meditation, and connection. As a student of Somatic Experiencing, Kara honors the bond between mind and body, and works with each to heal trauma. She enjoys being outside and around trees, connecting with her horses, Mahalah and Mystery and navigating life with her dog, Element.
Ann Spataro, LCSW, CDWF
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.
Kat Nazaroff, LCDC, LCSW, CDWF
Therapist, Manager of Clinical Training
Education: Texas State University & University of Houston
Areas of specialization: Addiction & Recovery, Psychodynamic Process Group, Family Systems, Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator
Kat works with adult individuals, couples, and families. She specializes in addiction and recovery; family systems and family of origin; anxiety and depression; and shame resilience. Kat is a member of the Houston Group Psychotherapy Society as a planner of its yearly training institutes. She has presented at Jewish Family Services, University of Houston, and graduate social work programs on addiction and recovery, and how both impact the brain. Kat received Daring Way training and is certified to facilitate the work of Brene Brown to help clients explore shame messages, courage, and vulnerability. In her free time, she loves a good book or movie, a cup of coffee, and hanging out with her two cats- Jedi and Princess Leia.
Keely O'Donnell, LMSW
Education: University of Houston
Areas of specialization: Addiction & Recovery, Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills group, Adult Therapy
Keely works with adult clients as a therapist and provides counseling related to substance use and mental health disorders. She also works on the team of clinical intake coordinators at The Council who conduct substance use evaluations and assessments for adolescents and adults seeking help. She provides counsel for ongoing support and recommendations of community resources, and helps arrange treatment service options. Keely facilitates the Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills group for the Healing Choices IOP. In addition to her graduate degree in social work at the University of Houston, she also completed The Council’s Mary Bell clinical fellowship. Outside of work, she feels most fulfilled spending time with her family, friends, and furry four-leggeds.
Caitlin Payne, LMSW
Education: University of Georgia
Areas of specialization: Addiction & Recovery, Dual Diagnosis, Mindfulness, Family Systems
Caitlin works with adult clients as a therapist and provides individual and group therapy with co-occurring disorders and severe mental illness. She commonly addresses anxiety and mood disorders, issues with self-esteem and low self-worth, and difficulties within family of origin. counseling related to substance use and mental health disorders. Caitlin’s previous experience as a clinician includes work in residential and partial hospitalization settings. She specializes in mindfulness based interventions and has training in cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy. Caitlin completed intensive training in Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) and co-authored in nation-wide research study on substance use treatment. When away from work, Caitlin plays with her chiweenie blu, does yoga, bakes, and watches true-crime documentaries.
Kierstin Thornhill, LPC
Education: The University of Texas at Austin and Texas Woman’s University
Areas of specialization: Addiction & Recovery, Family Systems, Children Therapy, Family Therapy, Kids Camp
Kierstin provides clinical counseling services to children and their families. Her work with kids includes play therapy, expressive arts, and talk therapy. She also provides parent coaching and family therapy. Kierstin works with children and families experiencing family addiction, mental health symptoms, trauma, and behavioral concerns. She coordinates Kids Camp, a three-day program for kids 7-12 from homes affected by current or past substance abuse. Kierstin understands the impact of addiction on kids, as well as the shame and stigma parents or caregivers experience. She is passionate about educating the community about these issues and has been a popular presenter at many state and national conferences. In her free time, Kierstin enjoys being active and spoiling her dog.
Madeline Vaughn, LCSW
Therapist, Treatment Coordinator
Education: University of Texas at Austin & University of Houston
Areas of specialization: Addiction & Recovery, Anxiety Disorders, Family Systems, Adult Therapy
Madeline works with clients who are struggling with addiction, depression, anxiety, stressor-related disorders, and family of origin issues. Her experience includes clinical work with adults, adolescents and their families, as well as case management for state and non-profit entities. She is a presenter for conferences, treatment centers, and educational institutions, and has a particular interest in speaking on the opioid epidemic. Her goal is to connect individuals and communities with needed resources related to mental health and substance use. Madeline completed the Mary Bell Behavioral Health Post-Graduate Clinical Fellowship and also received clinical training from the Center for Success and Independence with an emphasis is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). In her free time, Madeline enjoys exploring the outdoors, water color calligraphy, and traveling.
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.