Founder, Executive Director
David McNamara is a Recovery coach, Substance Abuse Counselor, filmmaker and Zen practitioner. David is currently completing his certification in Harm Reduction Psychotherapy with Dr. Andrew Tatarsky (one of our advisors and collaborators.) David has worked and volunteered in the recovery field for over 10 years as well as having training in Mindfulness Therapy and meditation. Prior to this he was a filmmaker for over 30 years. After many years into his own recovery he began to see the need for alternatives in the way that we treat addiction and the trauma underlying the addiction. In keeping with the contemporary wisdom for the treatment of addiction, David has spent much of his career investigating how recovery, spirituality and creative expression are integrally related. He began to develop a practice based on his own experience of recovery. Using his Zen meditation experience, DBT training, and Harm Reduction Psychotherapeutic techniques he began a program called Mindfulness Based Recovery. He has implemented this practice into his work at a traditional Drug Treatment center with some very promising results.
Last year David embarked on a documentary film called “Disconnected” (Healing an addicted society). In the making of the film he has found an incredible group of therapists, teachers, mentors and advisors. In many ways meeting and interviewing these authors of the paradigm shift in the way we treat addiction gave birth to this idea and this center.
In my role as Executive Director of Samadhi I will guide the overarching philosophy of treating addiction with compassion, understanding and mindfulness. I will be responsible for finding new therapists and treatments along with experts in their respective fields. Samadhi will be a living, growing entity working together with our research department and staff to continually evolve.
THAYER CASE, LCSW-R
Psychotherapist, Trauma Specialist
Thayer received his MSW from Columbia University, a Post Master’s Degree in Child and Adolescent Therapy from Fordham University and is a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP). Thayer is a Senior Student in the Mountains and Rivers Order of Zen Buddhism, a practice that deeply informs his work with clients. In addition, Thayer was awarded the Honor of Social Worker of the Year in 2011 by the HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley. He has particular expertise in treating addiction, grief, anxiety, depression, substance use disorder ,attachment issues, ADHD, sensory integration and mild autistic spectrum issues, stress reduction, issues with spirituality, and trauma. Thayer works very closely with patients in various ways – both individually and in family modalities. He invites all aspects of human experience into therapy. Thayer views therapy as facilitating a process of empowerment and discovery, unfolding in a safe place, focused on how we experience, and ultimately free ourselves from our habitual patterns in the body, thoughts and emotions. Trauma Resolution: Drawing on his training in Somatic Experiencing ®, body based psychotherapy, and decades of intensive meditation, Thayer works with many categories of trauma.
Director of Nutrition and Holistic Detox Services
Luis Mojica CHHC is a certified holistic healer, nutritionist and herbalist. He was challenged with trauma, eating disorders, illness, and the Standard American Diet. When a close friend died of a sudden heart attack, his mother bought him a juicer and his healing journey abruptly began. He juiced, sprouted, breathed, read, studied, and practiced what he was reading and preaching until he cured every incurable disease he was afflicted with - cystic acne, severe asthma, high cholesterol, weight issues, crippling anxiety and insomnia to name a few. I went on to study Psychology, holistic nutrition, life coaching, and somatic therapy. Each modality gave me new tools to, first, heal myself and then help others heal themselves.
“My personal traumas turned out to be incredible gifts. They motivated me to learn unique healing modalities out of a personal need to heal. They've also allowed me to have experiential empathy and understanding for others, so that I'm able to truly understand where someone is and help them. I find that more valuable than my training even.
In addition to my own journey and studies, I spent a decade working in NYC wellness centers, consulting for wellness businesses, and working with thousands of people directly from every background and with every story imaginable. From there, I started to develop my own form of healing that incorporates herbs, nutrition, and counseling. In 2012, I launched my private practice and have been enjoying it ever since.”
CHARLES LaBARRE, LAC
In 1992, Charles began his journey with acupuncture with the study of Toyo Hari, an esoteric Japanese system of acupuncture practiced in Japan almost exclusively by blind people. This intensive course concluded in 1994, and was followed by clinical rounds over the next two years with groups of masters from Japan. In 1999, the NY State Board recognized acupuncture training formally, and Charles completed a Master’s of Science in Acupuncture at Tri-State College of Acupuncture.
Charles is recognized as an Acupuncture Detoxification Therapist (ADT) and has been the Supervisor and Trainer for Detox Acupuncture services for St. Peter’s Addiction Recovery Center (SPARC), in Guilderland and in Albany. He also provided these services for Hudson River Psychiatric Hospital’s day program, and for Ulster County Mental Health Department’s Chemical Dependency Day Treatment Program, both in Kingston.
SANDRA OLIVIERA, Psychologist and CASAC
Assistant Clinical Director
Sandra is a Psychologist and CASAC with many years of experience in Harm Reduction Psychotherapy. Across her academic path, Sandra interned at several locations around the world. Sandra has participated in drug addiction prevention programs in high risk Portuguese schools, from the Portuguese Foundation fighting against HIV. Sandra also joined Doctors of the World, and she interned at their Harm Reduction Project. This project focused on homeless, sex workers and drug addicts in the streets of Portugal, addressing their primary needs and establishing a bridge between them and basic services. Sandra integrated into the APDES team as well. This agency provided harm reduction and risk minimization services to children at risk, homeless, drug addicts and sex workers. Sandra completed a Bachelors in Psychology (2009) and a Master in Psychology of Deviant Behavior and Justice (2011) at the College of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Porto University. Upon her graduation, Sandra integrated a research project with stakeholders of at risk populations, in cooperation with Italian and Spanish case workers, overseen by the European Coalition of Poverty (2011-2012). In October of 2012, Sandra moved to the US to be part of Anderson Center for Autism International Program. Shortly after, she started to work at MARC Crisis Center (2013). There, she ran therapeutic groups with men and women struggling with addiction. Sandra decided to seek her CASAC license and to become a substance abuse counselor. Sandra worked at Cornerstone of Rhinebeck (2016), a rehabilitation facility. Sandra was a primary counselor of both American and Spanish patients. At this facility, Sandra focused her counseling on a behavioral and rational emotional therapy approach. Currently, Sandra is working at Bolger House (MARC), a halfway house, where she counsels male substance abusers.
RONI SCHNADOW, MS, LMFT
Roni was educated at SUNY Downstate Medical Center (BS), Columbia University (MS) with post graduate training at the Minuchin Center for the Family in New York City. She was an assistant professor at the New York University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, and currently on the faculty of the Minuchin Center for the Family. In addition to her private practice, she supervises other therapists in their work with couples and families. She is a Program Consultant to various agencies in the Hudson Valley including substance abuse programs, mental health agencies and hospitals. She holds two NY State Licenses: LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) and RN (Clinical Nurse Specialist in Child/Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing. In addition to the problems that people usually come to therapy for, she has found this work to be beneficial for families going through difficult life transitions such as divorce, abuse of alcohol or drugs, loss and bereavement, living with a chronic or life threatening illness and domestic violence.
In addition to the team described above, Samadhi has had the great fortune to be endorsed by the below luminaries. These experts will act not only as guest lecturers but will also be involved and instrumental in the ongoing training of our staff.
Dr. Andrew Tatarsky PHD
Andrew Tatarsky is an internationally recognized leader in the treatment of problematic substance use and other potentially risky behaviors. He has specialized in the field of substance use treatment for 35 years working as a counselor, psychologist, program director, trainer, advocate and author. He has devoted his career to developing a comprehensive psychobiosocial understanding of the broad spectrum of substance use problems and an integrative harm reduction psychotherapy approach to treating this spectrum.
Dr. Valerie Mason-John
Valerie (Vimalasara) Mason-John is an inspirational public speaker and master trainer in the field of conflict transformation, leadership and mindfulness. She is the award winning author of 8 books, and is the co-founder of Eight Step Recovery .She also is the co-creator of Mindfulness Based Addiction Recovery (MBAR). Valerie is one of the leading African Descent voices in the field of Mindfulness and Addiction, and trains professionals to working in the field of addiction all over the world.
Dr. Gabor Maté
A renowned speaker, and bestselling author, Dr. Gabor Maté is highly sought after for his expertise on a range of topics including addiction, stress and childhood development. Rather than offering quick-fix solutions to these complex issues, Dr. Maté weaves together scientific research, case histories, and his own insights and experience to present a broad perspective that enlightens and empowers people to promote their own healing and that of those around them.
Sara Gillen has a 20-year career in nonprofit senior leadership and executive positions in the US, building innovative programs and strengthening organizational infrastructure in the areas of board management, staff development, financial management, and program reporting. Sara has overseen HIV prevention, harm reduction, and healthcare services, public health initiatives, and Federally Qualified Health Centers. Her most recent position was as the Chief Operating Officer of New York City Health and Hospital’s Correctional Health Services. In this role, Sara was responsible for oversight of day-to-day operations, Information Technology, Human Resources, and Labor Relations. Highlights from her tenure at some of the country’s foremost AIDS service organizations and health centers include: doubling divisional budgets, integrating a merged organization, and testing and evaluating cutting-edge HIV prevention programs. Sara holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Yale University’s School of Management and a Master’s in Public Health from Hunter College in New York City.
Margaretta Fox has been a practicing program evaluator in the United States for the last 20 years. She has developed and managed internal and external evaluations of a wide range of nonprofit programs, supported by both public and private funders. Before starting her own consulting business, Margaretta served as an executive-level manager at one of the premier AIDS service organizations in the country. In this capacity, she oversaw the development of a large internal evaluation department that would ultimately become a leader in quality management, program evaluation, community-based research, and evaluation-related technical assistance. In 2008, Margaretta started her own successful, New York-based consulting firm, Fox Evaluation, LLC, which specializes in providing highly-accessible, utilization-focused evaluation services. Clients have included: The Robin Hood Foundation, The Truth Campaign (Washington, DC), Public Health Solutions, The Fund for Public Health - New York, Rabin Martin Associates, The LGBT Community Center, Women in Need (Win), Harlem United, Housing Works, Brightpoint Health, Fortune Society, Osborne Association, CAMBA, CHASI, Turning Point Brooklyn, Rainbow Heights Club, Iris House, Brooklyn Perinatal Network (BPN) etc. Over the course of her career, Margaretta has co-authored journal articles on studies assessing the effectiveness of various programmatic interventions in community-based settings. She has also presented at professional conferences - mostly on the subject of quality improvement at nonprofits. Margaretta was trained in social psychology, research methodology, and statistics in a PhD program at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.