Meet Our Staff
Dr. Kardaras is an Ivy-League educated psychologist, an internationally renowned speaker, and one of the country’s foremost addiction experts. A former Clinical Professor at Stony Brook Medicine where he specialized in teaching the neurophysiology and treatment of addiction, he has also taught neuropsychology at the doctoral-level and has worked closely in developing clinical protocols with Dr. Howard Shaffer, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Director of their Division of Addiction.
He has appeared on ABC’s 20/20, Good Morning America, the CBS Evening News, FOX & Friends, NPR, Good Day New York and has written about addiction for TIME Magazine, Scientific American, Psychology Today, Salon, The NY Daily News, and FOX News, and has been featured in Esquire, New York Magazine, VICE, and Vanity Fair.
Considered a leading expert on young people and digital addiction, he is the author of “Glow Kids” (St. Martin’s Press, 2016), the seminal book on the clinical, neurological and sociological aspects of Technology Addiction (Smart Phones, Video Games, Social Media, etc.) and has clinically worked with over 1,000 teens and young people during the last 15 years. He has been active in advocating that screen addiction be recognized as a clinical disorder akin to substance addiction and has developed the most comprehensive treatment protocols to treat this emerging global problem.
Dr. Kardaras is also the creator of Seahab, an intensive experiential form of nature immersion therapy. Based on the very successful evidence-based principles of Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare (OBH), Seahab has proven to be very effective as an intensive intervention to help addicts shift out of self-destructive and toxic lifestyle patterns.
Dr. Kardaras has also, admittedly, lived a colorful life: he’s a former AAU National Karate champion, a recovering NYC nightclub owner and a coma survivor. Having once owned high-profile NY nightclubs where he had mingled with the likes of JFK, Jr., Uma Thurman and Tom Cruise, Dr. Kardaras emerged from that glamorous-yet-self-destructive world and discovered a healing path to his own recovery from addiction. Dr. Kardaras is also the author of “How Plato and Pythagoras Can Save Your Life” (Conari, 2011) and devotes his life to helping others find their path to recovery, healing and a life of meaning and purpose.
He lives with his wife and twin sons between Austin, TX and Sag Harbor NY and is a frequent presenter and lecturer on the subjects of mental health, philosophy, and both substance and screen addictions.
For the first 28 years of his life, David lived in the prisons of his own shame, fears and addictions. Starting by the age of 10, he began having issues in school, in team activities, and was taken to Psychiatrists and eventually diagnosed with ADHD, forced to take his daily medicine. Confused, shamed and labeled, he went to school each day with an emptiness that he couldn’t understand or process. He began to act out and all the pain within spilled out sideways both at home and in school. He later learned that the emptiness was SHAME. With an emotionally unavailable father and overactive busy mother who had other kids to raise, David lacked the nurturing at home and did not know how to give that nurturing to himself, which he so desperately needed. He later learned that he abandoned his True Self, and began people pleasing, proving, impressing, lying, over achieving and developed several compulsive behaviors, addictions and personas along the way, doing anything to be enough, liked, wanted or accepted, all while hiding, burying and denying the shame, painful feelings, low self esteem, worth and beliefs that had formed. This eventually turned into not only drug & alcohol addiction that led him into his first rehab at 17 but also several layers of character flaws, defects and sabotaging patterns, which carried out through his adult life. for 30 years he sabotaged, blew up it up or pushed away any good thing that came his way, re-creating the belief systems, shame and guilt he knew so well.
Today, David knows deeply he is good, noble, that he belongs, is loved and worthy of all the goodness this life offers. Through the last 12 years of relentlessly pursuing his healing, recovery and seeking truth, he lives with a full and rich heart, and in his whole True Self. He was truly lost and has been found, was blind and now can see. Today, he’s learned who “God” is for him, and has developed a deep relationship with that connection, which has in turn helped him to love and have compassion for himself, giving the space to truly have compassion and love others. This is was makes him so relatable to others and why he has helped hundreds of young adults through their confusion, pain and suffering. One must travel through the treacherous desert in search for the Holy Grail, sit in the darkness like the caterpillar, fall apart, and discover the process of becoming is very real… Today, David gets to work in his True Calling, a real example of how the process, progress and promises are real. We just have to seek and search with all of our hearts, because the journey is not for the faint of heart. Today, David lives in Hawaii at Maui Recovery Extended Care Sober Living with his family and dog, where gets the privilege of personally walking with and helping others escape the very prisons he was once in himself, so that they too can have experience and gain the freedom, truth and love that is available for anyone who has a true desire to go within and do their inner work. He also owns and operates 10 Sober Living Homes that focuses on building family, community and training up leaders.
Dr. Rebecca Gladding, M.D. Consulting Psychiatrist
Rebecca L. Gladding, M.D. is a board certified psychiatrist. She completed her psychiatry residency at UCLA and served as Clinical Instructor and Attending Psychiatrist at the UCLA Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital and the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. She is co-author of the mindfulness-based wellness book You Are Not Your Brain. She has been honored with several teaching awards and was featured in the A&E Television Network’s critically acclaimed series Obsessed. She has also appeared on The Today Show, as well as several print and radio outlets.
Dr. Gladding studied extensively at UCLA with world-renowned brain researcher and neuroplasticity expert Dr. Jeffrey M Schwartz, where she learned how the mind can change the brain. She is an expert in deceptive brain messages, mindfulness, depression, anxiety, addiction and the Four Steps and regularly teaches people how to apply the Four Steps to their lives and relationships
Jemma was born in Cape Town, South Africa and spent the majority of her formative years on the West Coast of Canada. She began working on the streets of Vancouver, Canada at the age of 21 helping people with addiction issues access harm reduction supplies, counseling and housing resources. Jemma realized she had a passion for this line of work at a young age and went on to complete an MA in depth psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. She then went on to work in the school system and with foster youth in Los Angeles and Boulder, Colorado. Jemma followed her heart back to the ocean in 2011 and began teaching Cognitive Behavioral Therapy classes, managing the intake department and counseling clients at Hina Mauka, a 50 bed residential treatment center on Oahu. Jemma was later blessed to work with an amazing team as the Primary Therapist at the Marimed Foundation where they incorporated land and ocean based healing practices with youth exiting juvenile detention centers. Jemma is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor.
She was also the Founder of The North Star Center for Marriage and Family Therapy and Program Director of Faith Recovery, both in Los Angeles.
Chief Operations Officer
Thomas is one of only 31 Certified Recovery Residence Managers in the United States. Thomas moved to Maui in 2017 to change careers and to follow his true calling of working in recovery. For the past 15 years he has been licensed attorney in Texas and mostly recently was an Administrative Law Judge for the Texas Workforce Commission. As a professional in long-term recovery he is passionate about improving the health and well-being of lives and communities via recovery support, awareness and community building. He has a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Houston, a BA from Salem University in Salem, West Virginia and advanced studies while in Maastrict, the Netherlands.
In 2015 Thomas became one of the first members of BridgeWay Sober Living in the heart of Austin, Texas. Thomas worked with BridgeWay as a house champion, house manager, peer recovery advocate and recovery coach. As a member of BridgeWay’s staff he was one of the team members overseeing the operations management and the administration of BridgeWay’s 10 sober living homes and the 120 members residing in high structured, structed and graduate residences. He was instrumental in the creation and implementation of the house manager training program to ensure the mission of BridgeWay was consistently followed in all residences. Thomas leads with his heart, yet has the ability to meet people where they are in their journey, helping them develop and grow to the next levels of their growth. He follows the approach that recovery plays an instrumental part in all aspects of your life and used the 12 step principles to help him lose over 160 pounds in the last year.
Carmen Cook, LMFT
Carmen Cook, LMFT found her passion working with mental health, addiction and wellness while providing HIV/AIDS counseling in South Africa in 2002. Upon returning to the US, she earned a masters In Clinical Psychology from New College of California specializing in the intersection of psychotherapy and community wellness. Over the years, Carmen has had the privilege of working with hundreds of families, developing skills to deepen the connection to ourselves and others. As a licensed Marriage Family Therapist, Carmen works within a trauma-informed framework, incorporating trainings in yoga, meditation, reiki and energy practices to guide individualized pathways to wholeness and healing. She lives in Maui with her husband, daughter and two dogs.
Loren Lapow, MSW
Transformation Therapist/Maui “Hero Project” Adventure Guide
Loren Lapow has a master’s degree in Social Work and founded The Hero Project in 1996, which has since gone on to become a national best practice program. Loren He has been counseling adults, youth and families, as well as consulting with communities, tribes and school districts across the country ever since. Using the power of Myth, Archetype and the transformative natural beauty and power of Magical Maui, Loren has a unique capacity to guide people through life crises and has helped thousands to transform their lives and go from victim/villain to hero. He has lived on Maui since 2000 and is also a Red Cross volunteer and certified lifeguard. He enjoys surfing, kiting, hiking, kayaking, yoga and cultural activities.
Director of Admissions – Certified Recovery Addiction Coach
Nick Terry has lived on Maui for most of his adult life. He grew up in the North West, Seattle Washington and Eugene Oregon. He moved to Maui when he was 19 to get away from substance abuse, toxic family dynamics, and the lifestyle that follows drugs addiction and alcoholism. Unfortunately you can’t run from yourself, the disease of addiction and alcoholism follow you everywhere you go, even to paradise. Nick struggled with substance abuse throughout his adolescence and young adult life never feeling he fit in, no matter the situation or circumstances. He lost several promising jobs and relationships due to poor choices around drugs and alcohol. In 2007 he had his daughter Nikole and hoped fatherhood would temper his addictions but even the birth of a beautiful little baby girl couldn’t combat the power of addiction. Ultimately Nick lost all things that mattered the most to him, his daughters, careers, vehicles, friends, relationships, and self-respect. In January 25th 2014 he checked into his 4th residential impatience treatment program and this time he was homeless, unemployable, broken physically, spiritually, emotionally, financially, and mentally. That date is his sobriety date 01-25-2014 the most important date in his life. Something shifted in his last treatment and sober-living. He finally surrendered his self-will and completely abandoned himself to the program of recovery. At that time in 2014 he didn’t have a job, bank account, drivers license, visitation of his daughters, but what he did have for the 1st time in his life was hope and faith. After treatment and sober living Nick started working in the treatment center he had graduated from. He became extremely passionate and involved in the recovery community on Hawaii. In late 2015 he moved back to Maui to be closer to his daughters and help open Maui Recovery. Today Nick has full custody of his 10 year old daughter Nikole and is very involved in his Hanai daughter Steishas life. He recently purchased a condo for himself and his daughter in Kihei, Maui. Nick went back to school on Maui and studied Human Services at UH Maui campus. He is the Director of Admissions with Maui Recovery. He has dedicated his life to staying clean and sober and carrying a message of recovery to those who are still suffering. “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness “ MLK
Molly Palmer, PMHNP-BC
Molly Palmer was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska and later relocated herself in Maui. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health at Colorado State University, Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Nursing, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Oregon Health and Science University. She is often described as active, health conscious, compassionate, and eager to learn. Finding her calling in psychiatry, she has worked as the primary psychiatric prescriber at Mental Health Kokua for the past 5 ½ years serving the Maui community. As a Nurse Practitioner, she has experience treating Post Traumatic Stress and Trauma-Related Disorders, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, and Substance Use Disorders. She is a strong believer in team work and collaboration with clients and their families to help them manage symptoms, enhance functioning, and improve quality of life. She attends monthly community meetings with Maui County Police Department, networks with other mental health providers, Pharmacists, and engages with public health agencies to improve access and quality of care to individuals with mental illness.
Molly’s mindfulness practice is a daily direct engagement in nature with her body, mind and spirit. She is an avid runner, cycler, and water enthusiast. She can often be found enjoying surf, SUP, yoga and “moving my way into the present moment through almost any variation of outdoor physical activity.”
Originally from Connecticut, John has a passion for helping individuals struggling with addictions of any kind. He has a BA in psychology from Western Connecticut State University, and he enjoys integrating Buddhist and Taoist philosophy and practice into his work. Always eager to share with others in experiencing beautiful Maui, John leads the clients in adventure therapy outings, including hiking volcanoes, jumping into waterfalls, and stand up paddle boarding over dazzling coral reefs. Since beginning his recovery journey at the age of seventeen, John has worked in sober houses, in-patient rehabs, and the IOP setting. Through a variety of approaches ranging from Refuge Recovery to extensive solitary meditation retreats, he has found true joy in the human experience and feels blessed to be able to help others live with clarity, wisdom, compassion, and simplicity.
Amar Deepa specializes in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. EAP sessions are interactive: the therapeutic exchange between the client, horse(s), and facilitators unfolds in real time. This hands-on approach facilitates deep transformation by combining embodied, somatic experience with a cognitive understanding of one’s own process. To learn more about EAP and it’s benefits please visit http://www.amardeepatherapy.com/equine/
Aunti Toni runs the Ohana Ranch of Maui, which is the largest miniature horse ranch in in Maui, Hawaii.