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. Rodger Meinz, Ph.D.Senior Clinician/Chief Clinical Consultant
Dr. Meinz moved to Maui in November 2015 after 30 years of private practice in Edmonds, Washington, specializing in a broad range of disorders including addiction and co-morbid disorders like anxiety and depression. During his career on the mainland, he worked with over 12,000 clients and became widely known in the Pacific Northwest as an expert in personality disorders. In addition, Dr. Meinz has been a student of mindfulness since 1971 and is now writing a book entitled Zen Mindfulness for Psychologists and Beyond. He has also taught “Mindfulness: East and West” at Antioch University in Seattle.
While he has found Zen training and commentary personally valuable, Dr. Meinz has long focused on the neuropsychological underpinnings of mindfulness that can be taught experientially as an aid to releasing the mind from the grip of thought. This is of particular importance to those in recovery where the brain has been compromised and thus the mind’s ability to cope with moment-to-moment internal and external stress. Fortunately, neuroscience has fairly recently discovered that adult brains have what is referred to as plasticity or the capacity for new brain cell growth. Unfortunately, most people in recovery suffer from anxiety and depression, which stresses the brain in ways that markedly truncates new cell growth and brain-mind recovery. This makes it all the more important for people in recovery to learn mindfulness skills that can give them relief from being absorbed in depressive, anxiety-ridden thoughts.
Now licensed to practice in Hawaii, Dr. Meinz was hired by Maui Recovery to make his expertise and healing skills available to our staff and clients.
Thomas C. Graham in 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.
Ms. Davies brings a wealth of creative and embodied experience to her work as a hypnotherapist, along with a gentle, warm energy and sense of humor. She studied hypnotherapy at the Ashland School, which specializes in a mindfulness-based, holistic approach. Further, she’s studied and practiced non-violent communication for several years, and has extensive experience in therapies that support the healing of trauma, including two years studying gestalt, reiki, shiatsu, meditation and creative practice at the cutting-edge Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. She’s done a lot of her own personal recovery work, and offers a multi-faceted approach to support clients to find their own authentic path to recovery.
Allen D. Hanberg, PhD, RN, CHSE
Allen D. Hanberg, Ph.D, RN, CHSE is an assistant professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene. With nearly 30 years of Nursing experience and extensive national and international work with Human Patient Simulation, Critical Care, and Patient Safety, Dr. Hanberg is currently working with the University of Hawaii at Manoa overseeing the Baccalaureate degree in Nursing for Maui and Kauai. He is internationally recognized for his work in improving patient safety through the use of technology. He holds a PhD in Nursing, with a PhD minor from the University of Northern Colorado, and nationally recognized credentials as a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE). Dr. Hanberg currently resides in Kihei, HI, and has joined the Maui Recovery Center team in hopes of helping improve client safety.
University of Northern Colorado. Ph.D Nursing.
University of Northern Colorado Ph.D Minor – Statistical Research Methods
University of Phoenix – MSN Nursing Administration & Informatics
Weber State University – BS Nursing
Critical Care, Oncology, Human Patient Simulation, Nursing Education
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 drug addiction and alcoholism. Unfortunately you can’t run from yourself, the disease of addiction and alcoholism follows 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, career, vehicles, friends, relationships, and self-respect. On January 25th, 2014 he checked into his 4th residential inpatient treatment program and at 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 at 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
Stephanie Garcia, MA, BCN
Board Certified Neurofeedback Specialist
Marriage & Family Therapist
Stephanie Garcia, has a Master’s of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy, she is a Certified Neurofeedback Practitioner and Supervisor, as well as an Addictions Counselor. As an Accredited member of the Hawaii Association for Biofeedback, Stephanie is passionate about the ability of the brain to change, the resiliency in all human beings and the ability for optimal change and growth in everyone. Wanting to make a difference in her community, a portion of her work is dedicated towards helping those who cannot pay for services but are in need of help. Stephanie has held continuing education conferences to train Hawaii professionals in Neurofeedback. Her work was recently shared on Hawaii’s National Public Radio.
Caroline Kleindienst is a registered somatic movement therapist, expressive arts practitioner, and artist. Caroline’s approach is grounded in the belief that the language of the soul speaks through movement, the body, the imaginal world, and creative expression.
Caroline works with individuals and groups and has been engaged in the expressive healing arts for 20 years. She holds a masters degree from the Academy of Arts in Vienna, Austria and is a practitioner of the Tamalpa Work, a world-renowned movement- based expressive arts therapy approach.
In her somatic movement therapy practice Caroline specializes in working with trauma, depression and anxiety, grief and loss, life transitions, and generational trauma.
An Austrian native, Caroline has been living and working in various cultures and traditions, including Europe, Southern Africa, Northern America, and Hawaii. She has facilitated and witnessed the healing power of the moving body and artistic expression in many different settings, such as shelters, psychiatric hospitals, retreat centers, and with diverse populations including the homeless and at-risk youth. Caroline feels passionate about guiding her clients to discover and manifest their authentic self.
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.
Ms. Brazil earned her BSW in 2003 and MSW in 2006 with an emphasis on Clinical and Rural Social Work Practice. Her practice specializes in treatment of anxiety, trauma, mood disorders, attachment problems, and relationship issues. Ms. Brazil is passionate about psycho-spirituality development, holistic health, multiculturalism, and the ocean. In addition to traditional treatment models and specialization in trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy, she integrates mindfulness, yoga, meditation, breath-work, and existentialism into therapy. Ms. Brazil currently works as a Practicum Instructor for the University of Hawaii Masters of Social Work program, serves as the Maui Branch Representative for the National Association of Social Workers, provides workshops, and is a mindfulness instructor for international yoga retreats. Jessica has worked with all ages in many non-profits and state agencies engaged as a research assistant with Eastern Washington University; and is a former Instructor at Northwest Nazarene University. Her vision as a professional is to inspire healing and growth towards realizing and living one’s dreams.
Ms. Urquidez earned her degree in Human Services/Substance Abuse Counseling from University of Hawaii, Maui College and is currently working toward her BA in Social Sciences- Applied Track and Certificate in Substance Abuse&Addiction Studies through The University of Hawaii, West Oahu College. Before coming to Maui Recovery, she has worked in the substance abuse field as a Program Assistant and Case Manager. Her personal experiences have led her to wanting to help others overcome a variety of difficult life challenges. She is always passionate about what she does and wants to be an inspiration to others.
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.