Ian is our Director of Operations but he wears many other hats around the office. Ian will tell you though his most important duty is making sure that all of the staff and participants have everything they need in order to be set up for success. Always going the extra mile to make certain everyone feels welcomed and appreciated. Ian comes to us from Texas where he worked in Construction Management. After battling Alcoholism since his years of adolescence, Ian was able to make it to Recovery. He has found a greater purpose in life by helping others through such troubling and pivotal times. His position with Crescent Moon Recovery optimizes his ability to manage operations on a day-to-day basis but more importantly use his platform to help as many people as possible.
Cindy Connelly is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has been Clinical Director at several treatment centers over the past 20 years in addition to maintaining a private practice in Mission Viejo, Ca. Prior to her LMFT licensure, she had a business career in the insurance industry managing others for more than 25 years. After engaging in her own therapy and experiencing the life changing results, she left her corporate job and returned to school, earning her Masters Degree at Chapman University, all while raising her 2 boys as a single mom.
She brings a unique set of skills to Crescent Moon Recovery, incorporating her management and clinical experience over the years. Her treatment philosophy is reflected below:
“We must believe in others until they can believe in themselves. Addicts are not defective. They are wounded individuals that lack the coping skills to address the stressors of daily living. Our role is to meet them where they are and assist them in understanding why they use drugs/alcohol as their main coping mechanism. Once they understand this, we can individualize their plan to give them the tools they need to live productive lives.”
Cindy is empathetic, caring, and compassionate about what she does. Her desire is to impact those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, addressing unresolved childhood trauma/grief and their impact on addictive behaviors. Her work with Complex PTSD in a co-occurring disorder treatment setting is guided by SAMHSA Trauma Informed Care guidelines, working with all employees in creating a safe environment that allows for in-depth work. “Connection is the correction.” She has been a member International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies for more than 15 years and continues to keep abreast of the latest research regarding addiction and trauma.
“When we become aware of our unconscious processes, we can change how we interact with the world and can gain a sense of mastery over our lives.”
Jeff is our Admissions and Social Media Coordinator. Jeff has been one of the brightest spots of our program because his success story starts with us as a client. Jeff grew up in Connecticut where he found his love for athletics and marketing. He struggled with drug and alcohol abuse from an early age. Jeff was in and out of treatments all over the country as he struggled to find the solution. Today he lives his life in the solution and commits most of his free time for service work.
Joshua was born and raised in Missouri where he first fell into the drug epidemic at the age of 13. Joshua attended his first of many treatment centers just 3 years later. After many trials and tribulations, Joshua has found the solution and soundness of mind that he was in search of for all this time. Today, Joshua dedicates his life to acts of service and client care, and continually practices a mindset where he can best serve others.
Carli started her life living under a bridge on the Southside of Houston, Texas. She was surrounded by drug use and poverty. She eventually asked Ian to sponsor her and moved into his apartment for sober living. Carli’s recovery has a strong emphasis on 12-treat programs and a dedication to comforting others. She is a loving and calming presence around the office but she also loves to go on outings with the participants. Specifically to the dog beach. Carli is a great example of discipline and compassion for our community members and overall just a really good girl.
Justin is a certified CADC-III SUD counselor and received his Associates Degree in Alcohol and Drug Studies from College of The Desert as well as his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Cal State Fullerton.
Justin has worked in recovery since 2013 and has developed a strong sense of compassion and empathy towards his clients and the problems that substance abuse creates in their lives.
Justin specializes in 12-step modalities and has a passion for assisting others on their recovery journey. Through his personal experiences and continued ongoing education and training, Justin strives to assist clients in making recovery a reality.
McCabe is one of our facilitators who leads Art Therapy. She is a mixed media artist who has been helping people find their creativity for over 20 years. Specializing in process over product, McCabe creates an atmosphere where clients can safely explore and express their creative side. Mistakes are not only allowed but encouraged. With the intention of giving clients a fresh perspective of the arts, she hopes they will use creativity as part of their recovery program for life.
A fitness instructor since 2016, Becky has developed into a passionate teacher with strong focus on inclusion, safety and alignment. Becky’s yoga classes are known to have a playful element where she encourages people to challenge themselves, relax, and make a deep breath connection. As a graduate from Chapman University with a degree in Psychology, Becky skillfully combines the wisdom of yoga philosophy, the philosophies of Pilates and modern psychology to facilitate self-inquiry, connection and transformation for her students. You can find Becky in studio teaching yoga and Pilates in Ladera Ranch. Becky works tirelessly with Residential Treatment centers for the drug and alcohol community to create yoga programs designed for substance abuse survivors from initial intake to graduation of the program. This work has offered Becky the opportunity to work with all walks of life from across the country and impacted hundreds of lives. Becky lives in Ladera Ranch with her 3 children and husband. She spends time helping her oldest navigate college life in Colorado, staying fit and loving on her three dogs.
Certified 500 Hours Pilates Teacher
Certified E-RYT 200 RYT/500 Yoga Alliance
Certified Trauma Informer Yoga Teacher
Certified CorePower Yoga Sculpt Teacher Training
RADT certified, Ben’s Music Therapy program combines his passion for music, and desire to help others achieve new levels of being in tune with themselves. These therapeutic, creative, and positive outlets have transformed the lives of everyone who has taken part. Ben has brought his music therapy program to a multitude of Detox/Residential and IOP facilities, where he is the head of his own songwriting groups. Through Ben’s Music Therapy Groups, participants learn to better manage stress, reduce anxiety, and minimize depression by stimulating the mind to trigger images, metaphors, and emotions in a less threatening way. Songwriting allows for the client to explore and process difficult emotions and experiences utilizing a more creative approach then traditional talk therapy, increasing self-esteem/self-worth in the process. The practice of turning pain into art is therapeutic and not only helps participants in the moment, but provides a positive outlet that they can lean on throughout their lives.
As an Addiction Counselor/Specialist/Sober Coach/Interventionist with over 25 years of experience in Addiction Treatment, Transformational Life Coaching, and other recovery programming Ihelp clients navigate their life’s path back to one of meaning and purpose. In working with clients I work from a place of deep compassion and empathy; understanding that shame and guilt are the chains that bind one to their past troubles and addiction.
As a native son of Orange County, Diego Serrato is an Associate Marriage & Family Therapist that has been practicing since 2019. He was born and raised in “OC” and spent time living abroad in Mexico. Diego brings 3+ years of therapeutic experience along with 8+ years of direct coaching in competitive sports. His initial start into therapy work occurred during one of the most challenging times of our recent existence. While working for a non-profit in Long Beach, Diego helped keep the doors open during the entirety of “Covid” closures and “BLM” riots. He implemented safety measures for in-person therapy and tele-health. When asked why? He responded, “The work matters, our clients matter. The best time to grow is during conflict.”
Diego’s passion for psychology and helping others brings the right amount of care and vibrancy to Crescent Moon Recovery. His empathetic nature along with his desire to be present in the therapeutic space is something unique.
When asked about his Therapeutic Philosophy, “I personally believe that therapy can help in ways that at times, may be beyond rational understanding. Good therapeutic experiences can help unblock internal conflicts that we may have misunderstood as common place. My goal is to help the client unblock and rebuild a loving relationship with the self.”
Diego received his dual emphasis masters degree in Psychology (MFT & PCC): Marriage & Family Therapy & Professional Clinical Counseling From Brandman University. He was also Chapman Undergrad (Psychology). He discovered his passion for psychology from a former mentor whom shared his stories about working in a mental hospital.
Prior to therapy work, Diego’s passion was in coaching (wrestling/track field) & carpentry. When living abroad, carpentry played an impactful role in understanding how many people have unfulfilled needs. To help others when building homes was a humbling experience. He discovered his calling after becoming a single parent to help those in need through counseling.
Diego is currently a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) & California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT). His therapeutic approach was honed in postmodern therapy and has been trained In Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (R.E.B.T.), Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (E.M.D.R.), & Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, (C.B.T.).
Emily’s passions for mental health and nutrition have led her to specialize in eating disorders/ disordered eating (orthorexia, obsessive eating, etc.), anxiety/depression around food, intuitive eating (whatever that means to you), substance abuse recovery, and body kindness/positivity. Emily loves connecting with people at a deeper level and making food fun again. Food doesn’t have to be complicated! She believes that food makes life more exciting and memorable and shouldn’t control your life; … there is more to life than food and more the food then calories…
Emily is here to show you just that. Certifications and Credentials
• MS Clinical Dietetics || Grand Rapids State University, MI
• BS Applied Nutrition (Minor: Psychology) || California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
• Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
• Intuitive Eating PRO Skills Training
• Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
• The International Federation of Eating Disorder Professionals
• EDRD professionals
• OC IAEDP
Paxton Dickerson has been in recovery himself since 2001. He advocates his successful design for living through psycho-educational seminars featuring topics such as relapse prevention, identification of distorted thinking coupled with maladaptive behaviors, spirituality, emotional healing and life skills.
For nearly 20 years, Mr. Dickerson has passionately engaged both professionals and young adults through seminars and lectures on over 100 powerful topics.
Other facets of his work include inspirational and informative online videos, live motivational speaking engagements, and seasoned outside consulting for a multitude of addiction treatment centers in the Orange County area.