Life Adjustment Team Staff
Founder / CEO
Pete Linnett founded the Life Adjustment Team in 1977 in response to the need for effective discharge planning, structure and support for recovery. The Team pioneered a community-based mobile outreach psychiatric rehabilitation approach, providing a safety net for effective long term relapse prevention and community bridge building.
Pete launched his 45+ year career in mental health at age 18, first working as a psychiatric technician in upstate New York. After many years of seeing the same people rotate through the “system,” it seemed the high rate of re-hospitalization was in part due to the lack of structure and support systems to help patients get connected and become stable, active, and productive. LAT serves that need.
In 1988 Pete was hired by the UCLA Research Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation for a project to field test protocols of outpatient services, delivery systems and in vivo skills training. Today the Life Adjustment Team implements state-of-the-art comprehensive outpatient psychiatric rehabilitation and substance abuse treatment using evidence-based best practices. The LAT model of outpatient treatment combines the in-vivo skills training modules developed at UCLA and the thirty-nine years of experience in developing and implementing successful intervention and outpatient rehabilitation plans that involve community.
In 1991, Pete started the Westside Mental Health Provider Network. The network is comprised of individuals working in a variety of mental health services, including community-based mental health centers, hospitals, local law enforcement, the Department of Mental Health, and consumer advocacy organizations. The goal of the Network is to help mental health service providers deliver the highest quality of care possible through networking and resource sharing. The Network began with six members and has grown to 300 members in Los Angeles, Pasadena and Orange County.
Pete has served on the Board of NAMI Los Angeles and currently is sitting on the founders board of A4CIP to bring a voice to programs and services across the country dedicated to true empowerment through inclusion and connection to the community.
Chief Operations Officer
With two decades of experience in the mental health industry, Cynthia Sampson serves as the Team's chief administrator. Ms. Sampson was integral in the Team’s development from a small facility of approximately eight employees and twenty clients to an operation servicing upwards of 100 clients at any given time.
In addition to her expertise in the area of new site development, Cynthia has vast knowledge and experience in office systems development, staff recruiting, human resources, and billing systems.
She also serves as liaison with all third party payers (insurance companies and government agencies) and is responsible for servicing those contracts.
Ms. Sampson is a founding member of the Mental Health Provider Network, an organization comprised of individuals working in mental health services to help providers deliver the highest quality of mental health care possible through networking and resource sharing. She is also an active member of the Women’s Association of Addiction Treatment, founded by a dedicated group of professionals in the treatment industry to provide a forum for airing new ideas, as well as educational and networking opportunities. She is also an active member of the local Chamber of Commerce and serves on various committees within that organization.
James Kay, M.A., Ph.D.
Jamie serves as the intake director of the Life Adjustment Team as well as the director of family services. He has been with the Team since 1990. Jamie who has a Master and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, was the Director of Life Appreciation Training seminars during the 1980’s, running grief seminars throughout Canada and the United States. He has also served as the Director of Treatment at private locked hospitals and has a background in group therapy and public speaking.
Cari Coulam, LMFT
Cari graduated with a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology, with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Counseling, from Loyola Marymount University in 1997. Her Bachelor's degree was earned in clinical psychology from the University of California, San Diego. She is licensed by the State of California as a marriage and family therapist. For the past 15 years, Cari has worked with dually diagnosed adults, children and families in various settings including drug rehabilitation, community mental health, foster agencies and independent practice. She has provided case management and therapy sessions as a supervisor, social worker and psychotherapist. She is currently a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. She is also an active member of WAAT.
Cari joined the Life Adjustment Team in 2007 as a clinical case manager. As the clinical Director, Cari is responsible for supervising all clinical case managers and the clients they oversee, providing direct clinical services, and developing relationships with other clinicians and families.
Jennifer Sampson, MFTi
Clinical Intake Coordinator, IOP Programs
Jennifer graduated from Antioch University with a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology in 2013. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Development from the University Of Georgia. Jennifer is currently working toward obtaining her license as a Marriage and Family Therapist. She has been a part of Life Adjustment Team since 2011. Jennifer provides HR and administrator support to the Life Adjustment Team. Prior to joining the team, Jennifer worked in television production and elementary school education. She is a member of California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.
Kathleen Donovan, M.S.
Kathleen joined the Team as a clinical case manager in 2009. She attended Chapman University and Capella University obtaining a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology. Prior to joining the Life Adjustment Team she worked as a social worker at a psychiatric hospital for 8 years and has an extensive history working with individuals experiencing co-occurring disorders. Prior to working at the hospital, Kathleen provided one-to-one applied behavior analysis in the homes and schools of children diagnosed with autism/aspergers. Kathleen has been a member of the American Psychological Association since 2008.
Eric Carlson, LMFT
Director, Intensive Outpatient Program
Eric graduated with a Bachelors Degree in English Literature from the University of Virginia in 1989, and went on to get his Juris Doctor from the UCLA School of Law in 1997. Eric practiced law as a civil litigator for 17 years, then went back to school to earn a Masters in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica in 2012 and a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. Even before graduating from college, Eric had gained valuable experience working with physically and developmentally disabled children and adults in New York, where he grew up. Eric has also volunteered extensively here in Los Angeles, coaching boys soccer and basketball in South Central Los Angeles, working at Public Counsel's Children's Rights Project counseling children in guardianship and adoption proceedings, and serving on the original Board of Directors of a start-up, non profit charter school for underprivileged youth. Eric has been with the Life Adjustment Team since August 2014.
Mark Armstrong, LCSW
Clinical Case Manager
Mark graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Dominican College of San Rafael in 1995 and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from California State University of Sacramento in 1999. He earned his license in Clinical Social Work in 2005. Mark interned as a juvenile probation officer at the Marin County Juvenile Probation Department as a Diversion Parole Officer, interned with the Vacaville Police Department as a Youth Services Counselor in the school system, and also interned as an outreach counselor at a Dropout Prevention Program at Hiram Johnson High School in Sacramento, CA. He began his professional career as a clinical social worker at Terkensha Associates working with children and families in outpatient therapy for four years. During this time, Mark was trained in Narrative Therapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming, at which time he also trained colleagues and graduate students at Sacramento State University in these theoretical modalities. Mark moved to Santa Barbara, CA and served as a clinical case manager at the Devereux Foundation working with severely and emotionally disturbed children and adolescents. Mark eventually moved to the mid-west where he was employed as the Program Coordinator and Behavior Specialist for the Special Education and Behavioral Disorder Program in Council Bluffs, Iowa. In time, Mark moved back to California and joined the Life Adjustment Team in 2008.
Diana Bennett, LMFT
Clinical Case Manager
Diana graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Forensics from University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2004 and a Masters of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology from National University in 2007. Diana interned at Airport Marina Counseling Center focusing on Psychodynamic treatment with individuals, couples and groups. She began her professional career as a Marriage and Family Therapist at Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic working with children and families in outpatient, school and community based therapy for four years. Within this time, Diana became certified as a Trauma Therapist, treating children with severe traumatic experiences following Trauma-Focus Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Diana has extensive experience working with dual diagnoses disorders in children and adults and her solid background has given her the tools to utilize an eclectic treatment model with her clients. Diana joined the Life Adjustment Team in 2013.
Blake Guirguis, MSW
Clinical Case Manager
Blake earned his Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2005. He then graduated from California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) with a Master's degree in Social Work in 2010. Blake interned at The Relational Center as an Individual Therapist providing psychotherapy to adults, with formal training in Relational Gestalt therapy. After his internship, Blake worked with children with behavioral and/or emotional disorders and their families. He facilitated communications within families, educating parents on creating effective interactions with their children, while also providing behavioral therapy to children. Blake also worked with hospice patients and family members, and provided counseling support to patients and families who were dealing with grief, and oftentimes emotions that would come with it, such as anxiety, depression, and anger. Blake joined the Life Adjustment Team in 2014.
Brock Tuller, MA
Clinical Case Manager
Brock studied Psychology at Argosy University, earning his Bachelor’s degree in 2010. He then attended University of the West (UWest) in Rosemead, CA, earning his MA in Counseling Psychology in 2015. At UWest, Brock did coursework in multicultural sensitivity, religious studies, and chaplaincy, completing a concentration in Buddhist Psychology. He received formal training in third wave cognitive therapies, including Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression (MBCT/SR), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT). Brock completed an internship at Clearview Treatment Program’s Dual-Diagnosis Residential Treatment Center in Venice, CA, where he provided individual therapy and DBT skills coaching, co-facilitated DBT Skills and Matrix Model recovery groups, facilitated mindfulness practices, and participated in 12-Step meetings and study. At Clearview, he served a population of young adult to middle-aged clients dealing with a wide range of mental health issues in combination with serious addiction. Brock is an avid outdoorsman, animal lover, and practitioner of yoga and spiritual/religious traditions. A proponent of recovery-oriented practice, Brock is passionate about taking a mindfulness and acceptance approach to mental health symptoms, while supporting clients in taking values-based action toward a fulfilling balanced life, and psychological flexibility.
Chris Travis, MA
Clinical Case Manager
Chris earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Boston University in 1990 and a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Argosy University in 2015. His first internship was at Healthview Inc., in San Pedro, a wellness center located within a board and care facility for adults living with schizophrenia. From there he transitioned to an internship at Outreach Concern where he counseled high school students at St. Bernard High School in Playa Del Rey. After graduation Chris managed a transitional living home in Westwood associated with Camden Center, a dual diagnosis IOP for adults. Chris has over fourteen years of experience with 12-step programs and over five years of experience volunteering and facilitating group panel discussions at Hoag Hospital’s addiction treatment facility in Newport Beach. This variety of experiences has given Chris a solid foundation for his continued development. Chris joined the Life Adjustment Team in November of 2016 and shows an eager enthusiasm to contribute his skills and to grow in his new case manager position.
Lindsay Burke, MA
Clinical Case Manager
Lindsay has over fifteen years of experience working with children, adolescents and their families in various home, school, clinical and hospital settings. Lindsay received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Kentucky in 2007, during which time she collaborated with a team of psychologists and counselors in developing what is now known as the Violence Intervention and Prevent Center, supported by the US Department of Justice, which continues to educate and inform communities about the impact of trauma on mental health. After moving to Los Angeles, she obtained her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Mount St. Mary’s College, with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy. Prior to beginning at the Life Adjustment Team, Lindsay treated adults with dual diagnoses and severe and persistent mental illness in both an in-patient and residential setting, treated mild to moderate disorders in a private practice setting, and served as the Director of an Early Intervention program in Santa Monica. Lindsay has had specialized training in working with individuals suffering from psychosis, child abuse, attachment disorders, sexual identity disorders, cultural adjustment challenges, and severe behavioral problems. With a background in mixed marital arts, Lindsay understands the mind-body connection and often incorporates physical wellness, as well as concepts such as perseverance, compassion, humility and mindfulness into her time with clients.
Nadège Bréant, MA
Clinical Case Manager
Nadège Bréant graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Barry University of Miami in 2008, followed by a Masters of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in Somatic Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, California in 2015. She interned at California Pacific Medical Center in a skilled nursing unit where she worked with a variety of areas; couples therapy, family therapy and group therapy. Nadège also interned at San Pablo Hotel in Oakland, California, an elderly transitional live-in facility for individuals transitioning out of homelessness. During her internships, her work focused on anxiety, depression, grief, end of life, personality disorders, addiction, and intra-generational trauma among others. Nadège has years of experience in expressive arts therapy, drama therapy, and somatic psychotherapy. Nadège joined the team in 2016.
Khatya Albano, MA
Clinical Case Manager
Khatya studied at California State University, Long Beach and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 2011. She worked as a Behavior Interventionist for young children and adolescents with special needs for 5 years. Khatya then earned a Master’s degree in Psychology focused on Multicultural Counseling and Buddhist Psychology at University of the West in 2016. During her graduate program, Khatya trained as a therapeutic counselor at Whittier Union High School District using Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT) techniques. She then went on to intern at The Relational Center in Culver City and provided services to adult individuals and groups using a person-centered, relational, and embodied approaches. Khatya enjoys incorporating mindfulness and embodiment practices into her work with clients. Khatya joined the Team in 2016.