Ridgeview Ranch Staff
Robert E. Matirko, M.A. LMFT, Executive Director
Robert Matirko holds an M.A. in the field of Psychology. Over the past 40 years he has practiced as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California and is a Psychologist in the United States and abroad. He has a varied background of multi-cultural experiences and therapeutic modalities, including treating patients suffering from chemical dependency. Among various techniques, he notably utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoanalytic oriented psychotherapy, and hypnotherapy in both individual and group sessions. Robert Matirko is a proud member and affiliate of the following organizations:
- California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
- Group Psychotherapy Association of Southern California
- American Psychological Association
- National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology
- International Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
Robert Matirko’s clinical experience has traversed three continents including Europe and Africa, where he was in private practice. He also conducted research, taught and managed a diverse group of outpatient and mental health programs. He is now applying his expertise primarily to the comorbid condition of substance abuse and mental disorders for the Ridgeview Ranch Co-Occurring Disorder program, in addition to his role as Executive Director.
“The beauty of treating people who suffer from chemical dependency is watching the transformation”
Dr. Nassiri is a board certified Addiction Medicine physician. He is a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, the California Society of Addiction Medicine, the American Osteopathic College of Anesthesiologists, California Society of Anesthesiologists, the American Medical Association, and the American Osteopathic Association. He is a licensed and board certified physician.
Dr. Nassiri commenced his educational studies as a Regent Scholar at the University of California, Riverside, graduating at the top of his class with Summa Cum Laude, and completing his undergraduate studies in an accelerated 3 years. He pursued his medical school studies at Western University of Health Sciences, where he was the youngest member of his medical school class.
Upon graduation from medical school, he completed an intensive one year traditional rotating internship at Riverside County Regional Medical Center. He then completed a three year residency in Anesthesiology through Western U/OPTI, training at RCRMC, Cedars Sinai and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. During that time, he had a wide range of exposure to different patient populations, disease states and intense exposure to patients with Chronic pain and Substance and Alcohol Abuse Disorders.
Kathleen Whyte, MA, CADC II, Program Director
Kathleen Whyte has a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. She is a Certified Addictions Counselor with 30 years of personal experience with addiction. As a Program Director, Kathleen oversees our Residential, Intensive Outpatient, and Sober Living facilities. Her focus is in developing diverse teams of clinicians in order to meet the varying needs of our clients. She continues to facilitate groups and provide individual counseling. Her passion lies in rebuilding relationships and families impacted by addiction and co-occurring disorders. Her experience and wisdom provides the support and encouragement needed in mastering the underlying darkness of this disease.
Dr. Dansinger, PsyD, MFT, Clinical Director
Dr. Stephen Dansiger has over two decades of experience in providing training, leadership, education, coaching and therapy for a diverse population. In the addictions community he has served as a Clinical Director, a Primary Therapist, and has created and facilitated groups and programs at many top treatment facilities. He is an EMDRIA Approved Consultant and Certified EMDR Therapist, and as Faculty for the Institute for Creative Mindfulness, provides EMDRIA Approved Basic Training in EMDR therapy. In keeping with his MET(T)A Method for agency direction and supervision, he is providing that training for clinical staff at Ridgeview Ranch, in addition to providing general trauma training for staff throughout the agency. He is the author of Clinical Dharma which is available now, and is completing the manuscript for EMDR Therapy and Mindfulness for Trauma Focused Care, cowritten with Dr. Jamie Marich and due out on Springer Books in 2017.
Jon Rizk, MA, LCSW, Primary Therapist
Mr. Rizk holds a master’s degree in social work. He has worked in multiple substance abuse and mental health settings in the past several years. He has received training in multiple approaches aimed at addressing substance abuse such as motivational interviewing, Seeking Safety, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. He is currently receiving ongoing training and supervision in Dynamic Emotion Focused Therapy (DEFT). He brings 21 years of personal recovery experience to Ridgeview. Mr. Rizk is also a performing and teaching professional musician. He hopes in the very near future to integrate psychosocial drumming into Ridgeview’s groups as another tool to address a number of defenses that can keep clients stuck in self destructive patterns once in recovery.
Ross Reay, BS, CADC II-CAS, Counselor
Ross Reay is currently working on his Master’s Degree in Addiction Counseling from Capella University. Ross obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from California State University, Los Angeles in Rehabilitation Services and is also a Certified Addiction Counselor with the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals. Ross currently has 18 years of continuous sobriety achieved by utilizing the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous.
As a Counselor for the men’s facility, Ross is dedicated to providing personalized care for his clients which emphasizes their individual strengths, possibilities, resiliencies, and capacity for change and transformation. Ross utilizes a strength-based strategy which highlights choice as the cornerstone in the client’s treatment. Ross honors the choice and commitment made by each client for choosing Ridgeview Ranch and works to provide the best care possible. Ross has proficiency and experience in working with multi-cultural and LGBTQ clients and honors Ridgeview Ranch’s commitment to provide a safe, private, and healing environment that is designed to individually fit the lifestyles of the clients.
Geof Ryan, CADC-CAS, Counselor
Geof Ryan is a CCAPP certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor. After completing his Drug and Alcohol Counseling Certificate program at UCLA Extended Studies in 2013, Geof interned as counselor at Glendale Adventist Drug and Alcohol Services. In 2014 Geof became a case manager and counselor at The Haven, a Salvation Army transition home on the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration campus. Geof worked with homeless veterans with substance use issues and co-occurring disorders until Fall of 2016, when he transitioned to the role of Counselor at Ridgeview Ranch.
Raul Haro Intake specialist
MFTi, CATC IV, LVN
Raul has great passion for helping our clients, he is a great listener with excellent communication and teamwork skills. He understand things from the client’s perspective andhe is very creative in solving the patient’s issues in order to help them overcome barriers to achieve success. His experience enables him to anticipate the unexpected and solve difficult problems. Raul graduated from Cal State Northridge with a BA in Psychology
Pamela Allen, CATC I, Counselor
Pamela is a CAADE registered Drug and Alcohol Counselor. After completing her certification program at Glendale Community College in 2014, Pamela interned at some of the top treatment facilities in Los Angeles before coming to Ridgeview Ranch in 2016, one of California’s premier top treatment facilities. With six years of personal recovery experience, Pamela has a deep understanding of the difficulties faced by recovering addicts and a passion for helping them rebuild their lives. Pamela believes that the most important aspect of her job is to provide her clients with the unconditional love and support that they so desperately need in order to begin to reclaim their sense of self-worth – a process which she feels is essential to the foundation of a successful recovery.