Keesha Amezcua is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Eating Disorders Specialist. She has over 10 years of experience working in the eating disorder field and is trained in EMDR. She has worked at Monte Nido in various roles including Primary Therapist and Clinical Director, and she recently served as the Director of Residential Services. Keesha earned her bachelors degree in Journalism from Texas A&M and went on to earn her masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. Currently, she is the Vice President of Clinical Programming overseeing all Monte Nido & Affiliates programs.
Keesha presents nationally at various conferences including the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) Conference and the ICED conference for the Academy of Eating Disorders (AED). She is co-author of the Dads & Daughters chapter in Carolyn Costin’s book “Your Dieting Daughter” and is a contributor for various articles and books in the eating disorder field. Being recovered herself provides additional passion and purpose for this work.
Special words from Keesha…
“I believe that our philosophy at Monte Nido is not just a way of treating eating disorders, but rather a way of being a healthier, more whole human in the world. It feels easy to support the work we do because it is congruent with how I want to live my life and who I want to be. Monte Nido has been my home for 11+ years and the people have become my west coast family. While I know that this work is important and provides me with meaning and purpose, it is the people I am privileged to work alongside that make every day a blessing.”
Kelly Souza, Licensed Psychologist, obtained her Master’s of Arts in Counseling Psychology and Doctorate of Psychology from Southern California Seminary. She has been working in the field of mental health for the past 14 years in various settings including residential foster care, a psychiatric hospital, various partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs and outpatient therapy centers. Kelly has worked with various populations; including individuals with eating disorders, children and adolescents with severe emotional disturbances, adolescents on probation, adults with co-occurring mental health and addiction issues, adults with severe psychotic disorders, couples and families. Her clinical background and passion for eating disorder recovery provides a sense of trust and helps foster a safe environment for clients as they begin this path to a happier, healthier life. Kelly has seen how recovery from an eating disorder can restore a person’s entire view of him or herself and allow him or her to become participating members of his or her life. Being a part of this journey with clients is a blessing.
Dr. Melissa McLain Coffin is a licensed psychologist and a certified eating disorder specialist with extensive experience in the treatment of anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and compulsive over-exercise. Since 2008, she worked at Oliver-Pyatt Centers in Miami as a Clinical Director of residential treatment and eventually moved into the role of Senior Director of Clinical Programming and Development, overseeing adult residential, partial and intensive outpatient programming as well as adolescent residential programs. This role expanded in 2016 as Dr. McLain Coffin became the Senior Director of East Coast Clinical Programming for Monte Nido and Affiliates. She currently oversees Monte Nido residential and day treatment programs as well as Clementine adolescent facilities on the East Coast. She also presents nationally on eating disorders at conferences like the National Eating Disorder Association, the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals and the Multiservice Eating Disorder Association. Her daily work is dedicated to supporting the successful treatment of people working towards a full recovery.
Kristen obtained her Masters of Art Therapy and Counseling from the Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville and specialized in substance abuse and complex trauma. Kristen came to Monte Nido with prior experience as an eating disorder therapist and served as a primary therapist and assistant clinical director at our Rain Rock and Eating Disorder Center of Portland facilities. Kristen now works as the Clinical Director at the Eating Disorder Center of Eugene. With a background of 18 years as a competitive figure skater, Kristen particularly loves working with athletes.
“I’m an avid painter and love nature so Oregon is heaven for me! I love exploring the Pacific Northwest with my partner and finding all the hidden gems this place has to offer. I feel lucky I get to spend my summers kayaking down the Mckenzie or Willamette, camping in old growth forests and painting on the coast. On top of that I work with an amazing group of passionate people so life is pretty good.”
Abby is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and certified EMDR and TFCBT therapist. She earned her graduate degree from Pepperdine University, and currently works as the Clinical Director at Monte Nido Vista. Drawing on existential and narrative techniques, along with her love of music and absurdist literature, Abby encourages discovery of the authentic self and reminds clients that we author our own lives. Her background as a DIR®/Floortime therapist for children with Autism enhances her ability to build upon each client’s strengths and interests to further individualize their treatment. Abby is also a certified yoga instructor. Abby brings her creative, sometimes quirky, energy to our Food & Feelings and Body & Soul groups and co-facilitates our Family & Alumni group.
Gillian is a licensed clinical social worker with over 10 years of experience treating a variety of mental health disorders in multiple treatment settings. She earned her graduate degree from Fordham University. Her treatment approach draws from the wisdom of many teachings and evidence-based treatments, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction, and Yoga. Gillian is also trained in Cognitive Processing Therapy, an evidence-based treatment for PTSD.
Gillian has had the privilege of working with people from all walks of life, and loves helping people discover their talents, strengths and authentic selves. Gillian sees her clients as her greatest teachers and looks forward to each new healing partnership. Gillian is passionate about human rights and enjoys yoga, hiking, cooking, art, New England seasons and dogs.
Dr. Joel Jahraus is well-known and respected for his two decades of specialization in the medical management of patients with eating disorders. A board-certified physician for over 30 years, he is a recognized expert on diabetes and the medical complications of eating disorders. Dr. Jahraus came to us directly from Park Nicollet-Melrose Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he most recently served as Executive Director, with program oversight and direct management of patient care. He has been associated with the Melrose Institute (formerly the Eating Disorders Institute) since 1992. In addition to his experience with hospital-based programs, he also served as Medical Director at Remuda Treatment Centers in Phoenix, Arizona, from 2002 to 2004, where he worked with residential and outpatient levels of care.
Dr. Jahraus graduated from Washington University Medical School in St. Louis, Missouri, and has a background in family medicine. He entered an academic career as Associate Director of the University of Minnesota Family Medicine Residency Program. He then took a position as the Predoctoral Director at the University of Minnesota Medical School. During his teaching career at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Dr. Jahraus received the Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award. He co-authored a chapter on eating disorders in Textbook of Psychosomatic Medicine, published by the American Psychiatric Association, and has been featured in various national media, including two public television documentaries on eating disorders. He testified at a United States Congressional Briefing on the need for health insurance coverage for eating disorder treatment. For his outstanding contributions to the field, he received the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2011, and was named a Top Doctor of 2013 by U.S. News and World Report.
Having practiced in Colorado, North Dakota, and Minnesota, Joel is enjoying the warm weather here in South Florida. He has four grown children.
Special word from Dr. Jahraus…
Patients with eating disorders suffer from many medical complications of their illness. Highly competent doctors and nurse practitioners are needed to provide optimal care. I am so pleased with the quality of the medical staff at MN&A who treat an individual, not just an illness. They don’t just look at achieving standards of care but truly exceeding them each and every day for every patient. No one exceeds the quality of medical care that we deliver and you won’t find more competent or personable professionals than those I’ve personally chosen to work at MN&A.