There are a variety of elements that determine the effectiveness of a residential and/or outpatient addiction treatment center. Among those elements, the clinical staff is absolutely the single most important factor throughout the overall rehabilitation process. From the initial interventionists to the therapists, counselors, physicians and so on, the staff must be “A-Number-One” if the facility is to truly excel in helping the clients. We invite you to take a moment and learn all about the amazing professionals behind the scenes that help make Turning Point Treatment Center, Inc. one of Orange County, California’s finest treatment facilities.

Jeff Benon – Executive Director

Experienced Executive Director with a demonstrated history of working in the health wellness and fitness industry. Skilled in Organizations, Customer Service, Coaching, Strategic Planning, and Business Development. Strong business development professional with a Associate’s degree focused in certified drug and alcohol counselor from Saddleback College.

Tori DeGroote – Executive Administrative / Program Director

Tori DeGroote has over 9 years of experience in the addiction field holding a myriad of positions from:

  • Developing alumni departments and continuing care programs.
  • Serving as a marketing and outreach director.
  • Building community connections.
  • Serving as an addiction counselor and sober coach.
  • Executive Program Director, developing administrative and compliance driven programs.

She is currently undergoing mental health and addiction interventionist training as well as working on her master’s degree in Social Work. Tori currently holds a bachelor’s degree in business as well as a CATC-III/CADC-III in addictions counseling. In addition, Tori serves as a Board of Director on several non-profit groups whose mission is to provide prevention, education and resources to families who struggle with addiction. Having over 10 years of personal recovery, Tori understands what it takes to obtain long-term sobriety and is a community activist who is committed to helping others achieve freedom from addiction.

Tammy Occhippini – LMFT

Tammy Occhipinti is a self described as “ an Agent of Change” and “a warm and caring professional” with 15 years and thousands of hours of providing positive, high-quality psychotherapy and life coaching for individuals, couples, families, children and adolescence.

Her specialties include: Substance Abuse and Dual Diagnosis management (Creating a fulfilling and healthy life free of chemicals), Healthy Habits Weight Loss (Permanent Weight Loss from the Inside Out, Managing Emotional Eating, Losing Weight and Keeping It Lost), stress management, relationship issues, anxiety, depression, women’s issues, grief and loss and proactive life coaching. Tammy is skilled in creating and facilitating workshops, group therapy, and corporate consultations on topics such as successful stress management, team building and healthy dynamics, anger management, effective conflict resolution, and positive communication skills.

Since graduating from Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Psychology in 1994, Tammy has strategically identified and refined the most effective motivational, solution-focused, positive therapy techniques and interventions necessary to bring about permanent and positive change—sustained change from the “inside out”!!!

Donna Cho – RN

Donna Cho has been a Registered Nurse for over 40 year. Earned my Registered Nursing degree from Middlesex College. Sher received her Bachelors degree in Health Administration from Chapman University and has worked the last 8 years with behavioral health and substance abuse.

Mike Torricelli – Interventionist

Experienced Interventionist with a demonstrated history of working in the health wellness and fitness industry. Over 700 successful interventions facilitated. Coaching, Crisis Intervention, Family Therapy, and Case Management. Strong community and social services professional with a Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) focused in Business Administration and Management, General from San Diego State University-California State University.

Sierra Flynn B.S., CATC3 Program Director

My name is Sierra Flynn and I received my Bachelors in Human Services with an emphasis in Mental Health and Substance Abuse from California State University Fullerton. I graduated with honors and have received 6 scholarships. I am a level 3 certified substance abuse counselor through CADEE. I am currently a doctoral student at Alliant International University pursuing a clinical degree in psychology. I have worked in the field of addiction for almost 5 years. Some of my research consists of childhood trauma and how it is related to increased substance use. I have assisted hundreds of clients along their journey of recovery, and I find great joy in helping clients reach their maximum potential.

K. Mitchell Naficy, M.D., MPH Turning Point Consulting Medical Director

Dr. Naficy is a Board Certified Family Physician with over 25 years of clinical experience. In 1985, he graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Microbiology and French Literature. In 1986, he enrolled at the Universidad Central del Caribe, School of Medicine in Puerto Rico. In 1990, he received his Medical Doctor degree. In 1991, Dr. Naficy completed his post graduate training at the University of Southern California Medical Center. In 1998, he completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center.

Harlan Patterson, Group Facilitator

I was fortunate to have a successful career as an executive in the Aerospace and Defense Industry for 37 years retiring in 2016.  After 29 years in the industry I initially retired in 2005 and started a ‘give back” career in my community.

During my initial retirement, I receive a Master of Science degree in Counseling from Pace University in Nye York and was employed by two organizations after graduating from Pace.  First, I became a full time counselor providing individual counseling for patients at The Have treatment center, which is part of the New York Presbyterian Westchester Behavioral Health Center in White Plains, New York.

Subsequently, I was employed as a full time counselor at St. Christopher’s Inn in Garrison, New York.  St. Christopher’s Inn is a men’s homeless shelter providing residents with the necessary services for successful integration back into their community.  Some of the services included counseling and medical facilities for residents requiring help to overcome barriers such as mental health issues including addiction.   My responsibilities included intake interviews, individual and group therapy, case management, and discharge planning.  While there I received a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor Trainer certificate from New York State and accumulated over 2000 hours allowing me to apply for the NY State CASAC license exam.  However prior to taking the exam, I was recruited back into the Aerospace and Defense industry for an additional 8 years as president of various companies owned by a major Aerospace and Defense company based in New York.

Karen Rippy – LMFT – Family Therapist

My name is Dr. Karen Rippy and I am your in-office and online therapist. I specialize in family and relationship challenges including co-parenting, teen/child counseling, couple therapy, modern addictions, discernment counseling, and divorce-related matters.  I earned a doctorate in clinical psychology and am licensed as an Individual, Marriage, Child, and Family Therapist in California since 1983.

Education

  • Ph.D. In Clinical Psychology – Sierra and Claremont Graduate University
  • Masters of Art – California State Univesity, Fullerton
  • B.A. Psychology – California State University, Long Beach

Licenses & Certifications

  • License: CA Board Behavioral Sciences: LMFT #17775
  • California Assoc. Marriage Family Therapy
  • Doctoral Addictions Counselor-National Forensic Association
  • Anger Management Trainer / Consultant
  • Disaster Mental Health First Responder-ARC trained
  • Emotional Focused Therapy EFT (Tapping) and EMDR
  • Lic Spiritual Practitioner United Centers of Spiritual Living
  • Discernment Counseling: DRI (Alliance of Therapists, Ministers, and Lawyers for assistance with “At-Risk” marriages
  • National Registry of Marriage Friendly Therapists
  • Cal Victims of Crime Resource
  • Wounded Warriors Participant

Mike Kelly, Consulting DNP

Other Staff

  • Jamie Landis RADT1  Detox / Residential Facility
  • Lisa Gillette, RADT-I, Detox Tech
  • Warren Taft, MD, Consulting Medical Director
  • Luke Walsh, RADT-1
  • Nick Adelizzi, RADT-1
Joint Commission Accredited

Turning Point Treatment Center, Inc.