SOBA Recovery Center

Staff | Clinical

Christine Magnon, LMFT, Clinical Director

Christine Keller oversees the clinical program and the supervision and training of the clinical staff at Soba. She received her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT). She has significant experience working in the field of addiction and recovery in residential rehab and outpatient settings, providing therapeutic services to adolescents, adults, families and groups. Within her experience at Soba, she has enjoyed working in both clinical and administrative functions, utilizing her skills to enhance the treatment and care provided. Christine is also interested in teaching and has conducted speaking engagements at California State University, Northridge and California Lutheran University on topics including Substance Abuse Treatment, Process Work in Group Therapy, and Adolescent Diagnostic Issues.

Jessica Clark, LMFT, Program Director

Jessica Clark is Soba’s Program Director, providing clinical supervision, and individual and group therapy to clients within the residential and outpatient programs. Jessica is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) and received clinical training working with individuals with opioid dependence. Following completion of her degree, she worked as the Program Coordinator for a Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health program for 6 years and served on the program’s Co-Occurring Disorders Committee. She has also acted as supervisor to students from the University of Southern California and Mental Health America, Los Angeles’ Jump Start Program.

Leila Mesghali, LMFT, Clinical Services Manager

Leila Mesghali is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has been licensed for over 15 years, and has worked in a wide range of settings including inpatient hospital for severe psychological disorders, private practice, and primarily in the field of substance abuse and addiction. Leila is an integral part of our clinical team at Soba, wherein she facilitates individual, family and group therapy.

Dominic Valdes, ACSW, Primary Therapist

Dominic Valdes holds a Master of Social Work from California State University, Bakersfield and is currently registered with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences as an Associate Clinical Social Worker (ACSW). He gained clinical experience working in Family Preservation with Child Protective Services during his graduate training and saw the devastating effects that substance abuse has on adults, families and children. He later devoted years to working as a mental health therapist providing individual, group and family psychotherapy to adolescents and their families at a co-occurring mental health disorder/substance abuse facility in the San Fernando Valley. Dominic has also worked as a mental health therapist providing individual and family therapy to at-risk children, families and addicted adults in the Downtown Los Angeles area. His clinical approach includes a psycho-dynamic and cognitive-behavioral foundation with emphasis on compassion, safety and empathy for the treatment of underlying wounds that are responsible for the pain we experience. With a personal journey into recovery from past addictions and trauma, he believes recovery is possible with spiritual, emotional and physical progress.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW and Life Coach

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, is a licensed psychotherapist and life coach who has helped hundreds of people cope with lifelong addictions, including substance abuse, shopping, gambling, food, sex and love, co-dependency, trauma, depression, anxiety, single parenting and divorce. Sherry appeared on Celebrity Rehab 3, 4, and 5. She also facilitated life coaching on their subsequent spin off Sober House and Celebrity Rehab’s Sex Addiction. During filming of the series, Sherry used her trademark sensitivity and compassion to help troubled cast members as they transitioned into their new sober lives with psychotherapy and life coaching tips. Sherry most recently appeared on CNN Headline News as a guest expert, as well as Inside Edition, where she spoke about Mackenzie Phillips who was on Celebrity Rehab 3. In addition, she appeared on KTLA Channel 5 as an expert on eating disorders and Fox San Diego News, Better TV, WPIX New York, CNN Prime News, Issues with Jane Velez Mitchell on HLN, Showbiz Tonight, Joy Behar on HLN, the Bio Channel: The Tragic Side of Fame and E!News discussing Celebrity Rehab and Teen Mom on MTV. Sherry’s book, “The Law of Sobriety” from HCI Publications is about recovery from addictions and alcoholism and was published in September 2010. Sherry has also been published in Cosmopolitan Magazine, Women’s World, Los Angeles Times Blog, New York Post, The Huffington Post, Hollywood Life, Elle On-line, E! On-line, Radar On-line and the New York Daily News. She has also been a guest with Martha Stewart, Jay Thomas, and Judith Regan on Sirius XM Radio. Sherry also blogs on Beliefnet.com, Counselor Magazine, and Deepak Chopra’s IntentBlog.com, In addition she was a host on CBS Sky Radio of “A Moment of Change,” a show on self discovery and positive transformation and now co-hosts the Kim Pagano Radio Show in Ventura, CA.

With over fifteen years of experience as a clinician, Sherry has worked at some of the top rehabilitation centers around such as the famed Promises Treatment Center in Malibu. Though presently she works at Soba Recovery Center, Sherry currently dedicates most of her time to her private practice in Westlake Village, CA and her media career. Sherry is passionate about helping her clients with a supportive approach to help them resolve problems and change long-standing patterns.

Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley (Van Nuys), California, Sherry had to learn the art of problem solving at a young age. At 26, she became a single mother. She had just graduated from college with a Journalism degree and was not able to pursue her passion for television and radio news to focus on raising her daughter. Once her daughter was old enough, Sherry made the choice to go back to school and entered a master’s program and received her Masters of Social Work from the prestigious University of Southern California. Sherry is also an expert and published author on the subjects of parenting, single parenting, divorce, and relationships. She is a contributing author to the book “Chicken Soup For the Soul: Tough Times Tough People” which highlights how a person can follow their dreams and succeed as Sherry has highlighting her struggles from single parenting to a successful media expert, psychotherapist, and life coach.

For More information about Sherry Gaba, LCSW go to www.sherrygaba.com or contact her at sherry@sgabatherapy.com.

Al Saenz, Meditation Group Facilitator

Al Saenz has extensive experience teaching meditation and has led countless workshops over the last 50 plus years that he has been sober. Al’s goal for his meditation groups is to remove suffering from individuals who have sought relief through substance abuse due to various circumstances in their lives. Al believes in sharing his experience, strength, and hope openly with the participants of his groups in order to identify with them. He shows up to his groups with a sense of humor, compassion, and with no pressure.

Cheryl Lahner, Yoga Group Facilitator

Cheryl Lahner has been teaching yoga for a number of years and practicing yoga herself since 2007. She leads yoga groups at Soba, providing a positive, safe, calm, and healing environment with a personalized approach. Her goal is to help people nourish their physical, mental, and spiritual bodies to aid in detoxification and to restore balance in their life. She is also in the process of becoming a Registered Yoga Teacher through the Yoga Alliance. Her favorite quote is “Starve the ego. Feed the soul.”