Our Staff

The goal of the experienced and compassionate staff at Axis Treatment West is to help our clients through each step of the recovery process, from detox and withdrawal to one-on-one therapy and aftercare planning, while ensuring that each person has a treatment plan that meets his or her individual needs.

The Staff


Sam DekinSam Dekin C.O.O., MA in Clinical Psychology

Sam has many years of experience educating clients about addiction and other pathological behavior, while focusing on cognitive processes, meaning, and emotional triggers and responses as a means of achieving full and sustainable sobriety. Sam provides guidance and support to enhance communication skills, goal setting, conflict resolution, and other tools for ongoing recovery, accountability, and empowerment. As Chief Operating Officer of Axis Treatment Centers (including the just opened Pacific View Recovery Center in Santa Monica), Sam focuses the various Axis teams on reducing recidivism and cultivating self-esteem and family healing by utilizing well-rounded and flexible therapeutic approaches. Sam integrates staff and techniques from Psychodynamic, Existential, CBT, and Family Systems orientations to build rapport with our clients, and thus being able to more effectively intervene on potentially destructive behavior. Sam is also responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Axis Treatment facilities, including design and alteration of treatment plans, family therapy, and crisis intervention.



Dr. James WoodJames Wood Therapist, PhD

Dr. Wood is considered by many to be an authority on addictions, as well as mental illness.  He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with extensive education and experience in the mental health field. He has worked with the Veterans Administration Hospital, Little Rock, Ark., as a chemical dependency counselor, and in numerous Los Angeles hospitals and treatment facilities. In addition to in-patient, outpatient, and residential addiction treatment, Dr. Wood has lectured and led numerous workshops throughout Southern California for the past twenty-five years. He has also conducted extensive research at UCLA over the many years of his career in the addiction field. Dr. Wood has been a member of our auxiliary staff since we first opened our doors.


Meg Reinis NewmanMeg Reinis Newman Therapist, MS, LMFT

Meg Reinis Newman is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in addiction treatment for adolescents and adults and their families. Meg’s clinical training included Kaiser Permanente, the Veteran’s Administration, and an intensive outpatient treatment program for adolescents and their families in West Los Angeles. Meg has additional training in the treatment of sexual trauma and eating disorders. Meg currently maintains a private practice in West Los Angeles.



Mary Joe ThatcherMary Jo Thatcher Counselor, CADC-II

Mary Jo (MJ) comes to Axis West with a wide range of professional experience in the recovery field, and is passionate about helping those struggling with their addictions learn to live a self-directed life in sobriety. As a certified Drug & Alcohol Counselor, she is an integral member of our Clinical team at Axis West, providing group and individual recovery support to our clients seven days a week. Mary Jo is also a certified Co-Active Life Coach with a private coaching practice in Los Angeles.





Megan DahlinMegan Dahlin Compliance Manager, BA

Megan has been working in treatment since the beginning of 2010 and is passionate about her job. She has successfully assisted in the licensing and certification of several residential detox facilities with both the state of California and The Joint Commission. Megan is dedicated to the recovery of the individuals here at Axis and constantly is working to assure the quality and compliance of the program. She is currently continuing her education in a tireless quest to improve the quality of care she can offer our clients.




Nicolle Walters  Recovery Technician Supervisor, CATC-i

Nicolle identifies with our clients on many levels. Some time ago she was desperate and needed help, so she signed herself up into an intensive treatment program. Every day that she stays clean and sober is a miracle, and she hopes to inspire others to stay clean and sober one day at a time! Nicolle possesses an inherent knowledge of the ins and outs of both addiction and recovery. Working in treatment is not just a job, it is her passion and she looks forward to coming to work everyday.



Tondi Britt


Tondi Britt  Overnight Recovery Technician with LVN

Tondi was born and raised in Carson, CA. Even at an early age she always had a great deal of passion for providing selfless dedication towards helping others in need. As a Licensed Vocational Nurse, she says she is “grateful for the opportunity to work in an environment like Axis West, where I can express my passion for helping others.” Tondi enjoys being part of a team where she can motivate and provide support to others who are taking steps towards healing and finding faith in the process of recovery in order to embrace the quality life again.


Matt Fidlow  Recovery Technician

Matt Fidlow is no stranger to treatment. He has struggled with addiction for many years and has gone through 6 treatment programs himself back in his home town of Chicago, IL. Matt entered PVRC in March 2014 as a client and has been clean and sober ever since. Although he has had ups and downs in his sobriety, he has found a home here doing what he loves helping the next addict with his experience, strength, and hope. Matt is passionate about his job and forever grateful for the rehab facility that saved his life.


Jared Cieslewicz‏‎  Recovery Technician, CATC

Having gone through the struggles of addiction after high school, Jared is an individual who knows the seriousness of this condition.  Wanting to try something new, he left Charlottesville, VA to start on a new path which began for him as a client at Axis Treatment West in Culver City.  There, along with going to sober living at the Axis House, he learned the tools necessary to stay sober and enjoy a beautiful, sober life.  Jared has worked in the treatment field in admissions and as a Recovery Technician for nearly 2 years.  He has a very compassionate and honest nature about him, which he utilizes in his approach to help clients through the process of recovery.  He is also an experienced musician with a passion for playing the guitar along with pursuing other creative ventures.




Erick Rodriguez Recovery Technician with LVN

Erick is an LVN who’s holistic approach adds a comforting touch to the care of our clients. Stemming from an impoverished area of Los Angeles, young Erick spent his college years learning about biology, psychology and anatomy before settling in as an LVN. Since then, Erick has spent his years providing comfort and care on various levels to the young and elderly alike. “I studied various fields before I decided on nursing and each of my experiences beforehand will only help me be a better nurse”



simone cotton
Simone Cotton, Recovery Technician with LVN

Simone was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She attended Culver City High School and later went on to get her LVN license at Casa Loma College. As a child, Simone always knew that she wanted to become a nurse. For the past 5 years, Simone has worked in home health as well as at a Teen Substance Abuse Treatment Facility. She is excited to begin working with Axis West & PVRC, and she is looking forward to being able to provide support to individuals on the road to sobriety.



SHEILASheila Monsod Human Resources Manager, CADC-II, BSBA

Sheila brings to the Axis West team a wealth of experience in the recovery and non-profit fields.  She has undergone extensive training, both in the Implementation of the Theraputic Community Program Training and with Group Facilitation as well, residential and outpatient modality.  She has been a member of the Westside Homeless and Hunger Coalition and Westside Meth Coalition Network.  Sheila also has outreach experience with community-based programs through the US District Courts and California Dept. of Correction Rehab.  Sheila is also an active member of AA 14 years strong – “happy, joyous, and free!”  Her drive and motivation at Axis West is to provide support to individuals who seek help, administratively or in recovery.



reece chefReece Stovall, Certified Food Handler, Head Chef

Reece was born in Texas, and was raised on the Westside of  Los Angeles where he attended Alexander Hamilton High School and West Los Angeles College studying Psychology. He grew up in a family of drug addiction and even lost his mother to drug addiction. After that, as well as having his own ups and downs, Reece decided to dedicate his life for the greater good of people. He cooked for three years as lead cook at the Salvation Army, under the Supervision of Executive Chef Mark Mferas, and cooked for our Nations Vets who suffer from PTSD, Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, and Emotional Distress. Reece is dedicated to the recovery process and inspires our clients everyday with food that touches their soul.

Screen Shot 2013-09-03 at 2.18.28 PMTara Troeger, Certified Food Handler, Assistant Chef

Being a chef at Axis West has been a completely different experience for Tara than working at a restaurant.  Rather than cooking for customers she never sees, here at Axis West, she feels like she’s cooking for her family, and nothing makes her happier than seeing her family, ie., our clients, enjoying her food.  Tara is also glad to be part of the recovery process, using her cooking skills and her own experience with sobriety to help the people that need it most.  She believes that good, nutritious, well-prepared food is the best kind of medicine.


rebecca-staffRebecca Gadbury, Certified Food Handler, Assistant Chef

Rebecca has always felt most grounded when working with food. Cooking has been a passion of hers since she was a teenager. Rebecca attended culinary school in Indianapolis, where she specialized in Italian and French Cuisine. Her experience working in kitchens in Indianapolis, as well time spent in Charleston, afforded her a wealth of experience preparing dishes from a wide array of cultural cuisines. Rebecca says she found that passion again within her own recovery. Giving back to fellow addicts is something that brings her great joy day in and day out.