Our Team

Ranked among the top three in New Mexico for Intensive Outpatient, Detox and other Substance Use Disorder related mental health treatment, our team is dedicated to helping you get a solid foundation in recovery.

Paul Tucker, MS, LADAC – Founder and Owner

Paul has been providing Albuquerque and the surrounding area with the best and most innovative treatment options for people suffering from Substance Use Disorder, co-occurring disorders, and mental health problems for more than 20 years. Paul is inspired daily to do this work by the strength and character of those who embrace recovery and transform their lives. He is constantly working on expanding treatment options, directly engaging the evolving needs of our community.

Paul enjoys handcycling, camping and other outdoor activities with his wife Rebekah and their dogs Bella and Rajah.

Vanya Garabedian, LCSW – IOP Therapist

Vanya earned her MSW in Clinical Social Work in 2012. Her experience and education bring a mindful, nonjudgmental, trauma-informed approach to addictions treatment. She believes the goal is for clients to leave treatment with an empowered sense of self and the skills necessary to obtain a life worth living in recovery. She is intensively trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

She approaches clients without judgment, grounded in mindfulness and dialectics. Vanya believes all clients can recover and gain the skills necessary to obtain a life worth living. She brings an understanding and passion for the recovery process, knowing that addiction is not a moral failing, it is an illness which requires treatment and recovery.

Paul Weeks LPCC – IOP Therapist

Paul grew up in upstate New York. He got his undergraduate degree in sociology and philosophy from SUNY Fredonia and studied western literature at St. John’s College in Annapolis and Santa Fe. Paul came to Albuquerque to work as a VISTA Volunteer in a literacy program in the south valley. He received his master’s degree in counseling in 2007 from Southwestern College.

Paul has worked with people struggling with addictions since 2008, providing guidance for individuals in recovery and facilitating supportive interactive group therapy. Paul works toward a vision where everyone who wants recovery from substance abuse can achieve it.

Billy Garberina LCSW – IOP Therapist

Billy received his master’s degree in Social Work from New York University accompanied by an award-winning thesis capstone project at the NYU Silver School of Social Work. Billy has worked with diverse populations including individuals struggling with co-occurring disorders; including working in street-outreach with intravenous drug users as well as the LGBT community. Billy received in-depth training in classical psychoanalytic technique at the Sarah Meehan Institute for Mental Health Training in NYC and currently works from a Cognitive Behavioral and Motivational Interviewing therapeutic framework in his practice. Billy’s training includes work with Joanne Schladale LMFT with an additional focus on individuals struggling with problematic sexual behaviors. He is a MATRIX certified substance abuse counselor and has studied early trauma/developmental issues with the NMT national program developed by Dr. Bruce Perry.

Kumara Hampton LMHC LADAC – IOP Therapist

Kumara has his MA in counseling as well as his LADAC. He currently holds a temporary license (LMHC).  He began his career in the field of addiction several years ago. Kumara’s passion is to help clients find their paths and a sense of inner peace. He understands that addiction is not an issue of morality but instead something much more complex that includes an array of deeper issues.

Kumara prides himself on holding a safe space for clients to process deep work in group therapy. Simultaneously he approaches every client in a very individualized manner. He realizes that although each person may share common characteristics regarding addiction, each client is a unique individual and should be treated and respected as such. He is well grounded, spending his free time in nature and connecting to the earth. 

Elena Browning LMHC LSAA – IOP Therapist

Elena has a Masters of Arts in Counseling from Southwestern College in Santa Fe, NM; has a License as a Mental Health Counselor (provisional); and a temporary License in Substance Abuse and Addiction. She is a hypnotherapist, certified through the National Guild of Hypnotists. Elena believes in a holistic approach towards wellness. She fundamentally believes that we all have the capacity to re-connect with ourselves and to reach our highest potential.

Elena appreciates learning and utilizes innovative and eclectic methods that will help and support the path to recovery. She advocates mindfulness practices and believes when people are ready to begin their inner-journeys, they can be empowered by their inner-healer intelligence. Elena encourages her clients with a compassionate approach towards self-love.

Elena provides Progressive Relaxation Therapy one on one for clients who are struggling with stress, anxiety as well as chronic pain.

Elena loves movement as much as stillness, whether through silence and/or solitude she loves hiking, yoga, dancing, bicycling and being in nature.

Calli Feerer LMSW – IOP Therapist

Biography forthcoming

Shelly Marek LMHC – IOP Therapist

Shelly is a military brat who traveled the world, living in Germany and Japan before settling down in New Mexico. In 2009 she graduated with an MBA from New Mexico Highlands University. After spending 8 years working as a bookkeeper for a law firm she decided to continue her education so that she could be of service to her community. Shelly graduated in 2017 with her Masters in Counseling and is excited to learn and work with the amazing team at Turning Point. In her spare time, Shelly enjoys spending time with her family and friends and traveling.

Frances Kathleen Lopez-Bushnell (Kathy) CNP APRN EdD MPH MSN

Kathy is a Family Nurse Practitioner and a nurse researcher who has been working with substance use disorders for many years. She has been awarded a substance-use disorder fellowship, published in substance use disorders and she continues to work in this area. Kathy facilitates patients going through alcohol, opioid, or other withdraw with non-addictive treatments. Because of her ability to use motivational interviewing and her many years of experience with substance use disorders and research, she is able to provide excellent care to patients going through withdrawal. This successful protocol helps individuals go through withdrawal with minimal symptoms. It also helps them prepare for the lifelong journey of sobriety, a healthy, satisfying and productive life.

Dana Stratton – Detox Manager / Compliance Director

Biography forthcoming

Mateo Duran – Sober Living Peer Support

Mateo is a certified peer support worker and manages our Sober Living facility. Mateo has more than 5 years of continuous and active recovery. He is a mentor and an active member of the 12-step community. In addition, Mateo is an advocate for our homeless population and anyone who struggles with mental health problems. Mateo works tirelessly to help fellow recovering addicts and alcoholics reintegrate themselves into society so that they may live fulfilling lives free from addiction.

Kristine Kellum – Intake Coordinator

Kris is currently is at Central New Mexico Community College and will graduate later this year with her RN License. Kris is in recovery and has been clean and sober for more than 6 years. As a recovering addict, she has compassion and empathy for people in recovery. Kris finds that her work helps her on her road to recovery and keeps her accountable. Kris cherishes seeing the transformation of patients beginning their recovery. Her hobbies include swimming, outdoor activities, and spending quality time with her family and friends.

Jesse Holly – Patient Accounts

Jesse is part of the Admissions and Patient Financial team at Turning Point Recovery Center. Together with Fredo, he brings people into Turning Point IOP and Detox. Jesse is currently celebrating more than 8 years of sobriety. He has a passion for recovery and loves to help people in need. Jesse will be graduating Fall of 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in English and plans to pursue a graduate degree in the same field.

Fredo Lucero – Intake Coordinator

Fredo was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM. In 2015, after 6 years of working for Albuquerque Ambulance as an EMT, he came to Turning Point Recovery Center to work in the Outpatient Detox program. He currently works as one of our Admission Coordinators. He understands substance abuse not only from the medical field but also from watching multiple family members struggle with addiction. Fredo is an avid bass fisherman and is part of several sports leagues during the evenings.

Annette Curtis – Controller

Annette was brought on to the Turning Point team with more than 20 years of experience in finance working for construction companies. Annette finds the reward of seeing lives change for the better as the essential reason to do the work she does. She is a dog lover and enjoys spending time with her two kids and grandson.  She is also an entertainer and cook, regularly hosting parties for holidays and various events.

Julia Herrera BA LSAA – Assessor

Julia graduated from the University of New Mexico’s Psychology department with a concentration in Addiction Counseling. She currently does assessments for Turning Point and assists with IOP groups when needed. She will soon be starting work on her master’s degree in Counseling. Julia has had training in crisis intervention and has experience in case management for low-income, refugee families. Working at Turning Point has been a life-changing experience for her. Getting to see the passion that others have in their work is highly motivating for her in her own career development.

Shanelle Martinez – Facility Support

Biography forthcoming

Katie Ross BA – Receptionist

Biography forthcoming

Jeff Daninger MA – Administrative Director

Jeff has a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Phoenix. He has worked in adolescent treatment centers. He has spent the last 9 years in managed care developing mastery around policy and regulations for behavioral health. Jeff is an avid “indoorsman” which is rare in New Mexico. His hobbies include collecting rare vinyl records and seeing as many live shows as he can. He is originally from Minnesota, left the cold and now complains about the heat. He has two daughters whom he adores.

Elizabeth Brooks BA – Accounts

Elizabeth has a background in Psychology and Biology with bachelors’ degrees from UNM, both in science fields. She also volunteered with APD at their Forensic Science Center. Elizabeth was born and raised in Albuquerque. She enjoys traveling and has a 7-year-old rescue Pit/Lab mix, Ripley, whom she absolutely adores. She loves to hike, run, snowboard and swim … she will do pretty much anything that involves signing a waiver! She also enjoys volleyball and kickball.

Mercy Serafin – Administrative Supervisor, FRNM

Mercy has worked in management for federal contractors for more than 14 years before joining the team at Focused Recovery of New Mexico. She is actively obtaining her LSAA. She has since been promoted to Administrative Supervisor.  She enjoys working with the customers, staff, and clinicians and seeing the company grow. Her close work with the clinical team motivates her to become an addictions counselor.

Mercy loves seeing her son play sports, she loves watching musicals and reading. 

Michelle Brooks – Human Resources

Michelle’s passion for taking care of TPRC employees comes in part from her personal experience of knowing how essential TPRC’s clinicians and staff are to any family with members in recovery or working to get there. She is a member of Healing Addiction in Our Community, regularly speaks community events, and helped start our local Nar-Anon chapter.

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