La Cheim Behavioral Health Services Staff

Meet the Clinicians Who Provide Care at our PHP & IOP in Oakland




About La Cheim Behavioral Health Services


La Cheim's Valfer Life Renewal Program provides a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) and an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for adults. To learn more, check out our client testimonials and an overview of a day in our PHP/IOP.


We specialize in treating clients with depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, unresolved issues of grief and loss, post-traumatic stress (PTSD), and thought disorders. We also address issues associated with chemical dependency, recovery and relapse prevention.


Frances Raeside, LMFT

Program Director

Frances Slack Raeside, MFT, Program Director at La Cheim since 2013,  grew up in a therapeutic residence:  to help make ends meet, her father, a psychology professor at Harvard in the 1950s, invited some of his patients with severe mental illness to live with his family as honorary family members.  Ideas about patient power, positive thinking, role play and role reversal, placebo effect,  unconditional positive regard, free association and dream analysis were everyday topics in her blended family culture . Frances worked in the publishing industry in New York and in the computer software industry in California, becoming the first woman executive in the multinational corporation Hoesch GmbH.  She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UC Berkeley and earned her master degree from SF State, where she was inspired by Harvey Peskin’s insights into the children of Holocaust survivors, and Terry Soo Hoo's brief strategic work within the cultural context of Chinese American families.  Frances continued to explore themes of intergenerational trauma, identity and community healing in collaboration with indigenous people from Australia, California, Alaska, and Papua New Guinea. Since 2005, she and her husband, John, and daughter, Abby (now in college), have hosted over 200 international students in their Oakland home, extending the family tradition of unusual hospitality.

Adam Nelson, MD

Medical Director

Dr. Nelson received his BA in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and his MD from the University of Pittsburgh. He received his training in psychiatry, both psychoanalytic skills and neurosciences, at the Hillside Hospital in New York, part of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Nelson has been practicing in California for more than 30 years, during which he has worked as team leader or medical director in several settings, including the US Air Force, the Veterans Administration, the City of Berkeley, Marin General Hospital, and San Francisco General Hospital. He served on the faculty of UC Davis Medical Center and and UCSF-Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Nelson also developed and ran a street-based homeless psychiatric clinic in San Francisco and has worked with the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinics, Catholic Charities, Glide Memorial Outpatient Services, St Anthony’s Clinic, the Urban Indian Health Clinics, and Native American Community Friendship House to increase access to psychiatric care for their patient communities. Dr. Nelson is Board Certified in Psychiatry and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. In addition to his work at La Cheim BHS, he has a private practice in Mill Valley and serves as an active spokesperson and advocate for improved access to mental health services for patients and families locally and nationally.

Michal Falk, PhD

Clinical Director

Michal has been with La Cheim since 2009.  A licensed clinical psychologist, she holds a Ph.D and an MA in clinical psychology, as well as an MA in Expressive Art Therapy. She has been in the field of psychology for over 30 years, and is a firm believer in people’s inner wisdom to heal, and in the power of a therapeutic community to renew a sense of livelihood and engagement in life.  As well, Michal is dedicated to supporting interns in their path to become licensed professionals, from supervision to training and exposure to cutting-edge and research-based practices.  She is passionate about building a community for clients and interns alike, with the deep conviction that supportive and caring relationship are the soil of the soul. Painting, sculpting and kayaking are among the creative and recreational outlets Michal enjoys in her free time.

David Beckerman, PhD

Admissions Coordinator

Dr. David Beckerman oversees the admissions process for La Cheim Behavioral Health Services. To learn more about the program and discuss scheduling a PHP or IOP intake, please give him a call at (510) 596-8350.

Brad Falconer, PsyD

Quality Assurance & Program Improvement (QAPI) Coordinator

Dr. Brad Falconer has been with La Cheim since 2015. He specializes in LGBTQIA+ identity and complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He believes in working collaboratively with clients to help them access their own strength, creativity, and innate recovery wisdom. Brad completed his clinical training at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He currently works in an administrative capacity at La Cheim, helping to maintain, measure, and strengthen the program.

Ernst Valfer, PhD, ABPP

Founder & Director Emeritus

Ernst Valfer is the founding director of La Cheim Behavioral Health Services, which he initiated in 1993. He has been a licensed and board-certified psychologist since 1976. Prior to 1993 he was a researcher and consultant for UCB, UCLA, the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences, and the federal government in the fields of human factors in organizations, in organizational psychology, and in managerial decision making. Ernst is still linked to La Cheim and BHS as a consultant. He feels very fortunate to have been able to close his professional career in a psychological speciality directly focused on improving the health and well-being of seriously ill individuals, rather than on more abstract entities and segments of society.


Lorna Hall, PA

Lorna is a physician assistant on La Cheim's psychiatric team.

Suzy Lozier, PA

Suzy is a psychiatric physician assistant. She received a BA from Brown University and a Master of Medical Science degree from Yale University School of Medicine. She worked in Family Practice and Women's Medicine for seven years before joining a Psychiatric practice where she specialized in treating children and adolescents. In 2016 she started the Telepsychiatry Program at Action Urgent Care. She moved with her daughter from the Yosemite Area to Oakland and has been treating patients at La Cheim since December of 2018.

Miriam Lundy, NP

Miriam is a psychiatric nurse practitioner.  She studied biology at UC Berkeley and did psychiatric research at McLean Hospital in Boston before completing her master's degree at Yale University in 2010.  In her free time she enjoys hiking, climbing, and spending time with her family.

Dmitriy Reznik, PA

Dmitriy is a physician assistant on La Cheim's psychiatric team.


Ed Harris, LMFT

Ed is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. He has been playing guitar for all of his adult life. He attended American University in Washington DC, where he majored in government and public administration. He received his Master of arts degree in psychology from Western Institute for Social Research in Berkeley. An avid Giants and Warriors fan, he began working at La Cheim in March 2006.

Noam Salpeter, LMFT

Noam is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and clinical supervisor at La Cheim.

Lenore Schuh, LMFT

Lenore is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and clinical supervisor at La Cheim.


Lisa Anderson, AMFT

Lisa received her MA in Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University and is currently a registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. A native of the Bay Area, she has a passion for working with diverse populations in an integrative and holistic capacity.  She specializes in transpersonal and somatic therapy, integrative body work, and has in depth knowledge of how these modalities can help clients with developmental trauma heal and thrive. Lisa enjoys outdoor activities and living a purposeful life of helping others through writing.

Rhys Conger, AMFT

Rhys is a registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. He is a native of the East Bay and received his B.A. from St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, majoring in Western Philosophy and the History of Math and Science.  He received his M.A. in Counseling Psychology from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California.  His approach is Client Centered and Strengths Based.  In his personal life he enjoys cooking, playing music, and eating spicy food.

Kira Cushner, MA, PhD

Kira holds an MA and PhD in clinical psychology and has worked in the mental health field for over a decade. A second-generation San Franciscan, she grew up sailing on the bay with her dad, who instilled within her a passion and respect for the ocean and its creatures. In her spare time, she enjoys tap dancing, running on the beach with her dog, and eating copious amounts of cheese. Kira is trained in numerous modalities and takes an integrative approach to psychotherapy, tailoring treatment to fit the unique needs of each individual she works with.

Seth Golub, AMFT

Seth is a registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist at La Cheim.

Leanne Kelly Greenberg, AMFT

Leanne is a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist at La Cheim Behavioral Health Services. She is a native of Los Angeles, where she graduated with honors from the University of Southern California, double majoring in Psychology and Music. She received her MA in counseling from St Mary's College of California in Moraga, CA. In her therapeutic practice, Leanne pulls from Existential, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Person-Centered approaches. When she's not practicing therapy, she is playing and writing music professionally, going for hikes, and spending time with her family and friends.

Miriam Kopf, AMFT

Miriam is a registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist at La Cheim Behavioral Health Services. She is a native of Los Angeles, but was always drawn to the Bay Area. She graduated with honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she earned her BA in Psychology. She went on to earn her MA in Counseling Psychology from the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. In her therapeutic practice, Miriam employs a narrative approach, from an attachment focused and strengths based lens. When she's not practicing therapy, she is cuddling her two dogs, dancing, or spending time watching & discussing movies or playing board games with family and friends.

Amanda Morrison, LMFT, LPCC

Amanda Morrison is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. Amanda was born and raised in northern New Jersey and has lived on and off in California since 2009. She graduated from The Wright Institute in Berkeley in 2015 and has been working in community mental health since. 

Kara Rubens, APCC

Kara is a registered Associate Professional Clinical Counselor at La Cheim. She grew up in the Puget Sound region of Washington state, earning her B.A. in Music Therapy. She worked in Chicago as a music therapist (MT-BC) in pediatrics for six years, while also earning her 200-hr yoga teaching certificate. Kara has a M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a concentration in Expressive Art Therapies. She values the mind-body connection and the power of using the arts for personal insight and growth. Kara also enjoys hiking with her dogs, finding comedy in parenthood, and singing. 


Sandra Gonzales

Kevin Medford

Ryan Rousseau

Liza Taylor

Contact Us Today to Learn More about our PHP & IOP Programs

Original artwork compliments of  La Cheim's talented clients.

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