Mike Bayer CADC II, BRI II
CEO & Founder
Mike Bayer is a personal development coach who has changed the lives of numerous families, executives, and artists by empowering them to break free of destructive patterns and cycles. With the belief that: “We all have the answers and power to change within ourselves,” Mike guides his clients with a blend of counseling and problem-solving strategies, thereby challenging and encouraging them to live the lives they desire.
Mike Bayer’s career began over ten years ago as a mental health and addiction counselor. He received his B.S. degree in Alcohol and Drug Counseling from Metropolitan State University in Minnesota. Initially, he was a California Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (CADC II) as well as a Board Registered Interventionist (BRI II). After a residency at The Hazelden Foundation, Mike spent five years in the field and became one of the leading interventionists in the country. He did crises consulting for several of the country’s top treatment programs, including the Hazelden Foundation. Seven years ago he founded CAST Recovery, which provides a network of professional support – including doctors, psychologists, nutritionists, and counselors – to help clients heal and improve their mental and emotional health. Mike currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Zappala Family Scholarship for students enrolled in UCLA’s Extension Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling Certificate. His outreach work also includes sharing leadership with Demi Lovato as Co-Chair for the Lovato Scholarship at CAST Recovery, which provides financial assistance for transitional living and clinical services for mental health and/or addiction issues.
Stephanie Grayson, M.A., Ph.D.
Stephanie Grayson, M.A., Ph.D., is CAST’s Clinical Director. She oversees and develops the clinical programs offered at CAST, ranging from CAST’s intensive outpatient recovery program to topic-specific workshops and retreats. Stephanie comes to CAST with experience in psychological research, assessment, and practice as well as outreach, advocacy, and program evaluation. After earning her Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Psychology and Art History from the University of Southern California, Stephanie completed her Master of Arts and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University. Stephanie received formal clinical training at Harbor UCLA TIES for Families, the United American Indian Involvement, and the Long Beach Child and Adolescent Program/CalWORKS. She has implemented and evaluated wellness programs and interventions promoting life skills, prosocial behavior, empathy, and compassionate stances towards self and others. She is also involved in social psychological research in the area of prejudice, and she brings both a micro- and macro-level systemic approach to her work in developing CAST’s services and programs. Stephanie believes that a life worth living is within reach for everyone, and she considers it an honor to be part of CAST’s efforts to help others in shaping such lives for themselves.
Director of Admissions & Operations
Angela oversees Admissions and Operations for CAST’s Transitional Living and Outpatient programs. She brings with her a diverse professional background, passion for recovery, and strong community relationships. She has held positions in clinical and community outreach for well-known adolescent treatment centers, co-founded a sober living company, worked in sales and marketing, held a paralegal certification, and served in the U.S. Army four years.
Angela’s motivation in her work is anchored in generosity, authenticity, and a belief in service. She is driven to help others heal from cultural and psychological wounds. At CAST, she helps people find their way into the best kind of treatment to meet their needs and gently guides them through the sometimes challenging and confusing processes surrounding treatment. Angela also ensures that all of CAST’s operations align with a commitment to wellness and support each person’s efforts to heal. She believes wholeheartedly in CAST because “the CAST team doesn’t just implement a treatment plan for the client: they help create and support a lifestyle for the person.”
Angela is currently a member of the board of directors of Women’s Association for Addiction Treatment (WAAT) and has held board positions within several chapters of Los Angeles International Association of Eating Disorders (iaedpLA). She is currently completing an undergraduate degree in psychology from Antioch University in order to broaden her knowledge and skills and be able to help more people.
Maren A. Masino, M.S.
Maren, CAST’s Program Director, has a B.A. in Theater and English and an M.S. in Clinical and Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Addictions. She previously worked in treatment centers as well as private practice in Pennsylvania, and she specializes in working with both individuals and groups. Maren’s expertise lies in a keen ability to combine intuition, clinical knowledge, psychodrama techniques, trauma-informed care, experience, strength, and hope to facilitate change. She believes that those suffering from trauma, addiction, and attachment-related injuries can find their enthusiasm for recovery through increasing their experience of love and fulfillment in their lives. With a passion for and commitment to finding meaningful ways to contribute to the treatment, support, and recovery of individuals, she assists her clients in the areas of self-regulation, empowerment, and self-growth. She is excited about helping to create an environment that challenges defensive patterns and fosters an opportunity to engage in a healthy and safe relationship with the self, others, and the body.
Barbara Wright, Ph.D.
Senior Clinical Consultant
Dr. Barbara Wright is a clinical psychologist and senior clinical consultant at CAST. She has had a private practice in Laguna Beach for over 30 years and has supervised psychiatrists, psychologists, and family therapists in clinical practice. She was the first psychologist to be Chief of Staff of a free-standing psychiatric hospital, and she has taught and trained clinical practitioners throughout the United States and Asia.
Dr. Wright has focused her research efforts on Compassionate Communication as well as the dynamics of recovery. Her seminal study on the psychosocial network of acute and recovered alcoholics continues to be central to her practice. She is the founder and director of the Interlude Cardiac Care Program, a psychosocial and educational prevention and rehabilitation program with nutritional, physical, spiritual, and recreational education for patients and families. She is also the founder and executive director of Metta4All, Inc., a system of conflict resolution used for individuals, couples, families, and businesses.
Georgia Bennett-Ramseur NASM CPT, CES IIN Holistic Health Counselor
Manager of Lifestyle Program
Georgia is CAST’s Lifestyle Coach, assisting clients in achieving goals that lead to a healthier lifestyle focused on wellness in mind, body, and spirit. As a personal trainer, yoga instructor, and holistic nutrition counselor, Georgia strongly believes in the positive effects that physical health can have on mental health. Her genuine connection with her with clients and ability to encourage others to make positive, practical changes in their daily lives makes her a great asset at CAST team.
After graduating from Boston’s Berklee College of Music with a degree in Film Scoring, Georgia moved to Los Angeles in 2009 to work in the film industry. It wasn’t long, however, before her passion for health and wellness led her to change career paths. She comes to CAST with experience in and excitement for helping others find health, happiness, and fulfillment through a well-balanced lifestyle.
Cheryl Grant MFT, CSAT, SEP
Cheryl Grant is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in addictions and trauma. She is a Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist who works with Sex and Love Addicts and also their partners. She is also a Somatic Experiencing practitioner trained in Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing and is a Level II EMDR clinician. Both approaches are highly effective when working with the symptoms of trauma. In addition she also uses the Pia Mellody model of Childhood Trauma to treat Co-Dependence.
Cheryl received her B.A. in Sociology from UCLA and graduated with an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University in Los Angeles. She has years of experience working with addicts in recovery and with a variety of psychological and mood disordered clients in both residential and outpatient settings. Cheryl is committed to reducing suffering and to teach clients tools for improved self regulation and well being.
Saba Harouni, LMFT, ATR
Saba Harouni is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Board Certified Art Therapist who specializes in working with adolescents and young adults engaging in risky behaviors. Saba strives to create a safe and supportive therapeutic environment that fosters growth and accelerates change.Her practice integrates person centered therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychodynamic therapy to assist each client. Saba’s dynamic and interdisciplinary approach allows her to tailor therapy to meet each individual’s specific needs. She helps clients develop life enhancing coping skills and insights to find greater meaning and satisfaction from their relationships and in their daily lives.
Saba earned her BA in Psychology with a minor in Gender Studies from UC Berkeley and earned her MA in Marriage and Family Therapy, Specializing in Art Therapy, from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
Alan Ellsweig, LMFT, CATC-IV
Alan Ellsweig is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor (CATC-IV) who joined the CAST team as a group facilitator and primary therapist. Alan recognizes how addiction, anxiety, depression, troubled relationships, low self-esteem, and life transitions can undermine day to day functioning and take a major toll on one’s mental and physical well-being. He is committed to helping clients find their voice, work through life’s challenges, and in doing so, help them find and maintain inner peace.
Alan earned his Bachelor’s of Science from Northwestern University and his Masters in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University. He received excellent training at Pepperdine Community Counseling Center, AIDS Project Los Angeles, Phillips Community Counseling Center, PAX House Recovery, and Pasadena Recovery Center. From individual, couples and family therapy to issues of addiction and dual diagnosis, Alan helps clients overcome their personal struggles to lead happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.
On a personal note, Alan spent 18 years working as a Hollywood talent and literary agent before deciding to become a therapist. He understands the challenges and frustrations of the entertainment industry and the ongoing struggle to move forward in the face of rejection. As a therapist, he helps clients achieve self-awareness, change and empowerment.
Clare has 18 years of experience as a biofeedback/neurofeedback practitioner. She specializes in sleep and anxiety disorders, including the treatment of PTSD. She also has extensive experience with treating ADHD, chronic pain, and migraine symptoms. Clare actively combined biofeedback/neurofeedback modalities with counseling in her private practice as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Washington and Montana, and she now works in concert with clinical teams. Aside from her work with CAST, she volunteers with veterans struggling with PTSD. She is very excited about advances in the field of neurofeedback and enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise with those who can benefit.
Admissions and Activities Coordinator
Jessica is very excited to be working in the wellness and recovery field. She is very committed to supporting clients in their personal growth by creating a safe environment in which they can thrive. She has lived and worked with children soldiers, refugees, and vulnerable immigrant populations in developing countries around the world. This experience laid the foundation for her interest in cross-cultural interactions and inter-religious dialogue, as well as her passion for social justice and human rights. Aside from her work with CAST, she volunteers with homeless students. Jessica is committed to bringing that compassion to CAST and its clients in order to best support them as they develop the skills with their clinicians to create meaningful and fulfilled lives.
Senior House Manager
Matthew has worked in recovery at various sober living and treatment centers over the last several years. He is dedicated to recovery and very passionate about helping others, he has a lot of experience with client care and is very focused on helping them succeed in any way that he can. He is very motivated on encouraging clients in a positive way so they can feel good about making healthy decisions so they can continue to grow and change. Recovery for him has been a lifestyle change being able to handle his responsibilities show up for his commitments and utilize the tools he has obtained and transmit them to others.
Damon Raskin, M.D
Dr. Damon Raskin, M.D has been doing what he loves for the past 16 years. As a board certified internist, he has dedicated his career to helping his patients through both minor and major medical interventions. For 10 years Dr. Raskin has specialized in working in addiction detoxification.
His interest in addiction medicine was fueled by helping people change their lives for the better and seeing their success. His greatest satisfaction as a doctor is seeing his patients make it through the hard times and transition into sobriety.
Dr. Raskin grew up in Los Angeles before moving up north to attend Stanford University for his undergraduate degree. After graduating with honors, he went to medical school at George Washington University, where again, he graduated with “distinction.” He then moved back to Los Angeles to finish his internship and residency at UCLA.
Dr. Raskin first became involved with addiction medicine when he was hired as a consultant at a rehab center in Southern California before moving on to Cliffside Malibu as one of their medical specialists. At Cliffside Malibu he works closely with patients who are going through detoxification. Dr. Raskin believes that the detox process can be very dangerous and he stresses it is important that the addict doesn’t stop using suddenly as it can be as harmful as their actual addiction. Dr. Raskin recognizes that it is beneficial for the addicted patient to slowly and calmly re-train their bodies to function without drugs for optimal treatment
There is a fine line between treating underlying legitimate cognitive issues with medicine and actual substance abuse, and that is where Dr. Raskin is most skilled. After the initial detox period, Dr. Raskin understands that sobriety is an on-going process and he feels gratified that he can help so many people achieve this goal. He strategizes with his patients on how to stay sober and if needed with the use of medication, as many times there are mental or psychological issues that need pharmaceutical assistance.
Dr. Raskin knows that addiction and sobriety is an on-going process and he feels gratified that he can help so many people achieve this goal.
Dr. Raskin is married and has two young children and two dogs. And, while he is too busy to have a major hobby, the family, dogs included, enjoy long beach days in Malibu or hiking on the Pacific Palisades trails.