Jeff Jay, CIP

Jeff Jay is a professional interventionist and co-author of Love First: A Family’s Guide to Intervention (Hazelden). He has been working full time in the substance abuse treatment field since 1986, including work for the Hazelden Foundation. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, and is a Certified Addictions Professional and a Certified Intervention Professional. He has appeared as an expert on CNN, PBS, and the Jane Pauley Show. His latest book is Navigating Grace, a solo voyage of survival and redemption.

Jeff specializes in complex interventions for impaired executives and licensed professionals. He is also skilled in working with baby boomers, older adults, and younger adults. His expertise is sought after for cases which are complicated by psychological issues, such as anxiety disorders, bipolar disease and trauma. He also conducts interventions for eating disorders, gambling addiction, sex addiction, and other issues. His personal recovery from addiction dates from October 4, 1981.

“I believe in intervention for a very simple reason,” says Jeff.
“Intervention saved my life.”

Debra Jay

Debra Jay is a noted author, speaker, and trainer for addiction professionals. She worked for Hazelden as an inpatient counselor for both men and women, was interim supervisor of the women’s program, facilitated the weekly family program, designed the evening outpatient family program, and was the coordinator of the older adult track.

Debra was a guest lecturer for Wayne State University graduate studies on addiction for fourteen years. She has been writing a newspaper advice column on families and addiction since 1996. She has served as board member for Brighton Hospital, St. John Providence Health System, and Dawn Farm. She is a recipient of the 2012 Letitia M. Close B.V.M Award in recognition of a significant ministry in helping women with the disease of addiction.

Debra was the addiction expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show for 3 seasons and has appeared on the Dr. Oz Show. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University and the Hazelden Addiction Professionals Training Program.

To learn more about Debra’s books, click here.

Our Clinical Associates

Michael Parr, MD

Board Certified in Addiction Medicine
Professional Interventionist

Michael Parr, MD, is a professional interventionist in Sacramento, California. He has been helping families get in recovery for decades. He is a Love First certified professional interventionist, and is board certified in addiction medicine.

Dr. Parr  has over 30 years experience in chemical dependency treatment and pain management. He served as a consultant to the National Basketball Association Player Assistance Program for 25 years.

Stephanie Christy, DSW, LCSW, CIP

Doctor of Social Work
Professional Interventionist

Dr. Stephanie Christy began her work in the addiction and recovery fields over a twelve years ago.  She strongly believes in the impact addiction has on the entire family and in the recovery of the family system as a whole.  Her passion for recovery continues to lead her to work with both those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction and their families.  Her personal story of recovery is an inspiration to everyone she helps.

Stephanie has worked in a variety of clinical settings, including residential and outpatient treatment.  She previously acted as a Program Manager at the Hanley Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. She has performed clinical research at the University of Michigan’s Addiction Research Center (UMARC) and served as Adjunct Faculty in Addiction Studies at Madonna University and Wayne State University.

Cheryl Emery, MS, CAP

Cheryl Emery is a professional interventionist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She is deeply passionate about helping families and their addicted loved ones. She has worked in psychiatric centers and addiction treatment programs since 2003.

Cheryl specializes in complex addiction and trauma. She excels in helping highly resistant clients including young adults and families affected by the disease, as well as its aftermath.

Clayton Sponhaltz, LCDC

Clayton Sponhaltz is a professional interventionist in San Antonio, Texas, and a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor. He has worked in the addiction and recovery field since 2008.

Clayton is passionate about guiding people who are suffering from addiction, helping them find hope and purpose available in recovery. He has helped implement a large collegiate recovery program at The University of Texas at San Antonio.

Elisabeth Escobar, MA

Elisabeth Escobar is a professional interventionist in New York, NY, and Washington, DC. She has been working in the field of counseling and substance abuse treatment for over 25 years, in both the United States and Europe. Elisabeth works well with all age groups and facilitates each family member’s personal growth and development around what it means to be in Recovery.

Elisabeth holds an M.Ed in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University and an M.A. in Guidance & Counseling from Eastern Michigan University. Her treatment approach draws heavily from the 12-step program and she utilizes Carl Roger’s approach of Un-Conditional Positive Regard in her work with clients. She also currently maintains a private Coaching, Counseling & Consulting Practice via Skype and is a regular contributor to the London based, “Intervene” magazine.

Lowell Duncan, LADC, CAP

Lowell Duncan is a clinical interventionist based in Minneapolis – St. Paul, Minnesota. He has more than 30 years experience in the addiction treatment field. Lowell is a graduate of the Hazelden Chemical Dependency Counselor Training Program, and he an LACD, CAP, and an Internationally certified drug and alcohol counselor.

Lowell worked at Hazelden Foundation in Center City, Minnesota for 26 years as a unit supervisor and therapist. He is also the author of Hazelden’s publication Heroin: The First Few Months of Recovery. His intervention experience is as wide and deep as his professional experience. He is passionate about helping families and patients find joy in recovery.

Lori Forseth, Clinical Coordinator

Lori answers questions and coordinates appointments for professional intervention and Structured Family Recovery®. She has been working with families at Love First for years and is very knowledgable, available, and an easy-going, warm person to talk with about addiction and family needs. Lori has degrees in psychology and sociology, graduating with distinction in both areas. You can call Lori’s direct line: 888-533-1312.‬ For text: 313-409-4951. Email: lori@lovefirst.net.

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