Women Empowering Women
The mission of Emerge Recovery TX is to educate, support and nurture women as they develop and utilize skills to work through trauma and substance abuse disorders. Our vision is to provide a curative path to long-term recovery and a direct nexus between the decisive moment and crucial action that is needed to overcome suffering from addiction. We have developed innovative approaches to recovery that enable individuals to a lifetime of health and empowerment. Emerge Recovery TX is committed to providing the highest quality professional services to women seeking long-term sobriety.
Meet the Team
Our expert team is here to help
Learning to sit with uncomfortable feelings can be painful and disturbing at times. When Leah was able to see her behavior patterns and decided there was enough pain to be disturbed, she became motivated to make changes and accept the work that needed to be done to heal. She needed direction and had no clue how to heal on her own. Through a connection with God, authentic connection with others, honesty, willingness, and humility, Leah is now in recovery from addiction and trauma.
Grace & Emerge Recovery came to fruition through Leah doing her own work, finding healing, and creating a life she is unwilling to risk. Leah is a licensed chemical dependency counselor and is on track to earn a degree in marriage and family therapy. Leah is a mother to 4 beautiful children. When Leah is not working, she enjoys traveling with her kids and getting to know them for the people they are growing to become.
Leah, along with Laurel, created Grace & Emerge Recovery by walking their own paths to recovery and designed what they felt was missing for them along the way. Experience, strength, and love are found in every aspect of the program they built and the work that gets done with every woman is not taken lightly.
Laurel joined Grace Recovery as a co-owner in 2020 in their mission to support women in achieving long-term sobriety. Laurel was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and attended the United States Air Force Academy and St. Edward’s University.
After injuries and surgeries that ended her college soccer career, Laurel spiraled into her addiction, which led to years of drinking and drug use. In 2012, she entered treatment in Austin, Texas. Laurel has 7+ years of working in the recovery industry and has dedicated her career to helping individuals regain peace and find purpose in their lives.
Laurel is an experienced operations manager who specializes in project management, administration, and customer service initiatives aligned with performance objectives. She is known for her analytical approach to streamlining and optimizing efficiencies within an organization. She provides a resourceful approach while collaborating with cross-functional teams to develop client-centric solutions. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and will complete her Master’s of Business Administration in 2021.
Noah Elias Flores, LMSW
Noah focuses on treating trauma, relationship issues, and addiction through the lens of attachment, which is about identifying how survival strategies that kept us safe in childhood may no longer serve us as adults. Noah’s goal is to help clients forgive their inner child, heal, and learn ways to develop safe and healthy relationships.
As a queer Uruguayan-American, Noah has experience working with immigrants and individuals within the LGBTQ+ community, as well as people in recovery from substance use. Noah feels his Hispanic identity presents itself through his appreciation of family and community, and his queer identity presents itself through his unique celebration of individuality and self-expression.
Irek Banaczyk, LMSW, LCDC
Irek has come to learn that a person’s life is impacted by a complex mix of influences such as family history, environment, genes, context, social, and personal experiences. These factors are what uniquely shape our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, all of which either expand or constrict one’s ability to make life-affirming choices. Undoubtedly, much of this occurs outside of conscious awareness, yet even where there is some awareness, coping patterns can become habitual, problematic, and difficult to change.
Here’s the good news: Change IS possible. There’s an art of discovery that happens in the context of safe, attuned, contingent relationships with counselors trained in the process of reaffirming biological, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral ways of being.
With the gentle facilitation of a therapist, you can gain increased awareness of body and mind and assistance in enhancing motivation, agency, and integration of skills. These self-improvements allow for a more self-directed life, one that can be lived more fully through consciously curated personal values and choices. I believe what we do in the therapeutic setting in conjunction with these lifestyle enhancements can, over time, bring about lasting change.
Informed by developmental neurobiology and emotionally focused in-depth psychotherapies, Irek aims to be that gentle collaborator in your process of integration and transformation towards the person you aspire to be and all that brings you purpose, meaning, and fulfillment.
Kaytee Hernandez, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, CRYT
Yoga Therapist & Teacher
Kaytee Hernandez is a Latinx Yoga Therapist and Yoga Teacher. She was born and raised in Brownsville, Texas. Yoga has helped Kaytee heal from childhood trauma, grief, and loss. Her personal practice and faith infuse her life with meaning and joy.
Kaytee hopes to share the therapeutic benefits of Yoga with others through her work as a Yoga Therapist. She believes everyone has an inner healer and empowers her students to look within themselves to find strength and healing. Kaytee utilizes trauma-informed practices, mantra, breath work, meditation, mudras, and yoga postures in her work.
Kaytee has a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Media Design from the University of the Arts London and is currently a graduate student of Ayurveda and Integrative Health at Maharishi International University.
Alaska Ogden, MFT Trainee, LCDC-i
Alaska is an intern at Emerge Recovery TX as well as a student at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She is working towards achieving a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology and is currently practicing under the license of Dr. Michelle John while she walks the path to licensure.
She received a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Conflict Transformation from Portland State University. She has worked in the field of substance use disorders for ten years and in harm reduction for seven years.
Alaska works with a Jungian and transpersonal orientation, and her areas of focus are trauma, addiction, and the development of personal mythos. Her approach is non-pathologizing, collaborative, and empowering. It weaves the art of re-storying narratives, trauma-informed care, dreamwork, spiritual wisdom, and intuitive guidance.
Anden was raised in Dallas, Texas, with two loving parents and an outgoing younger brother. Academically and athletically successful, Anden thrived as a child. In her adolescence, however, she began to struggle with anxiety, depression, and crippling perfectionism; as a result, she turned to alcohol at 15. Throughout her high school years, her substance abuse became more prevalent, but she maintained her academic success. In 2018, she graduated from The Hockaday School and began college at Brown University in Providence, RI. At Brown, her addiction took off, and by sophomore year she took medical leave to get sober. For over two years, Anden struggled to find a solution to her mental health and substance abuse issues, experiencing several relapses.
After miraculously surviving an overdose, Anden decided on September 9, 2022, to surrender her life to her Higher Power and work the 12 Steps earnestly and thoroughly. She has been sober since. Today, Anden has dedicated her life and career to recovery. She enjoys yoga, reading, service work, and remains active in the 12-step fellowships. She maintains her spirituality through connecting with nature and animals. As a former Grace & Emerge client, she continues to share her story and passionately advocate for the mission of Grace & Emerge Recovery TX. She hopes that as Admissions Director, she can enable families to access the resources and solution that saved her life.
Dr. Shiva Lam
M.D. Medical Director
Dr. Lam brings nearly 25 years of experience in psychiatry to Alta Loma. Fellowship-trained and double board certified (in both general psychiatry and child/adolescent psychiatry), Dr. Lam has served as Chief of Staff at Shoal Creek Hospital, Outpatient Director at Charter Hospital, staff psychiatrist at St. David’s Hospital, and Executive Medical Director at Austin Lakes Hospital. His distinguished career serving patients and families across Central Texas is hallmarked not only by his widely respected professional expertise but also by his genuine, warm, and kind bedside manner. Dr. Lam has extensive experience treating severe mental illness as well as substance use disorders. He will build trust with our beloved residents through in-person visits and after-hours care as he engages them actively in their treatment.
Mihaela Born, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC
Ella has devoted her entire healthcare career to mental health nursing and brings fifteen years of psychiatric experience to Alta Loma. More recently, she completed her training as a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner under Dr. Lam’s preceptorship and has partnered with him ever since. Ella is deeply knowledgeable, compassionate, and supportive of her patients and their families. She values collaboration and ensures that those in her care and their loved ones feel heard, valued, and cared for.
Katie Nelson, LVN
Katie has been a nurse for over three years with experience in detox and residential recovery centers that included caring for a dual-diagnosis population. She has started her LVN to RN bridge program through Galen College of Nursing. She is passionate about the mental health of others and finds it just as important as their physical health. Katie is a caring mother to two wonderful boys. They enjoy going to the park, playing sports, and painting together.