Founder & CEO
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 exploration and problem-solving strategies, thereby challenging and encouraging them to live the lives they desire.
Mike’s career began over ten years ago as a mental health and addiction counselor. 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 crisis consulting for several of the country’s top treatment programs, including the Hazelden Foundation. Seven years ago, he founded CAST, which provides a network of professional support – including doctors, psychologists, counselors, and instructors – to help clients heal and improve their mental and emotional health.
Mike received his B.S. degree in Alcohol and Drug Counseling from Metropolitan State University in Minnesota. He was a California Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (CADC II) as well as a Board Registered Interventionist (BRI II).
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, which provides financial assistance for transitional living and clinical services for mental health and/or addiction issues.
Cecelia Mylett, PSYD., LCSW
Dr. Cecelia Mylett, PSYD., LCSW, has extensive experience and skills in the development, delivery and administration of outpatient Behavioral Health Care Services. Cecelia is the former Director of the Los Angeles Sunset and Pasadena Outpatients Service Clinics for Kaiser Permanente’s Department of Psychiatry. She was responsible for the quality of care and delivery of mental health services for 400-600 out patients daily. In addition, she was the lead facilitator for the organization’ Los Angeles Critical Incident Team developing protocols for campus and community responses to critical crisis emergencies needing mental health support. Cecelia provided therapeutic services to adults, couples, families, and groups with extensive training in evidence-based practices such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Crisis Intervention, and the Clinical application of Mindfulness Meditation in Psychotherapy. Past clinical experience and training includes her role as a staff psychotherapist working with adult mentally ill patients and families at the Los Angeles County USC Inpatient Psychiatric hospital.
She graduated from the University of Southern California where she received her master’s MSW of Clinical Social Work degree. She received her Doctorate of Psychology from Ryokan College and completed Harvard’s John F, Kennedy School of Government Leadership program, where she was the 2011 Recipient of Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center’s Leadership award. Cecelia has been a clinical supervisor and field instructor for the USC Graduate School of Social Work and UCLA Graduate School of Social Welfare for the past 13 years. She is very excited to join Cast’s staff to use her skills and expertise, advancing the mission to provide the freedom to be your best self.
Rebecca Udell, PhD, LMFT
Manager of Clinical Services
Rebecca Udell PhD, LMFT is CAST’s manager of clinical services. She worked as a psychotherapist at Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine Universities providing crisis intervention, cognitive behavioral therapy, and AOD counseling to university students. In addition, Rebecca worked with underserved children and adolescents in foster care advocating for children and adolescents, providing psychological assessments and connecting families and children with community and federal resources for the betterment of the family system. In addition, she has worked with adults and adolescents in recovery. She has been in private practice in Beverly Hills since 2010 with an emphasis on pre-marital and marital therapy, which was the focus of her Doctoral dissertation. She has completed training with Alan Schore, and Steven Porges, on the neurobiology of attachment as well as Stan Tatkin in couples therapy.
Rebecca received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from USC, her MA in Psychology from Antioch University and later received her PhD from Pacifica Graduate Institute. She recently completed training on mentalization-based therapy with Bateman and Fonagy at UCLA.
Aliah Whitmore, IBW, HHC, LMT, PT
Aliah Whitmore is a certified Integrative Breath Practitioner and an Integrative Health Counselor at CAST. Aliah’s Integrative Breath Work Practice has given her the opportunity to assist others in dealing with trauma, grief, addiction, and Identity issues. The in-depth study of nutrition became an important adjunct to her Somatic Breath Work.
In 2011, she decided to become a Health Counselor to fulfill her passion for looking at a more comprehensive picture of each person she works with. Another joy that becoming an Integrative Health Counselor offered was working with obese children and parents to improve their health and family life, as well as working with people in recovery to help cultivate new tools for living as they set forth on the road to sobriety. Aliah feels very passionately about changing the currents trends of addiction, diabetes, and heart disease in the American population.
Aliah received her training at The Kali Institute of Massage and Somatic Therapy and The Restorative Exercise Institute, both in Ventura, California. She also trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. She is certified by The American Association of Drugless Practitioners.
Aliah is the Founder and Artistic Director of Whitmore Eclectic, a non-profit performing arts company that uses theater and film as a platform for discussion on personal and social issues. She believes performance is a vehicle for education and gives voice to the otherwise voiceless.
Sabrena Bryce, MA RADT-1
Manager of Lifestyle Services
Sabrena Bryce, CAST’s Manager of Lifestyle Services. She is also a certified yoga instructor, incorporating psychosomatic tools and techniques, Jungian therapy, and mindfulness to facilitate the mind-body connection.
Sabrena comes to CAST with experience both as a group facilitator and individual counselor. She has a passion to help clients achieve their desired standard of mental health and wholeness through physical well-being. Sabrena believes that love, laughter, authentic connection, and rigorous honesty are the framework of lasting recovery. Sabrena is thrilled to be part of the CAST team, where she can utilize her education, instinct, and personal history to empower and inspire each client’s individual journey.
Sabrena has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, is registered with CCAPP as a RADT-1, and is currently completing her certification in Addiction Studies.
Clare Chisholm 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 in 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. In addition to 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 from it.
Patrick O’Neil, MFA
Patrick O’Neil is CAST’s Group Facilitator. He previously worked in treatment as a primary residential drug and alcohol counselor in San Francisco. It was during this time that he realized that nurturing and cultivating one’s passion is an integral and essential part of recovery. Patrick encourages clients to discover and embrace their creativity and to pursue their passion in whatever medium, occupation, or career it may present itself. Patrick believes that through writing, art, theater, music, and dialogue, we can address self-defeating inner issues and bring about positive change.
Patrick holds a BFA in Film and an MFA in Creative Writing (nonfiction). He is an author, teacher, filmmaker, and musician. Patrick was a tour manager for numerous successful punk rock bands and has played bass and recorded with several of his own projects. His memoir, Gun Needle Spoon, chronicles his descent into addiction and the ensuing journey to regain his life. His two documentary films explore the often unexplored worlds of women in music and skateboarding.
Patrick teaches English and Creative Writing at two Los Angeles Universities and instructs private writing workshops. His most sought after writing courses encourage students to examine and reveal the effects of eating disorders and trauma.
Leila Farjami, MA, LMFT
Marriage & Family Therapist
Leila Farjami is a licensed psychotherapist (MFT # 49857) in the state of California and certified EMDR practitioner who has been counseling individuals and couples for more than a decade. Leila was introduced to EMDR several years ago and found it to be a very effective approach in healing trauma and specifically PTSD symptoms. In 2011, Leila became extensively trained in EMDR and subsequently in TRM (a form of psychosomatic therapy). Leila has been incorporating both techniques in helping clients heal from complex traumas and maladaptive behaviors such as addictions, eating disorders, etc. Leila has found that utilizing a client-centered approach coupled with mind-body and EMDR modalities is very useful in helping clients with PTSD, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, early attachment wounds, and grief. Leila is very passionate in helping clients cultivate self-compassion, mindfulness, and a purposeful life. Leila received her undergraduate degree from University of California in Irvine, and her master’s degree from Phillips Graduate University in marriage, family, and child counseling. She is certified in EMDR by EMDR International Association and is a member of CAMFT. Leila writes poetry and short stories in her free time and has a deep appreciation of world literature and mythology. She also loves music, traveling, and cooking.
Leila received her undergraduate degree from University of California in Irvine, and her master’s degree from Phillips Graduate University, Encino CA, in marriage, family, and child counseling. She is certified in EMDR by EMDR International Association and is a member of CAMFT.
Leila writes poetry and short stories in her free time and has a deep appreciation of world literature and mythology. She also loves music, traveling, and cooking.
Stacie Yeldell, MA, MT-BC
Stacie Yeldell, MA, MT-BC is a Board Certified Music Therapist and received her degree in Music Therapy from New York University. After an intense internship at the Bronx Psychiatric Center, she accepted the opportunity to work with a team of psychiatrists to create and implement a Cognitive- Behavioral Music Therapy model for patients suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Stacie held the position of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Therapist at North General Hospital in New York City. She provided music therapy services in the inpatient Psychiatry Unit, the MICA (mentally ill chemically addicted) Unit, the Detox unit, and the hospital’s outpatient Addiction Treatment Center. Stacie pioneered the first music therapy program at Little Flower Children and Family Services of New York for at-risk teens and foster children, a program that continues today. At the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Stacie facilitated creative arts therapy groups with youth and adolescents within the New York School system. She also facilitated a music improvisation group for a homeless HIV positive population. At Goodwill Industries in Astoria, New York, music therapy services were provided for the psychiatric outpatient population. Stacie has also facilitated workshops for female adolescents suffering from the trauma of sexual abuse, and has contributed to outreach programs in Costa Rica and Brazil and is fluent in Brazilian Portuguese.
Stacie also received a certification in Sound and Music Healing from the Open Center in 2010 and is a Board Certified Music Therapist. In January 2015, Stacie completed a Vocal Psychotherapy Post-graduate training, which emphasizes the use of the voice as a healing modality. In 2014, Stacie’s transformative work at the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles was featured on ABC News. Currently, Stacie facilitates music psychotherapy in groups and with individuals in drug and alcohol treatment centers throughout the Los Angeles area. Stacie is grateful to have the opportunity to provide music therapy services at CAST and is a staunch advocate for music as a healing modality. She is passionate and dedicated to developing and facilitating music therapy programs in drug/alcohol rehab centers and organizations across the globe.
Director of Marketing and Communications
Kara Pate has a passion to help others find freedom. She believes all people can experience life fully alive, regardless of what they struggle with.
Kara specializes in relationship building, mental health awareness, and treatment placement, providing the best care possible for every individual. Along with her extensive experience in the field, Kara’s personal journey has gifted her with a unique compassion and ability to help others find their meaning and purpose. She is eleven years recovered from bulimia, chemical dependency, and self–hatred.
Kara graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a BA in Communications and received her MA in Social Entrepreneurship and Change from Pepperdine University. She is also a graduate of the Bethel School of Ministry. She has been active with local chapters of the Women’s Association of Addiction Treatment, The International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals and has served on the board for The Body Revolution Redding and the Eating Disorder Recovery Services. She served as the West Coast Professional Outreach Representative for Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center prior to joining Cast Centers in 2017. She is a certified interventionist.
In 2012 Kara traveled to Nairobi, Kenya to work with children struggling with addictions. What she discovered was the dire need in other nations for basic mental health resources. She feels privileged to be a part of Cast Centers, an organization that recognizes the needs beyond our borders and actively works to be a bridge to bring healing.
Jessica Yaffa ,
Ms. Yaffa has over thirteen years of experience in the field of mental health and addiction treatment. Jessica’s work includes overseeing admissions departments, directing business development strategies, spearheading start-up programs, and training staff both within and outside of the treatment industry on trauma-informed assessment, as well as ethical operating requirements. In addition, Ms.Yaffa is the co-founder and President of NoSilence NoViolence, Inc., a non-profit committed to providing education, training, resources, and community development in order to eliminate stigma surrounding relationship abuse and sexual assault, while creating awareness, shifting perspectives, and facilitating change around the way we talk about domestic violence, as well as addressing the needs of those affected by this epidemic. Jessica travels the country speaking at universities, hospitals, corporations, and nonprofit organizations including but not limited to: ASU, UCSB, MIT, Utah State, CMU, UCLA, SDSU, Missouri State, Starbucks Headquarters, Chargers, Balboa Naval Hospital, Ft.Hood Military Base, IAEDP, WAAT, and multiple treatment centers sharing her commitment to ultimately inspire a movement to end abuse globally. Jessica currently serves as the President of the San Diego Domestic Violence Council and has been featured on both television and in print as one of the leading experts surrounding this topic.
Brittany Taralson CAST’s Admissions Coordinator, brings to CAST years of experience of working in the Addiction Recovery field. She is currently registered with CCAPP as an RADT-1 and is continuing education in addiction and psychology studies.After moving to Los Angeles in 2006 from Alberta, Canada, Brittany has worked in a variety of agencies in the helping profession. From feeding the homeless on Skid Row, to working as a Counselor with Foster and homeless youth, Brittany has discovered her passion in helping others. As Admissions Coordinator, Brittany oversees the day to day operations of the IOP office and ensuring that clients are getting the best and most out of their program. Brittany is driven and dedicated to helping others improve their lives and to reach their utmost potential.
Mario J. Novoa,
Digital Marketing Manager
Mario J. Novoa, with over 15 years film and marketing experience, Mario developed a number of marketing campaigns for The Los Angeles Film School, California Institute of the Arts, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, and managed several media organizations. He has a passion for engaging and growing social media platforms using multimedia work to connect with new audiences. Mario earned his marketing degree from Full Sail University.
Mardet Homans, CAST’s office manager, is a recent graduate of Columbia University with a BA in psychology. In college, her focus was in abnormal psychology with a concentration in examining the neurological basis for clinical disorders. She plans to continue her education in addiction and psychology studies.
After moving to Los Angeles in 2016 from New York City, Mardet joined CAST centers as the office manager. Her duties include scheduling appointments for clients and overseeing operations at the IOP office. Mardet is dedicated to pursuing a career in clinical psychology and helping others.
Director of Residencies
Taylor Marciano comes to CAST with years of experience working in addiction treatment and recovery. She is dedicated to helping others in their personal journeys towards living happy and fulfilling lives. As an alumna of the CAST program, Taylor also has a personal interest in the field. She is grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community and work with the same team that helped change her life.
In her role as CAST’s Director of Residences, Taylor supports the wellness and recovery efforts of residents at CAST’s Transitional Living Apartments by overseeing the property, staff, and resident care. She works closely with CAST’s outpatient staff to ensure that residents receive the best and most appropriate care for their individual needs. Drawing upon her personal and professional expertise, she ensures that residents have a safe and healthy home base where they can recover, reconnect to their strengths, and build their lives for the better.
Lead Resident Advisor
Charles Thomas, Lead Resident Advisor, is dedicated to helping others recognize their potential while on the path to recovery. Charles comes to CAST after years of working in both residential treatment and various transitional living facilities. As someone who has overcome similar struggles, Charles is well versed in problems often encountered in early recovery. Charles is passionate about supporting the residents in developing healthy habits and empowering them to find a sense of self. As a Lead Resident Advisor at the Cast Apartments, Charles works closely with the residential staff to provide a nurturing and wellness based environment.
Brendon Butler is a resident advisor at CAST. Brendon has a history of working and engaging in treatment bringing a broader insight into just how important and influential programs like CAST can be to someone who is struggling to embrace their best selves. Having known the stigma that can sometimes surround those who are seeking help, Brendon strives to create a compassionate and empowering atmosphere at our CAST apartments as much as possible. Showing his dedication to helping those who are seeking help is his goal for working in this field. His goal has always been to help clients find a way to become greater than the sum of their parts; to become the best people they could ever want to be. Growing up and receiving his education in Upstate New York, Brendon moved to Los Angeles to get his life on track 3 years ago and have steadily made his way into working in the treatment field. Today, he has the life that he could have only hoped for before taking the first steps on the path to get his life back into his hands.
Tiadora Kim, MA, MFTir
Tiadora Kim is a Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern and Clinical Psychology doctoral student. She earned her MA in Clinical Psychology with a Marriage and Family Therapy specialization from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles. She is currently pursuing a PsyD in Clinical Psychology with a forensic concentration, from American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University.
As a resident advisor, Tiadora brings to CAST a wide array of experiences working with children, adolescents, and adults in treatment. She is passionate about diversity, growth, and empowerment; and is interested in discovering the threads that connect all individuals through shared human experience. Tiadora approaches her work from a compassionate, strength-based perspective to support each client and team member with enthusiastic dedication.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Tiadora loves soaking up the warm Southern California sunshine curled up with a good book, or exploring new food spots in Los Angeles with friends. She has a passion for studying different cultures and languages such as Portuguese and finds LA to be a wonderful center of human diversity.
Mike Kroener was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He came to Los Angeles in 2011 to achieve sobriety for himself. After two years of sobriety Mike realized he had a gift and a passion for helping others struggling with addiction. Mike has a unique ability to relate to his clients, allowing him to help process feelings they have in early recovery. Mike also has experience managing and facilitating behavioral modification groups. He started working for CAST in 2015 as a resident advisor and most currently has a sober companion. Outside of his work in recovery, Mike enjoys music and sports. Mike plays in different intramural sports leagues around the city, and also plays music with friends. Mike is currently enrolled in Certified Alcohol and Drug Councilor (CADC) program.
Emma Koffroth, Lead Resident Advisor, has a tenacious dedication to helping others on their way to wellness. She has been involved in a number of spiritual and recovery oriented programs for the past seven years and feels honored to help others on their own unique paths to sustainable, healthy living. She strongly believes in taking action and supporting people in finding their passions in life. Having worked through her own struggles, she holds space for those who are suffering while maintaining the stance that recovery is possible for anyone. Emma is an active musician, artist, and poet who uses creative mediums as healthy and empowering outlets. She brings these artistic qualities to work with her as a collaborative team player and innovative staff member at CAST.