Our Team

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Dr. Alva, Medical Director

Alejandro Alva, M.D., is the founder, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Executive Officer, and medical director of Alejandro Alva MD, Inc. (AAMD, Inc.) and Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists (PNS); A single-specialty psychiatric medical group with a team of medical providers who focus not only on psychiatric disorders but also on dual diagnosis conditions which include substance use disorders. Dr. Alva earned his bachelor’s degree from California State University, Fullerton, and completed medical school at Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara School of Medicine in Mexico. Read More

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Sonja, CEO

Sonja has a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice preceding a Master’s of Science in Psychology, with a concentration in addiction disorders. She has been working in addiction treatment since 2011 in almost every aspect. She has been a Director of Admissions, Marketing and Risk management and worked as a Counselor for 5 years.

She got her first addiction counseling credential in 2013 and since has grown in her determination to help people struggling with substance use disorder and mental health illness. Sonja is laser focused on client care, always concentrating on the ethical provision of services. She is passionate about implementing innovative ideas to create the best environment for success. She believes in extending this philosophy to her staff, spending extra time and attention with them to be sure they are successful in their role. Read More

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Jerry, Clinical Director

Meet Jerry! He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from John F. Kennedy University and his Master Degree in Social Work with a concentration in mental health from San Jose State University.
He’s been in the behavioral health field for over a decade, starting off as a certified substance abuse counselor and currently in possession of a dual licensure as an associate clinical social worker registered with the BBS and as a licensed advanced alcohol drug counselor with CCAPP. He’s delightful to work with and enjoys every aspect of the job even through the highs and lows of being in the behavioral health field.
“Being a dual licensed clinician has given me the privilege to plant seeds of hope, empower individuals, and to support/encourage those who are seeing their darkest days with substance use and mental health challenges.” Read More

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Johnny, Program Operations Director

Meet Johnny!
Johnny comes to Silicon Valley Recovery from a tenure of working in behavior health in South Philadelphia.  He has a highly clinical approach perfectly balanced with authenticity. His passion for helping people suffering from addiction is evident. Johnny’s unique style compliments the team at SVR. His cultural awareness and experience with diverse populations is reflected in his ability to engage any client.
Johnny made the decision to pursue a higher education at age 50 and received his Associates of Arts Degree in pre-professional psychology from Bucks County Community college where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. Johnny is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Counseling at Walden university because, as he says, “for addicts in recovery, there are no limits to what we can achieve.” Read More

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Kaytlyn, Lead Counselor & Media Director

Kaytlyn Garland is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC I) and was Valedictorian of her class in 2021. She is finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a concentration in Addictions through Purdue Global University. Kaytlyn found her deep passion working in addiction treatment years ago as an Admissions Counselor, then a Discharge Planner and Alumni Service Coordinator. She joined us when we first opened our doors as Lead Counselor and Media Director. Kaytlyn offers an energetic outlook in many roles that she plays here initial screening and intake, client orientation, referral and aftercare placement, process groups, psychoeducational groups, and crisis intervention as it presents itself in a residential treatment setting.
Kaytlyn continues to practice humility, authenticity, and the desire for growth in both clinical and interpersonal dynamics while providing exponential client care. Read More

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Crysten, Counselor

Crysten Bush has worked in the field of substance abuse treatment for many years in multiple capacities including a Behavioral Health Technician, Partial Hospitalization Program Counselor and as a Primary Counselor in residential SUD treatment. She completed her CADC education in the summer of 2021 and graduated salutatorian of her class. Crysten has skills in many facets, but her knowledge and excitement lies within art and experiential treatment modalities when working closely with clients. She knows that every person learns differently, so offering valuable experiences in conjunction with treatment groups is paramount to every client’s growth. She is able to dial in on what specific counseling theories are suitable for a client to feel safe in doing intrinsic work. Crysten has a manner with high-risk clients that is unique to her style and expertise. She does not hesitate to fight for her clients’ success and is driven in providing a compassionate environment for her clients to heal in. Read More

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Jastine, Healthcare Director, LVN

San Jose native, Jastine Bautista is the Health Services Director at Silicon Valley Recovery. She received her Licensed Vocational Nursing degree at Medical Career College in Fremont, California in June 2013.

Jastine has over 8 years of nursing experience in mental health, rehabilitative services, case management, and developing individual medication support plans. 

Prior to working at Silicon Valley Recovery, she was the director of an Alzheimer’s care unit for over 5 years where she managed over 20 staff members who provided care for those desperately in need. Although the needs have shifted from patient to patient, Jastine continues to carry her medical expertise and warm heart to every person she serves. Read More

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Sam, Alumni Coordinator & Client Advocate

Sam McDonnell has been working at Silicon Valley Recovery from our first client. He completed his CADC education in 2013 and this contributes to the many roles within our facility he plays from supporting the medical and clinical departments, and currently he is our alumni coordinator/client advocate position. Sam has an open heart, and it is evident that he genuinely cares for each client that walks through our door. He gives each client his undivided attention and provides them with his warm, comforting presence that allows them to feel at ease and to practice being their authentic selves. Sam has served in the recovery community for several years, so being a safe person for our clients comes organically for him.

Fun Fact: Sam was a youth leader for a local organization!

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Eileen, Clinical Resource Specialist

Eileen Nichols is Bay Area born and bred. She was raised in Oakland and now lives closer to the ocean as this is where her heart lies. Eileen is deeply committed to helping those who struggle with substance abuse and mental health.

Eileen has over 35 years of experience working in the behavioral health field, so she knows her stuff! She brings compassion and empathy to the clients and families she works with, helping to guide and support them and most of all, giving them hope.

As a CCAPP graduate of the Addiction Certification program and Valedictorian of her class, Eileen has a robust understanding about the disease of addiction and has the profound ability to connect and develop the trust needed with clients and their families. Read More

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Dr. Alva, Medical Director

Alejandro Alva, M.D., is the founder, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Executive Officer, and medical director of Alejandro Alva MD, Inc. (AAMD, Inc.) and Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists (PNS); A single-specialty psychiatric medical group with a team of medical providers who focus not only on psychiatric disorders but also on dual diagnosis conditions which include substance use disorders. Dr. Alva earned his bachelor’s degree from California State University, Fullerton, and completed medical school at Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara School of Medicine in Mexico. He then returned to California, where he completed his psychiatric residency at the University of California, Irvine.

Prior to Dr. Alva’s formation of PNS, he was involved in multiple endeavors including detoxification and rehabilitation work both inpatient and outpatient including the VA Medical Center In Long Beach, Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, Chapman Medical Center in Orange as well multiple rehabilitation centers. Since the formation of PNS Dr. Alva’s focus is on the latest treatments available for psychiatric disorders and chemical dependency as well as aspects of ethnicity and gender and their correlation to pathological states. Dr. Alva has over 25 years of experience in serving the medical community in various capacities: as a patient advocate, researcher, and medical director.

Dr. Alva’s expertise in adolescent, adult, and geriatric psychiatry makes him one of the nation’s most innovative and prominent psychiatrists. Dr. Alva and his team of medical providers have extensive experience with dual diagnosis states utilizing the latest pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches to treat depression (RTMS), as well as the use of anti-craving interventions including oral, injectable, and implantable treatments

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Jerry, Clinical Director

Meet Jerry! He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from John F. Kennedy University and his Master Degree in Social Work with a concentration in mental health from San Jose State University.

He’s been in the behavioral health field for over a decade, starting off as a certified substance abuse counselor and currently in possession of a dual licensure as an associate clinical social worker registered with the BBS and as a licensed advanced alcohol drug counselor with CCAPP. He’s delightful to work with and enjoys every aspect of the job even through the highs and lows of being in the behavioral health field.

 “Being a dual licensed clinician has given me the privilege to plant seeds of hope, empower individuals, and to support/encourage those who are seeing their darkest days with substance use and mental health challenges.”

Jerry joined SVR as the Clinical Director, leading a dynamic team of clinicians and behavioral healthcare technicians with the vision of providing quality/experiential care. In addition to leadership coaching, he enjoys teaching entry level student interns/professionals about clinical interventions, treatment modalities, best practices, substance abuse education, and providing overall general support in the behavioral health field. Additional job experiences include working as a psychiatric social worker within the adult population within an inpatient behavioral health unit, providing therapy/counseling services to adults in all levels of care (i.e. withdrawal management, residential, partial hospitalization program, intensive outpatient, and outpatient), providing support/brief interventions for teachers in a school based program during the pandemic, and is a board member with San Jose City Colleges Alcohol Drug Studies program.

Fun Fact: Jerry had a fame moment in 2019, ask him about it!

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Sonja, CEO

Sonja has a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice preceding a Master’s of Science in Psychology, with a concentration in addiction disorders. She has been working in addiction treatment since 2011 in almost every aspect. She has been a Director of Admissions, Marketing and Risk management and worked as a Counselor for 5 years.

She got her first addiction counseling credential in 2013 and since has grown in her determination to help people struggling with substance use disorder and mental health illness. Sonja is laser focused on client care, always concentrating on the ethical provision of services. She is passionate about implementing innovative ideas to create the best environment for success. She believes in extending this philosophy to her staff, spending extra time and attention with them to be sure they are successful in their role.

Sonja recognizes that the employee’s success leads to a stronger team and thus clients who feel supported, valued, and heard during this early stage of recovery. Her skills in team development and compliance make her a dynamic director. Her compassion offers an authentic hands-on approach to executive leadership. Fun fact: Sonja used to be a professional singer.

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Johnny, Program Operations Director

Meet Johnny!

Johnny comes to Silicon Valley Recovery from a tenure of working in behavior health in South Philadelphia.  He has a highly clinical approach perfectly balanced with authenticity. His passion for helping people suffering from addiction is evident. Johnny’s unique style compliments the team at SVR. His cultural awareness and experience with diverse populations is reflected in his ability to engage any client.

Johnny made the decision to pursue a higher education at age 50 and received his Associates of Arts Degree in pre-professional psychology from Bucks County Community college where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. Johnny is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Counseling at Walden university because, as he says, “for addicts in recovery, there are no limits to what we can achieve.”

As an inspiring artist and musician in the creating and performing arts, “sometimes successful, sometimes…not so much”, Johnny found a passion for working with people in the behavioral health field. He brings over 10 years of practical experience within a residential treatment modality working with a diverse population of adults, adolescents, substance use, and mental health.  He also has the experience of working in a partial hospitalization program, intensive outpatient program, and outpatient.

Fun Fact: Johnny was the co-creator of an artists recovery co-op which facilitated exhibitions and art shows of recovering addicts. Ask him about who attended!

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Kaytlyn, Lead Counselor & Media Director

Kaytlyn Garland is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC I) and was Valedictorian of her class in 2021. She is finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a concentration in Addictions through Purdue Global University. Kaytlyn found her deep passion working in addiction treatment years ago as an Admissions Counselor, then a Discharge Planner and Alumni Service Coordinator. She joined us when we first opened our doors as Lead Counselor and Media Director. Kaytlyn offers an energetic outlook in many roles that she plays here initial screening and intake, client orientation, referral and aftercare placement, process groups, psychoeducational groups, and crisis intervention as it presents itself in a residential treatment setting.

Kaytlyn continues to practice humility, authenticity, and the desire for growth in both clinical and interpersonal dynamics while providing exponential client care. She has a keen ability to offer enthusiasm to her clients while educating them on substance use disorder and recovery. She has no problem asking the difficult questions to help them get the roots of their pain. Kaytlyn holds the humanistic approach close to her heart in which no person is broken, but there are emotional wounds that must be tended to in order to heal. Her favorite quote is a piece by Marianne Williamson, “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same”. 

Fun fact: Kaytlyn has a ground-breaking story about her cat, Hank- ask her about it!

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Crysten, Counselor

Crysten Bush has worked in the field of substance abuse treatment for many years in multiple capacities including a Behavioral Health Technician, Partial Hospitalization Program Counselor and as a Primary Counselor in residential SUD treatment. She completed her CADC education in the summer of 2021 and graduated salutatorian of her class. Crysten has skills in many facets, but her knowledge and excitement lies within art and experiential treatment modalities when working closely with clients. She knows that every person learns differently, so offering valuable experiences in conjunction with treatment groups is paramount to every client’s growth. She is able to dial in on what specific counseling theories are suitable for a client to feel safe in doing intrinsic work. Crysten has a manner with high-risk clients that is unique to her style and expertise. She does not hesitate to fight for her clients’ success and is driven in providing a compassionate environment for her clients to heal in.

Crysten holds many amazing qualities that are inherent to who she is while also being parallel to what is needed for a professional in the behavioral health field. Crysten has been with the SVR team since July 2022, and we value her experience, enthusiasm, and zeal for helping others.

Fun Fact: Crysten is not only a fantastic counselor, she is also a phenomenal silver smith!

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Jastine, Healthcare Director, LVN

San Jose native, Jastine Bautista is the Health Services Director at Silicon Valley Recovery. She received her Licensed Vocational Nursing degree at Medical Career College in Fremont, California in June 2013.

 

Jastine has over 8 years of nursing experience in mental health, rehabilitative services, case management, and developing individual medication support plans. 

Prior to working at Silicon Valley Recovery, she was the director of an Alzheimer’s care unit for over 5 years where she managed over 20 staff members who provided care for those desperately in need. Although the needs have shifted from patient to patient, Jastine continues to carry her medical expertise and warm heart to every person she serves.

 

Jastine has a passion for providing recovery services to those suffering. She has chosen to make it her life’s work to assist others in working towards a better life. What drives her every day is the little moments where she sees a client make progress in their health goals. As Silicon Valley Recovery’s Health Services Director, Jastine oversees all our medical staff members, provides psychopharmacological education to our clients, and so much more!

 

Jastine is a firm believer that when you help others feel important, you make yourself feel important. Jastine is excited to bring her unique set of skills and love for people to Silicon Valley Recovery.

 

Fun Fact: Jastine competed in Hula and Tahitian for over 11 years!

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Dean, Director of Food & Nutrition

Chef Dean Harnsanamyxay is our Director of Food and Nutrition. He had followed his passion for the love of food through his parents. He remembered being in the kitchen when he was young, learning how to cook with them- looking back now, that’s when he realized that he appreciated the art of cooking. Dean’s father was a chef in the army overseas and his mother created various types of food at home. Dean speaks highly of his mother and says, “she was an amazing mother and cook; she inspired me to always taste foods and never be afraid to try them”. Dean delivers that same suggestion to our clients to offer them the practice of open-mindedness and willingness.

Dean grew up in San Diego, California and moved to San Jose in 1996 to go to San Jose State University for Criminal Justice, but this field did not feel like a good fit for him. Dean began to cook for large private events that offered a fun and fast-paced environment. After a few years of trial and error, a friend suggested for him to go to culinary school since he excelled at preparing exquisite dishes. It became evident for Dean that his heart would lie in the culinary field. He began taking culinary classes in August of 2014 at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in San Francisco and never looked back- he found his home. Dean has a deep appreciation for love of cooking and providing education around nutrition for our clients. He continues to exceed expectations on cuisines he prepares that not only look but taste amazing.

Fun Fact: Chef Dean loves to be of service to his community, especially regarding the homeless population- ask him about it!

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Eileen Nichols, Clinical Resource Specialist

Eileen Nichols is Bay Area born and bred. She was raised in Oakland and now lives closer to the ocean as this is where her heart lies. Eileen is deeply committed to helping those who struggle with substance abuse and mental health.

Eileen has over 35 years of experience working in the behavioral health field, so she knows her stuff! She brings compassion and empathy to the clients and families she works with, helping to guide and support them and most of all, giving them hope.

As a CCAPP graduate of the Addiction Certification program and Valedictorian of her class, Eileen has a robust understanding about the disease of addiction and has the profound ability to connect and develop the trust needed with clients and their families to walk them through the process of going from despair to hope.

Over the years Eileen has developed a network of incredible professionals and colleagues. Additionally, she works closely with these relationships and has strong referral community that ensures every person she works with will have the best experience in treatment.

Eileen experiences the most joy when talking with a client after they have made the decision to enter treatment, and they call to say, “this was the best thing I could have done for myself!” Fun Fact: Eileen thought for many years that all the fireworks set off for the 4th of July were just for her birthday!