Transcend is pleased to announce a wonderful addition to our team, Ashley Nahai, MFT, our new Director of Mentoring & Family Programming. Current Director, Joshua Mirmelli, Psy. D., shares a warm message to welcome her to the Transcend family…
Serving as Director of Mentoring & Family Programming has been such a wonderful adventure for me and I have learned so much. Recently, I have been working on accruing my hours for licensure as a Clinical Psychologist and I will be concentrating my time and efforts on further pursuing my career as a therapist while remaining at Transcend working directly with clients and their families. At Transcend, we are dedicated to providing our clients with the highest level of dedication and care. That being said, I am thrilled to introduce our new Director of Mentoring, Ashely Nahi, MFT, as I know she will provide the continued presence and expertise that allows our department to thrive. Ashley is a skilled clinician who has many years of experience working with individuals in recovery and we are confident that she will lead the department beautifully. Most importantly, Ashley is warm, thoughtful, and compassionate and will be an invaluable asset to the Transcend team!
– Joshua Mirmelli, Psy. D.
Ashley Nahai, MFT
A native of Los Angeles, Ashley received her BA in Psychology from UCLA, and her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California. Her education and training have focused on the relationship between trauma and substance abuse. She completed her practicum training at the CLARE Foundation in Santa Monica, a residential substance abuse facility, where she received training in psychodynamic therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and 12-step oriented treatment. For the past five years, Ashley has served as the Counseling Director at Beit T’Shuvah, a residential substance abuse facility in Los Angeles, where she was responsible for the supervision and training of all substance abuse counselors, and coordinating and overseeing the clinical care of clients and their families.
Ashley believes in the sanctity and power of the therapeutic relationship and in the ability of every person to recover and transform through mental, emotional, and spiritual healing
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Q & A with Joshua M. & Ashley N.
JM: What inspired you to work in this field?
AN: From a very young age, it was fairly clear to me that I wanted to go into a “helping profession”. I knew that I wanted to do whatever I could to help people through their struggles, fears, and pain; to help them feel worthwhile, to give them hope, and to help them change their lives. Becoming a psychotherapist felt like the perfect way to do this. I saw how much people with mental illness and addiction were suffering, how much stigma there was around these issues, and how much need there was for long-term treatment. Through my education and training, I knew that I wanted to help people along that journey and be a part of those miracles.
JM: What is your unique approach to therapy and treatment.
AN: To me, the most important parts of the therapeutic relationship are trust and hope. Many people come into therapy and treatment feeling alone and hopeless, and my goal is to have them start to feel that they are cared for, that there is someone in their corner, and that things can change for them.
JM: What is a common challenge you see among clients in recovery, and how do you as an individual, and as a team, address it?
AN: The biggest challenge I see among clients in early, and sometimes in later recovery, is isolation. Because the addiction becomes the driving force in the addict’s life, they become disconnected from their friends, family, and society as a whole. It takes time for people to start to trust people again, to rebuild lost relationships, and to create new connections. As a clinician, my role is to help clients feel connected to me and work through the issues that are standing in the way of them creating and sustaining healthy relationships.
JM: What is something you think is crucial for lasting recovery?
AN: I believe that connection and purpose are crucial to long-term recovery. In order for people to feel fulfilled, it is vital that they feel bonded to other human beings and that they have people to turn to for love and support. It is also imperative that people feel that their life has purpose – that they are contributing something to society – whether it be through acts of service, career, hobbies, or relationships, to name a few.
JM: What are you looking forward to in this role?
AN: In addition to working with an amazing team and being part of the Transcend family, I am most looking forward to being a part of the journey toward healing for those early in recovery. I am excited to get to know the Transcend clients and mentors and to help guide them through the early stages and phases of recovery.
JM: Do you have a personal self-care mantra or ritual?
AN: My self-care practice mainly consists of Pilates and manicures!
Book: The Great Gatsby
Activity in Los Angeles: Going out for ice cream!