Title IV-E Instructor Biographies
Jennifer Baity, LCSW, LAADC (Licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor) is a licensed clinical social worker, currently works as a Co-Occurring Disorders Specialist at the San Francisco Behavioral Health Center at San Francisco General Hospital. She provides individual, group, and family treatment for adults with serious and persistent mental illness who also have problematic substance use histories; provides staff and intern supervision and training; and co-developed the co-occurring disorders (dual diagnosis) program at SFBHC. She has provided in-depth training to clinicians providing services to youth and adults since 1991 and regularly trains staff in mental health and substance abuse programs throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. She specializes in training on diagnosis and treatment of individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use conditions and motivational interviewing.
Instructor Erin Brown, MSW, earned a Master of Social Work and Bachelor degrees in Sociology, Spanish, and Portuguese. She trained in legal advocacy and criminal defense mitigation at the San Francisco Office of the Public Defender and has worked for several Bay Area community-based organizations. Her specialty is working with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth and young adults, and includes workshop facilitation, advocacy, transitional planning, individual counseling, group counseling, and case management. She works closely with the undocumented immigrant community involved in the dependency, family, juvenile, and criminal courts.
Currently Erin is the Client Services Manager at the Success Center San Francisco, a GED and vocational training program. She provides counseling, wraparound case management, and facilitates workshops for youth and young adults, both incarcerated and living in the community. In addition, she is in private practice as a court-appointed forensic social worker
Christine D'Alessandro, PsyD, has worked over 15 years in the mental health field as a multicultural and multilingual clinician, primarily with families and children. She has worked as a program manager, trainer, and consultant in a variety of settings including outpatient, inpatient, home visits, schools, and community settings. Her work is guided by a cultural lens and her approach is strength based.
Dr. D’Alessandro’s areas of expertise are: Family Therapy/Structural Family Therapy, Trauma-Focused CBT, Cultural Competence, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Wraparound, Strength-Based Therapy, Dual Diagnosis, Adolescent Development and Issues, Leadership Coaching, and Program Development.
In addition to teaching, Dr. D’Alessandro currently works with Edgewood Center for Children and Families as a mental health consultant providing consultation services to community organizations. She is also the co-founder of Wholistic Consulting..
Natalia Estassi, Psy.D., is a bilingual/multicultural clinician with over 15 years of clinical experience working with families, adults, children, and infants exposed to violence and trauma. Other areas of clinical expertise include: Child-Parent Psychotherapy, CBT, acculturation issues, dual diagnosis, Wrap, anger management, and infant mental health. This includes training and practice of the DC 0-3 (Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood.) Her doctorate is in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on family and children from CIIS. Her dissertation focuses on self-care practices of therapists in avoiding vicarious traumatization and burnout. She has worked as a Director, Program Manager, and Clinician with several non-profits in the SF Bay Area, in a variety of settings including, community, hospital, school, and residential programs. She has managed a national research project designed to best understand and treat the impact of violence on children and their caregivers. Dr. Estassi has over 17 years of experience conducting trainings at local, state, national, and international levels. Dr. Estassi works at, and is the co-founder of, Wholistic Consulting.
Paul Gibson, LCSW, is a Program Consultant with over 28 years of experience developing and directing programs for culturally diverse youth in residential, public health, mental health, and vocational services. He has more than 20 years experience as a licensed therapist and educator providing extensive trainings for youth service providers on working with vulnerable youth. He currently serves on the Mayor’s Transitional Youth Task Force in San Francisco.
Pamela Parkinson, Ph.D., LCSW, iis a clinical psychologist and clinical social worker, who specializes om working with youth and their families. She currently runs the Bay Area Family Institute of Training and works as a child/family consultant to CBO’s in the Bay Area. Pamela has worked in level 14 residential, NPS, hospitals, and a variety of community-based settings including outpatient clinics, schools, diversion, kinship, etc. Dr. Parkinson is currently becoming certified in the evidence-based model called Client Centered Outcome Informed (CDOI) which has a great deal of research regarding its effectiveness with kids and families.
Anquenette Robinson has a passion and sensitivity for educating, consulting, and training. She has first hand education and experience working with (ex)-offenders and their families for over 15 years. She worked in collaboration with Tri-Valley Regional Occupational Programs as an instructor at the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department. In addition, she has worked as a valued and respected trainer with Seneca Center, many schools, churches, half way houses, and drug treatment programs. She formed “Heart and Soul Life Strategies” in 1999 to educate, impact, and support disadvantaged and under-served youth and adults in our community.
Rocio Rodriquez, MFT, is a Licensed Bi-lingual Marriage and Family Therapist who works collaboratively to create positive therapeutic relationships with individuals and families. Her therapeutic work focuses on helping families retain their cultural identity while establishing a proactive relationship and successfully navigating between cultural systems while participating in therapy. Rocio has trained Spanish-speaking and English-speaking groups in the following areas: substance abuse and recovery, court mandated dual-diagnosis treatment, psychiatric outpatient services, individual and family therapy, and early childhood development. Her therapeutic modalities include: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Structural Family Therapy, Strategic Family Therapy, Bowen Family Therapy, Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) and Solution Focused Therapy. Rocio is in private practice in San Francisco and San Mateo County. As an adjunct to her therapeutic work, teaches pilates courses in Belmont, CA and SF YMCA, creating a training that blends mind and body connections to allow individuals to reach their highest potentials.
Natalie J. Thoreson, Masters of Education, A co-founder of inVision Consulting, Natalie has designed and facilitated social justice, anti-oppression, and liberation training for educators, youth, social workers, and community activists for over a decade. Natalie’s passion, talent, and uncanny ability to shape a safe, creative, and productive learning environment are evident in her design and facilitation of workshops on oppression, interdependent communities, and supporting inclusive spaces. Natalie's workshops on cultural humility have become an incredibly valuable component of trainings for staff and volunteers at dozens of agencies throughout the state. Natalie challenges participants to think critically about their own backgrounds and biases, and dissects concepts like the culture of oppression, prejudice, and stereotypes in a way that's accessible and just "clicks" for people. Around a topic that can often leave participants feeling raw and wounded, she instead consistently creates an environment of trust, humor, and fun that inspires and receives rave reviews from our groups.
Todd Wright, Ombudsman for SF HSA, FCS, has a Master's Degree in Communications. He has participated in dispute resolution as a professional mediator and ombudsman for 15 years. He has worked in juvenile diversion programs, victim assistance, custody and visitation, and child welfare. Todd has taught college-level courses in public speaking and in interpersonal, small group, and organizational communication.