Kyrstan joined the La Paloma staff in 2007, where she created and implemented a powerful curriculum, which focuses on understanding one’s diagnoses through education and insight into how co-occurring disorders impact individuals cognitively, emotionally, behaviorally and spiritually. As director of La Paloma Outpatient Services in East Memphis, it is Kyrstan’s goal that each outpatient client is able to define who they are and rediscover their own goals and potential in life before leaving the program. Her approach includes the belief that through increased knowledge and awareness, clients will develop whole wellness and healing that will dramatically increase their quality of life and create the opportunity to succeed in all areas.
Kyrstan received her Masters of Science in Counseling and Bachelors of Art in Psychology from the University of Memphis. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Mental Health Services Provider (LPC-MHSP), National Certified Counselor (NCC) and Certified Rehabilitations Counselor (CRC). Kyrstan is a Level 2 trained EMDR therapist who specializes in the treatment of individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders, family systems and crisis intervention and management.
Prior to becoming director of La Paloma Outpatient Services, Kyrstan worked as a residential therapist for inpatient treatment at La Paloma Treatment Center (formerly Foundations Associates) and helped create and implement the Family Program. Additionally, Kyrstan worked as a group and individual therapist to children and adolescents with emotional and intellectual disabilities, including Autism and Asperger’s, as well as Learning disabilities such as Attention Deficit Disorder and Dyslexia.
Clinical Care Coordinator
Michaela Whitehead currently serves as the Clinical Care Coordinator of Outpatient Services, primarily working with clients in the morning and afternoon Intensive Outpatient Programs. She began at La Paloma Outpatient Services as an intern during her final semester of graduate school. Immediately upon completing her Masters of Science in Counseling, Michaela joined the staff full-time. A Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC), Michaela is actively working toward her Licensed Professional Counselor and Mental Health Services Provider (LPC-MHSP) license.
Prior to working at La Paloma, Michaela worked at the Career and Psychological Counseling Center at the University of Memphis. While in graduate school, Michaela had the opportunity to work with abused and at-risk adolescents at Youth Villages. Additionally, she has experience as a counselor at The Exchange Club Family Center, where she worked with women & children who were victims of domestic violence and facilitated trans-parenting groups for divorcing parents. Michaela has extensive experience in the assessment of individuals with various emotional, mental health and substance use disorders.
Passionate about helping her clients, Michaela uses an empathic, person-centered approach to therapy, and the motivational interviewing style of counseling used at La Paloma is most congruent with her own personal counseling style. She believes this compassionate and comprehensive approach helps each client work toward an individualized plan for sustained recovery and a fulfilling life. Michaela enjoys facilitating process and psychoeducation groups, where she plays an active role in teaching clients that they have the power to grow and change in positive and healthy ways.
A Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC), Greg serves as the outpatient therapist for the evening Intensive Outpatient Program and facilitates psychoeducational groups for the morning IOP. As a therapist, he is passionate about finding the strengths and the goodness in each person. Most clients have looked at the symptoms of their disease and the etiology for so long, that he realized they need help and guidance to locate and nurture their true spirit.
Greg holds a Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Memphis, a degree that specializes in the treatment of people with mental and physical disabilities and illness. Prior to joining the staff at La Paloma, he put that knowledge to work at the Memphis Recovery Center and Serenity Recovery Center. He facilitated the family program at both facilities and worked with mandated clients with mental illness and/or substance dependence. He expertise also extends to alternative sentencing methods and the importance of long-term engagement by the client in the recovery process.
Greg has more than 11 years of sobriety, and he brings his own challenges and strengths with substance dependence and mental illness into the therapeutic process. He understands the challenges that the clients may experience with regard to employment, family relations and the negative stigma that is associated with their diagnosis. His goal as a therapist is to help people move from the bondage of active addiction and untreated mental illness to the freedom and happiness of a meaningful and fulfilling life.
Medical Director, Stress Management for Chronic Pain Program
A graduate of Louisiana State University and Harvard Medical Schools, Dr. Blotner is board certified in Pain Medicine as well as Psychiatry, and is a nationally recognized expert in the management of chronic pain disorders with associated sleep, anxiety and mood disorders. He is also recognized as an expert in safe and effective prescription of narcotic pain medications.
Dr. Blotner currently serves as Medical Director of the La Paloma Stress Management for Chronic Pain Program. This specialized Intensive Outpatient Program helps those who suffer from chronic pain to improve their functioning in their important life roles, cope more effectively with stress and reduce the impact of stress on mind and body.
Prior to joining the team at La Paloma, Dr. Blotner served as Medical Director of the Chronic Pain & Dual Diagnosis Programs on the Behavioral Medicine Unit at Jo Ellen Smith Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana.
A graduate of Yale University with a PhD in biology and of Meharry Medical College, Dr. Murray is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology as well as the American Board of Addiction Medicine. He completed residency training in internal medicine at Vanderbilt University and in psychiatry at the University of Washington and Vanderbilt University.
Prior to joining the staff at La Paloma, Dr. Murray held positions including Medical Director at Cumberland Heights in Nashville, Tennessee; The Meadows in Wickenberg, Arizona; and Charter Charleston Behavioral Health Center in Charleston, South Carolina. He has also served on the faculty of Meharry Medical College, Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee. He currently holds an appointment to the clinical faculty of the University of Tennessee, Department of Psychiatry in Memphis.