Established in 2017
While attending a recovery fundraiser at a friend’s house in early 2017, we were heartbroken to learn that our Uptown New Orleans community lost several members last year due to substance use and suicide. We know that substance misuse and mental health issues know no boundaries, yet were saddened to learn of lives lost, families shattered and communities devastated. Perhaps with early interventions, and the chance to imagine what a life in recovery can be, each of these individuals could have found a different, positive recovery path…
We were immediately inspired to take action, and thus, our Imagine Recovery journey began. Our new abstinence-centered Outpatient Program is located in the heart of Uptown New Orleans, and we are so grateful for the opportunity to educate, support and serve our local community, as well as those moving here in early recovery.
When we reached out to the New Orleans mental health professional community, the response was overwhelming. We feel so fortunate to have found and hired like-minded, inspired, local Imagine Recovery team members who share our vision of creating a new and unique program for our beloved city. Knowing we needed time to bond and truly connect with one another, we began working together two months prior to our opening date. This is a very personal calling for us. Imagine Recovery is a deeply personal, individual and family recovery focused program. Come to our creative and nurturing space and you will feel it.
Our dedicated and open-hearted clinical and leadership teams are here to provide education and therapy, hope and solutions, connection and collaboration. New Orleans is a spectacular, vibrant city that has so much to offer! We are here to help you imagine what a life in recovery in New Orleans and beyond can be!
Christopher and Felicia
Chief Executive Officer
Felicia is a proud New Orleans resident, graduate of Tulane University and a Tulane sophomore parent. She is on the Parents Council and National Campaign Council Boards at Tulane. In addition, she works closely with and supports the Tulane University School of Social Work.
Felicia has been active in the mental health/substance-use field for the last nine years, spending a great deal of her time working with families and individuals looking for help. She is passionate about creating solutions that give people hope. Felicia has formed and continues to build relationships with top local and national mental health professionals and treatment centers who have the same ethics and commitment to help others. As a woman in long-term recovery, her personal and professional life are all about connection, collaboration, healing, and living a big, authentic, fun-filled, purposeful sober life.
Felicia is a dedicated community member that devotes her time and love supporting various organizations in Louisiana and around the country: Covenant House, Bridge House/Grace House and Liberty’s Kitchen in New Orleans, ARHE (Association of Recovery in Higher Education) nationally, and organizes fundraising events to help Tulane University and LSU create a Collegiate Recovery Program. Felicia’s love for Harmon Recovery Foundation runs deep and is grateful to participate in HRF’s yearly fundraiser in Indian Wells, California. Harmon Recovery Foundation has donated over $2million over the last 8 years to wonderful non-profit organizations and treatment centers including New Orleans own Covenant House and Ozanam Inn, and Ranch Recovery Center / Hacienda Valdez (where Felicia thankfully went to treatment) in Desert Hot Springs, California.
Imagine Recovery is Felicia’s dream to bring exceptional quality, open hearted and diverse substance use and mental health treatment to the New Orleans community.
Chief Financial Officer
Christopher is a native New Yorker who has fallen in love with life in New Orleans. He has a Masters in Social Work and is a person in long term recovery. Christopher has many years of experience in the substance use and mental health treatment field locally and nationally. He is the Co-Founder of Trusted Provider Network, is on the Tulane Parents Council, National Campaign Council, Tulane School of Social Work Addiction Studies and Brain Institute boards. Christopher spent many years in the military and his experiences there led him to mental health advocacy. Upon his return from the Middle East, he was instrumental in the passing of the Clay Hunt Act, helping veterans with suicide prevention. Christopher’s passion for recovery and people is palpable and inspiring. His huge heart and vast knowledge of substance use and mental health issues makes him the perfect person to turn to for hope and solutions. He loves to connect with individuals, families and professionals and is all about collaboration and helping improve the quality of life of others.
P. August Boyd, LCSW
August Boyd embraces the culture and spirit of New Orleans. Her love for the community and passion for helping others is the foundation of her clinical practice. Originally from Upstate New York, August moved to Los Angeles, California to attend the University of Southern California where she obtained a B.A in English (Creative Writing) and double minor in Screenwriting for Film and Television and Jazz Studies. August moved to New Orleans in 2009 and worked in the French Quarter as a professional musician for several years. In 2013, August returned to school and completed her graduate work at Louisiana State University’s School of Social Work. Prior to joining Imagine Recovery, she worked as Lead Social Worker at Seaside Behavioral Center, an inpatient psychiatric hospital located in Metairie, Louisiana. She has significant experience assisting individuals with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health issues.
August’s published works reflect her additional interests in gerontology, public
policy, and social welfare. She is a strong advocate for evaluation and
research to strengthen treatment outcomes and advance knowledge.
Parker Sternbergh, MHA, LCSW-BACS
Clinical Program Consultant
Ms. Sternbergh is the Director of Porter Cason Institute for the Family. In this capacity she runs the Family Practice Certificate Program at the Tulane School of Social Work. She teaches at the masters level. She runs the Continuing Education program at the Tulane School of Social Work.
She has private and pro bono practices that focus on family, couples and children. She has done extensive work in grief, shame, trauma and life transitions.
She is trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy, EMDR, Narrative, Systems, DBT and CBT.
She has served on the Louisiana state Board of Social Workers. Serving as the Vice Chair and chair of the continuing education committee. She continues to serve on the technology committee of the State Board. She continues to serve on the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and Foundation Board.
P. Michael "Mike" Mahony, M.D.
Dr. Peter “Mike” Mahony is a psychiatrist dedicated to the improvement of individuals’ mental health. Available to assess and diagnose a variety of mental health issues, he is interested in helping people achieve optimal satisfaction in treatment and personal wellbeing in their lives. Providing quality care with compassion and understanding of each person’s unique situation is important to him. While medication is important in these pursuits, he strives to incorporate other facets of healthy living.
Originally from Lake Charles, LA, Dr. Mahony completed medical school at LSU Medical School in Shreveport and residency at Ochsner. He is board certified in psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology. He has experience in a variety of settings, including hospitals and community centers.
Imagine Recovery is honored and grateful to have Dr. Mahony on our team to provide psychiatric assessments and on-going mental health care on-site at our Uptown location.
Dr. José Calderón
Addiction Medicine Consultant
Dr. Calderón is board certified in psychiatry and addiction medicine, with an additional
certification in mind-body medicine.
He has been an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry with LSU School of Medicine
Department of Psychiatry for over 15 years and is teaching clinical faculty at Tulane University.
He is the medical Director of the New Orleans Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, and is faculty
at the Center for Mind- Body Medicine in Washington DC. where he conducts national and
international trainings and supervision in mind-body medicine skills for healthcare providers and
the department of defense. He has the leading integrative psychiatric practice in New Orleans
combining biological psychiatry, mind-body medicine and functional medicine for mental health,
wellness and addictions.
Keith M. Brown, M.Ed., LPC
Keith Brown is a Licensed Professional Counselor and grew up in New Orleans. After completing his Bachelors of Science in Psychology with a minor in Sociology at Louisiana State University, he attended the University of New Orleans where he received his Master’s Degree in Counselor Education.
Keith’s interest has varied throughout his career, which has helped him to treat the multi-dimensional issues that clients bring into therapy. He has worked at the various crisis lines in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, substance abuse treatment programs at Orleans Parish Drug Court, critical incident intervention as a crisis responder for various employee assistance programs, and psychological first aid at the psychiatric inpatient unit at Seaside Behavioral Center. He is also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which he performs in his private practice for clients with trauma history.
Keith likes to use substance abuse treatment as an opportunity to build up the clients’ control over their lives and help them to regain their lost power in themselves. “Guilt and shame have such a detrimental effect on us when we are trying to heal. It’s hard to empower change and growth when you have that hanging over you. Positive emotions like hope, confidence, and self-efficacy are the fuel that drive us to make the changes we want in our lives.”
Ashley Dueling, LCSW
Ashley is a Florida native whom from a young age wanted to make a difference in the world and has done this professionally through her work with clients. She has a B.S. in Health Education and Behavior from the University of Florida. She continued her academic career at Saint Leo University completing a Master’s of Social Work with a concentration in military members and their families.
Ashley has worked with diverse populations including homeless veterans, severe and persistent mentally ill, hospice, inpatient and outpatient facilities as well as active duty military members. This variety has helped Ashley have a more person-centered and ability to treat the whole person. Ashley’s ability to meet someone where they are and ability to connect with people are some of her strongest clinical abilities.
Ashley has a passion for the field and takes pride in providing quality care. Ashley is trained in cognitive processing therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and is a Certified Trauma Professional. She is also a member of International Association of Trauma Professionals and counselor consultation groups.
Julie Benoit, PLPC, NCC, ADS
Julie Benoit is a native of New Orleans and completed both her bachelor’s and master’s degree at the University of New Orleans. After working in accounting for several years, Julie decided to pursue her love for helping others by attending graduate school for counseling. Since completing her master’s degree, Julie has gained extensive knowledge in the field of substance use and addiction. She has years of experience facilitating group therapy as well as individual therapy to clients who experience chemical dependency as well as other mental health issues.
Having a focus on total mind and body healing, Julie incorporates mindfulness practices and cognitive behavior therapy into her work. She is also a licensed acupuncture detoxification specialist and enjoys providing this service to her clients upon their request. Julie believes in the power of the therapeutic relationship and treats all of her clients with compassionate care. She is passionate about helping individuals lead more authentic and meaningful lives. Her favorite quote by Viktor Frankl is “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”
Lauren Boudreaux is a Texas native and recent graduate of the University of Houston. Now living in the beautiful Uptown area, she recalls being drawn to New Orleans’ unique culture, food and music. Lauren is in long-term recovery and loves working in a field where she can see others grow. Three years after leaving school and numerous positions of employment due to her inability to conduct life effectively, Lauren’s journey in recovery began at the age of 24. At a year sober, Lauren re-enrolled in college and completed a B.A. in Interpersonal Communication and a minor in Human Health and Nutrition. Prior to graduation, Lauren interned at The Council on Recovery, a nonprofit organization in Houston, where she discovered her passion for working in the substance abuse field. When the opportunity presented itself to join the tribe at Imagine Recovery, Lauren knew without a doubt, this was one of the significant reasons why she was brought to New Orleans. She knew she was about to be part of something tremendously special and have the ability to contribute to the community. Lauren is a compassionate and strong advocate for those around her. She puts her heart into all she does and believes it is never too late to achieve one’s dreams and goals.
Betty Bennett, Ph.D., APRN, ACNP-BC, PMHNP-BC
Director of Nursing
Dr. Bennett progressed through her nursing career as Candy Striper, NA, LPN, and RN. Academically achieving an ASN, BSN, MSN, and PhD. Clinically achieving national certification as Critical Care Registered Nurse, Certified Emergency Nurse, an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Heath Nurse Practitioner. She has clinical and administrative experience with diverse populations in private, public, and military settings. She joined the Air Force Reserves, weeks after 9/11, as a critical care nurse. During her military career she served as a critical care nurse, education and training officer, developed a CCATT team and served as Chief Nurse for an Aeromedical Staging Squadron. Honored as one of Louisiana’s Great 100 Nurses 1992 and a Johnson & Johnson National Nurse Hero in 2007 for support and rescue efforts associated with Hurricane Katrina.
Currently, Betty is employed as a PMHNP-BC at a FQHC integrated community health center. As an ACNP-BC, she is employed at Internal Medicine Specialists. As Director of Nursing, Betty is a valued member of the Imagine Recovery team.
Emily Freilich Wagner, RD, LDN
Emily Freilich Wagner, RD, LDN is a Louisiana based Registered Dietitian. Emily attended New York University for graduate school where she studied Nutrition and Dietetics and completed her dietetic internship at the University of Houston. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Michigan. Emily is an accredited member of the American Dietetic Association, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and the Louisiana Dietetic Association.
Before starting her practice, Emily worked as a foodservice dietitian for Sysco Foodservice in New Orleans, LA. At Sysco Emily developed a 2-part nutritional program for Sysco customers providing: nutritional analysis of recipes and redesigned menus appealing to the health conscious consumer. She consulted schools and daycare centers on Child and Adult Care Food Programs compliance, and she developed cycle menus for healthcare facilities, providing therapeutic diets, while assisting with cost management.
After 3 years working for Sysco, Emily branched off and started her own practice, Blondie’s Pantry, and now specializes in nutritional consulting and wellness counseling. Her customers vary from foodservice companies, to local restaurants, to private clients.