Our Clinical Staff

APEX Rehab is proud to offer some of the finest doctoral and licensed professionals in Southern California. With literally decades of addiction experience, and countless clinical hours spent researching, training and treating dual diagnosis issues, our team is ready to help. Despite our staff pedigree, the key difference at APEX is our team collaboration, coupled with our philosophy and humble touch. We believe every member of our team is reliant on others perspectives and insight. We every participant with respect and dignity, not from a place of superiority or judgment.

APEX Rehab’s staff is hand selected for their ability to work and promote an integrative treatment approach. No one person has THE answer, and only as a team of professionals, working with the participant and family, can we bring the results we know people are striving for. Our clinical staff is tireless in their dedication to wholeness, health, and excellence. Our constant drive for knowledge, continuing education, and goal of the field, participation as leaders in the recovery community, allows our APEX team to be sought after and exceptional at treating not just an
addiction, but the whole person. This allows for growth in many ways, as each participant finds their own path to meaningful recovery.

Dr. Michael Markopoulos, M.D. – Addiction Physician

Dr. Michael Markopoulos is a physician who has worked in addiction medicine for over 25 years. In the field of addiction, Dr. Markopoulos has provided individual therapy and services to residential treatment centers, detox facilities, outpatient clinics and hospital settings.

He has experience working with addictions of all kinds including alcohol, opiates, methadone, cocaine, amphetamines, sedatives, hallucinogens and additional addictions. He believes in treating the whole patient, not just the addiction.

Dr. Markopoulos looks forward to working with you to help make your life better.

Dr. Jerry Ayers, M.D. – Addiction Physician

Dr. Jerry Ayers is a skilled addiction medical practitioner. With an Undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of California San Diego, A graduate degree from the University of California San Diego, in Physiology and Pharmacology, and a medical degree from the University of Texas, Galveston, Dr. Ayers is respected as one of the top addiction doctors
in San Diego.

In addition to his extensive training, Dr. Ayers also has exceptional clinical experience. This includes 15 years of hospital experience at UCSD, Grossmont, Alvarado, Palomar, and Tri-City Hospitals, and 10 years of experience performing Medical Consulting for Residential Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers, performing Detoxification services, and medical and psychiatric pharmacotherapy.

Dr. Ayers holds an American Board of Addiction Medicine Certification, in addition to his California Medical License. Dr. Ayers provides APEX patients with unparalleled professional services in safe and comfortable detoxification and medication management.

Dr. Thomas E. Deblois, M.D. – Psychiatrist

Dr. Thomas E. Deblois is an outside psychiatric consultant for APEX Rehab and a board-certified psychiatrist in San Diego. A graduate of Stanford Medical School, Dr. Deblois has dedicated years to working with a large variety of clientele with many different psychiatric needs. Over the last few years, Dr. Deblois has specialized in both child and adolescent psychiatry; yet he never lost his passion for helping those who suffer from mood disorders and
addiction. Dr. Deblois’ strong background and knowledge of working with adults with mood disorders and other mental illness help him work with clients that have deeper issues, that can result in drug or alcohol dependency.

Apart from being certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Dr. Deblois is an active advocate for the LGBT community in San Diego. He provides training to other medical and clinical professionals in working with LGBT youth. His diverse skill set and dedication to the betterment of people in the community make him an understanding and compassionate asset to the APEX Rehab team.

Dr. Wendy A. Khentigan, M.D. – Psychiatrist

Dr. Wendy A. Khentigan is a board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Khentigan has been a consulting psychiatrist to several San Diego dual diagnosis residential treatment centers for many years.

Dr. Khentigan had a particular interest and concern about the growing opioid epidemic and was one of the first doctors in San Diego certified to prescribe Suboxone. Dr. Khentigan is a proponent of medication-assisted therapy when indicated and strives to develop an individualized treatment plan for dual diagnosis patients. Dr. Khentigan has also completed training in Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) which allows her to assess and treat patients who have experienced trauma in a compassionate and effective way.

Dr. Khentigan is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. She graduated from New York Medical College. After a year of internship in internal medicine at Norwalk Hospital, she completed her residency in psychiatry at UCSD and was a chief resident during her last year of training. Dr. Khentigan has been in solo practice for over 23 years.

Diana Pasquarello, MPAP, PA-C – Physician Assistant

Diana is a board-certified Physician Assistant and Life Coach.

She has been working as a PA since 2003 in multiple areas of medicine.

She looks at each patient as whole instead of just coming in with an issue to get clean. She likes to get to the root of the problem and help to resolve the issues that each individual faces. She’s a proud mom to 3 kids. She finds joy in photography.


Mallory Serbin, LMFT – Clinical Director

Mallory is a State of California Board of Behavioral Sciences, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and clinical supervisor with a decade of experience working in mental health. Mallory’s clinical experience includes inpatient, outpatient and private practice work with individuals, couples and families and includes program development of a residential facility serving chronically and severely mentally ill individuals. Her unique experience with this population further expanded her approach and ability to create a comforting and therapeutic environment for individuals as they navigate the various challenges. She focuses on increasing mindfulness of current situations and emotional experiences to help her clients meet their goals and created more meaningful interactions.

While completing a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy at Alliant International University, she focused on treating Substance Abuse as well as Couples Counseling. Additionally, her work with individuals suffering from depression and anxiety as well as issues of domestic violence shaped her philosophy in treating individuals and couples through focusing on emotions and the role of attaching to others. She believes it is through this focus on emotions and attachment that significant and long-lasting change develops.

Mallory’s passion is for people and their relationships. She has a deep interest in helping people achieve their potential and it is her goal to empower individuals as they search for connection, intimacy, love, and success. By helping people find the tools to cultivate their unique skills, Mallory believes we can find hope and fulfillment to overcome the struggles of everyday life.

“I bring my own life experiences to my therapeutic work and focus on developing a secure and safe relationship with my clients. Every individual has a story that is unique and special. I am passionate about understanding each person’s experiences without judgment. With compassion and sincere empathy, I can help you overcome struggles and find the insight and awareness that is necessary to create caring relationships as well as lasting happiness.”

Daijanay Honore, M.A., IMF – Program Therapist

Daijanay is a Student trainee at Apex Recovery Rehab Facility. She received her B.A in Psychology from California State University, Northridge in 2014 and went on to get her Masters in Counseling Psychology from National University. She has always loved working with people and being able to empower others with the knowledge she has gained thus far. Daijanay’s therapeutic style is highly collaborative and specifically tailored to each client.

Evidence-based practices such as CBT and DBT integrated with positive applied psychology are used to
highlight the client’s strengths, improve their sense of well-being, and encourage them through
their addiction. She plans to continue her work in the addictions field and help others instill
hope, confidence, and connectedness within themselves.

Holly Kelley, M.A., IMF – Program Therapist

Holly is a registered Marriage and Family Therapy Intern at Apex Recovery. She is passionate about walking alongside her clients as they journey towards personal wellness and engage in their communities. Holly has diverse clinical experience, including extensive work with individuals and families seeking support for addiction treatment and mood disorders, as well as with those caring for a loved one near the end of life. Holly received her B.A. in Psychology and Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University and completed her M.A. in Counseling at National University. She utilizes a Family Systems approach to therapy coupled with CBT and Motivational Interviewing techniques. She also has additional training in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) which allows her to tailor her work to clients to their specific needs.

Joshua Krause – Program Therapist

Joshua is a trainee at Apex Recovery Rehab Facility. He holds a B.A in Liberal Arts from The University of Florida (2008) and will receive his Masters in Counseling Psychology from National University in 2018. Joshua’s life experiences and career as an artist, designer, athletic coach, educator and student advisor have all led him to the helping professions.

Joshua naturally has an Existential and client-centered approach, with meditation, mindfulness, physical activity, nutrition, and other holistic interventions essential to healing and prospering. Joshua is an active Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor and coach, lover of comedy and podcasts, and enjoys walking his three dogs.

Sam Newman – Program Therapist

Samuel Newman has worked in the field of human services since the early 1970s as a para-professional counselor for people who suffer from substance abuse and dependency. Mr. Newman’s qualifications in this field were derived from direct life experiences from the prior decade, he soon realized he had a natural gift in using dialogue as a healing tool. He began his formal educational training in 1980 and received a California Psychiatric Technician’s license in 1982. Mr. Newman continued his formal education as well as professional endeavors in the area of human services and received his Bachelors in Counseling Psychology in 1984 and a Masters in Counseling Psychology in 1986 from the Professional School of Psychological Studies in San Diego California. Mr. Newman received his license as a Marriage and Family Therapist in 1989. He has been in private practice as well as a variety of consulting positions since achieving his MFT license.

Tatiana Hughes, M.A., IMF – Program Therapist

Tatiana is a registered Marriage and Family Therapy Intern at Apex Recovery. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University and completed her M.A. in Counseling at National University.

Tatiana has over 7 years of experience in the mental health field, which includes severe mental illness, addiction, developmental disabilities as well as individual and couples’ counseling. Tatiana strives to create a safe environment for her clients. She adores animals and enjoys movies, music, photography, yoga, and spending time with loved ones.

Brandon Parkhurst – Music & Art Therapist

Brandon Parkhurst is a singer/songwriter from San Diego. He has been the key songwriter for Kut U Up and Yovee for over 15 years as well as toured with Green Day, Blink 182 and Jimmy Eat World. Brandon has written scores for many surf and skate films in the action sports industry premiered around the world for Fuel T.V. and E.S.P.N. Sport. He also starred in the documentary “Riding in Vans With Boys”, a full-length film about life on the road of an arena tour.

Brandon had fun with the party lifestyle until it finally caught up with him in 2008. He was resistant to recovery in the beginning because he was under the impression that he needed to be “loaded” in order to create good music. Since getting sober, he has spent his time starting a new band, Indigo Mystics. His hopes are that this shows artists also struggling with the same impression, that it is possible to be inspired without the use of any substance. Brandon also has Studied Core Energetics at Radical Aliveness Institute of Southern California.

Madison Nees, RADT-1 – Art Therapist

Madison Nees has worked as an artist and instructor since 2011. Ms. Nees began her career teaching art instruction at various schools and businesses and showing her art in galleries such as the San Diego Art Institute. Upon getting into recovery herself, Madison began developing a curriculum to utilize her knowledge of recovery and art to help others in need.

Madison has always believed that art plays a vital role in the support of addiction recovery. Ms. Nees works at various treatment centers around San Diego, facilitating groups that provide the space for recovering addicts and alcoholics to express themselves through art.

Dr. Tufia Steidle, Psy.D. – Equine Therapist

Dr. Tufia Elaine Steidle is a licensed clinical psychologist and holds a dual certification through EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) as an Equine Specialist and Equine Assisted Psychotherapist.

Dr. Steidle is the Clinical Director and provider of equine assisted psychotherapy services (EAP) at Home Base Ranch Inc. in Lakeside, and provides EAP services at Apex Recovery and Ocean Ranch Recovery, as well as providing EAP services through her private practice: Solutions Through Horses. She has been in practice for almost 20 years and has loved horses since childhood. She has seen the therapeutic power that horses have and how they facilitate the growth and healing of people.

Dr. Steidle has worked in a variety of clinical settings during her career, including; working in a student counseling center at a college, providing mental health care in a prison, providing counseling services for people with AIDS/HIV, working in an inpatient substance abuse facility, and also providing psychotherapy in several non-profit community mental health clinics. For almost 10 years, she held a senior management position at a non-profit community mental health agency in Los Angeles. As a Director, she was responsible for overseeing the mental health care of over 1,000 clients, supervising over 100 staff, and managing budgets and contracts across 8 clinics.

She is also trained in several Evidence-Based Practices, including; Seeking Safety, Trauma-Focused CBT, and Interpersonal Therapy for Depression.

Tenesha Adams, Massage Therapist/ Reiki Master

Tanesha has been a massage therapist for 12 years she is board certified and graduated at the top of her class. Tanesha’s unique and rhythmic therapeutic style is derived from a mixture of eastern and western modalities, allowing her to gently but effectively usher the body towards its own natural healing abilities making each session customized to you and your body’s needs.

Tanesha is also a doula and spirit advisor and is classically trained as a chef. In her free time, she loves movies, games and spending time with her family.