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Meet Our Team

Photo of Chris Bennett

Christopher Bennett, CADC-II, CIP, BRI-I

Executive Director & Founder

Chris Bennett is a native of Northern Virginia and has resided in various parts of Southern California since the spring of 2004.  Growing up, Chris’ passion was sports and he was focused on succeeding in football, lacrosse and baseball throughout his adolescence.  Chris was also a National Honor Society member.  Overall, Chris was an All-American kid who excelled in athletics and academics. After moving to an affluent area of Northern Virginia, Chris’ grades began to plummet and his lifestyle made a significant change.  During the summer after his 8th Grade year, Chris began his rapid descent into a drug and alcohol fueled lifestyle.  Chris’ adolescence was marred by involuntarily committal to various drug and at-risk, out-of-control adolescent rehabilitations including a wilderness program, expulsion from multiple schools and frequent arrests.   In 2004 Chris relocated to Southern California in an attempt to leave the East Coast and its troubles behind.  Shortly, Chris was back to where he left Virginia- in handcuffs facing significant prison time.  After seeking professional guidance for one last time, an intervention was staged by his parents.  Chris accepted the treatment.  Shortly after, Chris again left treatment and returned to Southern California. His parents held the line with him, utilized professional support and within 3 months, Chris made the best decision of his life (at the time, it was the worst day of his life) and began his first day of sobriety.  Notwithstanding some hiccups in his path of recovery, Chris entered a state of continual sobriety.  Since dedicating his life to recovery, he found his true passion which was to support those who were suffering from the depths of mental illness, addiction and the addiction fueled lifestyle in receiving the help that they deserve.  Chris was given an amazing opportunity to work in an intensive therapeutic community treatment modality with individuals suffering with severe mental illness, co-occurring disorders and various addictions. Three years later, after receiving an education in Alcohol and Other Drug Studies and a plethora of clinically oriented training including over two years of intervention specific education, training and supervision provided by an incredible Clinical Team, Chris began his vision to work with individuals and their families suffering from addiction and severe mental illness.  Intervention and consulting work is his passion and true calling in life. Chris now resides in San Diego with his beautiful wife Ashley Ann, his dog Hercules; living with a never ending determination to help those who understand the true depths and darkness of addiction and mental illness.

Chris currently holds a certification through the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP) as a Level Two Certified Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselor (CADC-II) and also holds the Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) credential through the Pennsylvania Certification Board, the only nationally accredited certification for intervention specialists. Chris is also a Board Registered Interventionist (BRI-I) through the International Interventionist Credentialing Board (IICB). Chris is also Trust Line Registered with the California Department of Social Services in order to provide intervention and transportation services to adolescents.

Photo of Jennifer Tarzia

Jennifer Tarzia, MA, IMF #93834

Director of Family Services, Interventionist & Consultant

Jennifer was born and raised in Lake Tahoe, CA growing up enjoying the great outdoors as well as pursing her passion in ballet and dance until she was 20 years old. She moved to San Diego in 2007 to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at San Diego State University. During her time there she was involved in various internships including the Peer Abuse Prevention Program, bringing bullying awareness and prevention programs to schools in South County San Diego. Upon graduating, she began work immediately in the field at Hanbleceya Therapeutic Community as a Line Staff. During her 5 years with the company she carried various roles, including House Manager, Line Staff Supervisor and Admissions Director. She became particularly attuned to working with clients with various mental health diagnoses and backgrounds in a myriad of situations, including crisis intervention. Discovering her love for the field, she completed her Master’s Degree in Counseling at National University, which has prepared her to become an MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist). Currently she is working with adolescents and adults with Eating Disorders at a local San Diego residential facility, but is involved in various local organizations including WAAT (Women’s Association of Addiction Treatment) as the Chapter Co-President.

Overall, Jennifer has always had a passion for helping others including volunteering her time in Mexico at various orphanages and spending time with inner-city youth in Washington DC. These experiences and others have provided her with the drive to continue to help individuals in their path to recovery and wellness with a keen eye but an empathetic style.

Photo of Tom Walker

Tom Walker, BA, CSAC

Director of Community Relations

Tom Walker is a native of Northern Virginia, where he has developed strong roots in the community as both a professional and a person in long-term recovery. When Tom was just 14 years old, his mother, Carroll, identified that his path in life had taken a dramatic downward turn into substance abuse, deep depression, and significant behavioral issues. A teacher and single parent, Carroll mustered all of the strength and courage she could and began seeking help from other parents and professionals in Fairfax County. She sent Tom to therapists, doctors, outpatient groups, and wilderness treatment with little lasting positive effect. In just two years, between ages 14 and 16, Tom’s use increased from binging on marijuana, alcohol, and hallucinogens, to daily use and the addition of cocaine, pain killers, and heroin. His grades plummeted, his circle of friends shifted, and his depression took him to daily contemplation of suicide. Carroll, with the support of other parents she had met in support groups and recovery circles, lobbied Toms high school for help and began calling the police when his behavior reached a boiling point. She took a risk of having her son hate her with the hopes of saving his life, and was able to have Tom court ordered to complete residential treatment after multiple drug related convictions and failures to remain abstinent from drugs while on probation.

Tom successfully completed over 9 months of treatment, became immersed in the local recovery community, completed college, became a counselor, and threw himself into serving others. His relationship with his mother is one of mutual respect and love, and he recognizes the role a healthy family system, nurtured by the support of others, plays in motivating someone to get help and creating a healthy and stable environment for the future.

Tom Walker holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor in the state of Virginia. He has over 15 years of experience working in the mental health and addictions field with roles in counseling, program development, outreach, research, and advocacy. His experiences personally and professionally have fostered the belief that recovery and contentment are possible for everyone, if the appropriate services are provided to meet the needs of the entire system.

Photo of Amber June

Amber June, LCSW

Behavioral Health Consultant, Interventionist & Family Services Specialist

Amber was raised in the greater Seattle, WA area. Growing up she enjoyed spending time with friends and family going on adventures such as hiking, camping, and boating. She was very involved in local church youth programs. Amber participated in and helped to coordinate several local and international service projects and assisted in running youth groups and summer camp for middle school children for several years.

In 2004 Amber graduated with a bachelors degree in Human Services from Western Washington University and shortly thereafter moved to Washington D.C. in part to gain work experience. She began working as a behavioral tech at a treatment center for children and adolescents struggling with severe mental health, behavioral health, and sexually reactive issues. Between 2004 and 2010 Amber worked as direct care, case management and counseling staff in adolescent residential treatment settings. This work led Amber to involve herself in advocacy with a national initiative to improve the quality of care for adolescents and families involved in those systems of care.

In 2008 Amber began graduate school at Virginia Commonwealth University with the goals of learning more about addiction treatment and becoming a licensed clinical social worker able to provide individual, family and group therapy. During this time she completed a nine-month professional internship at a local detoxification center and was hired to work at the center as a substance abuse counselor at the end of her internship. As a result of dealing with addiction within her own family and great mentorship, Amber recognized a passion for working in the field of addictions.

Post graduate school Amber has been providing individual, couples and group therapy in the private practice setting. Currently she works with clients around a variety of issues including mental health, substance use, process addictions, family issues and trauma. Amber is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Virginia.

Profile of Jeffrey Merrick

Jeffrey J. Merrick, Esq.

Attorney At Law & Interventionist
Senior Advisory Counsel

Jeffrey J. Merrick is a professional interventionist and criminal defense attorney in Hollywood, California. He is a graduate cum laude of the University of San Diego School of Law, a practicing member of the California Bar since 1990 and a former trial lawyer for a national law firm. His undergraduate degree was with honors in Psychology and Literature & Writing from the University of California at San Diego. Jeffrey specializes in the defense of mental health, drug and alcohol-related cases. His expertise is in care advocacy and alternative sentencing through the courts.

Jeffrey has several years of in-house counsel and treatment and intervention planning experience for national recovery programs. He is a member of NII, the Network of Independent Interventionists, which means he is not affiliated with any treatment program. This maintains the professional autonomy and distance required to recommend only those treatment programs that are best suited to the client’s and family’s needs. He brings to his work extensive knowledge about the many moving parts of multi-problem clients and family systems, treatment and intervention. He is a seasoned practitioner who knows that beyond the dynamics of the defense and prosecution lies the need for identifying and presenting specific alternatives to incarceration and here partnership is critical with the court, the district attorney, probation and the treatment provider. He works to provide the best treatment solutions for his clients and families.

Jeffrey excels at building the strategic partnerships and creative alliances required to win cases, inspire real change and promote client care and family healing. He is a well-known and respected member of the addictions professionals and recovery communities and routinely collaborates with some of the best programs and practitioners in the country. Jeffrey brings to this work the many rewards and advantages of his own personal long-term recovery. and stays invested in the success of his clients and their families.

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About Chris Bennett Interventions

Chris Bennett Interventions is a team of competently trained and experienced intervention and addiction treatment professionals that have come together to provide families with the highest quality intervention, consulting and transportation services. We recognize that each family presents with unique and complex circumstances that may include mental health challenges in addition to addiction, and that most clients will suffer from depression, anxiety or other co-occurring disorders. We believe that this is all about your family healing instead of just "fixing" someone who has an addictive disorder. We are here for the families!

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