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  • Integrative Medical Institute
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Dr. Gary Ruelas D.O., Ph.D

Founder

Dr. Ruelas is a child specialist, working with children and youth. He earned his Ph.D. in Child Neuropsychology and his medical training in Family Medicine. He presently practices Integrative Medicine by gathering and analyzing patient data differently from other physician’s moving, away from a disease model to a holistic functional model. He looks at the molecular, genomic, psychosocial, cultural, behavioral aspects taking each of his patients through bridges not yet crossed and transcending the connection of the mind and body.

PSYCHOLOGY Dr. Ruelas completed his doctoral dissertation, studying the Neuropsychology of Attention Deficit Disorder and Dysthymia (Depression) in Children. During his doctoral program he also studied psychoanalysis, and provided child neuropsychology and psychoanalysis for a number of years in his practice. Dr. Ruelas also studied with the Anthropologist Gregory Bateson to better understand biological systems of interaction and studied comprehensive system theory and Cybernetics with the physicist Heinz Von Forester, Ph.D. He completed post doctoral work with the Milan Group at the Institute for Family Studies in Milan Italy at the Universita Degzi Studi Di Milano.with the Jungian Analysts Gianfranco Checchin, M.D. and Boscolo Luigi, M.D.

Beyond his academic and post doctoral training, Dr. Ruelas has a long history of working with children, teenagers and families. He worked for the Department of Mental Hygiene, State of California State Hospital system treating adolescents who had been institutionalized. From there Dr. Ruelas went to work with the children’s program at the County Department of Mental Health. He was one of the Service Chiefs for the Children and Youth Mental Health Service program for the County, initially running outpatient multidisciplinary clinics and later managing the inpatient care for children and youth County wide before going into full time private practice. His experience in the public sector provided Dr. Ruelas with the knowledge and training to deal with the most severe of children disorders, treating children in acute inpatient psychiatric setting and those with chronic disabilities requiring long term placement in state institutions. His work with the Departments of Social Services, Education and the State Regional Center provided him with a vast amount of knowledge and experience when treating severely challenged children. As a Child Neuropsychologist his expertise is in Attention Deficit Disorders and cognitive and pervasive developmental disorders. He uses both neuropsychological assessments and the QEEG analysis along with neurofeedback when working with patients. He completed training with the Autism Research Institute obtaining the Highest Level of their DAN physician management program.

Medicine: After fifteen years of public services Dr. Ruelas left his public position and went back to school and obtained his Medical Degree in Osteopathic Medicine completing his residency in Family Medicine. During his final year in residency, Dr. Ruelas served as the Chief Resident of Family Medicine. He soon thereafter pursued post doctoral studies in Integrative Medicine. He obtained Board Certification with the American Board of Integrative Medicine.

He is presently in a Fellowship with the Institute for Functional Medicine and remains in full time private practice as an Integrative Physician practicing Mind-Body-Spiritual Medicine.

His areas of medical expertise are Preventive, Integrative/Functional, Addiction and Mental Health Medicine. He utilizes biological studies to determine what if any essential elements, nutrients, anti-oxidants or neurotransmitter precursors are either out of balance or depleted from the body. Dr. Ruelas will look at levels deeper than depletion, investigating the integrity of the cell membrane and intracellular organelles themselves to determine if cellular dysfunction exists. Through this approach Dr. Ruelas has helped patients regain their focus and attention, renewed their energy and vitality, and minimize and even overcome a disease process. By investigating a matrix of root causes in the diagnostic and therapeutic process he opens up a different ways of treating complex and chronic states of stress in order to rebalance the lives of his patients, providing them once again with energy and vitality. Dr. Ruelas also provides detoxification for a number of different problems ranging from various toxins such as heavy metal, to chemical dependency.

Dr. Ruelas remains very close to his training as a Child Clinical Psychologist, bringing into his care the emotional and mental health life of each of his patients. At the Institute where he practices he is surrounded by colleagues who are also engaged in the practice of Mindfulness and Integrative Mental Health Care. The Institute makes available to their patients psychotherapy, mindfulness treatment, yoga consultation, and myofascial massage therapy.

Personal: Dr. Ruelas is active in his local community and church, has strong faith and brings his knowledge and belief of God into his practice on a daily basis.

Specialties: Functional and Preventive Medicine, Adult and Child Neuropsychology, Adult and Child Clinical Psychology, Addiction Medicine

Insurance: No insurance accepted. Out of network superbills offered

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Donna Crowell, LCSW

Clinical Social Worker

Ms. Crowell is a licensed clinical social worker whose experience includes having worked in both private and public settings with children, adults, and their families.  She is trained in mindfulness based cognitive behavioral therapy techniques and utilizes integrative psychotherapy methods with adults, couples and children dealing with anxiety, depression, relational conflicts, stress management and loss. Her holistic paradigm emphasizes the importance of incorporating mind, body, and spirit on the path towards wellness. She has a broad base knowledge of life developmental issues and received extensive training in systemic family, Ericksonian psychotherapy, and health psychology.

Ms. Crowell received her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of California Riverside and completed her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of California,  Los Angeles and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers.

She has served as a Clinical Supervisor for Social Work and Marriage and Family Interns and students. Her career path has taken her from inpatient residential treatment of adolescents and their families to outpatient clinical settings where she has provided in depth psychotherapy for children and families for severely disturbed children and families. Ms. Crowell has practiced at the University of California Irvine Medical Center (UCIMC) in their Neo-Natal and Pediatric Departments providing clinical evaluation and consultation, grief and crisis management and short-term therapy. Following her departure from UCIMC, Ms. Crowell went into full time private practice specializing in the application of Integrative Psychotherapy with children, families and adults.

Ms. Crowell is a personable and non judgmental therapist; her clinical orientation stems from a psychosocial approach, incorporating cultural, familial and spiritual backgrounds to the application of mindfulness based cognitive behavioral therapy. As an integrative therapist, her focus is to help clients increase their personal resources and resilience and develop new strategies for managing life issues and stressors in order to move towards a healthier lifestyle. Personal:  Ms. Crowell resides with her husband and two children. In her free time she enjoys yoga, being with friends and family, painting and travel.

Specialties: Integrative psychotherapy, Family and Couples therapy, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Client Centered Therapy.

Insurance: Cigna PPO and HMO, Blue Cross PPO and HMO.

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Viviana Schilpp, LCSW

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Viviana Schilpp is a licensed clinical social worker who has expertise in the treatment of depression and anxiety using her expertise in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) amongst other modalities. Her integrative approach to treatment has come about through her work in both private outpatient and inpatient settings. Ms. Schilpp believes that adolescents work especially well with the CBT approach. It allows them to understand the underlying factors triggering symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Ms. Schilpp received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and her graduate degree from California State University, Long Beach. Before opening up her clinical practice at The Integrative Medical Institute, Ms. Schilpp worked with the chronically ill at the University of California Irvine Medical Center. Ms. Schilpp’s clinical practice utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy to treat adult and adolescent individuals suffering from mental disorders. She has extensive training in treating major depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and panic disorder. Focus is placed on changing the thoughts, feeling and behaviors which lead to distress.

Specialties: Adolescent mental health,

Insurance Accepted: Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna, United Behavioral Health, Magellan

Personal: Viviana enjoys spending time with her family, practicing yoga and reading.

Insurance Accepted: Blue Shield PPO, Aetna PPO & HMO, Cigna PPO & HMO, United Behavioral Health PPO & HMO, Magellan PPO & HMO

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Vanessa Hernandez, MFT

Marriage and Family Therapist

Vanessa Hernandez is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in working with children, teens and their families using a comprehensive, holistic and integrative therapeutic approach. Vanessa works closely with the family to identify areas of concern for their child, set goals and achieve optimal results. Vanessa helps the family to recognize strengths, access resources and treat the presenting concerns to create lasting results. In addition to her full time practice at IMI, Vanessa is a Parent Coach and Consultant on staff for an agency that provides services to families whose children have Autism or developmental disabilities.

Ms. Hernandez earned her undergraduate degree from Cal State Long Beach in Psychology and a Masters in Psychology from Pepperdine University, as well as a Master in Marriage and Family Therapy from Alliant International University. Before completing her clinical internship at Integrative Medical Institute, Vanessa worked with underserved populations through Western Youth Services. Vanessa has provided individual and family therapy to children in a public school setting, as well as teacher/ parent trainings regarding emotional awareness and bullying prevention/ intervention. Vanessa also provided couples and families at the Brea Family Resource center. Vanessa’s work experience includes treating survivors and their families recover from violent crimes for Casa De La Familia and providing services in Fullerton to chronically ill and medically disabled clients.

Vanessa Hernandez is certified by the EMDR International Association to provide EMDR Therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), which is an effective treatment for many different clinical issues that uses structured protocols and contains elements of psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, experiential, and body awareness therapies. The AMA and APA have recognized EMDR as an effective treatment for children and adolescents for disorders such as trauma, stress, depression, anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, headaches/ migraines, chronic pain, ADHD and behavioral issues.

Ms. Hernandez is has advanced training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Family Systems Therapy, Applied Behavioral Analysis, and Client Centered Therapies. Vanessa Hernandez is also a certified by the IBA as a BodyTalk Access Technician to teach clients body taping techniques. Specialties: Children (ages 3-9), tweens (ages 10-12), teens, adults, couples, families, EMDR, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Integrative Psychotherapy, Family Systems, Life coaching, peak performance, trauma, mood disorders

Personal: Vanessa enjoys living an active life with her family in Orange, through yoga, Pilates and hiking. Vanessa is involved in her church, community and her volunteer work with children.

Insurance Accepted: Cigna PPO, HMO, EAP

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Elin Lightbody, MA.Ed.

Front Office Manager/Qeeg and Neurofeedback Specialist

Elin has been with IMI since 2009. She is a core part of our team, interfacing with each member daily, interacting with all existing and new patients. She received her B.A. Psychology from Villanova University and her M.A. Education Counseling and PPS credential from Azusa Pacific University. Her education in Psychology and Education Counseling offers her the knowledge to handle complex patient issues. Alongside her management of the front desk, she works as a liaison between our pediatric/adolescent patients’ schools and our staff here at IMI. With her experience as a school counselor she is able to effectively maintain a strong line of communication with our patients and their families, teachers, school administration and suggest classroom modifications and educational adjustments on a case by case basis. She’s served as a helpful resource in school intervention meetings and parent, teacher conferences to help advocate for the success of our patients and their families.

Elin is eternally optimistic, a wonderful problem solver, her energy is transforming and she uses her knowledge of psychology in her work with each patient, from providing basic information, efficiently helping with complications they may be experiencing. She provides education to patients provides insight to our staff and contributes to the creative growth of our program. She continues to seek personal and professional development and has completed certification program for the Body Talk Access program and is undergoing formal certification for neurofeedback. IMI is proud and blessed to have Elin as the hub of our clinical and administrative team. Personal: Elin enjoys traveling with her husband, yoga, running and hiking.

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Dana Lusiani, R.N.

Registered Nurse

Dana is our registered nurse who practices holistic nursing at our center. She received her BSN from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and is a member of the National Alliance on Mental Health Illness and the American Holistic Nursing Association. Besides her genuinely emphatic quality and her attention to detail, she manages the intravenous wing of our clinic. Dana provides the intravenous and slow push infusions, intramuscular injection, as well as completing our blood draws. In addition to her innate talent she has recently completed her certification in Body Talk Access, using her skills in communication she has enhanced her clinical skills with patients by addressing the body language of each patient she works with and helping them relax. She has also incorporated the use of the Alpha Stim (microelectrocranial stimulator) with patients who have anxiety to help prepare for the procedure that may evoke anxiety. She has been an excellent component to our team of integrative medicine practitioners. Her strong interpersonal skills partnered with her education and clinical expertise makes her a true asset to IMI. She’s fantastic with children and adolescents and provides a comfortable experience for their nursing needs.

Personal: Dana enjoys spending time with her three daughters, practicing yoga and enjoying the outdoors.