Executive Director of Behavioral Health Services MA, M.Ph., LMFT
Marty is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in teens and adults, focusing on mindfulness and person-centered practices. Their work experience includes residential care for foster youth, private practice, hospital settings, and intensive outpatient care. They have over 15 years of experience in business management and leadership. Marty is also a Person Centered Thinking trainer certified through The Learning Community for Person-Centered Practices, which teaches clinicians and caregivers how to utilize person-centered care with children, teens, and adults with developmental disabilities and severe mental illness. They have served as adjunct faculty at Agape College in the Department of Social Work. They have earned two master’s degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy and Forensic Psychology, and they are currently pursuing a doctorate in Forensic Psychology at Walden University.
Executive Director of Substance Use Services, CADC II, ICADC, SAP
Melissa Robinson grew up in Southern California and relocated to Fresno in the early 90s. Early in her educational path, she earned her Associate of Science in Alcohol and Drug Counseling, holds a B.A. in Sociology, and received her Certificate in Applied Sociological Research from Fresno State University. Melissa is accredited by the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP) with the title of Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC II), and Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ICADC). Melissa also holds a special credential as a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) for the Department of Transportation (DOT). With many years of experience working in the field of addiction, she has been able to work with all levels of care for both adolescents and adults. Melissa has dedicated her career to helping individuals who are struggling with addiction. Melissa Robinson is described as a dedicated, optimistic, compassionate person who loves spending time with her family and dog. Melissa is driven by research on society, social relationships, and behaviors. In her free time, she enjoys participating in community outreach, exercising, and meditation. Additionally, Melissa’s focus is on creating positive change surrounding social issues, working in diverse communities, and being an advocate. Melissa believes in a client-centered approach and values working with a team of dedicated professionals who give their all to enable their clients’ success.
Division Chief Executive Officer, MBA, LMFT,
Yessica Avancena, MBA, LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in children, adults and blended family structures. She is also the current Division CEO of Aspire Behavioral. Her work experience includes both private clinical practice and County Mental Health/Hospital roles where she was in leadership and management. She is a psychotherapist that is UCLA-trained in Mindfulness Application Practices which have been shown to be effective to treat ADHD, Anxiety and Mood Disorders as well as overall stress reduction. She has received additional training in the areas of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, which utilizes awareness and mindfulness concepts along with progressive relaxation and guided meditation techniques for symptom reduction. Trained in alternative healing methods such as guided meditation, essential oils, and Reiki healing energy, she uses an empathetic and client-centered approach to change which meets the individual where they are for a holistic approach to healing. She is bilingual in Spanish/English and bi-cultural with extensive knowledge of Hispanic culture.
Lead counselor, CATC II
Destiny Vassar was born in Texas and raised in the sunny city of Fresno, CA. Destiny is our newest Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor I (CATC-1) as awarded by The Addiction Counselor Certification Board of California (ACCBC). Fresno City College also awarded Destiny her Certificate of Achievement for Human Services – Pre-Social Work Option and Human Services Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling Option. Destiny is an experienced Substance Abuse Counselor who has been an active pillar in the Fresno community since 2019.
Destiny is currently working on her Associate Degree in Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counseling and Associate Degree in Social Work (ASW) at Fresno City College with an expected completion by the end of summer 2022. Destiny plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree at CSU Fresno in the spring of 2023. Destiny has a strong passion for servicing, assisting, and supporting the community. Destiny turned her personal experience to strength and hope by advocating for those affected by domestic violence, human trafficking, and family reunification. Destiny interned at Central California Recovery, where she co-facilitated adult groups and family groups. Destiny served as an intake coordinator at Salvation Army where she worked with families, probation, parole and performed assessments at the Fresno County Jail. Destiny served as a dedicated SUD counselor at Fresno First Mental Health Systems Inpatient Residential Treatment Center. Destiny also worked with clients suffering from mild to severe mental health concerns who also presented with substance use disorder. Destiny provided counseling in both individual and group settings. Destiny is excited to now be part of Aspire Counseling Service, Fresno team.
Destiny is the strong mother who believes in the importance of providing resources and to be the change you want to see in people. Destiny leads by example with compassion, and desire to show her children the importance of education and hard work ethic. Destiny defeated the odds by taking back control of her life. Destiny’s mantra is, “Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance”.
Associate Marriage & Family Therapist
Sarah is an Associate Marriage & Family Therapist for Aspire Behavioral Health and earned her Masters in Counseling through Palo Alto University in 2021. Sarah has experience working with adults and adolescents in a group setting, utilizing evidence-based practices. She has a passion for helping people through difficult times in their lives and joined the field of counseling to provide space for people to heal and grow from the challenges they face. In addition, she also currently works in private practice with individuals and couples.
Clinical Manager, MSW, ACSW
Grounded by the belief that all people do their best with what they have, Toni meets all clients exactly where they are and works WITH them to determine treatment goals that can lead clients toward a healthy and joyful future. Toni received her Bachelor’s in Social Work from Fresno Pacific University and earned a Master’s degree in Social Work through Walden University. Toni excels in applying her passion to normalize the conversation about mental health stigma and advocate for mental health services for all.
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