SIMI VALLEY STAFF
MA, MFT, Executive Director of Mental Health Services
Meet Jesse Finkbeiner, Executive Director of Mental Health Services at Aspire Simi Valley! Jesse has been working with people struggling with addiction and mental health challenges for a decade and a half. His own recovery serves as the foundation for his deep understanding of, and compassion for, individuals and families that know the darkness and unique challenges that addiction and mental health challenges can bring.
Jesse views addiction and mental health problems as complicated systemic issues that are context driven and need to be viewed not only through the lens of the person who is afflicted, but by investing in the individual, family, and larger social system within which any individual is contained. By seeing issues as a part of a system, Jesse works to engage with people and their surroundings to create long term change with the possibility of authentic and meaningful recovery.
Jesse graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Las Vegas at Nevada in 2000. Jesse holds 2 Masters Degrees, one in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica in 2007, and the other in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in 2010. Jesse has been licensed with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences as a Marriage and Family Therapist since 2014. Jesse’s work experience has included roles as Clinical Director, Program Director, and Primary Therapist for mental health clinics as well as experience working within the system of managed care.
Jesse knows that individuals and families can and do recover. Strong, informed, evidence-based, compassionate, and grounded treatment is the foundation upon which hope can be restored and life can be reimagined. Borrowing from Ronald Hulnick of the University of Santa Monica, “Healing is the application of loving to the parts inside that hurt.” Jesse’s primary focus is in helping individuals and families find their own unique path to healing through a loving and compassionate approach to helping those who suffer.
In his free time, Jesse spends time with his wife, son, mother, and friends and enjoys reading, going to the beach, exercise, and exploring new places.
CADC II, Executive Director of Chemical Dependency Services
Meet John Poleno, Executive Director of Chemical Dependency Services at Aspire Simi Valley! John joined the Aspire team because he embraces the vision of transforming the lives of individuals and families that have been impacted by the devastating disease of addiction and mental health challenges. John wants families to know that where there is a breath there is hope, and that he is here to provide that hope. John has a unique way of relating to addicted individuals and their families as John has been in recovery for 10+ years and has been surrounded by the addiction of loved ones his whole life.
John has firsthand knowledge of the progression of the disease of addiction as well as the destruction it causes to loved ones. John began using substances at the age of 12 and was able to get sober at 30 years old. After 18 years of continuous use of substances, John has gained a tremendous passion for helping people recover. He works relentlessly to help the addicted and their families. John’s work as a counselor, program director, executive director, and as a founding board member for Not One More is grounded in his community and in his desire to be of benefit to communities across the country. John is constantly working with families and loved ones to find hope and to provide help.
John began his career in 2010 as an intern and progressed to directing several chemical dependency programs. His commitment and dedication has touched countless families. John graduated Addiction Studies with honors in March of 2010 from ICDC college and since has become CADC II certified through CCAPP, CATC through CAADE, and a CAODC through CADTP. John is also a certified Anger Management Specialist.
Since 2010, John’s extensive experience as an addiction specialist includes managing Chemical Dependency and Dual Diagnosis Intensive Outpatient Services, Partial Hospitalization Services, and Residential Treatment Services. John has a reputation for delivering top-notch client care and his excitement and enthusiasm rubs off on his peers and the populations that he is in service to. In his free time, John enjoys spending time with his son whom he has raised as a single father. Together they enjoy watching and attending Dodgers, Lakers, and Raiders games. John enjoys regular drives to the beach where he can reflect on life and connect to inner peace.
Jill is an Art Coach at Aspire Counseling Services. Raised in Woodland Hills, neighbor of Simi Valley, she found her calling as an Art Coach when she discovered her own healing through the medium of art with painting and jewelry making. This awesome service has inspired her to want to help others overcome their mental health challenges with the amazing techniques of Art. Jill loves the local, organic, and community feel that Simi Valley possesses as well as knowing that Simi Valley represents a place in the minds of many where the dream of a good life, good job, and a safe place to raise children is still available. She strives to push these ethics within Aspire Counseling Services throughout the Simi Valley community.
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