Brittany Ringersen, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer
As CEO, Brittany Ringersen has built a high quality, comprehensive and cutting edge addiction treatment facility in South Florida. Her unique approach to therapy seamlessly blends compassion, motivation, and accountability. She’s molded a clinical modality that engages both patient and family to facilitate effective outcomes.
As a native Floridian, and graduate of Florida Atlantic University, it was essential to Brittany that the knowledge she’s gained through her many years in long-term recovery and as a Certified Addiction Professional, be used to create a cost-effective option for those in need of addiction treatment.
Her passion is helping men and women engage with the underlying issues that drove them to drugs and alcohol in the first place. Keeping this in mind, Brittany set out to create a clinically driven agency with the patient’s success of utmost importance. Brittany believes that addiction doesn’t affect only the addict, but rather, the entire family system.
It’s safe to say that her passion and unrelenting drive to help those still struggling with addiction and mental health issues has helped to shape Lighthouse Recovery Institute into a truly one of a kind and highly successful treatment center.
Jessica Bonaventura, Clinical Director
With Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Narrative Therapy being two of Jessica’s favorite therapeutic modalities to utilize, she encourages her patients to apply their creativity in a less directive based therapeutic approach as other modalities, allowing her patients to be entirely involved in their healing process.
Additionally, being committed to health, wellness, and nutritional counseling services, Jessica’s unique and innovative aptitudes make her an excellent addition and a real asset to Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s clinical team.
After graduating from Florida Atlantic University with a B.A. in Criminal Justice in 2008, Jessica completed two separate Master’s Programs at Nova Southeastern University.
She has an MS in both Investigative Forensic Technology and Behavioral Sciences, as well as in Mental Health Counseling. Following her extensive education, Jessica obtained her License in Mental Health Counseling and is a master’s level Certified Addiction Professional.
Jessica’s past work history includes the Florida Department of Children and Families and Broward Youth Treatment Center.
To say she has a passion for helping at-risk individuals is an understatement. Her dedication to contributing to the education of others, whether in an academic or treatment setting, is unmatched.
Tabitha Bush, Primary Therapist
Tabitha is a registered clinical social work intern and thrives on various subject matters such as the impact of trauma and addiction on the individual and dual diagnosis disorders where she utilizes integrated therapeutic modalities. She strives to empower her patients’ recovery by displaying unconditional positive regard and providing truly individualized care with each patient and their family system.
Ms. Bush has been working in substance abuse treatment in South Florida since 2013. Previous work experience included auditing charts for varying accrediting and licensing bodies. Her passion and dedication to helping others realize their real potential in times of adversity started at a young age and continued to show through her therapeutic work with patients today.
She received her B.A. in Psychology from Florida Atlantic University in 2014. Following graduation, she completed two years in the FAU Mental Health Counseling graduate program. After determining that it better reflected her personal and professional goals, Tabitha shifted her educational focus and enrolled in the Master of Social Work curriculum. Tabitha graduated from FAU with her MSW in 2018 and is actively pursuing her licensure through the state of Florida to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
In addition to her work in substance abuse treatment, Tabitha completed one of her master’s level internships in a facility providing counseling for individuals with disabilities who had been victims of crime and violence, in addition to her community outreach efforts surrounding human trafficking, sexual assault, domestic violence, and abuse. Tabitha brings a diverse background and a passion for empowering patients, making her a great fit and well-rounded clinician for programming at Lighthouse Recovery Institute.
Randy Miller, Family Program Liaison
Randy is a respected educator for professionals, community members, and families. Areas of knowledge that she specializes in include Suicide Prevention, Mental Health Awareness, Addiction, and the Family, and Parenting. With over 30 years as a Mental Health Registered Nurse, Randy brings extensive experience to the Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s clinical team.
She served as a Nurse Manager for both a Detox Program and for Inpatient Mental Health Units for Adults, Adolescents, and Children. The American Nurses Credentialing Center also certifies randy as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse.
Aside from Randy’s strong clinical background, she is also the mom of a young adult with Substance Use Disorder who has been in long term recovery for over nine years. She is especially passionate about supporting other families on this difficult journey of healing.
She is very comfortable sharing her experience, strength, and hope with family members of patients in our care. Randy truly understands the critical importance of a parallel recovery program for family members.
Alex Ribbentrop, Clinical Supervisor
Alex is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, EMDR Trained Clinician, and Certified Family Trauma Professional. He uses a collective approach with individual patients and families to identify and address the underlying factors that contribute to substance use disorders, personality and mood disorders, and family systems.
He combines comprehensive clinical experience and knowledge with authentic regard for the therapeutic process and all those who work with him. Through his personal, academic, and professional experience, he credits that significant change is possible and works with patients toward the development of a healthier sense of self, improved relationships, and better quality of life.
Alex received his Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from George Mason University and has received recognition twice with the Outstanding Master of Social Work Award. He has worked in various settings, including community mental health, for-profit, and non-profit organizations. In addition to training in EMDR, he has completed training in DBT, Internal Family Systems, and Cognitive Processing Therapy.
We are proud to have him part of our team!
Molly Groo, Case Management & Vocational Services
Molly is passionate about assisting patients in identifying personal recovery goals and implementing solution-based methods for achieving them. Being is a state-certified addiction counselor, and applies her skills and aptitudes to her daily work with patients in her variety of roles in the agency.
She has been working in the substance abuse treatment field for over four years, and she strives to bring both professional experiences as well as personal dedication to her role as the case manager at Lighthouse Recovery Institute.
Her prior experience in sober living and recovery residence management has helped her to develop a care philosophy that emphasizes accountability, structure, and patient development of initiative and confidence through vocational and life skills enhancement. Her personal experience with substance use disorder has fostered compassion for patients and commitment to effective treatment methods.
Molly is scheduled to graduate with her bachelor’s degree in International Relations in the spring of 2019. In the fall of 2019, she plans to enroll in graduate school to obtain her master’s in social work to pursue her goal of working with patients in a therapeutic role.
Peter Miles, Director of Admissions
For the past ten years, Peter has worked in the behavioral health sector in a variety of capacities, including clinical support, housing operations, and admissions. Along with his clinical skill set, Peter brings a passion for helping patients and their families to his role as admissions director.
From initial contact to aftercare coordination, he offers support and expertise to patients and their loved ones as they navigate the treatment process. With a strong background in crisis intervention, dual-diagnosis care, and mental health support, Peter is a vital asset to both the Lighthouse Recovery Institute team and the patient community.
Originally from the Washington, DC area, Peter moved to south Florida in 2008, when he began his career in mental health and substance abuse treatment.
In 2015, Peter achieved his certification in addiction counseling through the state of Florida as well as through the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium.
Rachael Bass, Director of Operations
Coordinating with supervisors from various departments to make decisions for operational undertakings and setting strategic goals, Rachael wears many hats in our Agency. There is usually not a minute of the day where you will not find a team member or patient looking to speak to Rachael!
Planning and monitoring the day-to-day to ensure smooth progress and supervising staff from different departments she is a vital component to the organization.
Rachael joined the Lighthouse Recovery Institute in 2015 bringing with her extensive experience in customer service, administrative, and operational procedures. She has extensive proficiency in Microsoft Office, Adobe and patience with Comcast. She holds an associate’s degree in business and is an Intuit QuickBooks Pro Advisor.
Aaron Burton, Counselor Assistant Supervisor
With eighteen years of experience in coaching, nutrition, and health, as well as certifications in multiple fitness disciplines, Aaron encourages patients to develop healthy habits that create a foundation for life-long wellness.
Born and raised in Boston, MA, Aaron relocated to Florida in 2015 and joined the team at Lighthouse Recovery Institute in 2016 as a counselor’s assistant. Aaron’s strong work ethic and ability to connect with patients has made him a unique asset to the team.
As a supervisor, Aaron brings a passion for recovery and experience in twelve-step programming to his role. Aaron is a dedicated father to 2-year-old Trinity, and outside of work can often be found spending family days at the beach or enjoying time at the gym. With a diverse background and spiritual focus, Aaron is an essential resource for patients at Lighthouse Recovery Institute.
Nety Avila, Executive Assistant, Patient Advocate
Nety is the first voice you hear when you call Lighthouse Recovery Institute. She has been working in the Mental Health and Substance Abuse field for over five years bringing a wealth of knowledge and expertise in a variety of domains.
She carries with her several years of Customer Service Experience and has vast knowledge in Administration. She is Bilingual to English and Spanish and enjoys problem-solving.
She is the patient advocate in the agency and assists with managing patient finance accounts alongside families, coordinating medications with the pharmacy, being a full-time office mom to Zoey, and so much more!
In her spare time, she enjoys being with family and friends, loves animals, music and the beach.
Doctor Daphne Dorce, Credentials: M.D, M.B.A, FASAM, Medical Doctor / Psychiatrist
Doctor Dorce, is a board-certified psychiatrist who specializes in addiction medicine, general psychiatry, child and adolescent and forensic psychiatry. She brings upwards of 20 years of expertise treating and evaluating patients with substance use disorders and mental health disorders ranging from acute to complex in severity.
Dr. Dorce has provided psychiatric care in a variety of environments and agencies, making her a well-rounded physician. Her experience includes community mental health, detox programs, inpatient rehab centers, rural health, corrections, outpatient programming, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, and private practice. Her educational background consists of receiving her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, general psychiatry training at the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program, child and adolescent psychiatry training at the Yale Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine and forensic psychiatry training at the Columbia/Cornell Psychiatry and Law Program.
She is also board certified with the American Board of Psychiatry Certification in Psychiatry, American Board of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Certification in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Board of Forensic Psychiatry Certification in Forensic Psychiatry. She brings an individualized approach to treating dually diagnosed patients and integrates Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s case conceptualizations into treatment planning.
Zoey, Emotional Support Animal
Zoey, a young three-year-old and ambitious Golden Retriever, is Lighthouse’s official emotional support animal. She has been a great asset to the team since her birth in December of 2015. Since then Zoey has been bringing smiles to everyone that walks through the door.
She is officially the office greeter and is currently working on her doggy bone management certification. She is available to all patients as a therapeutic tool and a wonderful asset to be used in anxiety management.