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Meet Our Team

Program Director Siamak Afshar, has been working in the recovery industry for over 35-years and has an innate sense of the needs of his clients. Along with his wife and Life Coach Maryam and their supportive team, TLC provides a safe and quiet environment for those who need detox and recovery expertise.

Siamak Afshar

CADC II Program Director

Siamak “Sia” Afshar is the founder and CEO of Transforming Life Center (TLC) in lovely Yorba Linda, California. Siamak is grateful for his 39 years of clean and sober time and has been working in field of recovery for 36 years. His philosophy at TLC is to encourage his clients to see their strengths in order to become more confident in their recovery journey. Siamak uses evidence-based techniques such as Motivational Interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness techniques as well as psychoeducation and psychodrama to assist clients further understand how to manage cravings, rebound from relapses, and live a more balanced life. Like his wife, Maryam, he also believes that healthier food choices and portion control assist the brain’s stability.

Siamak’s recovery journey began in 1983 after his own battle with the abuse of drugs and maladaptive behaviors. After multiple relapses and shallow promises, he made a pledge to his family to stay clean and sober. In order to divert his stress and cravings, Siamak began running marathons and it was then that he realized his life work is to empower others to overcome harmful addictions.

Siamak is one of the most experienced addiction Counselors in the US, and is held in high regard especially in the Persian recovery community. For nearly three decades he also was a host on Freedom, a television show, which focused on interviewing those who overcame substance abuse and behavioral concerns. The Freedom show is aired in the US and Iran.

Siamak believes that part of recovery is finding new and healthy ways in which to spend one’s time and energy. Siamak has also introduced many in his program to running, while encouraging individuals to discover their own healthy outlets as part of their long-term recovery journey. Siamak also believes that addiction is a family disease, and that for the person struggling with addiction to benefit the most from treatment, family participation is recommended. The family then explores their roles in order to bring balance and stability to the family, while resolving any co-dependent behaviors. Recovery takes time and the TLC team are looking forward to working with those seeking the tools to reinvent themselves, their families, and their future.

Dr. Gary Sandhu MD

Specialized in Addiction

Dr. Gary Sandhu MD is an Internal Medicine Physician and buprenorphine waivered Practitioner, who also focuses on substance abuse. He has been practicing Internal Medicine since 2006, with his primary focus on inpatient acute care. Dr. Sandhu’s main practice is in Pomona, California, where he works as a full time Hospitalist Physician mainly with Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center. He is also the Medical Director of multiple local nursing facilities and the Assistant Medical Director for the Hospitalist Corporation of the Inland Empire.

Gary believes that drug and alcohol abuse is a brain disease that not only disables the brain from making rational decisions, he sees addiction also destroying family systems. His mindset is to psychoeducate individuals and families on the maladies of substance abuse, while providing appropriate interventions and treatment. Gary sees recovery efforts best accomplished when multiple treatment modalities and efforts are utilized.

DR. Andrei Dokukin


TLC is happy to have Dr. Andrei Dokukin as our Addictionologist. Dr. Dokukin also provides comprehensive Addiction Medicine services in Long Beach and in Orange California. His clinics are dedicated to serving persons with substance use disorders who have decided to reclaim their lives from substance abuse as well as destructive behaviors. He treats all addiction disorders, but most commonly he treats alcohol and opioid abuse. His medical treatment programs provides Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) and his substance rehabilitation programs are provided in partnership with multiple in-patient detoxification and out-of-patient recovery programs in close geographical proximity. Dr. Dokukin is a Medical Director at Roots Through Recovery in Long Beach as well as New Directions for Women in Costa Mesa, California. You will be cared for without any judgement by staff who dedicate themselves to working with clients with substance use disorders. Dr. Dokukin came to Addiction Medicine after spending years practicing Pain Medicine. Approximately 10 years before our country was engulfed in the opioid epidemic with thousands of people still dying every year of prescription narcotics, Dr. Dokukin realized that treating Chronic Pain with chronic opioids very often was exactly the wrong approach. After seeing hundreds of patients whose lives were destroyed by chronic narcotic use and seeing some people losing their lives due to frivolous narcotic prescribing by some physicians, Dr. Dokukin has dedicated himself of safely and effectively weaning patients off the chronic narcotic use.

Dr. Andrei N. Dokukin is a Board Certified Physiatrist (MD Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) who also has been fellowship trained in Spine and Interventional Pain Medicine as well as Musculoskeletal Medicine. Dr. Andrei Dokukin is a Diplomat of American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, as well as Pain Medicine and Addiction Medicine.

Maryam Ahmadi Nasab

Marketing Director / Life Coach / Oversees nutritional needs

Maryam is a Certified Life Coach, she works in the TLC Marketing Department and also makes wonderful meals at the center. She is the wife of CEO and Program Director Siamak Afshar. Together they hold the philosophy that recovery is about learning to find balance in the areas of self-love, family, work, hobbies, relationships, and friendships. Maryam is committed to assisting people meet themselves where they are in their lives. She also believes that integrity is key to recovery and remaining clean and sober.

Josie Gann

CADCII Program Administrator

TLC is pleased to have Josie on their team. Her mission is to help Transforming Life grow and to provide all designated Levels of Care for those who abuse drugs and alcohol, and who are in need of life-saving help. Josie has been in the recovery field for 25-years and maintains a solid knowledge base of and hands on experience with co-occurring disorders and counseling. She also has extensive experience in licensing facilities, business administration, and implementing policy and procedure updates. Josie recognizes the importance of remaining in compliance with Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), and has worked closely with The Joint Commission. Her Top Priority is to provide ethically sound guidance and direction to our team of professionals.

Halleh Nia

Yoga and Meditation Instructor / Life coach

Halleh’s passion is helping and connecting to others. She attributes this desire to her multicultural experiences growing up; being born in Iran, and early in life residing in Germany and the United States. She is trilingual, speaking, reading and writing English and Farsi fluently, and German well. Halleh has been the Managing editor for a Bilingual Cultural Magazine for 25 years and has worked as an Adjunct Professor of Communication Studies for 24 years. For the last seven years, Halleh has dedicated her time as a Project Manager and Mental Health educator with the Multicultural Institute for Development (OMID), in Irvine, CA. She is Certified in Mental Health First Aid for adult and youth suicide prevention, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), and Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE’s). Halleh is also a licensed yoga and meditation Instructor and life coach and is educated in mindfulness practices through University of Irvine, CA.

Practicing yoga for the past 22 years, Halleh sees the remarkable difference yoga can make in human life. She is convinced that the philosophy behind the practice of yoga works enabling the individual to find peace and tranquility in one’s daily life, find harmony with nature and create a connection with self. Halleh truly believes that recovering addicts who partake in the practice of yoga and its philosophy can maintain their sobriety, eventually choosing to live a life of gratitude and being of service.

Leneesha Deneal

Certified Hypnotherapist

LaNeesha Deneal believes general wellness is an art. After a journey of self-healing, and practitioners working with her with Hypnotherapy and Reiki, she knew she had to share these practices with those also interested in a healing path. LaNeesha is a certified Hypnotherapist from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in Los Angeles, California. She is also certified in Trauma Recovery Hypnosis, Healing the Inner Child, Hypnosis and PTSD, Hypnosis and Weight Loss and Handwriting Analysis. LaNeesha continues to deepen her knowledge and regularly meets other Practitioners to expand the healing art offerings to our community. In her first year of business, she has introduced breathwork, plant medicine, and sound therapy, which has proven helpful to her clients. If you take the time to read LaNeesha's vision for the world located on her website, you will find that she lives her vision every day as she gives time, talent and resources to the betterment of her community.

Larry Bourks

CADC Drug and Alcohol counselor

Larry is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor and Personal Development Coach with over 25 years of experience in the helping profession. He practices a holistic approach utilizing client-centered and culturally conscious counseling, cognitive behavioral techniques, psychoeducation and lifestyle interventions. Larry is also trained in the fields of psych energetic healing and he has an extensive background in spiritual development, which enables him to provide balanced and integrative treatment to his clients. Larry is passionate about assisting individuals in reaching their full potential and he is well known for optimizing positive outcomes for his clients.

Vida Pirata


VIDA PIRTATA, LAC is an experienced Acupuncturist and Herbalist. She has a wide range of clinical experiences in treating people of all ages for a diversity of health issues including auto-immune disorders, chronic illnesses, pain and injuries, stress and anxiety, digestive and respiratory problems, hormonal imbalances, fatigue, skin disorders, allergies, fertility and gynecological issues.

Vida has taken a holistic approach to combine acupuncture and herbal medicine together to restore your health to its fullest potential. Vida’s mission is to educate many communities and practitioners. In addition to being a holistic health practitioner, Vida is also a clinical supervisor.

Nazila Hatami, LMFT


Nazila is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist( LMFT). She holds a B.A in Psychology from UC Santa Cruz and a M.A in Integral Counseling Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies.

Her approach in therapy is eclectic and heart centered, drawing from different traditions such as psychodynamic, mindfulness, emotionally- focused, psychodrama and Cognitive – behavioral therapy. She has extensive training in Somatic Experiencing, and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing therapy) which are effective modalities in resolving trauma.

She specialize in treating mood disorders, stress management, trauma, PTSD, childhood trauma and abuse, relationship issues, women issues, spiritual inquiry and self-empowerment.

Nazila is bilingual and multi cultural. She speaks Farsi and English fluently. She grew up in Iran and lived in Germany and traveled extensively in India following her spiritual quest and healing, before settling in the US.
Nazila believes in innate goodness and wholeness of each individual, and that through conditioning and adverse life experiences, we lose our connection to our true nature.Her passion is to help people heal from the past traumas that prevent them from living a life of full potential.

She believes addiction is an attempt to avoid the pain created by traumatic experiences. Psychotherapy helps to address the emotional pain that underlies the addictive behavior, and makes the long lasting change and recovery more possible.

Mehran Afshar

Yoga/Meditation Instructor

Most precious things in my life are my kids, which I’m very proud of. My passion in life is to make a difference with youth while supporting them to create a future of possibilities that would inspire them. I also love sharing the power of being healthy and having a well-balanced lifestyle. I take a stand for the future of humanity to be full of Love and compassion. A WORLD PEACE.

Canine Team

Animal Therapists

Rex the husky: Rex or "Rexy" as some may call him is a pure husky that loves attention, to say hello with a soft howl, and to play ball. Tennis balls are his favorite.

Oshie the poodle: Oshie is a pure six-year-old poodle that loves people and having her belly rubbed. She has accompanied many clients on their walks and enjoys getting to know all of you.

Mishka the PekInese: Our Pekinese, Miska's tan mane is so soft and she loves to be brushed. If one is not careful, though small, she will also surprise you with a doggie kiss.