Barry R. Schoer
President and CEO
“There is no greater reward in this world than seeing individuals get well and return to their community and their families. That is the greatest goal that our incredible clients and exceptional staff reach together.”
As a child growing up in New York, Barry Schoer couldn’t understand why his mother behaved the way she did and why he couldn’t help her. As a teenager, he was advised by a high school counselor to volunteer at a school for disabled children. Unfortunately, Barry was never able to help his mother, but his experience helping developmentally disabled children led him to find his purpose in helping others. Barry worked as an undergraduate to help change the laws in New York State so that individuals with addiction were placed in treatment rather than in jails and prisons. During his graduate program, Barry interned at Bellevue Hospital, where he was trained and then hired as a licensed psychiatric technician. It was Bellevue Hospital where Barry observed everything he believed was wrong with mental health treatment. This included inhumane conditions, excessive use of electroconvulsive therapy, the overuse of psychotropic medications without regard for long-term side effects, and the complete lack of any type of individual or group therapeutic engagement. Barry eventually moved to California because he had read that treatment of mentally ill individuals was far more advanced and compassionate on the west coast. During his years working in the psychiatric unit at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, various nonprofits, and the County of Santa Barbara, Barry focused on finding ways to improve treatment and open new opportunities for children and adults living with mental illness and/or substance abuse issues.
In 1983, the President of the Board of Sanctuary House called Barry and asked him if he would take the position of Executive Director. He committed to staying a maximum of two years as he had other goals he wanted to pursue. Thirty-five years later, he is still here because the Board of Directors has continuously allowed him to nurture and grow Sanctuary Centers into a comprehensive system of care that puts respect for each and every client first. Barry remains unwavering in his commitment to Sanctuary Centers and our ongoing goal to treat each and every client as an individual not a diagnosis.
Lisa B. Moschini, MA, LMFT
Vice President and Clinical Director
Lisa Moschini, Vice President and Clinical Director of Sanctuary Centers, has been with Sanctuary Centers since 2005. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Art in Art & Design from California Institute of the Arts and a Master’s in Clinical Art Therapy from Loyola Marymount University.
For more than 20 years, Lisa has supervised interns, conducted onsite workshops, given lectures, and provided continuing education credits to mental health professionals and educators throughout the United States. As an esteemed professional in her field, Lisa has consulted on feasibility studies for non-profit organizations, presented at universities, and designed and implemented art therapy programs for children, adolescents, and adults.
Her first book, Drawing-the-Line: Art Therapy with the Difficult Client was published in December 2004 through John Wiley & Sons and has been translated into three other languages. Her second book, Art, Play, and Narrative Therapy: Using Metaphor to Enrich your Clinical Practice, was published in 2018, by Taylor & Francis/Routledge.
Denise Mock, Ph.D.
“Seeing the clients stabilize, learn to live with their mental illness, and reintegrate to the community as they rediscover the joy in life – working at Sanctuary can be incredibly fulfilling.”
Dr. Denise Mock earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology in 1999 and has been working as a licensed psychologist since 2001. She became a part of the Sanctuary team in 2013. Her role at Sanctuary Centers involves supervising the clinical work and written assessments of our doctoral interns. She has served on the board of the Santa Barbara County Psychological Association. Dr. Mock continues to teach doctoral students as an Adjunct Faculty at Antioch University.
Eli Katz, MD
Dr. Eli Katz has been board certified in Psychiatry and Neurology since 1986 and has extensive experience in treating psychiatric conditions in both adults and seniors. He received a Bachelors of Science from Penn State and then attended Columbia University for graduate school. He earned his Medical Degree with Honors from Hahnemann University in Philadelphia, where he also served his Psychiatric Residency at Hahnemann University Hospital. Dr. Katz has also taught Psychiatry at Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania. In 1990, Dr. Katz moved to Santa Barbara and he has been the Medical Director for multiple psychiatric centers and programs, including the Senior Mental Health Unit at Saint Francis Hospital, Vista Del Mar Hospital, Sansum Clinic, Santa Barbara County Mental Health and the Santa Barbara County Jail. He has been in private practice part-time at Santa Barbara Behavioral Health since 2001.
Originally, Dr. Katz served as Treasurer on Sanctuary Centers Board of Directors from 2000 to 2004. In 2004, however, he accepted the position as Medical Director, joining our team of experienced clinicians while also providing medical supervision and direction for all of our mental health programs. Dr. Katz is responsible for providing medical evaluations and treatment to our clients in need of pharmacological assistance to strengthen and reinforce the rest of their mental health care.
George M. Bifano, DO
Psychiatrist, Co-Occurring Disorders Program
“I am honored to be able to work with Sanctuary Centers because it is the right thing to do.”
Dr. George Bifano began working with Sanctuary Centers in 1996. For his entire tenure at Cottage Hospital, which began in 1997, Dr. Bifano has been has been the on call psychiatrist for Emergency Admissions, with specialities in addiction medicine, psychiatry, and osteopathics. In addition to his professional accolades, he is also philanthropically active in the community. In one instance, he helped to raise $50,000 for CALM.
In his spare time, Dr. Bifano enjoys cycling and has participated in many charity relays. In 2007, for the Race Across America, he was part of an 8 man cycling relay who got across the country in 7 days, 7 hours – a mark that broke the over 60 age group world record for the 3000 mile distance and still holds today. He is a proud father of eight children & a proud grandfather to eleven grandchildren.
Cecilia Pinhel, MA, LMFT
Program Director, Sanctuary House (Mental Health Inpatient Care)
Cecilia Pinhel was born and raised in Brazil, where she also obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Education. She became fluent in both English and Spanish during her travels abroad. In 2005, after moving to Santa Barbara, she completed her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University. Cecilia has amassed a wealth of counseling experience working with children, families, victims of abuse and domestic violence, and adolescents on probation for drug use and possession. Her work has taken her through some notable community organizations including CALM, CADA, and the Santa Barbara County Welfare Services Department.
Cecilia first became involved with Sanctuary Centers as an intern for our residential treatment program, Sanctuary House. During this time, she also provided both individual and group therapy at our Outpatient Mental Health Center. Soon thereafter, she was offered a full position as a counselor at Sanctuary House, before being promoted to Program Manager. She was promoted again to Program Director in 2015.
In 2017, Cecilia became a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist. Fifteen years into her tenure with Sanctuary Centers, Cecilia appreciates every opportunity to continue putting her skills into practice by helping clients that come through her program at Sanctuary House.
Lauren Kopras, MS, CRC
Program Director, Outpatient Mental Health
“Working at Sanctuary gives me the reward of seeing individuals who have struggled significantly with their mental illness get healthy and build a positive and enriching life for themselves with support and treatment, which is something we all deserve a chance to do in life!”
Lauren Kopras has been a valued member of the Sanctuary Centers team since 2008 and the Outpatient Program Director since 2012. She holds her Master of Science in Vocational Rehabilitation, with an emphasis on Rehabilitation Counseling. Lauren is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor who specializes in empowering individuals with mental illness to find and make use of all the resources available to them as they work toward their educational and career goals. In her words, her job consists of “helping people with all forms of disabilities access the resources they need to secure employment!”
Christina Grabowsky, MA, LMFT
Program Director, Co-Occurring Disorders
After earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and Psychology from Durham University in the UK, Christina Grabowsky moved to Santa Barbara in 2013 to complete her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and catch up on lost sunshine. Christina then completed the Alcohol and Drug Counseling courses offered through SBCC, got her Master’s at Antioch University and became a Licensed MFT for the State of California. Since 2015, with the aid of her trusty Therapy Dog Sherlock, Christina has worked closely with individuals, couples, families and groups.
Christina has experience volunteering and/or working for CALM, the Council for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, and the Mental Wellness Center. This experience gives her a broad understanding of the programs available in Santa Barbara, which helps her navigate these resources alongside those struggling with mental health and substance use disorders. As Program Director for Co-Occurring Disorders, Christina strongly advocates for clients involved in the treatment court system, and all those in need of community support, referrals, and resources.
In her spare time, Christina can be found scuba diving with sea lions, playing fetch with Sherlock, and brushing up on her self-care skills.
Emmalynn Kelly, LMFT
Behavioral Health Advocate, Integrated Care Clinic
Born and raised in Minnesota, Emmalynn “Emmy” Kelly moved to California to pursue sunshine and a Master’s Degree at the University of San Diego. She honed a passion for providing holistic care in an integrated setting in graduate school during a traineeship at the University of California, San Diego. After completing her degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, Emmy worked as a therapist in a variety of settings with adults, transitional age youth, and children. In July of 2017, she moved to Santa Barbara and joined Sanctuary Center’s team as part of the inauguration of the Integrated Care Clinic. Emmy loves the teamwork approach of Sanctuary Centers and says she is grateful to work as our Behavioral Health Advocate alongside so many wonderfully competent and well-rounded providers.
In her free time Emmy finds peace of mind with travel, her yoga practice, and getting outdoors as much as possible.
Property Manager & Former Board Member
“Working at Sanctuary Centers keeps me young and active and gives me the opportunity to be of service to families who are challenged by mental illness. Ever since I was a young man, I have been involved with fixing up, building, or financing housing. I enjoy being creative and working with my hands. Much of my job entails repair and maintenance, and in my spare time at work, I am generally engaged in a remodeling project of some sort. Two of our properties are 100+ year old houses. It is a pleasure to resurrect and remodel portions of them.”
Don Duncan has been involved with Sanctuary Centers since 1983, serving as a board member for nearly 30 years until joining the team as property manager in 2012 after he retired from commercial banking. As our Property Manager, Don is responsible for tenanting and maintaining all of Sanctuary Centers’ properties, which include 36 apartment units. His primary goal is to be of service to our tenants and ensure they have a safe, secure, and healthy living environment. To best achieve that goal, Don maintains contact with parents and family members of our tenants.
Don holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Business, and another Graduate Degree in Banking. He also holds a lifetime teaching credential in Banking and Finance and was an evening instructor at Santa Barbara City College for several years.
Sharon Ybarra, Ph.D., LMFT
Case Manager, Sanctuary House (Mental Health Inpatient Care)
“Sanctuary Centers is filled with caring staff, who are always watching to see what each client needs and providing it. It’s wonderful to see our clients grow and move forward in their lives and it’s a testament to both a competent staff and clients who want to have a better life. Staff and clients are both very inspiring!”
Sharon Ybarra obtained her Ph.D. in Counselor Education from Ohio University in 1994. She specializes in Trauma Recovery and is certified in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). In multiple settings, including hospice and private practice, Sharon has worked with many individuals and families to address issues of mental illness, HIV/AIDS, trauma, and grief. In 2005, She began working with a new team of professionals to support inpatient clients in their recovery as Sanctuary House Case Manager, a job she enjoys and excels at to this day.
Bradford Durian, LMFT
Case Manager, Sanctuary House (Mental Health Inpatient Care)
“Joining Sanctuary Centers was a refreshing change from some of my past work environments. The staff are exceptionally supportive of one another. The people at Sanctuary are committed to the well being of the clients here. Of course, the setting of Santa Barbara is picturesque and environmentally sensitive. I am both grateful and proud to be a member of Sanctuary Centers. I share Barry’s vision of providing quality care to clients who need assistance with living skills and are at risk for further hospitalization. Sanctuary Center is a unique facility in a special place.”
Brad Durian grew up in Claremont, California, about 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. After graduating from Claremont High School, he attended college in nearby California State University, San Bernardino, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He received his Masters Degree from the Graduate School of Education and Psychology at Pepperdine University. He is a lifetime member of the Psi Chi Honor Society.
Brad completed his internship in clinical psychology at a community clinic serving children. He became a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in 2002. During his time at Pacific Clinic Sierra Family Center, he received a “Going The Extra Mile” Award for participating in a critical incident debriefing with bank employees following a robbery.
Brad has been with Sanctuary Centers since 2015.
Michael Andrews, LMFT
Career Development Specialist
“We have a great team of caring people who make a difference in people’s lives every day.”
Michael Andrews joined the Sanctuary Centers team in 2002 after completing his Master’s in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University. He has worn many hats during his tenure here, and is our resident expert at juggling tasks. As our Career Development Specialist, Michael finds that his previous experience as a vocational specialist and his time spent as the residential manager for a home for developmentally disabled clients comes in especially handy.
Lauren Richardson, LMFT
Family Counseling Specialist
“What I value most about working for Sanctuary is the collaborative team approach and exceptional clinical training. We are very respected and supported by the management and are never left alone to handle the stressors of this job. Sanctuary has become like a second family.”
After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from University of California, Santa Barbara, Lauren Richardson went on to earn her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Santa Barbara. Lauren is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and an EAGALA Certified Mental Health Professional and Equine Specialist. She is fully credentialed to supervise interns and trainees. A member of the Sanctuary Centers team since 2011, Lauren runs the Family Program and often utilizes the expressive arts in working with families, couples and individuals. She runs her own equine assisted therapy and learning business, E.M.B.R.A.C.E., which is offered to Sanctuary clients and also works for an eating and body image disorder treatment center where she provides therapy to individuals, families and groups.