Our people at Clinic Les Alpes work as one team across all aspects of the service.
The treatment team comprises both medical and therapeutic practitioners recruited for their recognised expertise combined with the very human qualities of empathy and compassion.
Apart from being required to have the experience and skills essential for their particular roles, we recruit people who are able to embrace and exemplify the values and standards espoused by Clinic Les Alpes.
Our staff are multilingual and are either natural or fluent English speakers.
When planning the Clinic’s operation, we have taken full note of research about what makes for effective organisations in the field of healthcare.
Effective healthcare organisations
It may surprise you to learn that many providers do not appear to give much thought to what is required to optimise their chances of being effective on your behalf.
Unfortunately this important consideration may be taken for granted as such providers get on with the business of delivery.
The subject of what makes for effective treatment providers has been researched and there are a number of conclusions common to almost all of the studies.
Time and again we learn that the most important component is the quality of the relationship between the helper (whether the Clinic as a whole or an individual member of the staff team) and the helped (the patient).
Contributing to the quality of the therapeutic experience is the importance placed by the provider on respect, understanding and support as well as on communication and building trust.
The functioning of the organisation also has an important part to play. If it has a clear mission and objectives and a correspondingly clear rationale; if staff are clear about their roles and well supported to fulfil them; if there is staff cohesion; if lines of communication are clear and properly used; if it is open to new ideas; if it is well structured and organised it has a better chance of providing effective help.
This is especially the case in helping people with addictions who may otherwise live in a degree of chaos, confusion and distress.
Inês Santiago has been involved with the development of the Clinic since its commencement. She has a Master in Economics, studied Health Management at Lausanne University focusing on the integration of good management and the health sector. She also studied the interplay between drugs and addiction at King’s College in London.
Inês has a strong personal understanding of the area of addiction and brings a holistic approach to the overall operations of the Clinic.
Dr. Randolph Willis was born in Ann Arbor Michigan in 1963 where he later studied pre-med and French literature at the University of Michigan. Simultaneously finishing up his degree in the USA, he obtained a certificate from the University of Montpellier in the French language and culture and then began studies in medicine. He then moved to Switzerland where he obtained his degree in medicine in 1993 and, after residency, he received his certification as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist from the University of Lausanne.
From the year 2000 to 2005, Dr. Willis was responsible for two out-patient general psychiatry units in the canton of Valais in Switzerland and a member of the League for the prevention of substance abuse. In this setting, he became the designated supervisor of general practitioners that cared for substance abusers, notably in managing the prescription of methadone and out-patient detox programs. He also was the consultant psychiatrist – supervisor for two “hard-drug” substance abuse centers and a third center using a modified form of the Alcoholics Anonymous’12 step program for alcohol, marijuana and addiction to prescribed medications. From 2005 to 2007 he became an associate doctor at the Clinique la Métairie in Nyon, Switzerland where he practiced general psychiatry for English speaking patients and lead group therapy using the Minnesota method and self-hypnosis techniques in the clinic’s substance abuse unit.
For more than ten years, he was president of the French Swiss Association for Analytical Relaxation Therapy APAR and currently he is on the Board for the French Swiss Hypnosis Institute IRHyS with responsibilities such as supervision and research in hypnotherapy and the organization of local and international medical meetings on medical hypnosis.
Finally, before taking up the function of medical director of Clinic les Alpes, Dr. Willis was in private practice in the city of Montreux on the coast of breathtaking Lake Geneva. In this medical anthropology and ethnopsychiatry unit, he led a group of two psychologists and one psychiatric nurse/complimentary therapist. This team working in five languages: English, Russian, Spanish, Italian and, of course, French, maneuver through the psychosocial and cultural-linguistic interfaces between their patients and the local community.
Substance abuse has very often been a comorbidity associated with the preexisting or induced psychopathology this uprooted clientele presents and has allowed Dr. Willis to fine tune this hyperspecialized approach. Associated with this office work, Dr. Willis has also been consulted for private clinics in the Montreux region for English speaking patients suffering from substance abuse.
Dr. Willis’ role of Medical Director at the Clinic Les Alpes is the culmination of his professional aspirations and personal vocation. Helping people and their families in the domain of addiction is a pursuit he truly enjoys and shall endeavor to continually perfect at Clinic Les Alpes.
Dr. François Helleisen is a specialist in general and integrative medicine. He obtained his diplomas from the Faculties of Medicine of Paris, Montpellier and Nancy, in France.
He is also a Hospital Practitioner, certified in medical dietetics, member of several learned societies such as: American Society of Addiction Medicine, French Association of Aesthetic and Anti-Aging Medicine, Swiss Society of Micronutrition.
He was nominated in 2019 for the “Top 100 Smart Healthcare Leaders” award by the International Forum of Advancements in Healthcare in Las Vegas.
With 25 years of experience in private clinics, hospitals and practices in France and Switzerland, he has specialized in the field of nutrition and micronutrition. Addiction to a product (alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, opioids, benzodiazepines or cocaine) is accompanied by nutritional imbalances, neurotoxic and carcinogenic complications. Links are established between psychological diseases, eating disorders on the one hand and oxidative stress, deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, trace elements, alteration of the intestinal microbiome on the other hand.
Dr. François Helleisen offers a precise biochemical and genetic checkup as well as personalized and adapted medical and nutritional support.
Dr Sylvain Atrash is specialised in general and internal medicine. He obtained his diploma from the Faculty of Medicine of Paris.
He has great knowledge of brain and memory disorders, as well as a wide experience in addiction field in both private and public hospitals and clinics.
Dr Atrash speaks English, French and Arabic fluently.
Dr Belleux graduated as a doctor in medicine from the University of Lausanne. Previously vice-president of the association of psychiatrist and psychotherapists in canton de Vaud, Dr Belleux also founded an out-patient private unit. He specialises in family therapy, couples and one to one therapy.
What pleases the most Dr Belleux at Clinic Les Alpes is the way we gather different specialists in various fields under the same roof allowing for communication to be done more efficiently, delivering a complete and holistic approach to an individual, a couple or a family.
His ideal: to find the most relevant and swift answer to each patient. “As a psychiatrist, I am convinced that a junction between an ancestral medicine and more scientific approach can only be beneficial. The ideal would be for each one to find his own potential of self-healing. Because if we can get ourselves sick over something, we will also be capable of healing ourselves…”
Arnaud Chartier obtained his State Nurse Diploma in November 2010.
He uses different therapeutic approaches as group therapy, motivational interviewing and cognitive-behavioural therapies through self-affirmation and relapse prevention facilitated groups.
Arnaud accompanies each patient basing his philosophy on the concept of recovery and takes the individual as a whole in order not to define them to their illness. The safety and integrity of the patients are ensured thanks to his great experience in physical withdrawals to various substances.
Due to Arnaud’s long-time practice of martials arts, he has nurtured abilities such as body awareness, self-reliant relaxation skills and he can dispense body weight massages, which are powerful tools to manage emotions.
Dr Fiona McKinney, an established professional with 20 years experience in the mental health and addiction field, is a chartered psychologist who received her BSc in Psychology and Counselling in the United Kingdom from the University of Surrey, Roehampton in 2003, her post-graduate training in addiction from Clouds House, Wiltshire in 2004 and her Doctorate in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy by Professional Studies (DCPsych) from the Metanoia Institute/Middlesex University, London in 2013. She has been involved in private sector, residential treatment centres in the United Kingdom, both as a clinician and a supervisor, and is also a chair and examiner on the examination panel at the Metanoia Institute for the DCPsych clinical viva exams.
She is a chartered member of the British Psychological Society, an associate fellow of the British Psychological Society, Division of Counselling Psychology, a UKCP registered integrative psychotherapist and a registered member of the Health and Care Professions Council in the United Kingdom.
Fiona has an in-depth understanding of addiction and the evidence-based value of the Minnesota model and 12 steps in addition to her relational and integrative approach to addiction treatment as a counselling psychology and integrative psychotherapist. While she brings her experience and understanding of addiction as a complex and multi-faceted condition involving each patient’s unique heredity, early development and contextual experience, her approach sees the relationship patients develop in treatment with their therapists and peers as a central vehicle of therapeutic change. This together with effective, evidence-based treatment pathways, provides a comprehensive program creating a gentle, relational and effective environment in which patients and their families are helped to access their motivation to change and recover for the long term.
Director of Aftercare
Topes Calland holds a double degree in Modern History & French Literature from the University of Oxford. He subsequently completed his clinical training at the University of Cambridge, graduating as an integrative psychotherapist with a specialism in adolescent and young adult development.
He has worked in the field of emotional and behavioural health for over a decade, chiefly in the United States and Europe. He has gained an international reputation for his pioneering approach to intensive outpatient strategy. Topes is resolutely client-led, attuning and responding to the needs and hopes of the patient. This empathic approach was forged through many years living alongside his clients during immersive outpatient interventions, experiencing with them the joys and the difficulties in their lives.
He has consulted for leading clinical and medical facilities globally, maintaining strong relationships with these resources. However, he holds an expanded concept of the therapeutic frame; he has had much success in helping clients with their educational and vocational goals, particularly in the area of art and design. To this end, Topes is currently conducting research at the University of Cambridge into the potential for embedding therapeutic processes within national arts curriculum.
Dominique André holds a Master of Sciences in Clinic Psychology and Psychopathology from the University of Lausanne. Although her first professional experiences were conducted in the legal sector, working in International Trade Business and Maritime law, her profound vocation to help others soon guided her steps. After more than 10 years of pastoral clinical care, Dominique decided to professionalise her personal care skills by engaging in psychology studies that brilliantly led into a Masters in psychology degree. Her personal experience in the addiction and recovery fields provides her with a special sensitivity and understanding of patients’ and families’ distress.
Jeff van Reenen began his professional career working in media having obtained a degree in Film and Television Production from the University of Tshwane in South Africa. He forged a name for himself as an award-winning producer and director specialising in socio-environmental documentaries. His awareness and creative insight paved the way for a change in career direction and he returned to university from 2009 – 2013 to study a Masters Degree in Addiction Psychology and Counselling from London Southbank University.
As an experienced Addiction Treatment Lead and Relational Therapist with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital and mental health care sector, Jeff now provides expertise and clinical solutions at Clinic Les Alpes to individuals who are experiencing problematic behaviour – primarily with drugs, alcohol, gambling, work, exercise, internet, social media, porn and sex addiction. He specialises in all SUD’s (Substance Use Disorders) as well as behavioural addictions, relational trauma as well as co-dependence which includes difficulties with self-esteem, self-worth, anger, anxiety and depression. He has a particular interest in supporting all patients, and especially those from the LGBTQI community, who have suffered from childhood relational trauma, resulting in relationship problems and developmental immaturity issues.
In 2018, Jeff trained in post-induction therapy (PIT) under the guidance of Pia Melody and Sarah Bridge and continues to work in developing therapeutic techniques for treating relational trauma which underlies most addictive and dysfunctional behavioural processes. He has also completed specialised training in treatment strategies for porn and sex addiction with Paula Hall in London and was awarded an Advanced level practitioner in Motivational Interviewing by Stephen Rollnick in Cardiff, Wales UK.
He has a Master of Science with Merit (MSc) / Post Graduate Dip / Dip in Addiction Psychology and Counselling; is an Advanced Practitioner member of the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Practitioners (MFDAP APM) and is also National Counsellor Accreditation Certified (NCAC).
Natalia Di Pascua has practiced in Chile, Uruguay and Switzerland in different clinical settings such as psychiatric hospitals, mental health centers, private clinics and public institutions. One of her area of expertise is working with different treatment modalities throughout recovery processes. Natalia has traveled the world extensively, living in several countries and exploring across different cultures. She took back many tools in her “suitcase” such as methods from Gestalt and Transactional Analysis from Chile and Uruguay, Family Constellations from Argentina and Belgium, and Narrative Therapy from France. She loves to offer those tools to our patients, so they can feel their own “suitcase” is full and complete enough to have the appropriate methods to support self-healing and recovery when leaving the Clinic. Her creative background as a writer led her to integrate this dimension into her therapeutic work through therapeutic writing spaces and groups. She offers support in French, English, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. Member of FSP (Fédération Suisse des psychologues), Member of AVP ( Association vaudoise des psychologues ), Member of RNAPU (Réseau national de psychologie d’urgence), Member of ORCA (Cellule Catastrophe vaudoise), holds a Master of Sciences in Psychology from the University of Lausanne. Specialized in Emergency psychology and psycho traumatology (FARP)
Clinical Psychologist / Psychotherapist
Nadia Papayani obtained a Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology in 2004 and has been trained in multiple psychotherapeutic modalities: Psychodynamic, Cognitive-Behavioral, Family Systems, Jungian Analysis, Somatic Experience, Integrative Somatic Psychotherapy, as well as Therapeutic Breathwork. She has been working in several mental health institutions in the U.S. and Switzerland; however, for the past decade has dedicated herself to a private practice in the ethnospsychiatric unit in Montreux. Nadia works in three languages: English, Russian, and French and has been also consulting for private clinics in Montreux region for patients suffering from a variety of psychological ailments, including substance abuse and different dependencies.
Nadia has traveled the world extensively, exploring different cultures and investigating various approaches to health and healing on multiple levels (physical, psychological, and spiritual). She has integrated a range of tools that allow access to the subconscious mind and help expand to greater levels of conscious awareness. She has developed a holistic and individually tailored approach to treatment that allows people recognize their conditioned patterns and find the appropriate practical tools to support self-healing and recovery.
Angela Mendes holds a diploma in Audio-visual Production from the ESRA in Paris, a certificate as specialized contributor in Art Therapy, from A.F.R.A.T.A.P.E.M of Tours and a University Degree in Art Therapy from the Joseph Fourrier Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy in Grenoble.
From a very young age, Angela nourished her creativity and curiosity through the practice of various forms of artistic expressions: dance, theatre, music, singing, visual art, photography or video. Everything is a reason to create, experiment, to meet with others, to surpass, transform and reinvent oneself. She discovered and strongly believes in the beneficial effects of the artistic process. Angela offers a space without judgement and with reassurance. Patients are invited to explore various artistic expressions as well as different materials in order to discover what suits them best, develop their abilities and master their emotions. This process facilitates the discovery and the affirmation of one’s own identity, reinforcing confidence in oneself and in the future.
Sarah Salzmann believes in the power of creativity to unlock each person’s potential to self recover or to reach self-accomplishment. Her mixed methods approach is based on extensive studies in psychology, holding a Master in Organizational Psychology, an executive MBA and a Swiss Certification in Art Therapy. She is also a trained Life Coach ICF.
In her practice and through the creative process of the person, she helps patients face and decode their fears, identify their inner strengths, recover from burnouts, addictions and psychological issues, crystallizing their inner balance and uncovering emotions so that one can thoroughly participate in their better being. She likes to quote “Things do not change. We change”.
Art Therapy is a fabulous and powerful approach to help people go beyond their intellectual understanding of their current state. Words are not needed. The creative process will make it happen.
You don’t need to be an artist to create. Creativity is innate to all of us. It is what keeps us alive! Let us welcome it into our lives.
Sybille Graber graduated in nursing and worked in different areas of care before specialising in Equine Therapy. She believes the work with horses can be a real tool to help people in difficulty.
The encounter with the horses as part of the therapeutic mediation is an excellent opportunity to identify resources, challenges and to help the patient work on his/her relationship with the world.
Horses are very sensitive animals, they have the ability to resonate with real emotions and to reflect the authentic self of each individual. Equine therapy provides unique metaphors and experiences that can be afterwards transposed to other life situations. The psycho-corporal experience in each therapeutic session promotes the anchoring and transposition of learning to other situations. Equine therapy is a source of sensory stimulation as well as a space of relaxation that can support patients during the withdrawal and the intensive psychological work.
Horse therapy does not require specific technical skills, just a desire to discover and an open mind.
Jorge Venceslau has over 20 years of experience in Family Intervention.
After a distinguished career as a professional footballer, Jorge went on to study Addiction Counselling in UK under a scholarship from the Association of Treatment of Drug Addiction. He has extensive experience undertaking Structured Family Interventions and has successfully worked with many families and individuals from around the world.
Emilie Vuattoux joined Clinic Les Alpes at its opening in 2018 as Spa Manager.
A wellness professional for over 15 years, Emilie specializes in massage therapy, specifically she trained at “Old medicine Hospital” in Chang Mai, Thailand, in 2006 and again in 2009. Her past and current experience in the most prestigious and acclaimed wellness centers led her to ultimately manage the Spa sector in privately owned rehab clinic. This professional experience has helped Emilie in developing her holistic approach facing all types of therapeutic practices. It is with a reassuring energy and ever-renewed enthusiasm that she and her team welcome their patients in order to offer them specialized treatments. Customised treatments adapted to reflect and embody the positive energy and needs of each patient enabling them to reconnect with their own senses and well-being.
Anne Ovaert obtained her Bachelor Degree in Physical Education and Kinesitherapy/Science of Rehabilitation, at the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium. She has started working in the fields of orthopedics, as well as neurological and respiratory rehabilitation. Then, with the aim of developing a holistic approach to patient care, she trained in muscular chains and global postural rehabilitation. More recently she has focused on uro-gynecological and digestive problems, also working with targeted stomach muscle reinforcement therapy. Anne has further developed a holistic approach by treating a patient’s physical symptoms in the context of psychological suffering, caused by a history of personal trauma and violence.
Anne’s interest in walking and nature prompted her to train for the Swiss Federal Mountain Leader Certification and since 2014 she has also been acting as a mountain leader for groups.
Having travelled widely, Anne is a keen linguist and speaks French, English, Dutch and Spanish fluently.
Bhavna Dagia Upon completion of her degree in psychology, Bhavna worked with autistic individuals before branching into body work. With more than two decades of experience in Acupuncture and body work, she trained and practiced in the UK, Canada and currently in Switzerland. Some of her training has been in China and Japan. She has also gained a Health Counselling certification from New York, affiliated with Columbia University. Bhavna sees patients on all levels and not just in terms of their physical manifestation, and this approach has led to successful management of the various presenting conditions.
Specialties: preventative medicine, pain management, emotional well-being, addictions and treating people holistically. Practicing and teaching tai chi.
Philippe Fei Chan is a confirmed sportsman and has been actively involved in the health sector for more than 10 years.
He graduated from the renowned Lausanne Hotel School, certified F.I.S.A.F in personal coaching and fitness instructor, his life course has always been closely linked to the fields of healthcare and wellbeing.
With a gentle and personalized approach, he adapts the programme to each patient according to their needs while providing a safe and secure environment.
Bertrand Saugy practices many sports like karate, full contact, climbing, running, as well as strength sports like CrossFit, weightlifting and powerlifting. It’s been 25 years now that he practices on a daily basis to get a better understanding of the biomechanics of the human body and to master it at its best.
A physical trainer for more than 20 years, Bertrand has been instructing in sport clubs, in the military, and also professional athletes. He educates himself in neurobiomechanic in order to be able to increase his spectrum of activities for people in re-education, with chronic pain, motor problems and lack of balance.
His method consists of adapting to his patients and their goals, providing advice and adapting exercises accordingly.
Yasmine Echaud graduated with a Bachelor in International Hospitality Management at the renown Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne. World citizen and people oriented, she had worked in Administrative Positions in several countries around the globe until she joined Clinic Les Alpes. With an empathic and positive personality, she will accompany you throughout your admission process.
Director of Hospitality
Alexandre Tavassoli joined Clinic Les Alpes as Hospitality and Customer Care Director.
He is a graduate of the worldwide renowned Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne and went on to complete his path with a master in Health Management.
His aim was to bring into the medical field all the high-end hospitality one could find in a high-class hotel by matching the security and well-being of the patient.
His career has led him to work in several luxury hotels and also to manage a private clinic in the field of treatment of substances and behavioural addictions among others until he joined Clinic Les Alpes.
He tries to apply every day his caring nature towards the entire staff and most importantly towards the patients.
Catriona Murtagh Dias better known as Cathy, graduated from Galway Hotel School and has worked in the luxury hotel business for over 15 years. Smiley, trustful and multilingual, she has been with Clinic Les Alpes since its very start. Cathy finds the comforts of life are essential to our well-being. Thus, together with her outstanding Team, they strive to make our guests stay as comfortable and pleasant as possible.
Chef Yves Guillas began his apprenticeship in Brittany in a 1 Michelin star Relais & Châteaux, where he graduated top of the department and of his region and was also selected for the best apprentice of France.
He pursued his experience in Normandy in another 1 Michelin Star Relais & Châteaux, where he continued his studies for a professional certificate. From there, he went on for another year on the marvellous Reunion Island, in the middle of the Indian ocean.
After spending two seasons in Megève in Mont d’Arbois Relais & Chateaux, he moved to Burgundy alongside the famous Bernard Loiseau in a 3 Michelin star Relais & Châteaux where he would stay for another 2 years.
To complete his experience of the best restaurants in France, he spends a year in the south west of France with Michel Guérard in a 3 Michelin star Relais & Châteaux.
Arriving in Switzerland 19 years ago, he joined straight away one of the most beautiful luxury hotels in the country, the Beau Rivage Palace in Lausanne. After working for two years as a sous chef in the gastronomic restaurant, he is then promoted as Head Chef of L’Accademia restaurant in Hotel d’Angleterre, where he will stay for 15 years. In 2018, Chef Guillas joins the team of Clinic Les Alpes.
Malina Rotaru graduated from Hotel Institute Montreux, where she achieved a SwissHigher Diploma in International Hotel Management and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Before joining the team at Clinic Les Alpes, she worked for 7 years in several renowned 5-star hotels across Switzerland where she developed the passion for the upscale hospitality industry.
Throughout her various experiences, she never ceased to develop her social skills and perfectionate the interactions with the customers, making sure they are well taken care of, satisfying their needs and putting a smile on their face. Malina always strives for excellence and to offer a refined service. As a perfectionist she seeks to maximise the potential in everything she does.
Transports & Logistics
Sebastian Vara has over 20 years of experience in different fields of service.
After graduating at the “National School of Catering and Tourism” in Madrid in 1999, he developed his skills in several European countries working in 5* Hotels with international reputation where he gained the knowledge and the abilities to set the best standards possible of quality services.
Once he obtained his Diploma at “The International Butler Academy” in Valkenburg (The Netherlands) in 2011, where he learnt the secrets of “The Art of Serving”, Sebastian began his journey in the private service reinforcing the skills required in the world of luxury in terms of etiquette and protocol.
Today Sebastian is certified as a professional driver with 5 years of experience managing different fleets of luxury cars.