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 organizations in the field of healthcare. Learn more
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 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.
Séverine Périllat studied dietetics in Grenoble in France and immediately started working in an alcohol detoxification center near Chamonix in France.
Séverine then went on to working in Switzerland in a private clinic, first as a dietician and then as head of service. During these years she was able to develop her skills in the nutritional and therapeutic education of an international clientele.
Interested in holistic medicine, she trained in naturopathy where for 5 years she specialized in micronutrition.
She now has a solid experience of 17 years in the nutritional management of metabolic disorders (diabetes, hypertension, metabolic diseases…) and in the rebalancing of chronic disorders (stress, digestive problems, sleep…)
Keen to provide more global and individualized care, Séverine became interested in psycho-nutrition by becoming a health practitioner and then obtaining a university degree in pedagogy and psychology of eating behavior at the Faculty of Dijon to familiarize herself with the psycho-behavioral techniques such as the neuro cognitive and behavioral approach, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and mindfulness therapy.
Séverine is currently following a new training to become a practitioner in culinary therapy to support our patients meeting their emotions.
Belén Sánchez completed her nursing diploma in September 2009 at Cordoba University. She then worked in different settings and countries until she finally arrived in Switzerland.
As a curious and hardworking person, Belén never stopped developing her skills and has recently finalized a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Addictions by University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland, as well as an hygiene and safety diploma.
She has been with Clinic Les Alpes since the start of operations, she therefore has a very solid knowledge of the institution, its mission and functioning.
Deputy Chief Nurse
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.
Brittany Hunt is a mental health and addictions clinician from New Zealand, who has worked in a variety of settings including residential rehabilitation centres, hospitals, and outpatient mental health services. While her primary focus of study has been addictions, she has also worked extensively with clients requiring treatment for their mental health, ranging from depression and anxiety to more complex illnesses such as PTSD and Schizophrenia. This includes intensive work with clients suffering from co-existing disorders (both addictions and mental health disorders).
Brittany focuses on using a holistic therapeutic approach to supporting clients and empowering them in their recovery and growth. This includes therapeutic techniques unique to New Zealand, which focus on client recovery and wellbeing in all areas of mental, physical, social, and spiritual health. Passionate about client empowerment, Brittany strives to always maintain a strength focused perspective and work in collaboration with her clients to help them achieve their best lives.
Brittany has trained with leaders in the New Zealand addiction field at the University of Auckland specialising in mental health and addictions studies, focused in substance-based addictions. She also is a long-registered practitioner with DAPAANZ (Drug and Alcohol Practitioners Association Aotearoa New Zealand) and member of the New Zealand Drug Foundation.
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).
Mert Ulusoy completed his undergraduate education at Yeditepe University, Department of Psychology. He completed his clinical psychology master’s degree right after that during which he was trained in CBT. After completing his clinical internship at a Psychological Counseling Center in Istanbul, he started working as a psychotherapist at the same center. Between 2017-2019, he completed the Basic Existential Analysis Training at the Existential Academy. He completed the Advanced Existential Analysis Training in the same center the following year. He has been trained in multiple psychotherapeutic modalities: Existential Analysis, Cognitive-Behavioral as well as Psychodynamic. He has been working in several private mental health clinics in Istanbul for the last couple of years. Mert works in two languages: English and Turkish.
He is a member of the British Psychological Society and a BACP registered psychotherapist in the United Kingdom.
He is a full member of the Turkish Psychological Association and a registered clinical psychologist in Turkey.
He is also an associate member of the Federation for Existential Therapy in Europe (FETE).
Clinical Psychologist / Psychotherapist
Nadia Papayani 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).
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.
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.
Pascal Veraguth is passionate about integrated Holistic Therapies. Having studied extensively in different countries throughout Asia, including China, Vietnam, Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal, he specialises in Traditional Chinese Medicine. And, in his view, the methods he uses are a powerful way of using one’s own energy to restore oneself. Pascal uses a skillful combination of occidental and oriental practices that are very powerful techniques to help you release your mental emotion, physical stress and tension, as well as to find your inner balance mentally, physically and spiritually. His passion lies in creating a balanced therapeutic menu for each of our patients, helping them integrating new techniques into their lifestyle, creating a new and healthier and happier way of life.
Flavio Dias holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Science and a specialization in Prevention and Physical Rehabilitation. Flavio is a sports teacher who considers joy and pleasure to be an integral part of a great session! With a range of activities from functional training to contemporary Pilates techniques, variety is in the order of the day in his classes: balance, proprioception, stretching, coordination, circuits and specific physical preparation, swimming and aqua-fit. All with a holistic vision of physical activity, fun and perfectly adapted to each participant.
Bertrand Saugy ppractices 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.
Fabian Moreno’s contribution to the Clinic is twofold. On the one hand, he draws from his training as a massage therapist and his varied experience to help the patients reconnect with themselves through their body. His main tools are touch, movement and awareness of oneself, thereby supporting the patients’ own inner resources. He also guides them on therapeutic outings in the surrounding nature, whose healing potential he has experienced firsthand. On the other hand, he uses his communicational agility, integrative mindset and personal adaptability to enhance the Clinic’s inner information flow, thus supporting the ongoing striving towards coherence and stability of the structure for both patients and therapists.
Malina Cucinotta graduated from Hotel Institute Montreux, where she achieved a Swiss Higher 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. As an Admissions Coordinator Malina is making sure our patients are well taken care of and does her best to put a smile on their faces.
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.
Filipa Vicente has more than ten years of international experience in the luxury hospitality, which has given her a clear understanding of what excellency in service entails. With her energetic and optimistic personality, Filipa never ceases to develop the skills needed to deliver, with the help of her entrusted team, the most caring and refined service to our patients and families during their stay at Clinic Les Alpes.