Many of our staff are highly skilled and professionally recognized psychotherapists using both cognitive and experiential methods, involving physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of the human experience.
Jed Appelrouth has been closely involved with STAR for over a decade. Jed is a Nationally Certified Counselor with a Masters degree in Professional Counseling and a PhD in Educational Psychology. Jed completed Star in 2001 and has been a facilitator at STAR workshops since 2007. Jed has a passion for healing and spent over a year studying the Hakomi therapeutic method, focusing on mindfulness and the mind-body connection. Following the STAR experience, Jed left the corporate world and began to explore his passion for fine arts and painting, which continues to this day. Jed subsequently founded an education-based business, Applerouth Tutoring Services, which currently operates in several major cities across the US.
Susannah Castro, Director of Operations
Susannah Castro graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis on painting and a Minor in Media Arts from the University of Arizona. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Social Work at Arizona State University. Susannah has spent the last 12 years of her life dedicating herself to service in the community through administrative work and volunteerism in non profit organizations. In August of 2015, she founded The Cree Project, in memory of her son Cree Castro-Topp, who died of a heroin overdose on May 5, 2015, at the age of 19. The Cree Project is a platform and forum within which to create awareness, offer resources, and destigmatize heroin and opioid addiction. In January of 2016, The Cree Project filed for its 501(c)(3) status in the state of Arizona.
“As an administrator for the STAR Foundation, I have been able to witness the positive changes that come through guided intensive therapeutic treatment to address issues that many people are struggling with. What a gift to be able to work with this talented and dedicated group of people in a transformative and beautiful setting,” says Castro.
Dr. Tiffany Turnage-Coletti, Clinical Director
I am a consummate learner and believe I owe my patients motivation, not contentment. I am steadfast in my process of learning through experience and continuing education, and in finding new ways to understand the psychology of human nature. I have Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology and Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work. I have completed a variety of training seminars and achieved advanced certifications in the treatment of post-traumatic stress through the University of Washington and the Meadows Treatment Center. I have provided treatment to individuals, groups and couples in a variety of settings, which included outpatient, inpatient, and private practice. My practice focus includes health psychology, mood disorders, women’s issues, PTSD, sexual abuse, and advanced care medical issues.
Alec participated in STAR in 1996 and has been a member of the STAR staff since 2001. After a short stint as an officer in the U.S. Navy and after practicing as a Wall Street lawyer, Alec was a middle school and high school teacher in New York City for 20 years. When he retired from teaching English at The Calhoun School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the English prize was named after him. He finds a significant correlation between his work as a teacher and his work at STAR as a facilitator, as both involve a deep commitment to the personal growth of the people he works with, and of himself as well. Alec holds a BA from Harvard College, a JD from Harvard Law School, and an MA in Media Studies from The New School; he has also been trained as a Certified Spiritual Director, has a Certificate in the Sacred Art of Dying, and has run grief groups for the local Hospice. He and his wife Jane helped to found and run a grief group for children, “My Friend’s House,” which was eventually incorporated into the local Hospice programs. He currently lives in Bend, Oregon with his wife, Jane, and their two dogs, Kutya and Rudi. His personal interests include a deep commitment to friends and family, particularly to the 11 grandchildren he shares with Jane, and lots of motorcycling, birding, and hiking.
Patricia (Pat) Martin has been a facilitator for the STAR Retreats since 1987. Early in Patricia’s professional career, she worked for Martin Marietta, IBM, and Highline Financial. After taking time to raise two daughters, she became executive director for the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival. She has been a community leader founding a girls’ softball league and a modern language program for elementary school children. She has served on boards for the STAR Foundation, the SLO Mozart Festival, the SLO Girls’ Softball League and APPPAH (Association for Pre and Prenatal Psychology and Health). She loves to travel, hike, and, most importantly, spend time with her family, especially the five granddaughters.
Paula has been a STAR facilitator since 1997. Originally a Creative Arts Therapist, she continues to incorporate the arts into her work as a licensed mental health counselor. Paula is a board certified trainer for the North American Drama Therapy Association, a certified psychodramatist and a playback theatre practitioner. Her favorite vacation is volunteering in Haiti.
Michael has been a facilitator at STAR for over ten years. He first learned about STAR from a well meaning friend who had suggested he attend STAR on multiple occasions. At the time, he believed it would be a big waste of time and money and determined that if he wanted to spend that kind of money, he’d rather go to Maui. An opportunity arose in 2003 to meet Barbara Findeisen at a weekend STAR Retreat, and his friend’s suggestion finally overcame his resistance. By the end of that weekend, Michael completely changed his tune, soon after he attended his first STAR Retreat and found it to be a truly healing and transformative experience. A year or so later, after attending a second STAR Retreat, Michael was invited to be on staff as a facilitator and received facilitator training.
As a facilitator, Michael brings with him the personal growth and wisdom gained from over 25 years in recovery in 12-steps programs, his work as a sponsor, and his own personal therapy. Now, over 10 years later, the process holds meaning and value for him and each Star Retreat becomes a humbling experience to be there for people as they bravely look at themselves and grow.