Introducing the Illuminate Recovery Staff

by | May 9, 2023 | Treatment | 0 comments

At Illuminate Recovery, our goal is to provide the education, resources, and support you need to navigate recovery successfully. We want our team to feel less like “healthcare personnel” to you and more like family. This is why each one of our team members has been handpicked to ensure they have the qualifications, compassion, and education needed to fulfill our mission.

We know that deciding to take steps to heal can be difficult, especially when you’ll be working with a team of people unfamiliar to you. That’s why we thought it would be a great idea to introduce you to the staff members who will be supporting you along the way. This way, you will have a better idea of what our team members do, get to know the people you’ll be confiding in, and meet the staff you’ll be working with.

Our Team

Andrew Slavens, MA, LISAC

Andrew Slavens

Clinical Director, MA, LISAC

Our leading clinical director, Andrew Slavens, has been helping people via professional counseling services for over a decade. Beginning as a Christian counselor working in churches, Andrew quickly found that he wanted to help those struggling with substances and the resulting impacts on their lives. He completed a master’s degree in substance abuse counseling as well as training in cognitive behavioral therapy, anger management, dealing with trauma, practicing mindfulness, and more.

Andrew has now been working as a substance abuse counselor for over eight years and has helped countless individuals on the road to recovery. As a key component to his goal of always improving, Andrew is currently working on his Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership in Behavioral Health. Andrew oversees all clients and programs within Illuminate Recovery and is committed to helping people receive the care they deserve.

Dr. Tallan DePriest

Dr. Tallan DePriest

Medical Director

Our leading substance use disorder psychiatrist, Dr. Tallan DePriest, works to implement a variety of beneficial mental health programs, exercises, and treatment plans for our clients and is their primary acting psychiatrist. After receiving his degree from the Touro University School of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. DePriest completed his residency in psychiatry in Georgia. He has experience working as a pediatric, forensic, and addiction psychiatrist and is a crucial addition to our team. With the help of Dr. DePriest, clients can receive the professional mental health support they need during recovery.

Nicole Fernandez

Nicole Fernandez

Chief Operating Officer

Every great treatment center has a caring, effective chief operating officer working behind the scenes. Our COO, Nicole Fernandez, has an extensive background in administration and finance, helping her to guide, support, and balance the day-to-day operations at Illuminate Recovery. While this is her first role working in the field of substance use disorders, Nicole has seen firsthand the power substances hold and how they can impact the lives of the people we love. She not only has the experience and skill set needed to thrive in this field, but she is also passionate about helping to create a safe place where people can go to heal.

Chandelle Gill

Lucas Fernandez

Chief Executive Officer

As someone who has been on both sides of a substance use disorder, our current CEO Lucas Fernandez found himself wanting to make a difference in the lives of other people who have dealt with them too. Lucas is not only in recovery himself, but he has watched SUD make a negative impact on the lives of the people he loves as well. With his personal experiences combined with his decade of work in the substance use disorder field, Lucas Hernandez is a CEO who is dedicated to his cause. We’re proud to have him lead our team here at Illuminate Recovery.

Chandelle Gill

Chandelle Gill


To us, there is nothing more empowering than a success story of someone who has battled the same things as you. Our wonderful administrative assistant, Chandelle Gill, is just the person we needed. After becoming a client at Illuminate Recovery and successfully finishing her time here, she decided that she wanted to work in the recovery field to help others who have gone through tough times.

Chandelle is currently working on her bachelor’s degree in social work, in addition to becoming Peer Support certified. Currently, she helps us stay organized so we can provide high-quality services to each of our clients. Chandelle plays an integral role on our team and is committed to assisting those on the road to recovery however she can.

Working Together to Form a Personalized Treatment Plan

There is no outright “cure” to a substance use disorder. However, with the right tools and a staunch support system, you can work to find recovery and shed the heavy issues that may be weighing your life down. At Illuminate Recovery, our team members work together to offer a variety of services that can benefit you along your journey, including:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Detox programs
  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs)
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs)
  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • Trauma and PTSD counseling
  • Dual diagnosis care
  • Relapse prevention

If you’re experiencing issues with substance use disorder, we encourage you to speak with a member of our dedicated team. We can work together with you to assess your current situation and form a comprehensive treatment plan that makes the most sense for you. We recognize that each of our clients is different and has unique needs, which is why we are devoted to forming a plan that gives you the care and support that you specifically require.

Goals of a Substance Abuse Counselor

Substance Abuse Counselor in Scottsdale, AZ

So, why do you need our team of recovery professionals and substance abuse counselors to find healing?

You’ll find that counselors who work with individuals dealing with substance use disorders have a variety of goals they hope to help their clients achieve, including :

Discovering the Tools You Need to Recover

Recovery can be challenging for anyone. It involves a wide range of different difficult aspects that must be addressed individually to help you find recovery from SUD. It’s the job of your substance abuse counselor to help you learn different tools to navigate recovery in treatment and well afterward. This can involve equipping you with strong coping mechanisms and providing education so you can learn healthy habits.

Developing Strong Coping Mechanisms

Coping mechanisms are your best friends during recovery. This is because throughout your journey, you’ll experience a variety of different intense feelings and situations you’ll need to overcome without relying on substance use. Working with a counselor who specializes in substance use disorders can help you learn coping mechanisms and strategies to implement in your daily life.

Practicing Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a recovery technique, brain exercise, and coping mechanism. Mindfulness is a critical tool that helps you stay on the road to recovery as you focus on the current situation and how you feel at that moment. Learning to practice mindfulness with your counselor is an essential tool to add to your repertoire as you heal.

Learning to Live Substance-Free

Your counselor’s ultimate responsibility is to help you learn to live substance-free and escape the hold that your substance use disorder has over you. If you work with one of our team members at Illuminate Recovery, you can trust that your best interests will always be our priority. They’ll work to educate you, provide you with tools and resources, and support your journey every step of the way.

Suggested Reading: The Sober-Curious Movement

Illuminate Recovery Team Reviews

At Illuminate Recovery, we are beyond thankful to each one of our team members who have helped us create a space where people can come to heal. Their nonstop support and dedication to this cause is something that we do not take for granted – and neither do our clients.

Here are a few quick testimonials regarding how our team has helped to change people’s lives:

“Illuminate Recovery was the greatest experience of my life. I am so thankful for the help and love they gave day after day. Finding a drug rehab center or sober living can be scary, but they get you through it in the most comfortable way.” – Mike R.

“14. 14 is the number of total places I have been to in hopes of getting and STAYING clean and sober. It wasn’t until I met the people from Illuminate Recovery that not only helped me get onto the path I needed to be on, but also took time out of their personal lives to help guide me. If you are looking for a place for a loved one or for yourself… this place will not let you down.” – Arianna P.

“I can’t express my gratitude for Illuminate in words. From top to bottom, they don’t only provide the best care from a clinical standpoint, THEY REALLY CARE.” – Jayce M.

The Illuminate Recovery Difference

Illuminate Recovery Outpatient Office

Both of our owners (and all our staff) are either in recovery themselves or have watched SUD impact a loved one. Nicole and Lucas have an innate understanding of both sides of SUD and are dedicated to being on-site and part of the Illuminate Recovery Staff to ensure your experience is excellent. Even more importantly, we want you to feel like family while you’re here, which extends to every aspect of your treatment.

While we hold the same Joint accreditations as the large treatment facilities and are in-network with Aetna and AHCCCS AIHP, we are a family-style recovery center. To do so, we keep group sizes small and meet with you every week specifically to fine-tune your treatment. When you are ready to transition into sober living, the family aspect will follow you there to create a cohesive, caring journey to recovery.

Whether you need substance use disorder recovery for yourself or a loved one, you won’t find a team more devoted to your recovery than the professionals at Illuminate Recovery. The first step in healing is to reach out and get help. Learn more about our outpatient addiction recovery services.

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