Andy is the Executive Director and founder of Project Courage. Before launching Project Courage, he was the Director of School-Based Programming for New Hope Manor Inc. In this role, Andy worked with public and private schools arranging contracts to allow schools to supplement their support staff with substance abuse counseling. Additionally, Andy worked as a clinician for Yale University’s Forensic Psychology Department in their research project comparing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Twelve Step Facilitation models for treating alcoholism and addiction. During this time, he also provided clinical services for Yale’s adolescent substance abuse prevention program for students re-entering New Haven Public Schools. Most recently he served as the Executive Director of Center for Change an intensive outpatient dual diagnosis clinic that delivered services to Turning Point a nationally recognized treatment program for young adult males. At Center for Change he developed, implemented, and produced clinical programming that received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). With credentials in both the mental health and substance abuse fields, combined with almost two decades of experience, Andy provides clinical services that include thoughtful, compassionate and confidential interventions. Andy’s specialties include substance abuse and anxiety disorders.
Ryan earned his BA in Sociology from the University of New Hampshire and his Masters in Social Work from Southern Connecticut State University. Ryan started his career working at the Rushford Center, Inc. where he provided services to adolescents with mental health and addiction issues. His work there included biopsychosocial assessments, individual, family and group therapy. From Rushford, Ryan continued his social work career as a supervisor at the APT Foundation where he offered individual and group therapy to patients receiving opioid replacement treatment. Ryan most recently worked as the Assistant Executive Director at Center for Change, an intensive outpatient dual diagnosis clinic that delivered services to Turning Point a nationally recognized treatment program for young adult males. Ryan brings his dedicated work in the social work field to Project Courage and feels passionate about helping individuals and families achieve their treatment goals.
Courtney is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and the Clinical Supervisor at Project Courage. She received her Bachelor’s degree in social work from Providence College and then went on to receive a Master’s degree in social work from the University of Connecticut. Courtney has over 10 years of experience providing a range of clinical care including biopsychosocial assessments, individual, group and family therapy to people of all ages, focusing on substance use and mental health issues. Courtney has been with Project Courage since the start of the Intensive Outpatient Program in 2014, and is very passionate about creating a positive working therapeutic relationship with her clients.
Michelle has a dual role at Project Courage, Chief Operations Officer and Fitness Coordinator. Michelle has her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management with a concentration in health care and a Master’s degree In Business Administration from Quinnipiac University.
Michelle is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and yoga instructor with a passion for life that is unstoppable. Michelle believes how you work out, is how you live your life and motivates people to reach their fullest potential.
KC Hespeler is the Director of Family Services at Project Courage. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker, KC received both her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in social work from the University of Connecticut. KC’s extensive treatment experience includes children, adolescents, and adults as well as individual, group, and family therapy. Focusing on individuals with multiple diagnoses, especially co-occurring substance abuse disorders, KC has a special interest in providing support to clients and their families as the navigate the processes of finding and receiving treatment. She believes family involvement in the treatment of substance use and mental health issues is essential, influencing more positive outcomes.
Mike is the director of the Recovery Support Services program. Mike has experience in providing individualized recovery coaching services and oversight of the entire RSS program. Mike is passionate about his work and being able to provide insight and collaboration to all services.
Dr. Richardson graduated from Yale University, Department of Psychiatry in 2001 and began treating veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and co-occurring illnesses such as substance use disorders, anxiety disorders, mood disorders and psychotic disorders. He has been in private practice since 2003 and treats a variety of illnesses, the majority of which have co-occurring substance use disorders. He is a national trainer for Cognitive Processing Therapy, a cognitive behavioral therapy for PTSD. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University where he teaches Yale residents general psychiatry. He graduated from Baylor University with a BA in Philosophy and a minor in Physics and earned his MD from the University of Tennessee.
Chelsea’s work is designed to support clients with their journey to recovery through goal setting, finding purpose, building community, and working on the client’s overall health. Chelsea utilizes her background as a certified yoga instructor by incorporating the philosophies she uses in her daily practice into her work here at Project Courage. She is currently working towards her BS in Psychology at Southern CT State University.
Liz is a Certified Family Recovery Coach and obtained her CAC (Certified Addiction Counselor). She graduated from Saint Anselm College with a BA in Psychology. She has worked in the addiction field for over 10 years. Liz worked for the CT Council on Problem Gambling as a Prevention Specialist and at Aware Recovery Care as a Family Liaison. Liz provides family coaching services, family therapy, individual therapy as well as group therapy here at Project Courage.
Heather earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Services from Goodwin University and a Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling from Albertus Magnus College. Heather has over five years of experience providing mental health and substance use care within the following areas: in-home recovery, intensive outpatient program for young adults experiencing first episode psychosis, school-community based substance use prevention, and art-driven outpatient programs for Veterans and individuals with disabilities. Heather has a passion for helping others transform their lives by promoting creativity, strength in support, and hope.
Jenna received her bachelor’s degree in social work from Southern Connecticut State University and her master’s degree in social work from Fordham University. Jenna was a Research Assistant for three years in the Psychology department at SCSU, focusing her research on mental health and addiction in college students, as well as the implications for intervention and prevention. At Project Courage, Jenna helps both students and clients explore their substance use and provides hope to create a life worth living.
Erin has is one of Project Courage’s full-time clinicians. Erin received her associate degree and DARC Certificate from Gateway Community College in Drug and Alcohol Recovery Counseling, her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Southern Connecticut State University, and her master’s degree in Social Work from Southern Connecticut State University.