Advance LA is proud to have a such a dedicated and experienced multidisciplinary leadership team.
Barbara Firestone, PhD – President & Chief Executive Officer
Susan Berman, PhD – Chief Operating Officer
Diane Flannery, PhD – Senior Director of Design and Strategy
Admin & Staff
Holly Daniels, PhD, LMFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist, meditation teacher, and mental health advocate. As director of Advance LA, she oversees the management of the program and works closely with administration, staff, and coaches on behalf of its clients and residents.
Holly has had several roles in mental health treatment centers, including Primary Therapist, Clinical Director, Academic Director, and Outreach Director. She has worked with teams at Monte Nido and Associates, the Valley Community Clinic, The Canyon in Malibu, and Sober College residential treatment center, where she specialized in helping young adults with complex issues including co-occurring addictions, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) and associated mood and anxiety disorders.
Holly believes that strength-based, solution-focused techniques work best with young adults who need support moving forward into healthy independence. She enjoys the team approach at Advance LA, which encourages clients to know their own strengths while teaching the skills necessary for building connections with family, friends, coworkers and others – creating and sustaining fulfilling and productive lives and livelihoods.
As a mother of two teenagers, one of whom was identified with ASD as a toddler, Holly understands firsthand the many difficulties young adults face as they navigate through life and try to find balance between independence and healthy interconnection. She finds joy in helping clients and family members progress and celebrate the milestones along the way.
Bonnie Auerbach, PhD
Dr. Auerbach has spent over twenty years at The Help Group working with children, teens, and adults with autism spectrum disorder and other special needs. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Long Island University in New York and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Auerbach’s professional background includes overseeing The Help Group’s Project Six Residential Program, where she helped adults with developmental disabilities build the skills needed to live more independently; supervising therapists in The Help Group’s school programs on the Sherman Oaks campus; and participating in the doctoral intern Training Committee.
During her time at Advance LA, Dr. Auerbach has enjoyed developing relationships with Live. Advance. LA. residents and their families. She believes that Advance LA truly helps young adults achieve goals they have difficulty accomplishing on their own, and allows them to turn their dreams into reality. In her free time, you can find Dr. Auerbach reading, knitting, and cooking.
Jillian received both her Bachelor’s and her Master’s degree in Social Work from West Virginia University in 2005 and 2008, respectively. Since then, she has worked as a crisis counselor and advocate for children and adult survivors of crime and has completed an internship as a medical social worker at a state psychiatric facility. Most recently she was employed as a therapist providing individual, group and family therapy to adolescents with behavioral and emotional disturbances in a residential setting. Jillian possesses an intense enthusiasm for helping adolescents and young adults to live healthy, meaningful and happy lives. Her interests include positive psychology, travel and nutrition. In her spare time she enjoys exploring Los Angeles, spending time with family and friends, trying new foods and going to the beach.