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
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.
Crystal Lee, PsyD
Dr. Lee runs the Life Skills Coaching program and supervises the life skills coaches. She also co-leads the P2P monthly parent support group as well as develops and oversees new and exciting programs for Advance LA, including workshops and Club LA. It has always been Dr. Lee’s life’s passion to help individuals live up to their potential. Dr. Lee has worked professionally with a wide range of special needs children, adolescents, and adults since 2002. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Sociology, and Education from The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Prior to earning her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Baylor University, Dr. Lee worked as a Child Development Associate at UCLA’s acclaimed Lynda and Steward Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital. While there, she was part of an extensive interdisciplinary team serving children with developmental and behavioral disorders. Since leaving UCLA, Dr. Lee’s education and clinical work has focused on children, adolescents, and young adults with a variety of special needs in a multitude of settings.
Dr. Lee is so excited to be a part of the Advance LA team and work with everyone to successfully transition young adults to a new phase of life! When Dr. Lee is not at work, you can find her somewhere outdoors— playing beach volleyball until sunset, hiking in the mountains, or climbing random rocks. If she’s not there, she’s probably in her kitchen trying fun new flavor combinations or baking random desserts.