Our multidisciplinary team has developed a kind, gentle approach designed to engage people at the first phone call. We believe that all people can get well – they just may need a different, more inspiring approach. To this end, we offer individualized medical treatment, groups that foster self-expression and imagination, and a staff that is willing to pull out a guitar or a paintbrush to help someone change direction. This multi-dimensional approach creates opportunities for us to address underlying addiction and mental health problems and help people along their own recovery path. It also allows us to look at addiction from multiple angles and to tailor recovery strategies to individual situations.
Our experienced team includes:
- Social Workers
- Mental Health Counselors
- Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselors (LADC), and Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselors (CADC)
- Relapse Prevention Specialists
- Family and Couples Therapists
- Intervention Professional – Board Registered (BRI-II)
- Expressive Therapists (Art, Music and Writing)
“I became an Addictions Specialist in 1993 after my experience as the drummer for the rock band, the Del Fuegos allowed me to experience firsthand the devastating effects of drug and alcohol abuse. I survived it to see clearly the need for innovative services, support, and ongoing encouragement for people who have been affected by addictions and mental health disorders.”
From his own experiences as a creative person with a history of addiction, Woody was inspired to launch a treatment program that incorporates evidence-based treatment and creative expression – Right Turn Intensive Outpatient Treatment, Transitional Housing, and Intervention for Addictions and Mental Health.
Established in March 2003 as a 501c3 nonprofit organization, Right Turn is a welcoming place where creative people in recovery can experience a sense of purpose and belonging. Contact Woody Giessmann at 617-365-9460.
Gabrielle Dean, LICSW, MPH, Clinical Director of Right Turn
“I like my job because people get better. I get to see people at their best.”
Abby’s training is in social work, public health and psychotherapy. She joined forces with Woody in 2005 with a shared a vision to create a program where people can feel a sense of community. She believes people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and sees evoking and developing individual creativity as cornerstone of recovery.
Abby has years of experience designing and running addiction and mental health recovery programs; a residential program for opiate-addicted women and their children, and a women’s program in Dorchester. Together, Abby and Woody have developed a landmark, innovative program at Right Turn that incorporates complementary expressive therapies and creativity into an addiction and mental health program. Contact Gabrielle Dean
Mark Albanese, M.D., Medical Director of Right Turn
“For whatever reason, I was attracted to working with those people who are most marginalized in our society, and, arguably (in fact, there is probably not much of an argument!), that is people with addictions. I think that much of the time I believe that people get better despite what I try to do! Perhaps what is most helpful is my hopefulness about their recovery.”
Dr. Albanese joined the Right Turn Team because he believed in the mission of the agency and clinical team building by Abby Dean.
Mark attended Harvard College and Cornell University Medical College. He completed an internship in medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and a Psychiatry residency at Massachusetts Mental Health Center. He is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in General Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry.
Before joining Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) in September 2002, Dr. Albanese worked for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health for over 12 years. While working for CHA, he served as Unit Medical Director, Residency Training Director, Director of Medical Education, and Associate Chief of Psychiatry at Tewksbury Hospital. He was also a consultant to several addictions programs affiliated with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Dr. Albanese is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School’s Division on Addictions, where he served as Advanced Fellow in Addiction Studies. At CHA, he is Medical Director of Addictions. He is also Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. In addition to his clinical, administrative, and teaching work, Dr. Albanese has undertaken research with a major focus on assessment and treatment of dual diagnosis patients. He has studied epidemiology, pharmacology, and group therapy. His most recent area of interest has been DUI.
Laura attended Tufts Medical School and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and is an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an Assistant in Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.
She practices Primary Care at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Chelsea Community Health Center. She has been certified to prescribe Suboxone and treat opiate addicted patients since 2003. She is also a medical consultant at Bay Cove Methadone Clinic in Boston.
Peter C. Johnson CADC, Intake Coordinator and Relapse Prevention Specialist
A member of the Right Turn team since 2005, Peter provides clients with tools for relapse prevention. Peter spent 30 years in the music business as an artist with album releases on A&M and CBS Records. He was also the founder/co-owner of Musitech Productions, a studio/production facility on Boston’s Newbury Street that composed and recorded music for film, television, corporate presentations, and advertising campaigns. In 1988, he was awarded an EMMY for his work on ABC’s After-School Specials. Earlier in his life, he was the five-time U.S. National Champion in the lightweight single sculls and, in 1966, was cited by Sports Illustrated as the best lightweight single sculler in the world. At Right Turn, Peter serves as Relapse Prevention Specialist and Intake Coordinator.
Kate Dare-Winters, LICSW, CADC, Psychotherapist and Addictions Specialist
“The most compelling thing about working in addictions is the opportunity to be part of someone’s transformative experience. Acknowledging that people are more than their addiction or illness is core, and then we offer information, skills, suggestions, and support with persistent caring, honesty, and good humor. That’s what i think contributes to our clients getting better at Right-Turn.”
Kate has been working in the field of addictions and recovery since 1992. She first met Woody while working outpatient at the Cambridge Health Alliance. Her areas of interest and expertise include co-occurring disorders, trauma, and spirituality. She has an MSW from Simmons School of Social Work and a M.Div. from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, and appreciates the connection between spirituality and recovery. Kate is also a visual artist working in mixed media and is interested in the relationship between creativity and recovery. In addition to her affiliation with Right Turn, she is currently a Teaching Associate at the Harvard Medical School and has a private practice in Cambridge, MA.
Jon Cohan, CADC, Residential Intake Coordinator, Addictions Counselor, Group Facilitator
Jon is a long-time member of the Right Turn team. He facilitates the music and journaling groups, does individual counseling work with our clients, and supervises our residential program. Jon is a professional musician, producer, and drum tech with over 150 studio recording credits to his name and has authored three books for Hal Leonard Publishing including “Star Sets” and “Zildjian: A History Of The Legendary Cymbal Makers”
Jen Ziefert, MPS, ATR, Art Therapist & Mental Health Counselor
Jen joined the Right Turn team in 2011. Her work in recovery focuses on treating the whole person, not just the addiction. She uses a creative process for healing to help clients to see more clearly, discover new meanings, validate experiences and feelings, and foster a deeper connection to self. Jen earned her Master’s in Creativity Development and Art Therapy at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. She has experience working with Eating Disorders, Addiction, and a range of Co-Occurring Disorders. At Right Turn, she facilitates the Art Therapy group in the IOP program and works individually with clients using both traditional psychotherapy and expressive therapy techniques.
Joshua Bennett – Johnson – Therapist and Group Facilitator
“My mother raised me with emphasis on the importance of making myself available to help other persons in need. This notion of ‘service’ is at the fundamental core of why I choose to do what I do. Though still often viewed with intense negativity within our culture, the true identities of people afflicted with alcohol and drug dependence are those of our husbands and wives, our brothers and sisters, our neighbors, our friends, and our children. The cycle of addiction is undeniably devastating and far-reaching. The process of our recovery can break that cycle — it is infinitely more powerful. It is beautiful, and restorative. It empowers us. I’m honored to be a part of it.”
A substance abuse counselor at Right Turn, Joshua facilitates weekly recovery groups and works individually with clients through the Intensive Outpatient and Medication Assisted Treatment Programs. An avid writer in his free time, his philosophy on the creative mission at Right Turn is: ”The opportunity to rediscover all of the things about life that we loved so much, the endeavors and passions that we left behind in active addiction, is a wonderful and vital piece of our recovery. It’s the opportunity to start living life again.”
Julianne “Julie” DeAngelis, LADC-I, CADA-II – Addiction Specialist
Julie’s career in prevention and treatment of substance use disorders and co-occurring disorders started in the 80’s. She holds a degree in Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation and maintains a National Certification and a MA License. As a counselor she has served in a variety of clinical settings and community organizations. Her skills and professionalism have been enhanced through the years by working with diverse peers and prestigious professionals in the field. As well as with Right Turn, Julie holds the position of Outreach Coordinator with the Town of Reading, Coalition Against Substance Abuse focusing on prevention and education in the community. She is an advocate of including the family in the treatment of and recovery from substance use disorders and co-occurring disorders by promoting a greater understanding of traditional, complimentary and integrated approaches to health and well-being.
Jill Ruby – Right Turn Radio Producer
Every Sunday at 7 pm, Jill produces Right Turn Radio on WRKO 680Am. This weekly live broadcast featuring Woody and Abby is New England’s premier radio show on addiction and mental health. In addition, Jill has produced original content for television and radio in Boston, New York, and Toronto, including over 100 episodes of children’s television for Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, PBS, YTV and Teletoon. Prior to that, she managed production for multiple documentary series and specials for A&E, Discovery Channel, History Channel, Court TV, OLN, HGTV, and Discovery Health Channel. Jill also produced and programmed over 100 hours of nature and educational documentary television for Rainbow Media in New York. She is a member of New York Women in Film and Television, Toronto Women in Film and Television, and has been a judge for the Daytime Emmy Awards. She holds a Master’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University, and an Honors B.A. from the University of Toronto.
Joey Carroll, Creative Writing Specialist
Joey Carroll’s comedy has taken him around the world. Joey facilitates our creativity writing groups and is a peer specialist and mentor at our Outpatient Clinic and Right Turn Transitional Housing for Men. He has been invited to use his sharp wit and flawless comic timing for a third tour, bringing much needed laughter to our troops around the world. He has just released his latest CD from his last tour to Iraq.
Bob Henry, Transitional Housing Manager
Long-time member of the Right Turn Steering Committee, Bob is the manager of the Right Turn Transitional Housing Program and coordinates the Saturday Right Turn LIVE! Music & Comedy Series.
Sal Baglio – Mentor Right Turn Transitional Housing
Front man for the music group The Stompers, Sal has been a member of the Right Turn family for several years. Sal acts as a mentor for the Right Turn Men’s Transitional Supportive House and also facilitates groups.
Bill Cagnina – Mentor Right Turn Transitional Housing
Bill has worked as Building Services Supervisor for the Town of Concord, MA since 1995. He became a mentor at the Right Turn transitional house in 2011.
Right Turn Associate Staff
Willy Drinkwater, M.Ed, CADC-II, LADC-I
“I enjoy helping people to help themselves.”
Willy has been working in the Addiction/Psych field for over twenty years now. He specializes in working with those that have addiction coupled to other mental health issues. In addition, he has been associated with Right Turn since its inception and is a professor at UMASS-Boston and Cambridge College.
Rivkah Lapidus, Ph.D, LMHC, Psychotherapist and Addictions Specialist
Rivkah is an experienced Psychotherapist, as well as a visual artist. For 25 years, she has worked with clients from diverse backgrounds in programs ranging from child and family guidance centers and community mental health to addictions programs, including methadone maintenance and outreach relapse prevention with the homeless. She is knowledgeable about various approaches to understanding addictive behaviors and believes it is important to understand the individual, to be flexible, and to develop the best approach for each person. She received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fielding Graduate University, and a Masters degree in Expressive Therapy from Lesley College Graduate School. Her training also includes a Clinical Fellowship at the Zinberg Center for Addiction Studies at Harvard Medical School and a Psychology internship at Medfield State Hospital.
Elena Pellegrino, LMHC, Individual & Marriage Counseling
“I believe everyone has the possibility to change. I have seen how the power of group therapy can really help clients heal. I try to really connect and use the group dynamic to help the clients during my Stress and Relaxation group.”
Elena is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor focusing on couples, family, adolescence, and trauma. Elena received her Master’s in Arts in 2002, and has been in private practice since 2004.
Diana Clark, JD, MA, Family Addictions Consultant
Family work is an important component in the continuum of services at Right Turn. Our approach is to engage parents in one of Diana’s monthly family workshops designed to address the stress and fear experienced by family members. Diana’s workshop educates parents in the area of substance abuse and addictive disorders. This workshop can be the first step in a family getting the help they need and deserve.