Ali Nikbakht
LMFT, Executive Clinical Director of California

Dr. Ali Nikbakht, LMFT, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. He has a specialization in addiction studies and co-occurring disorders. He earned his bachelor’s degree from UCLA, graduated from Trinity Law School, and has earned his doctorate in Psychology in Marriage and Family Therapy from the California School of Professional Psychology. Currently he is finishing his doctorate in Business Administration specializing in Health Care.  

Dr. Nikbakht has been with We Level Up California since its development in 2021 and has brought 15 years of his professional work experience and knowledge in the field of psychology, addiction, and family systems to helping individuals and families heal from internal conflict. The fundamental elements to his practice are respecting life choices and deep beliefs regardless of the individual and families’ circumstances. Dr. Nikbakht’s role is and always has been to create the necessary space in which new choices and solutions will unfold to help enhance the lives of individuals and their loved ones.  

Dr. Chris Small
M.D., ABPN, ABFM, ABPN, & Medical Reviewer
Dr. Chris Small, M.D., ABPN, ABFM, ABPN is a certified addiction psychiatrist with expertise in both medical and psychiatric care. He is one of the few doctors in the United States who has completed additional training to effectively treat a wide range of medical and mental health conditions. With a strong emphasis on the mind-body connection, Dr. Small brings a unique approach to healing that addresses both physical and emotional needs. As the founder of Headlands Treatment Services, he is dedicated to providing the highest level of patient care in substance abuse and mental health programs. Prior, Dr. Small served as a behavioral health psychiatrist at the Veterans Administration and the University of California, San Diego. With a solid foundation in medical education from the University of Hawaii, Dr. Small is passionate about delivering quality care to patients struggling with addiction and mental health disorders.
Tracy Jackson
Director of Nursing

I bring 40 + years of experience as an RN in all fields, namely, emergency, psychiatric, addiction med, and correctional health nursing. For the past 6 years I’ve been in the management role and I currently serve as the Director of Nursing here at WLU California. My goal is to create a positive, dynamic workplace for all members of the treatment team. I am fully committed to serving clients with chemically dependent issues. I firmly believe this is a complex brain disease and I strive to educate, enlighten and serve both the client, their family, and the community. #Eradicate the stigma

Erica Humphrey
Operations Manager
My name is Erica and behavioral health is not only my profession but also my passion. I am living proof of the power of recovery. Addiction runs strong in my family of origin, however, recovery runs stronger, and I have spent the last 16 years working in public, private and non-profit organizations with a variety of populations who face mental health and addiction barriers. I spent the early part of my career working with United States Military commands and providing services to active-duty veterans and their family’s whose lives were impacted by substance use, PTSD and trauma. I am passionate about advocating, educating, and supporting individuals that are unable to do these things for themselves due to a severe mental health diagnosis that has resulted in being incarcerated or conserved. The disease of addiction does not discriminate, and I have witnessed the impact it has on our youth and their families and have had the privilege of working with them as a substance abuse counselor for San Diego County. My career has been significantly influenced by my personal journey and my firm belief that mental health and addiction effects everyone in some way, shape or form and everyone is worthy of recovery. If judgement, stigma, and shame were replaced by awareness, action and compassion I believe the stigma surrounding addiction and mental health would change. I am dedicated to stopping the stigma and helping others remember that they are worthy of recovery and that they do not have to walk that path alone.
Jamie Rae Law-Suggs
My name is Jamie Law-Suggs and I have dedicated my life for the past 18 years to serving the behavioral health population which I see as the most vulnerable and misunderstood population. As I strive to continue increase my education from obtaining my CADACII, associate degree specific to substance abuse counseling, and on to a bachelor's in criminal justice that would allow me to attend court with my clients and to advocate for alternative sentencing where they would get treatment rather than incarceration. I am currently working towards my masters in social work and have an expected graduation date of November 2024. In addition to this I am a dedicated wife and mother to three amazing children who I also teach to strive to be genuine, caring, and understanding individuals to all they meet.
Donna Garcia
Primary Therapist
I am a generational addict and had no idea that recovery was possible until I was given the gift of desperation. That brought me to my knees, then treatment, and ultimately the rooms of recovery. I have dedicated the last (17) years of my life in showing others there is a way out, and that they will gain a new appreciation of life they never could imagine!