Encore is a team of dedicated, mission-driven professionals collaborating to help individuals and families learn to manage addiction and co-occurring disorders and restore mental and physical health and wellbeing.
Christopher BennettFounder & President
Chris was born and raised in Northern Virginia, spending his 20’s and early 30’s in Southern California, and finally returning home in early 2016. Encore is the culmination of a decade long professional experience of working in the behavioral healthcare field. Over the years, Chris has worked in a variety of treatment settings including two residential treatment programs, working with diverse clientele including those with primary mental health disorders, co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders, veterans, and primarily focused on the young adult population throughout all his experience.
Throughout the years, Chris has provided specialized services in the areas of treatment placement and consultation, intervention, case management, safe and secure transportations, and family coaching. After working with hundreds of clients, families, treatment centers, and thousands of industry professionals, the idea for Encore was born. Including convincing his Southern California wife Ashley and dog Hercules, to move to the east coast with him!In long term recovery since his early 20’s, Chris’ ability to relate to, connect with, and empathize with clients is invaluable. Chris returned to his home to be a part of helping the community that raised him.To learn more about Chris’ story, please click here.
Tom Walker, CSACChief Executive Officer, Partner
Tom Walker holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC) in the state of Virginia. He has worked in the behavioral health and substance use disorders field since 1999. Tom spent 10+ years providing direct care to clients and families as a counselor prior to beginning outreach and business development work with regional and national healthcare organizations. His dream has been to build a program in Northern Virginia, where he grew up and started his own recovery journey.
Michael Baly, PhDChief Clinical Officer, Partner
Michael Baly, Ph.D., is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who specializes in mood and anxiety disorders, self-harm and suicide risk, acute and complex trauma, grief and loss, and adjustment-related issues. Dr. Baly’s treatment approach is based in principles and research drawn from attachment theory, neuroscience, interpersonal neurobiology, and cognitive and behavioral science. His therapy integrates dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), motivational interviewing (MI), acceptance and mindfulness practices, and relationship-based approaches.
Dr. Baly graduated from Harvard University in 2002 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Anthropology and African American Studies. After graduation, he joined the New York City Teaching Fellows and became a Crisis Intervention Teacher serving adolescents with emotional and behavioral difficulties. He worked to prevent and deescalate potentially violent situations and counseled students following crises. Dr. Baly’s experiences in this role fueled his passion for understanding people and the factors that contribute to emotional and behavioral problems. In particular, he became curious about how adverse childhood experiences affect individuals throughout development and into adulthood. To develop his knowledge and skills, Dr. Baly began a doctoral program in clinical psychology at the University of Virginia. His research focused on the effects of violence and bullying. In August 2012, he successfully defended his doctoral dissertation, Improvement of the Measurement of Bullying in Schools, which received the Gansneder Award as the outstanding quantitative dissertation of the year in the Curry School of Education. In 2013, Dr. Baly completed a doctoral internship at Hartford Hospital and The Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut. After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 2013, he completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. Prior to joining the Encore team, Dr. Baly was a supervising psychologist within the Child and Family Therapy clinic at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, providing treatment for adolescents and families, and supervising doctoral interns and postdoctoral fellows. He additionally oversaw the postdoctoral fellowship training program within the Child and Family Therapy clinic.
Native of Northern Virginia, Lance was raised in McLean. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from George Mason University. While working in the financial industry, Lance witnessed too many tragedies related to substance abuse. He grew frustrated with society’s lack of attention to the full spectrum of health and wellness. In 2014, Lance teamed up with Christopher Bennett to form Chris Buro Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring health and wellness.
Lance brings his financial experience, entrepreneurial spirit, and passion for Encore’s whole health approach to treatment. One of Lance’s many roles will be to foster patient success by educating and promoting financial stability. He envisions Encore as a culture, community and web of health services that center on addressing every aspect of a person’s life in a positive way. At home, Lance enjoys spending time with his wife, Reagan, and son, Christopher.
Jennifer Leyton-Armakan, PhDClinical Consultant, Partner
Dr. Jennifer Leyton-Armakan is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who specializes in acute and developmental trauma, anxiety disorders, depression, grief & loss, and issues related to major life transitions. She is also certified in Somatic Experiencing, LifeForce Yoga, and yoga instruction for children and adults. Dr. Leyton-Armakan integrates mind-body approaches and is guided by psychodynamic principles, multiculturalism, and psychobiological science.
In addition to providing individual and family therapy to adolescents and adults, Dr. Leyton-Armakan facilitates an outpatient psychotherapy group for adolescent girls (ages 15-18). She has worked in correctional, educational, outpatient, inpatient, and in-home settings locally and internationally (Maun, Botswana). She is a member of the board of directors of The Josh Anderson Foundation, a DC-area school-based youth suicide prevention program. Dr. Leyton-Armakan earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Virginia, and a B.S. in Human Development and Psychological Services from Northwestern University.
For this native Washingtonian, it’s hard to guess where Dr. Brown is at any given day or time. His “office” is untethered from brick and mortar, traveling wherever and whenever needed to provide care the old-fashioned way- through house calls. As a medical student at Howard University, Dr. Brown originally sought to become an emergency medicine physician. However, by fate or circumstance, during a third year clerkship, he was mentored by one of the foremost house call doctors in the country.
This defining moment led Dr. Brown to see that one of the greatest gifts bestowed upon a doctor is having the opportunity to care and the duty to serve. With this passion, Dr. Brown focused all of his training on preparing himself to give back to his community by providing house calls to the elderly and disabled. His pursuit of equitable health care continues as a house call doctor in areas defined by the lowest socioeconomic and the greatest health disparities in Washington, DC. Dr. Brown has had extensive clinical experience with supporting families suffering from addiction and supports Encore’s mission to provide innovative treatment that inspires recovery and lifelong wellness.
Shayna Daghigh, CSACProgram Director
Shayna has always had a passion for helping others. Shayna began her career in the school system working with at risk youth. As much as she enjoyed teaching, she realized she really wanted to be more involved in helping illicit change in people’s lives. For the last 8 years Shayna has worked in substance abuse and mental health in a variety of ways. She has managed residential programs, worked in outpatient counseling, done community outreach, and worked in admissions.
Additionally, she is trained in Seeking Safely. It was working in admissions, Shayna realized she enjoyed it most when helping a family or individual in need find the best treatment for them, giving them a path and hope.
Shayna is a native to Northern Virginia, still living there today. She loves cheering on all things DC and taking advantage of the theaters. A self-diagnosed foodie, Shayna is always searching new write ups for the latest restaurant to try.
Shannon Harris, MBA, RYT 200Director of Community Relations
Shannon holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She started her career in the behavioral health field in 2008 as an intern counselor. Her career trajectory took a different course when she accepted an administrative position at a residential psychiatric facility. During her time at this facility, Shannon was exposed to the business side of behavioral health treatment.
Success in her duties lead to several promotions, and in an effort to hone her newly discovered skills Shannon decided to change her pursuit of a Master’s Degree in Counseling to a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Since 2011 Shannon has served in an outreach capacity for behavioral health organizations and is passionate about helping professionals and families connect to services that will help them thrive. Shannon also has a passion for yoga and sharing yoga with others. She recently completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training and is currently active in her teaching. Outside of work Shannon enjoys playing with her dogs, spending time with her husband, seeing films, traveling, reading and going to concerts.
Howard Crumpton, PhDClinical Psychologist
Howard Crumpton, PhD is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist at Encore Recovery Solutions. Dr. Crumpton earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. He has operated in several clinical and leadership capacities for hospitals that lead the national in providing the best medical and behavioral healthcare in the United States.
Dr. Crumpton’s clinical interests pertain to using a multisystemic and interdisciplinary family-focused lens to treat difficulties with life transitions, destructive behavioral patterns, sociocultural adjustment, anxiety, depression, and disruptive behaviors in children and adolescents, especially those secondary to distractibility and impulsivity.
After graduating from U.Va, he completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Kennedy Krieger Institute within the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In the Behavior Management and Child and Family Therapy Clinics, he provided therapy and brief assessment services for families, as well as consultation for psychiatrists, pediatricians and other mental health professionals on psychological and psychiatric assessment and case formulation. Dr. Crumpton also spent several years working for Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC) on the Primary Care Behavioral Health Services team providing, therapy, care coordination, expert case consultation and personnel management for children and adolescents, their families, as well as medical and legal professionals on their respective treatment teams. He continues this work as a consultant for The MECCA Group, LLC and as the owner of his independent practice, Reach Out Therapy, LLC.
Though Dr. Crumpton’s target population includes all children, he holds particular interests in treating such concerns in the Latino community with families whose primary language is Spanish. During his time at CNMC, he served as the primary contact for mental health services within the Hispanic community in the DC Metro area given his specialization in working with Spanish-speaking families. His research interests include increasing motivation and academic success of low-achieving students, the impact of warm and supportive teacher-student interactions on student classroom behavior, and the psychological assessment of culturally and linguistically diverse student populations. He has published articles and book chapters on these subjects.
Dr. Crumpton currently resides in Maryland with wife and two children. In his spare time, Dr. Crumpton plays the drums, writes journal and book articles, learns new languages, travels with his family and plays video games.
Michelle Cortright, LPCTherapist
Michelle Cortright holds a M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Vanderbilt University and is a licensed professional counselor, certified EMDR therapist, breathwork guide, and wellness coach. Michelle emphasizes a holistic approach and combines cognitive therapies with somatic experiencing, breathwork, psychodrama, and experiential techniques. She is passionate about empowering others to create a life in which they thrive and focuses on opportunities for interpersonal development, healing from trauma, and self-actualization.
Shannon Graves, MAPrimary Therapist
Shannon Graves earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida and graduated from The George Washington University with her Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, concentrating in psychological disorders and substance use. Her passion for the mental health and substance use field has grown throughout her years of professional work experience. Shannon embraces a person-centered, individualized approach to encourage growth, empowerment, and self-sufficiency in her clients.
Outside of her professional life, Shannon enjoys spending time outdoors with her wife and dog, anything science fiction, college football, and loves to learn, travel, and experience new food and cultures.
Danielle Snyder, MA, NCCPrimary Therapist
Danielle Snyder earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Substance Abuse Prevention from James Madison University, and her Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University. Throughout her undergraduate and graduate career, she sought out opportunities to be involved with the mental health profession, including internships with both inpatient and outpatient drug and alcohol treatment programs, where she maintained a holistic approach to counseling.
Danielle’s aspirations to support and advocate for clients as a mental health counselor, and particularly with the substance abuse population, started at a young age. Danielle’s approach to treatment integrates attachment-based theory, cognitive behavioral interventions, and psychoanalytic theory.
During her free time, Danielle enjoys reading mystery and thriller novels, going to the beach, watching the latest shows, and spending time with friends and family.
Sarah Levant, LGSWPrimary Therapist
Sarah Levant is a Social Worker with a focus on trauma, substance abuse, attachment disorders and anxiety disorders. Her direct service has primarily been with youth experiencing homelessness, struggling with substance abuse, incarceration and those in foster care. During this time, Sarah has taken on roles that include supervising, case management, and counseling. She is passionate in combining mind-body practices with traditional talk therapy, which she is putting into practice through her training to become a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (through the SE Trauma Institute) and a 300-hour yoga teacher training.
Sarah has earned certifications with National Community Health Partners (motivational interviewing), Mindful Schools (facilitating mindfulness), and Community Connections (Creating Cultures of Trauma Informed Care Model of Trauma-Informed Practice and Trauma Recovery Empowerment Model).
Sarah is pursuing her Masters in Social Work from Boston University focusing on clinical therapy and trauma, which she expects to complete in May 2018. She received her undergraduate degree from Temple University in Geography and Urban Studies.
In her free time, Sarah enjoys camping, hiking, and rock climbing with her husband, visiting her family around the world, mountain biking, teaching yoga at the Jewish Mindfulness Center of Washington, creating and selling her artwork.
Jack SykstusPrimary Therapist
Jack earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Troy University in Psychology then proceeded to graduate from the University of Alabama with a M.S. in Interactive Technology and a M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy. Jack has been interested in working in the field of recovery since he engaged in his own recovery. He has worked in the field of addiction and recovery in various capacities including the Collegiate Recovery Community at the University of Alabama as well as served on several non-profits including the Association of Recovery in Higher Education.
Jack’s clinical work has focused on young adults struggling with Substance Use Disorders as well as Couples in which one or both individuals in the relationship are struggling. Jack also has worked extensively with families struggling with substance abuse clinically, as well as in the community.
In his free time, Jack love spending time with his partner and cat as well as playing video games. He also loves a good book, mocha cappuccinos, the beach, strip steak, and comedy.
Valerie J. Robles-RiosFront Desk Receptionist/ Administrative Assistant
Valerie/ Vara was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She moved to New York at age 18 to complete her bachelors in Health Service Administration with a Minor in Human Services to which she graduated Summa Cum Laude this past June. While in New York she had the opportunity to complete internships in the Veteran’s Hospital in the Bronx and at Bellevue Hospital in the Emergency Department, located in Manhattan.
While completing her undergrad she also had the opportunity to go on Medical Mission to Jamaica, where she served as a health advocate and spoke to locals about hygiene, mental health, and other diseases. She has always had a passion for helping others, specially in the areas of mental health and communicable diseases, which is what initially drove her to get involved in the health care field. Even though she is just starting out we have no doubt of the things she will be able to achieve while being a part of Encore.
Karl Dillinger, MA, PHRCareer Coach
Karl Dillinger is the owner of “Your Own Way Coaching, LLC”, a coaching firm specializing in career coaching. He has helped multiple clients over the years in their career goals. In addition to his coaching practice he has 9 years of recruiting experience and have recently completed his Coaching Training through the Coaches Training Institute(CTI) with the next steps to become an Associate Certified Coach(ACC) after completion of 100 hours of paid coaching.
Karl has his undergraduate degree from University of Massachusetts Amherst, Masters in Human Resources from Marymount University, and is a Certified HR Professional(PHR). He currently works as a full time Recruiting Manager in healthcare and dedicates the rest of his time to building his coaching practice. In his spare time, he enjoys kayaking on the Potomac River, playing basketball, and watching all things Boston sports.
Vanessa Terry, RDNutrition Coach
Vanessa is an experienced dietitian passionate about coaching individuals to reconnect with their body and get on a path to learning how to have a healthy relationship with food. She mentors clients to become more nutritionally balanced and to establish nutrition goals and personal measures for overall good health. Vanessa works with clients to understand their current lifestyle, assess nutritional knowledge and awareness, and estimates the allocation of time needed for personal nutritional needs.
She helps clients develop individual meal plans, create weekly menus, effectively shop for groceries, build appropriate food preparation and cooking techniques. Through personalized nutritional coaching, Vanessa guides clients to become aware of the benefits of fueling their body correctly.
Vanessa believes in enabling clients by providing them the tools necessary to create a sustainable nutritional healthy lifestyle that they can maintain independently. She strives to help clients understand both their long-term dietary needs, and the impact and benefits to properly nourish themselves. Vanessa proactively works with the broader Encore treatment team to provide an integrated solution that helps clients lead healthy lives.
Vanessa has extensive experience with both inpatient and outpatient eating disorder facilities and has worked with clients at all stages of recovery and nutritional state. Vanessa earned her Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Dietetics at Arizona State University. She completed her Clinical Dietetic Internship with a focus on eating disorders at the University of Minnesota.
Corinne Krill, MA, E-RYT, CTSYYoga and Mindfulness Instructor
Corinne Krill, M.A., E-RYT, CTSY teaches stress-reduction and healing techniques to adults and children of all ages and abilities and is especially motivated to empower those living with PTSD, anxiety, and depression. To this end, she completed over 500 hours’ training in various modalities, including Trauma Sensitive Yoga, Street Yoga (Trauma-Informed Yoga for Youth), Yoga for Differently-Abled Children, Heart-Mind, and Mindful School curricula. She is also certified in MBSR-T(for teens).
Earning a Masters in Organizational Development and focusing on human resource management, Corinne left the business world in 2007, to pursue a certification in yoga and began teaching formally in 2009. In 2013, she joined MINDS, a Washington, DC-based non-profit that integrates mindfulness practices in educational settings, and served as the MINDS Director of Operations. In addition, Corinne staffs meditation retreats for teens(iBme) and regularly designs and delivers trainings at national and regional conferences. In Fall 2017, she will be instructing yoga and meditation classes at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University.
Corinne is passionate about the power that the bridge of breath, mind, and body can have on individuals healing from trauma and has staffed nature-based weekend retreats for survivors of sexual and domestic violence since 2008. Corinne holds Level 2 Reiki and is experienced in Accunect, Energy Medicine and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT/Tapping). She is also the proud mother of three teenagers, who are the source of her greatest joy and the reason she is dedicated to a consistent practice.
Katie JacobsonMassage Therapist
Katie Jacobson lived overseas for most of her childhood and moved back to the Northern Virginia area for her remaining high school years. She attended George Mason University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Global Affairs, and in later years received her Master’s Degree in International Relations and Conflict Resolution through American Public University. She worked in Human Resources for nine years and although loved working with people from many different cultures and nationalities, she realized that the corporate life was not for her.
Knowing she loved working with others and wanted to continue to help people in some way, along with continuing to work with people from all different fields of life, she moved towards Massage Therapy, something she had always been interested in. Katie graduated from the Northern Virginia School of Therapeutic Massage in October 2016 and is now a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) in the state of Virginia.
Carrie Sue GeigerProgram Coordinator
Carrie Sue holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from George Mason University and is earning her clinical hours towards becoming a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC). After ten years working as a Probation Officer specializing in Domestic Violence, she unearthed a passion for working with addicts and alcoholics after struggling with her own alcoholism and embarking on a personal journey into recovery.
She understands intrinsically the importance of not only treating substance abuse but in coming to terms with the underlying causes in order to live a life of purpose, authenticity, and true contentment. Carrie Sue comes to Encore after several years employed in a residential treatment center; most recently as Aftercare Coordinator, ensuring that clients had all necessary arrangements in place as they transitioned back into the responsibilities of every day life. Carrie Sue is the proud mother of a “tween” girl and believes in the power of kindness, integrity, Grace, and adventure.