WHO WE ARE

Our story

SeekHealing was founded in 2018, follow along on the journey.
FOUNDATION

SeekHealing began when the founder’s close friend survived an opioid overdose and partnered with the founder to begin a healing journey. Like many others before them, the two discovered that meaningful social connection and community belonging are the most important elements of addiction recovery; yet are almost impossible to find after addiction treatment. 

ACTION

Unfortunately, traditional 12-step recovery and other faith-based recovery communities often perpetuate experiences of shame and can feature social structures that are unwelcoming and/or hierarchical. Through a beautiful cosmic accident, the co-founders discovered that the kind of social connection that the brain needs in order to heal from trauma is actually something any human being can give to another: regardless of whether they identify as an “addict’ or not.

COLLABORATION

Collaborating with neuroscientist Dr. Rachel Wurzman, trauma expert Dr. Gabor Mate, substance use recovery experts and leaders in communication & social dynamics theory from around the world, they formed SeekHealing to create a novel approach for systemic issues of addiction and loneliness: social health. 

GROWTH

In 2018, the founders established the first SeekHealing community in Asheville, NC -- among the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains in Western North Carolina in the USA. The community grew from 8 seekers at the first Listening Training retreat to 150 in the first year, and 500 by the end of 2019.

During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, demand for SeekHealing's services sky-rocketed as social isolation became even more widespread under government-mandated quarantine measures. The online community was born in April 2020, and has since grown to serve thousands of seekers online.

In September 2021, in partnership with VAYA Health and the Evergreen Foundation, SeekHealing opened the doors to its second local community in Waynesville, NC.

Meet the team

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Staff

Jennifer Nicolaisen
Executive Director, Co-founder
Melisa Gonzalez
Business Operations Manager
Alison Reeves
Community Engagement Lead - Online
Amy DeCamp
Marketing Coordinator
Greg Pitters
Community Engagement Lead - Haywood
Imani Ustawi
Asheville Community Connection Coordinator
Janie Gabbett
Chief Editor
Javonne Green
Seekhealing Community Intern
Joey Moore
Fundraising Coordinator
Joshua Ginsberg
Chief Technology Officer
Lauren Tevelow
Marketing Consultant
Ramiro Flores
LatinX Community Building Coordinator
Raphael Schwartzman
SHFT Assistant Course Lead
Sydney McGary
Facilitation Community Coordinator
Tikva Kingrea
Data Entry Ninja
Santosha Bouchard
Clubhouse Coordinator
Stephanie Moore
SeekHealing’s Community Intern
Coeur Lewis
Asheville’s Open House Coordinator
Monica Jones
LatinX Community Building Coordinator
Robert Epstein
Legal Counsel
Natalio CasaNueva
Web Developer
Sara Ness
ommunity Building Guru

Advisory Council

Gabor Maté, MD
Physician, renowned expert on addiction and compassionate care, bestselling author, international speaker
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Rachel Wurzman, Ph.D
Director of Science
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Andrew Weil, MD
Author of over a dozen books on alternative medicine, including several international bestsellers.
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Bill White
Emeritus Senior Research Consultant at Chestnut Health Systems, Former Board Chair of Recovery Communities United, and author or coauthor of 20 books and 400 papers on addiction.
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Hilary Jacobs Hendel, DDS, LCSW
Trauma-informed Psychoanalyst, International Author, creator of The Change Triangle Tool for Emotional Health
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Alan Muskat
Author and educator specializing in nondualism, Nonviolent Communication, and hunter-gatherer culture
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Sara Ness
Founder and CEO of Authentic Revolution
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Maureen McCarthy
Social Scientist and Co-Founder, Center for Collaborative Awareness
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Zelle Nelson
Social Scientist and Co-Founder, Center for Collaborative Awareness
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Mark Smith
Author, therapist, social work professor; background in trauma, attachment, group process, and narrative-based practice.
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Peter Strong, MD
Board-certified in addiction psychiatry, expert in Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). Former Medical Director of Hartford Dispensary, managing 13 clinics and 4000 patients.
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Avrum G. Weiss, Ph.D
Psychotherapist, author, and teacher with more than 40 years of experience in relational psychology. Architect of experiential psychotherapy theory.
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Board of Directors

Jennifer Garrett
President
Mental Health and Substance Use Clinician and Clinical Supervisor (LCMHCS, LCAS, CCS) with experience in Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), Harm Reduction, and Trauma.
Lauren Tevelow
Vice President
Lauren served as an AmeriCorps Care Coordinator within a substance use disorder and MAT clinic and brings corporate experience in scaling initiatives of a large organization.
Lauren Clark
Secretary
A lifelong advocate for humans and the planet they inhabit, Lauren leverages 11+ years of experience driving growth and social change for non-profits and purpose-driven organizations.
Joshua Franks
An entrepreneur with a focus on product development, marketing, and supply chain and distribution logistics, Joshua is committed to facilitating meaningful connection and radically authentic relationships.
Joshua Ginsberg
Treasurer
Technologist and entrepreneur; network system engineer and professional programmer. Software architect at Columbia University in New York.
Joe Tavormina
Commercial Real Estate Professional (NY, CA & NC Broker Licenses), MBA Real Estate Development, Certified Radical Honesty Trainer, & Actor

Facilitators

Alison Reeves
Anastasia Seltzer
Astral Freeman
Brian Swindell
Cam Payne
Dakota Quackenbush
Giles Carwyn
Greg Pitters
Imani Ustawi
Iona Jones
Ionsul Ferrin
Jack Rubin
Jason Digges
Jason Zwolak
Jennifer Garett
Jennifer Nicolaisen
Jessica Falcon
Joe Tavormina
Kim Crowley
Leesha Rollar
Manuela Stanica
Michele Morris
Michelle Kelly
Naomi Veak
Sammy Vanek
Sheri Kay
Stuart Jeckel
Sydney McGary
Tawni Traynor
Tony Stokes

Join the team

We're always open to meeting the humans who are inspired to join this movement and contribute their service energy to SeekHealing -- either in local communities or on our leadership and back-office teams.

Career opportunities are limited by locally-available grant funding in the communities they serve.

THE SCIENCE
Recent studies in neuroscience and psychology clearly show that loneliness, isolation and gaps in “social health” are driving deadly, secondary medical and mental health pandemics across human society: addiction, suicide and chronic illness.

Get educated

Articles by topic, written by the SeekHealing team and community members.

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In honor of our loved ones

May the radiance of their memory shine long past their lifetime, and may their names never be forgotten so long as they live on in our hearts and minds.

Financials & impact

Explore our reports and minutes to learn more about the work we do and our impact.