She exclusively sees patients in True Life’s intensive outpatient program, where her compassionate, strength-based approach makes her particularly adept at treating complex presentations of anxiety, depression, trauma, addiction, and bipolar disorder. Dr. Roybal is an expert in benzodiazepine tapers and medical detox, psychopharmacologic evaluations, and medication management. She has taken care of thousands of patients in her career and has created a unique treatment model in which they can succeed.
After attending medical school at New York Medical College and an initial training at UC San Francisco in Family and Community Medicine, Dr. Roybal noticed a recurring theme among her patients ¬– undiagnosed mental health issues manifesting in the body as physical symptoms. With a desire to devote more time to patients’ mental well-being and to gain a more in-depth understanding of the mind-body connection, Dr. Roybal went on to specialize in psychiatry at the University of New Mexico, where the region’s well-documented addiction and mental health issues attract top addiction psychiatrists. Training under these experts inspired Dr. Roybal’s own passion for addiction medicine and her belief that “compassion is the antidote” for this shame-based illness.
While working in private practice and at top hospitals including Scripps La Jolla, where she served as Co-Medical Director of the Scripps Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program for many years, Dr. Roybal became passionate about creating a more innovative approach to treatment; one that combined the warmth and individual attention found in a concierge practice, the collaborative environment and neuroscientific focus of a medical facility, and her belief in the integrative model for healing the somatic components of mental health and addiction. She founded the True Life Center in 2014 with these concepts as integral facets.
True Life Center continues to grow and thrive under Dr. Roybal’s hands-on leadership. As a doctor who has always been fascinated by the narrative of each patients’ life journey, she is proud to have developed a treatment center and a team whose mission is to address and treat an individual’s whole health – mind, body, and spirit.
Dr. Erikat received her Master’s in Psychology from Remington College and her Doctor of Behavioral Health degree from Arizona State University. Her diverse educational background and clinical acumen allow her to provide a supportive, nonjudgmental environment for all. She believes in meeting patients where they are and helping them cultivate acceptance of the present, while also holding space for healthy transformation.
For Dr. Erikat, treating the whole individual is essential to achieving the best treatment outcomes. She resonates deeply with True Life’s mind-body approach to balancing the emotional, cognitive, and biologic systems that contribute to patients’ overall well-being. Having the opportunity to witness patients courageously tackle their fears, set healthy boundaries, and practice self-compassion is an honor to Dr. Erikat. She looks forward to supporting you on your healing journey.
Kairou is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist in the state of California, and holds a Master’s of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. She has also received advanced training in Classical Five Elements Acupuncture, has studied at the China Beijing International Training Center and People’s Hospital with Dr. Tan of Zheng Qi Tang in Lan Zhou, and has completed clinical rotations both domestically and abroad. Additionally, she is a certified yoga instructor and massage therapist.
Kairou weaves all aspects of her training into a thoughtful approach that addresses each individual’s needs with sensitivity and perceptiveness, and ushers our patients into better understanding of the correlations of their physical, emotional and mental health. Her oversight of our holistic staff ensures cohesive treatment of the whole person, so as to restore the innate harmony of psychology and physiology that serves as a foundation for optimal health and well-being.
As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Shaunie utilizes her extensive clinical knowledge and diagnostic training to serve as an incredible resource for prospective patients and their loved ones in the admissions process.
Shaunie completed her postgraduate education at the University of San Diego and has had clinical opportunity to work with individuals, couples and families who struggle with anxiety, depression, trauma, bipolar disorder, body image, addiction, behavioral and somatic issues, as well as relationship problems. Shaunie has an innate ability to connect and attune to patients and meet them where they are. In terms of her training and theoretical approach to treatment, she utilizes mindfulness meditation, CBT, DBT, EMDR and psychodynamic orientations to promote insight, behavioral change and awareness on the journey of healing and recovery.
In both her professional and personal life, she has witnessed the strength of the mind-body connection and is thrilled to advocate for True Life’s comprehensive brain and somatic healing approach. Having been on the TLC staff for nearly 4 years, Shaunie is able to confidently speak to the excellence of care and the expertise of our multidisciplinary team. She feels honored to work alongside the True Life team in guiding individuals to authentic living and positive change.
Shaunie is committed to honoring each patient’s unique journey and supporting them in discovering their authentic life.
At True Life Center, Valerie guides patients along their entire healing process as a therapist who has the special role of clinical implementation, life-skills and launching. Valerie takes a warm, client-centered approach to the journey of personal growth and healing. As a licensed clinician, Valerie integrates her background as a yoga teacher, sound healer, and meditation leader into her clinical practice. She is passionate about True Life’s healing model of addressing the mind, body, and spirit and feels at home with the skilled integrative mental health team.
Dr. John Dupler is a clinical psychologist with a passion for research, education, and innovation. With board certification in EEG Encephalography by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance and nearly 30 years of experience practicing Neurofeedback and brain mapping, Dr. Dupler believes that a better understanding of brain activity can lead to individualized interventions and optimizations that promote comprehensive wellness.
In addition to his clinical acumen, Dr. Dupler is committed to advancing the field through helping to educate future practitioners. He formerly taught imaging technology at Columbus State College, followed by a role instructing graduate level Biopsychology at Western American University. He also spent time working for the U.S. Department of Education’s Center for Vocational Education, a research and development think tank, where he was involved in educational research.
Dr. Dupler also has the distinction of being the first individual to successfully adapt Neurofeedback equipment to be remote controlled and monitored over the internet, using software he designed. This led to him providing Neurofeedback services in Tokyo, Japan, where he travels frequently to help increase awareness of the modality.
Dr. Dupler is excited to help advance True Life’s mission of mind-body healing by providing patients with Neurofeedback and Brain Mapping.
Dr. Marquez’s straightforward style and action-oriented approach are an ideal fit for those individuals looking for a collaborative partner in their healing process. He is especially experienced in treating those struggling with anxiety, depression, OCD, and Autism Spectrum disorders.
Dr. Marquez earned his Master’s from John F. Kennedy University and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University. During his doctoral studies, Dr. Marquez also achieved Board Certification in Biofeedback. He has completed a clinical internship at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center Psychiatry Department, as well as a postdoctoral fellowship at Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital.
He has extensive experience with sport psychology techniques and interventions, which is reflected in his passion for holistic, mind-body treatment.
At True Life Center, Dr. Marquez is thrilled to be a member of the True Life team and help evolve the model by contributing to the physiological understanding of mental health conditions. He provides family, individual, and group therapy, as well as Biofeedback sessions to guide patients toward achieving their wellness goals.
Tara specializes in treating anxiety, depression, trauma, and mood disorders; and has worked with children, adolescents and adults over the course of her career
Tara earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of San Diego and her Masters in Marital and Family Therapy (with a specialization in Art Therapy) from Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles, California).
While working at a residential treatment center and as part of a leading California healthcare plan company, Tara facilitated art therapy groups, provided psychotherapy, led peer mentorship groups, organized community events, and helped coordinate treatment plans. In her most recent role at Elizabeth Hospice, Tara provided compassionate and collaborative care to children, adolescents and adults experiencing grief and related mental health distress.
Tara is thrilled to join True Life Center where she can contribute to and draw from the diverse wisdom of a truly multidisciplinary team. Her passion for the intersection of art and science are a perfect fit for the type of integrative approach the True Life community is seeking.
As native San Diegan, Tara relishes any opportunity to use her skills and passions to serve her community through volunteerism. She also enjoys hot yoga, painting and spending time with her two cats.
Kristina values developing a genuine connection with each person and understanding what is motivating their pursuit of greater health. She works from a place of sincere curiosity about each individual’s unique strengths and the pain from which they want to heal and grow. Kristina believes in the ability of each person to change and incorporate healthy adaptive practices through treatment. She enjoys empowering patients to develop their tool-box as they learn skills throughout their intensive outpatient experience. Kristina holds vast experience in working in an integrative primary care setting with individuals, couples and families struggling with mood disorders; anxiety and depression, low self-esteem, ineffective boundaries, lack of motivation, anger dyscontrol, intimacy issues, and COVID related stressors. She cherishes the opportunity to meet patients where they are on their healing journey in a collaborative (w)holistic model such as True Life.
Kristina Sandler is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist who uses evidence-based modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) Solution Focused Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) while incorporating mindfulness practices to facilitate an integrative approach for her patients’ well-being. Kristina obtained a Master’s of Science in Psychology at Long Island University. Her graduate work focused on facilitating studies with children and ambiguous figures which inspired her to pursue a Master’s in Marital and Family Therapy at the University of San Diego.
Kristina is aligned and enlivened to be a part of True Life’s team and work within the TLC integrative model of care. She looks forward to helping you apply mindbody practices in your life and arrive at a place of greater openness, security and health.
Savannah Deroma enjoys being a part of each patient’s transformative journey. She utilizes a collaborative and systems-based approach as a means of understanding the whole person, not just their symptoms. She cares deeply about treating the whole person, and truly aligns with True Life’s compassionate approach to mental health.
Savannah earned her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of San Diego. Her professional experience has been wide-ranging and includes work in hospital and inpatient settings with families facing significant health challenges. She employs a variety of techniques in her profession to inspire motivation and help her patients develop practical skills for coping effectively with stress and mood challenges.
Her whole-person lens and integrative approach support clients in meeting mind and body healing goals. Her therapy style is centered on individual empowerment, and she is committed to helping clients create meaningful changes that reinforce their personal values. Savannah believes in the potential to heal from interpersonal wounds and enjoys joining clients on the journey towards self-discovery. She is thrilled to be joining True Life Center and getting to collaborate with like-minded professionals.
Raul is a bicultural, bilingual therapist who offers patient care in both English and Spanish. He earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology from San Diego State University and his Masters in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Azusa Pacific University. During the past two years, Raul specializes in working with couples and families. He has advanced training in Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples (EFT) and is Level 1 Certified in Gottman Method Couples Therapy. Raul utilizes his more than ten years of social work experience to aid in his compassionate and collaborative approach to care.
Raul is inspired by the integrative model of care that True Life Center has created. He understands the power of treating both the mind and body as the ultimate path to true health and wellbeing.
Akia obtained her Masters in Counseling Psychology from Southern California Seminary and her Bachelors in Political Science from Colorado State University-Pueblo. She has spent more than twelve years working for the Department of Defense as a domestic abuse victim advocate, sexual assault response coordinator, and Military OneSource community outreach manager. She has experience providing individual, couples, family, and group therapy. Her compassionate and motivating approach to care aligns deeply with True Life’s integrative model for sustainable wellness. She has a passion for helping all people and has extensive experience helping those who have endured trauma and struggled with depression and anxiety.
Akia uses evidence-based modalities to provide her patients with tangible skills for the rest of their lives. She is EMDR trained and uses IFS, EFT, and CBT interventions in her care. She also thoroughly enjoys working with couples and people on the spectrum. Her experience lends her unique insight into treating the whole person, meeting her patients exactly where they are, and helping them grow into who they want to be.
Akia is passionate about the True Life Model of Wellness–using a holistic, compassionate care model alongside their evidence-based approach. She is excited to provide truly exceptional care to help people experience a sustainable transformation.
In working with patients, she focuses on helping to develop therapeutic skills aimed at creating safe environments, caring relationships, and other elements necessary to support each individual’s search for an authentic self and full self-expression. Baylea works with adult aged clients, providing individual, family, and relationship therapy. She is experienced in treating chemical dependency, depression, anxiety/panic, trauma, parent-child relational problems, and relationship problems. Her ultimate goal is to connect with her patients and positively engage with them throughout the healing process.
Canada born and Southern California resident for the last 20 years, Baylea and her family participate in supporting numerous charities, including St. Jude Hospital, Big Brothers and Sisters, as well as local humane societies. Fueled by her passion for running and empowering personal growth, Baylea co-created a running club for at-risk youth in San Diego 3 years ago that is still making a positive impact today. With 5-10 races a year, the running club enables participants to connect with their communities in a successful environment, ultimately increasing self-esteem.
Ciarra obtained a Masters of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine (MSTOM) from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, where she graduated with honors. She has a wealth of experience working with diverse populations throughout the mental health community, including rotations at the UCSD Free Clinics Project, Senior Clinic at First Lutheran Church, and UCSD RIMAC Arena. Thanks to her extensive training in Japanese Acupuncture, Ciarra excels at providing gentle and effective treatment with an emphasis on internal medicine, mental health, addiction care, orthopedics and pain management. She is passionate about incorporating self-healing practices with education to provide patients with the essential skills to thrive in all aspects of life.
As a Doctor of Chinese Medicine and a practitioner with more than twenty years of experience, Elizabeth Swallow understands deeply the mental and emotional connection as it relates to the mechanics of the body. Her curiosity and passion continue to expand as she further develops her practice in her role at True Life Center. Her lifelong profession fuels her passion for intentional care. She utilizes various wellness modalities in order to provide individualized and regenerative healing for her patients, accessing skills and processes most accessible to each person.
Dr. Swallow completed her Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the Pacific College of Health and Sciences. She is also a UCSD alumni holding two degrees in Art History and Cultural Anthropology, with an emphasis on visceral movement practice and performance. Her somatic education includes both western and eastern modalities, focusing on the energetic blueprint and anatomical structural system utilized with the intention of Mind/Body/Spirit harmony. Her experience includes a combination of reflexology, passive joint and craniosacral informed energy work which she embodies through her practice to promote patient wellbeing.
Elizabeth is honored to continue on her wellness path at True Life, where she is able to equip patients with practices that nurture and care for both the mind and body. She believes that each individual requires a different point of entry, and finds great joy in delivering her mindful approach through modalities that best suit each person. Her detailed work allows her to move patients through their own experiences, at a pace that allows them to heal and integrate with intention. She looks forward to continuing her heart work alongside True Life’s Integrative Wellness team.
Lynsi Lewis, DACM, LAc is a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine and is honored to be a practitioner assisting patients on their journey to wellness. She views the patient-practitioner relationship as sacred and understands that each learns from one another in order to optimize individual treatment plans and co-create healing. She defines wellness as an active process of pursuing behaviors that help us achieve our full potential – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
After receiving her Bachelor of Science from Troy University, Dr. Lewis moved to San Diego to continue her education at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, earning her Master of Science and Doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Since becoming licensed, she has advanced her studies in functional medicine, chronic pain, and mental health.
Her desire is to merge both Eastern and Western medical worlds in order to bring about the highest potential of healing. She believes in the future of integrative medicine and has committed her career to building bridges between all healing modalities.
Her approach to patient care is based on compassion and non-judgement. She is passionate about empowering her patients with education on self-care practices and mindfulness. Dr. Lewis is also a certified yoga instructor and enjoys incorporating sound healing and massage therapy into her sessions.
She is excited to humbly serve the True Life Center community and help you on your journey towards healing and optimal wellness.
Jimmy believes in nurturing the whole person by crafting training plans customized to each individual’s needs, goals, limitations, interests, and dynamic lifestyle. By helping clients to discover and harness their own natural talents, he encourages rewarding, sustainable lifelong practices. He enjoys collaborating with the compassionate staff at True Life, where each patient works with a coordinated team of practitioners to design a journey that is meaningful and fulfilling.
A certified USA Triathlon Level II Coach and graduate of the world renowned Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Jimmy himself has had over 20 years of experience competing in international multisport racing events. As a competitive athlete himself, Jimmy has earned All-American honors in triathlon and duathlon, represented Team USA 8 times, and qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. As a coach and consultant, he has trained elite tennis players and triathletes, Olympians, and celebrities. In 2005, he founded Santiago Multisport Coaching and has since worked with clients globally to compete in multisport events. He looks forward to working with new clients at True Life and embarking with them on their paths to self-discovery and empowerment.
Having a long-time fascination with the mind, body, spirit connection, Lalique focused her career around mindfulness-based meditation training and mental health. Her holistic training and diverse background enables her to see and treat individuals as whole human beings. In order to support each individual’s wellness journey, she focuses on creating a safe environment and establishing strong relationships that empower self-discovery through individualized goal setting and planning.
With a compassionate heart and a curious mind, Lalique helps patients and clinicians locate the root cause of illness and helps facilitate a patient to thrive. She looks forward to sharing her zest for life and wellness with you and the community at True Life Center. She feels alive and inspired to be working with such dedicated and skilled clinicians and administrators.
Megan Connolly is a Registered Dietitian who believes in the healing power of nutrition to promote whole person healing. She is passionate about the intricate connection between physical and mental health, and believes deeply in the integrative approach to care at True Life Center. Her skill set allows her to assist patients in authentic and compassionate self-acceptance. Her role at True Life combines both her interests and skills and her lifelong intention to serve others in her profession.
Megan earned her Master’s Nutrition Sciences at San Diego State University, and completed her dietetic internship at UC San Diego Health. Since becoming a dietitian, Megan has developed an expertise in nutrition therapy for eating disorders and disordered eating. She has worked with adult and adolescent patients in a variety of treatment settings, and is passionate about delivering thoughtful, individualized, evidence-based care. She further explored the dietetics field as a counselor at a residential treatment center for women suffering from eating disorders. Her own life experience has inspired her work, fueling her desire to help patients heal from the inside out.
Megan enjoys working as part of a multidisciplinary team, and is thrilled to contribute her expertise and enthusiasm to True Life Center. Her background in eating disorder work informs her the insight and understanding of nourishment as an innate healing process, and her work with TLC’s Integrative Wellness Team offers the opportunity to bring dietetic curiosity and inspiration to her patients.
Natalie is a graduate of UC San Diego with a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. Her experience includes publishing, copywriting, and detailed analytical writing on the impact of technological trauma in dystopian fiction. She brings her focused attention to detail and deep empathy to her position, providing warmth and sincere care in all aspects of her role.
Marissa earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from San Diego State University and has developed her concierge-level of service while working in various fields including hospitality, sales, and healthcare. As an administrative assistant and scheduler, she brings precision and competence to her position.
She works to provide a safe and compassionate environment for both patients and their loved ones as they navigate their healing journey. In her free time Marissa enjoys hiking, listening to music, and spending time with her family. She greatly looks forward to working alongside a group of like-minded individuals who are equally passionate about patient care and professional excellence.
Samantha is a graduate from UC San Diego with a bachelors of science in human development and a minor in psychology. Her experience includes conducting research, collecting and interpreting data, and writing scientific papers. She looks forward to supporting you on your journey of health.