Welcome to our Staff page! We hope you’ll take a few minutes to read our staff bios to get a sense of “who we are,” because we are a unique family. Our emphasis on operating in accordance with the science of relationships has the staff at PCI truly functioning like a family, comprised of colorful personalities with multiple strengths and skills, which is what helps make PCI truly different than many other centers.
Miriam Hamideh, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, PSY 17320
Executive and Clinical Director
Dr. Miriam Hamideh is a licensed clinical psychologist. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, a master-level certificate in Psychoanalytic Theory and Practice, and a Bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology. Having practiced psychology for over 20 years in diverse clinical settings, she has extensive experience with anxiety, depression, mood disorders, psychosomatic illness, relationship problems, dual-diagnoses, and substance abuse. Her psychodynamic therapeutic approach helps patients to understand how their thoughts and actions affect the way they feel. Dr. Hamideh also integrates developmental psychology, and includes cognitive-behavioral techniques, which help the learning of new skills to deal with immediate stressors and work toward deeper personal growth.
Dr. Hamideh founded PCI Westlake Centers In February 2015. PCI stands for Psychological Care Institute, dedicated to provide the highest standard of care integrating science of psychology and wellness with the art of mindful clinical practice and research. Dr. Hamideh’s clinical staff is composed predominately of doctors trained in the most current and scientifically supported healing practices for addiction, mental health issues, and personal growth.
In addition, Dr. Hamideh has extensive experience with cultural diversity and acculturation problems. She is a therapist who speaks Portuguese and Spanish fluently among other languages, and has worked extensively with people from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. She teaches graduate level university courses and trains other professionals to become more culturally competent. Dr. Miriam Hamideh became a faculty member of the Psychology Graduate Program at California Lutheran University in 2002, where she taught for six years. She is currently a member of the Graduate Psychology Advisory Council for CLU.
She was invited to assist with the creation of the Cultural Diversity committee of the Los Angeles County Psychological Association (LACPA) in 2005. Dr. Hamideh served as Board member, chairing and co-chairing the Diversity committee for 7 years until 2017. She is also a member of both the California Psychological Association, and the American Psychological Association.
Kenneth Skale, Psy.D.
Licensed Psychologist, PSY29006
Dr. Kenneth Skale is a psychotherapist and the Program Director at PCI Westlake Centers. He earned his B.A. degree from San Diego State University and both his M.A. and doctoral degrees from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Skale is currently the Secretary for the Los Angeles County Psychologist Association. Dr. Skale practices psychodynamic, or depth-oriented, psychotherapy with persons recovering from addiction, depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress. He also incorporates elements of mindfulness into both group and individual psychotherapy.
Dr. Skale believes that enhancing personal well-being and maintaining sobriety can be achieved when a person embarks on a courageous journey of self-exploration in the context of a secure, safe, therapeutic relationship. Dr. Skale strives to empower his clients to make sense of their life story; integrate uncomfortable thoughts, emotions, and experiences into awareness; and live a more authentic and meaningful life.
Patrick Lockwood, Psy.D.
Registered Psychologist Assistant, PSB94022961
Dr. Patrick Lockwood grew up in a small Southern Missouri town, and eventually moved to Southern California to finish his doctorate of clinical psychology at TCSPP. Growing up in a community where addiction, economic struggles, and prejudice were common Dr. Lockwood feels a strong sense of empathy for how stuck, powerless, or unaccepted a person can feel. Since moving to Los Angeles, Dr. Lockwood has integrated his southern cultural experiences with his “big city” cultural immersion, and appreciates how culturally diverse and complex relationships can be.
Dr. Lockwood is a member of a number of professional organizations, such as the American Psychological Association and the International Association for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology. Dr. Lockwood has been published in a peer-reviewed journal, exploring the utility of neuroscience technology as it applies to the understanding and treatment of trauma disorders. Dr. Lockwood is currently finishing his hours for licensure at PCI Westlake Centers. For the last 10 years Dr. Lockwood has worked in various for-profit and non-profit companies focused on social justice and mental health issues serving as a private business development consultant. Dr. Lockwood has enjoyed serving clients in both the clinical and business worlds, and is honored to currently play a part in the development of a thriving treatment community at PCI Westlake Centers driven by the concepts of wellness and empowerment.
Ivone Umar, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, PBS 27199
Dr. Umar is a licensed clinical psychologist providing therapeutic services to adolescents and adults who are experiencing major life transitions, anxiety, depression, mood disorder, grief and trauma. She earned her PH.D and MA in Psychology from Fielding Graduate University. She has worked extensively with Mindfulness Meditation and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Efren Olmos, CATC-I
Efren is a Los Angeles native, with over nine years of experience working in the field of addiction treatment for both non-profit and privately owned facilities in the San Fernando Valley and Malibu. He started his journey working in a facility for men at People in Progress, followed by two years working with men and women at Studio 12, then by establishing himself as the Program Coordinator for an all-women facility in Brentwood.
Efren, who is CAADE certified, is currently pursuing a higher degree attending Ryokan College’s School of Psychology. His philosophies with clients are based on compassionate communication. He works from a solution-based model, informed by evidence-based theories like motivational interviewing, that encourages the client to move from crisis to solutions through experiential discussion and targeted personal growth strategies focused on strengths, hopes, and dreams.
Wendy Basil, Ph.D.
Director of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Registered Psychologist Assistant, PSB94022910
Dr. Wendy Basil joined PCI Westlake Centers in 2014 under the supervision of Dr. Miriam Hamideh. Previously, she worked with Dr. Hamideh at New Beginnings Counseling Center. Dr. Wendy is currently supervised by Dr. Ivone Umar (PSY27199) for her specialized practice with children and families. In addition to offering psychotherapy, she has been a health educator, life coach and psycho-demographics research director. Dr. Basil is also an adjunct faculty professor of psychology for California Lutheran University and the University of La Verne where she works with the military and teaches on Naval Base Ventura County at Pt. Mugu. She has extensive experience as both a therapist and educator working with all branches of military service.
Dr. Basil received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute with an emphasis on attachment-based therapy. Her Master’s Degree is in Communications Management from the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California, where she also taught undergraduates. Her undergraduate degree, also from the University of Southern California, focused on multicultural studies. Along with co-writer Sherry Klinger, Dr. Basil is the author of SPINOLOGY (Depth Publishing, 2014) about Jungian-based media psychology, branding and marketing. She regularly conducts workshops on a variety of issues including health and emotional wellness, motivation, therapeutic life skills and career development for clients, the general public and for professionals.
Meet our wonderful Psychiatrists! These fine doctors comprise our primary sources of referral for psychiatric medicine for our IOP clients.
Anil Sharma, M.D.
Dr. Anil Sharma, MD is a Doctor primarily located in Sylmar, CA, with other offices in Los Angeles, CA and Whittier, CA (and 1 other location). He has 23 years of experience. His specialties include Psychiatry, Neurology, Family Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology. Dr. Sharma is affiliated with Valleycare Olive View-UCLA Medical Center and UCLA Medical Center. He speaks English.
Lawrence A. May, M.D.
Dr. Lawrence A. May is an American physician, author and public speaker. He was voted one of the Best Doctors in Los Angeles and one of the Best Doctors in America by Los Angeles Magazine. He is the former chairman of Herbalife Medical Advisory Board. May has appeared on numerous television programs as a medical authority. He also represents the claimed “natural remedy” Proventol sold on late night television targeting older men with prostrate problems. He is also the clinical director for Targeted Medical Pharma, Inc.
Last but not least, meet our personal fitness consultants.
Tom Chowanec lives for the outdoors. He grew up camping and riding motorcycles. He started racing motocross and BMX from thirteen to sixteen years old, winning three regional nationals in that period. At eighteen, Tom was involved in a car vs. motorcycle accident with life threatening injuries. He spent eighteen days in the hospital with nine of those days in the Intensive Care Unit. Rehabilitation involved learning to walk again and multiple surgeries, including a shoulder replacement and a lower back spinal fusion from L4-S1. He is truly a person who understands what a patient goes through and the effect it can have one ones image and self esteem. In April of 2000, Tom Chowanec became a certified trainer by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. He started working for Spectrum Club of Agoura Hills. In 2003, Tom left Spectrum to work at Agoura Fitness until 2005 making the decision to work at Body Logic Sports Therapy full time through late 2008.
Tom always had a vision to open his own training facility. In January of 2010, Conejo Dynamics opened its doors to the community serving his long time clients and athletes. Athletes in the community include Club Soccer, Baseball, Football, Volleyball, Tennis, Water Polo, Golf, Wrestlers, Track and Cross Country. With many of them earning scholarships to D1 and D3 Schools, and one local girl making the U17 Women’s National Soccer Team. Dr. Kyle Knox and Tom met in 2010 and began a working relationship to better serve the needs of the athletes and members of our great community. Tom is extremely passionate when it comes to the health and fitness industry. His desire to help the community achieve their fitness and wellness goals are a dream come true.
Purusha Hickson has been teaching Hatha Yoga for over 35 years. His principle spiritual teacher is Swamini Turiyasangitanandaji, also known as Alice Coltrane. He has many years of experience teaching Yoga for residential treatment centers for substance abuse. Purusha accepted Dr.Miriam’s invitation to join her IOP Team in 2015. In addition to his yoga techniques, his positive energy, spirituality, and personal communication skills have been very successful with PCI clients and their education on the benefits of yoga for their recovery. His classes are characterized by a unique blend of spirit, technique, and humor. He joined PCI Westlake Centers to add one more important component towards stress reduction. Part of his teaching philosophy is based upon his very popular yoga seminar that first premiered at the San Francisco Zen Center: “Finding Balance: A joyful Exploration into the Depths and Boundaries of our Body and Mind.”