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Our award-winning, multidisciplinary treatment team has 89 years of addiction treatment experience and includes some of the region’s top physicians, licensed psychologists, psychotherapists and alcohol and drug counselors. We work together to provide evidence based psycho-educational groups for addictions and co-occurring disorders, holistic wellness education, family education, specialty consultations and medication management, when indication.

Treatment Team

lr_team_judy_3-250x250JUDY SAALINGER, Ph.D., MFT, CAS

Executive Director/Co-Founder
Dr. Saalinger is a licensed marriage and family therapist and holds addiction counseling certification through the American Academy of Healthcare Providers. She is a respected advocate for individuals and families and has helped them heal and overcome the effects of addiction for over 30 years. Her book and curriculum, Fearless Change: Embrace the Choice to Reinvent Your Life, is an integral part of Lasting Recovery’s programs. As Executive Director, she personally assesses everyone who is interested in admitting to the program. She oversees the treatment staff and coordinates many of the clinical and administrative functions of the center.



Clinical Director/Co-Founder
Dr. Farkas is a licensed clinical psychologist and substance abuse professional. He served on the faculty of University of California San Diego Medical School and has authored/co-authored over 40 publications on addiction in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Farkas facilitates psychological testing for all of our clients, guides the development of Lasting Recovery’s program curriculum and oversees our continuous quality improvement.



Medical Director

Dr. Kai MacDonald has completed a combined family medicine-psychiatry residency and was board certified in family practice and psychiatry. He is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and is a Diplomat, American Board of Preventive Medicine in the subspecialty of Addiction Medicine. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in addiction treatment, dual diagnosis, psychotherapy, neuropsychiatry and behavioral medicine.

Dr. MacDonald has been named by his peers as one of the Top Doctors in San Diego County for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. In addition to his private practice, he is a Volunteer Clinical Faculty at the University of California San Diego, Department of Psychiatry, and Family and Preventative Medicine, UCSD, and is actively involved in research and teaching in a diverse number of fields, including attachment, addiction, attention deficit disorder, and oxytocin. He works with Lasting Recovery to provide community training events, the most recent titled “The Suboxone Controversy And Treatment of Opiate Dependence” and “Why Not Pot?

Dr. MacDonald takes pride in offering patients the most up-to-date, scientifically-grounded medical treatments for addiction, as well as doing a thorough assessment of the common psychiatric conditions (ADHD, PTSD) that travel with addictions.



Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor

Jeff Cox holds a Masters in Counseling Psychology Degree with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Counseling and is a licensed MFT. With an AA Degree in Alcohol and other Drug Studies and a Bachelors Degree in Human Services with a concentration in Addiction Studies, he brings exceptional knowledge, experience, and compassion to our clients. Jeff facilitates both our morning and evening adult groups. His insight, life experience, education and ability to understand the challenges of recovery and raising a family, bring balance to our clients’ treatment experience.


Marriage and Family Therapist

Jennifer Lopez is a registered associate marriage and family therapist and professional clinical counselor. After completing her Masters Degree at Pepperdine University, Jennifer went on to work with the underserved population in a nonprofit organization, and cofacilitated skills training groups at the DBT Center of Orange County. Since joining the Lasting Recovery team in 2017, she has been facilitating one of the program’s PHP recovery based groups, the DBT mental health program, and the LR family support group. Jennifer has a passion for using a value based, goal oriented approach to help LR clients adopt positive, effective coping skills on their road to recovery.



Registered Nurse & Massage Therapist

Jenn is a BSN registered nurse. She has been a member of the Lasting Recovery Team since 2014. She is proud to serve her community with compassionate evidenced based care to help those suffering from addiction and mental health. She believes that anyone, given the right opportunity, can make the change on to the road of recovery. Jennifer Pursley is a registered nurse who brings a wide range of skills to our clients. She holds a Bachelor of Nursing degree from San Diego State University and has many years as a certified holistic practitioner, providing massage therapy to people in the San Diego community. She is dedicated to helping our clients with her deep healing presence and her knowledge of the medical and nursing effects of addiction.