Meet Our Staff

Meet Our Staff

Dr Nicholas Kardaras, PH. D., LCSW-R

Dr Nicholas Kardaras, PH. D., LCSW-R

Co-Founder, Chief Clinical Officer

Dr. Kardaras is an Ivy-League educated psychologist, an internationally renowned speaker, and one of the country’s foremost addiction experts. A former Clinical Professor at Stony Brook Medicine where he specialized in teaching the neurophysiology and treatmnet of addiction, he has also taught neuropsychology at the doctoral-level and has worked closely in developing clinical protocols with Dr. Howard Shaffer, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Director of their Division of Addiction.

He has appeared on ABC’s 20/20, Good Morning America, the CBS Evening News, FOX & Friends, NPR, Good Day New York and has written about addiction for TIME Magazine, Scientific American, Psychology Today, Salon, The NY Daily News, and FOX News, and has been featured in Esquire, New York Magazine, VICE, and Vanity Fair.
Considered a leading expert on young people and digital addiction, he is the author of “Glow Kids” (St. Martin’s Press, 2016), the seminal book on the clinical, neurological and sociological aspects of Technology Addiction (Smart Phones, Video Games, Social Media, etc.) and has clinically worked with over 1,000 teens and young people during the last 15 years. He has been active in advocating that screen addiction be recognized as a clinical disorder akin to substance addiction and has developed the most comprehensive treatmnet protocols to treat this emerging global problem.

Dr. Kardaras is also the creator of Seahab, an intensive experiential form of nature immersion therapy. Based on the very successful evidence-based principles of Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare (OBH), Seahab has proven to be very effective as an intensive intervention to help addicts shift out of self-destructive and toxic lifestyle patterns.

Dr. Kardaras has also, admittedly, lived a colorful life: he’s a former AAU National Karate champion, a recovering NYC nightclub owner and a coma survivor. Having once owned high-profile NY nightclubs where he had mingled with the likes of JFK, Jr., Uma Thurman and Tom Cruise, Dr. Kardaras emerged from that glamorous-yet-self-destructive world and discovered a healing path to his own recovery from addiction. Dr. Kardaras is also the author of “How Plato and Pythagoras Can Save Your Life” (Conari, 2011) and devotes his life to helping others find their path to recovery, healing and a life of meaning and purpose.

He lives with his wife and twin sons between Austin, TX and Sag Harbor NY and is a frequent presenter and lecturer on the subjects of mental health, philosophy, and both substance and screen addictions.

David Naylor

David Naylor


David entered his first treatment center at the ripe young age of 17 for cocaine, alcohol, and pills. That was the first of many attempts to recover but unfortunately it took him another 10 years burning through relationships, jobs, money and countless opportunities before coming to the end of his rope and finally surrendering. On that day, he truly asked for help from a deep place within and was reborn into a new relationship with his Higher Power, which his faith is his cornerstone today.

Since 2010, David has been on a full blown mission for his healing, recovery and discovering his true authentic self while helping spread the message of recovery and redemption. He worked for Google for several years after treatment working on his recovery while managing a sober living house in California, a true testament that the promises of the program are real. He is a huge advocate and resource for helping individuals heal and address underlying issues, core trauma, shame, addiction, and codependency. He is the founder of Omega, Maui Recovery, and BridgeWay Sober Living and lives in Austin, Tx.

Michael Smeltzer

Michael Smeltzer

Executive Director

Michael Smeltzer was born and raised in Austin, Texas. As a teenager, Michael was introduced to drugs and alcohol, and began drinking and using regularly. He noticed early on that his reaction to substances was abnormal. He was constantly thinking of the next high. Like so many addicts, he began to isolate, his relationships were strained, he resorted to crime, and his self-esteem plummeted. While studying business at Texas State University, his addiction reached the point of unmanageability.
For years, Michael was in and out jails and institutions. He tried programs, treatments, counselors, and medications, but to no avail. He was forced to drop out of school, he could not keep a job, and his family and friends began to lose hope. He felt hopeless and helpless until he was finally able to give himself completely to a simple program of action. Today, Michael has regained the trust of his family, is a productive member of society, and has taken an interest in spiritual philosophy.
Scott Schroeder

Scott Schroeder

CEO Maui Recovery

Scott’s exemplary financial background brings more than 25 years of senior leadership
expertise, with a proven ability to raise equity from financial institutions and investors, as well
as operating as the COO of 40 Physical Therapy clinics and electronic medical software company
managing 600 employees. His drive and dedication, together with the highest level of integrity
and values, bring a literal wealth of experience and knowledge to the business.
Scott attended the Hazelden Treatment Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota and has maintained
sobriety for ye30 years since then. His recovery can be mostly attributed to regular attendance
at AA meetings, working the 12 steps, working with a sponsor, plus assisting and working with
his sponsees and others.
His personal commitment to the health and wellness of others is unparalleled. His passion to
operate a Treatment Center where he can demonstrate to others that recovery is not only
possible, but sustainable, is a lifelong dream.
Scott was largely responsible for starting the Association for Substance Abuse Student (ASAS)
Program with Dr. Carl Anderson at Texas Tech University in 1988, as well as forming the first
Celebrate Recovery program in West Los Angeles, which continues successfully today.

Dr. Robert Cantu, MD

Dr. Robert Cantu, MD

Medical Director

Dr. Cantu is a Texas native, who grew up in Denton. After graduating from Baylor University, he attended the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, where he received his medical degree. After he completed his psychiatry residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN in 1991, Dr. Cantu returned to Austin. There he established a private practice and has maintained it since.
In his free time, Dr. Cantu enjoys reading, traveling, attending comedy shows and concerts, as well as his daily adventures with his two German Shepherds, Chula and Ziva. He is a strong supporter of the local arts, hosting shows and events for artists and select organizations.
Julia C Thompson LMSW

Julia C Thompson LMSW

Clinical Director

Julia received her Master of Clinical Social Work degree from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2014. Julia has worked in the fields of both inpatient and outpatient substance abuse treatment and community mental health. It was early in her career that it became evident to her that addiction typically indicates an underlying distress and most often trauma. Julia has devoted much of her time to working in the field of recovery from addiction and trauma both in her employment and in volunteer roles in the SW Florida community that she recently
relocated from.
Julia was initially trained in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and now in Rapid Resolution Therapy®. Rapid Resolution Therapy® or RRT is a gentle and brief therapeutic modality, that can effectively treat symptoms of trauma/stress related disorders, anxiety, panic attacks, sleep disturbance, frozen grief, guilt, resentment and even aid in successful recovery from addiction. RRT integrates multiple approaches such as hypnotic communication, cognitive techniques, humor and lightness allowing for optimal and deep healing.
In addition to being trained in Rapid Resolution Therapy, Julia also utilizes mindfulness, solution-focused and expressive art approaches.. Julia is an artist herself and enjoys assisting others in discovering and deepening their creativity. Julia is a practitioner with the Institute of Rapid Resolution Therapy and
frequently attends trainings with the founder, Dr. John Connelly, LCSW. Julia is also a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the Association for Traumatic Stress Specialists and the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation.
Julia moved recently to the Austin area with her family and enjoys outdoor adventure, live music and learning about the local culture. Julia enjoys art, film, exercise, cooking and goofing around with family. Julia believes that optimal functioning occurs when one’s attention is outward, enjoying nature, animals or other people for example. Julia’s goal is always to assist clients in achieving overall wellness, joy and true connection with their best selves.
Michael Wurth, LPC, LCDC

Michael Wurth, LPC, LCDC

My name is Michael Wurth. I am both a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor. I teach overwhelmed people how to rewrite the stories in their heads that are holding them back. This often requires challenging the longest-held of assumptions we carry about ourselves about addiction, mental health, and what we mean when we say we ‘just want to be happy.’

I started in the mental health field 31 years ago as a psychiatric medic in the Air Force, and have held every job from an overnight tech at a State Hospital, to a mindfulness and meditation trainer, to the Clinical Director of a 54 bed residential treatment facility.

Along the way I earned a Master Degree in Comparative Literature, and spent some time traveling the world trading stocks and teaching English.  I have won awards at several film festivals for my two feature films and three short works. I’ve directed and written over 40 commercials.

These experiences provide a foundation of storytelling and training that allows me to understand almost any issue you trust me with.

I help clients identify their thinking patterns in active addiction with a film director’s clarity, a writer’s sense of language, and a recovered addict’s instincts.  The language we choose reveals that our thoughts, not our feelings, play the largest role in where our addictions begin and end. The stories we tell ourselves dictate our paths.

It’s an honor to be able to serve you at Omega Recovery, and I’m grateful to learn from each of you.

Texas LPC #73182

Texas LCDC #12744

Samuel Robinson, LMSW

Samuel Robinson, LMSW

Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, LMSW

Sam is a Licenced Masters Social Worker and a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor intern. He was born and raised in Great Britain where he completed my Bachelors in Sociology and his Masters in Social Work. Sam has over ten years of experience working with a range of vulnerable groups in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the USA.

Sam has spent time facilitating SMART recovery groups in UK prisons, providing crisis management to vulnerable families in the child welfare system and providing psychotherapy to individuals with a range of social and emotional challenges. He incorporate an attachment-focused, relationship-based approach to his work and thrives in supporting people to feel connected and in-tune with their creative self 🙂

Sam’s work has continued to thrive alongside his love of all things music; He’s been playing drums at a professional level for many years. Music has played an important role in his own self-care for as long as he can remember (and has been a reason he fell in love with Austin!) and serves as his own reminder to support you in finding what makes you fulfilled.

Dr. Bob Beare, Ph.D., LPC

Dr. Bob Beare, Ph.D., LPC

Senior Therapist/Chief Clinical Consultant

Dr. Beare is an organizational psychologist, clinical psychotherapist, addiction specialist, psychodramatist, and executive coach with over 20 years experience working with individuals, couples, families, leaders, and organizations. He was a long-time instructor at the C. G. Jung Center in Houston, a certified leader with the ManKind Project International, Clinical Director and current Senior Clinical Consultant at The Last Resort Treatment Center for Men, and Senior Clinical Consultant to Maui Recovery in Hawaii.
A professional actor, director, and composer, Bob is the founder of Houston Playback Theatre (a personal story-based theatre troupe) and is the author of The Creative Fire – 10 Weeks to Emotional and Creative Fitness. He is a trained expressive arts therapist using art, poetry, music, movement, and theatre in all of his therapeutic and coaching work.
Dr. Beare is the founder of The Authentic Leadership Program, helping leadership teams to become more effective and profitable through dynamic emotional intelligence training. He is also the founder of The Brave Heart Experience, an intensive 2 day workshop for men, women, leaders, and people in recovery who are ready to dive deeply into self-empowerment.
Dr. Beare has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Composition, a Master’s in Clinical Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. His doctoral research and published dissertation was on the topic of “Senior Leader’s Experience’s with Vulnerability.” Bob is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Texas, and is a certified Birkman Method Consultant.
Lucy Rojas Kardaras

Lucy Rojas Kardaras

Yoga Instructor and 12-Step Coach

Lucy is a certified yoga instructor who was trained by Rodney Yee and his wife Colleen SaidmanYee at Yoga Shanti in New York.  She earned her B.A. in English from Syracuse University and an M.S. in Education from Hunter College. Her love for yoga inculcated a deep appreciation of the physical, mental and spiritual benefits that yoga can provide in the modern age. In her classes, she combines the principles and ideas of 12 step programs with the benefits of yoga. Yoga helps alleviate some of the  modern afflictions many of us suffer from: overworked, poor posture, text-neck, anxiety, addiction and over-stressed bodies, minds and spirits. She combines many aspects of Hatha Yoga and the deeply calming and relaxing benefits of Restorative Yoga in her classes. Her deepest desire is to impart a life-long love of yoga, foster a joie de vivre–that zest for life–and to inspire hope in people’s lasting journey of recovery. Lucy has experienced the gifts of the 12 Steps over the last 18 years of her sobriety. She is forever grateful to 12 Step fellowships as well as to her amazing yoga teachers, Rodney and Colleen, whose expertise continually guide her. Some of the wisest words ever uttered by Rodney continue to echo in her mind today, “Don’t get weird” he once said…except… if you’re in Austin!

Chris Felder

Chris Felder


Chris has extensive working knowledge in several disciplines. His broad experience makes Chris an effective manager with a well developed business acumen. His skill set and education intersect several functional areas of management; Finance, Human Resources, and Information Technology, which enables him to be flexible, as he has achieved success in large corporate environments and small businesses across a diverse range of industries.

Specialties: Process Optimization, Employee Resource Management, System Integration, Vendor and Service Provider Liaison, Network Design, Process Automation Design and Implementation.

Gabriella Jeffords

Gabriella Jeffords

Admissions Director

Gabi has worked in the recovery field since 2012. She was previously the Assistant Director of sober living at Hickory Wind Ranch and has a strong background in addiction and eating disorders. Gabi has a bachelor’s in English from Colorado College and graduate level coursework in counseling at St. Edward’s University. Orignally from New York but a Texan transplant for almost 20 years, she brings her heart, intelligence and passion to ensure individualized care for every Omega Recovery client. 
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