Meet Our Team

Through extensive diagnostic evaluations and holistic treatment, Omega Recovery is dedicated to enhancing wellness by offering clarity, direction, and results.

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 treatment 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 treatment protocols to treat this emerging global problem.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

At Omega, Michael uses his experience to encourage and inspire the next generation of recovering addicts and alcoholics. He considers it an honor and a privilege to pass along the essential tools, strategies, and attitudes that shaped his own journey in recovery.

Sarah White

Clinical Director, Licensed Master Social Worker

Sarah spent two years working in acute psychiatric hospitals and has extensive experience in assessing and treating severe mental illness. She has led a team of therapists as the Clinical director in an acute psychiatric hospital and worked to coordinate services, care, and interventions in accordance with state regulations and best practices.

Sarah White is a Licensed Master Social Worker. She graduated from the University of Houston, Graduate College of Social work with a specialization in clinical social work with academic honors as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. She was a Globe Youth Fellow and specialized in work with young adults, adolescents, and children. While participating in the Globe Youth Fellowship she was trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Brief Targeted Interventions. She began her career working with mothers suffering from addiction who were involved with child protective services at the Council on Recovery in Houston.

As the Clinical Director at Omega, she is using her extensive knowledge of addiction and mental health to lead our clinicians in offering exceptional evidence-based services. She coordinates with the entire Omega team to provide clients with a unique experience, unlike other programs. Sarah is a lifelong learner who is motivated to continue to update the programs at Omega to reflect the most up to date evidence-based treatments while keeping sight of the client experience.

Madison Hamm

Clinical Coordinator, LMSW

Madison enjoys using an integrative and collaborative approach with each client in order to approach their treatment with creativity and individuality. Madison uses a strengths-based perspective in order to incorporate Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy along with other modalities including Motivational Interviewing to provide tailored treatment to each client.

Madison is a Licensed Master of Social Work with a focus on mental health and accessibility to health care. Her background in children’s mental health and family work inspired her to continue her career in adult mental health. After working with children and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder, she wanted to expand her knowledge of family dynamics and mental health into adult mental health care and addiction.

Chandlar Coskrey

Therapist, LMSW

Chandlar Coskrey is a Licensed Masters Social Worker. She received both her Bachelors and Masters from Texas State University before making the move to Austin. Her previous employment position was at Austin Police Victim Services working as a counselor for victims of sexual assault and human trafficking. Her specialties include working with clients in the LGBTQ+ community, women who are victims of sexual assault, and adults who struggle with addiction. She uses the DBT, TFCBT, and strengths-based perspective models for her therapy sessions. She loves teaching Omega’s clients psychoeducational lessons on the neurobiology of their addiction, shame resilience, and self-compassion. She joined Omega because of the passion each employee has for helping our clients, and Omega’s dedication to innovation in this field. In her own words, she says “I am honored to be a part of this team and I know we have the knowledge, skill, and drive to help you or your loved one live a healthy life.”

Gabrielle Konyak

Therapist, LMSW

Gabrielle is a Licensed Professional Counselor – Associate who graduated from Villanova University with a masters in clinical mental health counseling. She spent two years working at a drug and alcohol partial hospitalization program providing individual and group therapy. She also has experience running an intensive outpatient program, working with clients with co-occurring mental health and addiction diagnoses. She has knowledge in many different modalities, including dialectical behavior therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, and motivational interviewing.

Gabrielle enjoys using a collaborative approach to treatment to account for each client’s individuality. She utilizes a person-centered, strengths-based approach. Gabrielle is proud to be part of such a collaborative team at Omega, that ensures each client receives the most appropriate and effective care.

Shea Gilchrist

Office Manager/ Human Resources/ Compliance Office

Shea grew up in rural East Texas with her three sisters, brother, mother, and father. She was a straight A student, played team volleyball and basketball at school, and then went on to study English Literature at University of Texas at Tyler, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in 2007. A year later, Shea moved to Japan and taught English as a Second language for a year and a half, and then backpacked parts of Asia for almost a year, returning to the states in 2011.

Shea always had a fondness for alcohol, and it also got her into a lot of trouble. Though things weren’t bad yet, alcohol definitely wasn’t adding any ease to her life. She jumped jobs and tried relocating, thinking those were the problems that was causing the dissatisfaction she was feeling.

Eventually, her alcohol use got the better of her, having mishaps causing hospital visits, a car wreck, two DWI’s, and in time, the loss of her job.

She attended her second treatment program, sober date 4/10/2018, completed successfully, and moved to Austin into a sober living home associated with Omega Recovery. Some months later, she was asked to manage the sober house and she also found a position as an Administrative Assistant at a furniture manufacturing company. Wanting to be a part of something bigger and aid in helping others, she joined the Omega team as Office Manager in 2019. Today, she wears many hats at Omega as Office Manager, Human Resources, and Compliance Officer.

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. Originally 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.

Makenzie Sartain

Admissions Specialist

Alex Smith

Lead Recovery Specialist

Gene Kuntz II | LAc | LMT

Licensed Acupuncturist |Wellness Coach

Gene Kuntz has been in the wellness industry for 12 years. He is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, licensed massage therapist, and meditation, tai chi and qi gong instructor.

Gene pursued his Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with a focus in Medical Qi gong. Early in his TCM practice, Gene worked along side practitioners at Seton McCarthy’s Community Center to develop “living well with pain” and “living well with stress.” It was there that he began to see the astounding benefits that meditation practices and acupuncture can have on one’s well-being. Through group participation in Qi gong and NADA protocol, also known as auricular acupuncture, patients who were completely desperate and hopeless due to their chronic pain were astonished and empowered when they found themselves pain free using these practices.

Gene now uses acupuncture and his experience in meditation to assist Omega clients to achieve their health and recovery goals.

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