CEO & Founder
Chris was born and raised in Northern Virginia, spending the better part of his twenties in Southern California, before returning to Virginia in late 2016. A story that many can relate with, Chris spent his adolescence in and out of treatment centers, wilderness programs, jails, military schools, private schools, public schools, and other institutions as a result of a substance use and co-occurring mental health challenges. Being in long term recovery since his early twenties, Chris’ ability to empathize, relate to, and connect with clients and their families is invaluable.
Chris began his career working with primary mental health and co-occurring disorders in a long term residential setting, eventually transitioning into working with veterans at a long term residential program for homeless veterans in San Diego. As a young professional, Chris specialized in working with the young adult population, especially young veterans suffering from trauma, substance use, and co-occurring mental health disorders. After three years of working in direct client care, he opened Chris Bennett Interventions, in early 2012.
Chris’ theory on intervention and consulting centers on the idea that by combining science and kindness, people are truly able to begin the process of change. Focusing on a kind, and compassionate approach, Chris and his Team are able to truly facilitate the initial stages of change that assist an individual in accepting help and support, and walk families through the process of change simultaneously. The CBI approach is grounded in that successful intervention is not that someone enters the door of a treatment center, but that they enter treatment, stay in treatment, are engaged in treatment, and ultimately follow aftercare recommendations. Then the family can claim the success of an intervention or consulting process. This is how CBI gauges success and you should too.
Since opening Chris Bennett Interventions, Chris has co-founded a non-profit organization, Chris Buro Foundation, with a mission to inspire health and wellness and a focus on mental health, and recently founded Encore Recovery Solutions, an innovative intensive outpatient program in Arlington, VA. With a never-ending determination to challenge the conventional and status quo, Chris has earned a reputation as a “straight shooter,” well respected addiction and mental health professional, and entrepreneur.
Jennifer Tarzia, MA, AMFT
COO & Director of Family Services
Jennifer was born and raised in Lake Tahoe, CA growing up enjoying the great outdoors as well as pursuing her passion in ballet and dance until she was 20 years old. She moved to San Diego in 2007 to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at San Diego State University. During her time there she was involved in various internships including the Peer Abuse Prevention Program, bringing bullying awareness and prevention programs to schools in South County San Diego. Upon graduating, she began work immediately in the field at a local private mental health residential treatment center.
During her 5 years with the company she carried various roles, including House Manager, Line Staff Supervisor and Admissions Director. She became particularly attuned to working with clients with various chronic mental health diagnoses and backgrounds in a myriad of situations, especially crisis intervention.
Discovering her love for the field, she completed her Master’s Degree in Counseling at National University, which prepared her to become an MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist). After moving out of state to open a new treatment center in Seattle, WA she returned to San Diego and began working with adolescents and adults with Eating Disorders at a local facility. While carrying on full time positions she always continued her work as a private interventionist with CBI as Director of Family Services. In February of 2017, she decided to follow her passion in the intervention business and moved into the role of Chief Operating Officer with CBI. Jennifer still maintains positions on the following non-profit boards WAAT (Women’s Association of Addiction Treatment) sitting on both the local San Diego Board and the National Board as well as Treasurer for the San Diego IAEDP Chapter (International Association for Eating Disorders). She continues to be passionate about bringing awareness to mental health and addiction struggles in our society, educating families, practitioners and the community when she can.
Tommy Walker, CSAC
Director of Community Relations
Tommy holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC) in the state of Virginia. He has worked in the behavioral health and substance use disorders field since 1999. Tom spent 10+ years providing direct care to clients and families as a counselor prior to beginning outreach and business development work with regional and national healthcare organizations. His dream has been to build a program in Northern Virginia, where he grew up and started his own recovery journey.
Tom Dearborn, MA
Behavioral Health Consultant
Growing up as a young basketball fan outside of Philadelphia, Tom describes his roots as simple and family oriented. His family infrastructure helped him through school, and he excelled through an undergraduate degree at Drexel, ultimately fine tuning his knowledge with a Masters in Psychology from Pepperdine University. His industry experience began with various treatment centers, concentrating on eating disorders, substance abuse and mental health.
Tom would describe his demeanor and approach as collaborative and respectful, believing that all clients possess unique strengths and through conversation he tries to access these strengths to expedite and uphold a healthy recovery. It is these strengths that promote radiative change that lasts a lifetime for clients and their families, creating a sense of personal empowerment and understanding.
Tom Dearborn has always been here to help, with an open hand and a shingle hung. He currently practices privately, working with individuals and their families, as well as being a behavioral consultant for CBI, often describing his work as “uplifting, honorable, and ablaze” and plans to embolden his dedication towards the health and wellness of others.
Behavioral Health Consultant
Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico where I lived until I was 19. I have been dealing with Substance Use Disorders and mental health technically my whole life. Growing up in an alcoholic home, I started drinking at the age of 10 which set me up to start my process of dealing with my own addiction and trauma at the early age of 19. At the age of 21 I started working in this field as my only career facilitating others to find the hope
and sobriety that was gifted to me through professional and different support groups.
the years. My sense of humor and continuous search for the next layer of personal work, has helped me build the capacity necessary to continue to work with complex cases along the years, while staying grounded. My number one priority with people suffering from addiction/mental health and their family members is safety, without a sense of safety, no movement really gets accomplished with people in going forward on their healing journey. My second priority is good and appropriate clinical communication with all parties involved, it is important for people to not have to guess the current concerns ailing a person and the information needed to facilitate them in order to recover. I have a fun, loving and nurturing approach when is warranted
and the boundaries necessary for safety to remain a priority while providing direct solutions to problems in the present moment. On my spare time, I spend time jumping out of airplanes or indoor skydiving as well as working out, doing Yoga and hanging out with my dog Lola and my girlfriend on the beach in Oceanside, California.
Jessica Yaffa is a certified professional coach specializing in relationship trauma, as well as a 2-time published author. She is the president of both NoSilence, NoViolence, and the San Diego Domestic Violence Council. Jessica has been featured in several publications including The New York Post, Darling Magazine, The Washington Post and Outreach Magazine. Additionally, Ms. Yaffa’s expertise and training programs have been sought out by several organizations including the United States Military, Starbuck’s Corporate Headquarters, the NFL, MIT and the San Diego District Attorney’s Office. As a survivor of extreme abuse and one of the nation’s leading experts on domestic violence, Ms. Yaffa continues to inspire a movement to end abuse globally.
Jeffrey is a professional interventionist and criminal defense attorney in Hollywood, California. He is a graduate cum laude of the University of San Diego School of Law, a practicing member of the California Bar since 1990 and a former trial lawyer for a national law firm. His undergraduate degree was with honors in Psychology and Literature & Writing from the University of California at San Diego. Jeffrey specializes in the defense of mental health, drug and alcohol-related cases. His expertise is in care advocacy and alternative sentencing through the courts.
Jeffrey has several years of in-house counsel and treatment and intervention planning experience for national recovery programs. He is a member of NII, the Network of Independent Interventionists, which means he is not affiliated with any treatment program. This maintains the professional autonomy and distance required to recommend only those treatment programs that are best suited to the client’s and family’s needs. He brings to his work extensive knowledge about the many moving parts of multi-problem clients and family systems, treatment and intervention. He is a seasoned practitioner who knows that beyond the dynamics of the defense and prosecution lies the need for identifying and presenting specific alternatives to incarceration and here partnership is critical with the court, the district attorney, probation and the treatment provider. He works to provide the best treatment solutions for his clients and families.
Jeffrey excels at building the strategic partnerships and creative alliances required to win cases, inspire real change and promote client care and family healing. He is a well-known and respected member of the addictions professionals and recovery communities and routinely collaborates with some of the best programs and practitioners in the country. Jeffrey brings to this work the many rewards and advantages of his own personal long-term recovery. and stays invested in the success of his clients and their families.