Our Team

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Dr. Gita Zarnegar, Ph.D., Psy.D., MFT – Clinical Advisor

Dr. Zarnegar has over 27 years of experience in behavioral health and clinical treatment. Dr. Zarnegar serves on the Advisory Board for Tharros House and helps to direct resource and team development.  Her clinical insight also provides guidance for the development of client support services. Dr. Zarnegar brings a wealth of intuitive and insightful knowledge rooted from a quarter century of clinical experience.

Dr. Zarengar received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, from California School of Professional Psychology and a Psy.D. in psychoanalysis, from the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis. She has a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Loma Linda University and has been a  licensed M.F.T since 1988.

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Paul Gardner- Co-Founder, Program Director

Paul is Tharros House’s Program Director and interfaces with clients and family on a daily basis. Paul found his sobriety in Los Angeles CA in 2010.  After undergoing inpatient treatment in a non 12-step facility, Paul connected with the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, becoming an active member.  Paul lived in a sober living home for 13 months before starting his own sober house in LA.  Paul is driven by his personal battle with addiction and his passion to help others. Paul’s education is in entrepreneurship as a graduate of Babson College in Wellesley, MA.  In addition to starting several ventures, his professional background includes 12 years in the hospitality industry, most recently as the General Manager for a Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles. Paul is passionate about helping others recover.  In addition to his role at Tharros House, Paul is on the Board of Directors for Prana Recovery Centers, a non-profit organization dedicated to relapse prevention.

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Melissa Lowrey- Co-Founder, Support Design and Implementation

Melissa is responsible for providing Tharros House with empirically supported practices, and more recently, has employed Martin Seligman’s scientific model of happiness. She draws upon tenants of positive psychology and applying it to individuals in recovery, with the belief that all people can flourish. 

Melissa pulls from her extensive knowledge from years in the medical field in the area of Occupational Therapy. As a Boston area native, she is returning home after nine years in Los Angeles working with individuals recovering from a variety of conditions and illnesses, including mood disorders and substance use disorder. Melissa is currently finishing her Master’s Thesis at Harvard University and will be starting a Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at William James College in September 2017. She is motivated by a strong desire to help addicts and alcoholics find value and meaning in their lives and what drives them to make a change.

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Darren Shaughnessy- Assistant Program Director

Darren joined the Tharros House team after spending 2 years in the Los Angeles recovery community.  In his leadership role at Tharros House, Darren interfaces with clients, the House Manager, and support staff.  Darren’s primary focus is to promote client development of life skills that will serve their long-term sobriety. Darren holds a BA from Stonehill College and was most recently the General Manager of The Living Rebos Sober livings in LA.  In that role, he was responsible for the daily operations of 2 structured sober living homes.

Donna Wolfe- Vocational Coach

Longtime consultant and salesperson for in-coming conferences to Boston, Donna has developed teams at Historic Museums and Venues, John F. Kennedy Library, Brandeis University, and many venerable and start-up businesses. Her successful motivational speaking/ workshops on Time Management, Personal Public Relations, Courage in Workplace, as well as Intern Programs at various non-and-for profit companies, have run concurrently with the work she does at Tharros House.

Donna holds a BFA from The University of Massachusetts Amherst.  Since 1991, she has immersed herself offering vocational assistance to recovering people. At Tharros, Donna coaches clients to develop a personal “tool kit” of useful language, ideals, and methods to insure a smooth transition into the “real world”. Resumes are strategically revamped, and informational interviews with hand-picked Sober Successes (Chosen from 400 local sober professionals) expedite this blossoming, connecting the client while challenging his growth, often resulting in long-term mentorship.

Donna is President of Board of Directors of Granada House, the oldest non-profit rehabilitation program in Boston.