Our Team

Gita Image

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

Dr. Zarnegar has over 30 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.

Paul Profile Picture 2

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.  

Melissa Image 2

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.

Darren Profile Picture 2

Darren Shaughnessy- Director of Teras Sober Living

Darren originally joined the Tharros House team in 2015 after spending 2 years working in the Los Angeles recovery community.  In his leadership role at Teras House, Darren interfaces with clients, families, and our support staff.  Darren’s primary focus is to promote client development of recovery skills that will serve their long-term sobriety. Darren holds a BA from Stonehill College and was most recently the Assistant Director at Tharros House.  

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.

Support Team:

Daniel O’Connell

Dan understands the journey of recovery, having engaged long-term sobriety since January 2016.  In recovery, Dan has returned to many of his athletic passions. Dan grew up in Duxbury MA where he was the captain of the varsity golf, hockey, and tennis teams. During his senior year, Dan was awarded the Fuller T. Marshall award which is reserved for excellence in and athletics and scholastics. Dan went on to graduate from Curry College with a B.S. degree in Communications. While at Curry, Dan was named NCAA Division 3 MVP for tennis. Prior to joining the teams at Tharros and Teras, Dan also spent 8 years as a financial advisor.  Now, he finds purpose in helping others find their passions in recovery.

Nicholas Dunn

Nick is a person in long term recovery through the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.  He has maintained sobriety since March 5th, 2015, and is very active through the Young People in AA Fellowship. Nick grew up in Arlington, Massachusetts where he attended Arlington High School, playing varsity D1 Hockey and Lacrosse. Nick earned a place on the First Team All Stars in both Junior and Senior years for Lacrosse. Early on in recovery, Nick began reconnecting with his passions of playing Hockey, and enjoying the outdoors.  After spending much of his career in retail where he managed for Mobil, Circle K and Home Depot, Nick joined the Tharros Team in February of 2018, making the decision to follow his passion of helping men in recovery.  Nick is actively engaged in coursework at Middlesex Community College in the Addiction Counseling Program where he is studying to take the state LADC exam.  He plans to continue on to become a licensed Social Worker. Nick is also actively working on training to be a Certified Recovery Coach.