Larry Team Page Pix_200x258Larry Fritzlan, LMFT, CEO and Co-founder

For the last twenty years, in his work and his life, Larry Fritzlan has witnessed the transformative power of individuals and families in recovery. He has discovered the almost limitless capacity of individuals to grow and to change their dysfunctional relationships not only to drugs, but to other people.

Larry’s passion is to help teens and young adults escape from the downward spiral of addiction. His grounding as a family systems therapist has demonstrated that sustained sobriety for the addict and functional family relationships can best be achieved when the family undertakes recovery. His program, Steps to Freedom, is the nation’s first young adult after-care program that treats the whole family as the client. “From day one of treatment,” Larry says, “we view the addictive/codependent family system as the client. Actually, we like to start treatment with the enabling, codependent parents. It is they who have the power to change themselves in ways that effectively support the addict’s decision to choose recovery and commitment to a path that leads to independent adulthood.”

Learning to master the violin — or a new language, or any complex endeavor — is a lifestyle decision. It starts by making a commitment, asking for help and following suggestions, one day at a time, as you slowly rewire your brain to play better and better music.

Accomplishing long-term sobriety and serenity for a family is similar. It requires deciding to ask for help, embarking on a tried and true recovery path, and committing, one day at a time, to a long-term horizon.

“It is amazing,” says Larry. “I still talk with families I treated 20 years ago. The addict has recovered, married, and has children, and the previously unhappy and codependent parents now delight in the joy of seeing their grandchildren born into a functional and sober family, knowing that these children will not grow up in an environment of addiction and codependence.”

To form Steps to Freedom, Larry has brought together a team of experienced and dedicated licensed family therapists who specialize in addiction and codependence. Combining his unique perspective of family-based treatment with the work of substantive, clinically-grounded residential programs such as Second Nature and the contribution of 12 Step programs and other community resources, Larry has built a recovery system that supports a young adult addict, the family as a whole and the individual family members to attain sobriety, wellness and joy.

To learn more about Larry’s evolution from drug addict to family therapist and founder of a cutting edge treatment approach, read the “Dr. No” article.

Avis Team Bio Pix_200x258

Avis Rumney, LMFT, CFO, Co-founder, Primary Therapist

Avis Rumney, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for over thirty years, is dedicated to fostering recovery and helping people heal and flourish. She is passionate about the value of therapy and the benefit of support in encouraging our innate drive to change and grow. Avis works from a family systems perspective and uses tools drawn from 12-Step, somatic, relational, cognitive and psychodynamic practices. She also brings to her work the hope and experience gained from her own recovery from a highly addictive eating disorder. Avis has published chapters and articles on eating disorder recovery and is author both of Dying to Please: Anorexia, Treatment and Recovery (2009) and Taming the Food Monster Within (2010). She is also co-author with Larry Fritzlan, LMFT of My Addicted Child: Codependency, Enabling and the Road to Recovery (2015). Avis is active in many professional organizations and is grateful for all that the world of recovery, her mentors, colleagues and clients have taught her.

Edwyne -Nazarian-MD-200x258Edwyne Nazarian, MD, is a psychiatrist in Marin County with 30 years experience in private practice.

She is experienced in working with patients and family members confronting alcoholism and substance abuse. She provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment services and collaborates with other Chemical Dependence professionals and treatment program. She supports the 12 step process and the principles of AA and Alanon.

Her personal and family experience with recovery has deepened her understanding of the impact of abuse and dependence on individuals and families and the benefits of treatment. She brings a friendly, caring direct approach to understanding psychological challenges and uncovering patterns that contribute to mental health.

Bill Arigi Bill Arigi, LMFT, Clinical Director

Bill has been licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist for over 20 years. In his private practice, Bill helps adolescents, adults and families, bringing to his work his expertise in relationship issues, anxiety, depression, addiction, recovery and spirituality. Bill’s experience in the field of recovery also includes past positions at an adolescent inpatient recovery home and at an outpatient methadone facility for adults with opiate addiction. He also served as the director of an outpatient, family-based treatment program for adolescents and adults recovering from substance abuse or eating disorders. His undergraduate degree in Business Management and his extensive business background are additional assets he brings to his position directing the operations of Steps to Freedom. Bill is an avid cyclist, hiker and backpacker. He is married, with two daughters, and loves being a dad.

Amy B

Amy Biesemeyer, LMFT, Primary Therapist

Amy has been a psychotherapist and therapeutic wilderness guide since 2004. She has guided hundreds of people in majestic natural settings, creating healing, empowering and life changes experiences. Working with women is a passion and she is dedicated to supporting them to fully know, love and express themselves. She has led many women’s groups, both indoors and out. To her work, she brings her training in mindfulness practices, trauma and recovery. Amy holds degrees in Women’s Studies and Somatic Psychotherapy. She is also a Wilderness First Responder.

Anmarie Hegarty’Anmarie Hegarty, LMFT, Primary Therapist

Anmarie has 10 years experience as a licensed therapist working with adolescents, young adults and their families to improve issues of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and substance abuse in transitional living settings and private practice.  She values working with families and focuses on healthy development and appropriate differentiation in order for all family members to succeed.  Her approach to working with families is holistic, incorporating mind, body and spirit for long term recovery.

Educational Advising and Coaching

Steps to Freedom is excited to offer Educational Advising and Coaching to our continuum of services! For our clients who want to obtain their High School diploma, or who are thinking about starting college level classes, we work closely with Educational Specialists who bring their expertise to the task of facilitating young adult clients in getting their education back on track. These professionals can assess each client thoroughly and then educate the client and the client’s family regarding the best options for the client to return to and successfully complete schoolwork.  We are located within easy commute distance of both UC Berkeley and San Francisco State as well as of a number of good private colleges and we are close to the local community college, the College of Marin. For more information about this valuable service, please inquire. Read more on Educational Advising and Coaching


Brian Edwards, Personal Fitness Trainer

Brian is an ACSM Health Certified Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer and Massage Therapist. He is skilled in sports conditioning for athletes, utilizing cutting edge training techniques. Brian’s approach to massage therapy incorporates myofacial release with overall fitness and wellness training.
Brian is a native of Brooklyn New York, and was groomed for a successful career in fitness through his training with the U.S. Navy and extensive amateur bodybuilding and boxing experience. His creative use of the outdoors, integrated flexibility, body awareness and over all wellness coaching make Brian a well rounded Instructor and Trainer.

Russell Hendlin

Rusell Hendlin, LMFT
Russell Hendlin is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 20 years of experience as a therapist in roles ranging from counselor in a residential treatment program to clinical supervisor of an outpatient program and clinician in private practice. He works with individuals, groups and families and specializes in at-risk, abused and emotionally disturbed adolescents and young adults. Rusty and his wife have been married for over 25 years and have raised and launched twin daughters who today are thriving young adults.

Stevan Gengo, LMFT, Ph.D.Stevan Gengo

Stevan Gengo, Ph.D. has been a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for over 25 years. Currently in private practice, Stevan has served as a director of social services at an adolescent psychiatric hospital and helped found an experiential treatment program for youth in Hawaii. Stevan has worked extensively in the drug and alcohol treatment field and has developed four drug treatment programs. Stevan founded and directs an Aikido  school in San Francisco.