"When you outsource your health care, you delegate your destiny. When you take charge of your healing, you take back your health and life."— Darina Stoyanova

Our Wellness Team

Cathleen Brooks Weiss

Founder, Executive Director, Clinical Director, Wellness Therapy
Cathleen Brooks Weiss is known internationally as a pioneer and expert in linking physical illness and unresolved emotional pain, and her professional life has always focused on finding creative ways to meet the needs of such patients. Her own battles with cancer and chronic pain inspired the comprehensive mind-body-spirit approach that is the basis of Next Step® Institute. In addition to Next Step® Institute, Cathleen also co-founded and presided over the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA), the leading advocate for children and adults affected by parental addiction.

After graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Cathleen helped found one of the nation’s first rape crisis centers before pursuing a successful career in journalism. Her own healing and spiritual journey prompted a career shift, with graduate work in counseling at the University of California, San Diego, and theology at Loyola University. In 1981, she authored The Secret Everyone Knows, one of the most widely distributed books in the addiction field. Cathleen developed the first hospital-based treatment program for children of alcoholics at Sharp Cabrillo Hospital in San Diego, where she served as Director of Youth Services. Under her leadership, Next Step® Institute has created innovative programs integrating emotional, spiritual and physical wellness in hospitals, school districts, religious institutions, Indian reservations and treatment centers.

A speaker, consultant and author of numerous articles and two books, Cathleen’s innovative work has been featured on 60 Minutes, the Today Show and the CBS Early Show, as well as in national magazines, newspapers and on radio programs. Cathleen’s life experiences have given her deep insight and compassion for the struggles and suffering of others. Her greatest therapeutic talent is helping patients feel safe enough to gently explore their inner essential selves, while honoring their wisdom, strength and courage. Her goal — for herself and Next Step® patients — is to move beyond survival to optimal wellness and true joy.

Gary Weiss, MD

Clinical Director, Neurology, Integrative Medicine
Dr. Weiss is one of the nation’s leading experts in integrative medicine, in addition to being internationally recognized for diagnosing complex and obscure conditions that have confounded patients and their doctors. While highly trained in the specialty of neurology (treatment of the brain, spine and nervous system), Dr. Weiss believes the best medicine is a holistic approach to the whole person. The culmination of Dr. Weiss’ work is the personalized, integrative medical approach utilized at Next Step® Institute in Colorado.

After completing the six-year Honors Program in Medical Education at Northwestern University in Chicago, Dr. Weiss had four years of training at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. At Mayo Clinic, he learned to adhere to the words of Dr. William Mayo, “the best interest of the patient is the only interest to be considered.” The Mayo philosophy has always been to use only the best parts of available health treatments. Together with his colleagues at Next Step® Institute, Dr. Weiss expanded this tradition, utilizing the best of ground-breaking Western medicine alongside time-tested, holistic treatments such as the Native American Sweat Lodge.

Since the start of his career, Dr. Weiss has been on the cutting edge of integrative treatment approaches. In 1988, he started the first treatment center for those suffering from the triad of addiction, codependency and childhood trauma. He created the first 12-step treatment center for addiction in France, and the first integrative 12-step treatment center for chronic pain in the U.S.

Dr. Weiss is board certified in neurology and electrodiagnostic medicine. Named one of “America’s Top Physicians” by the Consumers’ Research Council of America in 2006 and 2007, he has served on the Practice Parameter Committee for the State of Florida and was appointed ombudsman for Central Florida by the governor. He is a member of numerous local, state and international medical societies, a published author of a number of research studies including one in Science magazine, and has lectured throughout the U.S. and internationally.

Liv Fagerholm

Director

Liv Fagerholm is the Director of the Next Step Institute.  She started with Next Step in 2006 as the Director of Next Step's Equine Therapy program in Colorado.  With her background as a wrangler, Liv developed a comprehensive program, working with Next Step's clinical team, to utilize horse interaction for patient insight and healing.

Liv moved from Seattle (where she graduated from the University of Washington) after a career in creative arts, marketing and administration.  She felt drawn to the opportunity to focus on mind/body/spirit healing in an atmosphere of natural beauty.  After several years of directing the equine program and managing Next Step's stables in Colorado, she assumed the responsibility of Project Manager for Next Step, as well as becoming a patient care coordinator and assessment specialist.  In 2011, Liv was promoted to Executive Director when Next Step founder Cathleen Brooks Weiss made the decision, after 27 years, to turn over the reins of Next Step leadership to this dynamic and dedicated professional, allowing Cathleen to focus on clinical work with patients and her writing.  

In addition to keeping Next Step and its team of clinicians functioning, Liv utilizes her gentle compassion and astute communication skills to provide patient assessment interviews and coordinate patient care.
In addition,  Liv is a yoga teacher for addiction recovery, published writer, a successful artist (livfagerholm.com), movement and meditation teacher and continues to take care of Next Step's herd of rescued therapy horses.
 
Steve Jourdain
Native American Healing
Steve Jourdain was Chief of the Lac La Croix reserve in Ontario, Canada for two decades, leading his people in the battle against alcoholism, sexual abuse and cultural and environmental loss.  s Steve has received advanced counselor training at the University of Manitoba.

 

Iris Jourdain

Native American Healing

Iris has served as the reserve’s social worker and helped design a model sexual abuse treatment program. During most of their nearly 50 years of marriage, Steve and Iris have made their living by trapping in the snowy wilderness, as Steve was taught by his father and grandfather.  Iris pursued her counseling studies at Laurentian University in Ontario.