START Professional Staff

Myra Saltoun, PhD, Clinical Director

Dr. Myra SaltounDr. Saltoun is the Clinical Director for Campus Based Services. She began her work at Casa Pacifica shortly after the doors opened in August of 1994. She has been responsible for bringing many program innovations and evidence based practices to campus that have been recognized at the state and national level.  Under her direction mental health services continue to expand and she has established a competitive post-doctoral program and a doctoral internship accredited by the American Psychological Association. She has presented at many state and national conferences, published articles/papers and has been active in professional organizations.  Dr. Saltoun is the Immediate Past President of the Ventura County Psychological Association.

After graduation from UCLA, Dr. Saltoun began her career as an elementary and high school teacher.  She quickly became a mentor teacher and began teaching at the University of Southern California. After completing her doctorate at the University of Southern California, she spent the next fifteen years at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles developing a specialty in the treatment of children and adolescents, first as a post-doctoral fellow and then as staff psychologist and program director.

Sean Dickson, Admissions Coordinator

Sean DicksonSean Dickson serves as primary point of contact for the residential START program. Mr. Dickson has been working as an admissions coordinator for other Casa Specialty Programs since 2013. If you would like to receive more information, schedule a tour, or begin the assessment and application process, contact Mr. Dickson at (805) 366-4000 or at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).



Katie Pfeiffer, PsyD, Intake and Utilization Manager

Dr. Katie PfeifferDr. Katie Pfeiffer is the Intake and Utilization Manager for Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families. She received her PsyD in Clinical Psychology at Alliant International University in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Pfeiffer oversees referrals into all the Casa Pacifica residential programs and conducts initial screenings and placement interviews. Dr. Pfeiffer has worked at Casa Pacifica since 2010 and has thirteen years of experience working with children, adolescents, and adults struggling with mental health and behavioral symptoms. Dr. Pfeiffer has specialized in clinical assessment, clinical health, crisis intervention, and trauma informed therapy. Prior to her work at Casa Pacifica, Dr. Pfeiffer worked with Ventura County Behavioral Health, Aurora Vista Del Mar Hospital, WISE and Healthy Aging, and the Telecare Corporation.

Robert Kretz, PsyD, Assessment Supervisor

Dr. Robert KretzDr. Kretz is a licensed psychologist and is the Training Director and assessment supervisor of the Casa Pacifica APA accredited Internship and Post-Doctoral Fellowship.  As such, he continues to develop, implement and oversee all testing services provided at Casa Pacifica.  Dr. Kretz has worked at Casa Pacifica since 2007 and has twenty years’ experience in providing psychological assessment for children, adolescents and adults.  A graduate of Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology, Dr. Kretz has expertise in cognitive, emotional, academic and neuropsychological testing, providing in-depth analysis of complex clinical presentations in children and adolescents.  He has previously served as the Clinical Director of a Level 12 Residential Treatment Center, has taught psychological testing and child psychotherapy as an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University and Phillips Graduate Institute, and has presented at many conferences on both psychological testing and evidence based treatment for children and adolescents. 

Jessica Schneider, PsyD, DBT Program Coordinator

Dr. Jessica SchneiderDr. Jessica Schneider is the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant for Casa Pacifica Center for Children and Families. She received her Psy.D. in clinical psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, IL. Over the past 10 years, Dr. Schneider has treated adolescents and adults with chronic mental illness, including mood and behavior dysregulation, utilizing Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).  Dr. Schneider has focused on helping individuals with emotion dysregulation develop more skillful and rich lives. She completed her APA-accredited internship and two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Casa Pacifica Center for Children and Families specializing in child and adolescent psychology.

During her fellowship, she was intensively trained by Dr. Alan Fruzetti on Dialectical Behavior Therapy for adolescents. She created and implemented a yearlong curriculum to train therapists and direct care staff in DBT practices.

Mark Capritto, EdD, Director of Education

Dr. Mark CaprittoDr. Mark Capritto – Director of Education has over thirty-five years in the field of education as a teacher, coach, mentor, and administrator.  Throughout his tenure, he has been responsible for every aspect in the field including educational administration, curriculum and instruction, athletics, student services, and special education.  Dr. Capritto received his Bachelor of Science in physical education at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; Master of Arts in Vocational Education from Long Beach State University, Master of Arts in Educational Psychology and Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Cal State University Northridge, and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Management from the University of La Verne. 

In addition to his educational experiences, Dr. Capritto served as an MFT intern for 20 years dealing with marriage and family therapy, student psychological issues in education, and adolescent therapy.  His work with Casa Pacifica includes restructuring the educational program, implementation of a thematic interdisciplinary project-based curriculum, and revitalizing the educational culture and climate of the non-public school.

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  • California Alliance of Child & Family Services – Accredited Member
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges – Accredited Member
  • Council on Accreditation – Accredited Member
  • Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers – Accredited Member
  • American Association of Suicidology – Accredited Member
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