Laurel Miller, L.Ac, M.Ac

Natural Highs Board President

I joined the Natural Highs team in 2009, offering Acu Wellness (also known as the Nada protocol) to the Natural Highs Community. When I am not sitting in a circle sipping mate and healing herbs, I am working with people one-on-one as an acupuncturist or meditation instructor. I have a passion for teaching and have been a faculty member at the Institute of Taoist Education and Acupuncture since 2010. I love spending time with my partner and our little dog in the mountains, practicing drawing, getting to know the plants in my garden or being in the company of friends. I am so grateful to be a part of the Natural Highs community, it provides my life with meaning, joy and a path to greater health and healing.

Michael VanElzakker, PhD.

Natural Highs Board Member

I am a research fellow in the Massachusetts General Hospital/ Harvard Medical School divisions of Neurotherapeutics and Psychiatric Neuroscience, in the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging. I focus on brain scan and neuroendocrine studies of memory & trauma related conditions such as postraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), poorly understood neuroimmune chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and also teach a course on clinical psychology research methods to undergraduates at Tufts University. I became involved in Natural Highs in 2009, a few years before moving to Boston, when I worked in the University of Colorado's department of Psychology and Neuroscience. I love working with Natural Highs because it's a great opportunity to engage the fascination with neuroscience of bright and curious young people. Understanding the brain as a physical organ is an often-overlooked part of learning self-care, and I appreciate Natural Highs' mission to empower students with information.

Harvey Milkman, PhD.

Natural Highs Board Member

Harvey Milkman, Ph.D., is a psychology professor emeritus at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Dr. Milkman is currently the principal consultant for the US-Russia Peer-to-Peer program on working with at-risk youth. From September 1992 – June 2002, he was author, principal investigator and director of Project Self-Discovery: Artistic Alternatives for At-Risk Youth, a national demonstration model funded by The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. He was the recipient of a Fulbright-Hays Lectureship Award at the National University of Malaysia and has represented the United States Information Agency as a consultant and featured speaker in Australia, Brazil, Iceland, The Netherlands, Peru, Turkey and Yugoslavia.  In July, 2016 in Moscow State University, Russia, he delivered master classes at on adolescent problem behaviors.

His coauthored book "Pathways to Self-Discovery and Change: Criminal Conduct and Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescents" is the principal substance abuse/criminal conduct treatment curriculum used in residential correctional settings for juveniles throughout Oregon, Colorado, Texas and Montana.

Dr. Milkman is the author of numerous scholarly articles and books on the causes, consequences and treatment choices for the broad spectrum of addictive behaviors. His recent coauthored publications include: "Social Responsibility Therapy: A Cognitive-Behavioral Model for Treatment of Substance-Abusing Judicial Clients," "Forensic CBT: A handbook for clinical practice," "Pathways to Self-Discovery and Change: Criminal Conduct and Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescents – Provider’s Guide and Participant’s Workbook" and many others. He is the initiator of the "Iceland Model", a highly successful substance abuse prevention/intervention approach where Iceland was able to significantly reduce their teen substance abuse and that is now replicated in over 30 countries.

Trina Faatz

Board Member

Trina Faatz is an advocate for child welfare and family wholeness. Having been a volunteer school                     representative for the Parent Engagement Network (PEN) for 9 years, and on the Board of Directors for Voices for Children/CASA for 13 years, she now serves on the Board of Directors for Natural Highs, and is well versed in struggles and challenges facing youth and parents today. Three years ago, two of her close friends lost a child to an overdose, and Trina learned that her daughter (with Chronic Lyme Disease) also struggled with Substance and Opioid Use Disorder. Having navigated the system, treatment options, and intervention services, she and her daughter slowly created their own treatment module and recreated their family's relationships and trust. Trina went on to get certified as a Peer Recovery Coach to work with parents and teens struggling with the challenges of substance use.  Now, as the facilitator of the Boulder County Substance Advisory Group, and leader of young people in recovery panels in the high schools, she brings a personal and humane approach to intervention and hope.               

Laura Bressler, MBA

Board Member

Laura has a BA from Skidmore College, an MBA from Boston University, is a Registered Psychotherapist, a Certified Professional Coach, and is currently pursuing her Master's in Addiction Studies to become a Licensed Addiction Counselor. She specializes in working with the parents of teens and young adults struggling with substance misuse.  She became passionate about supporting parents after her family’s own harrowing experiences with their substance abusing teen. Laura received training from the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health, and is contracted to facilitate the evidence-based C.R.A.F.T. program (Community Resource and Family Training), which teaches families skills to impact their child’s substance use, motivate them to seek treatment, repair communication and relationships, and improve self-care. She is also a Acudetox Specialist and deeply values bringing healing and balance to individuals through this technique. In her free time, Laura loves to paint, read, hike, snuggle with her dog and kitty, and travel with her husband and two thriving adult sons. 

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Thank you to City of Boulder Youth Opportunities Board (YOAB) for sponsoring Natural Highs!