Key Staff Members &
Substance Abuse Counselors

Our team comes from a diverse background of experience, but we’re unified by two qualities – a genuine care for our clients and a dedication to their recovery and wellness. Many of us have experienced addiction ourselves. We’ve worked in all areas of substance abuse, as well as behavioral and mental health.

  • Ben Brafman
    LMHC, CAP – CEO, Founder
    Ben Brafman, LMHC, CAP is the CEO and Founder of Destination Hope, The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center, The Academy for Addiction Professionals, and the founder of Guardian Behavioral Health Found...
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    Ben Brafman
    Ben Brafman, LMHC, CAP is the CEO and Founder of Destination Hope, The Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center, The Academy for Addiction Professionals, and the founder of Guardian Behavioral Health Foundation. Ben holds a BS degree from Syracuse University and a Dual Masters of Science in Mental Health Counseling and Family Therapy from Barry University. With more than twenty years of hands-on experience, Ben is a leading authority in the field of Substance Use Disorders and treatment protocols. He is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Certified Addiction Professional, and Supervisor for licensure in the state of Florida. As an entrepreneur, Ben established programs offering individualized care with a one-to-one ratio between patients and staff. He created the first gender-specific, age-specific mental health programs in the field. These diversified programs are successful model that he even teaches to other treatment center owners who have adopted his methods for treating addiction. Ben’s growing success of Destination Hope is a testament to his genuine passion to help others.
  • Suzanne Brafman
    LCSW — CFO & Founder
    Suzanne is the Chief Financial Officer and co-founder of Destination Hope. She has been working in the substance abuse and mental health field since 1993 and received her masters in social work from F...
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    Suzanne Brafman
    Suzanne is the Chief Financial Officer and co-founder of Destination Hope. She has been working in the substance abuse and mental health field since 1993 and received her masters in social work from Florida International University in 1995. In addition to managing the finances, she sees clients individually and as couples to help them re-assimilate into their previous relationships in a healthy way. Suzanne loves finding creative solutions to help people by thinking out of the box and involving the whole family in the recovery process. She feels very strongly about the importance of having a gender specific treatment environment for women because it creates an environment where women can be truly honest about their history and issues. Suzanne believes that women need to be real about who they are and the support of women will get them there.
  • Jon Waller
    LMHC, Lead Therapist
    Jon started his work in behavioral health in 2002, providing care in a wide variety of settings including crisis stabilization, community mental health, and addictions. Jon is a Licensed Mental Health...
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    Jon Waller
    Jon started his work in behavioral health in 2002, providing care in a wide variety of settings including crisis stabilization, community mental health, and addictions. Jon is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida, the state where he was born and raised. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Florida Atlantic University. Through his experience in counseling, he developed specialities in trauma, men’s issues, and dual diagnosis, bringing knowledge and empathy for those suffering and in need of help to make the desired changes in their life.
  • Andrew Merker
    Program Director
    Andrew has been working in the recovery field for the last eight years. He has provided counseling work in both adolescent and adult facilities. He has over five years of admissions experience in the ...
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    Andrew Merker
    Andrew has been working in the recovery field for the last eight years. He has provided counseling work in both adolescent and adult facilities. He has over five years of admissions experience in the addiction field. As our Director of Admissions, Andrew helps families navigate the process of admissions to make sure each client meets criteria and help in maximizing their potential for recovery. Andrew also uses his knowledge and experience at the Academy of Addiction Professionals to educate students in the field.

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