Robert Woods, Founder and CEO, Center for Success and Independence

Robert Woods, MEd

CEO and Executive Director

Robert Woods has 20 years of experience in the mental health field including specialties in child and adolescent psychotherapy; parenting of attention deficit hyperactivity disordered (ADHD) children and behavior problem children; as well as treatment of individuals with substance abuse problems. His private practice and very diverse clientele provides a broad perspective which is beneficial to both individual patients and in his role as Executive Director. Mr. Woods received his graduate degree in Counseling from Texas Southern University, and his undergraduate degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Grambling State University. He is also well known for the three years he played with the Houston Oilers. Playing football, including his four years in the NFL, taught Robert Woods that teamwork and a great coaching staff leads to success on and off the field.

Marylou Erbland, PhD, Founder & Clinical Director, Center for Success and Independence

Marylou Erbland, PhD

Co-Founder and
Executive Clinical Director

Marylou Erbland, PhD, Clinical Director is an intensively trained Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) psychotherapist specializing in clinical neuropsychology, including testing and cognitive rehabilitation. Dr. Erbland has worked extensively with children and adolescents, as well with their families, who are struggling with oppositional defiant and conduct disorders, depression, anxiety disorders, and post traumatic stress disorder. She has also developed a program of group therapy and education for attention deficit disordered students and their parents. A licensed psychologist with 25 years of private practice experience, Dr. Erbland is a graduate of Akron University in Akron, Ohio, where she received her PhD in psychology, as well as two Masters Degrees in Special Education and School Psychology. Her post-doctoral fellowship in neuropsychology was completed at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Marylou gets a sense of peace and enjoyment in touring art galleries, events and openings, especially for local and regional artists. Supporting historic homes and their neighborhoods through local organizations and events is also one of her passions.

MJ Gernale

MJ Gernale, MBA, MSA

Chief Financial Officer & Human Resources

MJ Gernale serves as the Chief Financial Officer and Human Resources for Center for Success & Independence, Inc. MJ joined the team in August 2015. She has over 15 years of experience in non-profits and community health centers. She has a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Accounting, Master’s of Science in Accounting, and a Master’s of Business Administration in Human Resources. MJ is responsible for all functions of the accounting and billing department.


Alvaro Guevara, LPC

Director of Clinical Services & Psychotherapist

Alvaro Guevara serves as the Director of Clinical Services and a psychotherapist at The Center for Success and Independence. Alvaro earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston in 2007 and attended graduate school at Houston Baptist University. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and joined The Center for Success and Independence in November 2014. Alvaro began his career in 2008 providing direct care services with clients in the community mental health system. His clinical interests center around personality disorders, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Radical Openness Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (RO-DBT). He views therapy as a collaborative experience where there is an opportunity for growth for all parties involved. He enjoys helping clients to identify and develop tools to meet their own personal goals.


Jessica Ruiz, LPC

Director of Client Services & Psychotherapist

Jessica Ruiz serves as a bilingual admissions coordinator and psychotherapist with the Residential Treatment Program at The Center for Success and Independence. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor; earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Minor in Women and Gender studies and a Masters in Counseling from The University of Texas at San Antonio. Jessica began her career working at the universities community counseling center, the juvenile justice center, and a battered women and children’s shelter. Additionally, she has received training in DBT, RO-DBT, EMDR, and TBRI. She develop her counseling skills through hands on experience counseling and facilitating for individuals, couples, families and groups. Working with diverse populations provided her the opportunity to refine her theoretical knowledge developing personalized approaches for each client. During her free time she enjoys reading, playing sports, and spending time with her family and dogs.


Antonio Brinkley, LCCA

Administrative Director

What our clients say

Full of hope and peace

When we brought our son to The Center our home was a place of chaos, anxiety and stress. Through the incredible work by the staff at The Center -- we’re now seeing our son at his best. Not only is he clean and sober, but he’s full of hope and peace. The Center not only gave us our son back -- but it also helped to make our family whole again. We owe a debt of gratitude for this second chance.

~ Parent

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