Get the mental health treatment you need.
  • “I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to be a patient on Hope, and I'm grateful for all that the team did for me.”

    — Former patient
  • “I truly believe the treatment I received at Menninger saved my life, and I'm forever grateful to everyone there.”

    — Former patient
  • "I'm really glad I had the experience at Menninger; it changed my life."

    — Former patient
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Hope Program for Adults

Our Team

Patients in the Hope Program for Adults (Hope) are assigned a treatment team that brings together experienced clinical professionals to address their needs.
Team Responsibilities

Psychiatrists are employed full-time at Menninger, and office on the unit. They serve as leaders of the treatment teams, and as such conduct the admission interview and take a comprehensive history; coordinate the treatment plan and oversee the treatment teams; prescribe and adjust medications; manage physical problems and refer to specialists as necessary; conduct twice-weekly rounds; and make final decisions regarding treatment. Our psychiatrists have expertise in mood disorders, psychotic disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma-related disorders, substance use disorders, eating disorders, neurocognitive disorders, somatoform disorders and personality disorders.


Psychologists provide psychological testing as ordered, review outcomes assessments with patients, lead groups and provide individual therapy.


Social workers provide individual, family and group therapy; communicate with the family regarding patient needs and progress; work with the patient and family on discharge planning needs and coordinate family visits.


Psychiatric rehabilitation specialists conduct vocational, social skills, fitness and functional assessments as ordered by the treatment teams; lead psychoeducational groups; oversee wellness activities; and assist in developing a wellness plan, which can provide a blueprint for recovery.


An addictions counselor will, if indicated, conduct addiction assessments; meet with patients individually to assess recovery needs; and conduct recovery groups.
Registered nurses provide compassionate, patient-centered nursing care in a holistic manner, providing for patients' physical/medical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs. They work with patients to reinforce the skills they learn in psychoeducational groups and facilitate therapeutic activities such as a nightly sleep-promotion group. Hope's nurses, together with the program's mental health associates, monitor the unit and are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of our patients. They share valuable information in an effort to provide optimal, evidenced-based care for each patient.
The nurse manager is responsible for managing and leading nursing resources, including the program's nurses, mental health associates and administrative assistants. The nurse manager supervises nursing staff as they provide the safe care of patients within an optimal healing environment.
The program manager is responsible for the direction and management of the clinical, programmatic and administrative functions of the program; additionally, the program manager provides individual and group therapy.
Team Members
donna-lamb-websiteDonna Lamb, LCSW
Program Manager
Donna has 21 years of experience, 11 of those with Menninger. Her special expertise includes grief and parental grief and is a frequent presenter on those topics.
She has been trained in and uses the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality approach when working with patients who struggle with suicidality. Donna was trained in dialectical-behavioral therapy in 2005 and now facilitates The Daring Way™, a curriculum developed by Brené Brown that helps patients develop resilience to shame, recognize that vulnerability is the most accurate measure of courage and cultivate authenticity and worthiness. She has authored blog posts, including "Lost: Helping Parents Cope with the Death of a Child," for
Donna earned her undergraduate degree from North Texas State University and her master's degree in social work, with a concentration in children and families, from the University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work. She completed a postgraduate fellowship at the Houston-Galveston Trauma Institute.
Cheryl Buteaux, MSN, RN
Nurse Manager
Cheryl earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Chamberlain College of Nursing, the former in nursing and the latter in executive nursing.
Her research interests include nurse resilience, just culture and sanctuary principles.
She is a member of the Texas Nurses Association, from which she won a scholarship, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association and the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.
Luis A. Fernandez, MD
Staff Psychiatrist
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Fernandez offers expertise in treating schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. He also has expertise in electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for patients with severe, medication-resistant mental illness.
Fluent in Spanish, Dr. Fernandez's research interests include the effects of ECT and concurrent pharmacotherapy.
He is a member of the International Society for Electroconvulsive Therapy and Neurostimulation and the American Psychiatric Association.
Dr. Fernandez completed his residency at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, where he also earned his medical degree. He earned his undergraduate degree from Furman University in Greenville, S.C., where he majored in biology. 
Sylvia Gonzalez, MD
Staff Psychiatrist
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Gonzalez has expertise in depression, personality disorders, bipolar disorder, conversion disorder, psychoanalytically-oriented dynamic psychotherapy and group therapy. Her research interest is personality disorders.
She completed a residency in pediatrics at the Children's Hospital and Research Center in Oakland, Calif., followed by second residency in adult psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Dr. Gonzalez also completed a fellowship in psychoanalytically-oriented psychodynamic psychotherapy at the Center for Psychoanalytics Studies in Houston, where she is currently studying psychoanalytic thinking.
Dr. Gonzalez earned her bachelor's degree from New York University, where she majored in neural science. She earned her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City.
Dr. Gonzalez is a member of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the American Group Psychotherapy Association and has participated in research at Menninger.
Neil Puri, MD
Staff Psychiatrist
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Puri's expertise is in psychosomatic medicine and psychodynamic psychotherapy. He regularly presents on such topics at national conferences, including those of the American Psychiatric Association, the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, Association for Academic Psychiatry and the Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training.
Dr. Puri is also the co-author of several articles that have appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as Psychosomatics, Academy Psychiatry and the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences.
Dr. Puri completed his fellowship in psychosomatic medicine at George Washington University's Inova Fairfax Hospital and his psychiatry residency at the University of Pittsburgh's Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. He earned his medical degree from the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. He also earned his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, where he majored in religious studies.
Colleen O'Byrne, PsyD
Staff Psychologist
Associate Professor, Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. O'Byrne's expertise includes psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive processing therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, prolonged exposure therapy and clinical hypnosis. Her research interests include trauma and attachment. She co-facilitates group psychotherapy and the trauma education group.
While earning her doctorate degree in clinical psychology from The George Washington University, Dr. O'Byrne completed a clinical internship at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Bronx Psychiatric Center in New York City; a fellowship in child psychotherapy at the Baltimore-Washington Institute/Society for Psychoanalysis; a fellowship in psychoanalysis at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute and a fellowship at the Baltimore-Washington Institute/Society for Psychoanalysis.
Dr. O'Byrne earned her undergraduate degree in neurobiology and physiology from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Social Workers
Jennifer L. Gardner, LMSW
Staff Social Worker
Jennifer joined Menninger after she completed her graduate internship and postgraduate fellowship in clinical social work at The Clinic. Her expertise is in children and family systems. Her clinical interest is borderline personality disorder, and she has received additional training in mentalization-based therapy. In addition to providing individual and family therapy, she co-facilitates The Daring Way™ shame resilience group and group psychotherapy on Hope.
A member of the National Association of Social Workers, the Houston Psychoanalytic Society and the Houston Group Psychotherapy Society, Jennifer has presented locally on topics as varied as support for parents in treatment, loss and children and Nietzsche's antidote to apathy.
Jennifer earned her master's degree in social work from the University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work. She also earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Houston, where she majored in psychology and philosophy.
Deborah Renneker, LMSW
Staff Social Worker
Deborah's expertise includes individual, couples and family therapy; grief; cognitive behavioral therapy; and acceptance and commitment therapy. Her research interests include resilience, spirituality and trauma. In addition to providing individual and family therapy, she co-facilitates group psychotherapy and the acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) group on Hope.
She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the Houston Group Psychotherapy Association and the Houston Psychoanalytical Society.
Deborah completed both a postgraduate fellowship and internship in social work at Menninger. She earned her master's degree in social work from the University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work and her undergraduate degree in social work and women's studies from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
Mychal Riley, LCSW
Staff Social Worker
Mychal joined Menninger after completing a fellowship in social work at The Clinic. He has clinical interest and additional training in couples therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy, while his research interests include suicide prevention, public health and epidemiology. In addition to providing individual and family therapy, Mychal co-facilitates the dialectical behavior therapy group and the acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) group on Hope.
He earned his master's degree in social work from the University of Michigan. He also earned his bachelor's degree in brain, behavior and cognitive science from Michigan.
Connie Villasmil Abel, LCSW
Staff Social Worker
Fluent in Spanish, Connie's expertise includes experiential therapy, multicultural social work practice and bilingual English-Spanish family therapy. She provides multicultural services to Hope's Spanish-speaking patients and their families. In addition to providing individual and family therapy, Connie co-facilitates group psychotherapy on Hope.
Connie earned her master's degree in social work from the University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work after earning a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Houston-Downtown.
Addictions Counselor
Berry Wall, MEd, BS, AAC, LCDC
Addictions Counselor
A licensed chemical dependency counselor with nearly 25 years of experience, Berry's expertise is in co-occurring disorders and chronic relapse. His research interest is in neurology. He facilitates the chemical dependency group, chemical dependency process group, the 12-step group and the SMART recovery group on Hope.
Berry is a member of the Texas Association of Addictions Professionals.
He earned his master's degree in counseling education from the University of Missouri-Columbia and his bachelor's degree in psychology from Southwestern State University in Weatherford, Okla.