Professionals Program

Our Team

Our treatment team strives to understand and treat each individual as a whole person medically, psychologically, socially and spiritually. These multiple perspectives aid the evaluation of each person’s health, behavior and situations at work and home, as well as help in treatment planning.

A patient’s treatment team forms during the first days of a stay in Menninger’s Professionals Program (PIC). This team includes the patient, a psychiatrist, a nurse and mental health associate, a psychologist, a psychiatric rehabilitation specialist and a social worker. If needed, specialists for addictions, eating disorders, suicidality or trauma can be added to the core team, and a neuropsychologist is routinely consulted. A full-time hospital chaplain is also available for ongoing spiritual consultation.
This team performs the following functions:
  • The psychiatrist generally leads and coordinates the team and manages medication.
  • Nursing staff are primary points of contact for patients throughout the day and attend to safety, physical and emotional healing, and wellness.
  • The social worker communicates with family and coordinates the aftercare discharge plan.
  • Senior clinicians conduct psychotherapy, usually three times per week.
  • The addictions counselor provides weekly addiction counseling and recovery support.
  • The psychiatric rehabilitation specialist helps each patient develop an individualized wellness and recovery plan, and leads groups related to wellness and creative expression.
  • The psychologist assesses for psychological testing needs, including personality assessment.
Together, the patient and treatment team set goals for treatment. With the diagnosis and goals in mind, the team designs an individualized course of treatment. This plan integrates empirically supported psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, dialectical behavior and family system approaches, with medication if it is needed.
Patients with addictions also receive additional therapy and education about addictions. They are encouraged to attend 12-step meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous or Gamblers Anonymous. Rational Recovery and other evidence-based addictions work are also available.
Team Members

Sagman Kayatekin, MD

A psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Dr. Kayatekin is the medical director of the Professionals Program. Board certified in psychiatry, he is also an associate professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine. He is also a visiting professor of psychiatry at the Tongji Medical College in the People's Republic of China.


Previously held postions include medical director of the adult inpatient psychiatric unit at Hacettepe Hospitals in Ankara, Turkey; medical director of the adult mental health unit at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, Mass.; and staff psychiatrist and team leader at Austen Riggs in Springfield, Mass.


Dr. Kayatekin is an accomplished speaker who has given presentations and workshops nationally and internationally about psychotherapeutic hospital treatment of severe pathology, psychoanalytic work with families, consciousness and self, implicit psychoanalytic theories, hospital treatment of adolescent psychosis and more.


Dr. Kayatekin earned his medical degree from Hacettepe University Medical School in Ankara, Turkey, where he also completed residency training in adult psychiatry. In addition, he completed residency training in adult psychiatry at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.


George Bombel, PhD

A senior psychologist at Menninger and an assistant professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Bombel's special expertise is in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, psychodynamic group consultation, personality assessment and clinical supervision.


His research interests include construct and predictive validity of personality assessment measures and scales. His co-authored publications include "An examination of the construct validity of the Rorschach Mutuality of Autonomy (MOA) scale," which was published in the Journal of Personality Assessment, and "The validity of individual Rorschach variables: systematic reviews and meta-analyses of the comprehensive system," which was published in the journal Psychological Bulletin. He is also an ad hoc manuscript reviewer for The Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic.


Dr. Bombel earned his doctorate degree in clinical psychology from the University of Toledo, his master's degrees in education from Washington State University and in psychology from the University of Toledo, and his undergraduate degree in applied psychology and developmental psychology from Eastern Washington University.


He completed a post-doctoral fellowship and an advanced fellowship at the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, Mass. Training at his post-master's internship at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio focused on short and long-term individual psychodynamic psychotherapy, psychodynamic group therapy and psychological testing, e.g., psychodiagnostic evaluations and personality, cognitive, neuropsychological, risk (to re-offend) and competency (to stand trial) assessments.


Curt Peterson, PhD

During his 20 years of experience, Dr. Peterson has developed expertise in psychotherapy and psychodiagnostics. Before arriving at Menninger in 2016, Dr. Peterson, a licensed psychologist, worked in private practice in Georgia.

In addition to his position at The Menninger Clinic, Dr. Peterson is an assistant professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine. He pursues scholarly interests in the areas of upward and downward socioeconomic status mobility on patient’s perceived distress, impact of the cultural background with the therapeutic treatment alliance, inpatient treatment adherence and the distressed patient’s search for meaning following significant life changes.  

Dr. Peterson is a member of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and the American Psychosocial Association and its Division of Trauma Psychology.


He earned his doctorate in counseling psychology at Temple University and completed his post-doctoral fellowship in clinical psychology at the Bradley Center of St. Francis Hospital and in private practice in Columbus, Ga. Dr. Peterson completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Southern California and master’s degree at the University of North Texas.


Diane M. Benefiel, MSW, LCSW

Senior Social Worker


Diane has special expertise in grief, loss and substance abuse. Her research interests include grief and loss, mental illness in a medical hospital, palliative care and management training for social workers. She has presented at national conferences including the Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care and the Association of Oncology Social Workers. She is also a member of these professional organizations.


Diane earned her master's degree in social work from the University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work and her bachelor's degree from the University of St. Thomas in Houston.


Elizabeth Castrellón, LCSW

Senior Social Worker


A member of the National Association for Social Work, Elizabeth completed a post-master's fellowship in clinical social work at The Menninger Clinic. She earned her master's degree from the Smith College School for Social Work in Northampton, Mass., and her bachelor's degree in sociology from Rice University.


Chris Webb, CRC, CPRP, MT-BC

Rehabilitation Specialist


Chris has been with Menninger for 10 years. Her expertise includes dialectical behavior therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy skills, wellness planning, perfectionism, eating disorders and body image, music therapy, vocational assessments and counseling, functional assessments and leisure assessments. Her research interests include music therapy practices in psychiatry, music therapy and eating disorders, community integration and innovative practices in psychiatry and the creative arts.


Chris has presented at the national United States Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association conference and at the Houston Eating Disorders Specialists conference.


She is a member of the Gulf Coast Music Therapists, Southwest Texas Music Therapy Association, American Music Therapy Association, Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association, Houston Eating Disorders Specialists and Sigma Alpha Iota, a professional music fraternity.


Chris earned her master's degree in rehabilitation counseling from the University of Kentucky and her bachelor's degree in music therapy from Sam Houston State University.