Board of Directors
Dr Jeremy Alford (PhD) – FOUNDER & PRESIDENT
Dr. Alford is a clinical psychologist with vast expertise in a wide range of mental and behavioral health issues. He has 10 years of Middle East Experience with 15,000 client hours until now. He is the Founder and General Manager of Choices, a Beirut-based behavioral healthcare clinic, which he launched in December 2003. During this period, Dr Alford also consulted with Rizk Hospital, Bellevue Medical Center, and Skoun Lebanese Addiction Centre. Since 2009, Dr. Alford consults in Kuwait on a weekly basis, meeting with numerous people with eating disorders and behavioral health issues.
Prior to founding Choices, Dr. Alford accumulated relevant experience working in residential healthcare facilities in the UK, including the Maudsley Hospital, the Huntercombe Manor Hospital, St Mary’s Residential Hospital, Community Home Of Intensive Care & Education, Hoffmann De Visme Foundation, and other mental health facilities in the UK.
Dr. Alford holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from University College Kensington (UK),following an MPhil in Psychology from University College Kensington (UK), and a BA in Psychology from Open University (UK).
Over the years, Dr. Alford has received several additional certificates and diplomas, including a Practitioner Skills in Eating Disorders Diploma from the National Center For Eating Disorders (2009, UK), a Practitioner Diploma in Clinical Hypnosis from the Brief Strategic Therapy & Clinical Hypnosis Foundation (2003, UK), a Practitioner Certificate in EEG Biofeedback (Neurofeedback therapy) from Prague Centrum Institute for EEG Biofeedback (2003, affiliated to the Biofeedback Certificate Institute of America), as well as a Certificate in pre-clinical Analytical Psychotherapy from the London Centre for Psychotherapy (1999, UK).
Moreover, he is a member of several professional bodies including the British Psychological Association, Founder member of the Special group for Coaching Psychology, Founder member for the Qualitative Methods in Psychology Section, the Middle East Psychological Association and the Lebanese Psychological Association.
He publishes evidence-based newsletters, gives presentations and has made various newspaper, magazine interviews as well as TV appearances over the years, on various subjects including clinical hypnotherapy, weight management, behavioral health issues, autism, and the effects of war on children in Lebanon.
Dr Alford has a multicultural experience and proven adaptability to international settings. He has experience in the application of learning in the UK and applying this knowledge in the Middle East.
Carine El Khazen – Vice-President
Clinical Psychologist, Psychotherapist MA, DESS, DEA
Carine el Khazen is a clinical psychologist. After an initial 8 years of clinical experience and training in a variety of reputable general health care and psychiatric facilities in the UK (Institute of Psychiatry-The Maudsley Hospital), France (Sainte-Anne Hospital, Paris) & Lebanon (St Georges University Hospital), Carine moved to Dubai in 2004 where she has successfully worked as a clinical psychologist at the General Medical Center (GMC clinics in Dubai, UAE) for 8 years catering to the diverse needs of a multicultural clientele. In addition to her clinical practice, she has been the school psychologist of 2 international schools and nurseries since 2004.
She specializes in the treatment of Eating disorders and obesity (She has the Masters practitioner’s diploma in Eating Disorders, a training in nutrition and a training in the treatment of Obesity from the National Center for Eating Disorders- NCFED- accredited by the British Psychological Society) and has successfully helped children, adolescents and adults recover from their Eating Disorders and overcome their obesity as part of the multi-disciplinary Eating Disorders team at the American Center for Psychiatry and Neurology in Dubai. Carine is the Chief Operations Officer and head representative for the UAE of the non-profit association MEEDA (the Middle East Eating Disorders Association) and dedicates her free time to raising awareness and training the general public and professionals on the subject of Eating Disorders in multiple schools, universities and general medical practices across the UAE. She ran campaigns for the prevention of Eating Disorders through articles in renowned middle-eastern magazines and interviews in leading TV networks in the region and was a regular guest at Sabah el Arabiya’s morning talk show for many years.
Melissa Rizk – Chief Operations Officer
Clinical Nutritionist & Eating Disorders Specialist
Dr. Melissa Rizk is a clinical registered nutritionist with a Ph.D. in cognitive sciences on Nutrition and Eating Disorders from Sorbonne Paris V & Ecole Doctorale des 3C (Cerveau, Cognition & Comportement). She got her Bachelor of Nutrition & Dietetics and Master in Sports Nutrition & Physiology from the Saint-Joseph University in Lebanon. She also got a University Diploma in Statistics and life sciences focused on Epidemiological Research from Sorbonne Paris VI. At the Institut Mutualiste Montsouris & CESP (Centre de Recherche en Epidémiologie et Santé des Populations), she acquired high-level scientific expertise in full management of research projects on eating disorders. Currently, she is a lecturer at the Saint-Joseph University and a regular TV host on ORBIT OSN”
Dr Michel Nawfal MD MA – Social Affairs Director
Mental Health Professional- Medical Doctor and Psychotherapist – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Dr. Michel Nawfal is a Mental Health Professional. He’s a Medical Doctor and a Clinical Psychologist with a focus on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. He received his undergraduate education in premedical studies (BS: Bachelors of Science) at the American University of Beirut after which he earned his medical degree (MD degree) from St. George’s University School of Medicine with clinical rotations at the Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York, a Cornell University affiliate.
Dr. Nawfal had an interest in psychological disorders and their complexity. Deciding to practice in the Psychological and Behavioral Sciences, he has pursued graduate education again at the American university of Beirut to earn a master degree in psychology with an internship in psychotherapy at the American University of Beirut Medical Center. Trained and supervised in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy through the extra-mural program by the Beck Institute, Dr. Nawfal is a CBT therapist. With a post-graduate course in psychopharmacotherapy from Harvard Medical School and being a medical doctor registered at the Lebanese Order of Physicians (LOP registration number N/507), Dr. Nawfal owns a private practice in Lebanon “Nawfal Clinics”. He is legally eligible to prescribe medications in Lebanon and hence would be referred to a prescribing psychologist.
Dr. Nawfal is currently a Professional Colleague and Fellow Member of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Since 2005, Dr. Nawfal has been a Full member of the American Psychological Association (APA). He was on the board of the Lebanese Psychological Association (LPA) for 2 consecutive mandates from 2011 to 2014 and then from 2014 to 2017.
Rayane Chami – Secretary of the Board
Rayane Chami is a PhD candidate from King’s College London, where she works in the Eating Disorders and the Brain laboratory, examining novel treatments for binge eating by exploring the relationship between eating disorders and the brain.
After completing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Personal Fitness Training certification at the American University of Beirut (AUB) in 2014, she went on to complete a Masters of Science in Eating Disorders and Clinical Nutrition degree at University College London (UCL). During her time at UCL, she took part in an observership at the Phoenix Wing of St Ann’s Hospital, London- a specialized eating disorder service. For her MSc dissertation, she returned to Lebanon to gather data from universities in Beirut in order to tackle the scarce research in the field. In September 2015, she underwent clinical psychology training for 9 months at the Medical Institute for Neuropsychological Disorders (MIND) at St Georges Hospital University Medical Center, Beirut. During this period, she was also a research assistant at the Institute for Development, Research, Advocacy & Applied Care (IDRAAC), in Beirut.
With MEEDA, she gives presentations concerning the dangers of dieting across schools in Lebanon to raise awareness of eating disorders. Moreover, she is part of MEEDA’s research team.
She is also a member of the British Psychological Society, where she dedicates time to attending workshops on a broad range of psychotherapies.