- Comfortable Surroundings
- Compassionate Care
Meet the Staff
- Nicole BowerExecutive DirectorNicole Bower was born in Houston and raised in Bastrop, Texas. She graduated in 2000 from Oklahoma State University with a B.S. in Psychology and got her MBA in healthcare management in 2008. She began working with people receiving mental health and substance abuse treatment in 2000. It was at the age of 13 that Nicole first discovered her passion; to help those who struggle with mental health and addiction. Her desire intensified as she grew older, witnessing firsthand the struggles of addiction in her close family members. Nicole is an important asset to the Banyan team. As the Executive Director of Banyan Treatment Centers, she gets the opportunity to define and develop a system that fosters the lives of clients in addiction treatment. Nicole promotes a collaborative culture in Banyan, which creates successful outcomes for clients. “Every human being deserves compassion, dignity, and respect… and it is our responsibility to ensure every person has the tools needed to be successful!”
- Rachel Truelove, LCSW, LCDCClinical DirectorBorn and raised in Texas, Rachel graduated from Texas State University with a BA degree in Mass Communication and Journalism and an MA in Social Work. She is both a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Her career path to help others on their sobriety journey was fueled from her own long-term recovery and personal experiences. Rachel started working in residential treatment in 2010 as a direct care staff and then onto holding various roles of tech, counselor, intake, admissions manager, and clinical director. Rachel brings her experience, compassion, and methods of best-practice therapeutic interventions to the Banyan Texas team.
- Michael WhalinDirector of OperationsMichael Whalin was born and raised in Nevada. There, he attended Douglas High School in Minden where he was a 3-sport varsity athlete. During his senior year of high school, after a devastating life event, he had his own struggle with addiction. Fortunately, in 2015, Michael became sober and built himself a new life from the ground up. Michael began his work in the addiction field as a house manager for a sober living facility. He then took a job in a different treatment facility where he worked nearly every position. This experience allowed him to learn the ins and outs of how to operate a treatment center. Michael now serves as a Director of Operations for Banyan Treatment Centers in Texas.
- Jamie ThompsonDirector of NursingJamie Thompson was born and raised in Bastrop, Texas. She attended Southern Career Institute for her Medical Assistant Certificate in 2002 and 2015, and went on to National American University, where she graduated with honors on the President’s List and Summa Cum Laude. Jamie also received her license for Vocational Nursing. Jamie got her start in the addiction field when she was working in a county jail for over 6 years. In the last 3 years, she was the Director of Nursing at an exclusive male rehab facility. Jamie is not in recovery; however, her life has been touched in so many ways by recovery. Her cousin and best friend overdosed in 2008 on opiates and it changed her world. After that tragedy and working in law enforcement, she really saw how challenging the world of addiction can be. Jamie enjoys being of service to people in recovery, providing encouragement and love, and showing them that people care and are invested in them. She loves to be a part of their recovery journey. Her favorite part of being the Director of Nursing at Banyan is supporting her team and advocating for her nursing staff and the clients. She loves creating a therapeutic environment for the staff and supporting them in creating the same for the clients. Jamie’s goal for her career at Banyan is to create an atmosphere of acceptance, encouragement and longevity amongst the staff. She wants to plant the seed and grow along with the other staff members to have the best working environment possible.