The Hope Team
“Addiction professionals and persons in recovery know the ‘HOPE’ that is found in recovery. Recovery is available even to persons who may not at first be able to perceive this HOPE.” - American Society of Addiction Medicine
Hope Rehab are NAADAC members 'Association for Addiction Professionals' international arm and UK FDAP Affiliated. With the Team of over 35 hardworking certified staff from various relevant disciplines, Hope has a high ratio of therapeutic staff to clients. In addition to being specially trained all our staff are peer counsellors as the therapeutic value of one addict helping another is without parallel.
Read our Blog post about the benefits working for Hope RehabThailand.....
Hope Rehab Treatment Team
The best rehab teams consists of varied and caring individuals. Our talented crew includes international addictions specialists and coaches to help you achieve the best result possible.
Hope benefits from a full compliment of Thai staff: a skilled masseuse providing soothing massages to clients, disciplined helpful housekeeping staff and kitchen staff who make all the delicious varied meals.
The Hope Team consists of 38 persons.
Simon Mott – Co-founder Hope
Simon’s history includes Managing the Cabin Chiang Mai Rehab for 3 years, working for the criminal justice sector in the UK, as well as managing public services for the local government in London.
Read Simon’s personal story in the Telegraph.
Like many addiction experts Simon Mott has experienced addiction from both sides of the fence, and having been a client in rehab himself gives Simon an insider’s point of view. He relocated from the UK, having managed the Barnet Community Engagement Team in North London. He has 20 years experience in the substance misuse sector overall.
Simon is a member of FDAP the Federation of Drug and Alcohol professionals and registered with Asia Pacific Certification Board APCB, and AQA certified in Counselling, He also has a portfolio of DANOS specialist substance misuse training from Herts Uni and the Royal College of General Practitioner UK Certificate in the Management of Drugs Misuse pdf which includes the prescribing and management of medication as well as administrating the detoxification process.
During his time working in London Simon’s interests included joining the ‘All Party Meeting of the Parliamentary Drug Misuse Group’ held monthly at the House of Commons, UK Government. He conducted harm-reduction research trials that have been recognised by the Home Office and contributed to –misuse of drugs act–changes.
“The qualities we look for in staff are not only experienced and certified but also that they can inspire and reach our clients.”
Alon Kumsawad – co-founder of Hope Rehab
Alon is a yoga and meditation teacher as well as a fitness trainer, bringing a unique flavour to the mix. Being Thai and a Buddhist, she has her own practice that she shares with her clients. Alon is a graduate of the Chiang Mai Rajamangala University in Liberal Arts and Administrationand is a qualified fitness instructor. She also has qualifications in Yoga and Pilates.
“Being part of Hope is something beyond my wildest dreams! I feel like I am part of something special. Every morning, I am so excited to get up early and show everyone how wonderful life is.”
Paul Garrigan – Addiction Nurse
Paul is originally from Ireland, but has lived in Thailand since 2002. He is a registered nurse with a Higher National Diploma in Nursing Studies from St Bartholomew’s training Hospital in London and a Nursing Degree from Dublin City University and is a member of the International Nurses Society on Addictions. Paul is also a qualified teacher with a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). In 2010, his addiction memoir ‘Dead Drunk – Saving Myself from Alcoholism in a Thai Monastery’ was published by Maverick House.
In 2006, Paul managed to escape an 18-year addiction to alcohol using an approach primarily involving meditation and the development of mindfulness in daily life. He now manages the mindfulness program at Hope. Paul also blogs about mindfulness and addiction recovery and has a significant global following at paulgarrigan.com.
“Somatic mindfulness practices made it possible for me to develop a level of mental freedom unimaginable to me during my years of addiction. I have lost my obsession with fixing myself, and the fear of rejection no longer keeps me disconnected from the world. I share the practices that have worked for me with the clients at Hope. When I’m trying to be helpful to someone, I have found it is better if I tell them what ‘I do’ rather than what ‘I know’.”
Henk Nagel – Program Manager
Henk, a Recovery Coach from the Netherlands, BA human resources, also a Graduate in Holland, specialist subject HE cert Psychology and Mental Health and Understanding Drugs and Addiction. Henk is a bright, and enthusiastic individual, with great experience of recovery, CBT and helping others work the 12 steps. As well as working with clients on a 1:1 basis, he leads powerful groups as part of the center’s structured program. Henk is known and respected for his supportiveness, compassion, and straight-forwardness.
Samina Khan - Senior Therapist
Samina has held a lifelong fascination with human behaviour which has led to her completing a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, a Master’s degree in Change Agent Skills; she trained as a Transpersonal Psychotherapist and she is currently studying for a Doctorate in Transpersonal Psychology. Samina’s working life began in the world of perfumes where she was a trained “nose” and travelled the world meeting and presenting new ideas to clients and delivering speeches at global conferences; however her underlying passion for working with people soon led her to begin her path as a business trainer where she worked with large corporate clients focussing on areas such as motivation, attitude and team building.
Whilst she loved the satisfaction of making a difference within the corporate sector, the profit based focus of the business world soon became too limiting and she left to be able to work in a deeper and more transformative way. In recent years she has been able to combine her love of delivering workshops with deeper one to one work, spending several years at New Life Foundation in Northern Thailand. She now arrives at Hope eager to share her skills and knowledge and also immerse herself more within the world of addiction.
Chris Walker - Senior Counsellor
Chris is a senior counsellor and group facilitator at Hope. He is also a certified addiction recovery coach (CARC). Other qualifications include a Diploma level 4 in counselling, specialising in substance misuse and an NVQ level 3 in advice and guidance.
Furthermore, Chris is registered with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) in substance misuse management. He has extensive knowledge in opiate substitute prescribing along with opiate, alcohol and benzodiazepine detoxes.
Chris worked for various drug and alcohol treatment services in the UK, specialising in Heroin, Crack, Cocaine and NPS use. Additionally, he was working on the UK festival scene providing crisis interventions to festivalgoers who experienced negative effects from drugs and alcohol. He specialised in MDMA, Psychedelics and NPS drugs.
Chris is in long-term recovery.
Carola De Souza – Clinical Counsellor
Carola holds an undergraduate degree in anti-oppressive social work practice, and a graduate degree (MA) in Counselling Psychology from the Adler University. For the past twenty years, Carola has worked in a variety of social services settings including concurrent disorders (mental health and substance use), transition homes and Aboriginal child protection. Having lived, studied and worked in Germany, Canada, the UK and now Thailand, Carola wholeheartedly enjoys working with people of all ages and backgrounds.
“As a trained and experienced helping professional, I have learned therapeutic techniques and approaches helpful to clients in relation to the specific issues that bring you into therapy. However, I believe that individuals, no matter how distressed or overwhelmed at the moment, remain the experts on their own lives. Thus, they are the only ones who can discern what techniques or approaches ‘fit’ for them, given their individual personality, life experiences and specific current situation. Therapy to me, then, is a joint venture between therapist and client; a guided exploration into perhaps unknown territory of change, personal growth and transformation.”
Ciara Mc Ardle - Transpersonal Counsellor
Ciara, from Ireland, is a Counsellor, Group Facilitator and TRE® Provider at Hope. She has been passionately engaged in the field of wellbeing, mental health and personal and spiritual development since a life changing event in 1997. It was then that she participated in a 10-day silent meditation retreat (Vipassana) in Thailand. She experienced a huge shift, giving her real insights and new perspectives on some of the difficulties she’d been experiencing. She realised that Mindfulness, Meditation and the Buddhist spirituality had so much to offer in terms of health, well-being and a deeper sense of meaning in life.
Ciara went on to obtain a HDip in Psychology, is a Transpersonal Psychotherapist, Family Constellations Facilitator, Certified TRE® Provider, Inner Dance Facilitator, Mindfulness & Meditation Teacher. She also has trainings in Gestalt Therapy, Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy, Craniosacral Therapy and more. She has worked extensively in the fields of Mental Health, Addiction Recovery, Learning Disability, Trauma, Personal /Spiritual Development for the past 16 years in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Bali and Thailand. Ciara is delighted to be back in Thailand again, full circle from where it all began!
Luke Richardson – Counsellor
Luke is a therapist and meditation facilitator from Sydney Australia. He spent his early career working as an Electronics Engineer. In 2005 after a period of darkness, his study focused on Meditation and Personal Development. Luke is certified in Neuro Linguists Programming, Meditation Facilitation and has a Diploma of Energetic Healing.
From 2009 onward Luke has been working 1:1 with clients all around the world to help enable them to take charge of their lives, become conscious of their emotions and feel at peace with themselves.
“We are all in this together.”
Sarah Clitheroe – Counsellor
Sarah is from the UK and is one of our counsellors at Hope. She has worked for various Drug and Alcohol Services in the UK. She is extremely passionate about building communities of recovering addicts. Her beliefs are that we recover through connecting with each other and the wider community. She is proud of her involvement with Red Rose Recovery who are the most successful community of recovering addicts in the UK. She helped develop the service by employing and inspiring people on their recovery journeys.
Sarah is a fully certified recovery coach, group facilitator, advocate for women in recovery, motivational speaker and also has a degree in Criminology. She is known for her enthusiasm and passion for recovery as well as her skill in enabling, inspiring and empowering people.
Sarah has experienced addiction from both sides of the fence. Having been a client in rehab herself and now applying the 12 steps on a daily basis, Sarah can give a lived and personal experience of the recovery process.
“Embracing a new way of living and embarking on a journey of self- love and discovery is a blessing. A day at a time, I am able to learn, laugh, love and sparkle. Helping others is at the core of my recovery and what a gift it is to guide and support people on a journey of self-discovery. After all it is an inside job.”
Jamie Wilkes – Counsellor
Jamie is a counsellor at Hope; originally from the north of England. Jamie’s rehabilitation journey began in 2015 in South Africa. He is in recovery himself, continuing to work a 12 step program. Having committed himself to seeking his own recovery community and changing his life completely around, Jamie successfully did this while helping others in the process. Jamie volunteered for many recovery organisations undertaking a whole range of responsibilities. This included, being of service in meetings and setting up a men’s group to becoming a certified recovery coach.
Whilst he was on recovery coach training he was employed by the very successful Red Rose Recovery as a Hospital liaison lead/Recovery coach coordinator. Working with the hospital alcohol liaison team specialising in the detox and safe supported discharge at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary. Jamie’s role was to visit patients in the hospital and also support them on discharge back in the community and coach them into a pathway of recovery that best suited them. Jamie has experience in assisting the setup of ACT peer recovery within Lancaster and Morecambe and specialises in group facilitating.
“I see Hope as the next step in my personal recovery and also have a passion to empower others by giving away what was given to me. Life is difficult but with honesty, open-mindedness and willingness we can wake up and live the dream.”
Vinny Winit Wonsejullarat – Weekend Manager
Vinny is Thai but left his home country at the age of seven, eventually graduated from Victoria University, New Zealand, and spent the last 24 years in the United States. Vinny has been in addiction recovery for many years. He got his recovery treatment certificate in Australia in 2015. Shortly after this Vinny joined the Hope team as a manager.
Due to his many years of informal recovery work in the community in Thailand Vinny was invited to train Thai professionals as addiction treatment specialist at the highly respected W.H.O.S. Rehab Education facility in Sydney, Australia, for “Drug and Alcohol Treatment Professional Certification”. Vinny is also actively involved in addiction self-help fellowships throughout Thailand. He has proven to be a great asset to the team at Hope. Read more about Vinny’s story….
Nurse (Aoy) Areeya Vachiranu Wong
Nurse Aoy is a Thanyarak Institute trained Nurse on Drug & Alcohol Dependence Treatment and Rehabilitation. Thanyarak Institute Thailand is part of the Ministry of Public Health for Thailand.
The Thanyarak Institute is Thailand’s first and largest treatment center with seven branches located throughout the country. It is under the supervision of the Department of Medical Services, Ministry of Public Health.
Natalie Shalson – Admissions Manager
“I love the approach at Hope, it’s very open minded which I feel is necessary. We really work on building self-esteem and self-worth, while also providing the tools necessary to stay clean & sober no matter what.”
Adam – Support Manager
Adam is a recovering ice addict from Australia. He decided to quit drugs and drinking after 21 years of addiction. After his detox and treatment at Hope, he stayed as a volunteer. By now he has become our support manager and is doing a terrific job. He oversees the pick-up and arrival of all our clients, manages their rooms and accommodation to fit to their needs. Adam is the eyes and ears of anything that needs repairing around Hope. And he is known for his big heart and for being a champion for the recovery process. Adam will be celebrating being clean and sober for two years on 28th April 2017.
„When I arrived at Hope Rehab I was broken, completely beaten up, not only physically and mentally but spiritually as well. Now, today, I am the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life and even though working at Hope has its own challenges is quite possibly the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.“
Parice – Support Worker
Parice is a recovering addict from the UK. She began using when she was 15 and came to Hope Rehab Center in February 2016. The treatment changed her life. After three months in the Hope program, Parice decided she wanted to give back. She went back home to the UK for six weeks, applied herself to the NA program, got a sponsor and returned to Hope as a volunteer. Eventually she became one of our support workers.
Parice’s main focus is on administrative work but she also does airport pick-ups, intakes, assignment work with clients and spreads her positive vibes by generally supporting staff and residents alike.
„I was a shell of my former self, I was lost and broken when I came to Hope. As soon as I walked through the gates I used every tool and every bit of advice I could to help me get better again. I loved it, I felt at home and I decided I really wanted to give back and help other people just like me.“
May – Mua Thai Trainer
Bill – Fitness Coach
„A healthy body gives you a healthy mind which leads to a healthy soul. I know God has a plan for me and as long as I stay clean and sober everything is gonna be okay.“
Jeff (Chaivudh Asavabharuj) – Administrator
Jeff is Hope’s administrator. He takes care of all the client’s and staff’s visas, sorts out paperwork with public authorities and helps with shopping and beach trips. He also manages restaurant orders and has strong links to the staff at the local hospital. Any medical problems, e.g. in relation to detoxes, are therefore easily taken care of as Jeff is always happy to accompany clients to the clinic and to serve as a translator.
Bottom line: If anyone needs anything at all, Jeff is THE guy to turn to. That’s why many people here at Hope lovingly call him ‚Mr. Fix-it‘.
Jeff’s previous work includes traveling the world representing a Thai jewellery manufacture, as many gem stones come from Thailand and South East Asia. He has lived in the United States for four and a half years, where he studied at Kentucky University. He also traveled to the US over a 50 times and has been to Hong Kong and Dubai as well. In his spare time, Jeff loves to play PingPong and Snooker or watch TV.
“I am extremely happy to work at Hope because I get to practise my English and meet people from all over the world. Overall it’s just a fantastic work environment!”
Andrea – Website and Social Media Manager
Andrea is from Germany. She joined the Hope team in 2017. She is a trained online journalist who chose to focus on SEO. At Hope she manages the website and all the social media channels (Facebook, G+, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube). Among other things her responsibilities include curating ideas, creating new content and improving the user-experience on the website. Andrea has a passion for photography and is therefore often seen roaming the grounds with her camera.
After being sick and tired of the extremely high-paced hamster wheel of the news business, she set out to travel the world in June 2015. It didn’t take Andrea very long to figure out that she was actually on a journey of self-discovery. She has first-hand experience of how addiction can affect the whole family. Andrea grew up with an alcoholic father and an uncle, who died due to health reasons from binge-drinking. For that reason she has a keen interest in working with and helping addicts on their way to recovery.
Nina – Psychology Intern
Nina is a 21-year-old intern at Hope Rehab Center for 5 months, from 22/11/16 till 22/04/17. Nina is studying applied psychology in the Netherlands and is now in the third year of her bachelor. In the study, the focus is theory and practice combined. So besides learning from the textbooks, she is also learning coaching, counselling, giving a training and communication skills that she applies in practice.
The main reason Nina came to the Hope Rehab Center is that she wanted to know more about addiction and the holistic approach in this treatment center. She was intrigued by the combination of CBT, group therapy, counselling, ABC’s, meditation, mindfulness, relapse prevention and aftercare, so she wanted to know more about these methods and the program in general.
Pepijn – Psychology Intern
Pepijn is a 26-year-old intern from the Netherlands and will spend five months at Hope. He studies Applied Psychology at Saxion in Deventer and is in the last year of his bachelor. During his studies, he did a major in neuropsychology and a minor in achievement psychology. He is keen to know how an addict's brain works and help people to achieve their goals. He also is really into sports and wants to motivate people to do sports activities to help them to become fit and to boost their start into recovery.
Pepijn really wanted to do this internship abroad, because I want to help people and because it is international. He came to Hope because he was intrigued by the international set-up and is convinced that it's the perfect environment for him to help people who are in one of their most difficult stages of their lives fight their addictions and guide them on their recovery journey. He sees his internship as an opportunity to work hands-on, gain practical experience and learn things that just can't be learned from books.
"It's never too late to turn your life around."
Isabelle – Psychology Intern
Isabelle is an intern from the Netherlands. She just completed her bachelor degree in psychology and was looking for an internship programme to expand her knowledge and gain practical work experience. She wants to do a masters degree in clinical psychology and has always had an interest in human behaviour and motivation.
"I think, Hope is a great place to learn more about yourself and everyone can benefit from its therapeutic influence."
Berdie Elzinga – Social Work Intern
Berdie is an intern at Hope Rehab. She is a student from Stenden University from the Netherlands and currently in the final year of her Social Work Bachelor. Berdie will spend 10 months at Hope to get a better understanding of and learn more about addiction. She chose Hope because the program offered here includes the cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), mindfulness and meditation as a treatment approach. Some of Berdie’s responsibilities include assignment work and sport with clients as well as intakes upon arrival. She sees her internship as a great way to learn from our counsellors about methods and treatment approaches for people in recovery and how to encourage and guide them on their way.
“From my first day, I felt really welcomed and comfortable at Hope. I am really grateful for the staff for giving me such a great opportunity!”
Will – Personal Assignment Support
Will is a recovering addict from the USA. He returned to Thailand, where he had completed his primary treatment earlier in the year, in August 2016. After more than ten years of addiction, for him, Thailand represents sobriety and opportunity. Will contacted Hope Rehab in October after meeting one of the Hope counsellors in Chiang Rai, to offer his services as a volunteer. Will joined the team in November 2016 and has further developed his knowledge in the application of recovery tools since then while assisting clients with their assignments.
In the beginning of December Will started our Refuge Recovery meeting, a support group that applies the Buddhist principles to addiction treatment, which he continues to run every Sunday. Having grown past his initial short-term volunteer duties, he now plans to stay with Hope long-term. Will’s main focus is to continue his own education in CBT and mindfulness while helping clients discover the potential in their own futures.
While Will’s primary expertise at Hope is assisting the client’s with their assignments and other written recovery work, he also shares his experience and knowledge in groups, leads bike adventures around Si Racha, and, most importantly, is always available as a friendly ear to anyone in need.
Sonny – Volunteer
Sonny is a regular volunteer at HOPE, helping out wherever or however needed, whether it be driving folks to where they need to go, being a facility repair handyman, assisting HOPE’s kitchen staff with shopping for groceries, or helping clients with their recovery step work to prepare for successfully managing life in sobriety. Simon and Alon were two of Sonny’s counselor’s during his rehab, so when Sonny found out they were starting HOPE, he asked if he might give service time to others trapped in addiction by volunteering during his time off from his regular job.
In his “everyday” life, Sonny is a Training, Learning and Development Supervisor for an international Oil & Gas Drilling Contractor, responsible for the Quality Assurance and Control Aspect of Training, Learning and Development as it relates to industry, company and adult learner requirements. He loves his job and the opportunity it offers to work with a talented training team of peers to serve such a diverse range of clientele and tackle industry challenges across a broad range of environments. His appreciation for and dedication to teamwork stems from his combined 26 years as a military SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) Instructor for the U.S. Air Force and as an international military contractor, working globally but primarily in the Middle East during that time.
As for many in military and contracting life, alcohol was a centerpiece of his activities…positive, negative and otherwise. Sonny had always thought that he would “know” when his drinking might go too far, and that he could certainly stop any time he chose to because it was just a matter of “Will Power”. Finally, after quite a few failures to stop drinking on Will Power alone, and some very supportive and loyal friends, Sonny came to realize his life had become completely unmanageable with, and because of, his drinking. Faced with losing everything or getting sober, Sonny chose to seek treatment…and has never looked back.
LekLek – Thai Assistant Manager
LekLek was born in Chonburi, Thailand, but lived in Norway for 15 years. She is fluent in Thai, Norwegian and English and understands some Swedish and Danish as well. LekLek had a Thai restaurant in Norway and is now running one in Thailand as a side-job. She is a foodie, passionate about cooking, and a selfie-queen like most of the Thai women. She also loves to travel with her sister and has already been to Germany, Spain, Turkey, Czech Republic, Sweden and Denmark.
At Hope, she is Jeff’s right hand. She helps supervising the Thai staff as well as with trips to the local mall, markets, the dentist or the hair dresser on a daily basis and to the nearby island on Sundays. Occasionally she also takes clients to the local temple for a cultural experience. LekLek is known for her good sense of humour.
Fee – Thai Peer Counsellor
Fee started at Hope as our first Thai Recovering addict peer intern. He trained at Hope to be a counsellor and support worker. Fee graduated from Thanyarak Pattani Rehab Center after spending four months in treatment. He is now a pioneer of Narcotics Anonymous in Southern Thailand. He is a wonderful and helpful person to have on the team, taking care of all the client’s needs. Read more about Fee’s story….
What is Thai massage?
Thai massage is usually done on a padded mat on the floor. No oil is applied, so you are fully dressed. You are usually asked to bring or wear comfortable clothing to the massage. A typical Thai massage is 60 minutes long. It is the responsibility of the massage therapist to carry out the work, while the individual on the receiving end reaps the benefits.
Many people find that Thai massage has the following benefits: relaxation and reduction of stress.
Marr and Mon – Thai Massage
Thai massage is a system of massage and manipulation developed in Thailand, and influenced by the traditional medicine systems of India, China, and Southeast Asia, as well as by yoga. Marr is highly trained and qualified in all aspects of Massage.
Believed to be over 2000 years old, traditional Thai massage is an authentic healing art and unique form of body therapy developed by people who used massage not only as a therapeutic method of healing to treat illnesses, but to maintain health and well-being.
Health coaching is one of the core elements of our treatment approach and massage therapy is part of this.
Our Cooking Team at Hope receiving awards for their recipes
Disclaimer; Hope Rehab maintains a highly informative website. Our core value is integrity and to the best of our knowledge the information regarding staff is correct and accurate. Information regarding the program and staff is all on the website. We background and check all staff before offering employment,