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Hope Rehab Team

Hope has a multidisciplinary team of over 50 staff, this includes Psychologists, Therapists, Nurses, fitness, Yoga & Meditation coaches, Cooks, Cleaners, Maintenance, Marketing, and Administration staff. Although the monthly cost of having such a large and professional team is by far our biggest expense we believe its essential for our clients success. Hope Rehab operates due to our passionate and dedicated staff of which some are listed below.

Hope Rehab Team Group Picture

Addiction professionals and recovering people know the ‘HOPE’ that is found in recovery. Recovery is available even to people who may not at first be able to perceive this HOPE themselves.” – American Society of Addiction Medicine

Hope Rehab Staff

Say Hello to our wonderful domestic staff, the girls are all from the same remote village up in the hills on the boarder of Burma. They cook all your tasty food, make sure your room is clean and fresh and are generally very gentle and kind people.


Say Hello to our dedicated Interns from all over the world – The Hope team and Hope’s clients all work together with Universities helping to train badly needed staff for all sorts of related diciplins.

"Every staff member can make a positive difference to a client’s experience" Simon Mott

The Founders

Simon Mott

Simon M – Co-Founder of Hope Rehab

Simon is the founder and program creator of Hope Rehab Center. (Retired) Simon’s history includes managing residential rehabs, criminal justice substance misuse services, as well as managing public services for the local government in London. Read Simon’s personal story in The Independent or The Telegraph

Like many addiction experts Simon Mott has experienced addiction from both sides of the fence, having been a client in rehabs gives Simon an insider’s point of view.

During his time working in London Simon participated in the ‘All Party Meeting of the Parliamentary Drug Misuse Group’ held monthly at the House of Commons, UK Government.

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 UK 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. Simon specialises in Addiction treatment, CBT, Brief solution focussed therapy, Motivational interviewing, Working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse, Dual diagnosis, LGBT & Cultural awareness, Safeguarding children & vulnerable adults, and the Minnesota method.

“The qualities we look for in our staff are not only experience and certification but also that they can inspire and reach our clients. They have been where you have been and have gone where you are going” 

Hope Rehab Thailand Co-Founder Alon Kumsawad

Alon Kumsawad – Co-Founder of Hope Rehab

Alon is a Qualified 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 Administration and 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.”

The Team

Addiction Nurse Aoy

Addiction 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.

Hope Rehab Natalie Shalson Admission Manager

Natalie – International Admissions Manager

Natalie handles all the admissions at Hope and along with Simon is the first port of call for new clients looking for help. Natalie is in recovery herself and spent two years at Hope working as Counsellor and Assistant Manager before heading back to Europe on maternity leave where she is currently living with her family. She chose to stay on working for Hope Rehab as she believes in the work and wants to continue to help people 

recover from the pain of addiction, it’s a cause close to her heart. “Today, I can honestly say I love my life and my job. I got married and I have a beautiful baby. I have everything I ever wanted, but the most important changes are the internal shifts. Today I have a really strong, genuine bond with my family. I can communicate openly and honestly with my partner. I am no longer dependent on other people, but self sufficient. Today I have peace of mind. Problems will still arise and it will always be ‘life on life’s terms’,  Just for today, I no longer have to use. Read more about Natalie here…..

“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.”

Hope Rehab Paul Garrigan

Paul – Nurse & Mindfulness Manager

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

Read More about Paul’s personal story…

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’.

Hope Rehab support worker Parice

Parice – Admissions Team Leader

Parice is based in the UK as part of our international admissions team. She is in recovery from addiction herself and an active member of the 12 step fellowship. Parice initially worked at Hope as a support worker and then joined Natalie on the admissions team. After returning to the UK to study counselling she continued working alongside Natalie in admissions and is a Team Leader at CGL.

Parice has completed various addiction training courses in the UK and has reached NCFE level 1-3 in counselling and theory, a diploma in drug, solvent and alcohol abuse, Level 2 in adult social care Level 2 in mental health awareness. Parice has also undertaken various workshop’s and training in CBT, Body work , Motivational interviewing and Anxiety and is currently working towards a psychodynamic therapy degree. Parice enjoys working with people with addiction issues, helping them to start their journey into recovery and reach their goals. She is enthusiastic and passionate about being part of the Hope team.

“I am passionate about recovery. Hope is my second home and when asked to join Natalie to help with admissions, I jumped at the opportunity. I enjoy seeing the twinkle come back into clients eyes which addiction has dulled and love that I can be a part of their journey into recovery. Since being in recovery I have found counselling to be my passion and hope to continue to learn , expand my knowledge and help other’s”

Sophie – Female Counsellor

Sophie has first-hand experience of addiction and recovery.  She has been sober and working with addicts for over eight years;  helping addicts and alcoholics striving for a fulfilling abstinent life. After studying at Durham University, Sophie qualified in addiction counselling, supported by further studies including CPD in cognitive behavioral therapy, transactional analysis, the science of wellbeing and meditation facilitation. 

In addition, she sponsors alcoholics through the 12-step programme of Alcoholics Anonymous and next, she will be looking to train in TRE and EMDR facilitation.

“Everyone has the ability to recover from addiction regardless of age or experiences and I firmly believe that the root of this is within connection. My approach to therapy identifies individual needs and motivations, exploring clients’ histories and combining this with practical action and progressive steps”. Sophie is an openminded, caring person, focusing on positivity, grounded in traditional values and integrity.

“We cannot solve our problems using the same thinking we used when we created them” – Einstein

Chris – Addiction Counsellor

Chris – Counsellor

Chris is a qualified counsellor from the United States and trained and qualified in DBT, Motivational Interviewing and the Person Centered approach. He is also certified in Drug and Alcohol Abuse from Royal College of General Practitioners (UK). Chris grew up in New York, and before entering the field of addiction. Alongside aviation. 

Chris also has a passion for computers and IT, and began managing the business to business sales department for Apple in the New York area.

Chris also has struggled with addiction himself, and after multiple attempts at rehab he was able to get clean. Once he began his journey, Chris decided to switch careers and help others start their recovery. He has worked in multiple treatment centers, both primary and secondary, before joining the team at Hope. While at Hope, his passion has carried through and he has developed a comprehensive aftercare program that includes recovery coaching and aftercare meetings, helping clients at one of the most important stages of their recovery. After Chris’s 12 years in active addiction and his experience of gaining and building his own recovery, he has developed a real passion for working with people both in therapeutic, Psycho-educational groups and 1:1 sessions, ensuring clients receive an understanding of their addiction and the path to recovery. Read more about Chris on SMART recovery here

“Recovery is an amazing adventure that I love helping others embark on”

Hope Rehab Vinny Weekend Manager

Vinny –Addiction Counsellor

Vinny is a trained addiction Practitioner from Thailand/USA. Vinny left his home country of Thailand 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….

“When we stop blaming and take responsibility for ourselves everything changes.”

Nic – Head Counsellor

Nic is a counsellor from the UK. Before joining the Hope Team, she worked within the Dependent Alcohol and Substitute prescribing teams within community-based Drug and Alcohol Services in several locations for approximately 20 years. She also has professional experience within, criminal justice teams, probation and young offenders’ services, mental health teams and young adults’ services.

 Nic has been in recovery for almost 8 years post detox and completion of a 6-month therapeutic community rehab and continues her recovery working a 12-step daily program.  She has remained substance free since 2014. Nic graduated from Salford University with a Bachelor of Science (hons) degree specializing in addiction/pharmacology and health science, and psychology awarded from Bury College for adult learners, and is a qualified teacher. Nic also has personal experience and professional knowledge of eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive behaviors. Nic’s personal achievements include challenging fears; tandem skydive and HiWire treetop climbing and competitively, completing several half marathons. Nic is a proud mother and maintains close contact overseas with her family.

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your frears”   Nelson Madnela 

Michael – Program Manager

Michael is originally from Hull, UK and has been in recovery with over 20 years’ experience in active addiction. He has 15 years of professional experience working within residential detox centres and abstinent based housing. Michael was responsible for delivering and providing a daily program of recovery for residents within community residential rehab services. He has experience working within the Criminal justice system and adult community drug services. Prior to working with adults, Michael supported young people’s services as a youth worker working with those who required additional education support.

“How free do you want to be?”   

Esther– Psychotherapist

Esther is a qualified psychotherapist from the UK. She is a Psychology graduate from University College London (BSc, hons) , and holds a Post Graduate Masters in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy. She is a registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (MBACP), and advanced registered member of the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professions (FDAP, AM).

Having worked extensively in private and charitable sectors, both with group therapy and 1:1 psychotherapy, Esther took the opportunity to develop her skills as a therapist here at HOPE. Esther strives to provide a non-judgemental space in which you can feel secure, supported and understood to explore and process the difficulties that you have been experiencing. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques can be used to identify and challenge unhelpful patterns of behavior. It may be that your current difficulties result from earlier experiences and relationships. Esther will gently help you to explore your past without judgement, and to consider how it may relate to the issues that have brought you to HOPE. Through humanistic values you are encouraged to discover your potential.

She has a particular interest in Trauma, PTSD, and Addiction treatment and recovery, this arises from personal experience growing up with addiction in her family. Prior to coming to HOPE, Esther worked in private practice in London, was a member of the addiction treatment team at The Priory Hospital Roehampton, and worked with Green Door Clinic – Harley Street London, Gamcare UK , and YMCA UK.

“Addictions started out like magical pets, pocket monsters. They did extraordinary tricks, showed you things you haven’t seen, and were fun. But came, through some gradual dire alchemy, to make decisions for you. Eventually, they were making your most crucial life decisions. And they were……less intelligent than goldfish””   

Gunn – Psychologist

Gunn is a local Thai Psychologist and therapist and mindfulness facilitator who has a degree in Psychology from New Zealand, Diploma in addiction counselling and SMART recovery. She has experience of working in rehabilitation for over 5 years; in both Thai and English programs, and has passion toward helping others to create peace within themselves in order to live healthy life.  She also lived and studied in New Zealand following high school. She graduated with a psychology bachelor’s degree from the University of Otago. 

Gunn also gained experience working as a Thai-English translator in New Zealand court. She is definitely a people-person due to her cheerful and friendly personality.  Gunn has numerous responsibilities at Hope Rehab Thailand. She likes to make use of her psychology background to help clients with their homework and other tasks. Gunn is one of our meditation facilitators, and is able to lead the group mindfulness classes.

Hope Rehab Support Manager Adam

Adam – Logistics Manager

Adam is a recovering ice addict from the UK and Australia. Adam organizes the logistics and smooth running of daily operations at Hope. He brings his transferable skills and abilities from working in heavy industry in Australia. Adam is known for his big heart and for being a champion for the recovery process going above and beyond to help those who want it.

Hope Rehab Thailand Customer Service Manager Jenny

Jenny – Customer Support Manager

Jenny is from the Philippines but moved to Thailand 8 years ago, she graduated in computer science and completed the vocational course for live-in caregiver of Primacare Training and Development Center. She chose to become a trained caregiver because she enjoys helping people on their journeys. Jenny is fluent in Tagalog, Thai and English. Jenny supports our clients with shopping trips and all their personal needs.

Dan is a recovery practitioner from Hertfordshire, UK and a recovering addict who has over 4 years of sobriety. Dan has experience in all aspects of a rehab setting including detox, 12 step and group facilitation, 1-1 sessions, admissions processes and most importantly being able to support vulnerable clients. Dan also is a member of alcoholics anonymous and sponsors people though the 12 step programme. His big passions in life are golf, basketball and football alongside the most important part… his recovery. Dan is working towards Smart and other qualifications whilst being at hope.

Danny – Senior Support staff

Danny – Support Staff

Danny is a Senior Support staff member from London. Danny has worked in addiction recovery for the past four and a half years, after training in health and social care, trauma and informed care. He has worked at two different rehabs in London before coming to Hope. Danny used drugs and alcohol for over 30 years before attending an eight-month residential rehab in London in 2013. 

Danny’s passion is introducing addicts to recovery and helping them develop the skills necessary to maintain long-term sobriety. As Senior Support staff, Danny is responsible for running Hope’s regular outings and excursions. He is usually the first point of call for new clients, picking them from the airport, and helping them relax and feel welcome. He works with clients on a one to one basis as a Recovery Coach, helping them establish recovery plans for when they return home after treatment.

Muay Thai Boxing Hope Rehab Thailand

Yuth – Muay Thai Coach

Prayuth Nawachahad is a Muay Thai fighter who has competed in more than 220 fights. Yuth started fighting at the tender age of 11. He has won the Muay Thai Championship of the Eastern Seaboard Thailand, the Lumpinee Championship, and multiple belts from different stadiums in Thailand. Yuth’s own successes allowed him to become a coach and build up a new generation of fighters who are now competing in fights 

at Thailand’s most prestigious championships in stadiums like Lumpini and Rachadumneun. Yuth joined Hope Rehab as Muay Thai Coach in 2016. He is training and coaching our clients in one-on-one sessions in the impressive art of Muay Thai style fighting on 6 afternoons a week. “I am very pround that I was able to become a Muay Thai instructor and teacher (Kroo Muay) as this is a very important part of Thai Culture and the skills gets passed down on from one generation to the next. I am happy and feel honored to be teaching the basics of traditional Muay Thai to the clients at Hope.”

Toa – Hope Driver

Getting to our location is very easy. You book a flight and our driver will collect you from the airport. From there, it is just 50 minutes in one of our air conditioned Jeeps to the Hope facility. Long-haul flights are still surprisingly inexpensive and we suggest taking a direct flight whenever possible. Fly to Bangkok International Airport (Suvarnabhumi BKK) and send us the flight itinerary. At the airport go to, ‘Meeting-Point-One’ in the arrivals hall, and our logistics team will collect you.

Domestic Team

Hope Rehab Thailand – Domestic staff

It’s thanks to Auntie Nuan, Debbie, Na, Wa and Ga that everyone is raving about the food at Hope. These lovely ladies are not only skilled cooks, but also passionate about what they do – and you can definitely taste the love that goes into their meals. Apart from breakfast where you can choose between boiled, scrambled and fried eggs, bread, jams, a variety of fresh fruit, yogurt, muesli, cornflakes, etc. our cooks conjure up a feast for our famous lunch and dinner buffets. The dishes they serve are a perfect mix of popular Thai and Western food.

You’ll find local cuisine as well as sausages & mash, pork ribs, french fries, lasagna & other pasta dishes. Our cooks pride themselves in serving nutritous food made from scratch and usually includes several bowls of different salads and steamed or baked vegetables. If necessary (and communicated in advance) Auntie Nuan & her team can accommedate to different dietary needs. Click the following link to learn more about the benefits of keeping a healthy diet in recovery.

Thai Staff Gardeners Builders Hope Rehab Thailand

The Maintenance Team

Lung Juk, Auntie Pew, Jiap, Nag, Uncle Bamblung, Teung & Keng take care of the extensive gardens at Hope Rehab as well as all the maintenance issues. Whenever there is a leaking tap to be fixed, a lightbulb to be changed or a handyman needed for miscellanious repairs they’re on the scene. Hope is so grateful to our building team who keep us functional and have helped build Hope into the wonderful facility we have today.

Everybody deserves a massage

Traditional Thai 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. It was influenced by the traditional medicine systems of India, China, and Southeast Asia, as well as by yoga. Our massage therapists Ma and Mon used to work at Somdej Sriracha Hospital.

They treated patients there – among others an old man with paralysis – with traditional Thai massage. Glory and Warin specialised in a style of Thai massage that is called “nerve touch” or Jap – Sen (Jap meaning “to grasp”; Sen meaning “lines”) Many people find that Thai massage has the following benefits: relaxation and reduction of stress.

Thai Massage Therapists

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. Janice Gagnon, founder of a Thai Massage School in the US, explained Jap Sen in a guest post on

It “is a deep tissue approach that improves joint function and mobility by restructuring and aligning muscles, tendons and bones, and by stimulating pathways in the nervous system. This unique style of Thai massage works to stimulate the flow of energy or “lom” throughout the body by “twanging” or thumb rolling over the intricate system of sen lines and the ridges of muscles. This creates a deeper release of blockages in energy flow and a resonating affect through dense or tight muscles, tendons and nerves.”

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