The Team

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The Team 2017-08-16T15:16:25+00:00

The Hope Team

Hope Rehab 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

The Founders

Simon Mott, Founder of Hope Rehab Thailand

Simon Mott – Co-Founder of Hope Rehab

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, Co-Founder of Hope Rehab Thailand

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 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

Paul Garrigan, Mindfulness Program Manager at Hope Rehab

Paul Garrigan – Addiction Nurse and Mindfulness Program 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’.

Henk Nagel, counsellor at Hope Rehab

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.

Quitting alcohol and drugs was the best thing I have ever done. My life has been better than I had ever imagined.”

Samina, counsellor at Hope Rehab

Samina Khan – Senior Therapist

Samina has held a life long 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.

“For me, recovery from addiction is never just about the drugs or the alcohol, but always about what the drugs and the alcohol are trying to cover up.”

Chris, counsellor at Hope Rehab

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 festival-goers who experienced negative effects from drugs and alcohol. He specialised in MDMA, Psychedelics and NPS drugs.

Chris is in long-term recovery.

“I came to Hope Rehab initially to meet Simon and to have a look around, but I instantly fell in love with the place, I approached Simon for a job and I was working here within the month. Simon has created a beautiful environment to help heal your spirit and soul. Hope does exactly what it states in the name, it gives people Hope. Rehabs can be a very sterile environment but we are like a family here, where the power of the group and the therapeutic community mixed with the team’s expertise makes for a special mix.”

Carola De Souza, counsellor at Hope Rehab

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, counsellor at Hope Rehab

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!

“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.”

Luke Richardson, Counselor at Hope Rehab

Luke Richardson – Team Manager

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, counsellor at Hope Rehab

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, counsellor at Hope Rehab

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.”

Doug, Counsellor at Hope Rehab Thailand

Doug Sutherland – Counsellor

Doug is a counsellor from the UK. Before joining the Hope Team in 2017, he worked within the Criminal Justice sector of a Drug and Alcohol Service. He has also worked as an Addictions Therapist in the UK and has qualifications from S.T.R.A.D.A (University of Glasgow), Royal College of General Practitioners, and a degree in counselling at the University of Nottingham. Additionally, he has knowledge of NPS (Novel Psychoactive Substances: (Legal Highs)) and worked with people addicted to these new types of drugs. As well as this, Doug is an experienced group facilitator.

Doug didn’t come to work in this field by chance: He struggled with addiction for many years before coming across the 12-Step model in 2004. Although Doug credits this with saving his life, like a lot of people stopping using was not the hard part for him, staying stopped was. Eventually, he got the chance to enter inpatient treatment at a rehab center in the UK in 2011 and has been substance free from this date.

“Never give up giving up. You may not have made it the last time or the time before but that doesn’t mean you won’t make it this time.”

Vinny, Weekend Manager at Hope Rehab

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….

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

Hope Rehab Nurse

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.

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

Jeff, Thai Administrator at Hope Rehab

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 jewelry 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!”

Apple, Fitness Trainer at Hope Rehab

Apple – Fitness Trainer

Apple is a fitness trainer, yoga, and mindfulness instructor. She has worked with addictis for many years, and joined the Hope team in 2017. Apple is known for being so full of energy, enthusiasm and passion that it’s contagious. Even if you initially identify yourself as a couch potato, she will make sweating from every single pore a fun pasttime. She can also lead you to a space of inner peace where your mind and body become one again. Every week, she puts together a diverse schedule of different fitness & mindfulness classes that you can choose from. Clients usually leave sessions with Apple more grounded, centered and balanced than they were before – as well as with a deep sense of self-satisfaction.

“Working at Hope has totally changed my life. It’s an honour and big pleasure to watch people get their life back together. Being a fitness instructor & yoga and mindfulness teacher is more than a job to me – it’s my life, and I love it.”

Prayuth Nawachahad, Muay Thai fighter and trainer

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 2017. 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.”

Bill, fitness coach at Hope Rehab

Bill – Fitness Coach

Bill is a recovering addict from Malaysia. After looking through Thailand’s vast selection of rehabs he decided to start his treatment at Hope in September 2016. During his recovery, he rekindled his love for personal fitness and muscle building. Bill spent enough time in his life burning bridges; now he wants to build new ones. That’s why he chose to become part of our team and help clients from all around the world. He now plays an integral part in the fitness program here at Hope Rehab. His passions include sports, weights, calisthenics, and core workout. He offers tailored solutions for your individual level of fitness and your goals.

„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.“

Natalie, Admissions at Hope Rehab

Natalie Shalson – 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.

“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.”

Andrea, Social Media & Website Manager at Hope Rehab

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.

„The people at Hope – staff and clients alike – are simply amazing! It’s an honour to work here, be of service to this awesome rehab center whilst learning and growing personally at the same time.“

Adam, support staff manager at Hope Rehab

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.“

Sammy – Training counsellor at Hope Rehab

Sammy – Training counsellor

Sammy is a 23-year-old Psychology graduate from the UK, who is currently one of Hope’s first training counsellors. She is really involved with the cognitive side of Psychology and interested in learning more about Hope’s diverse program including mindfulness. Sammy has been enthusiastically engaged in the field of wellbeing, having worked alongside many support organisations and hospital services within the UK. Her dissertation has been published where she worked alongside support organisations for the homeless.

She has a huge passion for helping people from all walks of life on their journey through recovery. Sammy also has a huge involvement in admissions at Hope, working alongside Natalie and the support team to create a smooth environment and transition for clients. Sammy is currently overseeing the new incoming interns and volunteers at Hope, creating a diverse and friendly team.

„I’ve loved every second at Hope, there is a genuine sense of community with a balance between individuals striving to help each other but also being on their personal journey of transformation and growth.“

Helen, intern at Hope Rehab Thailand

Helen – Psychology Intern

Helen is a 23-year-old applied psychology student from Germany, who is currently an intern at Hope. During her degree course she came across many interesting psychology related topics, which also included addiction and mindfulness, and therefore decided to do her internship at a rehab facility.

She enjoys traveling and has a fascination for Thailand, its culture, climate and the peoples’ mentality. Coming to Hope therefore combined two important aspects: focusing on her studies while experiencing work in a rehab facility as a part of the team, and traveling to her favorite country to learn about future career opportunities abroad in the field of psychology.

Helen enjoys learning about recovery, mindfulness and the different personalities of people coming to Hope and is planning on focusing on addiction related topics during her bachelor thesis. Being able to work with such experienced team members feels like an exceptional chance for her to both theoretically and practically learn about addiction and rehab centers.

„Coming to Hope was one of the best decisions I could have made. Seeing people’s progress, being part of an amazing community and learning new things everyday makes it an amazing place to work at. Working at Hope has also helped me grow, showed me what I am capable of and where I want to be, both professionally and personally.“
Caitlin - Volunteer at Hope Rehab

Caitlin – Volunteer

Caitlin is currently a volunteer at Hope. She is from South Africa, and has spent a lot of time travelling the world and living in different countries. She has a degree in English and Psychology, with an interest in mental disorders and addiction recovery. It has been a dream of hers for a long time to work at a rehab center.

She was drawn to Hope because of the variety of different approaches on offer, and the focus on not only therapy, but also physical health and spiritual wellbeing. Caitlin believes that it is best to keep an open mind in order to better understand herself and others, and to be of help to those around her.

„We can’t become what we need to be by remaining what we are.“

Parice, support worker at Hope Rehab

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.“

Nina, intern at Hope Rehab Thailand

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.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to work at Hope. I enjoy learning new things every day, helping people and encouraging them to get better.”

Psychology Intern Pepjin

Pepijn – Psychology Intern

Pepijn is a 26-year-old intern from the Netherlands. He is in the last year of his Applied Psychology Bachelor, doing a major in neuropsychology and a minor in achievement psychology. Pepijn is keen to know what happens in the addict brain and help people to achieve their goals. That’s why he applied for a five months internship at Hope. He also is really into sports which makes him a great asset for the team as one of the main pillars of the Hope program is fitness. Pepijn especially enjoys to motivate and stimulate people to get people fit as he strongly believes that it helps them with their recovery.

He chose to do this internship abroad, because he was looking for an international experience and wanted to help people from all around the world. One of Pepijns main goals is to learn to help and guide people who are going through one of the most difficult stages of their lives. As he is a hands-on kind of guy he prefers to learn through experience rather than from books.

“It’s never too late to turn your life around.”

Psychology Intern Isabelle

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 behavior and motivation.

She thinks that working with people with an addiction is a great opportunity to learn about a lot of different types of problems, because of the complexity of addiction. She also thinks this internship creates a great opportunity to learn about the different aspects of treatment. Hope Rehab centre applies a holistisch approach to treatment, implementing all these different aspects. By intergrating CBT, mindfullness, relapse prevention, group counseling and meditation, Hope creates an environment in which a great set of skills and tools are learned. Isabelle hopes to learn more about mindfullness, as she finds this especially interesting. She also likes the large role that excersice plays in treatment and hopes to find new sports to be passionate about.

“I think hope is a great place to learn more about yourself and everyone could benefiet from its therapeutic influence.”

Berdie, intern at Hope Rehab

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, volunteer at Hope Rehab

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.

“I have enormous gratitude for all the people who helped me get to where I am today; I would never have come close to the positive quality of life I enjoy now without the support of every individual I have encountered along the way in my recovery journey.  The best part of my job at Hope is being able to pass that support on to others and inspire them to achieve the wonderful life they so deserve.”

Chris, Hope Rehab Support Team Volunteer

Chris – Support Team Volunteer

Chris is a recovering ice addict from Perth, Australia. After 12 years of using and drinking Chris spent 2 weeks in a coma after a horrific quad bike accident on Christmas Day 2016. He woke up from his coma, lucky to have survived, and decided that he needed to change his life. Chris arrived at Hope on the 14th of February 2017, determined to build himself back up and to create a new life for himself.

Chris surrendered himself to Hope’s program, and we witnessed a remarkable transformation. After finishing his treatment on the 12th of June, after 4 months, we asked Chris to stay on as a volunteer on our support team. Chris jumped at the chance to make a life for himself here in Thailand, bringing his positive and calming presence as well as his passion for helping others in the grip of active addiction.

“This is a field that I’d love to continue working in. I remember when I first started looking for a way out of the hell my life had become. Finding people who understood and cared, made me realise recovery was possible. Hope saved my life has become my home. I love coming to work every day and helping people who are in the same horrible place I used to be in not too long ago.”

Sonny, support worker at Hope Rehab

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.

“Sobriety is AWESOME!!!”

LekLek – Customer Service 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.

“Working at Hope makes me happy because I am meeting people from all over the world.”

Fee, Staff at Hope Rehab

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….

Hope Rehab Thai Massage Therapists

Our Thai Massage Therapists

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”)

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.”

Many people find that Thai massage has the following benefits: relaxation and reduction of stress.



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