EMILY WESSEL, MS, APCC

Emily Wessel,
MS, APCC

Primary Therapist

Emily is the Primary Therapist at Thrive Treatment℠ in Santa Monica.

Emily Wessel, MS, CET2, APCC (#7291) is the new Program Director and Primary Therapist at Thrive Treatment. She is certified with the International Society of Experiential Professionals and has worked extensively with non-profit organizations, treatment centers, educational institutions, and prison reentry programs as a trainer, coach, group facilitator, and curriculum specialist. She has held various roles in the addiction and mental health treatment industry for the past 12 years and is grateful to be in long-term recovery herself. She holds an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Capella University and a BA in Economics from the American University in Washington, DC. 

As a primary therapist Emily shares her passion for experiential and somatic techniques of psychotherapy. She runs trauma-informed groups for adults and teens using action methods such as psychodrama, sociometry, and art-making to educate clients on maintaining healthy relationships, managing stress, addressing addiction, codependency, and many of the other life challenges that can affect mental health. When not working, she can be found dancing, roller skating or finding ways to be of service in her community. 

Will Sullivan

Will Sullivan

Utilization Review Manager

Will is the Utilization Review Manager at Thrive Treatment℠ in Santa Monica.

Will is the utilization review manager for Thrive Treatment. She brings acumen in mental health treatment to the table when working with insurance companies to ensure every client obtains the treatment they need and deserve. Will has held numerous titles in the field of recovery and has experience in operations, compliance, and utilization review. She most recently managed utilization review for a network of mental health, substance abuse, and eating disorder facilities in Southern California. Will is an active member of the Los Angeles recovery community and uses this first hand experience to help clients struggling with chemical dependency issues. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Will has now made Los Angeles her home. In her free time, she loves to play tennis, read, and spend time with friends and family. 

Adam Pelner

Adam Pelner

PRIMARY THERAPIST

Adam is a Primary Therapist at Thrive Treatment℠ in Santa Monica.

Adam Pelner is an Associate Clinical Social Worker. Born and raised in Queens, New York, he received his BA in Economics, Policy Studies and Psychology at Syracuse University and moved to Los Angeles where he received his MSW at UCLA. During his time at UCLA, he worked to understand how various systems, particularly those that are inequitable, play a role in an individual’s mental health. Part of Adam’s focus as a social worker is understanding mental health and well being from a broader context that incorporates cultural, political, racial and socioeconomic factors.

Before attending UCLA, Adam worked at a Residential Treatment Center conducting Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) for those struggling with OCD and related disorders. Adam has several years of experience in utilizing evidence based practices and learning about those struggling with OCD and related disorders through both research and practice. Adam has also received training in third wave behavioral therapies such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and is interested in exploring how various psychological processes such as language, metacognition and narrative play a role in a person’s quality of life. Adam’s foundation lies in implementing both acceptance and change strategies to address problematic behaviors that adversely impact quality of life.

Adam also has experience working with homeless populations on Skid Row and with low income families at LA’s Department of Mental Health. Drawing from a multidisciplinary approach, he believes in the power of psycho-education and providing individuals with skills that will help them create long lasting change.  Above all, he believes in advocating for each individual and empowering those who might have lost hope in themselves.

Alyson Hinz

Alyson Hinz, APCC

PRIMARY THERAPIST

Alyson is a Primary Therapist at Thrive Treatment℠ in Santa Monica.

Alyson Hinz is an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor. She graduated from Towson University with a BS in Psychology, and Johns Hopkins University with a MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Alyson is originally from Maryland, and has lived in California since 2019. 

Alyson began her clinical experience working in a private practice in Baltimore City. She then transitioned into an internship at The University of Maryland School Based Mental Health Program, where she worked in two Baltimore City public schools providing outpatient mental health services to children and families. Additionally, Alyson also has experience working with the elderly population in assisted living homes for over 6 years. 

Alyson enjoys incorporating mindfulness, CBT, strengths based approaches, solution focused approaches, and positive psychology into her clinical practice. She believes that treatment should be tailored towards each individual’s needs, and that clients should feel empowered in the recovery process.   

When not at work, Alyson enjoys spending time in nature, hiking, trying new foods, watching football and T.V., exercising, traveling, and spending time with her friends, family, and dog. 

Clayton Ketchum CADC II-IS

clayton ketchum

Clayton Ketchum CADC II-IS

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

clayton ketchum

Clayton is the Executive Director at Thrive Treatment℠ in Santa Monica.

Clayton Ketchum is the founder and acting executive director of Thrive Treatment℠. For over 10 years Clayton Ketchum has guided a progressive range of integrated behavioral healthcare services with recovery homes and outpatient services all over Southern California. In this capacity, he has developed a range of drug/alcohol treatment, integrated health and mental health services in responsive to the needs of the growing drug/alcohol epidemic in the United States of America.

Under Mr. Ketchum’s guidance, Thrive Treatment℠ has taken leadership roles in advocating for ethics and standards, and participating in national conferences on addiction and recovery. Most recently, Mr. Ketchum has expanded his personal expertise to include drug/alcohol intervention services to compliment his medical team of psychiatric, clinical and phycological specialties. Mr. Ketchum believes that research, prevention and intervention are key components to resolving the addiction crisis. Mr. Ketchum is an active member of the California Certification Board of Alcohol and Drug Counselors and will to continue to advocate for the issues that face the community of Santa Monica, Southern California and nationwide.

Mr. Ketchum’s goal in starting Thrive Treatment℠ was to first and foremost be among the businesses in our country to offer various levels of treatment services to the citizens of our communities to meet the unique needs of clients and their families. Thrive Treatment℠ is part of an expanding network of services that Mr. Ketchum hopes will help create a cycle of profit and reinvestment into our own communities and standards on health and fulfillment in all parts of life, that lead to lasting effects on not only ourselves and our families, but our communities at large. By utilizing a full spectrum of care, Thrive Treatment℠ can provide a wide range of services and treatment levels. Another recent focus for Mr. Ketchum is the development of new programs that can add to the longevity of thriving in a recovery-based lifestyle. These include recreational therapies and alumni after care support programs, with an emphasis on relapse prevention and life-skills practice.

Mr. Ketchum’s mission is to provide an environment to help clients prosper and succeed through a proactive working partnership with all levels of evidence-based clinical care and community organizations, to achieve a healthy quality of life and serve more communities to support lasting recovery.

John Steele

john steele

John Steele

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

john steele

John is the Director of Operations at Thrive Treatment℠ in Santa Monica.

John Steele brings a wealth of knowledge and personal experience to the Thrive Treatment℠ team.  He comes to Thrive with a background in management, most recently from the management team of the High Gains Project, in Santa Monica.  He has created and developed working relationships with local courts, and advocated for the treatment of clients suffering the consequences of their  drinking and/or using problem.

John maintains the intake of clients at Thrive Treatment℠, including state, health inspections, and licensing. He works closely with the Executive Team in handling daily operations.

John is an active member of the recovery community and uses his personal background and experience to help create a trusting environment for our clients. John is originally from Baltimore, Maryland, but is enjoying making Los Angeles his home. John likes to spend his free time outdoors, hiking, biking and working out.

Cole Walsh

COLE-WALSH

Cole Walsh

OFFICE MANAGER

COLE-WALSH

Cole is the Office Manager at Thrive Treatment℠ in Santa Monica.

Cole is the Office Manager at Thrive Treatment℠. He was born and raised in Los Angeles just a little way down the road.  Cole is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where he obtained his Bachelors in Business Administration.  Upon graduation, he worked in the business sector specializing in sales and marketing strategies where he gained valuable skills that include operational execution, communication, and project management.  Cole is an active member in the recovery community and uses his personal experience to bring forth a strong sense of accountability, integrity, and comradery.  In his time away from work, Cole thoroughly enjoys working out, spending time at the beach, and traveling.

David Wiss

david wiss

David Wiss, RDN

NUTRITION IN RECOVERY

david wiss

David is the founder of Nutrition in Recovery at Thrive Treatment℠ in Santa Monica.

David Wiss, MS, RDN is the founder of Nutrition in Recovery, which specializes in: Addictions, Eating Disorders, Mental Health, Body Image, and General Wellness. Mr. Wiss works closely with individuals to help them revolutionize their relationship with food, and has shared his expertise with numerous eating disorder and addiction facilities throughout the greater Los Angeles area. David is a nationally recognized expert in nutrition for addiction, and is currently working on his PhD in Public Health from UCLA.

Hannah Ayers, MA, LMFT

Hannah Ayers, MA, LMFT

FAMILY THERAPIST

Hannah is a Family Therapist at Thrive Treatment℠ in Santa Monica.

Hannah is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (#124039). She received her BA in Psychology from Cal State LA and her MA in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology. Hannah has years of experience working in treatment facilities, primarily with adults and adolescents experiencing addiction and eating disorders. She has training in evidence-based practices such as CBT and DBT and provides trauma-informed care. She specializes in complex trauma and is currently in the process of becoming a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. She has a passion for working with young people to develop a deeper understanding and acceptance of themselves in addition to ways of coping with, rather than avoiding discomfort. Her goal is to provide a fun and safe space for teens to talk about their struggles, build comradery and community as well as develop long term coping strategies. 

Chris Kirby

chris kirby

Chris Kirby

DIRECTOR OF ADMISSIONS

chris kirby

Chris is the Director of Admissions at Thrive Treatment℠ in Santa Monica.

Chris Kirby now oversees our marketing department and is a big advocate for our program. He demonstrates strength of character and a peer understanding so clients often confide in him regarding problems or concerns. In his earlier years, Chris played water polo and attended Whittier College. Chris loves surfing and enjoys incorporating that and outside service work with clients and friends.