Meet The Team

Meet The Team

Our dedicated team of experts and the faces behind the success.

Southern California Sunrise Recovery Center's owner Michael Villarreal


Michael Villarreal and his parents have worked closely together making each of their facilities feel like the home the clients deserve to be in.

The family’s familiarity and expertise stems from owning residential senior care facilities for over 20 years. Due to many years of experience in a residential care setting, they decided to branch their knowledge into a different demographic, yet similar setting and open what we know today as Southern California Sunrise Recovery Center. The Villarreals still collectively run several facilities.

Michael, himself, graduated from Cal Poly Pomona and started his career in their family-owned business navigating all directions of the company. Some of these tasks include but are not limited to, facility compliance, day-to-day operations, staffing, and overseeing the different divisions of the company. He continues to pride himself on being very hands-on within the company and his management team to truly ensure the values that his family has set continue to be followed through the day-to-day operations.

Michael and his family truly believe in healing the mind, body, and soul.

Joe Cavins LMFT

Clinical Director - LMFT

Joseph grew up in farm country in Illinois then migrated to Urbana where his father practiced medicine and taught at the University of Illinois.  Joseph moved to Utah in the early 1980’s and worked for Deer Valley Resort for ten years, then moved to California.

Joseph drove a school bus in the early 1990’s in order to be able to be home and present for his daughter. Someone suggested that he could park the bus at Irvine Valley College during the long lunch break and take a class — he did that and eventually finished undergraduate work with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services from Cal State Fullerton.

Joseph followed his youthful dreams and went to work at the Glacial Garden Ice Arena in Anaheim where he worked as an Ice Hockey program administrator, achieved advance level coaching certification from USA Hockey,  and scheduled ice time. (Joseph also drove the Zamboni a lot, a fact of which he is very proud.) After 8 years at the ice rink, Joseph was motivated by a friend to attend the Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology where he completed a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology. Joseph interned at Aspen Community Services, then remained on the team for 10 years, during which time he became a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and gained certification from the Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Association as a Mental Health Provider in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.

Meet The Team

Andrew Crawford

Program Director

Andrew embarked on his journey in the behavioral health treatment field six years ago, stepping into the role of a counselor following his recovery from mental health challenges and addiction. Motivated by his personal experience and a desire to guide others toward success, Andrew has pursued ongoing education in psychology while progressing in his career. Currently enrolled in a doctoral program, he is committed to becoming a licensed psychologist and marriage and family therapist.

Blending his lived experience with a robust professional knowledge base, Andrew serves as a beacon of hope for clients by helping them rediscover meaning in their lives, gain insight into their challenges, and initiate a path toward lasting recovery.

Within our program, Andrew holds a pivotal role, overseeing a dedicated team of mental health technicians who engage with clients on a daily basis. Through his leadership, Andrew ensures that the staff approaches their responsibilities with the utmost professionalism, empathy, and compassion by setting a compelling example for the entire team and the clients we serve.

Meet The Team

Katie Harmsem

Director of Outreach

Katie has been working in the behavioral healthcare field since 2016 in an array of positions ranging from operations to admissions to now focusing on Community Outreach and Business Development. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Cal State Fullerton in Fall 2021 and has a passion for wanting to help others who struggle with mental health and substance use disorders within the Orange County community and beyond. 

Meet The Team

Mabel Macias

Admissions Coordinator

Mabel Macias has been working for Southern California Sunrise Recovery Center since the start of the company in 2017, allowing her to truly understand and believe in the mission the company upholds.

As Admissions Coordinator, Mabel has a passion for helping clients and families find the correct treatment the patient needs. Mabel prides herself on being both the patient’s and their support system’s biggest advocate during the initial steps of the admission process and works closely with the clinical team to ensure a smooth transition both in and out of our facilities. Mabel strives to ensure each and every client who is seeking treatment receives the care they deserve.

Mabel is currently continuing her education to better serve the mental health and substance abuse population, as those are the two areas she focuses on.

Meet The Team

Dr. Sanjai Thankachen

Medical Director

Dr. SanjaiThankachen graduated from Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medicine in 2000. He completed his residency in psychiatry in 2008 at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in New York, where fifty percent of his rotations were at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. After his residency, he worked at Ventura County Medical Centers in an adult outpatient setting and now lives in Orange County, California. 

Dr. Thankachen is currently working with Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists in an outpatient practice, as well as working at multiple in-patient psychiatric and medical units bringing his patients the most advanced health care treatment in psychiatry. Dr. Thankachen sees patients with an array of disorders, including depression, bipolar illness, schizophrenia, anxiety, and dementia-related problems. 

Dr. Thankachen is also involved in professional organizations and societies in good standing including the American Psychiatric Association, Indian Medical Association, and the Karnataka Medical Association.