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


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.

Meet The Team

Clinical Director

As a licensed marriage and family therapist and seasoned clinical professional, Dawn brings a wealth of experience in navigating the intricate realms of relational, emotional, and psychological struggles. Dawn’s extensive training equips her to engage with diverse age groups, including children, teens, adults, couples, families, and young adults. Dawn has undergone specialized training in evidence-based modalities such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and Family Therapy.

Dawn’s expertise extends across a spectrum of areas, encompassing ADHD, mood and anxiety disorders, parenting challenges, addiction, PTSD, codependency, and relationship dynamics. With a rich background spanning residential, school-based mental health, children’s community mental health, victims of crime (VOC) advocacy, and private practice cases, Dawn brings a versatile skill set to every therapeutic encounter.

Committed to guiding clients through their trauma and mental health challenges, Dawn employs a supportive approach, walking alongside them on their journey to healing. Dawn’s dedication extends to providing unwavering support as clients navigate life changes, fostering resilience and empowerment.

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.