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Recovery Specialists Ready to Help You

The founders, as well as some of the management and clinical team at Miracles Asia have been where you or your loved one is right now.

Having experienced first hand the pain, struggles and countless challenges that are presented when fighting addiction, the business leaders are personally invested and motivated to make sure you get the most effective treatment possible every single day so that you get sober safely, and so you have the tools needed to live free from addiction long after you return home.

As you will see below, many of our team have strong roots in the hospitality field, as well as having decades of combined experience in all areas of the addiction treatment and recovery community which ensures your every need is completely taken care of during your residential treatment, and while participating in our exclusive aftercare service.
managing director

Mark Heather

Founder & Managing Director

Master of Sciences
“If you want to find a way, find someone who has”
Mark has been a hotelier in Southeast Asia for the last 30 years and has been in recovery for 25 years. Together with Bill O’Leary, Mark is dedicated to bringing hospitality and long lasting recovery together for all clients at Miracles Asia.

The dream Mark and Bill had was to have a small bespoke private property with professional qualified teams, delivering counselling and care from people in recovery themselves, using the latest evidence-based therapy.

Mark is passionate about supporting his clients and manages Miracles on a day-to-day basis. He is always available to clients and still actively takes part in 12-step group sessions.
john jacobs

John Jacobs

Clinical Lead

"The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”
Dr. John Jacobs is an experienced therapist from the U.S., with an extensive background in addiction and primary mental health settings across the U.S. and Thailand. His approach is eclectic and inter-disciplinary, drawing upon the Minnesota Model of addiction recovery, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), mindfulness, and a person-centered approach. 

John is trained in EMDR therapy for treating trauma. In addition to providing therapeutic services, John has also served as an Assistant Professor or an Adjunct Faculty at three universities in the United States: New Mexico State University, the University of New Mexico, and Arizona State University. 

John’s background also includes years of daily meditation practice, as well as—in his academic studies—investigating the physical and mental health benefits of meditation and mindfulness practice.

Paula Shields

Clinical Consultant

"The magic really happens when people can see and realise the possibilities for change.”
Paula has worked in the addiction treatment and behavioral health field for over 20 years in a variety of roles, focusing on client facing therapeutic work as well as program development as her career progressed.

She was Program Director of The Cabin in Thailand, creating the first gender-responsive trauma informed addiction treatment program in S. E. Asia. On returning to the UK, Paula joined Abbeycare as Head of Therapeutic Services for 2 years before launching her own clinical consultancy and coaching business.

Paula is currently completing a Masters degree in Psychology of Mental Health and Wellbeing as well as an Accredited Advanced Diploma in Coaching. She has a BSc degree in Psychology, a diploma in Women’s Studies and several qualifications in teaching and training within the Lifelong Learning Sector. 

She holds certifications in Clinical Supervision, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. Paula's experiences working in the field drew her to further study in more specialized therapeutic approaches in trauma treatment (EMDR, Advanced Training for Trauma Treatment and Complex PTSD and Neuroscience of Attachment).
addiction therapist

Lex Fransen

Therapist & Support Staff

Psychology BSc. Clinical psychology MSc.
“You don’t have to control your thoughts, you just have to stop letting them control you.”
Lex has a bachelor's degree in psychology, a master's degree in clinical psychology, and is trained in providing cognitive behavioral therapy. After 5 years of working in a variety of roles in the Dutch mental healthcare system, including a supervisory role in a residential facility, he decided to put his knowledge and skills to use on the beautiful island of Phuket.

Lex doesn't just look at problems or challenges, but seeks out people's strengths and qualities, and helps to discover how one can put these to use for their own recovery and mental wellbeing.
support staff

Anouk Aerdts

Support Staff

BSc Occupational Therapy
“Today is Today”
Anouk is an enthusiastic Occupational Therapist from The Netherlands with over 12 years experience in the psychiatric field. She also has an extensive background in Art Therapy.

She is passionate about supporting people dealing with addiction or coping with mental health problems. She brings with her many skills and experiences to Miracles Asia, and offers an individual approach to each client.

Anouk provides a diverse range of modalities including DBT, Mindfulness, Meditation and Art Therapy to individuals as well as groups. She is dedicated to her work and passionate about guiding people in their treatment at Miracles Asia.
registered nurse

Augustine Thant

Registered Nurse & AOD Client Support

BSc(Hons) Psychological Studies
"Surviving is not by chance. It is by choice"
Augustine is a trained and registered healthcare professional with over 11 years of experience in nursing and mental health. She is also a member of Singapore Nursing Board since 2011. She has successfully completed Bachelor of Science (Hons) in psychological studies, Diploma in Nursing, Professional certificate in effective counselling techniques, Certificate in Pain Management, Certificate in workplace counselling and grievance handling, Licensed Basic Cardiac Life Support and Automated External Defibrillator Provider.

Augustine has been providing counselling, public education and awareness programs in mental health, mindfulness practices and suicide awareness and prevention projects in South East Asia.

She is implementing her clinical knowledge and strategies in providing care for the clients with addiction and mental health issues as well as the support.

Kirstin Gourlay

Psychoeducation & Aftercare Facilitator

MA Hon.s Social Anthropology
“The point is not to survive addiction. The point is to thrive in recovery, and live a life second to none.”
Kirstin is an Addiction Recovery Coach, Wellness Consultant, Life Coach, Yoga Therapist and Healing Touch Practitioner. She has experienced the negative impact of addiction, and the power of recovery in her own life and the lives of many others.

What she has learned over the years is that there is no one size fits all. We are dynamic human beings and we require a multitude of modalities to move from the disease of addiction to a path of sustainable recovery.

Kirstin is passionate about supporting people to recover physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Her mission is to empower people to bring increased balance, vitality and freedom into their lives. Her style is warm, down-to-earth, direct, knowledgeable and humorous.
aa step coach

Danny Woody

Support Staff

Recovery Specialist
“Yesterday is a cancelled check. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is cash on hand. Live in the now.”
With over 40 years of experience as a sober coach, Danny brings a wealth of knowledge from the Alcoholics Anonymous program literature and its way of life to Miracles Asia. He has worked through the big book and the 12 and 12 for several years helping thousands of people through their addiction treatment and teaching them how to approach a new successful life without drug use and alcohol addiction.

Danny comes from a musical family and he was featured on 60 Minutes news network in the USA, interviewed by Bob Simon, when he was the musical director of The Portman Ritz Carlton in Shanghai.

Danny has been around the music industry since the 1960’s and he is an accomplished singer, songwriter and entertainer. He also opened the very first Beijing jazz club in 1999 call The Big Easy as well as playing along side a vast number of famous artists from all around the world.
admissions manager

Clifford Edwards

Admissions Manager

Addiction Specialist
“When the fear of staying the same exceeds the fear of change, then you’ll change”
Clifford will be your initial contact and help with all aspects of your enquiry and admission to Miracles Asia, including visa requirements. In abstinence-based recovery himself for nearly two decades, he trained in counselling whilst working at an addiction drop-in centre in London. He has first hand experience facilitating client group meetings.

Clifford grew from this experience to form his own treatment facility in South East Asia, so he is extremely familiar with the recovery process from start to finish. Clifford has a sincere desire to be helpful, meeting people where they are at and going the extra mile when necessary.
founding partner

Bill O’Leary

Founding Partner

"We can do together what we cannot do alone, that’s why we need each other to live happy, joyous and free."
Bill is an Australian Professional Mariner, Maritime Tourism Development Adviser and co-author of Southeast Asia’s Super Yacht Cruising Guide – “Southeast Asia Pilot”. He has three decades in planning, design, construction, project development, maintenance and operations of luxury resorts. 

Bill has been in recovery himself for over two decades and created Miracles Asia to provide a dedicated space that's free of judgement for addicts and those they effect to be able to get the support they need, and transition into a healthy and happy life.
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