Sean Firtel, CEO/Founder

Sean received his undergraduate degree from Southern Methodist University. In 2008 he began his coursework in addiction counseling, eventually earning several professional certifications and serves on the board of the Association of Intervention Specialists. In 2011 Sean founded West Coast Recovery Centers where he serves as CEO. Prior to West Coast, Sean owned and operated Continuum Care Intervention Services, where he guided families, employers and friends as they reached out to those suffering from substance use disorder. Through his intervention work, Sean saw time and again that choice is a far greater long-term motivator than ultimatums. With this in mind, the West Coast vision and guiding principle emerged; That all treatment must inspire and empower change though a transparent and individualized path to self-determined recovery.

Ian Depew, Founder/President

Ian Depew is a Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor and the co­-founder and owner of West Coast Recovery Centers in Oceanside, CA. In 2011, Ian founded Sober Ranch, LLC.,a 20 bed, long-term men’s, 12 step immersion, chemical dependency facility on Palomar Mountain which he sold in 2013. Ian has been involved with several treatment centers, recovery homes, and sober living facilities including Mark Houston Recovery from 2007­2008. Ian worked in admissions at V3­Tuscon as well as St. Gregory’s (formerly St. Jude’s) in Iowa. Ian managed Bedrock Sober Living in San Diego from 2011­-2012.In his personal life, Ian struggled SUD for years, going through the mill of multiple treatments before finding a path that continues to work for him. It was, and continues to be these experiences, as a client himself, that inspires Ian to be a change in the Substance Use Disorder industry. The idea that WestCRC respects its clients’ capacity to create a personalized plan from the tools they’re exposed from the framework we provide, comes from Ian rarely, if ever, being involved in his own treatment or the planning of it when he was seeking help. Ian believes one of WestCRC’s fundamental functions to help each resident translate the tools provided to allow the most successful transition beyond WestCRC and back into society.

As the Director of Operations, Brandon oversees all functions and logistical aspects of our facilities. His mission is to create and maintain an environment that allows for optimal physical, mental, emotional and spiritual growth of individuals on their road to recovery. Brandon works closely with the WCRC clinical staff to provide a more individualized treatment experience for the clients of West Coast. 

Brandon has himself experienced the transformation from addiction and hopelessness into freedom and connection. These life experiences have equipped him with invaluable knowledge, insight, compassion and commitment to better our client’s treatment experience.  Brandon is actively pursuing a degree in Human Development as well as Business Administration and is RADT-1 registered. 

Hanna Hanson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with training in systems theory and EMDR. Hanna believes in working collaboratively with clients, using an integrative modality to empower them to explore life on a deeper level. Hanna has extensive experience working with Veterans, addiction, trauma, anxiety, depression, PTSD, art therapy and adolescents. Hanna believes the client-therapist relationship is invaluable in creating a safe environment to foster growth, healing and create change. Hanna earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Humboldt State University. Hanna then traveled for a few years and gained a cultural perspective. She then returned to Southern California and earned a Master of Science Degree from California State University, Fullerton in Counseling. Hanna has worked in many settings from a psychiatric treatment center for adolescents to the Veterans Village. As a result, she has experience working with a wide variety of ages and populations.

Katie graduated from Alliant International University in 2014 with a Masters Degree in Couples and Family Therapy. Katie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Cal State University, Northridge. Katie’s experience includes working in substance abuse and mental health programs where she provided individual therapy, couples and family therapy, and group therapy to individuals struggling with addiction and mental health concerns. Katie’s journey includes working on a suicide and crisis hotline, and bringing suicide awareness and prevention to college campuses. During graduate school, Katie worked at San Diego City College providing crisis intervention, couples therapy, group therapy, and individual therapy to students and their families. Katie has also worked at a non-profit organization that provided direct crisis services, therapy, and advocacy to survivors of sexual assault and other violent crimes.

Katie is an advocate for mindfulness and radical self-acceptance, and is passionate about Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. She believes that authenticity, compassion, and unconditional acceptance foster a therapeutic relationship that is both supportive and challenging. As Program Director at West Coast Recovery Centers, Katie provides individual, couple, and family therapy, facilitates the DBT program through group therapy and individual sessions, and coordinates the development of holistic and evidence-based programming at all levels of care.

Doctor Small is uniquely board certified in both psychiatry (ABPN) and family medicine (ABFM). Dr. Small is among a handful of doctors in the US who have completed additional training to acquire the skills necessary to treat full spectrum medical and psychiatric illness. His treatment philosophy is founded upon the idea of a mind-body connection, that true healing takes into account both the physical and emotional needs of our clients.

Dr. Small completed his residency training at the University of California San Diego (UCSD), where he currently holds the title of Health Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor. He continues to work part time as an addiction psychiatrist for the Veterans Administration in La Jolla and is a co-founding partner of BOLD HEALTH, an outpatient clinic specializing in personalized medical, psychiatric and addiction treatment in Encinitas.

Evan has served as West Coast Recovery Centers’s admissions director for over 3 years and is passionate about assisting those that are struggling to find their path to recovery. Evan graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a B.S. in Agribusiness Marketing. Shortly after completing his studies, Evan found found his own personal recovery and has enjoyed a lifestyle of connection and vitality for the last 4 years. As our Admissions Director Evan walks families and their loved ones through the pivotal process of determining the best course of action, even if West Coast is not the best fit for you or your loved one.
As a CAADE/CATC trained counselor Gary is passionate about educating and encouraging those suffering from substance use disorder. Gary’s intent with each client is to assist them in identifying their life goals, developing a plan to meet each goal and empowering each of his clients to lead more productive and fulfilling lives. In addition, Gary educates and empowers our clients to practice healthy coping skills and communication. Whether is be in a professional setting, social or otherwise, Gary has committed his life to helping others in recovery.

 David is currently registered by the Board of Behavioral Sciences as a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, with specialized training as an IATP Certified Family Trauma Professional. David is also certified by the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP) as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC-II). David integrates a person centered, holistic approach to the therapeutic process, integrat- ing Cognitive Behavioral skills, Dialectical Behavior skills with existential influences.David is a San Diego Native who has completed his Masters of Arts in Counseling Psy- chology at National University with the goals of licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist. David also holds a bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo. He has been active in his local community, volunteering with YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, as well as the Big Brothers program. David has special interest in youth sports in his community, volunteering as youth sports coach and mentor. He has provided emergency services through the State Emergency Management System, Federal Emergency Management System and The Red Cross.

Hannah graduated from the University of Redlands, in 2017, with a Master’s Degree in Clinical and Mental Health Counseling. Hannah’s previous training experience was at Loma Linda Behavioral Medicine Center where she worked on the child and adolescent inpatient psychiatric unit. Hannah has provided individual therapy, family therapy, couples therapy and group therapy to individuals with varying mental health concerns. Hannah also has experience working with individuals who are on the Autism Spectrum and is an applied behavioral analyst. As part of her master’s experience, Hannah volunteered at the Riverside Free Clinic where she provided services including crisis intervention, individual therapy and integrated mental health in the student run multi-disciplinary team.

 Hannah believes a strong therapeutic relationship is based on the foundations of empathy, genuineness and positive regard. Hannah also believes the therapeutic relationship works as a collaborative team to identify areas of concern and come up with new strategies and positive solutions. She is an advocate for suicide prevention and awareness and is passionate about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Aside from her professional career, Hannah enjoys engaging in self-care which includes hiking/walking/biking, spending time with her loved ones, going to the beach and playing with her kitten.

 Hunter’s journey into the treatment of Substance Use Disorder field began shortly after 9/11 when he left the financial arena to seek understanding of the human condition. He was very blessed along the way to have been taught by shaman, a zen master, and taoist wisdom keepers. Through his personal journey of healing and learning he has been exposed to many different perspectives, experiences, and teachings on human dynamics. By virtue of his experience, Hunter discovered that his passion is in understanding human belief systems, where they come from, and how they construct the reality that we perceive to be true. In conjunction with Hunter’s ancient teachings, his degree in family and child sciences equips him in a transcendent way of offering tools, new information, and guidance to those who wish to “course correct.” Hunter’s work at West Coast guides our clients towards living lives that are centered, and authentic to their true nature.

Edward brings a unique skill set to the team and the clients he serves; his professional background ranges from serving as an Emergency Medical Technician to being granted a professorship at the Cultural Center for Language where he taught English in Caracas, Venezuela for 2 years. Such a vast spectrum of experiences illuminated to Edward the frailty and inherent value of each human life, the discrepancy of worldwide living conditions, and first-hand substance use treatment, Edward has developed a unique perspective that equates to a pure love for life and an opportunity to share in the collective, yet individualized path of recovery.

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