Immediate availability at our premier outpatient clinic with healing therapists in Newport Beach, California!

Embark Behavioral Health is proud to offer a new outpatient therapy clinic, in Newport Beach, California, with therapists dedicated to helping adolescents, teens, and young adults with mental health issues.



We Are Here to Help You

We work with most insurance companies. Contact us and we will walk you through a free insurance verification. 

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Our Therapists and Team

Alyson Pena

Position: Executive Director/Clinical Director
Alyson Pena, LPCC joined Embark in 2022 as Clinical Director at the Newport Beach Clinic. She is originally from Kansas City, Missouri, and has resided in Orange County for almost 10 years. Here, she has practiced as a licensed clinician in a variety of settings and populations including substance abuse, working with Marines on Camp Pendleton, specializing in family and couples counseling, and having a passion and knack for group therapy. Alyson began her career at CALO in Lake Ozark, Missouri in 2010, one of the original residential treatment centers for adolescents at Embark Behavioral Health. There she started as a residential coach and worked her way up to shift lead, eventually returning to school to complete her master’s in mental health counseling from Walden University. Her passion for working with adolescents and families sparked, and she has been focusing on relational therapy as a foundation ever since. Before embarking into the mental health world, Alyson was an elementary school teacher living in Arizona in 2008. There she taught kindergarten, 3rd, and 2nd grade for two and a half years. Leading, teaching, and training have always been attributes she has had personally and professionally. After 7 years practicing as a clinician, she stepped into a director role in 2020 and has been a Clinical Director the past two years. Alyson’s natural ability to connect with adolescents, staff, and families has been essential to her success as a director. Her attention to detail, relationship first approach, and ability to guide those around her with empathy and curiosity has served her in being a part of the Orange County therapy community. Alyson resides in Orange, California with her husband and two orange tabby cats. She enjoys cooking new recipes, running, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Alyson Pena

Executive Director/Clinical Director

Alyson Pena, LPCC joined Embark in 2022 as Clinical Director...

Kathy Thirtle

Position: Therapist
Kathaleena (Kathy) Thirtle, LMFT AT gained practical and administrative experience working with different community agencies across LA and Orange County, with a focus on youth, trauma, and serving the underserved. She received her double Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy and Fine Art with concentration on Women’s Studies from the University of California Riverside. During her time working towards her Bachelor’s degrees Kathy gained experience working with children and families in multiple capacities such as tutoring, case management, educational support, and mentorship. From there, Kathy ventured on to receive her master’s degree of Marriage and Family Therapy with a specialization in Art Therapy from Loyola Marymount University. Since that time Kathy devoted her passion to using CBT, Art Therapy, Play Therapy, TF-CBT, and Narrative Methods working with families and youth affected by trauma, the foster/adoption system, and crisis. Kathy became certified as an Art Therapist is 2021 and became licensed as an LMFT in 2022. She is beyond humbled and eager to continue her work in the field with Embark as an advocate and partner for all those that seek help. Outside of work Kathy is a coffee and foodie enthusiast, devoted patron and practitioner of all things artsy, adores her two cats and pup, and can usually be found basking in one-on-one time with friends and family or listening to music while reading a good book (preferably on a rainy day!).

Kathy Thirtle


Kathaleena (Kathy) Thirtle, LMFT AT gained practical and administrative experience...

Michael Gapski

Position: Enrollment Director
Michael is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who comes to Embark after moving from Los Angeles to Orange County. Early in his career, he worked at the renowned Maple Counseling Center in Los Angeles where he developed a strong framework for psychodynamic therapy. He has continued to build on that knowledge in his work with college students struggling with addiction and a variety of mental health issues at USC’s The Haven, followed by working with teenagers and their families at Pacific Teen Treatment. Prior to Embark, he worked with adults struggling with addiction and mental health at the Heights Treatment. He has always enjoyed interactions and working with teenagers and their families and couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with that population again. He is excited to be a part of the Embark team. When he is not practicing therapy, you can find him cuddling with his long-haired dachshund, Chuy, playing hockey, or attempting something creative in the kitchen.

Michael Gapski

Enrollment Director

Michael is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who comes...

Lisa Chan

Position: Physician Assistant
Lisa Mika Chan has been a Board-Certified Physician Assistant since 2005 and graduated as class Valedictorian and graduate honor roll student from Loma Linda University’s Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program. Prior to that, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree as a Summa Cum Laude honors student in Psychobiology and pre-medical studies from University of California, Los Angeles. Her professional career as a healthcare provider has spanned across multiple diverse specialties of clinical practice, including surgical sub-specialties (orthopedic, oncologic, cosmetic/aesthetic and cardiothoracic surgery), internal medicine (gastroenterology, hematology/oncology), and academic professional education. She was a Principal founding faculty appointee and Director of Clinical Education at Chapman University’s graduate physician assistant studies program, and regularly lectured to first-year PA students as a clinical instructor at her Alma Mater, Loma Linda University. She has also precepted medical students and residents as the first Senior PA provider hired at UCI School of Medicine’s Department of OB-GYN, Division of Gynecologic Oncology. Ms. Chan also enjoys mentoring and sharing her knowledge and professional experiences with pre-PA, college, and high school students who are interested in joining this growing profession. Ms. Chan is particularly focused on developing and maintaining the therapeutic alliance so critical to any patient-provider relationship and has a keen interest in the impact mental health has on physiologic and cellular manifestations of various disease states, including cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, aging/senescence, and immune dysregulation. She believes in a holistic approach to wellness that not only includes active pharmacologic treatment and management of existing physical and psychiatric ailments, but preventive medicine that includes incorporating lifestyle, complimentary, and alternative interventions to enhance the quality of life of patients, no matter what stage of life they may be encountering. Other professional outside interests of Ms. Chan’s include public speaking, organizational leadership as applied to the healthcare setting, freelance writing, and healthcare consulting. In her spare time, Ms. Chan enjoys competitive ballroom dancing, community service to public schools, music, vocal, and theater performance, and spending time with her husband and two young sons.

Lisa Chan

Physician Assistant

Lisa Mika Chan has been a Board-Certified Physician Assistant since...

Sophia C. Gomez

Position: Executive Assistant
Sophia received her Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in General Management from the University of California, Riverside. She started her career working at Target Corporation, as a Team Lead in the clothing and baby department, and most recently was Executive Assistant to the Chief Nursing Officer at Garden Grove Hospital Medical Center for over three years. While non-clinical, Sophia has had much exposure to the HealthCare environment. During the peak of COVID, she was instrumental in coordinating vaccine clinics for her hospital staff and for the neighboring community. Outside of work, Sophia very much enjoys quality time with her husband and their cat, Bagheera.

Sophia C. Gomez

Executive Assistant

Sophia received her Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with...

Aleshea Jones

Position: Assistant Clinical Director
Aleshea Jones, LMFT and LPCC joined Embark Behavioral Health in 2023 as Lead Therapist at Newport Beach Clinic. She obtained a bachelor’s degree from the University of California Irvine and a master’s degree from California Baptist University. Practicing as a therapist since 2019, she has gained experience working with high- risk populations in various settings such as group homes, IOP/ PHP programs, and residential treatment facilities. Aleshea began her career as an intern at Murrieta Unified School District providing services to adolescents struggling with emotional disturbances. After completing her internship and becoming an associate, Aleshea began working at Touchstones residential treatment facility providing therapeutic services for adolescents struggling with substance use/ co-occurring disorders. After working a year at Touchstones, Aleshea gained experience working at Discovery Mood & Anxiety Program as a full-time therapist. For 2 ½ years, she facilitated groups, conducted individual sessions with adolescents/young adults, and worked with the entire family unit. Aleshea has a passion for working with adolescents, young adults, and high-risk populations. Aside from having a humanistic approach, she also utilizes expressive arts interventions and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Aleshea truly values integrity, personal- growth, generosity, and family. She is empathetic, understanding, hardworking, and compassionate. During leisure time, she loves trying new things, being around family, catching up on the latest shows, exercising, reading, painting, and spending time with her fur baby.

Aleshea Jones

Assistant Clinical Director

Aleshea Jones, LMFT and LPCC joined Embark Behavioral Health in...

Maggie Scotto, BS, RADT, RYT-500

Position: Yoga Instructor
Maggie is a dedicated and compassionate trauma-informed yoga teacher who embarked on her yoga journey in search of inner peace and balance. She has been working in the mental health field for four years providing somatic-based and yoga-related group sessions. Her personal experiences of overcoming challenges led her to discover the profound impact of yoga and mindfulness practices on her healing process. With extensive training and certifications in yoga and trauma-informed care, Maggie deeply understands the mind-body connection and its potential for fostering healing and growth. Maggie believes in creating a safe and nurturing space through yoga, where individuals can reconnect with their bodies, cultivate self-awareness, and develop healthier coping mechanisms. She specializes in trauma-sensitive yoga classes that prioritize safety, consent, and choice, ensuring participants can navigate their practice comfortably and empoweringly.

Maggie Scotto, BS, RADT, RYT-500

Yoga Instructor

Maggie is a dedicated and compassionate trauma-informed yoga teacher who...

How Our Outpatient Program Can Help

We can help your teen child address and overcome mental health issues that may be affecting your family’s everyday life. We provide a healing, nurturing, and safe environment to help your adolescent, teen, or young adult address and overcome mental health challenges that may be affecting your family’s everyday life.

Our program, located in beautiful Southern Orange County, features an intensive outpatient program (IOP) and a therapeutic day treatment program (also known as a partial hospitalization program, or PHP) that can help those who are struggling with issues like anxiety and depression. Through a unique therapeutic framework, our behavioral health programs help young people in the Newport Beach area overcome difficult behavioral health issues.  

Services We Provide Across the Embark Continuum of Care

Our therapists will help your family get the mental health treatment you need in your local California community. Our Newport Beach clinic offers individual, group, and family therapy as well as therapeutic/peer mentoring, home health care services, addiction treatment, and parent coaching.

Conditions Our Therapists Treat

Anxiety, depression, and suicide are on the rise, and children are at risk today more than ever before. Too many adolescents, teens, and young adults in and near Newport Beach go through life struggling with not only anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation but also eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), addiction, and trauma. It doesn’t have to be this way.   

Start your healing journey today.

Newport Beach Outpatient Program FAQ  

During outpatient counseling at our Newport Beach clinic, your adolescent, teen, or young adult will meet with a local therapist while maintaining their daily schedule. For those who have moderate mental health symptoms and a daily routine that is not negatively impacting their mental health, outpatient therapy may be a good option. 

Outpatient visits to our clinic can involve weekly individual counseling sessions with one of our Newport Beach therapists. We also offer group therapy through our intensive outpatient program and our therapeutic day treatment program. 

There are many benefits to outpatient treatment at our Newport Beach program. Our outpatient programs allow adolescents, teens, and young adults to maintain work and school schedules and receive support from friends and family while receiving counseling — and at a more affordable cost on average than most inpatient treatment options. 

The main difference between weekly individual counseling sessions, the intensive outpatient program, and the therapeutic day treatment program at our Newport Beach clinic is the amount of time your adolescent, teen, or young adult will spend in treatment. Weekly individual therapy sessions require the least amount of time and can be scheduled at a specific time of day. An intensive outpatient program takes place in the evening to accommodate school and work schedules and typically meets three hours a day, three to four days per week, for a total of nine to 12 hours per week. A therapeutic day treatment program typically meets 5.5 hours a day, five days a week.  

The goal of outpatient therapy at our program is to help adolescents, teens, and young adults overcome difficult behavioral health and substance abuse issues like anxiety and depression through a series of visits to one of our Newport Beach therapists for weekly individual counseling sessions or an intensive outpatient or therapeutic day treatment program.  

The main difference between inpatient hospitalization and outpatient treatment is the treatment setting. Our outpatient services, which include IOP and day treatment options, provide a good option for adolescents, teens, and young adults whose needs can be met by visiting a therapist in their local Newport Beach neighborhood while living at home and maintaining their daily routine. Inpatient hospitalization treatment is a good option for those who need to leave their home and receive dedicated 24-hour care in a hospital setting to overcome mental health and substance abuse issues. 

The length of outpatient treatment depends on each child's particular needs and whether your child is attending weekly individual therapy sessions or participating in a therapeutic day treatment program or intensive outpatient program in Newport Beach. On average, outpatient treatment at our clinic can last from three months to one year. If a deeper level of treatment is needed, adolescents, teens, and young adults can step up a level in care to an inpatient hospitalization treatment program. 

Nearby Programs and Therapists in Los Angeles   

If our Newport Beach program is not close to your home, check out our nearby location in West Los Angeles! Located near the beautiful Santa Monica mountains, our West Los Angeles clinic, provides intensive outpatient treatment and therapeutic day treatment programs to adolescents, teens, and young adults struggling with mental health challenges like anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and/or substance use issues. 

Multicultural Family Success Adolescent Teen Anxiety Treatment Embark Behavioral Health

This location is part of our robust continuum of care that offers different levels of service, including virtual intensive outpatient program (IOP), throughout the U.S.!

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Embark Behavioral Health

5000 Birch St., Suite 1400

Newport Beach, CA 92660


  • Monday 8:30 AM–7:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:30 AM–5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 8:30 AM–7:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:30 AM–7:00 PM
  • Friday 8:30 AM–5:00 PM
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed

Read more about our treatment outcomes.

Areas Our Newport Beach Therapists Serve 

Our therapists serve a variety of locations throughout California, including: 

  • Newport Beach  
  • Orange County  
  • Irvine 
  • Huntington Beach 
  • Santa Ana 
  • Orange 
  • Anaheim  
  • Lake Forest  
  • Laguna Woods 
  • Laguna Hills  
  • San Joaquin Hills 
  • Aliso Viejo  
  • Laguna Niguel  
  • San Juan Capistrano  
  • Garden Grove 
  • Long Beach  
  • San Clemente  
  • El Modena  
  • Fountain Valley  

Start your healing journey

Call or fill out the contact form below.

Phone: 949-945-6798

What Are IOPs and PHPs, and What Should You Expect?

Therapeutic day treatment programs, also known as partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), and intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) provide healing mental health treatment that can help your adolescent, teen, or young adult overcome difficult behavioral health challenges. Here’s what you need to know about these outpatient therapy options and how they fit into Embark Behavioral Health’s continuum of care, offered across the United States.