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Two Careers, One Passion

Meet the Houston Woman Helping Kids Live Their Best Lives

Article by Amanda Thomas

Photography by Camp OTX and Ethos Behavioral Group

Originally published in River Oaks Lifestyle

Not many people can say they have two careers they’re passionate about. 

But Ceci Torn, DSW, LPC-A, is one of them. 

The Houston mother of five is the CEO of Ethos Wellness, part of the Ethos Behavioral Health Group family of mental and behavioral health treatment centers. She is also director of camper care at Camp OTX, a residential summer camp for kids. 

So how did she find herself immersed in what appears to be two separate worlds? 

Well, it all started in 2005, when she and her husband, Chris, left their corporate jobs to begin a journey that would take them to the great outdoors. They joined Chris’ parents in the family business running residential summer camps at Camp Ozark in Arkansas. 

While there, Ceci developed a camper care program. Over the years, she saw an increase in the behavioral health needs of children and their parents’ willingness to talk about what their children were going through. 

This sparked her interest in building policies and programs to meet behavioral health needs. So she returned to school to obtain her master’s from Wake Forest and her doctorate from the University of Southern California. This allowed her to become a licensed professional counselor, delivering direct clinical services to children, adolescents and adults — providing individual and family therapy. 

“I fell in love with being able to sit in a space with someone who is stuck and provide support for them to move forward,” she says. “I found it to be a very sacred place and a real honor to participate in that work.”

While working as a therapist, she partnered with Will Davis and Robert Hilliker, LCSW-S, LCDC, to found Ethos Behavioral Health Group in 2018. The company has grown considerably and, over the last 18 months, has increased its focus on expanding its services for children and adolescents. 

But her work didn’t end there. In the summer of 2021, Camp OTX was launched. Her husband, Chris, serves as the director, and they now spend their summers bringing the Ozark model of camping to kids in the Texas Hill Country. 

“Being Native Texans ourselves, raising our family in Houston, it was a natural fit to expand here,” she explains. 

Residential camping and behavioral health care are different. But in many ways, the work is very similar. 

In both spaces, she works with children, adolescents and families to improve their well-being. Ethos Behavioral Health Group exists to provide support to help people cope with existing mental disorders and substance abuse issues. 

“Over time, I see their ability to thrive, spend time with their peers, have success in academic and social settings, and find a path back toward the things they enjoy,” she says.”

Camp OTX, on the other hand, is about fun and growth, providing a space for kids to discover agency and independence, go on outdoor adventures and make new friends. 

“What I love about working with children is that they see the world actually as it should be with less bias and more curiosity and excitement,” she says. “To be able to provide fun, well-run, safe, excellent programming for children is my passion.” 


Kids and Mental Health: Advice for Parents 

Encourage kids to get active. Hiking, playing sports,  swimming and other outdoor activities will give them access to sunshine and vitamin D, which are vital to mental and physical health. 

Ask for help. If you notice your kids are losing interest in things they used to enjoy or are significantly more anxious around activities that used to not induce anxiety, call a trusted behavioral health group to get an assessment. 

Practice self-care. In order to take care of your kids and make the best decisions on their behalf, working on your health and well-being is a great place to start.

To learn more about Ethos Wellness or get help, visit

For more information on Camp OTX, visit