Meet Ceci Hudson Torn, Licensed Professional Counselor, co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of Ethos Behavioral Health Group.
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Houston?
I grew up on a ranch in Shackelford County and went to Albany High School — Go Lions! I moved to Houston in 1998 with my husband Chris. Chris and I met at Camp Ozark in the summer of 1995. We have loved calling Houston home for the last 22 years!
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
Caroline, 18, will be a freshman at Texas A&M University in the Fall.
Mary Claire, 15
Charles Henry, 10
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I was an All Conference Heptathlete at Texas A&M University, which is like the women’s version of a Decathlete, participating in a track and field event with shot put, javelin, long jump, hurdles, dashes and more!
Favorite local activities to do in Houston?
Watching my boys at Post Oak Little League, family golf outings and shopping with my 3 teenage daughters in Highland Village.
Do you have a favorite family-friendly restaurant in the area?
Buffalo Grille and Carrabba’s — The Original on Voss (especially when Rosie is there)
What local places do you go to for pampering and/or mom’s night out?
I love going to the Trellis Spa at the Houstonian with a group of friends, or even sneaking over there by myself occasionally. I love the music scene for a mom’s night out!
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
I co-founded Ethos Behavioral Health Group, with my partners, Robert Hilliker and Will Davis. We are a family of healing centers throughout Houston and beyond, providing our clients with a full continuum of integrative care. I serve as the COO, running the operational side of things with a focus on our outpatient offerings. As a Licensed Professional Counselor, I also deliver psychodynamic therapy services to our clients, specializing in adolescents, women and families.
Aside from my work at Ethos, Chris and I work alongside his family at Camp Ozark. In summer of 2021, we will be opening a new premiere residential summer camp in the Texas Hill Country. Stay tuned for more details on our big launch!
I have the opportunity to serve on the Board of As Our Own, a boarding school in India for girls who have been rescued from high-risk situations such as the Redlight District, as well as the Board of Camp Blessing, an iconic summer camp experience geared towards campers whose challenges prevent their participation in traditional summer camps.
Lastly, I’m currently finishing up my doctorate in social work at the University of Southern California with an emphasis in Building Mental Health! My work in behavioral health and residential summer camping really opened my eyes to the growing need for expertise in the mental health field.
How has the Houston community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
Houston is such a special place full of wonderful people and opportunities. Being able to to grow my career from corporate finance to residential summer camps, and now incorporating behavioral health, really speaks to the diversity of the economy and opportunities in this city.
Chris and I cherish our personal and professional relationships across Houston. It has been an amazing place to grow our careers and raise our family!
What is the best advice for juggling mommyhood and running a business (or volunteering, working, etc)?
The best advice I can give is the old analogy of putting on your own oxygen mask first. We have to be able to take care of ourselves, invest in our relationships, whether it’s in our marriage, our friendships or the community as a whole, and make time for health, relaxation and personal interests so that we’re equipped and emotionally available to meet both demands.
Something else that I feel has been really helpful for me is setting boundaries for work and family time. Early in my career, I would find myself at work, constantly thinking about my kids and my responsibilities at home; what I was missing and what needed doing. When I got home, I would be mapping out the following workday, preoccupied with my job instead of being there in the moment with my family. Flexibility is important, but as much as you can, set those boundaries and block your time so you can practice being all there; wherever you are, be completely in that place instead of letting work and motherhood constantly merge.
What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids?
I would say, “This is going to be so much fun. The opportunity that you’ve been given to raise these little humans, what an impact it will have on you! Each stage will be better than the one before, with its own set of challenges and rewards. The stages become cumulative, and the meaning and enjoyment of it all just continues to compound and grow.”
Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?
Especially with my large family, I love to make everything a game. Set a timer for picking up clothes, have a dance party while you prep dinner or turn packing for a trip into a scavenger hunt. Oh, and also Instacart!