Focus on Recovery: Axis Residential Treatment Centers

Are you ready to find treatment but confused about what options are out there? Luckily, a wide variety exists from which you can pick the best one that fits your lifestyle. Here are a few options:

  • There are residential, where the client lives in housing provided by an agency.
  • There are ones that are hospital based, which means the agency may be part of a hospital complex, fully staffed with doctors and nurses. Some residential programs have doctors who advise clients overseeing their treatment progress.
  • Some programs are outpatient, providing therapeutic interventions that help clients with issues related to their addictions, as well as psycho-educational groups to teach them the dynamics of recovery/treatment.
  • Some programs offer intense out-patient, which may include psychiatrists and other medical professionals. These will also provide the same services as mentioned above in out-patient.
  • Aftercare programs are ongoing support groups that provide assistance in transitioning newly recovering members into their home communities.
  • Sober living can be a house with several rooms that are occupied by those who do not have the ability (for whatever reason) to return to their home(s). Some sober livings are situated in motels that are renovated for that purpose. They may provide groups, transportation, counseling, etc. Each sober living situation is unique. A good reference for sober living environments is Sober Living Coalition, a referral site that monitors and certifies said agencies.
  • Alumni groups are those provided by treatment programs for returning graduates who have maintained recovery/abstinence. Some agencies have wide varieties of both events and services for the people who complete their programs.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with the director and chief operating officer, Sam Dekin, at Axis about the various treatment facilities and options it offers.

Axis Residential Treatment Centers provide 12 beds for co-ed treatment in Culver City, CA, and six beds in Palm Desert, CA, also co-ed. Both locations provide treatment for addictions, using a 12-step model and provide 30-day treatment programs for addictions in a program designed for co-occurring clients.

The agency provides services for treatment utilizing licensed psychologists, therapists, and certifed addiction counselors, as well as advisement provided by psychiatrists and medical doctors. A typical day in treatment will provide program participants with four groups daily, including, but not limited to psychoeducational groups, 12-step style groups, spiritual groups, and counseling groups.

When asked what the outstanding features of this particular program would be, Dekin provided the following two characteristics of Axis:

  1. The balance between challenging the client and nurturing the client to want to make necessary changes in their life. Finding the perfect blend for each individual client to give them a therapeutic balanced program for recovery in mind, body and spirit.
  2. Understanding the personality of each addicted client and their unique identity with their addiction, as well as the ramifications for them to drop the existential meaning of that identification.

Axis residential treatment programs are designed to individualize the treatment components most needed for the total well being of each client. In prescribing the basic components of wellness in ongoing recovery, it is necessary to look at the needs of the client holistically and provide the perfect combination of ingredients that will allow that particular client to not only remain abstinent, but thrive in their recovery. Axis addresses every aspect of those needs, referring clients post-discharge to long-term sober living, intensive out-patient program services, and ongoing participation in 12-step communities.

It also provide alumni activities weekly for those alumni who stay or reside in the immediate area of Los Angeles. This is an ongoing practice that allows out-of-area alumni the opportunity to stay in touch and contact other alumni when they so desire for support or fellowship. A weekly BBQ is one of the regular activities that alumni can attend to check in and visit with fellow alumni and to support the newer residents going through treatment.

Ongoing participation with the agency is encouraged, and alumni are often found helping newer members as mentors and sponsors as they maintain their own recovery and bring the newer members into their community. It is a good way to feel support and give it back to those who are coming from early treatment experience.

Also, the 18-bed sober living residence in west Los Angeles is a year-long program for clients who have completed treatment and are looking for a stable and safe environment in which to spend their early recovery. It is well documented in the literature about treatment outcomes that longer-term care is the solution to the phenomenon of relapse in addiction.

Aftercare, out-patient follow-up and sober living all provide the client with a sense of stability that may not be possible by returning to their original environment. Many will transition from treatment to sober living and then to a different lifestyle, having a good deal of ongoing recovery as a foundation upon which to build.

To receive additional information about this agency and the program services provided at its various locations, contact 866-737-3570 or visit them online at

Kelly McClanahan has an MSW in clinical social work, with a specialization in substance abuse treatment. Having worked in this field for over 20 years, she is currently working on her certification as an addictions' counselor.

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