Lakehouse Recovery Center

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Lakehouse Recovery Center

By The Fix staff 06/08/15

Lakehouse Recovery Center offers an intimate, individualized experience tailored to clients’ needs; 12-step participation is encouraged, but not required.

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Lakehouse Recovery Center
Location : Westlake Village, CA
Phone : (877) 762-3707
Price : $66,000/month
Overall :
Accommodations :
Treatment :
Food :
Insurance : Yes
Detox : Yes

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The Lakehouse Recovery Center resides along the placid shoreline of Lake Sherwood in Thousand Oaks, California. The six-bed inpatient recovery center offers an intimate, individualized experience tailored to clients’ needs, paired with beautiful accommodations. An outpatient program is also offered.

The Lake House, which opened its doors in 2005, provides services for drug addiction, alcoholism, substance abuse, chemical dependency, and dual-diagnosis/co-occurring disorders. Residents typically stay for 30 to 90 days in private rooms, cared for by a team of nine staff members, not including the clinical team of psychologists and counselors. 

Doctors are not in residence but are on call 24/7. While most former residents appreciated the MD and felt she was “attentive and caring,” one alum claimed that “she was a little eccentric and also tried to push "natural" products for you to purchase from her office.” 

The Lake House is a boutique facility. Instead of applying a one-size-fits-all treatment, it caters to each individual’s unique needs, tastes, and beliefs. The treatment is primarily 12-step oriented, but it is not mandatory. One former resident described the staff as very accommodating to people who want to seek alternatives to 12-step. They reported that “each resident’s religious or spiritual orientation was respected and supported,” and that they are “given the opportunity to identify a higher power that is meaningful on an individual level.”

Food options also cater to even the fussiest diners. “They do everything they can to make you feel at home and comfortable with coming home to eat a meal,” said a former resident. “If you have something that you want in the house that they don’t have, they will get it for you either that day or the next day, it will be there.” The cooks serve up balanced and tasty meals — chicken parm, salmon and quinoa, and slow roasted ribs are some alumni favorites — three times a day, with snacks and coffee always available.

Daily life at the Lake House involves a consistent, organized schedule of individual and group therapy, AA meetings, clinical appointments, time to meet with sponsors, 12 step work, panels, and leisure and fitness activities.  “Everyone contributed to the maintenance of the house with assigned chores,” said a former resident. Another client recalled the schedule: “On a daily basis we would go to classes that were not AA that taught us basic life skills like how to deal with the daily stresses of life. Then nightly we would go to AA meetings and work on our steps.” Overall, alumni were satisfied with the daily routine and work-leisure balance.

The treatment center’s pristine lakeside location offers no shortage of activities. There is equine therapy and surf therapy, as well as horseback riding, rock climbing, bass fishing, hiking, kayaking, yoga, boating, and swimming. “There is an electric boat, on which meetings are held” and a gym membership is included. Pets may be allowed on a case-by-case basis. 

One alum mentioned the importance of family in recovery. When possible, counseling sessions are held with the family “to ensure that the recovery process will continue in a beneficial way when the resident returns home.” Family support services include couples therapy, whole family therapy, referrals to child support professionals, and family events, in order to address the “critical need for emotional healing” in the relationship between an addict and his or her family. Family therapy is an important feature of the Lake House, as “a healthy and emotionally open family is of immense support to the individual.” 

Rule infractions are treated fairly, for the most part: “They handle them accordingly. They will give you a break if it is something you may not [have] known and correct your behavior accordingly. However if you throw a temper-tantrum and slam doors you get penalized for not obeying all house rules.” One former client claimed that “Generally speaking the younger staff would be more strict than the older staff.”

Another feature that is fundamental to the Lake House’s approach is its alumni network and aftercare support services. After treatment, alumni have access to counselors and therapists, intensive outpatient programs, career counseling and goal setting, social events, and more. “I had a relapse shortly after leaving the Lake House, but quickly returned to the people who showed me how to live clean and sober, and that includes staff at the Lake House, who, even though I wasn’t a client at the time, were still there for me,” one former resident reported. 

Which brings us to the people who run the Lake House. Former residents gave the staff rave reviews, calling them “the most amazing, caring, and generous staff of any rehab facility.” Several alumni said their experience with the staff was the most memorable aspect of treatment at the Lake House, above amenities and treatment. “The people and staff members are serious about sobriety but also laugh as much as they breathe,” one alum wrote. “They love to have fun and they are just amazing 100 percent of the time. They do everything they can to make sure you are getting the help you need and it is not run like a business. It is run like a family.” Another raved “This is the best rehab I have gone to and I would send my children here (if I had them) if they needed help. Most amazing place I have been…[They have] shown me a way of living and sobriety that I never could have dreamed of.”

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