Paradigm Malibu

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Paradigm Malibu

By The Fix staff 07/14/15

Highly rated by their teen clients and their families, Paradigm Malibu offers programs for a really wide range of adolescent disorders including: depression, anxiety, personality disorders, substance abuse, behavioral addictions, and eating disorders.

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Paradigm Malibu
Location : Malibu, CA
Phone : (855) 780-8336
Price : $49,000 flat rate
Overall :
Accommodations :
Treatment :
Food :
Insurance : Yes
Detox : Yes

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Paradigm Malibu is appropriately located in one of the most beautiful, most serene and most relaxing areas on earth, Malibu, California. Paradigm is a high end adolescent treatment center, focusing on issues teens may have ranging from eating disorders to drug addiction. It offers luxurious treatment and amenities, lush surroundings and a well-respected treatment staff.

The facilities at Paradigm consist of three different properties, each with well-appointed rooms with full-size beds, comfortable living rooms, spacious grounds and outdoor areas with pools, tennis or basketball courts, and lush gardens. This isn't to say it's all fun and games at Paradigm. It's treatment, so it's serious business, but done with the end result in mind and the awareness that the clients are young people and their families.

While staying at Paradigm Malibu, clients generally share rooms, but in certain cases single rooms are provided. The recommended stay is 30 days, though occasionally clients do stay longer. As a matter of fact, all of the respondents to our survey rated the accommodations as excellent. There are no chores to do, but residents are responsible for keeping their areas clean, making their beds and doing laundry. But maid service is provided for most of the cleaning. There is a range of different ages in this adolescent facility: "I think the youngest was 12 and the oldest was maybe 18. It was cool because all different types of people from across the country were there," said a recent Paradigm resident.

Also, of course, the food is plentiful and good. Healthy food is a top priority, but as one recent resident put it, "You can really eat what you want there. There was even a kid who was kosher and they made sure he was able to eat what he wanted." As another put it, "The chefs are awesome. All healthy and home cooked. I won't eat fast food anymore. Oh, and there is a nutritionist. (We ate) family style. We all ate together." Some of the favorite items are pot roast, goat cheese pizza and balsamic chicken. However, some residents told us they didn't care for the quiche or the seafood.

Unlike a typical drug addiction-only facility, Paradigm offers programs for a really wide range of disorders including: depression treatment, anxiety treatment, treatment for personality disorders, addiction treatment for substance abuse, behavioral addictions and eating disorders. They even offer help with other common teen issues such as parents’ divorce, problem gaming, issues for adopted teens, self-injury treatment and grief and loss. They also have programs for teen athletes, teens with learning differences and/or who need academic support and even a program for gifted teens.

Sounds like a lot of different directions in which to be going, but most residents who took our survey rated the treatment as excellent. There are doctors in residence and the staff to patient ratio is roughly 1 to 3. All staff are licensed or certified in their area of expertise. There are individual and group therapy sessions. In addition to three full-time psychologists, there are also MFT's, licensed clinical social workers and even a nurse practitioner on staff. In addition there is a dance therapist, a nutritionist, a music therapist, an art therapist and even someone who facilitates therapeutic writing.

Treatment is characterized as individualized and loving by most who have gone through the program at Paradigm. "It was not very strict. They treated us...like adults," said a recent resident. Another put it this way: "It was firm - certainly not permissive but not overly tough-love either." Religion is not emphasized either, but if that's your thing, "It's like whatever you wanted help with they would help you," one former patient said, adding, "I got to a point where I wanted to go to Mass like I used to...and my therapist...went with me and that was sweet."

There are plenty of activities to keep residents busy and happy too. There are gyms, yoga and massage; equestrian activities, hiking, art therapy and off-campus outings such as movies or trips to the mall. "There were a good amount of off-site outings, which helped avoid the locked-down feeling," one ex-resident pointed out. Of course, being so close to the Pacific Ocean has its benefits too. "I mostly surfed and spent time at the beach," said another. 

Internet and personal phone use are a bit more restricted than at typical adult treatment centers. Residents can use a phone to talk with family, or as needed, and internet is for school use only. Sometimes phone is completely restricted for the first week. TV is available on weekend evenings.

Due to the age of the residents, the family is always involved. If you want to be close to your young one while he/she is in treatment, Paradigm will try to help you find local accommodations if you are from out of town. Also, there are family days on the weekends so families can fly in and visit, or visit and also do family therapy via Skype or phone. And though most stays are 30-45 days, after care is free. Residents are encouraged to continue with individual or family therapy sessions in person, or, again, by phone or Skype. Most former patients who responded to our survey said they were able to steer clear of the addiction or problem for which they sought treatment in the first place. However, one did tell us, "I had one set back, but Paradigm gave me the foundation I needed to keep moving forward with wise counsel."

Of those surveyed, parents and adolescents alike have a positive view of their treatment from Paradigm. As one alumnus of the program put it, "I love Paradigm. They really helped save me, and me and my father's relationship. I mean, I'm sure I would be dead unless my aunt found Paradigm."

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