Tree House Recovery

By The Fix staff 07/23/17

At Tree House, men who can "commit to a very rigorous program that requires them to face, process, and conquer daily physical, emotional and psychological challenges" graduate with a foundation for "healthy, clean and sober lives filled with pride and honesty."

Two men standing at the beach holding surfboards, about to walk into the water
Location : Costa Mesa, CA
Phone : (855) 202-2138
Price : $75,000
Overall :
Accommodations :
Treatment :
Food :
Insurance : Yes
Detox : No

"The empowered, joyous man who graduates after successful completion of our program has very little in common with the man who arrived here on day one." So proclaims Tree House Recovery on their website. The male-only program, located in Orange County, CA, provides Partial Hospitalization (PHP), Intensive Outpatient (IOP), transitional living and peer-centered aftercare.

"I came to Tree House after years of unsuccessfully trying to get clean through other forms of treatment all across the country. The six months I spent there introduced me to a plethora of healthy activities and tools I can use to substitute my old, maladaptive behaviors with on a daily basis," a recent graduate said. When asked "Why Tree House?" another said, "Seeing the empowered men that have previously graduated also brought me here."

Clients at Tree House come from different backgrounds. "My fellow residents were great people," a former patient told us. "They were ages 19-35. They were of all races and all sexual orientations. It was a diverse group of individuals." Another added, "My peers consisted of all different backgrounds and personalities. We all wanted to find a better way. Today these guys are some of my best friends." Despite different backgrounds and various paths that may have led them here, almost all agreed that they chose Tree House based on treatment quality above all else.

When it comes to food: the good news is you get to eat pretty much what you want, but the bad news is you're the one shopping for it and preparing it. This has advantages and disadvantages: "Tree House teaches men how to live independently. You're given a food card and you do your own grocery shopping and cooking," a former client reported. "Snacks, coffee and water and healthy drinks are as available as you want it. I was able to cook and make my own food. Being able to eat the way I wanted was very important to me," another alum said. But there is guidance: "Nutritional classes were taught, though, and a healthy diet was encouraged."

Daily life consists of roommates, chores, and recovery activities. "Yes, we had roommates,” one alum told us, "We had a chore every morning. The day was filled with treatment, addiction education, working out, team-building exercises, and learning about your disease and yourself through one on ones and literary therapy." "Daily life was amazing," another said. "Yes, there were chores, and roommates, and a busy schedule, but from day one you feel yourself beginning to grow and change for the better." While most were happy with the living situation and “the brotherhood,” one alum felt that "housing amenities could be improved. Houses seemed over-crowded and not able to handle the amount of guys which were placed in them."

Tree House Recovery believes in healing the mind through modalities such as addiction education, one on one therapy, literary therapy and process group. Physical healing is supported through experiential therapy, fitness therapy, yoga therapy, Recovery In Action, and monthly events such as camping, triathlons or Spartan races. Recovery In Action "introduces clients to healthy ways of living; teaching them how to have fun, interact with their teammates, and be attuned to dynamic environments."

Amenities are plentiful and diverse, according to alumni. "Gym, beach, yoga were all available. It was not a lock-down facility. When you weren't at modalities or group you had free rein of your own life." "There is yoga, gym, cross fit classes, and beach/boat training therapy." Another summed it up this way, "Tree House is all about learning to live a full, fun-filled life. You spend a lot of time at the gym and the ocean doing cool activities like Spartan Races. The treatment includes yoga, therapy, working out, swimming and boat exercises."

Phone and internet access is regulated: "You will not have access to a phone or internet for a period of time when you first come in," a graduate reported. However, "as time goes on you will be able to have all electronics."  "As the stay progresses, you get more freedom. By month two, I was able to use my phone and internet freely," another former resident told us.

Graduates characterize the program here as “strict” and full of tough love: "there are consequences to rule infractions, but there is a reason the rules are in place and staff will explain the life lesson while giving punishment." Another elaborated, "Staff would usually start with warnings. Then, if infractions continued, would start by taking away the cable, or internet. If infractions still continued you would receive a 'step' and once you collected three 'steps" you were kicked out." But the rules are enforced with compassion and encouragement: "Tough love for sure. Would not let me settle for anything less than what I was truly capable of and deep down what I truly wanted for myself - which definitely laid the foundation for where I'm at today."

There are no doctors on site at Tree House, but medical treatment is readily available and appreciated: "Doctor is located down the block and when I needed a specialist the staff at Tree House were able to find me a great doctor." 

The non-medical treatment at Tree House such as the groups and therapeutic exercises received high ratings. "The program was both holistic and 12-step so you got to experience all different aspects of recovery and discover what personally worked for you," one alum said. "The program offers a holistic approach, and provided me a support network and group of brothers I had longed for my entire life." There is a comfortable 2:1 client to staff ratio as well.

Even though there is 12-step exposure, religion is not emphasized at Tree House. "The program doesn't talk about religion at all. However, they absolutely support all personal beliefs," a recent client said. "They allowed me to find my own conception of a higher power. Staff was there to guide me if I had questions."

With its utilization of eight evidence-based methods--literary therapy, process group, addiction education, one on one therapy, fitness therapy, experiential therapy, yoga therapy and Recovery In Action--Tree House gets it right according those who have graduated from the program: "My experience at Tree House was unlike anything I have ever experienced. I was able to discover who I was and learn about my addiction. I was able to build...and have healthy relationships." And: "I love Tree House Recovery. They helped me help myself. I can live a full and happy life now."

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix