The Canyon — Santa Monica

Engaging the Whole Person in the Healing Process

The Canyon at Santa Monica is located in the heart of West Los Angeles, just a few miles from the beach. The picturesque setting may be enough to inspire some people to sign up for care, but there’s much more to this outpatient treatment program than its beautiful coastal location. Read on to find more about the treatment program at The Canyon at Santa Monica and the scientific principles that back up their methods. Whether you’re an individual considering addiction treatment or a family member trying to choose a facility for someone you love, this information will help you make an informed decision.


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outpatient therapy at the canyonDual Diagnosis Focus

The staff at The Canyon at Santa Monica can provide quality care for anyone with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, but we specialize in co-occurring disorder treatment. A very high percentage of those struggling with substance abuse issues have underlying mental health issues that contribute to addiction. Our dual diagnosis model addresses both the addiction and any mental health issues at the same time – from anxiety and trauma to depression, PTSD and bipolar disorder.

According to Mental Health America, co-occurring mental health issues and substance abuse issues are relatively common. In fact, this organization reports that of all people diagnosed with a mental illness, 29 percent also struggle with an alcohol or drug abuse issue. In a traditional treatment program, individuals get care for one issue while the other remains unaddressed. Some progress may be made initially, but that untreated condition continues, potentially leading to a relapse.

At The Canyon at Santa Monica, therapists blend treatment techniques that are traditionally used for addiction with other modalities meant to benefit those with a mental illness or mental health issue. In addition, clients are encouraged to learn about both mental illness and addiction, allowing them to apply that information throughout their treatment and recovery. It’s a comprehensive form of care pioneered by Foundations Recovery Network (FRN). The Canyon at Santa Monica is part of the Foundations Recovery Network family of treatment facilities. With this kind of research-based help, people can and do learn how to manage all of the conditions that might be plaguing them, leading to lasting healing.

Customized Care

Canyon Santa Monica Outpatient courtyardAn emphasis on dual diagnosis care means providing each client with an individualized treatment program. After all, everyone doesn’t have the same combination of mental health issues and addiction, and not all people are at the same stage of life when they come to an outpatient program for help. By providing clients with a customized treatment program, the experts at The Canyon at Santa Monica can ensure that they’re giving the right kind of care for the problems facing that specific patient right now. This program begins with a comprehensive assessment at the beginning of treatment, along with a psychiatric evaluation, both of which are used to create a custom care plan in consultation with a psychiatrist.

The treatment plan or program is designed to be a living document that changes throughout treatment. Patients provide feedback during the process and mental health professionals weigh in as well, making adjustments as progress is made or obstacles appear. Mental health professionals may suggest alternative as needed. Treatment components are periodically added or replaced with another method in order to ensure each patients gets the most out of their outpatient program.

Types of Therapy

The foundation of a healthy addiction recovery is often built in therapy sessions, and at The Canyon at Santa Monica there are a variety of techniques therapists use to reach their clients. One technique in particular, motivational interviewing, has the power to really help clients to turn their lives around.

In a motivational interviewing session, therapists ask a series of questions that are designed to make people think about changing their lives. Questions might include:

  • What would be the benefits of leaving drugs or alcohol behind?
  • What will your life be like five years from now if you make it happen?
  • What might happen if nothing changed at all?
  • Why do you think your family wants you to change?

The therapy is supportive, not combative, and it’s designed to get patients to take an active role in the process, determining for themselves to do things differently. In a study of its effectiveness with people who were dependent on cocaine, published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, researchers found that those who completed the therapy had fewer cocaine-positive urine samples and were more likely to complete detox than were people who didn’t undergo motivational interviewing.

individual counselingSome individuals develop addictions as they attempt to cope with the memories of a traumatic experience. As part of The Canyon at Santa Monica’s dual diagnosis focus, the outpatient program provides somatic experiencing therapy to those who might benefit. This type of therapy is typically offered to patients who have some form of post-traumatic stress disorder, and studies suggest that it can bring about big benefits for these individuals. For example, after the 2004 tsunami in Thailand, researchers used somatic experiencing therapy on survivors. According to the results published in the journal Traumatology, 95 percent of those given this therapy had partial improvement or complete improvement in observed symptoms immediately following treatment. Studies like this demonstrate how powerful this therapy can be for people who have witnessed or endured something terrible.

The idea behind somatic experiencing is that the energies caused by trauma are still trapped within the body, and through therapy they can be released. People work through their experiences very, very slowly, and they allow that energy to escape through their words. In time, they process the pain and their bodies begin to heal.

Transition to the ‘Real World’

outpatient treatment at nightEven though clients who participate in outpatient care at The Canyon at Santa Monica live at home while their care moves forward, they may be spending hours in treatment each and every week. In time, it can come to feel like a home away from home as well as their link to sobriety. It’s an important connection, but it’s one that must be broken, so people can maintain their own health when the program is complete.

The Canyon at Santa Monica helps with this by:

  • Providing weekly aftercare group sessions, allowing people to remain attached to care
  • Maintaining an alumni group that can provide support when times are tough
  • Assisting with vocational counseling, so clients can find jobs to focus on
  • Providing relapse prevention therapy, so people know when to ask for help to prevent an imminent relapse

Find Out More

Reading about treatment facilities is an excellent way for families to learn more about their options and the programs that might help them. However, there are some questions families might have that are so deeply personal and so unique that they couldn’t possibly be handled in an overview article. If you have a question like this, please contact us. We’re happy to talk about any questions you might have, and we can help you to make an informed choice about addiction care.

We provide the foundation, you build the life. CanyonSantaMonica.com