ABOUT MUIR WOOD ADOLESCENT & FAMILY SERVICES
Set on ten grassy acres of land in California’s Sonoma County, Muir Wood Adolescent & Family Services is a residential mental health and substance abuse rehab for adolescent boys ages 12 to 17, and an outpatient program for both genders. The facility offers intensive, individualized treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, as well co-occurring mental health disorders. It is one of 279 (21.3 percent) of facilities in California that offer treatment specifically for adolescents. Detox services are available on-site.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
The treatment process at Muir Wood Adolescent & Family Services begins with a phone assessment to determine each client’s eligibility for treatment. The facility also suggests visiting before enrolling clients in order to better understand the program. The facility is able to devise highly personalized treatment plans based on information gathered during a comprehensive assessment and thorough psychological evaluation. Clinical activities include weekly one-on-one counseling and regular process groups on topics such as relapse prevention, trauma, and life skills.
The program’s integrated approach combines 12-step philosophy and evidence-based practices such as motivational interviewing (MI), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). The program also includes holistic and experiential therapies, including yoga and wilderness-based activities. Treatment lasts between 45 to 90 days, making it one of California’s 440 (33.6 percent)of long-term residential treatment facilities.
Residents also attend young people’s 12-step meetings six days per week, both on- and off-site. In addition to yoga and adventure-based activities such as camping, kayaking, and hiking, clients can participate in equine therapy, guided meditation classes, and art therapy.
Family involvement is another key component of treatment. Family members are integrated into their loved one’s treatment plan via family therapy sessions and process groups, as well as a family program held every other Saturday.
Academics are also taken into account. Muir Wood Adolescent & Family Services offers a year-round academic program that is certified as a private school by California’s Department of Education. It is one of 44 (3.4 percent) of facilities in the state certified by other/non-treatment agencies. The program has a student-to-teacher ratio of 6:1, as well as individualized lesson plans, ACT and SAT prep, and weekly progress reports for parents.
Outpatient care is available for boys and girls from ages 12 to 19. It includes a day treatment program that includes nine hours a week of programming, an intensive outpatient (IOP) option with six hours of weekly programming, and a regular outpatient track with three hours a week of programming.
The facility also offers aftercare support that includes referral to community-based support groups, one-off therapy sessions, and ongoing therapy for those with mental illness.
There are a variety of treatment team members on staff, including board-certified psychiatrists, licensed therapists, board-certified addiction treatment physicians, plus numerous certified counselors, and experiential therapists. The school is run by a master’s level, state-credentialed teacher.
Muir Wood is one of 366 (27.9 percent) of California facilities accredited by CARF and 182 (13.9 percent) of California facilities accredited by the Joint Commission.
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
The residential program admits no more than 16 boys at one time. The teens live in the bright and homey main residence, which includes a cozy living room, a family-style dining room, and a large kitchen where a chef prepares meals daily, plus a spacious backyard with patios and picnic tables. Each bedroom sleeps two and has a private bath. Residents use the well-equipped gym three times a week to work out with the rehab’s personal trainer.
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
At the time of this writing, one alum provided mostly negative feedback about his experience at Muir Wood. While Alexandre admitted the facility “was beautiful”, he wrote about “very disrespectful” staff and felt that he “worked hard” without seeing anything come “out of it.”
On its official Facebook page, Muir Wood Adolescent and Family Services earned 4.5 out of five stars from 31 reviews. Many of the reviews provided positive feedback about the facility's treatment team and individualized treatment plan. Pete wrote in a representative review: “Muir Woods Adolescent program has an outstanding treatment teams of Physicians, specialists and therapists that not only address the treatment of addiction but the whole family,” Some of the negative feedback centers around the facility’s medication policies.
On Google, the Skillman Lane Location has an average rating of 4.4 out of five stars from 13 reviews to date. Overall, reviewers indicated that the program was successful. Reviewers wrote how the staff was “professional and committed.” The only two negative reviews written at this time of writing focused on billing and how clients are admitted into the program.
WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY
At the time of this writing, 17 loved ones have provided feedback to Rehabs.com for Muir Wood Adolescent & Family Services. Most feedback came from parents. Thirteen of the reviews were positive and four were negative.
Three loved ones rated the facility on a number of categories, with four out of five stars or higher given for the level of staff experience and training, family participation, and cleanliness.
The positive reviews provided positive feedback about the quality of the food, staff members, and the effectiveness of the program. Loved one C.M. wrote representatively: "An excellent program and environment. Healthy food, supportive staff, nurturing, engaging programs. Our whole family benefited and continue to experience the benefits of the Muir Wood experience--a true light and answer in dark and challenging times."
Negative reviews noted the divide between those in treatment for mental health issues and substance abuse. One anonymous parent, whose son was in treatment for depression, felt the mixed environment with those who struggle with substance misuse provided negative exposure.
Muir Wood accepts private insurance. According to information provided by the facility to Rehabs.com, treatment costs $1,200 per day and $36,000 per month.
Financing options are provided through partnerships with healthcare lending programs, and the staff can help families apply. Self-pay is also accepted.