CLARE Foundation in Santa Monica, CA

Overall Rating

(3.5 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
909 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica CA 90405

CLARE Foundation Philosophy

CLARE Foundation is committed to saving lives through recovery. The California-based alcohol and drug rehab facility offers a full continuum of care with 11 residential, outpatient, and prevention programs in Santa Monica, Venice, Culver City, and West Los Angeles. Gender-specific care, a compassionate and caring staff, comprehensive treatment plans, and 12-step grounded programs give clients all of the practical tools they’ll need to rebuild their lives, regain their self-esteem, and achieve self-sufficiency and long-term sobriety.

Areas of Specialization

  • Out Patient
    Outpatient treatment describes all addiction treatment that is not residential. Patients live at home while undergoing rehab.

  • 12-Step
    The term “12 Step Program” describes a way to recover from addiction that is based on the model developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. Many drug and alcohol treatment centers base their treatment on 12 steps – the first three of which are situational, the next four addressing the practical issues created by the addiction, followed by two steps focused on making amends for hurting others. Steps 10 and 11 involve a deeper examination of the previous steps and the final step is focused on helping others avoid and recover from addiction.

Facility Highlights

Outpatient Program

Prevention Program

Drinking Driver Program

Meet the Staff

Lisa Steele, PhD

Executive Director

Photo of Lisa Steele, PhD

Lisa Steele, Ph.D. has dedicated the last 30 years of her life to working in the substance abuse and mental health treatment field. She has led organizations of all sizes serving those with co-occurring substance misuse and mental health disorders, and clients with domestic violence and forensic issues, with the focus on access to care for the most under served and challenged. She operates with the understanding that the whole person must be treated, including the mind, body and spirit. Dr. Steele worked with the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health for many years, working to bridge the gap between mental health and substance abuse treatment services, so that people with addictions could obtain treatment through all avenues. She served as a consultant to the National Institute of Mental Health, and created the first “Minor Consent” Substance Abuse Treatment Program in California. For more than 10 years she has served on the California Statewide Co-Occurring Conference Planning Committee. She earned her Masters Degree in Marriage, Family, Child Therapy and her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with two certifications in substance use disorder treatment and co-occurring disorders treatment. Dr. Steele places great value on the culture of recovery, and is fully committed to ensure that both clients and staff feel valued, and can live and work in a healthy environment. She is very excited to join the CLARE team.

Diana Cho, PsyD

Director of Clinical Services

Photo of Diana Cho, PsyD

Dr. Cho comes from an extensive background in addiction treatment services and treating mood disorders. Prior to joining Conscious Recovery by CLARE, Dr. Cho served as Program Director for Sovereign Health, a co-occurring disorders treatment center, as well working at inpatient settings including a state hospital. Dr. Cho is recognized by her colleagues in the industry as a very thorough, dedicated clinician whose oversight of staff offers a supportive, open-door environment and whose client track record includes a clear and successful treatment plan for every person walking in looking for help. With her vast experience in addiction, Dr. Cho brings with her a unique cultural perspective to the Conscious Recovery program, understanding that a client's culture -ethnic, religion, socio-status or otherwise- plays an integral role to their success, especially as clients assimilate into their everyday lives. 360 Guide

Review by Contributors


Located in sunny Santa Monica, Calif., CARF-accredited CLARE Foundation offers detox, gender-specific residential treatment, outpatient services, and sober-living homes for men and women ages 18 and over who are struggling with substance abuse and/or co-occurring disorders.


CLARE staff help clients form individualized treatment plans utilizing more than 10 evidence-based practices, in addition to the 12-Steps. Clients in the residential program participate in daily group therapy and weekly case management meetings and individual therapy, in addition to as-needed psychiatric services for those with co-occurring disorders. They also follow a personal development curriculum that includes career readiness training and employment assistance. Residential treatment typically lasts between 30 and 90 days.

Outpatient offerings include a partial hospitalization program (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (IOP). The PHP meets five days a week for up to six hours a day while the IOP meets for three hours a day, up to five days a week. Both programs include group counseling, individual therapy, family meetings, and random drug screening.

Four sober-living homes offer safe, gender-specific living environments for men, women, and women with children. Residents participate in community support meetings, alumni activities, and random drug testing.


Treatment at CLARE is led by two doctoral-level psychologists and the facility's website mentions psychiatrists, addictionologists, nurses, and behavioral health therapists.


Promotional videos posted on CLARE Foundation’s website show dorm-style sleeping arrangements, group meeting spaces, and a cafeteria-style dining room. The women’s facility is a two-story building arranged around a courtyard and the men’s center was opened in 2014. Residential facilities house 80 beds total.


Of 12 alumni reviews submitted to, seven were positive and five were negative. Six alumni polled on specific metrics gave five out of five stars for overall quality of individual and group counseling, as well as the level of staff support, and indicated they left with the proper tools to live a sober life. M.M. wrote: “CLARE provided me with all the tools and support necessary to have a life after treatment.” While the reviewers left mostly four- and five-star ratings, several indicated counselors were not as available as they would have liked.

Although positive reviewers raved about the life-changing facility, the four negative reviews centered around rude staff and not enough one-on-one time with counselors. “It took me a month of begging to get my very first one on one with a certified drug and alcohol counselor,” Alyssa wrote, while another alum, C.J., agreed: “I did not get one on one with my councelor or therepist Until almost 2 weeks of my stay. Very understaffed.” An alum named C.J. had similar commentary: “I was Treated with disrespect or not noticed at all.” Several alumni also felt marketing materials and advertised program offerings were not accurate.

On Google Reviews, the facility received a four-star rating based off of nine reviews[1]. Of the six reviewers to write additional comments, four praised CLARE for their personal results, and two felt that their time with the facility was ineffective.


The sole review received by from a loved one at the time of this writing gave one-star ratings for treatment effectiveness, meals, and accommodations. This friend of an alum, Farmer, wrote, “Clare don't care .... it's all about the money.”

Opinions on Yelp are largely negative, with a three-star rating from 13 reviewers[2]. Many friends and family members reported feeling lied to by this facility and did not feel that their loved ones received adequate care. On the other hand, a friend of a former CLARE client praised the "wonderful program" and wrote that CLARE "teaches you how to be assertive, identify triggers, and reach out for help among many other things."


Michael, a former employee as well as a former client, indicated in his review to that CLARE “happily” transitioned to a new executive director. He left overall neutral feedback on the rehab, indicating the facility could provide a positive experience for clients, but noted several staff members could use improvements. “CLARE's shortfall continues to translate to the excesses of the two staff members who have advanced their personal agendas via deceit and intimidation,” he wrote.


According to its website, CLARE Foundation accepts most insurance plans, including Aetna, Cigna, BlueCross BlueShield, and United Healthcare. Payment plans are available for those without insurance. alumni reviews indicate that many clients pay for treatment with General Relief, a Los Angeles County-funded program of the Department of Public Social Services.


Published on November 2017

User Reviews

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  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
Too rigid due to the unstable clientele; was more like a prison than treatment. Extremely structured environment. Not enough counselors per clientele.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
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I've been in and out of rehabs the past two years and never decided to stick it through. By the time I ended up at Clare I'd decided that I really wanted sobriety and that I was going to complete a program no matter what it took. I had absolutely no support in California. I'd come to the state as a client at a different rehab, which shut down. I was told that Clare was helping clients from that rehab so I reached out and got in, much to my relief. I was done. I came in to build my life up with absolutely no outside support, and Clare knew that. The one and only thing Clare gave me was a roof over my head for 90 days. A lot of the staff were very helpful, yet at the end stepped back and away, leaving me once again with absolutely no support. It took me a month of begging to get my very first one on one with a certified drug and alcohol counselor. It took me three weeks to get a one on one with a therapist in which I had informed said therapist that I have a very strong need to work on trauma. Clare Foundation website stated they provide trauma informed services - they do not. My trauma had already been "opened" from my rehab experience prior to coming to Clare and nobody would even go near the subject. Every time I would bring it up, the "professionals" would change the subject. One of the reasons I was excited to go to Clare was because I was ready to begin tackling my trauma, my primary cause of relapse, once and for all. There is no type of physical activity. The handbook stated that we would have access to a gym and we did not for my entire stay there. We were within walking distance to the beach and we went maybe twice my whole 90 days. It was a nightmare trying to be able to contact my SPONSOR. I had to use personal phone calls to call her, meaning I had no contact with any of my family until I phased up. I was baffled by how insanely hard I had to fight to maintain a working relationship with my sponsor because the staff didn't seem to understand the importance of actually working the steps with a sponsor, rather than just attending meetings. Another reason I was looking forward to going to Clare was that the website made it seem like they would help transition you out, which they definitely did not. They send you to Chrysalis to help prepare you for the workforce and find a job and in that process I found an amazing job. However, as I mentioned before, I really had no outside support and Clare knew that. I mentioned several times that I would need help finding somewhere to go and I received absolutely none. I took it upon myself and actually ended up staying in a motel the night I left after graduating. One last thing... I was on a GR bed and the cut off date to get your benefits back for the rest of the month is the 15th. My exit date was the 14th, but I stayed until the 16th because that's when I got paid. They showed no type of mercy or leniency on my letter and also failed to tell me before I chose to stay until the 16th that all my benefits would go to Clare if I stayed past the 15th. Again, they knew my situation - I made sure to be vocal about it. I had absolutely no outside support. I really could've used the rest of those benefits. Even with my awesome job, I crashed and burned within two weeks of graduating and was put into a position to give everything I worked for up and leave the state and start over, yet again. Throughout my stay at Clare I was trying to help people get in the door and now I honestly say go to Clare as a last resort. For a nonprofit organization, I sure saw a lot of politics and money being prioritized. I heard it hasn't always been like this but this was my experience. I graduated in December of 2016.

Happily, CLARE has a new Executive Director. Trust me this is good news given the lack of integrity of the Puffer Fish who finally swam away. He all but wrecked the place. Problem is he left his closest shark pals behind. Their pictures are handily displayed above. There's the diminutive yet sinister guy always in the running as CLARE's least liked employee. And, there's another woman who, with this other guy, make for a matched set, operating in seeming effort to prove that lying is a management tool. Each has had involvement in CLARE's botched policies. But know this, if you're thinking of working at CLARE you will enjoy the intrinsic rewards of working with clients in need. You will also find many capable and amiable coworkers. And, if you're considering enrolling in CLARE that too could be a positive. Lets face it, recovery can be complicated and without intending to we may be looking to make our first or our latest or our hopefully last rehab blameworthy or praiseworthy depending on how it's going for us at this moment in our lives. Maybe you should just go for it. As said, CLARE's shortfall continues to translate to the excesses of the two staff members who have advanced their personal agendas via deceit and intimidation. So it's really a "Tale of Two CLARE's." One is the laudable CLARE of times past which the new Executive Director is looking to honor, and the other is the expedient CLARE still being manhandled by a couple wrong wishers left circling too near the top. Michael, Former employee (and former client)

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
I'm a guest who paid entry fee for friend in Clare foundation. ...Clare don't care .... it's all about the money with Dr. . How can you ban a sport group .....

This place was unfortunately a bad experience for me. I was admitted in March of 2016. Right off the bat my welcome was not welcoming from the woman at the front desk. The Staff treat you like a prisoner. I was 24 years old, very sweet and adhered to all the rules. It was my first rehab. The staff there were not the sharpest tools in the shed, and blew me Off anytime I had a question I request. I did not get one on one with my councelor or therepist Until almost 2 weeks of my stay. Very understaffed. They had me work in the kitchen alot More than any other client for 2 weeks due to the assistant manager being in charge Of the schedule and constantly switching the schedule up. She must have had something against me since she asked my counselor whatsup with all my guy friends. That was strange To me since I was only in contact with my brother and boyfriend. I was not the only one being Targeted by her. She treated us like peasants, like she was better (even though she was a former addict herself) I had requested to speak to her and she blew it off. One of the front desk girls was a young power tripping lazy staff member. She made up her own rules Just to make something inconvenient for the clients. I did not get the one on one help I needed, or the Respect I deserved. The assistant manager and the manager played favorites. This place simply Treated me as an easy paycheck. The only staff that I respected were three female staff members. They are the only reason I got to go to the store, or make a call. during my 20 dayStay (due to an insurance issue) i did not get in trouble, and was sweet to everyone. I was Treated with disrespect or not noticed at all. They even made me cry one day of frustration and mistreatment. I would not recommend this place to anyone. terrible experience.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
This facility is in Santa Monica, CA. It was awesome to walk down to the beach and chill on stressful days.

If you are honest show pictures of the men's' facility instead of the sanitized photos that prove a picture can be worth a thousand false words too. They lied to me. They do serve homeless and incarcerated addicts but finance it on the back of people without much more.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
There are many things wrong with this facility. I will start with the first is not cheap. Even with insurance. There are cheaper places. I attended outpatient. You should know that first the most part, you will be attended to by interns who are LEARNING ON YOU. Their treatment is not revolutionary or different from any other rehab. On top of everything else, the lower level you go in terms of personnel, the ruder they become. I would NEVER live there in a million years. They don't like to explain where your money is going to either. I have asked for an accounting of the money I paid to them over and over again. I have received nothing, When I left in August I realized the program was not going to work and I expected a refund. It took until NOVEMBER to get a refund. I finally had to call my insurer and complain to her higher ups to get her to refund my money. This place is a mess. There are better places. Or just go to A.A. That's basically what they are going to tell you to do.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
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I read the other reviews and was shocked because it sounds like a different place to where I was recently. I found Yelp more realistic. I found Clare to have a myopic focus on house rules and cleaning, to the point Clare has more double scrubs than Twin Towers! Sure, in the beginning structure and the habit of following rules is important, but when it becomes the sole focus of a treatment facility, as oppose to "tools of recovery," then it becomes a center or facility because treatment and recovery are just a vehicle to drive home the point of rules such as perfectly aligned shoes under the bed. It's a program of punishment enforced by bitter PAs... enabled by the administrators of the WTP. Not a pretty picture of 20 years sober. While one PA runs around on her power trip, and another speaks to clients inappropriately. Many clients filed grievance after grievance and yet she still is allowed among the WTP population. On the other hand, the best counselor they had, who I witnessed stop countless women walk out the doors, unlike the bitter PA's who help them pack, was terminated. Yeah they have success stories, but not since they switched the program from six to three months and if it continues the way it is, I fear Clare may one day shut its doors to help addicts. As it is - the doors flung wide open - actual recovery and treatment for the disease of addiction barely exists.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
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  • Meals & Nutrition
I thought this facility was great

  • Treatment Effectiveness
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Going to treatment at Clare was the best decision I ever made in my life. Clare exceeded all of my expectations, and helped instill my strong recovery. If I had to do it all over again, I would, and I also highly recommend this place to everyone that needs help.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
I don't feel i would have taken my sobriety seriously if my mother had paid for me. CLARE allowed me to pay for my OWN treatment with government assistance. CLARE provided me with all the tools and support necessary to have a life after treatment. The staff was great and supportive and I have a relationship with them to this day...I know many that relapse and say they're going HOME to CLARE...if I were to ever relapse, I would most definitely go back HOME to Clare.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
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Least expensive place (I had looked into) but best care...I got structure and sobriety back into my life.

  • Treatment Effectiveness
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The only reason I rate (their treatment effectiveness) a 4 is that they don't have a psych or detox facility, they just watch you and if you need to go to a hospital they will get you there...Clare gave me enough tools to use to not (relapse)....they give you a lot of knowledge and I learned from it. (I am now) clean and sober but if I ever again need a facility, Clare would be the first place I would call.

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