Creative Care in Woodland Hills, CA

Overall Rating

(4.4 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
23140 Gonzales Drive
Woodland Hills CA 91367

Creative Care Philosophy

Since 1989, Creative Care’s mission is to understand early experiences and underlying causes that manifest as mental health difficulties and addiction struggles throughout adulthood. Creative Care’s founders and current owners, Drs. Morteza and Karen Khaleghi, pioneered a dual diagnosis approach in the treatment of addiction and have dedicated their lives to caring for clients and their families. With the unwavering and unparalleled efforts of Creative Care’s professional staff, Creative Care continues to utilize a biopsychosocial approach, a psychoanalytic frame, and evidence-based practices to get clients and their families on the road to recovery. Utilizing compassion, integrity, and spirituality, Creative Care implements individualized treatment plans to assist clients in connecting the dots and improving their quality of life.

Areas of Specialization

  • Individualized Treatment
    Some facilities have an addiction treatment protocol that all patients or clients are expected to follow, while others customize or individualize treatment based on a person’s unique needs and circumstances. Factors that may affect treatment decisions include age, lifestyle, medical conditions, type of drug, religious beliefs, etc.

  • Dual Diagnosis/Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment
    These two terms describe a person who is not only addicted to drugs or alcohol, but also has a mental or emotional illness, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc. Facilities that treat patients with dual-diagnosis or co-occurring disorders provide psychiatric treatment in addition to drug and alcohol rehabilitation services.

Facility Highlights

Biopsychosocial approach, a psychoanalytic frame, and evidence-based practices

Individualized treatment plans

Specialize in treating a complex client within our two programs

Meet the Staff

Morteza Khaleghi, Ph.D., LMFT

Founder and Executive Director

Photo of Morteza Khaleghi, Ph.D., LMFT

Renowned for his clinical insight and skill, Dr. K personally initiates the clinical evaluation that follows admission to Creative Care Malibu. Dr. K was trained at CGI, the California Graduate Institute, earning his doctorate in Clinical Psychology. He is also a licensed marriage and family therapist. He has been working in the field of addiction and recovery since graduating and has been a key player in the continuing development of the Dual Diagnosis treatment methodology.

Karen Khaleghi, Ph.D.

Founder & Director of Education

Photo of Karen Khaleghi, Ph.D.

First as a parent, second as a practitioner, Dr. Karen Khaleghi speaks to parents and organizations about the formation of addiction, the critical aspects of nature and nurture and the resulting disconnection between emotions and behavior. Both she and Dr. K feel strongly that there needs to be more of a dialogue about the genesis of addiction and the path to recovery, a process they call “connecting the dots".

Rehabs.com 360 Guide

Review by Rehabs.com Contributors

ABOUT CREATIVE CARE – MALIBU

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Creative Care in Malibu provides residential substance abuse treatment to adult men and women. The center, founded in 1989, operates two upscale facilities in California dedicated to treating co-occurring mental health disorders that often underlie — and perpetuate — addiction. Medically monitored detox and transitional living also are available. Within the state, Creative Care is among 15 percent of substance abuse treatment centers that provide residential, non-hospital detox.

TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT

Within the first 48 hours, clients undergo a clinical assessment and meet with key program staff to develop a personalized treatment plan. Each week, the clinical team meets twice to discuss treatment outcomes for each client and next steps.

Clients who require detox start their treatment with that process, which can last from three days to two weeks. Creative Care incorporates 12-step principles into its residential recovery education. The majority of therapy, however, focuses on individual mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, and utilizes evidence-based methodologies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).

Clients meet with both a primary counselor and a consulting psychiatrist up to three times a week. Family therapy can be arranged as needed. Additional services include neurofeedback, yoga, on-site equine therapy, art therapy, nutrition therapy, and adventure therapies.

Residential care can last from 30 to 90 days, after which clients can participate in the transitional living program. They have the option to continue with clinical services, but also can work at a job, volunteer, or go to school. Transportation is provided. In California, Creative Care is among 33.6 percent of substance abuse treatment facilities that offer long term – 30+ days – of residential, non-hospital services.

Clients who choose to return home, can use aftercare to collaborate with team specialists to ensure a smooth transition.

STAFF CREDENTIALS

Creative Care is among 27.9 percent of substance abuse treatment facilities in California accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities – CARF. The treatment team includes psychiatrists, licensed psychologists, therapists, registered nurses, certified addictions treatment counselors, and a dietitian.

ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES

Men and women live in separate houses, both of which offer luxury accommodations and scenic ocean views from fully appointed balconies. Most clients stay in a furnished room with two beds. Although private rooms are available, they are assigned to clients at the discretion of the program director. Amenities include an in-house chef and an outdoor pool.

WHAT ALUMNI SAY

At the time of this writing, 11 alumni submitted largely positive reviews of Creative Care in Malibu to Rehabs.com. Most of these former clients praised the insightful and supportive staff, the customized clinical treatment they received, and especially the results they achieved. Repeatedly, they told Rehabs.com that this experience changed their life and also saved it, as expressed in a representative review: “I am so thankful for Creative Care for not only saving my life, but also helping me believe in myself again and creating a new life that I never thought was possible.”

Another alum, who had been addicted to Xanax for 10 years reported to Rehabs.com: “Creative Care helped me detox completely off this drug and helped my body adjust to not being on any addictive medications. I am now able to live life without the use of substances, and it feels awesome.” Two of the reviewers, who evaluated survey metrics and thus offered more detailed impressions, awarded perfect five stars and high four out of five stars to facility cleanliness and upkeep, connectivity/visitor policy, family participation, holistic offerings, and likelihood to recommend.

On secondary sites, the facility received mainly favorable feedback to date: 4.5 out of five stars based on 21 reviews on Yelp; 3.9 stars based on 16 reviews on Google; 4.7 stars based on 29 reviews on Facebook, which the organization can manage; but 2.1 stars based on 15 reviews on CiteHealth. [1] [2] [3] [4]

In line with findings at Rehab.com, secondary reviewers on reported receiving excellent results from individual and group therapy, process groups, and dedicated and upbeat staff, all of which helped them achieve sobriety, as stated in a representative review by J.O. on Yelp: “I had a very positive experience at Creative Care. I entered Creative Care with a dismantled 100 piece puzzle in my head. Little by little, those pieces were put together.”

WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY

Four loved ones submitted generally positive reviews about the facility to Rehabs.com to date. Of the total, three commended the doctors, dedication, and support that culminated in successful experiences, as expressed in a representative review: “We wish every treatment program in the world would treat each person like Creative Care! This family is very grateful to have found this level of care as we continue our family recovery! We got our son back!!!!!” However, one negative reviewer who complained that Creative Care in Malibu kicked their son out in the middle of treatment, told Rehabs.com they would not recommend the facility.

WHAT STAFF SAY

A staff member who, in their words, “worked their for a considerable amount of time,” offered mostly negative feedback to Rehabs.com to date. D.C. claimed the center “suffers from fundamental problems which are, unfortunately not exclusive to them,” such as misleading staff credentials, client overmedication, and punitive culture. They suggested potential clients to"ask question, do your homework” about a treatment center’s staff and qualifications.

FINANCING

According to Creative Care’s website, most private PPO insurance plans are accepted, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, and United Healthcare.

[1] https://www.yelp.com/biz/creative-care-malibu

[2] GoogleReviews

[3] https://www.facebook.com/pg/creativecaremalibu/reviews/?ref=page_internal

[4] http://citehealth.com/rehab-centers/california/cities/malibu/creative-care-inc

Published on October 2018

User Reviews

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Creative Care taught me so much then just addiction recovery!!! They taught me I had to get to the ROOT of my trauma and heal from it... I'm a domestic violence SURVIVOR, my past trauma led me to use substances to mask the pain...the longer you mask the trauma, the more you're going to have to heal from. Since meeting the wonderful team at Creative Care they gave me a new outlook on life! Their therapist and counselors are world renound and the food and houses are to die for! I'll forever love you Creative Care! ❤️Tia

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I feel very grateful for connecting with the admissions coordinator at Creative Care. My son had been in a facility in Arizona and was removed from the facility for suicide ideation and was placed in a 24 hour hold facility. We lived several states away when this occurred. He was then transferred to another psychiatric hospital for holding until I could find a placement. I spent days calling all around the country to find someone who would take my son with his psychiatric condition. After seeing his medical records facilities would decline to take him. The admissions coordinator and Creative Care took a chance on him and while he arrived there in rough shape and traumatized from his ordeal and with no trust in the mental health care system they welcomed him in and showed him he was worthy and they saw him as a person and NOT his mental illness. The staff and his therapist were amazing and he made amazing connections. My son had a powerful and transformative experience there and even though the journey to find Creative Care was rocky, we are so fortunate he landed there.

This facility only cares about getting your money. When I was there, several of the men’s houses were infested with bedbugs. Only after multiple complaints did they move the men out to eradicate the pests. I was in constant fear of myself and my clothing being infested. They denied everything. It’s all about the money for them. Don’t be fooled by Dr. Phil. Run away.

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When I came to Creative Care I was welcomed with open arms. I was given the care I needed and then some. The staff here is amazing. They are all super kind and caring and actually want to help you with whatever you are struggling with, and they are all super relatable. The therapy here is outstanding. If I didn't have the therapy that I had, I wouldn't be where I am today. This place is not like any other treatment center, and trust me I've been to a lot of other centers. There is just something about this place that is magical and healing.

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The staff at Creative Care are very friendly and supportive. They are relatable and understand our struggles on a personal level. My therapist helped me with my family problems and helped me better my relationships. The location is so nice and beautiful. This place is a great place to find your inner peace.

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The staff at Creative Care are awesome. The location is beautiful. At Creative Care I learned about my trauma and how my trauma affects my behavior. I also learned self-soothing techniques which were really helpful for my recovery. I highly recommend this facility to anyone seeking help.

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From one addict to another, I want to extend my hand and invite you here to save your life. The call I made was literally that...lifesaving. I am eternally grateful for the love and care given by the staff from counselors to techs to therapists to the chef, cleaning ladies and maintenance, the sense of community, the accommodations and THE VIEW of the Pacific. The lasting impression will not be forgotten or taken for granted.

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The staff at Creative Care were great. My therapist helped me work on my self esteem. She was both stern and insightful. I was on Xanax for 10 years and very scared to get off this substance. Creative Care helped me detox completely off this drug and helped my body adjust to not being on any addictive medications. I am now able to live life without the use of substances, and it feels awesome.

ive really enjoyed my stay at creative care, all the staff have truly saved my life. i don't know where i would be today had i not received the opportunity to get the help i needed from this treatment center. i thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the staff as they became part of my family. i'll forever be grateful for creative care and all it has to offer. i look forward to coming to visit during alumni.

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The location was amazing. The therapeutic groups were very informative and helpful. Staff at Creative Care were very helpful in guiding me in the direction I needed to go. Conversations with my assigned counselor, clinical director, and therapist were very constructive. This is the place to seek help. Don't let your emotions and feelings make you run. Once you push through those feelings, life can get so much better.

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Creative Care is a serene and tranquil place to come get sober and work on yourself. Each morning I woke up to rabbits and deer roaming the property, and every night I went to sleep to the sound of the waves crashing on the ocean. They offer things like yoga twice a week, a private chef, a massage, equine therapy, and much more. But what is truly incredible is the clinical program. When I came to Creative Care, I was broken, scared, and a shell of a person with no real intimacy in my life. I pushed away everyone and hated who I was. I lived my life in fear and numbed my pain with drugs, alcohol, and disordered eating. Because of the amazing clinical program, my individual therapist, process groups, supportive peers, a nutritionist, and the 12 step program, I can say I love myself today. Creative Care has truly changed my life, I'll forever be grateful!

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Creative Care has great therapy, great food, and great views. All the staff actually care. They all have great advice and really take the time to listen. My therapist was literally the best therapist I have ever had. I've been to treatment 7 times and my therapist at Creative Care has been the only person to understand and get to the root of why I use. Creative Care is one of the top rehabs I have ever been too.

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I am so thankful for Creative Care for not only saving my life, but also helping me believe in myself again and creating a new life that I never thought was possible. 5 years ago I was struggling from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and a pill addiction. I was terrified of the world and my own war that I was living daily in my head. I saw many therapists during that time and no one knew what to do with me. Creative Care never gave up on me. The staff were so patient and loving towards me. From individual therapy and therapeutic groups at the facility, I began to love myself again and trust that I can be in control of my own life. I had assigned staff counselors helping me along my journey and gave me there undivided attention. I am also truly thankful for the family therapy given there. During my addiction i created a lot havoc and thought i destroyed relationships with my family. Creative Care and my therapist there educated my family on addiction and helped bring my family back together! At Creative Care, my therapist suggested that I should go back to school. I never thought I could that! …but I followed direction. Now I have almost 5 years clean and sober and completed my Master’s degree in psychology! None of this would be possible if it wasn’t for Creative Care believing in me and teaching me that life is too short to spend it scared. Thank you for saving my life.

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This place has no concern for clients and staff completely out off line when coming to boundaries with clients

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Creative Care offers an excellent dual diagnosis recovery program based in Malibu, CA. The facility is amazing with superior views of the Pacific Ocean and amazing views of the sunrise and sunset offering a very tranquil and serine environment. The staff is second to none compared to other facilities and the fact that individual therapy is offered three times a week plus one to three times a week visit with a M.D. for medication management. They offer many vary types of process groups such as trauma, recreational, and in house support group meetings. There are almost daily outings to the beech and on weekends able to see a movie at the theatre or mini golf. They go out of their way during the holidays to make clients feel welcome and not homesick. On Christmas they even give gifts to the clients. The food was excellent too!

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My son went to Creative Care and received excellent care. They are truly a dual diagnosis treatment center and their clinical staff have many years of experience in this field. I also use to work there and have seen first hand the work that is being done. That is why after leaving employment there, I trusted them enough to send my son there. As a professional at another treatment center, we often use each other centers to get the clients the best and most effective care. Knowing Creative Care has been open for nearly 30 years is very reassuring and I can recommend it wholeheartedly!

Having worked as a contract worker at Creative Care I interacted with patients and staff daily. Much the staff were dedicated helping professionals, however there were some staff members who exhibited fearful controlling behavior, including some well-trained professionals, which resulted in poor clinical decisions detrimental to positive experience and outcomes for the patients. There are superior treatment facilities available.

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THIS IS THE BEST OF THE BEST!!!! DR. WAS WONDERFUL AND COMPASSIONATE, ALSO STERN. WAS SO HELPFUL ALSO THE STAFF ARE ALWAYS THERE TO HELP. ADDICTION IS NEVER EASY BUT GETTING TO THE CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM HELPS AND THAT WHAT THIS FACILITY DID. I BELIEVE IT SAVED MY SONS LIFE. HE WAS IN 5 PRIOR PLACES BUT NOTHING STUCK, ALWAYS WENT BACK TO USING. AFTER SPENDING A FULL DAY WITH HIM, HE AKNOWLEDGED THAT CC WAS THE BEST PLACE AND IN HIS HEART IT WAS THE ONE THAT SAVED HIM. ALL I KNOW IS I TAKE EACH DAY AT A TIME , AND NO SO FRIGHTENED TO GET THAT CALL ABOUT MY SON. IN GODS HANDS I LEAVE HIM BUT MY HEARTFELT THANK YOU TO LL AT CREATIVE CARE!!!!!

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Creative Care is a facility which suffers from fundamental problems which are, unfortunately not exclusive to them. That said, their practices have many moral and ethical deficiencies. I say this experience having worked their for a considerable amount of time. To begin with, as soon as a new admit comes in, they try to administer the MMPI as quickly as possible in order to get a co-morbid diagnosis. It is well established that giving someone a psychological test of any kind in early stages of recovery (under a year), let alone while still in the midst of a detox is HIGHLY unethical and will likely yield inaccurate results. Yet, with Creative Care, this is their modus operandi. The result is just as one would expect, for women that typically means Borderline Personality Disorder and for men Bipolar at the very least. It is well understood that ANYONE who is coming down from drugs and/or alcohol are going to invariably test with a psychological disturbance of some variety. The question is; why would they or any treatment center do this? The answer is complicated and as much political as it is practical. It means more can be billed to the insurance companies. In defense of this (if there is one) insurance companies have in recent years, gone out of their way to deny payment of services. This IS a major problem and often times, places treatment centers in the position of having to bend the rules in order to stay afloat. Unfortunately, for the client, the result is being stuck with a diagnosis that is questionable to say the least and will likely follow them for the rest of their lives. Its a bad situation all around. While some people might not take issue with this, I certainly do because the client should come first. They claim that their staff are licensed, In terms of their Resident Aide staff, Most are RRW's meaning, a Registered Recovery Worker. Anyone can go onto one of two state approved websites, pay the $50.00 and become a "Registered Recovery Worker." That is NOT a credential, that is a promise to someday get a credential. Please don't be confused by this. Some of these staff members are ex hardcore violent criminals and read and write at a 6th grade level. On the other hand, some are good, caring, experienced and licensed. that being the case, most of the qualified staff don't stay long and usually leave due to the culture of nepotism and gross incompetence. On the other hand, some of the therapists are actually quite good and good work gets done there. Unfortunately, that is the exception and not the rule. The therapists, usually interns (interns make some of the best therapists by the way) are, like all staff there, bound to uphold the culture there, which limits their ability to do the work they might otherwise be able to do. This usually means clients who are over-medicated and sometimes barely able to complete a sentence, let alone get into high quality, effective therapy. They have been sanctioned for shoving too many beds into one of their houses among other issues, again, they are not the treatment center to do this. Their track record of employee treatment is deplorable to say the least. They govern by fear which tends to be counter-productive to creating an environment of high morale and pride. I wont even go any further into that other than to say that this (indirectly) affects the overall treatment of the clients because this culture tends to trickle down. My advice for anyone seeking treatment for a loved one or for yourself is to ask question, do your homework and make sure that a treatment center is not stocked with a bunch of RRW's or RADT's (registered but not licensed) techs, but individuals who are certified. Because of the end of the day, these are the people who interact with clients the most. I hope this review helps.

“The road map Dr. talks about helps teach us how important it is to trace back to events in our lives that influence the emotional dynamics of addiction. The physical and family history of addiction, along with the emotional influences bring a much needed clarity to why we call addiction a disease and that recovery is made possible with a new awareness of each person’s unique diagnosis. This new awareness will arm the person in recovery about triggers that when known can be met with a plan that will help them reach out to their support team instead of relapsing. We loved the Dr.'s book so much we have been lending it to others who face this disease and seek answers. We wish every treatment program in the world would treat each person like Creative Care! This family is very grateful to have found this level of care as we continue our family recovery! We got our son back!!!!! Thanks to ALL of YOU and our SON!!!” – Parent

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Ive been to 7 rehabs and unfortunately, this was definitely one of my worst experiences. My first night there my room was dirty, the shower didnt work (no hot water for 10 minutes) and they had nobody on staff that could give me any medication. I came in high on meth and ended up going to a hospital (in an ambulance, apparently thats their policy). That kind if set the tone for me. The groups were mostly run by techs and there was almost no "addiction recovery knowledge". It would occaisionally be a little hand out and those were alright. One guy ran great groups with a focus on solution and recovery. That was a vast minority, though. My therapist and I worked well together for a few weeks, but as I became increasingly discouraged with their program and dealing with an overwhelming sense that I was wasting my time there, things just took a turn for the worse. I was easily dismissed. Its easy to fly under the radar there as they have what I consider to be way too many clients for their capabilities (it got up as high as 35 clients). Just a meat factory. I saw some people have a spiritual, positive experience and Im glad they did. Im not saying it cant be done. I just think this place makes it extremely difficult to do. And the meetings they take you too are terrible. Its basically just the clients from Creative Care and those meetings have very, very little recivery in the room.

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I am calling our insurance company to complain as they made my son leave in middle of drug therapy.

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The shining beacon of hope that Creative Care has been in my life lies in the premiere quality of the therapy, both individual and group. Too many interns. It gets uncomfortable in the winter and summer (no heat or AC) Remoteness was a weakness. I'm dual diagnosis, both bi-polar and and alcoholic/addict, and I found Creative Care to be a good fit because that is what they specialize in. It is a safe place in which to heal. I've been there twice, both time in crisis and they helped me crawl my way back to the living. The group and individual therapy really is amazing. Extras: Great views, trips to the beach 5 day/week, food is DELISH, horse therapy, beds are comfy!

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I really felt that Creative Care understood how to deal with dual diagnosis. Other facilities have claimed that they deal with dual diagnosis clients and have individualized programs, but they do not. Creative Care was able to help me deal with my depression, anxiety, and trauma, as well as my opiate and alcohol addiction. I have been sober for over 7 years now. I owe my life to the amazing work that these people do!

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