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
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.
Meet the Staff
Morteza Khaleghi, Ph.D., LMFT
Founder and Executive Director
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
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".
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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.
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.    
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.
According to Creative Care’s website, most private PPO insurance plans are accepted, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, and United Healthcare.
Published on October 2018
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