Serenity Knolls in Forest Knolls, CA

Overall Rating

(4.6 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
145 Tamal Road
Forest Knolls CA 94933

Serenity Knolls Philosophy

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Areas of Specialization

Weekend Family Program

Facility Highlights

Aftercare
Personalized Treatment
Family Support Meetings

Rehabs.com 360 Guide

Review by Rehabs.com Contributors

ABOUT SERENITY KNOLLS

Serenity Knolls, located in Forest Knolls, Calif., offers one of the state's 440 (33.6 percent) residential programs for adults struggling with substance abuse. Additionally, this is one of the only 197 (15 percent) state facilities in the state to offer detoxification services. The treatment center is located about 30 miles north of San Francisco, and offers free aftercare for life. Serenity Knolls has operated for 25 years and has treated over 5,000 individuals.

TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT

Clients may call the facility’s 24-hour phone line to begin the admissions process. To be admitted, clients must be 18 years of age or older, must consent to stay in treatment for a minimum of 30 days, must be ambulatory and capable of engaging in treatment, and must exhibit a willingness and desire to recover. Treatment lasts for a minimum of 30 days, but many clients stay for 60 or 90 days.

The facility’s program follows the 12-step method of recovery. Throughout treatment, clients receive individual, group, and family therapy. There are several types of group meetings offered at Serenity Knolls, including process groups, educational groups, 12-step groups, women’s groups, and men’s groups. Participants who go through detox before beginning residential treatment may receive medication under the supervision of a medical doctor. Clients are required to complete chores while in residential treatment.

Families are included in the treatment program through a weekend family program that offers education and support to help family members understand both their loved one’s struggles and their own. This program is free for life to any family member of a client who completes 30 days of treatment.

One of the most distinguishing characteristics of Serenity Knolls is the free lifetime aftercare program. All clients who complete at least 30 days of treatment are welcome to attend weekly support meetings for the rest of their lives. Although Serenity Knolls does not offer partial hospitalization or outpatient care, the facility can refer graduating clients to local programs offering these services as part of discharge if necessary.

STAFF CREDENTIALS

The treatment team at Serenity Knolls includes drug and alcohol counselors, licensed marriage and family therapists, registered nurses, medical doctors, and community-based psychiatrists. The facility states that 85% of staff are in recovery themselves. To date, the six individuals polled on the matter praised the facility's staff.

Staff Experience and Training: 4.7/5

ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES

Serenity Knolls is located in the San Geronimo Valley in Marin County. The property sits on twelve acres and reserves six beds exclusively for detoxification, as well as a number of beds for longer-term residential treatment. This suggests highly individualized care as the average number of residents in a treatment facility was 18 individuals, as of 2016. All residents live in shared rooms.

The grounds keep clients closely connected to nature, offering views of sunsets, the surrounding forest, and wildlife. Photos on the facility’s website show rustic but updated cabins. Serenity Knolls also has a swimming pool, basketball court, a large outdoor dining area, and a fitness center to increase the client’s comfort while in treatment. To date, the nine individuals polled on the matter appreciated the upkeep of the facilities.

Cleanliness: 4.8/5

WHAT ALUMNI SAY

The four alumni polled by Rehabs.com at time of writing gave generally positive reviews. Several alumni mentioned that the staff showed great care for them while they were in treatment, that the food was wonderful, and that the grounds and surroundings are beautiful. “Counselors are the best around. Caring, compassionate and all in recovery," an anonymous alum wrote.

When surveyed if they would consider re-entering the facility if the need arose, three of the alumni replied that they would. Contrastingly, two reviewers note that they relapsed after leaving Serenity Knolls.

The anonymous clients all provided three-star ratings or above when polled on whether or not the treatment program at Serenity Knolls was worth the cost, and three of the four alumni gave the staff five out of five star ratings. Still, many noted the lack of financial assistance provided by the facility.

Feedback was generally positive on secondary sites at the time of this writing, with a 4.3 out five-star average rating based on 12 Google reviews.[1] "An amazing sacred place. Excellent staff. Great food. Wonderful program. Saved my life!" J.O. wrote in a representative comment. To date on Yelp, all 10 reviewers provided five-star ratings for this facility.[2] The staff, the beautiful location, the family programming, and the alumni network were all highlighted by reviewers.

WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY

Of the six friends or family members polled by Rehabs.com at time of writing, all six of the reviewers agreed that they would recommend Serenity Knolls to others. Five loved ones gave the facility positive ratings for exercise options, and all five of them rated it highly for cleanliness. When prompted about strengths of the facility, loved ones praised the family and aftercare programs, counseling options, and the staff's level of training and experience. One reviewer added additional commentary: “If you love your friends and family, send them here.”

Family Participation: 4.8/5
Counseling Options: 4.2/5
Holistic Offerings: 3/5

When polled about weaknesses of Serenity Knolls, one loved one commented that her son felt pressured to stay longer than he wanted to. Other reviewers noted feeling that the group therapy was too confrontational and that they wished that more cognitive behavioral therapy was offered.

FINANCING

There is currently no information 'provided by the facility regarding its costs, but one alumni polled by Rehabs.com stated her treatment cost $15,000 per month. The facility does not accept insurance.

[1] GoogleReviews

[2] https://www.yelp.com/biz/serenity-knolls-treatment-center-forest-knolls-2

Published on July 2019

User Reviews

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Anonymous

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
The treatment was good & caring, but our son relapsed once he was out. He said their food was amazing & part of the reason he stayed. You can drag a horse to water, but without a desire to drink, it's not going to quench anybodys thirst.Setting in nature. Great food. They kept the family involved. It was expensive. Might have helped to have our son paying or have a partial work-to-stay to help pay for some of his rehab cost.

DCK

My exhusband provided a check for $15,900.00 for 1 MONTH to Serenity Knolls which check was used as the basis for reducing child & spousal support. That is a lot of money to pay for 1 month to pay and to actually believe that a long term drinker is \"cured\". The minute he got out - he drank. I have not been able to find out if a claim as filed with Blue Cross for reimbursement in 2014. The \"treatment\" did not work.

Anonymous

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
Nice and knowledgable staff, family engagement. Expensive, but worth it.

JMH

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
I spent 5 months at the Knolls between 2000 and 2002. I am very proud to be an alumni and I have been sober since then. Thank you for being there when I needed direction.

Catherine

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
Great program for residents and their families. Focus is on recovery, education around alcoholism/addiction and breaking denial. A very nice and well maintained facility with amazing food.This is a mid price facility; it does not contract with any insurance companies but will work w/insurance for at least some reimbursement. Highly recommend...ALL staff (maintenance, chefs, counselors, admin and clinicians )are in recovery. Strong family program and aftercare program. Both family program and aftercare are lifetime benefits at no extra cost.

anonymous

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
It has a good success rate & a very supportive environment. If you love your friends and family, send them here.

anonymous

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
Helpful, knowledgeable people. I thought that the group meeting and their method of confrontation was interesting, perhaps too confrontational, difficult time, difficult.

anonymous

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
This facility did care about my son, but he felt very pressured to stay beyond 28 days...When he stated he was not going to continue his stay, he noticed a distinct difference in how his counselors treated him...Nevertheless, my son thought it was a valuable experience....My son is a 46 year old very successful business man but the majority of the patients were young kids in their early 20's with both drug and alcohol problems, so he had some level of difficulty relating at first.

NTM

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
The care and concern from the counselors was phenomenal. though the price is expensive, the surroundings are beautiful and the food is gourmet! Counselors are the best around. caring, compassionate and all in recovery. The grounds are very inviting so a sense of calm begins quickly. The compassion of the counselors while I went through 2 weeks of withdrawal from opiates was astounding. Other clients assisted too. I had interaction with every single counselor-either in private session or group. They all are in recovery and they "get us" the food is also outstanding. You sign up for chores daily which really helps you to see how the place runs and also to get to know others quicker. I cannot say enough for SK. They offer a family program indefinitely as well as aftercare for the addict. I am a certified drug and alcohol counselor and if I could I would work there in an instant. I would just volunteer there as well but I live too far away. The owner ... himself runs groups as well as the aftercare. There is one in the city that he comes to sometimes. Otherwise the counselors run it so you continue to have contact with them.

Kate

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
Thanks to Serenity Knolls, I am 6+ years sober. The staff was, and continues to be so supportive in my sober journey.

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