Treatment Center Setting
- Residential Neighborhood
- Beach Community
Sovereign Health Addiction, Dual Diagnosis, and Mental Health Treatment Programs Philosophy
Sovereign Health San Clemente offers specialized mental health, substance abuse and dual diagnosis disorder treatment tailor-made to meet the unique needs of each patient. The comprehensive program begins at admission, where an expert staff conducts a thorough assessment to identify potential co-occurring conditions and accurately diagnose each patient, ensuring they receive the proper course of treatment. An oceanfront location and caring staff provide a serene and calming atmosphere where residents can realize their full potential. Sovereign Health addresses underlying mental health conditions by utilizing innovative and cutting edge cognitive testing, rehabilitation and evidence based treatment modalities, as well as alternative therapies including art and equine therapy. Sovereign Health San Clemente is dually licensed in both addiction and mental health, holds a joint commission accreditation, and accepts most private insurance.
Areas of Specialization
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.
Client & Family Support Groups
Group therapy is a vital component of addiction recovery treatment, considered as important and effective (sometimes even more so) than individual therapy. Benefits include reducing isolation and loneliness and providing the opportunity to learn from others in recovery. In the addiction setting, group therapy is run by trained professionals who guide participants toward a shared goal of recovery.
Drugs and alcohol have widespread effects throughout your body, including but not limited to the addiction and/or physical/psychological dependence that develops with substance abuse over time. Many organ systems are affected by addiction and will react to withdrawal. The term “medical detoxification” means that there is a trained and licensed medical professional onsite to monitor your vital signs and protect your physical and emotional health as your body goes through withdrawal.
A form of animal therapy, equine therapy involves visiting, working with and sometimes riding horses as a way to create a metaphoric relationship that leads to life-altering insights.
“Everyone was patient and gave me extra hope and I’m so grateful for it. They really get you thinking, and sometimes it cuts pretty deep, and that is exactly what they are supposed to do. They are helping us every step of the way and they are always there for us no matter what kind of day it is. I’m very, very, very thankful, 100 percent. The staff have all been great, and filled with positivity no matter what. I’m so grateful for that because it has helped make my total experience wonderful.
Unfortunately, I do have experience with other treatment centers and this is one of the best that I’ve been around. The staff is incredible. The groups are very informative. But, also, kind of friendly – they don’t bore you to death – they talk about very applicable things for anybody who is looking to recover. It’s just great, it really is – I actually enjoy coming here.
The experience has had a tremendous impact on my life, because it gave me coping skills and learned how to implement them in my life. It is not a superficial program. The groups run by the therapists and counselors didn’t just skim the surface, they really went in-depth. It is a spectacular program if you really want to get sober.
I’ve learned a lot of skills, like meditation, which is sort of easy to do in class, but to carry it with you when you leave is a whole different ball game. It’s just what I needed. If you come here and you are sincere about wanting help then the people here can help you, no question about it.
The administrative and medical staff and the house managers have all been fantastic. My therapist is great, she helps me think about my thinking. I feel like I am given direct one-on-on attention, not only during scheduled sessions but any time I need it. We have a great psychiatrist and counselors, too. There is a lot of wisdom and experience that has been shared.
I was comfortable here from the moment I arrived. It’s a perfect mixture of education about addiction and mental health, and group therapy. The housing was perfect for me, too, staying in a house, especially coming from a hospital setting. I have more freedom, but yet there is accountability.
Meet the Staff
Anthony J. Mele, Psy.D
Chief Clinical Officer
Dr. Anthony Mele, a licensed psychologist, brings almost twenty-five years of clinical expertise and executive leadership on both the provider and payer sides of behavioral healthcare. Dr. Mele’s wide range of clinical expertise includes: the assessment and treatment of co-occuring mental health and substance abuse disorders in adolescents and adults, the use of telehealth to manage chronic medical conditions, and the development of non-pharmacologic interventions for individuals with cognitive impairment. Dr. Mele is a frequent speaker and trainer in these areas.
Monica Powers, Psy.D.
Director of Clinical Development & Training
Dr. Powers earned her doctorate in Applied Clinical Psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She holds a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Phoenix. She did her internship at the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, where she ran the Healthy Way L.A. program. This program provides mental health services to the underserved population in Los Angeles County. Dr. Powers continued her postdoctoral work at Sovereign’s Los Angeles facility. Under Dr. Powers’ guidance, Sovereign’s Los Angeles facility has grown to meet the challenges of a vast metropolitan area. At present, Dr. Powers is transitioning from her successful tenure as Group Program Director to training incoming directors and clinical supervisors at other Sovereign locations. - See more at: https://www.sovhealth.com/about/leadership/orange-county-ca/#horizontalTab3
Kathleen “Karunya” Morgan , LMFT
Kathleen “Karunya” Morgan is the Program Director at Sovereign Health’s San Clemente Facility. She has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy and a Master’s Degree of Science in holistic wellness. She specializes in trauma and inner child work and has worked in the behavioral health industry for over 8 years as a primary therapist, structural counselor and clinical manager. At Sovereign Health of San Clemente, Karunya is responsible for overseeing all programs offered at the facility and leading the clinical team that works with our patients. - See more at: https://www.sovhealth.com/about/leadership/orange-county-ca/#horizontalTab3
Rehabs.com 360 Guide
ABOUT SOVEREIGN HEALTH ADDICTION, DUAL DIAGNOSIS, AND MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT PROGRAMS
Located in the tranquil beach community of San Clemente, Calif., 59 miles north of San Diego, Sovereign Health of San Clemente offers a continuum of treatment programs designed for adults struggling with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health difficulties. Along with a 30 to 90-day residential program, the facility offers a partial hospitalization program (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (IOP). One of four residential facilities operated by Sovereign Health, including one for adolescents in El Cajon, the San Clemente location also offers medical detoxification and natural detox services on-site.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
Upon admission, each client receives a comprehensive three-step assessment to determine specific client needs. Utilizing popular therapeutic modalities, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), residential treatment includes individual counseling, group therapy, mindfulness training, pharmacogenetic testing, and brain mapping. The facility also holds 12-step and SMART Recovery support meetings on-site.
Sovereign Health in San Clemente specializes in dual diagnosis treatment, focusing on identifying underlying causes of addiction. The facility uses cognitive remediation (specifically, a program called Neurobic) to help clients retrain their brains to creative positive, constructive thinking patterns. Dually diagnosed clients also receive ongoing medication management.
In addition to core programming, the facility offers several experiential therapies, including equine therapy, artistic expression, and music therapy. According to the facility’s website, clients may also visit a gym regularly and participate in community outings, such as supervised beach walks. To include loved ones into treatment, the facility holds an intensive, two-day family program on weekends. The San Clemente facility also offers an eating disorder program for women.
Once a client successfully completes residential treatment, clients may be encouraged to utilize PHP or IOP as a “step-down” aftercare service. PHP entails similar, structured programming as residential treatment, though clients return to their homes each night. IOP requires clients to attend multiple groups sessions per week.
Led by a clinical psychologist with a Master’s emphasized in marriage and family therapy, Sovereign Health’s treatment staff includes master’s-level counselors and licensed psychologists experienced in mental health and substance abuse disorders.
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
Clients live in fully furnished, gender-specific houses within the community. Each upscale, homelike facility features spacious, well-appointed communal areas, fully-equipped kitchens, and outdoor patios.
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
Of the 28 alumni polled by Rehabs.com at the time of this writing, 18 provided positive reviews and 10 provided negative reviews. The four alumni who were polled across additional evaluated metrics gave the facility split ratings: two alumni provided all five-star ratings, and two alumni provided all one-star ratings for the center’s staff’s level of experience and training, its holistic treatment offerings, its meals and nutrition, its connectivity with the real world during treatment, its counseling options, and its family participation.
Most alumni cited staff and living facilities as strengths. Mark, a recovering heroin abuser, wrote: “Sovereign Health absolutely exceeded my expectations. The therapists were fantastic, and I have never walked out of a group session and said to myself I got nothing out of it.” Supporting this positive opinion, alum Thadius wrote: “I found the Sovereign staff to be very friendly and the program is very well run.”
Less satisfied alumni felt the facility used deceptive marketing tactics. “They lie and tell you it is like staying at a spa and taking a vacation with beautiful homes on the beach,” V.V. wrote. Alyssa agreed, writing: “Just know before sending a loved one there that it is nothing like they present it as. There is no gym 3 times a week, not even once a week, there are no early morning beach walks.”
WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY
Unlike alumni opinions, 13 loved ones polled by Rehabs.com at the time of this writing also provided mostly negative feedback. Of the 13 loved ones, two gave Sovereign Health in San Clemente positive reviews, three gave it mixed reviews, and eight gave it negative reviews. Out of five stars, Marissa gave a perfect five-star rating for the level of family participation and wrote: “The facility has dedicated teams of professionals who do amazing work with patients and their family members.” Another loved one added: “It was a clean facility with staff that seem to care.”
Multiple family members reported a lack of communication with their loved ones during treatment. When trying to communicate with their son, parent K described the staff as “dismissive and rude.” Parent Nikal reported the same issues: “The San Clemente location isn't great...there isn't much supervision. They were also not good at communicating with me,” she wrote.
WHAT STAFF SAY
The two staff members polled by Rehabs.com to date were both critical of the facility, citing the same issues as some alumni and loved ones. “Do NOT work here or send patients here!! Horrible administration, poor treatment of staff,” B.B. wrote. Staff member J.J.B. added: “I have never in my life worked for a company with unprofessional supervisors as they are here,” adding: “The facilities don't look like the pictures on the fliers.”
According to the facility’s website, Sovereign Health accepts most private insurance plans, including Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and more. Financing is also available through My Treatment Lender.
Updated May 2017
Published on June 2017
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