You won’t find many rehabs treating substance abuse and eating disorders with equal emphasis; yet Breathe Life Healing Center does, possibly because founder Brad Lamm suffered from both. Before opening Breathe, he was an interventionist on Dr. Oz but before that he was an everyman in recovery from drugs, bulimia and alcoholism. Now sober over 10 years, Lamm oversees operations at both their New York facility and their LA outpost, both of which opened in 2013.
Accommodations and Food
Made up of a clinic space in West Hollywood and a 22-acre plot in Laurel Canyon, Breathe’s co-ed program boasts three luxury homes, all with modern decor and colorful interiors. They have room for 30 in private and semi-private rooms, most of which have adjoining bathrooms. Though housing assignments are need-based, private rooms don’t cost extra if you happen to get lucky. All beds are plush and have below-bed storage, but in general the space is fairly Spartan—just beds and closets, basically.There’s a pool and hot tub befitting a luxury rehab but also a biodynamic farm that’s put to good use by Breathe’s chefs (because of the eating disorder program, meals are both health-conscious and nutritionally dense).
Treatment and Staff
Breathe’s inpatient program lasts a minimum of 90 days. The staff includes psychologists, therapists, counselors, nutritionists and personal trainers, but no medical staff and they don’t offer detox. They also don’t emphasize 12-step, though their staff is reportedly well-versed in the program. Instead, their dual diagnosis approach is based on the trauma work of Dr. Tian Dayton (Breathe’s clinical director). It relies on CBT and psychodrama (role reversal and dramatic role-play), with the goal of bringing trauma and buried emotions to life in an “experiential” way that talk therapy can’t. They also have a rotating life skills workshop that covers topics like money management, healthy relationships and community service.
The overall focus here is not so much on treating addiction as preparing residents for fuller lives, something that they believe is accomplished by healing both mind and body: the “mind” part with daily group, private counseling sessions, goal-setting with case managers and personal coaching and the “body” through personal training, nutritional counseling, yoga and massage therapy. Though the two-pronged approach seems designed to tackle addiction and eating disorders separately, many of Breathe’s processing groups are mixed and all residents receive both sides of treatment.
In addition to the yoga and massage therapy, there’s equine therapy at a nearby ranch and residents are taken to an off-site for a gym (Breathe provides temporary memberships). These off-site ventures play into Breathe’s stated focus on integrating city life into treatment, which also means recreation including hikes at Runyon, trips to the beach and visits to the Getty (incidental costs are extra).
Breathe offers a 60-day extended care program for those who complete inpatient and that includes a six-month online conferencing family program that “meets” weekly with residents and family members to discuss roles, boundary setting and relapse prevention.
Overall, Breathe’s centers are appropriately well-rounded at a lower price point than would be expected. For those looking for a hearty dose of self-improvement, especially those who are more singularly focused on recovery from eating disorders, could certainly find the breath of fresh air they need here.
Breathe Life Healing Centers
8730 Sunset Blvd, Suite 550
West Hollywood, CA 90069
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