Directions For Living Reviews, Cost, Complaints

Directions For Living


[block]0[/block]Directions For Living Review

Founded in Florida in 1982, Directions For Living serves over 12,000 people each year and focuses on substance abuse, mental health, homelessness and the child welfare system. With treatment options for adults, children and families, behavioral, mental and primary healthcare services are available for residents of the greater Tampa Bay area. Outpatient substance abuse programs for adults also include dual diagnosis support and can be accessed at the Clearwater Center in Clearwater, Florida. Dependency case management, diversion services and the children’s specialty center are located in Largo.

Treatment and Staff

All clients seeking substance abuse treatment must first complete an intake evaluation. Operating on a first-come-first-served basis, clients do not make appointments and can walk in to see a practitioner Mondays to Fridays from 8 am to 4 pm. A case manager determines the best course of treatment, including psychological, psychiatric and physical assessments as needed.

The outpatient program consists of individual therapy at least twice a month, group therapy once or twice a week and family counseling as needed. Groups are held on Mondays for one hour, and on Fridays for two. Therapy never exceeds 12 clients, as small groups leave space for everyone to receive individual attention. A therapist facilitates sessions, opening with an educational lecture about substance abuse, its consequences, identifying triggers or relapse prevention, among other topics. The session is then open for group sharing, with clients receiving the benefit of peer support and fellowship. The program is ongoing, with clients completing it once treatment goals are met.

Licensed Master’s-level therapists and counselors address trauma through evidence-based practices such as CBT and Seeking Safety. Psychiatrists, doctors and nurses provide assessments and medication management for clients with co-occurring disorders, with a fully integrated pharmacy at the Clearwater Center providing easy access to prescriptions.


An Early Childhood Consultation program provides parenting skills training in the home. Early childhood specialists teach parents to care for infants and children up to five years old. Therapy and additional resources can be accessed for families and kids with trauma, behavioral or emotional problems, including coordinating foster care and adoption. In-home therapy is also offered.

The primary counselor also coordinates with other services offered. Some of these include referrals to housing and employment resources for those at risk of homelessness, and pairing with law enforcement officers and social workers to manage legal issues. The primary counselor serves as an advocate for the client and provides continuous assessment, planning, coordination and monitoring.

In Summary

The range of other services provided make Directions For Living an attractive choice for outpatient substance abuse treatment. For those facing homelessness, with co-occurring disorders, or looking for treatment as a family, great support is available. Fees for intake evaluation are $140, with group and individual therapy between $100 and $120 per session.

Directions For Living Location

Directions For Living Main Office
8550 Ulmerton Rd, Ste 130
Largo, FL 33771

Directions For Living Cost

$100-$120 (per session). Reach Directions For Living by phone at (727) 524-4464 or by email. Find Directions For Living on Facebook

Do you have a complaint or review of Directions For Living to add? Use the comments area below to add your Directions For Living review.



  1. Appalled Caretaker on

    Over 2 1/2 years ago, a friend’s current counselor referred him to Directions For Living. Someone was supposed call him back to explain intake. Didn’t happen. He called to follow up and was told to come in at 8am first come first serve despite the referral. He went and was sent home without being seen.

    Several months later, he tried again. He showed up on time. They sent him home after 1pm because they were so busy. Said he should come back. He didn’t bother. Would you go for a third strike?

    About a year ago, my friend attempted suicide and again was referred to Directions For Living. I was present when he managed to get an appointment over the phone. He showed up on time. Waited for hours. Eventually spoke with someone and because it was getting late, he was sent home with a huge questionnaire to complete.

    We spent over 2 hours completing the form together because he could not do it alone. He took it in and was told someone would call him to schedule an appointment. That took more than a month and a few calls by him, at my urging. That appointment turned out to be a couple months later. I nagged him to call back for an earlier appointment. He was told they were short staffed and hiring more counselors, that he would have to wait. He waited.

    In the meantime, he was mailed a copy of a summary which significantly diminished what seemed to be the purpose of the questionnaire. I called Directions For Living to find out why the summary read as if it were about another individual. There was no explanation. Discussion was forcefully changed and abruptly ended.

    Months later he was given an appointment. He shows up on time. Came home saying he wasn’t sure what happened, that he had been sent home without seeing a counselor. I called this time and complained to a staff member who scheduled another appointment. After that, I began calling to follow up because he had given up. This went on for months until he went to an unrelated appointment at Pinellas County Health downtown Clearwater. There he asked for counseling and it was suggested the Directions For Living counselor at PCH might have more time.

    I went with him to that appointment to be sure he was seen and treated respectfully, because prior to that appointment, his new therapist called me (my friend was using my number temporarily) expecting to get him. Because he was not home and a release of info had been signed, I began telling the counselor what was going on. At first she listened, then she laughed when I told her the medication he was on made him loose control of urinary function and he peed his pants while asleep. She thought that was so funny. I was appalled. I didn’t tell him about that until he had seen her once more. When he seemed uncomfortable and wouldn’t say why, I urged him to change therapists. He did.

    Between untreated anxiety and depression, deep sadness, and frustration with medication that led him to withdraw from school, he began behaving way out of character such that I had to call police for intervention. He also ended up in the ER, where a psych nurse said he should be Marchman Acted. I called Directions For Living explaining that coping with these kinds of things is beyond my ability and asked that his next appointment be scheduled sooner. He was scheduled for two days later.

    The new therapist shoved AA groups at him. A full year has passed since the suicide attempt. Alcohol was never the core problem, but what he went to when meds did not work. Individual therapy would surely have helped a great deal during this past year. Instead, he continues to struggle alone with nightmares, extreme anxiety, extreme depression, panic attacks, bruxism, severe leg cramps at night, intermittent bowel and urinary problems, ED, cannot drive or work with or without medication (mobility / coordination is such that he walks crooked and cannot ride a bicycle), and chronic insomnia due to pain and anxiety and depression.

    This is how Directions For Living has ‘treated’ him for more than 2 1/2 years.

  2. They are a horrible facility, “Erratic” behavior and false police reports against parents fighting for their children, They give kids to abusive care givers then call the parent crazy for finding the information out. This Organization needs new staff or shut down, they are just old YFA workers who were shut down already, They do not assist parents to be reunited they take way too long to confirm funding and just hate parents.

  3. The child welfare system that Directions for Living administers is absolutely horrific. They keep children away from their parents, to grow apart, and build a wall between families. This organization does not believe in reunification, as they say. My girlfriend has been fighting for her children back for over 6 months, after simply having them removed for crying, and being reported that she was acting “erratic”. The caseworker has the children scared to even go back to the mother, as they placed the children with the father who has a history of domestic violence, 2 batteries, and sexual misconduct. The mother has completed her case plan months ago, and also paid thousands of dollars to psychiatrists for evaluations to prove she is completely normal, and she was in an abusive relationship that she couldn’t get away from. This is so pathetic for women out there who have to suffer abuse, and when looking for assistance, rather than getting the help they deserve, they lose their children? This is definitely not the end of this, if I have anything to say or do with this organization.

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