Orange County is growing into a bastion of Christian-flavored rehabs thanks to the influence of the nearby Saddleback Church. The family-run, Jesus-friendly Hope By the Sea opened in 2003 with just six beds and now supports 57. Executive Director Chad Carlsen is a recovering addict and fitness expert while his father and co-founder Ernest brings medical and scientific expertise to this San Juan Capistrano facility.
Hope By the Sea lets its clients choose between a standard 12-step program and a Christian treatment track based on Rick Warren’s Celebrate Recovery program. This path includes CR meetings and Sunday worship services at the Saddleback Church, daily Christian devotionals and faith-based counseling. Regardless of which track clients choose, Hope By The Sea emphasizes finding one’s own inner strength in addition to spiritual healing.
Accommodations and Food
Though Hope by the Sea is not actually as on the sea as it claims to be (it’s about five minutes on the freeway away from it), it’s still a good location. Men and women stay in separate large houses stocked with equally comfortable furnishings. The men’s house features tennis courts and outdoor grilling areas, while the women’s house has a grand piano and a pool table, among other amenities. Both residences also feature swimming pools and gorgeous kitchens. The downside is that most residents sleep two or three to a room. Those looking to take the luxury up a notch can pay for executive treatment in the three-story Cook House, which boasts larger beds, more private rooms, jacuzzi bathtubs and shaded gardens. Truth be told, though, aside from those who really need the privacy, the regular housing is plush enough for all but the most refined palates. As is common with a lot of upscale southern California rehabs, meals are health-conscious and client dietary needs are happily accommodated.
Treatment and Staff
Hope By the Sea provides intervention and detox services, and any dual diagnoses are taken into consideration when crafting treatment plans for individual residents. The solid clinical staff includes specialists in trauma, anger control and marriage and family therapy, and counselors offer special group sessions to cater to the needs of professionals and young adults.
Each day follows a rigorous schedule that begins with a 6:30 am breakfast followed by either morning reflection or Christian devotionals. The rest of the morning consists of a rotating docket of groups, including CBT, psycho-education, psychodrama, relapse prevention and process groups. After lunch come more groups, gender-segregated gym sessions and daily chores. The day ends with dinner and a 12-step meeting.
Along with regularly scheduled gym time, other fitness activities include yoga and softball games. Friday afternoons are devoted to house outings, which are typically trips to the beach or one of the OC’s many famous malls. On weekends, clients can entertain visitors all afternoon, and Sunday mornings offer the choice of church services or a 12-step meeting in a local park. Families can pay an extra $500 to attend a three-day multi-family program.
After 30-90 days in residence, Hope By the Sea provides the option of extended care and sober living houses. For young adults in sober living, the Hope Academy College Program helps keep students on track with their academics as well as their recovery, imparting study tactics and life skills amidst continued counseling and meetings.
You don’t have to be a Christian to benefit from Hope By the Sea, though being a believer might give you reason to pick this facility over its many comparable peers. Whether its customers are seeking a specifically faith-based take on recovery or merely a pretty place to dry out in the SoCal sun, Hope By the Sea is relatively affordable for its level of comfort and care.
Hope By the Sea Location
27432 Calle Arroyo
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Hope by the Sea Cost
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