Michael’s House started in 1989, when Arlene Rosen founded the center in Palm Springs, California after her son Michael was found dead of a drug overdose in a hotel room in the Fiji Islands. The family had grown up in Bel Air, and Michael had become a racecar driver. He was only 25 years old when he died.
But it’s worth mentioning that Michael’s House isn’t the same 24-bed center it was when Arlene founded it. In 2006, they merged with the Foundations Recovery Network (based in Nashville, Tennessee) and now have four facilities in Palm Springs—one a residential detox center, two for treating men and women separately, and one for their outpatient program.
Accommodations and Food
Housing here is middle-range—efficient but not fancy—with twin-sized beds and anywhere between one and three people to a room. Both men and women’s facilities are similar in amenities—each has pools, hot tubs, basketball hoops and volleyball nets. Chefs prepare all the meals and the focus is on nutritious and fresh food designed for gradual digestion rather than the quick highs and lows of carbohydrate and sugar-derived energy.
Treatment and Staff
Their recent merger with Foundations means adapting to the conglomerate’s new (and, federal studies show, more effective) “Integrated Treatment Model” of recovery. Mostly what that means for residents is that in addition to the 12-step philosophies of AA, NA and DRA (Dual Recovery Anonymous), Michael’s House also embraces a three-step level system that determines how much freedom residents are granted to participate in certain activities.
Treatment takes a holistic and moderately individualized approach with support for dual-diagnosis, and even offers LGBT-friendly program tracks for both men and women. For inpatient, residents check in first at the Stabilization Center for detox and orientation before being transferred to either a male or female facility (complete with all male and female staff, respectively). Outpatient clients, on the other hand, do their treatment at their own facility.
The Michael’s House staff includes psychologists, psychiatrists and medical doctors, as well as a nursing staff that’s on-call 24 hours a day. Therapy groups are held daily and led by any one of the trained professionals on staff. Clients’ term of treatment can last anywhere from 30-90 days, although the programs are designed for 45 day stints, which is the recommended minimum stay.
Everyone at Michael’s House receives a minimum 20 hours of group therapy a month and two individual therapy sessions per week. All treatment modalities used here are evidence-based, including motivational interviewing, CBT/DBT and life skills training. There are also some gender-specific aspects to their recovery program, such as body image groups for women and a greater focus on opening emotional expression for men. Overall, residents’ daily schedules are full and fairly structured, typically kicking the day off with a 6 am wake-up call.
An added perk to treatment here is the offering of horticultural therapy, which is therapist-led gardening and plant-based activities that have shown to yield specific therapeutic healing.
Exercise is also a priority at Michael’s House and their program includes several physical activities like yoga, hiking and adventure therapy—a psychological treatment expedited through games, trust building activities, problem solving scenarios, wilderness expeditions and various outdoor pursuits.
Overall, Michael’s House is a better-than-average mid-range rehab with a solid balance of traditional and alternative therapies, and they make an effort to ensure all their methods are scientifically sound. It’s not the most luxurious spot Palm Springs has to offer, but what it lacks in luxury it makes up for in quality.
430 S Cahuilla Rd
Palm Springs, CA 92262
1910 South Camino Real
Palm Springs, CA 92262
Do you have a complaint or review of Michael’s House to add? Use the comments area below to add your Michael’s House review.