South Bay Human Service Center
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South Bay Human Service Center


The Basics

Not far from the Olde Towne neighborhood and famous beaches of Torrance, California, a small outpatient facility called South Bay Human Service Center has been quietly safeguarding the mental health of Southern California residents for over 35 years. The nonprofit was founded in 1974 by a Vietnam veteran and MFT and has been providing affordable substance abuse treatment and mental health services ever since. SBSC offers Intensive Outpatient (IOP) substance abuse treatment to court-ordered individuals as well as those who sign up of their own volition.

Treatment and Staff

SBHSC is not 12-step oriented. Instead, it offers a variety of psychotherapies that focus on the emotional and social causes and consequences of substance abuse.

About 70 percent of SBHSC’s clients have been ordered by the courts to attend treatment at the facility, so the staff is experienced with the unique needs and challenges this population presents. For legally mandated attendees, the facility generally focuses on harm reduction, with the philosophy that if a recalcitrant drug abuser can’t be motivated to kick his or her drug-of-choice during a stint in mandatory therapy, he or she might at least be convinced to stop sharing needles. For individuals seeking IOP treatment without a court order, therapy is geared toward achieving their personal needs and goals.

Upon initial assessment, clients are given an individualized treatment plan that may include individual and group therapy sessions and an educational component. Clients with dual diagnoses, medical problems or other issues are referred elsewhere, as there are no medical doctors on staff.

While most of the clientele receiving treatment at SBHSC attend for the duration of their court-ordered requirements, the facility does offer three-, six- and 12-month IOP programs. Patients attending by choice continue treatment as needed.

Group therapy at SBHSC is either DBT and process-oriented or a more conversational approach. Court-ordered attendees and self-admitted patients often share the same groups, giving both populations the chance to interact with demographics they might otherwise not encounter.

Schools of individual therapy employed here include family systems and object relations. Therapeutic care in both group and one-on-one sessions focuses on relapse prevention, social skills, interpersonal skills and more.

Most individual therapy clients have sessions weekly, but group therapy sessions are scheduled six days a week. SBHSC offers flexibility; sessions can be booked six days a week, Monday through Saturday, including early morning and late evening sessions.

The 10-person staff at South Bay Human Service Center includes an LCSW, MFTs, Masters of Social Work and registered MFT interns.


While the majority of SBHSC clients are substance abusers, counseling for a variety of other psychological issues—including anger management, therapy for victims of domestic violence, parenting classes and couples counseling—is available. Additional services are provided for a variety of populations including adolescents and pregnant and postpartum women.

In Summary

SBHSC has provided Southern California with recovery from substance abuse and other mental health issues for over 35 years. While most clients do not attend this IOP program by choice, the professional employees, variety of treatment options and flexible schedule make it a good option for individuals looking for a no-nonsense, outpatient program in a convenient SoCal location.

South Bay Human Service Center
2370 W Carson St, Ste 136
Torrance, CA 90501

South Bay Human Service Center Cost: Sliding scale (minimum cost is $30 per group session and $60 per individual session). Reach South Bay Human Service Center by phone at (310) 328-0780 or by email at

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