Walden Reviews, Cost, Complaints

Walden Anchor Residential


Named for Henry David Thoreau’s rumination on simple living in natural surroundings, Walden is a community-based nonprofit that has been offering comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment services since 1973. The organization operates six locations in southern Maryland. At the Anchor treatment center in Charlotte Hall, they provide medically monitored detox, medical stabilization and residential services including dual diagnosis support and Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT).

Accommodations and Food

Walden’s Anchor residential treatment center is a freestanding, one-story brick building. Women and men are housed separately in the facility. All rooms are shared with either two or three beds, and a private bathroom is provided with each room. There are typically 21 clients in residence at one time. All residential clients must turn over their cell phones and personal devices upon arrival, though there is a public phone available for use if needed. A lounge area is open to those in the long-term units and offers a TV and sitting areas for relaxing during breaks and down times.

A cafeteria serves three meals a day from a catering service, so multiple food options are not readily available. If a client reports an allergy prior to starting the program, specialty menus can be provided. For residents staying more than 30 days, there is a snack bin where non-perishable snack foods can be stored.

Smoke breaks can be taken throughout the day in a secluded outside area. Walden provides on-site laundry and detergent to every resident so laundry can be done on a regular basis.

Treatment and Staff

The Anchor center offers extensive treatment options and individualized care for adults. The North Star program consists of monitored detox, medical stabilization and group and individual counseling, which is similar to Intensive Outpatient (IOP) . The Compass Program resembles a sober-living environment, enabling clients to attend work and school while still receiving support during evening treatment sessions.

Depending on needs, specialized techniques such as CBT, MRT and therapies for co-occurring conditions may be used during therapy sessions. It is worth noting that Walden does not subscribe to the 12- step philosophy or use the 12 steps in any of their treatment programs. Family involvement is encouraged during the treatment process.

Outpatient services are offered at both the Charlotte Hall and Waldorf locations. IOP has either day or evening schedules and consists of approximately nine hours of group or individual therapy per week. Outpatient has three levels; the level to which clients are assigned depends on the initial assessment. Early Education requires two hours per week for six weeks; Specialized Treatment, which is mainly for court-ordered clients, requires 12 hours of therapy over six weeks; and Level One involves one and a half hours of individual or group therapy per week for an unspecified length of time. Group sessions vary in time since the programs are set up to be flexible to accommodate clients’ schedules.

Specialized adolescent outpatient treatment is available at the Waldorf location only. This program is for ages 12 to 17 and focuses on the Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach. Treatment involves group and individual therapy and uses both CBT and the Seven Challenges. As with the adult program, length of treatment and therapy options are discussed at initial assessment to determine what works best for the client and family.

Staff at all locations is a mix of medical doctors, psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, addiction specialists and counselors.


While there is no set exercise program at Walden’s Anchor residential facility, there is a gym with workout equipment available and a ping-pong table in the common room. Smoke breaks can be taken throughout the day in a secluded outside area.

Anchor offers the SMART system for family members and friends of clients every Tuesday evening at the Lexington location. The Cove/DFZ (drug free zone) at the California location is a sober hangout for adolescents that is open from 12 noon to 7 pm during the week and offers outings on the weekends for families.

In Summary

Walden covers all the bases for those seeking treatment. With both adult and adolescent residential and outpatient options of varying intensities, there is a program to suit just about anybody. The one exception is that those seeking a 12 step-based program will need to keep looking.

Walden Review

44871 St Andrew’s Church Rd
California, MD 20619

Walden Cost

Cost varies by program. Reach Walden by phone at (301) 997-1300 x 8022, or by email at [email protected]. Find Walden on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn 

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


1 Comment

  1. If i could give this place 0 Stars i would. I was a previous client at Walden Sierra and i would like to give my feedback on my experience while there. STAY AWAY from this rehab. To start i was there for 14 days and it was a nightmare. We are not served hot food for breakfast only cereal and toast every morning. The groups are totally out of control and you have a hard time focusing because the staff or leader of the groups have zero control. There are only a select few staff that actually care about us clients as a whole. Such as Godfree, Katrina, Crystal, and Karla. My counselor that i had to start with was a complete fail for myself. I met with her for the first time for about 15 minutes and that was to surface why i was at anchor. I went over several things i wanted to work on the next 14 days and asked for assignments to help me over come certain things that i have been through in my life. I received 2 packets that were printed out of a notebook that were four pages long. The were short and surfaced that i was able to complete both of them in 45 minutes. I begged for more, only to receive another one 3 days before leaving which was yet another disappointment. My counselor was leaving to go on vacation for 10 days and i was trying to get my aftercare set up for when i was leaving the following week. I am on a maintenance program and had zero help in finding a clinic. My counselor was of no help. I used the phone for about a hour and a half calling number after number that i found in a resource book. My mother ended up calling and saying that she would pay for me to do self pay maintenance in which i was trying to explain i could not afford. However my counselor said that was my option i used the phone to much and that i could no longer continue to keep calling places. That was my first obstacle my second was trying to get into a recovery house which i mentioned when i first walked into Walden. Because of being on maintenance there are few houses that will take you on maintenance. I had a network of people from home and having clean time previously that i called before coming into treatment that were trying to help me. Once my counselor left for vacation i was pushed onto yet another counselor who not only didn’t help me but also lied to me. He called a program telling me it was a recovery house it was not it was a long term treatment facility. When he mentioned that in on of our groups i became very angry because under no way shape or form was that what i was looking for and he knew this. The counselor became very angry and frustrated with me and said i wasted a hour of his time in his office the previous day calling that facility. The problem was when he finally allowed me to be on speaker phone he was doing all the talking not me and i told him i needed time to think about it. All of the information i was gathering just didn’t make sense but yet he was still saying it was a recovery house. LIES LIES LIES. That same counselor discussed 2 different clients situations with me which he should not have done mainly because im another client. He violated the HIPPA Act Law by speaking to me about any of the reasons why they were here or that the one boy was out of control by not following the rules that he was kicked out of 5 recovery houses in 1 year that is why he is recommending more intensive treatment for him, and that if the boy didn’t do that he would end up going back to jail. IT was serious information that should not have been discussed with me, which made me wonder who is he talking about my problems too. What other client knows things about me that i haven’t shared about in groups. I didn’t know that the one girl he was talking to me about had low self esteem, tried or wanted to commit suicide before and was kicked out or left 11 other rehabs. Another patient that i didn’t know any of those things until the counselor Matt openly told me in his office the day prior to leaving. I was supposed to be in correspondence with probation while i was there and begged my counselor several times to call, have they called him yet over and over and over again. I was told they had contacted him 3 times. That was another LIE. I was told that the reason they didn’t contact him was because i gave my cell phone number as his office phone. That wasn’t the case for sure when i know his number by heart because i would call him every opportunity i got a phone just to check in and leave a message. Why did they wait till the day before i was leaving to say they haven’t called anyways? probably because i wasn’t giving up till i spoke with my counselor and probation officer at the same time. The staff can google coloring pages to print out for us how come they couldn’t google my po’s number. THE STAFF doesn’t care about us clients were just a paycheck. Please Keep your Family Away From this Rehab. Take them where they can get the help that they need. Walden will not help you except give u a bed for 14 days to sleep.THIS PLACE IS A NIGHTMARE AND SHOULD BE SHUT DOWN!!

    My friend was on a taper of methadone and was told he could detox at Walden within 2 weeks. Still 2 weeks later he was still not being tapered off and had to stay 3 more weeks because Walden made a mess up with the paperwork. My poor friend stuck it out and is sticking it out because he wants to stay clean but Kristy Burns and Cody who are intake for Walden did nothing to help him at all. The ydont do interventions for clients when they want to leave to use they just say BYE and that’s it. There is no compassion for the struggling addict at all at this place. It’s disappointing that this is where i started my recovery. I wanted to work on so much and got no help from any staff member or pushed off to the next one to talk to. Karla would say when i would begin to talk im sorry you feel like this but that would be it no solution no nothing. When i explained i needed help so bad with finding a clinic not one person that was staff pulled me to there office to help me figure something out instead i was left to do self pay that i cannot afford and be pushed aside once again. I didn’t get to get any of my grief issues out, work on unhealthy relationships nothing. I want everyone to know that Walden Anchor is a joke of a program and will voice my experiences loud so other peoples family members dont go thru the LIVING HELL that i did at this place and what i have witnessed happening to others.

    Breaking confidentiality between counselor and patient is unacceptable to anyone and should not be happening.

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