Wildwood is called “the house” because it’s a family oriented and loving home. Co-founded by Dr. Walter Thomas in 2011, Wildwood is a mid-level treatment facility in a private Thousand Oaks residence known for its community focus. Dr. Thomas and his daughter (also a doctor) work with certified counselors and contracted group therapists to tackle addiction and dual diagnosis treatment with an integrated mind-body-spirit approach with 12-step ideology at its core.
Accommodations and Food
Enveloped by Wildwood Regional Park, the grounds of this renovated five-bedroom house are expansive, with several communal outdoor spaces and easy access to hiking trails. Room assignments are not guaranteed upon check in at Wildwood, nor are they set in stone. Sleeping arrangements are dictated by gender and group consensus. There are no more than six people in residence at one time, with clients sleeping in queen beds, sharing four bright and well-appointed bedrooms (one of them the master), three bathrooms, a communal kitchen, family and dining rooms.
Clients prepare their own breakfasts as well as weekend meals from the fully stocked pantry, and coffee is available until noon. During the week, lunch and dinner are served buffet style in the dining room—look for a vegetable, a starch and a protein. Meals are prepared at the chef’s discretion, but special dietary request will be honored as long as they are voiced; vegan and vegetarian options can be included in the buffet, and there is always a salad offering as well as fresh fruit.
Wildwood also offers nutrition counseling and a food and body image group led by an eating disorder specialist in order to bring awareness to the possibility of cross addictions.
Treatment and Staff
Emphasis is on the group at Wildwood. Treatment builds on CBT and DBT with experiential, mind-body and creative therapeutic techniques to initiate healing. After a comprehensive assessment and examination to determine specific needs (supervised detox, concurrent mental health concerns), clients are assigned customized treatment plans. Going forward, they are scheduled to see the doctors and individual therapists once a week.
Days begin and end with off-site 12-step meetings, with group processing and activities in between. Though there are only two full-time certified staff members for three clients, there may be eight to 10 contracted therapists coming in to lead a variety of groups each week. Because treatment at Wildwood is grounded in the principles of the 12 steps, residents are required to get sponsors, and completing step work is a condition of graduating from the program.
Clients are asked to commit to a minimum of 30 days, with the option of extending through 90 days, at which point Wildwood will help clients facilitate a move to a transition home or a sober living, with the goal of maintaining established connections to the local sober community.
Wildwood does not allow personal electronics, but does offer 10 minutes of house phone time per day. Internet access is granted for emergent necessities only; television hours begin at 5 pm with viewing schedules voted on by the house.
Weekly family nights and weekend visits accommodate friends as well as children, and though the house does not provide soda or sweets, there are no restrictions on these things being brought in by visiting family members.
Wildwood’s integrated approach to treatment is expansive, but in a safe and intimate environment that might appeal to those looking to be nurtured in a sober family experience.
Wildwood Recovery Center
360 Camino De Celeste
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
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