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Friday, January 22, 2021

Transitional Living at The Haven

Please watch this quick video about our Transitional Living Program at The Haven at Pismo.

Throughout your recovery journey, we can be the home you are looking for. We recognize the incredibly challenging process of addiction recovery, and we work to provide a space that fosters the sort of healing you need during your life-saving change. When finishing a detox program, or leaving residential treatment, it is important to have a plan of where you are going to go after. Some find if they return home with little thought, they are reentering an environment rife with their previous stressors and triggers endangering their recovery.

This is exactly why transitional living options exist to help sustain your progress until you feel ready to reintroduce yourself to scenarios that require long-term self-control. The US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health did a study on how transitional living situations can help lower readmissions and relapses, and recognize that this transition period is crucial to long-term sobriety.

The Haven’s Transitional Living is a structured environment where guests are accountable to their housemates and the on-site house manager. This allows you to recover and build your lifestyle around having healthy routines and practicing doing so with others in the same situation. Our clients follow designated procedures and agree to a lifestyle covenant to show their commitment to changing their lives. In exchange for this adherence, they can enjoy amenity-rich surroundings where they live out what they’ve learned in recovery and begin to fully embrace a substance-free lifestyle. Most importantly, The Haven at Pismo Transitional Living program presents a unique opportunity for Haven clients to gradually implement best practices learned at The Haven residences in a real-world environment.

Features of The Haven Transitional Living

Our environment offers a private haven for those needing a safe and serene setting to continue their recovery, with our medically supervised spaces and top-quality care available to you at all times. As the only detox and residential treatment center on the Central Coast of California, The Haven’s Transitional Living Program is a peaceful, supportive environment that includes these features:

  • Private & shared rooms. Depending on your preference and our room availability, Haven accommodations are available in private and shared configurations. Each bedroom includes a full, private bath. This can help provide options that work for your price range as well.
  • Unparalleled views. Located above the coves, tide pools, and bluffs at Pismo’s Shell Beach, Haven’s transitional living community enjoys a blend of year-round sun and coastal charm. There is something healing about waking up to a captivating view.
  • In-house, chef-prepared dinners. At the Haven, we believe food is one of life’s joys, in addition to providing fuel for the recovery journey. Our facility is home to a skilled culinary team, and residents of our transitional homes enjoy nightly nutrient-dense meals that incorporate farm-to-table options, organic local produce, and special nutritional requirements. You will never have to worry about nourishment with our culinary team.
  • Morning meditation. Our residents’ practice morning meditation together to help them start the day off right, focus their minds, and stay centered as they go about work, leisure, and daily routines. Mindfulness will be a theme you’ll notice when you choose to make The Haven your home.

Benefits of Choosing Transitional Living

For many people, transitional living is a natural step in the progression of substance or co-occurring disorder recovery. The goal of The Haven’s Transitional Living Program is to help men and women successfully reintegrate themselves into their families, workplaces, and social circles while encouraging lifestyle choices that promote sustained, thriving sobriety.

Transitional living at Pismo Beach provides clients a safety net with several proven benefits:
  • Emotional support to reduce the risk of relapse.
  • Opportunities to develop new patterns of living & improve critical life skills.
  • Access to therapists, addiction specialists & sober support teams.
  • Regular drug tests & accountability practices.

Inquire Today About Transitional Living Availability

Our transitional living is located in Gover Beach, California, part of the stunning Central Coast. Here, we create an idyllic setting where clients can seek serenity, build thriving relationships, and pursue healing from drug or alcohol dependency. When you live in our transitional living, you are a part of our integrated recovery program for substance abuse and co-occurring disorders and will receive all the services included in those programs. The Haven at Pismo is currently only offering a transitional living program for male clients who have completed residential treatment or are enrolled in The Haven’s Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) or Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). We are looking forward to announcing a female-only transitional house soon, continue to follow us on social media for these updates.

Transitional living at The Haven is welcoming, confidential, and staffed by a team dedicated to providing the tools and support you need to live life substance-free. Speak with a recovery advisor or to learn more information about our transitional homes in Pismo Beach. Call 805.202.3440 now.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Is Individual Therapy the Right Choice For Me in 2021?

Which direction do you want your life to go this year? The new year will bring about a new set of challenges, and after the amount of chaos 2020 brought, it might be scary to imagine going into 2021 alone. Whether you have tried to recover from addiction in the past or not, it is always a good idea to check in with yourself at the beginning of each year to see if you could benefit from additional support such as regular therapy.

Let’s discuss some reasons having a clinician’s support could be a good idea for you in 2021. One-on-one sessions with an empathetic counselor can be so helpful during addiction treatment because:

  • Individual therapy sessions give you time and space to work through emotional difficulties that feel too private to bring up with others you are close to.
  • Personal sessions can help you build on the work you are already doing to help you stay dedicated to pursuing your course of treatment.
  • Therapy can provide additional motivation that can help you achieve long-term sobriety.
  • One-on-one therapy can help you continue working on the multifaceted psychological issues associated with substance misuse once your addiction treatment program has run its course.

What Are the Benefits of Individual Therapy?

While at The Haven, we believe individual counseling in addition to group therapy is a powerful combination that has helped many men and women overcome the disease of addiction.

Here are some ways to recognize if individual therapy could be particularly beneficial to you:
  • If you are at any risk of relapse or feel you have stopped making progress in your recovery, despite your best efforts to stay sober.
  • If you constantly feel strained, anxious, or emotionally imbalanced.
  • If you want to understand why you initially became dependent on a substance and resolve the underlying issues that may have contributed to your addiction.

In the early phases of addiction treatment, individual therapy would focus primarily on how to break free of substance dependency, offering personalized strategies for remaining drug-free. Individual therapy also helps you explore the role drugs had in your life, and why you might have turned to these substances to cope. During these sessions, you and your counselor can untangle unaddressed emotional issues and provide you with the tools you need to maintain long-term abstinence.

What Will Individual Therapy Look Like?

We recognize that everyone is different and needs unique guides to help maintain a substance-free life. At The Haven at Pismo, our approach is tailored to you, and the amount of individual therapy you receive will depend on your level of care.

Our approach includes the following methods:

Supportive Psychotherapy

Supportive therapy is a form of psychotherapy that relies on the therapeutic alliance to ease symptoms, improve self-esteem, restore yourself to reality, regulate impulses and negative thinking, and reinforce the ability to cope with life stressors and challenges.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which includes:

  • Craving management
  • Trigger management
  • Management of re-addiction
  • Drug-drink refusal skills

Contingency Reinforcement

Through contingent reinforcement, we provide positive praise and provide motivation to eliminate the negative behaviors.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

This form of psychotherapy focuses on the unconscious content of your psyche to understand and process situations that may cause tension.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy

Interpersonal psychotherapy is a time-limited and brief, attachment-focused psychotherapy that focuses on resolving interpersonal problems and symptomatic recovery.

Addiction Psychopharmacology

Our team uses this comprehensive guide to the pharmacology of drugs to understand their abuse and the medications used to treat dependence on those substances.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavior therapy is an evidence-based psychotherapy that begins with efforts that have been found useful in treating mood disorders, self-harm patterns, and substance abuse.

Trauma Therapy

Through trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, we focus on addressing the emotional turmoil of childhood pasts, as well as any traumatic stress experienced since then that has triggered addiction.

Personalized Individual Therapy at The Haven at Pismo

No matter which way you look at it, individualized therapy is custom and personalized to you, which makes it so helpful and unique. Entering treatment for recovery can be one of the most difficult, yet also one of the most vital decisions you will ever make. Our compassionate team is ready to welcome you with open arms and help you get on the road to health, wellness, and improved quality of life.

When you are ready to break free of the burdens of substance abuse with professional, caring addiction recovery treatment on California’s Central Coast. We are here to talk to you 24/7, so reach out anytime.

Friday, January 8, 2021

The Detox Process At The Haven

Please watch this quick video about the detox process at The Haven at Pismo. 

As you rid your body of addiction-related substances, you may experience side effects that require holistic or pharmaceutical intervention. This is an extremely vulnerable process that we understand fully, which is why our team is here to safeguard your health, manage withdrawal symptoms, and provide compassionate care. Our staff is a huge part of what sets our care apart from others, and we hope to make that an undeniable part of your journey if you receive care with us.

Dangers of Detoxing Alone

Although it is still an extremely brave step to recover on your own, it can be a lot more difficult and potentially dangerous. The LHSFNA took a deep dive into HBO actor, Nelson Ellis, who passed away after attempting to detox from alcohol alone. One of their findings touched on the concern that withdrawal symptoms often vary from person to person. Without a medical professional prepared to step in, depending on the substance that you are withdrawing from, you may face a life-threatening situation.

Friday, January 1, 2021

5 Lessons Learned In 2020 To Help Us Stay Centered in 2021

According to studies, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use. Equally impressive is the number of people who were concerned about their mental health. From January to September 2020, 315,220 people took the anxiety screen, a 93 percent increase over the 2019 total number of anxiety screens. 534,784 people took the depression screen, a 62 percent increase over the 2019 total number of depression screens. 

2020 has definitely been an extremely hard year for all of us when it comes to mental health issues as well as substance abuse. However, it is important to remember that out of despair we can triumph. There were some good things that we can take away from 2020 to help us learn and grow for 2021 and the years to follow.

Let’s discuss the biggest lessons to take away from 2020 and how they can help us ground ourselves in 2021: 

Lesson 1: Our Desire To Stay Connected

Our desire to stay connected is undeniable! This past year, our society as a whole had the highest number of individuals using video calling than ever before. From Zoom calls to TikTok dances, our desire for connection has been apparent since the beginning of this year of isolation. We helped create new solutions in the fields of healthcare, education, and the workplace with the use of technology.

During the healing process, it is vital to have a support system and this year has opened our eyes to new ways of supporting each other. With families able to video call from different states, we are seeing momentum for communication and change that we hope does not slow down.

If you are thinking about going through detox or any other programs this upcoming year, make sure to establish your support network and account for the amazing technology available to do this.

Lesson 2: Accept What Is Out Of Our Control

This year we were forced to accept that there are a lot of things we have zero control over. From lockdowns, layoffs, natural disasters, and elections, there is no denying that someone you know has been affected by something from that small list of 2020 events. As we navigate life events that we can not control it's important to learn how to adapt healthily.

Accepting what is out of your control is a great lesson going into 2021 if you plan to start a recovery journey from addiction. Learning to only seek to control what you can control is a critical part of the healing process. We are glad to see this past year having this effect on us and truly getting us out of our comfort zone. Starting 2021 in this new territory will make it easier to seek out and make changes towards your future. Although New Year resolutions seem taboo and destined to fail, it's important to remember that this new year is going to bring a lot of new energy for everyone around a sense of hope. Use that energy to prosper. 

Lesson 3: Awareness Toward Sickness Spread

Our newfound awareness and care for spreading sickness are evident. From finding unique ways to see older family members without putting them at risk, to songs to help you wash your hands long enough, this year has been an advocate of health and sanitation. This will be a great lesson for us to carry into the future. Might we notice more regular mask-wearing during flu season? Will people wash and sanitize more often? Will restaurants keep some of the new cleaning guidelines year-round? Of course, we will always have germs to deal with, but it is nice to know this year provided some education we haven't been given in a while.

Lesson 4: Make Our Voice Heard

This year we all learned how important it is to listen to one another and to make your voice heard! We have had several movements across the US this year that gave voices to different minority groups. From #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo movements to the election season, no matter what you believe in, these issues all show the desire for people to want to be heard. We should encourage these passionate discussions and hope that we all have the opportunity to stand up for something we believe in.

In this next year, we hope you speak your truth. We all have a past that we need to heal from and we hope that others speaking out will help you speak out too. With honesty, there is acceptance. Use 2021 to discover your voice and what you want to be heard and go yell it from the mountain tops. 

Lesson 5: Stay Resilient

Resilience has been an undeniable takeaway from this year. 2020 gave us enough changes and traumatic events for a lifetime but we have truly grown and adapted to it all.

Adapting is our last and final lesson to carry over into 2021, adapting is proof that we can heal from our addictions and our mental health challenges. We hope that seeing the world stay resilient and adapt to new changes, will give you the courage to adapt to a new lifestyle and change habits that were dangerous towards yourself.

When you are ready to begin the healing process, The Haven at Pismo offers a full continuum of care, including intensive outpatient and residential treatment programs that give you the tools to live substance-free. Call now: 805.202.3440.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Burnout — Is Stress Affecting My Health?

2020 might be remembered as the Year of Stress. Pandemic fatigue, COVID-19 stress, and other issues with mental health have increased throughout the year, but there may be a silver lining: less stigma around therapy and tighter communities.

Stress is the body’s natural fight-or-flight response. It’s necessary for our survival, but when it’s triggered constantly, it can develop into any number of mental health disorders. 2020 has been ripe with stressors that cause anxiety, grief, and trauma. 

2020 Stress

As we wrap up the year, let’s evaluate: How has stress affected our mental health?


For many, the pandemic began with anxiety—we didn’t know much about the incoming coronavirus, and many of us were afraid of what could happen to us, to our family, to our way of life.

As the year went on, the pressures of the election, social unrest, and the unpredictability and fear of COVID only amplified feelings of anxiety. Anxiety might even continue at its peak as we near the holidays, with the pressures of gift-giving and family gatherings.

This constant worry is a source of stress, which can strain mental health, especially if you were already prone to suffer from mood disorders like anxiety or depression.


In 2020, people will experience grief and loss in ways we haven’t seen for a long time. And the grief isn’t just for those we have lost—that grief can already be unbearable—but also the loss of jobs, special events, travel plans, and routines. Each time people encounter aspects of their lives that have changed due to the pandemic, this triggers a sense of grief that builds on the 2020 stress.


Anxiety and loss develop into stress. But other situations arising from the pandemic can also cause stress, like watching others who don’t follow COVID restrictions. Observing family and friends acting in an unsafe manner can evoke particular stress if you are an essential worker doing all you can to protect your loved ones from the virus.

Furthermore, if you’re a parent or a student, online school is likely to cause stress and lead to burnout. Parents have to deal with their own workload and fulfill the role teachers once filled when checking on their students. Students have lost the socialization that they got from school and the positive attention they received in person from teachers. Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness understandably settle in.


Many people are experiencing constant trauma during 2020 and aren’t even aware of it. The body internalizes chronic stress, and the result is that we are stuck on high alert. Symptoms of trauma can include emotional numbness, persistent avoidance of reminders of the trauma, difficulty sleeping and concentrating and feeling jumpy and irritable.

Effects of Stress

Stress itself isn’t an issue, but over time it creates a buildup of cortisol in the brain, which can have long-term effects on your health. When you experience chronic stress, your body produces more cortisol than it can release. High levels of cortisol in your brain can wear down its ability to function properly. This can lead to less socialization, loss of brain cells, and a shrinking of the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for memory and learning. However, chronic stress might increase the size of the amygdala, making the brain more receptive to stress, creating a feedback loop.

Stress can also lead to effects on your body. Increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure are a few common effects of chronic stress. Stress can also affect other parts of your body, like your reproductive and digestive systems, while also damaging your immune system and worsening any illnesses you may already have. 

Silver Lining

Although we have lived through an especially difficult moment, 2020 has taught us some important lessons.

We have learned how to maintain connections with loved ones. Having honest conversations is necessary for our mental health, and we have learned how to have them, even if it’s through the phone.

Many people have begun to consider therapy to improve their well-being. Those with financial and social means have been more likely to reach out for help and work on themselves, which is overall a good thing. Hopefully, this will lead to less stigma surrounding therapy.

Onward, 2021

It’s important to look toward the future with optimism. If you’re feeling stressed about the pandemic, job loss, or any other issue, and you’re worried that it might contribute to your relapse, The Haven at Pismo is here to help. We provide individualized therapy and aftercare support that reaches to the core of your needs and develops your strengths to help you manage the stresses of 2020, 2021, and beyond. 

Connect with us today to learn how we can help you on your recovery journey.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Surviving the Holidays: Pandemic Edition

Planning for the holidays can be a stressful time with figuring out which friends or family you will go see if you are hosting, and when you will travel.

Now the Coronavirus has turned up the dial on these concerns and added its own problems along with it.

Changing Traditions

Affectionately held traditions may not be happening, in the same way, this year, and you are possibly wondering how to navigate this holiday season with both safety and celebration in mind. Understandably, you want to be able to be in the spirit of the season, but there might be a few things you want to consider before your holiday gathering. 

Ways to Make Connecting Over the Holidays Safer

  • Go Virtual. Though this has been the answer to many COVID concerns, it continues to be a good option over the holidays. This could allow you to expand your circle of people who you include to those who normally aren’t a part of your tradition.
  • Get Creative. Swap family recipes to enjoy your favorite dishes. Mail goodies or gifts to one another. Plan a group activity to watch a movie or a sporting event at the same time to enjoy time together in a different way.
  • Be Outside. If you are doing events in person, it is suggested to be outside if the weather permits. There could be a new holiday tradition of taking a walk together to look at decorations or have a distanced event in the backyard.
  • Follow the Guidelines. The CDC has given a wonderful guide for the holidays to consider keeping the season safe. Remember the basics of hand washing, wearing a mask, and keeping a distance if you are having any gatherings.

Set Expectations

It is important to remember that each person’s view of “safe” for the holidays could be very different. Conversations with family members about what the plans are this year are crucial to help this season go smoothly.

Before talking with family, it may be helpful to consider the level of risk you are comfortable taking. If your boundary is to celebrate in-person with the members of your household exclusively, make that clear from the beginning and have some suggestions prepared on how to connect in other ways. Some may feel strongly to keep the traditions the same but remind yourself that you do not need to give in to peer pressure.

Along with this, consider those other people may not feel comfortable with your plans. Maybe you designed an outdoor celebration with masking and someone you invited does not want to participate in person. Respect the decisions of others and do not take these actions as personal but as a measure of safety. Consider making portions of events virtual to include all parties. 

Loneliness, Grief, and Cravings

The holidays were a challenging time for many people pre-pandemic. It can be a reminder of the loss of loved ones and a time that most do not want to be alone. People may be grieving the loss of travel plans or their hopes for this past year, and this season there are families experiencing their first year without someone.

Loneliness and grief can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, or even suicidal thoughts. When experiencing these difficult feelings people can fall back to old coping mechanisms that are threatening to sobriety.

Don’t be surprised if you are feeling more triggered to drink or use drugs, as this is quite normal. What’s essential is recognizing that risk and caring for yourself.

Tips For Staying Sober Over the Holidays

  1. Set-Up Support: Make sure you are not keeping difficult emotions only to yourself. Call a loved one and let them know how you are feeling and take time to connect. There have also been virtual AA and NA meetings to provide a space to share struggles. You are not alone in this experience.
  2. Find Meaningful Activities: Take time to do the things that are special for you. Do you have a favorite cookie recipe or a movie you always watched with your family? Do the things that matter to you for the season or just in general. Taking this time will help build peace.
  3. HALT: If you are considering thinking about HALT (are you hungry, angry, lonely, or tired?). If you, then make a plan to address that need. Such as taking a nap, calling a friend, getting take-out, or going for a walk. Listening to your needs will help you feel more centered.
  4. Seek Help: Therapy is an option every step of the way to learn new tools, brainstorm ideas, and be a space to share. There is no wrong time to ask for help.
If you are needing support to deal with the emotional toll of the holidays this season - The Haven is here to help. Reach out today to talk about how we can support you or your loved ones.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Six Foundations of Recovery

At The Haven, we believe that recovery rests on six important foundations: motivation, coping with cravings, managing emotions, nurturing relationships, lifestyle balance, and finding purpose in life. Each is integral to the recovery process, so read below to learn more about what comprises a successful recovery.