Our Methods

designed to fit your needs


Non-12 Step Approach

Malibu Hills uses a modem approach of intensive therapy, self-empowerment and self-motivation. We recognize that each client is different, and therefore we specifically tailor our programs to each individual's unique needs. Our programs are non-religious and are not based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Many of our clients have tried the 12 steps model and other programs prior to coming to treatment and have not found success. Malibu Hills does recognize 12 step programs as a good support system and a smart choice for after treatment.


Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a research-based treatment modality used in the treatment of a variety of mental health issues, including substance-use. It is not uncommon for individuals struggling with substance-use issues to experience persistent negative thought processes which leads to distressing emotions and self-destructive behaviors. Cognitive­behavioral strategies are based on the premise that faulty or distorted thought patterns play a critical role in the development and maintenance of maladaptive behaviors, such as substance­use. CBT helps the individual learn to identify, challenge, and alter negative thought patterns, which in turn leads to improved emotional states and behavioral functioning. Through CBT, individuals gain self-control and efficacy through use of healthy coping skills. Specific techniques include using a cost-benefit analysis to explore the positive and negative consequences of continued drug use, self-monitoring to recognize cravings early, identifying internal and external triggers that put one at risk for use, and developing strategies for coping with cravings and managing triggers. The CBT approach to substance-use also incorporates homework assignments which are completed in between sessions to reinforce concepts learned and maximize treatment efficacy.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy was developed in the late 1970s by Marsha Linehan and is used in treating a wide range of disorders such as substance-use. DBT has been shown to be a highly effective treatment model for substance-use given the correlation between emotional dysregulation and unsafe behavior, such as using drugs or alcohol. DBT integrates principles of CBT and is specifically designed to improve emotional and behavioral functioning by strengthening four core components: distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and mindfulness. Through DBT, individuals learn healthy ways to manage and/or change painful emotional states which may trigger substance-use. DBT also enhances interpersonal functioning by helping the individual learn assertive, appropriate ways to express thoughts and feelings within relationships in order to get needs met.

One-on-one Therapy

Research shows that the most important key to successful therapy is the therapeutic relationship between the client and the therapist. Malibu Hills highly value the importance of having a safe and trusting environment so that you can practice honesty and vulnerability which are necessary parts of healing and recovery. One-on-one therapy is structured to build a strong alliance with your therapist. You will be working very closely with your primary therapist by having individual therapy sessions five times a week. Regular interactions with a single therapist are designed to help you uncover the underlying issues that causes the alcohol abuse, drug dependency and maladaptive patterns. Your dedicated therapist will help you build a strong foundation for your recovery while helping you repair the relationship with yourself and others. The treatment goal is to treat the whole person, not just the addiction. This means that our highly skilled therapists and medical staff will treat any and all co-occurring disorders, such as bipolar disorder, PTSD, anxiety, and depression. The therapeutic relationship will help you move through the Stages of Change and to identify barriers to long-lasting recovery. The therapy sessions will also guide you to explore and mindfully experience variety of emotions that may be repressed, evaluate past and/or present relationships such as family, friends and significant others that may have negatively influenced one's unhealthy and irrational view of themselves and/or others. We will be setting treatment goals collaboratively to address one's unique experiences and concerns. However, psychotherapy requires a very active effort on your part. In order to be most successful, you will have to work on things we discuss outside of sessions.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

Equine therapy, also known as equine-assisted therapy (EAT), is a treatment that includes equine activities or an equine environment to promote physical, occupational, and emotional growth in persons with anxiety, depression, behavioral issues, abuse issues, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), drug and alcohol addiction, and other mental health problems. Horses, due to their unique animal nature, act as mirrors for our inner selves. They provide opportunities for us to develop greater self-awareness, increased self-confidence, and improved relationships - both personally and professionally. Equine therapy can involve more than just riding the horse. In some sessions, a client might not even touch the horse at all. Often the mental health professional leading the session will set goals for the client to complete, such as leading the horse to a designated area or putting a halter on the horse. The client will complete the task to the best of their ability and then discuss the thought process, ideas and problem solving used to complete the task. Not only is there communication between the rider and the instructor, but also between the rider and the horse.

The Equine Therapy is not about riding or horsemanship. It's about partnership, communication, and authenticity; and having fun along the way. Working with a professional staff and the horses can help you discover a solution-focused approach to current problems, practice resilience, and live your inner strength, personal power, and integrity. Additional benefits of Equine therapy are to help you set healthier boundaries, gain insight about your interpersonal and communication skills with others, practice coping skills such as how to say no, develop leisure skills, increase self-esteem, reduce anxiety and aggression, and build trust for yourself and others.



Acupuncture practice is based on the philosophy that healing comes from within. In Chinese medicine, the human body is considered to be a complex network of intricately related processes played upon by opposing forces (Yin and Yang). Health is viewed as the maintenance of balance and harmony between Yin and Yang, while illness is an expression of unbalance and disharmony between Yin and Yang. Acupuncture is an important treatment modality in manipulating and balancing Yin and Yang. Acupuncture improves the body’s functions and promotes the natural self-healing process by stimulating specific anatomic sites – commonly referred to as acupuncture points, or acupoints. The most common method is used to stimulate acupoints is the insertion of fine, sterile needles into the skin.

Because the goal of acupuncture is to promote and restore the balance of energy, which flows throughout the body, the benefits of acupuncture can extend to a wide variety of conditions, from emotional disorders (anxiety, depression) to digestive complaints (nausea, vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome). Acupuncture has also proved beneficial for easing detox/withdrawal symptoms, alleviate feelings of anger and aggression, balance brain chemistry, and promote overall well-being. It has been shown to assist in the treatment of emotional pain syndromes such as post-traumatic stress disorder. It can be beneficial for pain syndromes due to an injury or associated with chronic degenerative diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. It can also be helpful in treating neurological problems like migraines. Respiratory conditions, including sinusitis and asthma have been relieved with acupuncture.

Art Therapy

Art therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the creative process of making art to improve a person's physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Art therapy involves the creation of art in order to increase awareness of self and others. This in tum may promote personal development, increase coping skills, and enhance cognitive function. It is based on personality theories, human development, psychology, family systems, and art education. Art therapists are trained in both art and psychological therapy. Our art therapist is trained to recognize the nonverbal symbols and metaphors that are communicated within the creative process, symbols and metaphors that might be difficult to express in words or in other modalities. It is this idea of self-exploration that can often lead a person to some insightful conclusions about themselves. Art therapy can help you process emotions and feelings that you are struggling with, so you can begin healing.

Art therapy is a mental health profession in which clients, facilitated by the art therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem. A goal in art therapy is to improve or restore a client's functioning and his or her sense of personal well-being. The art image becomes significant in enhancing verbal exchange between the person and the therapist and in achieving insight; resolving conflicts; solving problems; and formulating new perceptions that in turn lead to positive changes, growth, and healing. You don't need to be talented or an artist to receive the benefits, and our art therapist will work with you to dive into the underlying messages communicated through your mi, which will aid in the healing process.



Group Therapy

Sometimes group therapy can be very effective when analyzing and solving the nature of problems. Group therapies typically involve one or more psychologists who lead a group of patients through discussions and exercises. Being part of a group therapy might be intimidating at first, but group members can often gain a lot more insight after the experience. These groups function as a support network allowing patients to discover more possible causes and more possible strategies to solving their problem.

Reiki Therapy

Reiki comes from Japan as a technique for de-stressing, relaxing and healing. The purpose  is to increase and free the energy flow in one's own body. While traditional massages are more vigorous and aimed toward freeing up muscle groups, Reiki uses only touch or sometimes only the proximity of a healer's hand to particular parts of the body. The healer may shift between 10-20 different hand positions while moving up and down the body, encouraging the flow of one's own energy or "Chi".

Massage Therapy

Our bodies are very reflective of our current mood and mindset. If we are depressed, we often sulk by hunching down and curling up. Sometimes just by changing the position of our body, like sitting a little straighter,  can help shift our mindset and begin making positive changes. Massages are great for loosening tight muscles and breaking poor posture habits. They are also great for releasing tension. Often  after a session, there is a feeling of having weight lifted off our shoulders. We often carry too much stress and need to find various methods of letting go burdens.


Neurofeedback is the training of brain function, allowing the brain to function more directly and effeciently. These scans are also often referred to as electroencephalogram, or EEG. They are essentially heat and activity maps of the brain that show the active regions during thinking. By recording the brain as the patient goes through different thought exercises, the information can then be analyzed and studied for discrepancy.

This is a great tool for helping to improve certain problem areas like attention, anxiety, depression, and migraines. Neurofeedback is great for learning how to achieve the optimal performance level. By learning how to utilize your brain to its full potential, you can begin  to think clearer and more rationally in various situations or problems with addiction.

Spiritual Counseling

At Malibu Hills, we have spiritual counselors who can help guide you along your path to spiritual growth. Sometimes we struggle to find answers to questions such as finding life purpose, overcoming obstacles, or understanding loss. Spiritual counseling can help someone expand their view of life and recognize the significance and connectedness of all things in life.

questions? Ask Us