Cliffside Malibu - Hazy Beach Cliffs

One-on-One Therapy

If you look at other treatment centers, you may find something quite disturbing – most if not all of their treatment is provided in group settings and, for individual therapy, clients can be bounced around among therapists in a “treatment group.” We find this practice in opposition to scientific best practices. The evidence base and our clinical experience both suggest that highly individualized, one-on-one psychotherapy and other adjunctive therapies provide the best basis for recovery.

Two people talking about psychotherapy at Cliffside Malibu, in Malibu, California.

One on One Psychotherapy

At Cliffside Malibu, all our clients see their primary psychotherapist 3 times a week for hour-long sessions. Our clients are all carefully assigned a therapist whose personality and training will best bring out the positive qualities each client brings to treatment. Our goal is to help clients quickly establish trust and rapport with someone, something they may not have had with anyone in quite some time. This is the basis of the therapeutic relationship.

Our low client to therapist ratio allows clients to have access to therapists whenever necessary. Our therapists are available on call 24 hours a day to assist clients in need. We understand that issues don’t only come up during therapy sessions. We want our clients to have the support they need whenever they need it.

By providing an intensive course of individual psychotherapy, the goal is that the client will establish rapport with the therapist in order to do very intensive work in a relatively short period of time. It is important to be able to identify and work through the underlying causes of addiction. Very often this is a deep-rooted pain – from childhood abuse or neglect, traumatic experiences, even physical traumas such as surgery. Whatever the cause of suffering, our therapists walk with the addict through the pain and help clients develop skills for dealing with difficult situations in the future.

One on one therapy at Cliffside Malibu, a treatment center in Malibu, California.

Establishing a Continuum of Care

The cornerstone of Cliffside Malibu’s treatment process is individual, intensive psychotherapy. After a complete initial assessment is conducted you will be assigned a top-notch therapist with whom you will have individual sessions. We provide you with this level of psychological care to help you work through the underlying issues that caused and propelled your alcohol abuse, drug dependency and maladaptive patterns.

One-on-one therapy at Cliffside Malibu is always conducted with your personal, dedicated therapist. We do not use “counseling teams.” Rather, we allow you to work with one of our therapists to allow you to form a trusting bond with someone who cares deeply about your recovery. This personal therapeutic relationship is important for two reasons. First, regular interaction with a single therapist will help you move through the Stages of Change, aiding you in creating a foundation for lasting recovery. It is difficult to move through the Stages of Change if you are being bounced from one therapist to another. Second, your therapist will provide the basis for a continuum of care – the ongoing development and delivery of the services that are most appropriate for your care and recovery.

At Cliffside Malibu, we treat not only addiction but the whole person. This means that our highly skilled therapists and your personal medical staff also treat any and all co-occurring disorders, such as bipolar disorder, PTSD, personality disorders, eating disorders, anxiety, and depression.

One-on-one therapy can take many forms, depending on what you most need. It may consist of a blend of intensive, short-term therapy models including but not limited to: cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, gestalt therapy, drama therapy, family systems therapy, family counseling, EMDR, or expressive art therapy. The type of therapy will depend on your individual needs, personal history, and stage of emotional and physical readiness to participate in the demands of a particular program.

Group of people sitting in chairs at group therapy at Cliffside Malibu, an addiction treatment center in Malibu, California.

Group Therapy

When group work is called for, and that is sometimes appropriate, we create very small groups to work around a particular issue. Additionally, our groups are never run by “techs.” All our groups are run by fully-qualified, licensed therapists. These are industry-leading professionals who have the experience necessary to make group work as positive an experience and as therapeutic as possible.

Other Individualized Treatments

Many of the treatments that we offer are done on an individual basis – from massage and acupuncture, to some meditation work and even, if needed, personal training. Individuals may also have life-coaching on a private basis. Others choose to interact with members of clergy from a particular religious group. Individual care is always an option and used regularly as deemed appropriate by the therapeutic staff.


Call now to speak confidentially with an admission counselor.

(424) 320-3061