Psychiatry & Psychotherapy
Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Eating Disorders
San Pedro and Long Beach California

Psychiatry & Psychotherapy
Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Eating Disorders San Pedro and Long Beach California

(310) 957-2099
Call Us Today
Accepting Most Insurances

Start on January 1

The New Year is a time of reflection and change. For many, it marks a turning point and the opportunity for a fresh start toward personal progress and self-improvement. While resolutions vary from person to person, it comes as no surprise that sobriety is a common goal among people with a history of substance abuse and addiction. After all, addictive behaviors by nature are harmful and self-destructive.  If not sobriety a person may decide to reduce the frequency and amounts that they consume.

If you have made the decision to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink, quit drinking, stop abusing drugs or put a halt to addictive or compulsive behaviors, we here at Recovery NOW applaud you. However, the journey will not be an easy one. While admitting to an addiction and making a resolution for sobriety is a start, it is not enough. That is why we are listing our top tips for achieving your New Year’s goals and making them stick.


  1. Make Goals that are Realistic and Reasonable

Your perceived achievement in reaching your goals is largely determinant upon how you define them. Setting narrow goals for yourself is a platform for disappointment regardless of what you are attempting to change or overcome. It is easy to become discouraged if you measure your success by the number of times you fall short. Instead, aim to recognize personal growth along the way. If your resolution is to drink less,stop drinking, or quit drug use for example, make goals that embrace your progress rather than highlight your failures. Remember, setbacks do not end the journey; they are merely a speed bump along the way.

  1. Announce Your Desire for Sobriety or Plans to Moderate Your Alcohol Use

Accountability plays an important role in the decision to make changes with any problem behavior. When you tell others about your resolution to overcome addiction, you face social pressure toward positive change rather than negative behaviors. It is also much more difficult to pick up old habits when you know you will have to answer for them.

  1. Embrace Change

Often, addictions and negative behaviors are facilitated by routine. Seemingly mundane activities can become associated with drugs, alcohol or addictive behaviors. Perhaps you spend every Friday night tossing back shots at the same bar with friends. If you start a new weekly habit instead, such as dance lessons or evenings at the movies, you engage your brain in new activities with no expectation of alcohol. Contrarily, continuing to visit the same old places while abstaining from alcohol could make you feel like something is missing from your life.

Whether your goal is a new sober lifestyle or reducing your alcohol use, consider making many changes to your routine. It may help to wake up at a different time, read new books, take a different route to work, go to the gym, eat lunch with non-drinkers, and even pick up new hobbies.

4 Find Support

It can be encouraging to listen to and talk with people who are on the same path as you are. The people you meet in 12 step support groups and other recovery support groups can help encourage you when temptation becomes overwhelming and also serve as a catalyst for pursuing your aspirations. Likewise, it may also be necessary to avoid associating with old friends or acquaintances who are not sober or who otherwise pose a hindrance to your own sobriety or goal of moderating your alcohol use. Surround yourself with people who support you, and avoid those who don’t.

  1. Seek Professional Help

Finding professional help is one of the most important steps you can take toward overcoming addiction and reducing the risk of relapse or encouraging a goal of moderation. Substance abuse and addiction recovery programs can provide the intensive help you need to jump-start your sobriety. Professional therapists walk you through psychotherapeutic processes that help you identify the source of negative thinking and change the behaviors it is responsible for. You will walk away with a better understanding of yourself and the motivating factors that have driven your drug and/or alcohol use. You will also gain the keys to managing your stress and establish the foundation for a healthy future.

With the New Year in full swing, there is no better time than now to face the addictions that have held you back for so long. If you are ready to make this the year you embrace healthy, balanced living contact our team here at Recovery NOW. From substance abuse and eating disorders to love and sex addiction, we have the resources necessary to help you make 2016 the year of a new you. Call us today for more information. We look forward to serving you soon.


This year was a busy year of expanding our services as well as conferences and visiting treatment centers.  Here is a quick snapshot of our year at Recovery NOW, Inc.




We added the following services:

We added the following providers:

We attended the following conferences

We visited the following treatment centers:

There is much more to come in 2016.  Recovery NOW thanks everyone for the opportunity to tour their treatment centers and meet their staff.  Thank you for the patient referrals throughout the year.  We also look forward to expanding our services even more to meet the needs of our patients in 2016.  Thank you and Happy New Year!!

Sliding Scale Arise Interventions

Limited Time Offer!! We are pleased to announce Alicia MacGowan, LCSW, LAADC completed Intervention training with ARISE July 9th to the 11th sponsored by Center for Dependency, Addiction and Rehabilitation (CEDAR) at the University of Colorado Hospital.  The training had additional sponsors which presented and are all reputable programs: Balboa Horizons Malibu Beach Sober Living Vista Taos A Mission for Michael Solid Landings Bridge to Recovery Elements Behavioral Health Foundations Recovery Network     Alicia has been doing Interventions since 2008 utilizing the Johnson Model and decided to receive this additional training since the research on this model of Intervention has a very high long-term success rate. “The Model seems to fit my style of practice very well.”   Alicia must in the next 6 months complete 2 interventions and receives weekly 1-hour Group Clinical Supervision via teleconferencing for 6 months in order to receive final certification.  She is now a Clinical Intern after completion of the 3 day Training.   The distinct differences between the Johnson Model and ARISE Model are:  

  1. The Intervention is not a surprise.  The Addicted Individual is invited and aware of the whole process.
  2. The Intervention process is over 3 to 6 months which includes continuing care group meetings for all individuals participating in the Intervention
  3. The focus is on the whole system, family, friends & co-workers and making sure that everyone in the system is getting whatever outside resources they need

  Alicia is offering a very special opportunity for those interested.  She will complete her first 4 ARISE Interventions on a sliding scale.     “I am not able to offer the same sliding-scale for my usual Interventions; this is only for ARISE Interventions.  On our current Interventions we refund ½ of the cost if the Intervention is not successful.    Since I am doing these Interventions on a sliding scale, I will not offer this same opportunity.  I am not qualified to do Interventions on adolescents therefore my Interventions are always limited to adults.”   Assisting all families, employers and addicted individuals has always been Alicia’s goal.  She has a special interest in helping Healthcare Professionals such as Mental Health Professionals, Substance Abuse Professionals, Nurses and Doctors.  These are individuals of special interest, since she herself understands how the demands of being a Helping Professional may increase the risk of substance abuse and/or mental illness.  A formal Intervention may be the only way to assist these individuals with recognizing their need for treatment.   Here is the link to ARISE for more information and a brief summary of the Model from the ARISE website: The ARISE Intervention is directed towards getting the addicted loved one into treatment with the least possible effort through a loving, compassionate and non-blaming First Call and First Meeting. The support system is mobilized to form a committed Intervention Network to motivate the addicted individual into treatment. Phase A has three levels and the goal is to stop at the first level that works:

ARISE Continuing Care begins when the addicted individual enters treatment, and lasts for 6 months. The goals are individual and family healing and recovery. It includes, if possible, the family and individual becoming involved in 12-step program. The Certified ARISE Interventionist works collaboratively with the addicted individual, the treatment center, and the family to ensure treatment completion, relapse prevention, and the resolution of grief and other problems at the root of the pain and the addictive disease. ARISE Continuing Care focuses on the Certified ARISE Interventionist working with the Intervention Network and addicted individual to prevent relapse, initiate long-term recovery, and complete the work towards family healing and recovery. This includes ensuring that work, life style, social circle, family relationships and personal decisions made for personal growth in Continuing Care are happening for individual and family.   A special thanks to all of our trainers Dr. Landau, Sara Hills, LPC, CAC III, CAI and James Ott, LCSW, CAI, CIP.  I am looking forward to working with all the wonderful Professionals I trained with.     CEDAR Tour: While I was at CEDAR in Colorado I had the opportunity to receive a tour of the Treatment Center.  The grounds were spectacular and serene.  The facility was very clean and well maintained.  It was especially nice that they separated the Treatment Center from the Hospital and the facility had the appearance of a Wooded Lodge from the outside.  I found the CEDAR to be very inviting. Their program appears to be truly able to assist those dually diagnosed.  Many Treatment Centers make this promise, but do not have enough Licensed Staff, proper staff to patient ratio and knowledge to assist individuals with a mental illness and a substance abuse problem.  They also have the ability to assist with severe medical problems related to substance use, since they are on Hospital grounds. In addition CEDAR has a Physician Health Program (PHP) treatment track.  Unfortunately the state of California, unlike many other states, does not offer any sort of Diversion Program for Physicians.  Often this lack of Diversion Programs makes it difficult for our Doctors to receive necessary treatment due to fear of California Medical Board intervention and loss of License. The Staff appear to be very qualified.  Everyone I met was very genuine and helpful.  Overall I look forward to the possibility of coordinating Patient care with CEDAR in the near future.  

Sarah Marie House an upscale sober living for women located near Historic Old Torrance is now accepting residents in recovery from eating disorders as well as substance abuse and addiction. Recovering from an eating disorder presents similar challenges as those face in recovery from substance use and learning to live a clean and sober lifestyle free from unhealthy eating behaviors is important for overall recovery. A safe and supportive environment that also provides the key component of accountability is key and at Sarah Marie House the director Kathi Donahue provides just that, and only 15 minutes away from the beach!

Sarah Marie House Living Area
Sarah Marie House Living Area
Sarah Marie House community kitchen
Sarah Marie House Community Kitchen

Sarah Marie House provides 24 on-site management and Kathi is available daily to residents to provide support. In addition to 24 management Sarah Marie House has a daily 12 step/recovery meeting requirement and all residents participate in daily morning group meditation and evening reflection time together. The staff at Sarah Marie are committed to supporting a successful transition to a sober lifestyle so all aspects of an individuals recovery program including referrals to support services and providers are implemented as needed.

Sarah Marie House is currently accepting new residents. Contact Kathi Donahue for more information! Details below.

Phone: 310-699-4750

or visit


Partnerships are key to providing comprehensive care so Recovery NOW, Inc. is committed to building relationships with other providers. Contact us today to schedule a site visit at your facility! For more information on treatment for Addiction, Eating Disorders and other mental health concerns please visit our main page at

Marilyn Brown, LMFT
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist/Social Media Director
Recovery NOW, Inc.



Site Visit Review: Eating Recovery Center of California!

 Treatment Center Site Visit: Eating Recovery Center of CA!

Recovery NOW, Inc. is excited as a part of our blog to share information on our treatment centers site visits with our readers. Being a clinician I recognize how important it is to be able to give our clients first hand information on the treatment centers we may refer them to for a higher level of care. As an outpatient therapist when I refer my clients to a higher level of care for treatment it is important for me to be able to honestly reassure my client that the treatment model and interventions used at the center are evidence based practices. I also often coordinate with and need to reassure families that their loved ones are being sent to programs that equipped and qualified to treat their family members individual concerns. Simply reading websites and talking to providers on the phone is often not enough to get an honest impression of the care being offered. Most treatment centers are open to clinicians calling and scheduling tours and site visits however my visit to Eating Recovery Center of Califonia on May 23, 2014 located in Sacramento, was an exceptionally well organized and structured Professional Onsite visit.


ERCCA visit photo

Eating Recovery Center of California provides 7 day per week Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient Services for those with eating disorders and co occurring substance use disorders. The visit was coordinated by Melinda Kolberg, the Professional Relations Coordinator and she was a fantastic and well informed host. After being greeted by Melinda, our group of Therapists, Registered Dieticians and Registered Nurses were introduced to the staff and educated on key components of the treatment provided by ERCCA. All aspects of the program were presented and outlined by the director of that area of treatment. We were given information on the clinical assessment process (which is offered free of charge both in person or by phone), the medical and nutritional departments, and general program information for both the adult and adolescent services. Eating Recovery Center of California offers family support both in group and family session format, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness and other process and goal setting groups throughout the day. ERCCA also provides 7 day per week treatment with a medical staff (RN) onsite at all times which is helps address the problem of clients relapsing into behaviors over the weekends which is common in 5 day per week programs. In addition to the great information and networking at the site visit we were treated to a wonderful breakfast, snacks, lunch, and the best cookie I think I have ever eaten!

In addition to the program the staff is warm, friendly, and you get the feeling they are truly invested in the work they do. After the site visit I feel confident and truly look forward to working with Eating Recovery Center of Calfornia in the future. Visit their website at to learn more about treatment programs, professional onsite visits, and their conference in Denver Colorado coming up this August!



Marilyn Brown, LMFT
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist/Social Media Director
Recovery NOW, Inc.