Non 12 step drug rehab and alcohol treatment without stigma, without shame. Just compassion and guidance.

Are you a discerning individual who, despite addictive problems, has values, goals, accomplishments, and connections to others? Practical Recovery, a leader in non 12 step rehab, may be the place for you. We collaborate with you to create a completely personalized plan. We do NOT attempt to shoe-horn you into a pre-fabricated “program.” For some clients an evaluation and planning session ($200) is all that is needed (with us). If you are looking for a fresh approach to resolving problematic addictive behavior of any type or severity, that evaluation may be an eye-opener. Call us at 800-977-6110. One of our psychologists would be happy to answer your questions about the evaluation session or other questions you may have.

Because addiction treatment can be harmful, we recommend the evaluation even if you are likely (e.g., for insurance reasons) to seek services elsewhere. If you had a serious medical disorder, wouldn’t you get a second opinion? Ideally the evaluation session includes one or more members of your family (of your choice), but attending by yourself is also an option.

We are an out-of-network provider. You pay us at the time of service. We can bill insurance electronically for you. After the evaluation fees vary according to the provider(s) seen.

Clients who continue beyond the evaluation do so because we are genuinely self-empowering (and non 12 step), have mostly doctoral-level providers who can address underlying issues (which is what we spend most of our time doing), and have completely flexible scheduling.

We use the term “non 12 step rehab” frequently. We prefer the term “self-empowering treatment,” but most people search for non 12 step rehab. Until our preferred term catches on we need to use non 12 step rehab so people can find us.

What we do:

We offer non 12 step rehab in San Diego, which includes drug and alcohol outpatient addiction treatment, and an innovative alternative to inpatient rehab, the IIOP. We also offer substance assessments, typically for court, in divorce and custody cases, or for employers and licensing boards.

Do you see yourself as powerless? We don’t! Almost all US addiction treatment is based on the idea that you are powerless over addictive behavior. Once you accept that idea, you follow the same 12-step path everyone else follows. It works for some, but Practical Recovery offers an alternative: a self-empowering, truly personalized approach. In fact, Practical Recovery, established in 1985, is at the forefront of developing and implementing the self-empowering approach.

Are you concerned about confidentiality?

Are you concerned about cost?

Are you interested in the latest addiction and psychiatric medication options?

Are you concerned about the quality of your addiction treatment?

Dr. Horvath, the founder and owner of Practical Recovery, co-founded the international non-profit SMART Recovery (a free mutual help group, established in 1994). He was SMART Recovery’s president for 20 years, as it grew from dozens of meetings in the US to over 2,000 meetings worldwide. If you have not heard of SMART there is an entire world of self-empowering recovery for you to explore! Dr. Horvath’s efforts made San Diego a major SMART Recovery center, with over 50 meetings each week. If you attend treatment at Practical Recovery, you have the option of working directly with Dr. Horvath.

At Practical Recovery we treat all addictions (alcohol, drugs and behavioral). We focus on the level of care (outpatient–including our innovative alternative to inpatient rehab) where the majority of your recovery effort is needed.

Using evidence-based methods and optional holistic healing services, we collaborate with you to create truly personalized treatment plans, with an emphasis on underlying problems, motivation, coping with cravings, relationships, lifestyle balance, and living with purpose and meaning.

Because it is easy to copy terms like “self-empowering, personalized and non 12 step rehab” into marketing language, many facilities say they operate according to these ideas. But in fact they do not. We regularly get clients who transfer to us after starting somewhere else, having discovered that there is much more to “self-empowering, personalized and non 12 step” than words on a website. If you want a self-empowering approach, come to a true leader of non 12 step rehab.

Another way that Practical Recovery is different than most facilities is that we do not “push” treatment on you.  From the self-empowering perspective treatment is secondary to your own efforts. Yes, you are reaching out for guidance and we are here to provide it. Our hourly fees are higher per hour than most facilities because our providers are highly trained, however, your total fee is often dramatically lower than other facilities (especially if we save you the cost of inpatient care). Therefore we encourage you to attend an initial “evaluation and change plan” session. In it we provide an outline of what you might be facing ahead, and your options for responding. Even if you then attend traditional treatment, we will at least have inoculated you against the dangerous practices that can occur there. Although almost any treatment can be helpful, it can also cause harm. We hope to spare you that harm.

What is Non 12 Step Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment?

Self-empowering, non 12 step addiction treatment, such as that provided by Practical Recovery, blends individual psychotherapy, evidence-based treatments, holistic care, and optional recovery groups to help you take the next step towards an addiction-free and fulfilling life.

Non 12 step rehab focuses primarily on underlying issues behind addiction.

In a non 12 step, self-empowering addiction recovery program, one of the main focuses of the treatment process is to help you resolve underlying issues and related problems. We find that simultaneously dealing with these underlying issues and addiction problems allows people to achieve more in recovery than working on addiction problems alone.

A non 12 step approach allows people to choose any support group they find helpful but does not require them to attend.

Since the focus of non 12 step rehab is on individual sessions, groups are not required, nor are they absolutely necessary in achieving a successful, long-lasting recovery from addiction. While we recognize that for many people groups are helpful, most individuals recover from addictions without attending support groups.

Non 12 step rehab focuses on courage and taking action.

While 12 step programs focus on finding serenity and acceptance, non-12-step self-empowering treatment focuses on courage and taking action.

People likely to benefit from non 12 step addiction treatment have what is called an “internal locus of control” and believe that their life is a direct result of what actions they take as opposed to what happens to them. A non-12-step, self-empowering program gives people the opportunity to take the bull by the horns and actively start creating positive change in their life.

Find motivations that are deeper than addiction.

What truly motivates you? We help you answer that question. You have motivations that are more powerful than addiction. Finding and acting on these motivations is essential for lasting change. The changes you make will be based on your values, beliefs, goals and situation, and not on ideas we impose upon you.

We do not insist that addiction is an incurable disease.

Our non 12 step approach to addiction treatment affords you the right to view drug, alcohol or behavioral addiction as you see it. Is addiction an incurable disease, a complex, maladaptive behavior, or something else? In our collaborative approach to drug and alcohol treatment, we work with your understanding. Fortunately, our methods apply regardless of your views on this issue.

Our non 12 step drug and alcohol rehab is fully individualized and tailored to your needs.

We can offer truly personalized, collaborative care because most of our providers have doctoral degrees and know how to address the whole person. We do not push you into a one-size-fits-all approach. Our core service is individual sessions and our core expertise is helping you find your path to change. We know there are as many paths to recovery as there are individuals. We aim to help you have the “aha” moments that place the past in perspective and allow for a satisfying life moving forward.

What kind of client is best suited for the self-empowering approach?

You probably have fears about your capacity for increasing self-control. Having more self-control means increasing the long-term satisfactions in your life while decreasing the short-term ones. Anyone can do so. However, our kind of client typically already has the self-perception of mostly being in charge of her or his life, even if not in the area of problematic addictive behavior. Of course, we will help build you up from wherever you are now. Our kind of client appreciates an approach that assumes you have strength to start with, rather than one that wants to “tear you down” first.

Experience full recovery:

You can fully recover from drugs, alcohol and/or behavioral addictions. At Practical Recovery we offer the tools, skills, and specialized services to help you move on in life without substances or behaviors that hold you back. In many cases the addiction recovery process will not be easy or fast. But it will definitely be worth it! Become recovered, rather than spending the rest of your life “in recovery.”

Define your journey:

At Practical Recovery, you get to define your journey, instead of following a preset plan or vision of success. Whether you choose moderation or complete abstinence from drugs, alcohol or certain behaviors, we’ll help you get there.

Empower yourself:

The potential to change lies within you. Our approach to non 12 step rehab empowers you to recognize your worth, value and capability to create lifelong change. Rediscover your internal strength, build your confidence and take control of your life. If you believe that you can create a solution for your addiction and other problems by strengthening your own resources, rather than relying primarily on outside resources, we can help!

Transform your life:

Imagine what you can achieve when you are happy, healthy and connected to others! We’ll help you experience the brightest and most fulfilling future you can imagine. Calling us is a first step toward moving forward with a positive, life-changing solution.


“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”

– T.S. Eliot, The Little Gidding, the last of his Four Quartets

Tips for Consumers:

Non 12 Step Resources:

Non 12 Step Rehab and Related Articles

Looking for Non 12 Step Support Groups?

Mark Goodson: An Interview with a Recovery Blogger

October 23, 2018
Mark Goodson

The next recovery blogger in our interview series is truly inspiring. Mark Goodson has been sober for over 10 years and in that time he met, and married his beautiful wife, and had two children. Mark changed his life for the better and works every […]

Read what people are saying about us

  • After my treatment at Practical Recovery, I am sober, I am happy and I am moving on to a beautiful life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Male, 30’s
  • Practical Recovery is a top referral for anyone looking for the highest quality treatment in this country. They provide an unparalleled amount of individual therapy (10 plus hours per week) and some of the highest credentialed staff at any program that I am aware. They especia...

    Christopher Bennett, CADC II, CIP, BRI-I
  • At Full Spectrum Recovery, Practical Recovery is one of the only inpatient treatment centers that we trust. Our clients are respected and their goals are supported in a realistic way. Whether for 3-4 days or 30 days, your team has been willing to meet them where they are and p...

    Len Van Nostrand, Full Spectrum Recovery
  • For those of you desperately searching for the right solution for your loved one, you know how challenging this can be. From my first contact with Practical Recovery, I felt like I’d found something special. At Practical Recovery, our son got his life back.

    Mother of Client
  • Practical Recovery offered one-on-one therapy with mental health professionals as its predominant form of treatment – so its model was completely different than that of any of the other programs.

    Anne Fletcher, Inside Rehab
  • I’ve been through the whole range of treatment, including outpatient and residential, mainstream and alternative, court-ordered and voluntary but none of them have resonated with me like Practical Recovery.

    Female, 30’s
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Ziva Gottesman
Ziva Gottesman
Minerva García Martínez
Minerva García Martínez
Ronald Dove
Ronald Dove
Karen Vasques
Karen Vasques
Patty Dressel
Patty Dressel
I was there for Iop and CSR Sober House. Great Staff. I went to a residential treatment somewhere else. Many Thanks to Seda,Jania,Dan, that helped me. The administrative staff was awesome as well. CSR staff tamra, Alex, and Jackie thank you as well.
Debbie Worzella
Debbie Worzella
I've been using for 30 yes.heroin and crack I've been clean by choice just reaching out to a.A also N.A it works if you work it!!!
Jon Bauer
Jon Bauer
This place is amazing, after 20 years of relapsing, and 12 step based treatment centers (7) I was done. I had no hope. I completed the 12 steps more than once, I followed all the suggestions, helped others and i could not stay sober. More than that every time i was sober I knew something was missing, I just could not pin point it. Reunions opened my eyes ,they helped me uncover deep core beliefs like shame, and thought patterns that had plagued me for years. They empowered me, and taught me to trust my judgement. Traditional treatment centers want to break you down and tell you the only power that can help you is your higher power? NOT TRUE! More than that if you have made it to treatment, YOUR ALREADY BROKE DOWN. Cant break and addict or alcoholic down more and if you try, you may just be fueling his or her next relapse. I could never thank Reunions enough for the gift they have given me!
Carey Barton
Carey Barton
That's how I got clean. After a 25 yr. habit of Heroin. I don't really agree with the 12 Step program. But, that's jus' me. It has worked 4 a lot of indivuals.
Bobby Pope
Bobby Pope
Jeff Molitor
Jeff Molitor
The perfect place if 12 step doesn't seem right. I can't thank them enough, for the help they provided.
Catherine B Haessig
Catherine B Haessig
Everyone has a family member or knows a friend suffering from addiction ... .. An alternative... to the 12 step program which doesn't work for everyone. Check it out , share it. You could just save someone's life.... today
Meshell Yarberry
Meshell Yarberry
Cathie Cats
Cathie Cats
I always felt there should be other avenues aside from 12 step
Marsha Glotfelty Smith
Marsha Glotfelty Smith
Sounds like a wonderful alternative alcohol and drug rehabilitation center. I don't fit with the this criteria, but will certainly recommend it to people who would. It looks awfully expensive, though.
David Lehi Ayala
David Lehi Ayala
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Yesie Laguna
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Dennis K R Gladue
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Neal Seifert
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Marjorie Wortley
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Susan Roberta Ireland Mears
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Kathleen Macken
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Manina A. Zollo
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