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 ($220) 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. If you wish to use your PPO insurance we can bill it for you. We are not a Medicare enrolled provider.

Clients who continue beyond the evaluation do so, not because we “push” them into treatment, but 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.

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. If you need detox or stabilization in a residential facility, before working with us, we work with several such facilities.

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 attend treatment at Practical Recovery, you have the option of working directly with Dr. Horvath.

At Practical Recovery we apply evidence-based approaches to 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.

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

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SMART Recovery at 30

April 4, 2024
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By Tom Horvath, PhD This weekend SMART Recovery is celebrating (a few months early) its 30th anniversary by holding a conference in Salt Lake City. What has SMART achieved? How well is it functioning? What might its future hold? What follows is my personal perspective […]

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