About PCH: Integrative
and Real-World
A Comprehensive Journey in Mental Health Care

We pride ourselves on being more than just a treatment center; we are a unique integration of primary mental health care, transitional programs, and aftercare, all woven into our comprehensive treatment and healing model. Surrounded by a lively community of restaurants, shops, and cafes, our properties are located in West Los Angeles and Pasadena.

Emphasizing Real-World Integration

Our approach grants clients the freedom to safely explore and apply their newly acquired skills and insights in real-world settings. This method allows for experiential learning, celebrating successes, and offering support through challenges. For those needing more structure, our staff accompanies community outings, ensuring safety and guidance.

Seamless Transition Through Treatment Stages

Unlike many programs that isolate clients from everyday life, PCH encourages the responsible use of cell phones and computers as part of learning to function effectively in the world. We believe in treating our clients with respect and as partners in their treatment journey. This approach makes the transition back into everyday life smoother and more natural.

Pasadena Program for Higher Acuity Needs

Our Pasadena location caters specifically to clients requiring higher levels of containment and structure. Here, we tailor the environment to provide the necessary support, ensuring that our clients remain safe and focused on their treatment goals.

We understand that the process of growth and personal development occurs both within and beyond the walls of treatment. Our model is designed to prepare our clients for a successful and sustainable re-entry into their lives, equipped with the skills, confidence, and support they need.

“Suffering is a fact of nature, & how we frame it an act of culture.” - James Davies, PhD
The PCH Difference
PCH Icon sun, wave, land
A Necessary Alternative in Mental Health

PCH was founded out of a need for a more effective and compassionate approach to mental health care. Recognizing the flaws in the traditional system — such as outdated and invalid diagnostic labels, reliance on debatable research, and an overemphasis on medication — PCH represents a fundamental shift. Our model is not driven by profit but by a commitment to genuine care and healing, avoiding the pitfalls of pathologizing and excessively medicating as is the practice in most psychiatric hospitals, individual practitioners and programs that rely heavily on a medical model.

A Non-Medical, Empathetic Approach

At PCH, we prioritize understanding our clients' narratives and histories in the context of their emotional and cognitive states. Our focus is on the healing journey, emphasizing long-term coping and wellness over short-term symptom relief which is unfortunately often the emphasis of a medical model.

Sophisticated Psychosocial Treatment Model

Our model incorporates various psychotherapeutic and experiential modalities, understanding that one size does not fit all in mental health care. We also prepare our clients to be informed consumers of mental health services beyond their time at PCH.

Expert Clinical Team

PCH boasts a robust team of licensed, experienced clinicians from diverse backgrounds, including, but not limited to, clinical psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, occupational therapists and nurse practitioners. Our therapists, among the best private practitioners in the Los Angeles area, offer the option of continued care post-treatment, ensuring a seamless transition.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

Our recently remodeled offices and residential homes are designed to provide a safe and comfortable healing environment, conducive to our clients' wellness journeys.

Individualized Treatment Plans

Each client at PCH receives a personalized treatment plan, crafted by our experienced and licensed Program Directors and implemented by our team of highly experienced therapists. With around 100 groups a week and a large pool of individual therapists, we ensure that each client's needs are met with the utmost care and expertise.

Distinguishing PCH from Corporate Models

Unlike many equity-owned or corporate programs, PCH is privately owned and operated by Clinical Psychologists and experienced Psychotherapists. Our focus is always on clinical excellence over profit, ensuring that our clients receive the best possible care without compromise. Alternatively, corporate private equity models have to meet financial goals and metrics and need to focus on shareholder profitability, thus prioritizing business decisions that compromise the best clinical care. Less experienced therapists and interns provide better financial margins, and when censuses are low there is pressure to admit patients that are often not appropriate.

Our Stance on Insurance

PCH operates outside of the in-network insurance model to avoid limitations on treatment duration and quality. We prioritize comprehensive care and do not cut short a client's journey due to insurance constraints. In-network insurance programs are dependent upon insurance panels that prioritize limiting the length of care, thus resulting in patients being discharged before completing their healing process. We provide tailored services to our clients, respecting their pace in returning to a productive and meaningful life.

The PCH Philosophy
Redefining Care: Our Holistic Mental Health Philosophy

PCH stands as a pioneering alternative to the conventional mental health treatment and psychiatric hospital models. At the heart of our philosophy is a commitment to clinical excellence, delivered in a non-pathologizing and real-world environment. Our team, comprised of top-tier Doctoral and Master’s Level psychotherapists and allied mental health professionals, is the embodiment of this commitment, bringing unparalleled expertise and experience to our unique setting.

“I’m a man of contradictions and a man of many moods… I contain multitudes.” - Bob Dylan
Holistic Healing Enhanced by Evidence-Based Psychopharmacology

Central to our philosophy is the judicious use of appropriate and evidence-based psychopharmacology, administered with true informed consent, enhancing our holistic psychosocial model. This approach is fundamental in cultivating healing and meaningful relationships between our therapists and clients.

Comprehensive Care: Empathetic Approaches to Diverse Mental Health Challenges

Our diverse range of treatment modalities is carefully designed to address and manage the complexities of the human experience. We tackle issues such as substance misuse and chemical dependency with empathy and understanding, steering clear of punitive and shaming methods. This approach underpins our dedication to a comprehensive, caring, and transformative journey towards mental wellness.

“There is no cure for the human condition. But we can help you to live a more contented and productive life.” - Jeff Ball, PhD
Understanding You: Beyond Labels and Symptoms

Our understanding of classification and diagnosis is deeply influenced by the concept of 'the medical gaze', a term developed by philosopher Michel Foucault. This concept highlights how traditional medical practices can often reduce individuals to mere collections of symptoms, overlooking their full human experience within the context of their world.

This reductionist view, prevalent since the 19th century, tends to pathologize, judge, and label human experiences rather than seeing the “whole person”. Our approach at PCH diverges from this perspective. We recognize that while suffering is an inherent part of nature, the way we interpret and respond to it is shaped by cultural and societal norms.

In our practice, we strive to understand each individual within the entirety of their life context, acknowledging their experiences, strengths, and challenges as parts of a cohesive whole. We believe this holistic view is essential in offering more effective, empathetic, and humane mental health care.

Our Alternative Diagnostic Model
Rethinking Diagnosis: The PCH Approach

At PCH, we approach psychiatric diagnosis with a goal of understanding the whole person rather than categorizing people according to collections of symptoms. We find the current DSM-V psychiatric nosology to be lacking in reliability and validity, with biases that overlook cultural and gender diversity as well as the context in which problems occur. It often misses the mark on capturing the full breadth of individual experiences. Our practice sees DSM labels as tools for billing insurance, rather than as useful and definitive assessments of our clients' mental health. We prioritize a more holistic and contextual approach to understanding each individual's unique journey.

Embracing the Uniqueness of Each Individual's Journey

Our Alternative Diagnostic Model emphasizes understanding human experiences within their unique contexts. This approach aims to explain both the strengths and difficulties individuals face, recognizing these as integral aspects of the human condition. Our focus is on emotional and cognitive states, considering each individual's dispositions within relational and environmental contexts.

Addressing Trauma in Its Many Forms

We acknowledge the varying levels of trauma experienced by individuals, encompassing both intergenerational and personal trauma. Our approach avoids the pitfalls of labeling and 'othering' people as is done in most mental health programs, but rather focuses on their personal experiences and contexts. We assist individuals in understanding and managing their triggers and their impacts on their emotional and cognitive states.

Finding Contentment

The goal of our model is to help individuals lead more contented and productive lives by comprehensively understanding and managing their emotional and cognitive states. We emphasize a collaborative approach, where the emphasis is on shared experiences and understanding what has happened to an individual, rather than categorizing them based on perceived faults.

Beyond Traditional Diagnoses

In the context of being human, emotional and cognitive states, such as sadness, anxiety, rejection, or ambivalence about cultural norms, are often medicalized and pathologized as "disorders" by the psychiatric industry. This biased and often invalid approach perpetuates the influence of Big Pharma and over-medication. However, a non-medical approach that acknowledges the impact of environmental experiences on our brain biology is likely to be more effective and helpful. There is ample scientific evidence that social factors, such as unemployment, physical and sexual trauma, poor housing, and social disadvantage, contribute to poor mental health. It is important to move away from the disease model of mental health and focus on understanding the context and social factors that influence human behavior and experience.

We use an innovative approach to understanding mental health, moving beyond the constraints of conventional diagnostic systems. Our Alternative Diagnostic Model recognizes a spectrum of emotional and cognitive states as integral parts of the human experience, rather than rigid categories or labels. It also recognizes that in the context of being human, these states, which all of us experience to different degrees, were initially adaptive responses to traumatic and/or difficult experiences that may have become problematic in daily functioning and living.

Our model is grounded in the belief that all these states are natural responses and components of the human condition, each requiring a unique approach to care and understanding. By moving away from traditional pathologizing labels, we focus on the individual's entire emotional and psychological landscape, offering a more compassionate, comprehensive, and effective path to mental wellness.

This model includes:

“Normal” States

Acknowledging the range of emotions and reactions that constitute normative everyday human experiences.

Anxiety or “Neurotic” States

Understanding anxiety as a signal of experienced danger, and an often adaptive response to life's challenges.

Depressive States

Recognizing the complexities and nuances of depressive experiences as responses to losses in our lives.

Borderline States

Approaching borderline states with a deeper understanding of their emotionally traumatic origins and contexts that trigger those states.

Dissociative States

Identifying normal adaptive dissociative experiences and understanding the context in which the defense of dissociation becomes problematic, and addressing them with empathy and insight.

Psychotic States

Offering a compassionate perspective on psychotic states, their trauma-related origins, and focusing on the individual's reality and experience.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” - Anne Lamott
Understanding States, Not Disorders

Consider the example of the pandemic lockdown. Traditional medical perspectives might label the increase in depression, anxiety, and OCD as mental disorders requiring pharmacological treatment. At PCH, we view these reactions as normal, adaptive human responses to a worldwide pandemic with (at the time) unknown origins and no known vaccine or cure. Our approach is not to pathologize these normative reactions of anxiety, depression, and obsessive defenses, but to find ways to understand them within their context and provide help in managing them, helping individuals remain productive and non-debilitated.

Meet The Team