Proven Treatment Methods

Substance Abuse Treatment & Mental Health Services

Good Heart Recovery is a full-service detox, residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment center located in beautiful Santa Barbara, California.

Our Clinical and Medical Treatment Interventions

Compassion-Based Methods

Bringing Compassion to Mental Health & Drug and Alcohol Treatment


One of the things we’re most proud of at Good Heart Recovery is that we’ve created a truly non-judgmental space for those who are suffering to relax and reassess their lives. In our combined experience working in this field, we’ve found a lot of the clinical methods of filling space with information to be counterproductive and far less effective than creating a space for clients to have insights on their own come forth. This process builds trust in themselves and confidence that the answers are not outside themselves, where they’ve likely always looked.


Our rehab center believes in making a sincere appraisal of who we are now and who we have been in the past, leaving nothing out, and building an inner acceptance toward ourselves and all our many shades of being. It’s important to know our potential, for the goodness we can bring to each and every situation, as well as the potentially disastrous choices we can make leaving our mind on autopilot. When we can accept ourselves fully, all the desirable and undesirable parts, we are on the path to achieving true liberation from drug and alcohol abuse. Lasting peace starts with us, all of us, in the here and now. If we can view every moment of our lives being exactly as it should be for our personal development, it will lead toward not only our own enlightenment but the evolution of global consciousness.


Compassion is the action of truly seeing yourself in another’s shoes. To advance as a society, it is vitally important we begin to look at each other not as solid objects, but as something more than how they appear to us on the surface. Throughout our mental health and substance abuse program, we teach methods that lead toward the ability to view all beings as comprised of a lifetime of many disappointments, traumas, struggles and missed connections, which starts the process of establishing compassion toward all and not taking others issues personally.


Compassion has the power to free us from our own habitual tendency to judge by appearances, and immediately puts us into a position to be able to help, even if helping is not reacting to their anger and not making things worse. In truth, every difficult person you have ever met has been a victim of lack of positive mentorship, a victim of neglect, a victim of some form of addiction, a victim of some form of abuse, and are a representative of the collective pain consciousness dating back to the beginning of human life on Earth.


We believe a human beings true wealth is not found in anything tangible. Our own kindness toward others and ourselves, our generosity, and our measure of compassion cannot ever be affected by economic conditions. They are inherent qualities within every human being that need our attention and cultivation to grow. The Tibetan term ‘Good Heart’ is defined as one who operates from a place of pure motivation, absent of hidden agendas. Having Good Heart is being authentic with your world in all your interactions, being unafraid to vulnerably present exactly who you are at all times.

Why We Work With Compassion As A Primary Treatment Intervention

Science proves that Compassion improves psychological functioning and well-being

Our CEO has surveyed research from 2012 through present day which combines evolutionary science, psychological science, and neuroscience, along with the collaboration of spiritual teachers, that has shown that compassion has significant positive effects on mental health, genetic expression, emotional regulation, and the improvement of interpersonal and social relationships. Our innate physiological health is affected when engaging in compassionate experiences including the ability to activate the calm part of our nervous system and lower heart rate, which in turn give us more of an ability to use the front part of our brain, the one that helps us make decisions.

The way we work with compassion is simple and can be expressed through one of our main Compassion-Based Interventions we use at Good Heart, similar to the Stanford Compassion Cultivation Training Program, each day:

  1. We acknowledge that there is and will be suffering, within ourselves and for others,
  2. We engage in emotional relationship and understanding of that suffering,
  3. We set an intention to seek to relieve the suffering, and
  4. We develop responses and increase the motivation to heal and grow together.

Compassionate Treatment Interventions Used at Good Heart:

  • Compassion-Focused Therapy

  • Cognitively-Based Compassion Training

  • Cultivating Emotional Balance

  • Mindful Self-Compassion

View Our Clinical and Medical Substance Abuse Interventions


Mindfulness-Based Clinical Practices

Importance of Mindfulness in Mental Health & Addiction Treatment


One of the primary goals of Good Heart Recovery’s mental health and substance abuse program is to teach our clients not only how to meditate, but how to develop and strengthen a daily mindfulness practice that extends beyond a traditional sitting practice.

Our minds are incessant with thought patterns and useless content, much of which we have gathered throughout our lives and feel define us as living beings. “I am my thoughts” is a general unspoken agreement we make with ourselves daily, and either feel validated when our thoughts become actions that yield positive results, or punish ourselves over and over again (sometimes for years) when our thoughts yield negative consequences through our actions. When mindfulness-based meditation is applied to issues surrounding mental health or substance abuse treatment, if trained properly and with daily application, we begin to gain the ability to establish an identity outside of the world of thought, one of awareness as a witness to thought. This can be highly medicinal to anyone who has solely based their worth on the ongoing contents of their minds, and can lead to a mind that at times can be silent and still.


Meditation is the most important thing we feel to teach at a time where impulsivity with speech and action is at a high point, and even celebrated in our culture. There is a shift occurring in the consciousness of human beings which roots can be traced to the implementation of mindfulness-based practices established worldwide. One of the first radical shifts in consciousness experienced through mindfulness meditation practice is an acknowledgment of the freshness each moment provides throughout the day. We gain some insight into how insidious our internal narratives and storylines (based on past experiences) have been in forming what we perceive to be our solid identity. The lens in which most humans view the present moment is based on collective past experiences, which cloud direct experiences in and of the Now with the content of what no longer exists, only in memory. This is the basis of our collective delusion, our individual neuroses, and what separates us all from connecting compassionately with each other.


Daily engagement in mindfulness meditation practices and techniques can create space and opportunity for non-identification with thought patterns as being inherently who we are to our core. This results in a radical and revolutionary quality of life and quality of our relationships. If you can change your mind, you’ll change your life. It starts with establishing a practice where (for at least a few minutes each day) you can view your thought patterns. This process of uncovering, discovering, and discarding was the starting point of every gifted spiritual leader who has ever walked the face of the Earth – being born into a world of illusion created by thoughts, realizing they have been asleep and that there’s a way out, and stepping into a new world to free others. We teach Tibetan-based mindfulness meditation practices to our clients as the most important element to understanding their true selves and creating a hospitable environment in their mind that is altogether spacious, aware, present, non-attached or aversive.

The Mindful Treatment of Substance Use and Mental Health

Research shows that Mindfulness may be more effective than CBT in substance use treatment

We base our clinical treatment program not on pressing a certain type of belief onto our clients, but instead we use scientific evidence and a cause and effect type of wisdom to allow ourselves to work with Mindfulness in the most effective way possible for our clients. Mindfulness scientifically enhances cognitive awareness, and increased cognitive awareness allows us to monitor our automatic thought processes and emotional patterns. Cravings, triggers, stress, anger, mania, depression, and traumatic symptoms have all been shown to decrease through the use of mindfulness-based treatment methods. The integration of healthy coping skills, a decrease in judgment, and an increase in the overall acceptance of one’s past, present, and future are all significant outcomes of Good Heart Recovery utilized treatment methods.

Mindfulness-Based Interventions Used at Good Heart:

  • Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention

  • Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement

  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

  • Various Types of Meditation Instruction

View Our Clinical and Medical Substance Abuse Interventions


Evidence-Based Psychological Care

A Scientifically Sound Mental Health & Drug and Alcohol Program

Our mental health and substance abuse outpatient treatment program follows specific processes that allow the results of our work to be evident through the fusion between what we know works and what has been shown to work in our field.


We use a rigorous, systematic, and objective method when it comes to choosing the individual path for each of our clients. However, different than other places, we are fully comfortable integrating subjective interpretations and recommendations towards specific client situations, ones we know have worked for ourselves in the past. The evidence we use when psychologically treating our clients are reliable, and through peer review of our services, we have had outstanding reviews from local community therapists, social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists.


The evidence-based drug and alcohol methods we use at Good Heart Recovery focus on scientifically proven methods of treating several of the symptoms that clients come to us holding onto. The treatment methods also treat several of the causes of their symptoms, rooted in childhood trauma, relationship neglect and abuse, life identity issues, non-connection to the good parts of one’s life, and misguidance. Our mental health and substance abuse therapy acknowledges the underlying problems and seeks to serve you in a way where you aren’t told how to stop using drugs or alcohol, or how to become stable or at your mental baseline. Instead, our chosen treatment methods help you determine why you use alcohol and/or drugs and/or why you aren’t able to grasp long-term stabilization emotionally or mentally.

Evidence-Based Treatment Interventions Used at Good Heart:

  • Motivational Interviewing

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

  • Problem Solving Therapy

View Our Clinical and Medical Substance Abuse Interventions


Person-Centered Medical Model

Holistic Psychiatric and Medical Care

Our medical services are provided by top of the line, Board-certified physicians who have been in practice for several decades in the field of mental health and/or addiction treatment.


Our leading psychiatrist is a Board-certified medical doctor who meets with every Good Heart client weekly and our covering psychiatrist is the director of psychiatry at Santa Barbara’s primary hospital-based stabilization unit, Cottage Hospital. Our doctor delivers healthcare using principles that ensure that the necessary care our clients deserve, they receive, and that they get it how they need it, and in a way they can understand. Our clients directly engage in the medical and medication-based discussions that occur on their behalf. Medications are optional in most cases, and our team works to support clients who have difficulty navigating any specialty pharmacies that may hold the medications they seek to take. We have a well-rounded clinical staff that ensure all medical recommendations are followed through with.


Good Heart coordinates care with our doctors in a manner that best serves our clients. We are effective, efficient, safe, and provide the highest quality of medical services in the area. During the sessions with our doctors, our clients report experiencing, for the first time in any treatment experience, a human with a medical degree, not just a doctor. Conversations are the focus of the sessions and non-judgmental outcomes are always produced. Our medical doctor also holds a PhD in psychotherapy and ensures a focus on the underlying issues that bring our clients into our care. Our medical model is “nondirective”, “empathic”, and “empowering”, using the words of our own clients to describe the process.

Person-Centered Medical Techniques Used at Good Heart:

  • Unconditional Positive Regard

  • Empathetic and Genuine Understanding

  • Active Listening

  • Non-Directive and Open-Ended Questioning

View Our Clinical and Medical Substance Abuse Interventions


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