Reward Path Recovery is a new approach to staying clean designed to supplement other more established means such as the 12-Step programs. It blends modern biological and psychological science with the tried and true of traditional recovery culture, setting both within a framework that better harnesses a person’s natural motivation.
We believe that everyone has the potential to live a healthy, happy, substance-free life. Reward Path is here to help you heal your mind, body, heart, soul, friendships, families, community and relationship with yourself.
(Founder and Program Administrator) After 24 years of personal recovery experience, as well as 24 years of professional experience as an addiction-oriented psychiatrist, now retired owner/founder, Michael Vivian, has made it his life’s ambition to build a more humane and effective addiction treatment center. Compared to his academic and professional achievements, Michael found his own recovery to be a far greater challenge and accomplishment. He had to dig deep over many years, and use a wide variety of mental health and recovery resources, to finally find freedom from the merciless obsession of his addiction. Though once discouraged by his struggles, he now draws upon them as invaluable sources of motivation and inspiration that leave him uniquely qualified to serve others.
(Clinical Director) Having seen the ugly side of treatment (patients becoming nothing more than profits, falsely advertised “dual diagnosis” programs with no one qualified to handle co-occuring mental disorders, skilled counselors replaced by minimum wage techs to increase profit), Michael is excited to be part of the Reward Path Recovery team. He shares Vivian’s passion for this work and compassion for those afflicted. Michael is happy to finally be part of an organization that genuinely puts clients’ needs first and allows his training and talents to shine. He invites you to join him on this path to the better life you deserve.
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“Watching people recover and get their life back is one of the greatest honors I’ve been able to witness” – Gigi
(Director of Operations)
There is so much one can say about why anyone works in treatment. For Tanila, working in treatment is her passion. It’s something she feels driven to do. She doesn’t look at it as work. Tanila first went to school to understand the addictive mind but it was only when she herself ended up in treatment that she began questioning what it would be like to be the one sitting in the case manager, facilitator, or counselor seat. She knew that under the surface of her flawed exterior there was a humane, compassionate, and understanding person who had so much to live for. As she continued her education and her own personal recovery, she decided to apply what she had learned in school with her life experience and she began helping others find freedom from addiction and live the life they were meant to live.
There are many reasons why Tomas chose to work in the treatment field. One of the reasons was his personal experience of a counselor taking the time to work with him and show him that there was a better way to live than he was living. He wants to pass that on and be that counselor for others. He also finds it very rewarding when he gets the opportunity to see the growth and change in someone after working with them. Lastly, he enjoys being part of the many people working in the field of treatment; attempting to educate and support people with the hopes of them living a longer more meaningful life. Working in treatment has become a passion of his. Tomas is a huge believer in continued growth and improvement in all areas of life and this is one of the few careers that not only shines light on where one can improve, it supports that self-improvement. Not everyone is made or cut out for this career, but for Tomas there isn’t a place he’d rather be.
(Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist)
As a trauma informed therapist, Gigi teaches her clients to recognize and trust their somatic cues (body-based feelings), and to set healthy boundaries based upon those feelings. This allows individuals to avoid repeating self-destructive choices. Also, one of the biggest challenges recovering individuals face is learning to tolerate uncomfortable feelings without falling back into maladaptive behaviors. Her work also focuses on helping clients develop healthy new ways to self-soothe.
Growing up in a broken and dysfunctional family, Tony fell into a life of addiction and disorder. After much personal pain, he finally hit bottom and became willing to seek help and change. It took multiple residential treatment episodes and the ongoing care of a dedicated outpatient counselor, but Tony was so grateful for the gift of his happy new life that he became a counselor himself.
Sonja is a recovering addict. On November 5, 2021, she will have two years clean. She was raised in Santa Paula with her identical twin sister who she did a lot of her drug use and drinking with. Although her sister is still in her addiction, Sonja is very grateful to have the opportunity to be back in the Santa Paula area and give the people and community what she has gained after working the 12 steps. She hopes all her clients receive the gifts she has in sobriety: self-love, self acceptance, self-confidence and the ability to dream bigger than anything she would have believed possible.
Lorna has a passion for helping those afflicted with the disease of addiction. She has been clean and sober for over 14 years and is co-proprietor of a local, highly-respected sober living facility. She also has extensive experience assisting co-workers struggling with addiction in her former career as a flight attendant. Those experiences inspired her to follow her heart and become a professional addictions counselor. She is excited to join the Reward Path Team and grateful for the opportunity to let her talents shine.
For the health and safety of our patients and staff, we are implementing new protocols for patient screening and social distancing.