About Us

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    Founders-Plaque

    About New Directions for Women

    We are grateful to have a four-decade history supporting women, families, and children in their recovery from addiction. Our clinical motto is “Love, Kindness, and Compassion in All Things,” which is evidence of how our staff interacts with each other as well as the patients. In the last 40+ years, we have grown into a serene, safe sanctuary for healing in Costa Mesa (Southern California). Our rehab center in California is a block from Newport Beach’s Back Bay and Nature Preserve. We offer a full continuum of care from detox to outpatient care so that women can enter treatment at whichever level is appropriate for them.

    Our History

    Since 1977, over 5,000 women have entered our doors, over 600 children have lived on campus, and 200 babies have been born to mothers completing our program. By providing exceptional gender-specific addiction treatment services that are family-centered, we promote healthy parenting, prevent domestic violence, and assist in family reunification. While we are nationally known for serving women with their children and pregnant women, we truly serve all women, including the more mature population, helping them reunify with their family as a sober grandmother and mother.

    New Directions for Women (NDFW) was founded, in part, by Pamela Wilder in 1977, with the support and assistance of the Junior League of Orange County. Pamela stood up in a Junior League meeting, identified herself as a recovering alcoholic, and asked for help and support in establishing a recovery program for women. Two other women, Marion Schoen and Muriel Zink were also instrumental in New Direction’s beginnings, as was Mrs. Betty Ford. Our women’s treatment center was created in response to a shortage of affordable and accessible recovery programs for women suffering from alcoholism, substance use disorder, and other related issues. A brief timeline of our history is available for your convenience.

    Women’s Treatment in California

    We encourage all women to consider a minimum 30-day commitment to treatment. However, 90 days is recommended for the best chance of enjoying a lifelong recovery journey. Moms coming to New Directions For Women with children usually stay an average of six months in our residential treatment program. Asking for help takes bravery, so we make sure to set up every person who calls for success, even if they don’t come to New Directions. As a nonprofit organization, we are proud to give partial scholarships to assist women and families in staying in treatment for the clinically prescribed length of time. We do not provide 100% scholarships; our philosophy is that women must have some “skin in the game” to have a successful treatment episode.

    Women Addiction Treatment Model

    We are committed to supporting and treating all women. We are a rehab for women, with a model designed by women. Our directed approach caters to the variables women face in life and in treatment. At New Directions, our women-focused model has proven to be more effective long term than attending a traditional co-ed program. Women and men have different needs, and we believe that treatment modalities should reflect that. 

    Both the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Alcoholics Anonymous support the disease model of addiction, which attributes addiction largely to changes in brain structure and function. These changes make it much harder to control substance use, and health experts recommend professional treatment to achieve complete abstinence. In the preface of “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide,” published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D. states: “Because addiction is a disease, most people cannot simply stop using drugs for a few days and be cured. Patients typically require long-term or repeated episodes of care to achieve the ultimate goal of sustained abstinence and recovery of their lives. Indeed, scientific research and clinical practice demonstrate the value of continuing care in treating addiction, with a variety of approaches having been tested and integrated in residential and community settings.”

    What Sets Us Apart?

    At New Directions For Women, we serve all women. Our clients come from all walks of life. We offer treatment to women from all backgrounds, ages, and situations. We understand that women are more likely to experience trauma or other social risk factors that affect women disproportionately. An all-women environment allows our clients to address complex issues and open up on a level that promotes long-term recovery. As a women’s addiction treatment center, we have experience and knowledge that puts our clients at an advantage while fighting addiction.

    Amenities

    Our California drug rehab center provides countless amenities so our clients can be comfortable at all times. In between treatment, you are free to partake and enjoy each of our amenities, including:

    • Private and shared bedrooms in a single-family home
    • Shared living room, kitchen, and bathroom
    • Fully equipped kitchen
    • Direct TV
    • Garden area
    • Meditation area
    • High-speed wireless internet access
    • Housekeeping 
    • Designated parking area

    Recovery Programs for Women

    Our women’s rehab programs provide a full continuum of care. We aim to provide levels of care to cover any and all of our client’s circumstances. Our programs include:

    Learn More About New Directions for Women

    Contact our caring intake coordinators for more information about our rehab for women in Costa Mesa. We are happy to verify your rehab insurance benefits and answer any questions about treatment.

    New Directions For Women Foundation Board Members

    Since 2013, Barbara has served as an Employee Benefits Advisor with Centennial Group in creatively designing and implementing employer-sponsored health and welfare plans. With a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University, Los Angeles, Barbara has led several projects involving funding mechanisms and administrative options. Her areas of specialization include recovery centers, construction, automotive, manufacturing, computer technology and medical technology industries. In total, she has assisted hundreds of employer groups ranging from just a few employees to over 1,000 employees in size. One of her strengths is her attention to detail in employee communications and ERISA compliance. She is also a leader in the HSA market, HIPAA Compliance.

    In addition to her extensive experience in worker’s compensation, Barbara has a keen interest in understanding the insurance challenges that employers face. Barbara’s service to New Directions for Women as a voluntary Board Member has proven valuable in her expert knowledge of the Affordable Care Act and her passion to see women live happy and successful lives through recovery.

    Dan Carracino, along with life-long friend Kevin Hanlon, directed and produced the Emmy-award winning documentary Bill W.  He has seen first-hand the devastation of alcoholism, as well as the hope offered by Alcoholics Anonymous. After learning that no feature length documentary had ever been produced about the man who co-founded A.A. and authored its Twelve Steps, he and Kevin decided to make Bill W.  Today, in addition to serving as the Board Chair of New Directions for Women Foundation, he is the National Coordinator of Congressional Communities, working towards building a way for us all to have better communication with our Congressional representatives.

    Devon Martin has been dedicated to philanthropic work in Southern California for many years. Martin’s commitment and generosity have benefited a wide range of charitable organizations including KidWorks and the Orange County School of the Arts. She is part of the Executive Management Team of the Balboa Bay Resort and the Newport Beach Country Club. While living in San Francisco, Martin was a lead designer of children’s clothing for Ikeda Design.  Martin earned a Master of Fine Arts from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

    Ruth Stafford, Ph.D. has been in and around New Directions for Women (NDFW) since its 1977 inception, offering vital support to the founders and their vision. She now leads the charge for NDFW’s sustainability as a member of the NDFW Foundation. As a clinical psychologist she’s played a role in forming the first Advisory Committee. Ruth was among those on the frontier of treatment for the alcoholic woman in Orange County, and continues to speak out as a champion of family treatment, focusing on mother at the center.

    Ruth received her Ph.D. in Psychology from UCI in 1975 and dedicated her life to helping individuals with chemical dependency. She has had a private practice in Clinical Psychology since 1985 and helped develop/implement chemical dependency programs throughout Southern California. She’s also served as a faculty instructor at UCI.  Throughout, she’s been engaged in volunteer service by on the Boards of the National Council on Alcoholism and California Commission on the Woman Alcoholic. She is a renowned lecturer author and speaker on the topic of alcoholism.

    She also volunteers at many civic organizations including Friends of the Hortense Miller Garden in Laguna Beach and Ashland in Laguna Hills.

    New Directions for Women Inc. Board Members

    Douglas B. Kerr, Esq.: After graduating law school, Mr. Kerr practiced at a private labor law firm for 4 years before moving to a non-profit agricultural association with for profit entities. Eventually, Mr. Kerr ascended to vice-president and general counsel. Mr. Kerr began his own law firm in 1999, and has continued to represent agricultural and other business clients in labor relations, human resources and ERISA matters.

    Since starting out in the Financial Services industry in 1982, Gianna has provided patient, proactive and calm guidance to her clients through bull and bear markets, recessions, market corrections and the dot com and housing bubbles. She and her husband, Dee, founded their practice on the simple philosophy that clients’ wealth management needs are best served by a holistic approach to their entire personal and financial lives. Gianna earned her business degree from Pace University in New York and is a Certified Retirement Planning Consultant™.

    Dan Carracino, along with life-long friend Kevin Hanlon, directed and produced the Emmy-award winning documentary Bill W. He has seen first-hand the devastation of alcoholism, as well as the hope offered by Alcoholics Anonymous. After learning that no feature length documentary had ever been produced about the man who co-founded A.A. and authored its Twelve Steps, he and Kevin decided to make Bill W. Today, in addition to serving as the Board Chair of New Directions for Women Foundation, he is the National Coordinator of Congressional Communities, working towards building a way for us all to have better communication with our Congressional representatives.

    Charles is a nationally known motivational speaker, preacher, community empowerment specialist, leadership expert, and group facilitator. He graduated with a doctorate degree in Organizational Leadership, and his passion is helping leaders realize their dreams. We all are given a limited time to explore our strengths, acknowledge our weaknesses, and live in a way that positively impacts others. He is convinced that one inspired focused leader can influence world change.

    Jerry has been the Chief Financial Officer for 25 years at International Bay Clubs, which owns and operates the Balboa Bay Club and Resort as well as the Newport Beach Country Club. Previously Jerry was in the restaurant industry. Jerry has an undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Masters of Business from Columbia University.

    Karen Stockman has worked as a family therapist at Hoag Hospital’s chemical dependency program as well as ATSP, an intervention program for at-risk teens that worked with the Newport Mesa School District. She is a founder of Women of Vision Orange County, supporting development projects for women and children internationally. Stockman is a graduate of California State University, Los Angeles, and Philips Graduate University in Chatsworth with an MA in Marriage & Family Therapy.

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