Kia the therapy dog provides support for Muir Wood teens

About Muir Wood Adolescent And Family Services

The highest-quality adolescent substance use and mental health treatment available

Muir Wood is the culmination of Founder & CEO Scott Sowle’s personal and professional experiences. Scott worked closely for over three decades with mental health and substance use disorder programs and became an advocate for the underserved. He saw the need for a program dedicated to teens and families in northern California, and in 2013 founded Muir Wood Adolescent and Family Services. Today, Muir Wood is a residential treatment program designed specifically for boys and girls, ages 12-17, suffering from mental health and substance use issues. We operate ten residential treatment facilities in Sonoma, California, accommodating a small population just 64 teens. Soon, we will expand these services to Clovis, California. Our distinct and gender-separate programs include:

In these safe, comfortable, and structured environments, our compassionate clinicians help teen boys and girls—treated separately— explore and process sensitive issues and learn to manage mental health and substance use disorders. The Muir Wood environment helps teens build strong peer relationships essential in early recovery, many of which blossom into enduring friendships.

Making integrated treatment available to everyone

The Muir Wood programs fill a crucial need by making exceptional specialized adolescent mental healthcare available to the vast majority of families in need. Accredited by The Joint Commission, long considered the gold standard in healthcare organization accreditation, Muir Wood is an in-network provider for Aetna, Anthem, Cigna, Halcyon, MHN, Magellan, and Kaiser Permanente.

Muir Wood’s Learning Centers are recognized California supplemental education programs for grades 7 to 12, including physical education. Muir Wood is one of the only residential treatment centers nationally with an academic program that is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Our programs employ some of the most experienced licensed professionals in the nation and utilize a wide array of evidence-based medical and clinical therapies. Our full-time psychiatrists and nursing team significantly increase the programs’ ability to accurately assess client conditions, adapt treatment plans, and manage medications.

Founders Message for Teen Mental Health

Exceptional, Accessible Care

Adolescent mental health and substance use disorders are complicated conditions that affect every aspect of teen life and identity. Successfully treating these disorders requires comprehensive and coordinated care delivered by experienced, compassionate professionals. Providing this level of care requires the significant time, resources, and support that we provide. Muir Wood was founded on the mission to make exceptional care available to more families by being an in-network provider.

Accreditations and Affiliations

Joint Commission Logo

The Joint Commission



Accrediting Commission for Schoolss


Our Residential Treatment Programs

While the term “Muir Wood teen rehab” is often used to describe our program, we believe that the term “rehab” is dated and perpetuates negative connotations and stigma about the important and intensive integrated treatment that saves and improves the lives of teens. Muir Wood helps clients and loved ones navigate challenging mental health and substance use conditions, understand and process trauma and other underlying issues, and live successfully in an increasingly complex and alienating world. 

Our work is all about facilitating and guiding self-change, proactive health management, and personal growth. We do that through our experienced, licensed staff, which emphasizes kindness and compassion over confrontation and control. Our care program integrates teen individual therapy, adolescent psychiatry, nursing support, multiple psychotherapeutic approaches, experiential therapy, and academic support to achieve positive outcomes. 

We create meaningful rapport and trust-based relationships with our clients to best understand and address their needs. To help ensure ongoing progress, we connect clients to quality continuing care providers and resources.

The role of families is central to the Muir Wood programs, and family participation is highly encouraged and supported. Family education, counseling, and therapy are provided as part of the treatment program. 

Our Mission And Purpose

From its inception, Muir Wood has made compassion and integrity the cornerstones of our objective to help teens and their families overcome mental challenges. We embrace innovation, and our methods are ever-evolving in these constantly changing times. Nonetheless, empathy and kindness have always been, and always will be, our guiding narrative when assisting our clients to grow, improve, and live full, healthy lives.

Our Therapeutic Modalities

Muir Wood treatment is highly individualized. We accept a small number of teens in our program which gives us the luxury of devoting singular, personalized attention to each youngster. We believe in treating teens in their entirety – not just “fixing” symptoms. Our approach has proven to be highly effective as we tend to a myriad of mental health conditions. From low self-esteem, and teen personality disorder treatment, to addressing substance use disorders and their underlying causes. Because we believe every child is different, we extend a variety of different therapies. We combine compassion and clinical expertise to evaluate each child. Based on our findings, we can provide therapies such as:

  • Experiential Therapy: This is a method of engaging in creative activities such as art, crafts, music, and animal care to facilitate expression and connection. Our experiential therapies have proven to augment self-esteem and provide teens with a sense of accomplishment.
  • Adventure Therapy: Muir Wood is extremely fortunate to be surrounded by pristine, natural beauty inherent to the Sonoma, Northern California region. As such, we can offer teens exhilarating and healing adventure therapies which include invigorating hikes, horseback riding, obstacle courses, and more – all under safe supervision. Adventure therapy instills a sense of belonging in teens and helps them enhance skills such as problem-solving, communication, leadership, and healthy social interaction. 
  • Fitness: We believe that the body must be nurtured in order to achieve balance and mental stability. That is why we provide teens with healthy fitness activities such as cardio workouts or weight training.
  • Nutrition: Many of our teens struggle with body dysmorphia which manifests in unhealthy relationships with food. With this in mind, we have an on-site chef who thoughtfully prepares food so your child is nourished from the inside out. Furthermore, we believe that a healthy brain needs healthy fuel to run properly. This is why we make every effort to provide teens with high-quality meals that taste good too!
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): We offer this therapy primarily for the treatment of opioid addictions. Medicines are used in conjunction with psychotherapy sessions as a way to stabilize and support clients through full recovery from opioid addiction.
  • Psychiatry and Medication Management: Our knowledgeable psychopharmacologists and experienced medical doctors prefer to avoid medical therapy whenever possible. However, in some cases, medicines are a valid tool for aiding teens through recovery. Our medical team closely evaluates and monitors each client to ensure the prescribed medicines are manifesting positive results. Furthermore, all patients on medication management programs do so in tandem with other therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy, family-based therapy, and one-on-one psychiatric sessions.
  • Psychotherapy: The most common, and often most effective Muir Wood treatment modality is results-focused psychotherapy sessions. Teens are provided with individual sessions where they can learn vital coping skills and mindfulness-based practices through psychotherapy. Group therapy is also offered which has proven to be successful in building communication skills and offers social support for teens who may otherwise feel isolated in their struggles.
  • 12-Step Program: Muir Wood teens are actively involved in the 12-step method because it has proven to provide structure, and social support and is an effective guide for teens living in an increasingly challenging world. Working the steps with peers allows our teens to gain control over chaotic situations, as well as improves self-esteem and communication skills.

Why Choose Muir Wood?

Why Parents Choose Muir Wood

As a parent or guardian, we know that you have choices when it comes to treatment. That’s why we consistently make every effort to provide families and their teens with the best possible care and support.  

Muir Wood is uniquely qualified to effectively treat mental health and substance use issues because we are hyper-focused on a specialized niche. To explain, we only treat teenagers, and each of our campuses is gender-separate (all boys or all girls) to avoid drama, heartbreak, and distraction. We also accept only limited numbers of teens, making each treatment application small, and specialized.  

Combine this with our quality caregiving team, welcoming environment, and multiple treatment options – and Muir Wood is the clear choice for your teen’s long-term recovery. You don’t have to take our word for it. Our Muir Wood reviews speak for themselves, as we consistently receive positive feedback about how our programs have transformed teen’s lives and family dynamics for the better.

Get Started Today at Muir Wood

Making the choice to seek treatment for your teen is not an easy one. We understand this can be a daunting, challenging process, and we are here to help every step of the way. Rest assured that when you choose Muir Wood, you are partnering with a nationally recognized leader in teen treatment.  

Beyond that, we truly care. Let us show you how your teen and your family can live enriched, purposeful, fulfilling lives. Call to speak with an admissions team member about why Muir Wood is the best choice for your child’s long-term recovery and mental wellness.