The Joint Commission Accrediatation

Parents’ Guide to Selecting a Program

Choosing the right treatment program for your child can seem overwhelming, but it is one of the most important decisions a parent can make. The National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs ( developed a list of considerations to help parents select an appropriate program. As a NATSAP member, Muir Wood adheres to rigorous ethical principles and good practice guidelines. Following is a list of NATSAP considerations and how Muir Wood addresses each. 

Verify the licensure and accreditation of the facility. 

Muir Wood Adolescent and Family Services is licensed by the State of California, the Department of Health Care Services, and the Department of Social Services. Muir Wood is also accredited by The Joint Commission, America’s largest accrediting body for healthcare organizations, and widely considered the gold standard. 

Verify the credentials and licensure of the clinical/therapy staff 

All Muir Wood therapists are Masters-level, licensed therapists (LMFT, LCSW, M.D., Ph.D., Psychologists).

Verify that the program employs full-time Psychiatrists and Nurses

Most programs contract with consultants. Muir Wood has a full-time, board-certified psychiatrist and a full-time registered nurse. Our highly credentialed multi-disciplinary team also includes board-certified addiction medicine physicians, internal medicine physicians, certified addiction nurses, and psychologists.

Verify that the academic curriculum is accredited by a recognized accrediting body 

The Muir Wood Learning Center® is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and employs Masters-level teachers credentialed by the State of California.

Verify that outcomes are monitored 

Muir Wood utilizes Vista Research Group® (, a nationally-recognized, independent organization that closely monitors outcomes using state-of-the-art outcome tracking software.

Ask about family involvement 

Family involvement is a cornerstone of the Muir Wood program. We have one of the most comprehensive family programs, including weekly family therapy with a licensed therapist, multi-family process groups led by licensed therapists, an all-day Saturday Family Program (Please note: For purposes of COVID safety, the Saturday Family Program is temporarily transitioned to virtual visits scheduled throughout the week.) led by nationally-recognized therapists, physicians, and authors; and a weekly online webinar/parent support group.

Is the program “in-network” with insurance 

Muir Wood is in-network with the nation’s largest insurance providers, including Kaiser Permanente®, Anthem Blue Cross®, Cigna®, and Aetna®. Being an in-network provider means that Muir Wood is more accessible to more families. This also signifies that Muir Wood adheres to the nation’s most rigorous standards of evidence-based, outcomes-driven, licensure and safety standards.

Claims by some programs that “costs are 100% covered by insurance,” can be misleading. Parents should ask if programs are in-network with their insurance provider, or speak directly to their insurance company to be referred to a program that is.

Is the program gender-separate

Muir Wood is a gender-separate program. Our specially-designed program meets the holistic needs of adolescent teens. Gender-separate programming is imperative because it allows teens to be treated without distractions. 

What is the caseload of the therapists and are they licensed 

Muir Wood’s Masters-level, licensed therapists, carry a caseload of no more than six teens. The high staff-to-client ration at Muir Wood offers many advantages and allows the care team to spend more time with each client to better individualize their care. 

How many clients are treated on campus 

Muir Wood is a highly individualized program. We have three residential settings, spanning 10 acres in idyllic Sonoma County, with a combined census of twenty-two teens. There are six teens at two of our locations and ten teens at the third location. 

Can parents visit the campus and meet with the team prior to admitting their child

Muir Wood strongly encourages parents to visit our campus prior to admission, and we encourage parents considering Muir Wood to speak with parents whose teen we have treated.

Are the staff bios, photos of the campus, and other materials on the website current 

Our staff bios, photos of the campus, and details about our program are updated regularly. We also encourage parents to visit our campus at any time.

Is the program certified by third-party consumer groups 

Muir Wood is certified by LegitScript®, a leading third-party certification organization in the healthcare sector, and is accredited by the Better Business Bureau®.