Echo Treatment Center


Cole Rucker


Boys and Girls

Call admissions department for current tuition.

The industry standard for an initial stay in residential treatment is thirty days. During the course of treatment, program participants, families and treatment providers working together, may determine that a longer stay is required. Prior to admission however, there is no way to determine if longer term treatment is warranted. It is generally best to avoid programs that encourage you to commit to treatment that is forty, sixty, ninety days or longer before ever assessing or treating you or your loved one

At ECHO MALIBU we provide youth and their families with state of the art, comprehensive, holistic treatment. All program participants are provided with an individualized treatment plan. Each treatment plan is designed and implemented by licensed clinical professionals to identify and treat the underlying causes of addiction, rather than merely focusing on the behaviors that result from addiction.

While each of our intensive, individual treatment plans is unique, they do share the following areas of focus; Physical Health, Emotional Health, Social Health, Family Health, Spiritual Health and Educational Needs.

We invite you to explore all of the components of our treatment program.

Substance abuse issues

When families come to us they often report that the person they are seeking treatment for has been having difficulties associated with school. The student may feel hopeless and discouraged. They may be thinking of quitting school or may be convinced that their prior performance will prohibit them from getting into the University of their choice. Programs that offer school programs that work in a silo, are often times ultimately unhelpful in getting academic careers back on track. It is important to know the specifics of the educational components of any treatment program.

At Echo, all program participants are provided a thorough education assessment upon admission. The on site teacher, working in conjunction with the primary therapist will devise an aggressive plan that will assist the participant in achieving his or her short and long term academic goals. With the permission of families, academic plans are coordinated with the participant’s home school. In addition to working with the on site classroom teacher, participants work with tutors one-on-one in any areas that prove to be especially challenging. Often times participants arrive at treatment trailing behind in their studies and return to their schools, ahead of their classmates.


Comprehensive Educational Assessment and Individualized Education Plan

All residents of ECHO are provided with a comprehensive educational assessment within forty-eight hours of admission. This provides the clinical team and classroom teacher with important information needed to design an educational program specific to the academic needs of each participant. Frequently youth come to us behind in their academic careers as a result of their drug or alcohol use. With the development and implementation of an individualized educational plan, many participants return to their schools having caught up or even passed their peers in their studies.

On Site Classroom

ECHO provides an on site therapeutic classroom for all participants. This affords youth the opportunity to get and/or stay current in their academic studies in a safe, sober environment. Participants are offered opportunities to accelerate their studies so that short and long term academic goals may be met.

Individualized Tutoring

The University of California Los Angeles provides tutors to work one on one with students in any academic area in which the student is struggling. Tutors strive to make the subject matter fun and interesting. Frequently students begin to look forward to subjects which they once avoided.


A key component to impacting youth drug and alcohol addiction is the clear, and honest, provision of information. Psycho-Educational sessions are designed to share useful information that is applicable to the lives of youth. Our psycho-educational component is not designed to scare youth straight. Rather, we believe that, given the proper facts and information about what the disease of addiction is, how is begins, how is develops, how it effects individuals biologically and psychologically, and how to break free from its grip, youth will begin to see the advantages of making changes in their lives. This internal motivation is a key to achieving and maintaining sobriety. Some of the educational session topics include:

Relapse Prevention

This topic, so vital to the recovery process, includes detailed exploration of the most common relapse triggers and ways to avoid them; the multi-stage process of relapse and how to identify relapse red-flags that often manifest long before the actual relapse occurs. The sessions also include ways of coping with each trigger at each stage in order to prevent reoccurrences of use.

Medical Aspects of Addiction and Recovery

Educational sessions are presented to both youth and parents on the physical and medical impact that drugs and alcohol have on the body. All include details of the neurological impact on the brain and body, as well as the most current information from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Family Dynamics and Education

These sessions are designed to evoke awareness of the impact that the disease of addiction has on the entire family dynamic, and how changing that dynamic is an important piece of promoting sobriety.

Emotional Management

Learning to identify and communicate different emotional states is often difficult and foreign to people who use drugs and alcohol. The early recovery process must include attention to this aspect of the condition as anger, frustration, shame, guilt, fear and other strong emotions can lead to relapse.


As a result of drug and alcohol abuse, some youth may suffer physical consequences related to their developing bodies and brains.

At ECHO MALIBU we are committed to fostering the biological healing process from the first day of treatment.

Some of the physical health aspects of the treatment program are as follows:

Medical Evaluation - Each client receives a medical evaluation in order to obtain baseline measures of their physical functioning, and overall level of physical health. All treatment plans are created with physical health as a primary consideration.

Nutritional Evaluation - Every participant receives a nutritional evaluation so that individual, specific, nutritional needs may be met throughout the treatment stay and beyond.

Biofeedback Assessment - Each participant’s neurological functioning is assessed at the beginning of treatment as is the impact of external stressors. Biofeedback sessions are scheduled relative to the results of these assessments for those who wish to participate.

Acupuncture Sessions - Research has shown that regular acupuncture sessions positively impact the long-term outcomes for persons with drug or alcohol addictions. Reports published by the National Drug Court Office suggest that the use of acupuncture decreases the likelihood of relapse by 33%. Therefore, at ECHO we utilize this safe and effective treatment, for those who choose to take advantage of it. Participation is voluntary.

Yoga Therapy - The practice of yoga helps develop physical health coupled with an internal awareness that assists in the therapeutic process of recovery. Participation is voluntary. All yoga sessions are provided by a Certified Yoga Instructor.

Recreational Therapy - All participants are given opportunities to participate in recreational therapy to strengthen their bodies while engaged in sober physical activities.

Massage Therapy - Learning ways in which to identify and soothe tensions and anxiety are important in the early stages of sobriety, especially for youth. That is why ECHO offers therapeutic massage as a physical intervention. Massage as therapy involves understanding how and where one physically internalizes tension and how to productively release this tension without resorting to self-destructive behaviors. It also teaches youth to identify and eventually self-soothe anxiety and tension in ways that promote a healthier life. Participation is voluntary. All massage therapy is provided by a Certified Massage Therapist.

At ECHO MALIBU we provide youth and their families with state of the art, comprehensive, holistic treatment. All program participants are provided with an individualized treatment plan. Each treatment plan is designed and implemented by licensed clinical professionals to identify and treat the underlying causes of addiction, rather than merely focusing on the behaviors that result from addiction.

While each of our intensive, individual treatment plans is unique, they do share the following areas of focus; Physical Health, Emotional Health, Social Health, Family Health, Spiritual Health and Educational Needs.

We invite you to explore all of the components of our treatment program, by clicking the modality of your choice listed on the left.

We are located in Malibu California between the majestic Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. We are one block from the beach on park like grounds surrounded by old growth trees. This site has proven to be ideal as it offers privacy, yet is not so remote that it creates safety concerns. For the protection and privacy of our clients, we do not publish the address. We offer both private and semi-private rooms. If you would prefer to reserve a private room, please inform us at the earliest possible time to insure that space will be available.

At Echo, we believe that family involvement is imperative for the successful treatment of all our program participants. We recognize that family members may be unable to participate in all aspects of treatment as a result of work commitments, geographic location or other factors. For this reason, we make every effort to reach out and provide our services by telephone or other means when necessary. We offer Parent Effectiveness Training, Individual Family Sessions and Multi-Family Groups. Our team is available to answer questions and provide support to families, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year for families who currently have a loved one in treatment and as an after care service for families who have had a loved one complete treatment at Echo.

ECHO MALIBU believes that effective treatment is rooted in the Empowerment of those we serve.

We empower youth and their families with the knowledge, skills and support systems required to reclaim their lives and live free of chemical dependency. As part of this process, we are committed to identifying and building on the strengths of every individual and family we serve. We never blame or try to break down those who come to us for help. Rather we assist youth in their growth as they strive toward personal accountability and greater self-confidence. We work as a team with youth and their families as equal partners in the creation of each individualized treatment plan. While there are certain elements that are required for any successful treatment, there are many paths to recovery. We look forward to working together to find the one that is best for you.

ECHO MALIBU believes that effective treatment is in large part about learning how to make healthy Choices.

Every aspect of our treatment approach is designed to teach those we serve how to become better at assessing options that occur in their lives. Through a greater understanding of the short and long term consequences of their choices, clients learn to opt for those which promote sobriety, healthy relationships and productive lives.

ECHO MALIBU believes that it is our responsibility to instill Hope.

Frequently when youth and their families reach us they have lost all hope. They have tried other treatment options only to find that sobriety has not been achieved or that it has been followed by rapid relapse. Time and again we have seen youth who have given up on themselves. They have lost the trust of loved ones. With work and integrity, trust can be regained. With compassion and resolve, relationships can be restored. Hope is here for those who claim it.

ECHO MALIBU believes that all crises are opportunities for growth and change.

Treatment is an opportunity for the entire family to heal. Opportunities to communicate openly, to let go of resentments, to create new ways to cope with adversity, to build more intimacy, and effect positive change, are goals of our program. We make every effort to ensure that youth are provided with optimal opportunities to reconnect with themselves and their loved ones in meaningful ways.

Contact us for information on insurance and other financial assistance.

Dr. Nalin is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist (PSY17766), a Certified Chemical Dependency Intervention Specialist and a Certified Youth Residential Treatment Administrator who has worked in the field of addiction for more than 15 years. He has provided direct care for youth at multiple institutions of learning including; The Los Angeles Unified School District, the University of California at San Diego, Santa Monica College, and Pacific University. Dr. Nalin was instrumental in the development of the treatment component of Los Angeles County's first Juvenile Drug Court and is co-founder of the EOS Youth Institute. In addition, he is a Diplomate of the National Institute of Sports Professionals and a Certified Sports Psychologist.

Dr. Nalin has appeared as a chemical dependency treatment expert on CBS News Special Assignment, CNN and nationally syndicated programs for youth and families. He also appeared in the anti-Drug campaign for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). He is a regular lecturer at U.C.L.A. for their Integrated Substance Abuse Training Program, and the H.E.L.P. Group's pre-doctoral training program. He lectures and conducts workshops nationally on the issues of substance abuse prevention and treatment for adolescents.


Cole RuckerCole holds a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and has more than 15 years of experience in the creation and implementation of treatment programs for youth and their families. He has performed as Director for Family Preservation Programs and as the Director of the largest chemical dependency treatment program for youth in Southern California. He is a certified Youth Residential Treatment Administrator and served as Committee Chair for the Public Health Institute’s Youth Treatment Standards Commission. Cole is a member of the California Juvenile Drug Court Professionals and has been a member of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Home Hospital School Advisory Council and advisor to the School Attendance Review Board. He also served as a member of the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Juvenile Drug Court Oversight Committee, Los Angeles Business Council’s Leadership LA Alumni Board, Los Angeles County Department of Drug and Alcohol Program’s Youth Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment Programs Work Group, Los Angeles Children’s Hospital’s Drug and Alcohol Committee, US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Heath Services Administration Youth Work Group and the California State University Drug and Alcohol Task Force.

As co-founder of ECHO MALIBU, Cole works to maintain a physically and emotionally safe space for youth and their families. He is responsible for insuring that the expectations held by each participant are met or exceeded.


Steve SagerDr. Sager is a nationally respected Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. He is board certified in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and has specialized solely in the treatment of adolescents for over a decade. In addition, he holds a Diplomate in Addiction Psychiatry. Dr. Sager is an attending psychiatrist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Division of Adolescent Medicine and is a faculty member at both the University of California Los Angeles and the University of Southern California. Before joining the ECHO team, Dr. Sager served as Medical Director for the Children and Family Services Bureau, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.

Dr. Sager is a member in good standing of The Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, The American Psychiatric Association, The American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, The American Society of Addiction Medicine, The American Association Of Community Psychiatrist, The American Association of Administrative Psychiatrists, The American Medical Association, The Southern California Psychiatric Association, The American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry, The International Sports Psychiatric Association and The House Officer’s Association.

Dr. Sager is responsible for insuring the integrity of all medical aspects of ECHO MALIBU’S social model program.


Draven GodwinDr. Draven Godwin holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology, as well as a Master of Education degree from the University of South Carolina, where she specialized in adolescent psychology. Her areas of expertise include psychological assessment and testing, individual and group therapy, and program development for youth and families. She lectures nationally on subjects such as adolescent development and psycho-educational testing of youth. She has been published on the topics of trends in youth behavior and risk assessment. For more than 10 years, Dr. Godwin has worked exclusively with youth and their families.

Dr. Godwin utilizes her expertise to provide ECHO MALIBU participants with comprehensive assessments and psychological testing, as well as individual, group and family therapy sessions.


Dr. Golden is a Doctor of Clinical Psychology and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC7690) who has created an innovative family practice over the past 30 years. He specializes in the treatment of youth coping with chemical dependency and/or mental health issues and their families. Prior to coming to ECHO, Dr. Golden served as Director for the largest managed care company in the United States and CEO of a comprehensive family health maintenance organization providing inpatient, and outpatient treatment for youth struggling with chemical dependency and co-occurring disorders and their families.

Dr. Golden brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his role as Family Therapist. He provides individual-family and multi-family therapy sessions for participants at ECHO MALIBU.


Lara GieseDr. Lara Giese is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist (PSY19968) and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC34366). Dr. Giese has served as a Senior Jury Consultant for the leading litigation consulting firm in the nation. She has been directly involved in developing strategies and selecting juries for some of the highest profile legal cases in the country. Dr. Giese has gained national recognition for her work.

As a member of the ECHO MALIBU team, Dr. Giese serves as a Court Liaison to assist clients who may have any pending legal difficulties.


Jill holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC40159). She specializes in working with youth who are struggling with chemical dependency issues coupled with eating disorders. Prior to joining the ECHO MALIBU team, Jill worked as a Mental Health Clinician for Child and Family Services, LAUSD School Based Programs, and as a clinician at a Residential Treatment Center for Adolescents with co-occurring disorders.

Jill assists in the development and implementation of treatment plans for youth at ECHO MALIBU. She provides individual counseling and leads process therapy and psycho-educational groups.


Paul JoesphPaul holds a Master’s Degree is Clinical Psychology and is certified in Bio Feedback. He has worked with youth and their families for more than fifteen years. He served as a Mental Health Services Coordinator for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and as a treatment team leader for an integrated mental health rehabilitation services agency, serving chemically dependent clients and their families. He also performed as the manager of a residential program for multi-diagnosed residents and as an interventionist for high risk youth in Hollywood.

Paul conducts all of the neuro-biofeedback sessions at ECHO MALIBU. Working in this capacity, he assists clients in developing skills that allow them to recondition their responses to a variety of triggers, enhancing their ability to achieve and maintain sobriety.


Kris ElginKris is a Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor who has more than eight years of experience working with youth in recovery. She previously served as both a case manager and as a drug and alcohol counselor for the largest youth chemical dependency treatment program in Southern California. Kris was responsible for serving clients of both the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and the Los Angeles County Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. For more than five years she worked in conjunction with the LA District Attorney and Public Defender’s offices to meet the needs of court referred youth. Kris is an active member of the 12 step community and has provided leadership in outreach programs for underserved, chemically dependent youth in the Hollywood area.

Kris leads drug education groups at ECHO MALIBU. She also assists youth in their introduction to the 12 step program and facilitates community building activities.


Carol NalinFounder and Creator of The Parenting Pro, Mrs. Nalin

Substance Abuse Treatment Centers


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