mental health clinic in Laguna Beach

World-Class Mental & Behavioral Health Treatment Near You

Getting help at a mental health clinic in Laguna Beach is important when going through severe mental health issues. When finally getting the necessary help you need to get better mentally, there’s a variety of programs you can expect to choose from for treatment. Alter Wellness Care in Laguna Beach specializes in out-of-patient care so patients can continue their daily responsibilities.

When looking for the best mental and behavioral health treatment in Laguna Beach, it’s important to find one that’s near where you live so you can continue going to school or work while getting help. Laguna Beach or nearby residents can receive treatment at Alter Wellness Care for accessible mental health care and treatment. Even if they get assessed for treatment and find out they need inpatient mental health care, Alter Wellness Care will admit patients to one of the transitional living houses that’s also under their ownership.

contact Alter Wellness Care today

Learn more about our highly structured clinical programs designed to overcome mental health conditions.

World-Class Mental & Behavioral Health Treatment Near You

When first admitted, Alter Wellness Care will assess what is the best plan of action for clinical programs that are best tailored for you and your treatment journey. Their programs are a combination of interventions focusing on maintaining and improving your functional abilities. Each treatment plan is with the person in mind and is based on the initial assessments. Alter Wellness Care also considers your lifestyle and how to work with you to treat you.

There are so many benefits to why someone should enroll in IOPs. Some of the benefits include:

Structured support

Even though patients don’t spend 24/7 at a facility as they would at an inpatient place, they still get the necessary structure for treatment. Patients get regular, consistent, and as frequent as necessary care when going into treatment.

Control over your schedule

Patients can choose whatever time treatments and therapy sessions are offered that works best for them and their schedule. Since it’s not inpatient, patients can still go to work or class while getting the needed treatment.

Scientifically backed care

Many studies and science prove that outpatient care can improve mental health in the long run. 

Client autonomy

Not only can patients decide when they want to come in due to their schedule, but they can also decide with staff what treatment is best for them.

Stigma-free recovery environment

When getting treatment for mental health, patients can be as open as they want during therapy sessions with no judgment. This gives them a safe place to truly talk about what’s bothering them and how to proceed.

Access to the community

Treatment at IOP facilities are safe places for patients. They can meet other patients who might be struggling with similar issues and share what works for them to cope with it or at least have some relief that they’re not alone.


Intensive outpatient programs are one option when seeking mental health treatment. They offer flexibility since they don’t require the patient to stay in a facility to complete treatment. This is best for people who have busy lives with working or going to school. They are flexible, giving patients some structure for treatment and coming in throughout the week. It’s considered a middle ground for not being too restrictive for treatment and not too flexible so that patients won’t fall off the wagon with treatment. 

Alter Wellness Care has two levels of IOP. The first level is IOP5, which is longer than the other treatment programs offered here. It lasts 40 to 60 days in treatment. Clients enrolled in this program can attend multiple therapy sessions daily, with four different time options.


The second level of IOP is IOP3, which is a shorter IOP program. It only last 30 to 40 days. Patients enrolling in this program can choose from one of the two morning or two-afternoon therapy sessions during the week. Patients enrolled in this program also stay in a local sober living house seven days a week. When they aren’t receiving treatment, patients can do whatever they want with their days.


Mood disorders are a type of mental health disorder that affects your mood, hence the name. Usually, the types of mood disorders are in a depressive state, which shows depression is the key symptom. The types of mood disorders are: 

Major depressive disorder is the most common form of depression. Your depression becomes classified as a major depressive disorder when your mood is depressed for two or more weeks. The symptoms must be present nearly daily to be classified under major depressive disorder. The symptoms that occur are: consistently being in a depressed mood, being irritable or anxious, sleeping a lot or being fatigued, having difficulty sleeping or staying asleep, being indecisive or remembering information, and loss of interest in doing things you once liked doing. You can have a combination of these symptoms as depression varies from person to person. 

Getting treatment is important if these symptoms apply to you or a loved one. When someone has depression, there’s a lack of motivation to do well in school or focus and perform well at work. It depends on each person who needs treatment for depression on what might work best for them. The two different treatment methods commonly provided for patients with depression can be done together or separately. 

One of the treatment methods is psychotherapy. This includes the following types of therapy: cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, mindfulness therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing theory. Another type of treatment method that can be used separately or in conjunction with psychotherapy is medication. These types of medications are called antidepressants, which include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and tetracyclic antidepressants.

Cyclothymic disorder is diagnosed when patients come in with imitating some psychiatric disorder. It is categorized as a milder version of bipolar disorder that involves frequent mood swings of hypomanic and mild depressive episodes. Hypomania is when there’s a period of randomly elevated, extreme change in your mood, energy level, and activity level. The symptoms to look out for to see if you’re experiencing a period of hypomania are an increase in energy and needing less sleep, speaking fast and having racing thoughts, being distracted easily, increase in focus on goals, being more reckless with activities or lack of good judgment, and having high self-esteem than usual. The depressive symptoms for cyclothymic disorder include: feeling socially isolated, low self-worth, eating more or less than usual, having a hard time falling asleep or having a hard time staying awake, fatigue, and a decrease in being able to concentrate.
Seasonal affective disorder is exactly what it sounds like, which is a type of depression that happens because of changes in seasons. It usually begins and ends around the same time of the year. Spring and summer tend to be the months when there are no symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. Usually, these symptoms start around fall and go through winter because it gets colder, dark, and grey out more. One of the treatments for seasonal affective disorder is light therapy, psychotherapy, and medications. Some of the symptoms include:  Feeling sad or down throughout the day, almost every day Losing interest in the activities you once liked to do Not having a lot of energy and feeling sluggish Sleeping too much Craving carbs and overeating Having trouble focusing Feeling hopeless, worthless, or guilty Having feelings of being suicidal

contact Alter Wellness Care today

Learn more about our highly structured clinical programs designed to overcome mental health conditions.


The premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a more severe form of premenstrual syndrome. It’s an abnormal reaction to normal hormone changes that happen each month during the menstrual cycle. When going through hormone changes, it can cause a deficiency in serotonin. To be considered a premenstrual dysphoric disorder, five or more of the following symptoms must be present:

  • Depressed
  • Irritable or angry
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Lack of interest in doing activities that were once liked
  • Moody
  • Increase in appetite
  • Difficulty being able to sleep
  • Feeling out of control or overwhelmed
  • Belly bloating


Anxiety disorders have to do with feeling anxious and on high alert. Some of the anxiety disorders Alter Wellness Care can provide treatment for: 

Generalized anxiety disorder is when you have continuous, excessive worry about the difficulty of controlling a situation with everyday activities. Some of the symptoms that can occur are the following: Overthinking plans and solutions to what can go wrong during them Thinking situations and events are threatening when in reality they aren’t Difficulty with handling uncertain situations Being indecisive and scared you will make the wrong decision Not being able to relax, feeling restlessness, and feeling on edge Having a hard time concentrating or feeling your mind “goes blank” Fatigue Tension in the muscles Sweating Being nervous Nausea, or irritable bowel syndrome

A panic attack happens suddenly coming from an increased amount of fear that triggers intense physical reactions. Depending on your severe panic disorder, they might be occasional or happen more frequently. Some of the signs of panic attacks are the following:

  • A sense of danger
  • Fear of losing control or death
  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Shortness of breath or a feeling of tightness in your throat
  • Chills
  • Hot flashes
  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Feeling numb
  • Feeling of detachment

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by constantly having obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. The OCD symptoms are put into two types: obsessions and compulsions. The most common types of obsession are:

  • Needing everything to be clean or thinking things are contaminated
  • Violence or harm is done to themselves or others
  • Sexual orientation or gender identity obsessions
  • Religious or morality-based obsessions
  • Completing something

Some of the most common compulsions are:

  • Repeatedly cleaning your own hands or other things
  • Checking objects over and over again
  • Asking others for assurance of morality
  • Having to do actions in sets (turning the lights on and off three times)

Post-traumatic stress disorder usually happens after someone experiences trauma, ranging from death to sexual assault or war. There are four different categories for someone to experience PTSD symptoms, which are intrusion, avoidance, mood and cognition, and arousal. The intrusion symptoms have to do with reliving the trauma. Some of the intrusion symptoms include: 

  • Flashbacks to traumatic events
  • Having negative emotional responses when reminded of the trauma
  • Getting distressing dreams that come from trauma
  • Having intrusive thoughts or memories about the trauma

Avoidance symptoms include the following behaviors:

  • Having to avoid talking to people, going to places, or interacting with things that remind them of their trauma.
  • Having to avoid thinking about or doing things that remind them of the trauma.

Some of the mood and cognition symptoms you can have are:

  • Feelings of hopelessness or despair
  • There’s difficulty remembering details about the trauma
  • Loss of interest in activities you once liked
  • Feelings of detachment or feeling isolated from loved ones

Arousal symptoms are characteristics of feeling like you always have to be on. Some symptoms include: 

  • Newly irritable
  • Feeling guarded or nervous
  • Having a hard time falling asleep
  • Having issues focusing or remembering information


Personality disorders have to do with your behavior, mood, and personality. The top three personality disorders that are most prevalent are the following: 

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder happens when there’s a preoccupation with perfectionism, organization, and control. Some of the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder are the following:

  • Preoccupied with details, rules, lists, organization, and order
  • Being a perfectionist, which interferes with being able to complete tasks
  • Have an excessive devotion to work and being productive, which makes them neglect hobbies and spend less time with family and friends
  • Increase the amount of doubt and indecisiveness
  • Being stubborn in their beliefs and ways of doing things
  • Have difficulty dealing with criticism

A narcissistic personality disorder is characterized as someone having a very high sense of their importance. They need to seek excessive attention and want people to admire them. Behind this extreme amount of confidence, they struggle with self-esteem and get upset easily from criticism. Some of the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder are the following:

  • Having a high sense of importance and requiring constant admiration
  • Expect to be recognized as superior without achievements to support that
  • Take advantage of others to get what they want
  • Look down and be critical of people who they find not to be as important
  • Believe they deserve privileges and special treatment

Borderline personality disorder impacts how you think and feel about yourself and others. People diagnosed with this mental health disorder have self-esteem issues and difficulty managing emotions and behaviors. Some of the common symptoms of borderline personality disorder are:

  • Intense fear of abandonment
  • Unstable relationships are the norm
  • Quick changes in self-identity and self-image, shifting goals and values
  • Stress-related paranoia and losing a sense of reality
  • Increase in impulsivity and risky behavior, including gambling, spending sprees, binge eating, or drug abuse


An eating disorder is anything that interrupts normal eating habits. A lot of times eating disorders have to do with having a negative self-image oneself, but not all eating disorders are developed this way and have a deeper reason as to why someone develops an eating disorder. Some of the eating disorders Alter Wellness Care treats are: 

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that is diagnosed when someone has a much lower body weight than they should for their height. These people diagnosed with anorexia usually fear gaining too much weight or think they are already heavy so they try not to eat as much. Some of the symptoms people diagnosed with anorexia nervosa can have are:

Physical Symptoms

  • A noticeable weight loss that’s very extreme
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling dizzy or fainting
  • Low blood pressure
  • Swelling of arms or legs
  • Not being able to withstand the cold

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Restricting food through dieting or fasting for long periods
  • Exercising an excessive amount
  • Bingeing and making themselves throw up

Avoidant/ restrictive food intake disorder is when you limit the number of different types of food you allow yourself to eat. This isn’t the same when someone is a picky eater. It’s when someone is only okay with eating a few things. Sometimes there are habits or patterns around eating like the order of how you eat your specific food. Some of the symptoms of someone with avoidant/ restrictive food intake disorder are:

  • Drastic weight loss
  • Stomach cramps and stomach pain
  • Low body temperature
  • Muscle weakness
  • Having no appetite
  • Limiting the amount of food you eat
  • Fear of vomiting or choking

Binge eating disorder is characterized as consuming a lot of food and not eating even after feeling sufficiently full. When excessive overeating happens regularly and you don’t feel in control that’s a sign you have a binge eating disorder. Some of the symptoms you get with binge eating disorder are: 

  • Eating a ton of food in a specific amount of time
  • Eating when you’re not hungry or too full
  • Eating rapidly and not even conscious of what’s going on
  • Eating alone or secretly
  • Being depressed, ashamed, or guilty of eating so much afterward
  • Dieting a lot and not getting the desired weight loss outcome

Pica is when someone will swallow non-food items. This happens a lot in children but can happen in adulthood too. Some of the symptoms of pica are:

  • Constipation
  • Lead poisoning
  • An obstruction in the small and large intestines
  • Low iron or anemia

Psychotic Disorders We Treat

Psychotic disorders are when you’re in a state of psychosis, which makes it hard to know what is considered reality. Someone with a psychotic disorder has preconceived false beliefs because they have a detachment from reality. Some psychotic disorders Alter Wellness Care treats are: 

Schizophrenia is when people have an altered reality, including hallucinations, delusions, and a disordered way of thinking and behavior that can disrupt daily functioning. Some of the symptoms of schizophrenia are:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganized thinking or speech
  • Extremely disorganized motor behavior
  • Neglect personal hygiene
  • Lack emotion

Schizoaffective disorder is a combination of schizophrenia symptoms and mood disorder symptoms. There are two types of schizoaffective disorder. One is the bipolar type, which is when someone has episodes of mania and also episodes of major depression. The other one is the depressive type, which only has major depressive episodes. Some of the symptoms of schizoaffective disorder are:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Unusual behavior
  • Not being able to function in an occupational, academic, or social setting
  • Unable to keep up with personal hygiene and physical appearance

Delusional disorder is when a person can’t tell what is reality over what they imagined. There are 6 different types of delusional disorders. Erotomanic is when the person believes another person (usually a famous person) is in love with them. Grandiose is when someone has an overinflated ego, power, or knowledge. Jealousy is when the person believes that their spouse or partner is unfaithful without any evidence to cite. Persecutory is when the person believes someone is spying on them or trying to harm them. Somatic is when someone believes they have a physical or medical issue, which makes them want to visit the doctor frequently.

Some common symptoms of delusional disorder are:

  • Feeling like you’re being exploited
  • Holding grudges a lot
  • Thinking there are threatening meanings behind completely normal remarks
  • Thinking you can’t trust anyone
mental health clinic Laguna Beach


Addiction disorder is when someone constantly desires to consume a substance or do an activity. Two addiction disorders we treat are: 

Substance use disorder is when a person uses or consumes a substance that causes distress or impairs their life. Some of the symptoms you can develop from substance use disorder are:

  • Taking the substance in a larger amount for a long time than you’re prescribed
  • Wanting the substance when not consuming it for some time
  • Not being able to fulfill work, school, or home responsibilities
  • Having withdrawal symptoms

Gambling disorder is an addiction where you can’t stop the urge to keep gambling even though it’s hindering your life. Some of the symptoms of gambling are:

  • Planning gambling activities and how you can get more money from it
  • Needing more money to gamble to get more of a thrill
  • Gambling to escape real-world problems or trying to fill the void when feeling helpless, anxious, or depressed
  • Losing important relationships


Alter Wellness Care, located in Laguna Beach, California, provides mental health treatment. Our facility is a judgment-free zone that doesn’t stigmatize mental health and needs help. Three of the programs we offer at our Laguna Beach facility are two intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) and a partial hospitalization program (PHP). You get to choose your treatment plan as we believe mental health treatment isn’t a one-size-fits-all. 

At our facility, we provide two IOP levels: IOP5 and IOP3. It depends on what you need for treatment for mental health.

  • IOP5: This program lasts between 40 to 60 days. When you’re in treatment, you get to access the therapy programs that are offered throughout the day. To stay consistent with treatment, our patients stay at a sober living house seven days a week during their treatment. 
  • IOP3: This program lasts between 30 to 40 days. When you’re in treatment, we allow you to attend two morning or two-afternoon therapy sessions. Like the IOP5, you stay at a local sober living house seven days a week to be in a more controlled environment during treatment. 

A partial hospitalization program is a more convenient variation of a treatment program for mental health. It combines a more hybrid approach. This means that patients can come in and leave as they please after they get treatment for the day or after their scheduled treatment time. The patient still gets a sense of community and strong support from people going through similar things as them as they would if they were in an inpatient facility. As with the other treatment plans, you stay in a local sober living house seven days a week. 

contact Alter Wellness Care today

Learn more about our highly structured clinical programs designed to overcome mental health conditions.


We offer different treatment modalities for techniques to use to treat mental illness. We tailor your treatment plan to you by having a variety of modalities to choose from. We offer the following treatment modalities: 

The main goal of these groups is educating and informing people about mental health, the behaviors related to it, and the effects of those behaviors. 

This model allows the therapist to adapt their skills in teaching based on the needs of the people in the group. The skills will focus on maintaining your mental health symptoms. 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the ideology that your thoughts and beliefs lead to your emotions and later to your behaviors. The aim is to give new coping skills for managing your mental health issues more healthily. 

Dialectical behavior therapy teaches four basic skill sets. Emotional regulation, mindfulness, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness are the skill sets. 

Support groups are just as they sound, providing support and care for group members. This can be done through group discussion and sharing experiences that might relate to others in the group. 

The interpersonal process groups model allows patients to process their traumas and other personal conflict. This effort can help patients work through their past experiences and develop better strategies for the future.

Acceptance therapy is teaching patients what matters most to them, what they stand for, the types of relationships they want to work on, and how to behave and respond. 

contact Alter Wellness Care today

Learn more about our highly structured clinical programs designed to overcome mental health conditions.