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Cliffside Malibu Treatment Center is a luxury, for-profit treatment center [1] founded by Richard Taite in 2005. It is known for its evidence-based treatment protocol, use of the Stages of Change model developed by Dr. James Prochaska, and leading the industry in innovation.[2] [3] JCAHO accredited, Cliffside Malibu is located in Malibu, California and offers evidence-based therapies that seek to address the root cause of addiction and treat the whole person.[1]

History and Founder[edit]

Richard Taite founded Cliffside Malibu on July 1, 2005. A former drug addict, Taite had struggled with recovery and wanted to establish a treatment facility that would provide addicts with a safe, nurturing environment and a scientific based treatment protocol. He originally purchased the private estate overlooking the Pacific Ocean as his “dream home,” but decided it was the perfect setting for the treatment center he envisioned.[1]

A hands-on CEO, Taite is the coauthor of the bestselling book Ending Addiction for Good and writes for various publications including Psychology Today[4]. An established interventionist and advocate for quality addiction treatment at the state and national levels, he fights on behalf of addicts for access to treatment. He resides in Malibu with his wife and children.


Cliffside Malibu focuses on treating:

  • Drug abuse
  • Alcoholism
  • Prescription drug addiction
  • Substance dependency
  • Co-occurring disorders including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, personality disorders and PTSD

Treatment Protocol[edit]

Cliffside Malibu’s treatment protocol defines addiction as a behavioral disorder rather than as a disease or moral failing. The key to recovery, therefore, is to determine the source of pain that has resulted in a change of behavior and ultimately an addiction.[5] Addiction treatment includes methods based on the work done by Dr. Daniel Siegel on the brain’s neuroplasticity: intensive, individualized psychotherapy is used to identify, resolve and heal the root causes of pain that may have led to addiction. During this process, the neural pathways of the brain are rewired to allow for different behaviors to occur.[6]

Stages of Change[edit]

Cliffside’s team of licensed professionals use the Stages of Change model, developed by Dr. James Prochaska, that identifies an individual's readiness to change. The six stages include precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and termination,[7] though the final stage, termination, is not used in Cliffside's addiction recovery protocol. Cliffside therapists are trained to identify an addict’s readiness to change and then to create a treatment program that is progressive and develops as the client does.

Holistic Therapies[edit]

Cliffside’s individualized treatment protocol includes the following treatments:



Cliffside Malibu was the first addiction treatment center to offer a guarantee on its services: if a client completes all three levels of care at the facility and follows all aftercare recommendations, but has a relapse prior to obtaining one full year of sobriety, then Cliffside Malibu will take the client back into their thirty day Primary Care program free of charge.[3]

Addiction Researcher[edit]

In 2012, Cliffside Malibu became the first treatment center to employ a full time addiction researcher on its staff. Constance Scharff, PhD, has a doctorate specializing in addiction recovery and speaks internationally on addiction recovery, including at the International Congress on Naturopathic Medicine, The Jerusalem International Conference on Neuroplasticity and Cognitive Modifiability, and the Asian Conference on Psychology and Behavioral Science, among others.

As part of their community service initiatives, Taite and Scharff wrote the Amazon best selling book, Ending Addiction for Good. One hundred percent of the authors’ royalties from the book go to charity, to help those in need of treatment receive it.


  1. ^ a b c Walton, Alice. "Where The Rich And Famous Go For Addiction Treatment". Forbes. 
  2. ^ Farnan, Ed. "Cliffside Malibu: Sharing the Secrets to Real Addiction Treatment". Irish Central. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Kelly, Damian (2012). "Cliffside Malibu: The Road To Recovery". Canyon News. Retrieved 20 March 2013.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  4. ^ "Experts: Richard Taite". Psychology Today. 
  5. ^ "Living In Sobriety: Dealing With Clients Who are Addicted". Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  6. ^ Siegel, Daniel J (2010). Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation. Random House. ISBN 0553804707. 
  7. ^ Prochaska, James O. (1995). Changing for Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage Program for Overcoming Bad Habits and Moving Your Life Positively Forward. William Morrow. ISBN 038072572X. 

External Links[edit]

Cliffside Malibu