Thelma McMillen Center, Torrance, California

A View of Torrance Beach
3330 Lomita Blvd
Torrance, CA, 90505

Thelma McMillen Center Overview

Located in the city of Torrance, California, Thelma McMillen Center is a mental health and substance abuse treatment center for adults and adolescents looking to overcome substance addiction and abuse problems. The facility provides outpatient services to individuals and is a 10,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility. Clients who are willing to commit to getting recovery can get treatment at this facility. The first stage of treatment involves an initial assessment which is done by the intake counselor. This assessment is done prior to enrollment into the facility. The assessment is done to determine the kind of treatment the client requires and if the client qualifies for Medication-Assisted treatment. The facility offers a total of four programs namely The Teen First Program, the Adult Program, the Opioid Addiction Program, and the Teen Program. All four programs contain a three-stage track and after some time in treatment and if the counselor finds the client getting better, the frequency of attendance reduces as well as the client’s involvement. The average duration of a lengthened stay in a program can go from six to nine months.
The first track involves utilizing an intensive approach to healing of the addiction disorder. Clients are required to participate in psychoeducational lectures and workshops and after this, are introduced to 12-step, helping such clients through the process. During treatment, clients are required to participate in Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. These meetings serve as a supplement to helping clients understand the 12-step treatment modalities. This first phase can last anytime from six to eight weeks and clients must attend group and individual therapy daily. Clients attend treatment four to five days per week during the first phase of treatment before clients can be moved to the next phase with approval from the therapist or counselor.
The next phase offers a less intensive approach, unlike the first phase. Meetings take place thrice weekly for a duration of six weeks. Clients are often encouraged to attend off-site meetings while maintaining the same treatment schedule. The facility believes that outside support for clients is very important to their progress in treatment. The facility also believes that family involvement in treatment is very crucial and as such, offers family sessions during this second phase to clients. These sessions occur at different times and are made available during the day and also at night time to allow for flexibility.
The third stage of treatment is the aftercare and this essentially involves a counselor creating a discharge plan for a client who has completed primary treatment and is ready to step down to a less intensive treatment. Clients registered in the teen program can still go to school as the programs are offered in the evenings to allow for flexibility of schedules. The Teen First Step program is designed to help adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17 develop coping skills, improve communication, as well as deal with peer pressure.
The staff team at the facility include Psychiatrists, Certified Addiction and Drug Counselors, Nurses, Masters-level Counselors, and many more.

Treatment & Therapy

The center offers some treatment and therapy services depending on the unique needs of the client. Some of these are:

  • Outpatient Treatment
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment

Outpatient Treatment

The outpatient treatment program offers care to clients dealing with mental health and substance abuse issues but require a less intensive approach to treatment. The services offered in this treatment program are overseen by masters-level psychiatrists and licensed individuals.
The following are some disorders and conditions treated at the facility:

  • Substance abuse
  • Co-occurring disorders

Therapy Options at Thelma McMillen Center

Treatment facility offers various options of therapy which include:

  • Relapse prevention
  • Psychoeducation
  • Individual therapy
  • 12-step meetings
  • Group therapy


Thelma McMillen costs vary depending on the kind of treatment a client requires and also the stage and level of care as well. Thelma McMillen Center accepts most major plans as most of its programs offered are covered by most commercial insurance providers. Clients who come in for evaluation can get their first initial assessment done at no cost. Clients are advised to contact the treatment center for more specific information and answer to questions.

Thelma McMillen Advantages

The facility believes in wholesome treatment and as such offers, three phases of treatment, continuing or aftercare being the last phase. The continuing care phase is an aftercare plan specially created for individuals who have completed a primary program.
The duration of this care is 24 weeks and clients are required to attend meetings and activities once per week. If a client desires, they can attend family specific therapy or multi-family group therapy with their loved ones. The facility also offers treatment and care to adolescents and adults suffering from opiate addiction.
In entirety, the facility offers very comprehensive and well thought out programs to clients suffering from substance abuse and mental health issues. Some of the services offered include 12-step focused care, structured outpatient treatment, and many more. Clients seeking a facility that offers the right support to individuals as well as women and children will find Thelma McMillen Center to be a good option.


Morris Gelbart
Executive Director

Morris holds a graduate degree from the University of Southern California and is licensed to practice Clinical Psychology. He has over 30 years of experience working in the behavioral health field and was one of the founders of the center. He specializes in the treatment of issues such as anxiety, chronic pain, relationships, and depressive disorders.

Donnie Watson
Program Director

Donnie holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Saint Olaf College and a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology (minor in Alcohol Studies and Experimental Design) from Vanderbilt University. He has over 25 years of experience in managing and directing programs to help clients attain the best treatment and results. He specializes in utilizing evidence-based modalities to treatments.

Jean Carfagno
Utilization Review

Jean holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Ohio State University in Psychology and a Master’s degree from the Lindenwood University in Counseling Psychology. She is certified and licensed to practice alcohol and drug addiction counseling and teaches addiction courses in Antioch University Graduate School serving as an adjunct professor.

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