Refuge Recovery Centers is the premiere Buddhist informed addiction treatment center in the United States. Founded by Noah Levine, our treatment program utilizes a unique blend of Buddhist philosophy and evidence-based clinical approaches, including attachment theory and EMDR therapy. As clients move through our program they gain clarity and learn to take refuge in transformational practices, supportive community, and their own potential.
The treatment program at Refuge Recovery Centers provides a framework grounded in practical Buddhist ethics and established psychology that incorporates mind, body, spirituality, and family. By addressing the underlying causes around addiction, our therapists can better equip clients with the tools that empower them and promote long-term recovery.
We use the philosophy of the Buddhist path to help clients focus on their direct experience of the present moment, including the thoughts, feelings, sensations, perceptions and emotions that arise.
All of our therapists are trained EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) specialists and use a wide variety of evidence based treatment modalities to assist clients with the reprocessing of traumatic memories.
At Refuge Recovery Centers, we view addiction as an attachment disturbance. It is our understanding that all people need stable relationships with others to maintain balance and regulate emotions.
Get to know the people behind Refuge Recovery
- Noah Levine is the founder of Refuge Recovery, an addiction recovery program based on the teachings of the Buddha. Refuge Recovery has hundreds of peer-led meetings worldwide and a treatment center in Los Angeles. He is also the founder of the “Against The Stream Buddhist Meditation Society” with centers in Los Angeles and San Francisco and over 20 affiliated groups in North America and Europe. He teaches meditation groups, gives workshops and leads retreats internationally. Noah is the author of “Dharma Punx”, “Against the Stream”, “Heart of the Revolution” and “Refuge Recovery”.
- Mellissa is an accomplished professional with extensive knowledge of and experience in the mental health industry. She draws from a rich background of specialized expertise in business management, business development, operations, logistics, risk management, professional standards, and quality of life. Mellissa holds a MSc in Psychology and is also certified in various practices of mediation, continuing processes and improvements, professional standards, and ethics.
- Dr. Steve played CBGB and Max’s Kansas City in the late 70s; drank, played in a toy rock band and then got sober in the 80s; became an international educator and rocker again in the 90s; and a sought after clinician and meditation teacher in the 2000s. Dr. Steve has attempted to cure Marc Maron on WTF, become a master EMDR therapist and provider of Basic Training with the Institute for Creative Mindfulness, and with Noah Levine helped set up the premiere Buddhist addictions rehab center, Refuge Recovery Centers. At Refuge Recovery Centers he has developed and instituted the MET(T)A Method, a design for addictions agency treatment using Buddhist Mindfulness and EMDR Therapy as the anchor. He gives regular Dharma talks at Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society and with his own DharmaSpring, is beginning production of two podcasts, seeing patients, and supervising and guiding young clinicians. At all other times, he is wrangling and entertaining his 7 year old daughter.
Dr. Steve's 2016 book Clinical Dharma: A Path for Healers and Helpers is available both in print and as an ebook. His new book (co-authored with Dr. Jamie Marich) EMDR Therapy and Mindfulness for Trauma Focused Care, will be released by Springer Publishing in November 2017.
- Loesha Zeviar is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist. Loesha has over a decade of direct hands-on experience working in the fields of substance abuse and mental health, both as a clinician providing one on one counseling and facilitating groups, and as a program manager, director and administrator. Loesha takes pride in providing excellent care for her clients by being supportive, proactive, caring and honest. With more than 20 years of personal recovery experience Loesha understands the unique needs of clients and their families who struggle with the effects of the addiction, and the important process into recovery beyond mere abstinence from substances. Pragmatically addressing the underlying core issues as a way of truly becoming free from the maladaptive coping strategies, obsessive thinking and compulsive behaviors, which are active addiction. Loesha maintains a private therapy practice and facilitates family support groups, in addition to her role outside of being the Program Director at Refuge Recovery Center.
CAADE # 092088
- Rev. Joseph Rogers, MDiv., our Director of Spiritual Care and Community, is a founding member of the Refuge Recovery community program and an Against the Stream meditation teacher trained under Noah Levine. Joseph received his MDiv. in Buddhist Chaplaincy from the University of the West, where he now teaches process methodology and completed his Clinical Pastoral Education at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center. He worked as a professional health care chaplain for a Los Angeles area hospice prior to coming to work at Refuge Recovery Centers. Previously Joseph also worked for a decade with Visions Adolescent Treatment Center as the Director of Education and facilitated their weekly teen mindfulness meditation group. Joseph facilitates meditation and process groups for the Refuge Recovery Centers IOP, provides real-time counseling and patient advocacy for our transitional living residents, training for the Refuge Recovery Centers staff, community orientation to new clients, and provides a key communication link between the clinical and line staffs.
- Kaitlin Sexton joins the Refuge Recovery team in the capacity of Director of Admissions. With experience working for Canada’s national leader in substance abuse treatment (Edgewood Health Network) and 5 years of training from a leading health insurance broker in Canada (ASEQ) she brings with her a wealth of customer service experience and skills. Her background in Case Management and Interventions allows her to connect to individuals who are struggling with substance abuse by using a 'family-centered' approach. Kaitlin is a natural leader with a passion for recovery and a desire to help others. She is extremely involved in the recovery community and has volunteered with various youth initiatives and chaired the Montreal Recovery Day non-profit committee. As a person in long-term recovery she understands the importance of continuous care, personal growth and development.
- Tom Hietter left a high profile career in Reality Television to dedicate his life to helping others. As a Certified Addiction Counselor, Tom seeks to utilize his creative talents and passion for the complexities of the human condition to guide clients toward effective, simple and lasting solutions to their substance abuse behavior. Deeply involved in the LGTBQI community, Tom was drawn to Refuge Recovery’s visionary, inclusive and self-empowering alternative to the traditional 12-step model. Tom works with Refuge clients developing treatment plans and acting as liaison with client, families, programs, and outside service providers.
- Jason Murphy, MA, LMFT, CADACII, ICAP, is a consultant and educator with extensive experience over the last 2 decades of working with youth and families as a mindfulness-based psychotherapist and addiction medicine clinician. He is certified as a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) trainer and holds a license as a certified addictions counselor. Jason has taught mindful awareness in a variety of settings both in the U.S and internationally. He has implemented MBSR in educational systems, corporations, businesses and community organizations. Jason holds a specialized degree in Behavioral Sciences with an emphasis in Psycho-pharmacology from the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) and a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies with emphasis in Psychology, Philosophy and Anthropology. Jason has training in Vipassana (Insight) Meditation and is a teacher of this tradition. Jason has studied meditation and martial arts for the last 20 years.
- Anadel has been sober since 2001, and working in the recovery field since 2004. She earned her Masters in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University Los Angeles and her Doctorate of Philosophy in Human Sexuality from The Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. Sobriety put her on a journey that included finding ways to end self-imposed suffering and to enjoy life without needing mind-altering substances. The spiritual aspect of recovery was deepened when she discovered the Dharma. Finding solace through mindfulness, meditation and yoga, she decided to share it with others. After years of working with teens on probation and women in recovery, she decided to expand her practice. By integrating mindfulness practices into therapy, she finds there to be an important spiritual healing that can occur for individuals, couples and families. Her studies in Human Sexuality have expanded her practice to help sober individuals through specific challenges that sobriety may bring, integrating the Buddhist philosophy with Western therapies to help end the suffering that intimacy and sex can bring.
- Michael Zittel is a Therapist at Refuge Recovery Center and a Master’s Degree Candidate at Antioch University’s Clinical Psychology Program. With three decades of study and practice in a range of Buddhist meditation schools, and fifteen years of experience as a meditation facilitator, Michael now brings his expertise in meditation to the field of mental health. Michael has comprehensive experience cultivating individualized meditation-based strategies for individuals and couples. He has previously taught meditation in clinical settings to both psychiatric outpatients and clinical staff. For the past eight years, Michael has trained with Noah Levine, Founder and Executive Director of Refuge Recovery Center, teaching meditation classes and leading intensive workshops under Noah’s supervision. At Refuge Recovery Center, Michael facilitates mindfulness groups and provides individual counseling.
- Zack Oldenburg is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with nearly a decade of experience working with high-risk youth and young adults with histories of substance abuse and trauma. He is a trained EMDR therapist. Zack brings an interest in attachment theory, neurobiology, and meditative practices to his work with clients. He is deeply fascinated by the intersection of trauma and addiction and the many different ways to bring healing to suffering.
- Bianca Fisher is a Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist, Counselor and Certified Life Coach. Having worked in the field of addiction treatment for nearly 10-years, Bianca has worked both as a clinician, lead case manager, assistant program director, clinical assistant and sober companion for many of the top treatment centers in Southern California. She has chosen to work at Refuge Recovery due to their holistic approach and extreme care for clients.
- Angel has a background in band management and had been a CEO and entrepreneur from 2005 until 2015 when she had an epiphany that lead her to a new career in service work. When Angel entered sobriety in 2014, she found Refuge Recovery meetings through her fellows in 12 step. Refuge meetings and meditation assisted her while battling and overcoming breast cancer in 2015 & 2016. Through her own journey of self advocating, she has taken her healing to the next level and has dedicated the last year to becoming a certified Shamanic Practitioner and ordained minister. After 2 years of working as a technician in drug rehabilitation, Angel is now a lead technician and client advocate here at Refuge Recovery Centers. Angel strives to create a safe, healthy and nurturing environment for our clients. When Angel is not on the clock, you can find her touring in her metal band and being of service to her family of 7 rescue animals.
- California native chef and member of the Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, Mau Raynor blends her experience as a designer, gardener, artist and her Buddhist practice to prepare nourishing and balanced comfort foods to the clients at Refuge Recovery Centers. Inspired by market produce, Mau creates seasonal dishes in the Refuge Kitchen that boost health and healing while placing emphasis on the human need to build community through the practice of sitting down to break bread together.
“Refuge Recovery shows me the path to the end of the suffering created by addiction and gives me the tools I need to navigate that path on a daily basis. The tools of the program and the teachings of the Buddha allow me to experience ordinary life in a relieving and refreshing way - a way which is totally different from any experience I've had in recovery, or in life, up to this point. In the Refuge program, ancient wisdom and modern knowledge reinforce one another and form techniques to build a solid foundation for living. If you have suffered as a sensitive human being in this world, as I have, then I believe you will find great relief in mindfulness, meditation, and the application of the teachings to your recovery and to your life.”DOM
“When I first started to drink and use drugs it made it easy to connect with other people. In the end of my addiction I was using drugs and alcohol to connect with myself and every else was gone. Meditation and the process of Refuge Recovery taught me how to reconnect with myself so I can connect with others.”SHAM
“My time at Refuge Recovery has been a life changing six months for me. The instructors and house staff have been caring and committed since the day I arrived. I'm confident that the meditation training and practices have provided me with life long tools for self efficacy. Overall, Refuge is a comprehensive recovery approach that has given me both education about my drug abuse, and more importantly, practical tools to deal with it.”TYSON A.