La Jolla Addiction Healing Center can ‘C’ you well



La Jolla Addiction Healing Center’s approach to treatment, at least in part, is alphabetical. Founder and CEO Kamran Zafar, CAADAC, Ph.D., cites the “Three C’s: Catch it. Challenge it. Change it.”

“I use these in my treatment program because every action starts with a thought,” said Zafar, who six years ago moved his outpatient healing center to La Jolla after eight previous years in Rancho Santa Fe. “More than 8,000 thoughts a day go through our brains.”

The “Three C’s” are in line with the cognitive approach to therapy practiced by Zafar and about a half-dozen colleagues at the healing center. “We look at what the individual’s belief system was, and ask what kind of program we can put together to show the person a new way of living.” It’s about mindfulness, Zafar says.

The other approach to therapy at La Jolla Addiction Healing Center is spiritual, developing as Zafar explains, “the freedom to not let everything get to you. You’re not here alone. There is a higher power, a spirituality that makes you want to stay sober because you’re happy with yourself and you believe in something greater than you.”

The center treats individuals with issues ranging from drug and alcohol addictions to PTSD, OCD, depression, grief management and more. Clients are treated in individual therapy session, in group sessions or both, depending on the person’s needs. The center’s group program, for example, lasts two months, with participants meeting three times a week for three hours each time. “Individually,” said Zafar, “it really depends on the need of the person. Sometimes they come two or three times, even five times a week.”

The healing center is more than a business to Zafar, who feels personally invested. He is in recovery himself: “Drugs and alcohol were the only friends I had,” he recalled, “and (they) almost killed me.”

In addition, he and his wife, Kiyan Yazdani-Zafar, oversee the nonprofit CyMo Foundation, whose mission is “to spread awareness of the rising abuse of prescription drugs” among San Diego’s youth. The Foundation is named for Kiyan’s son, Cyrus Moinzadeh, who succumbed to an overdose of OxyContin at age 23.

While the Foundation takes up the task of education, La Jolla Healing Center focuses on treatment — treatment of the whole person, not just treatment of the addiction. For now, the environment remains strictly an outpatient one. “I personally went through inpatient a long time ago,” said Zafar, “and some people do need that, but the problem is that it gives you a false sense of security that everything is great. Then all the challenges you faced when you went in are waiting for you again when you come out.”

There is follow-up after a person finishes a program. “We encourage them to come back once a week for after-care, to sit down and talk to us and with other group members and talk about the challenges they’re facing and how they are coping with them.”

Challenges. Back, as in the beginning, to the “Three C’s.”

La Jolla Addiction Healing Center is at 7590 Fay Ave., Suite 404. (858) 775-7752.

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