Walden House

Walden House (520 Townsend St., San Francisco, CA 94103; 415-554-1100) is a comprehensive Therapeutic Community (TC), which began in San Francisco, CA. It consists of residential facilities for adults and adolescents, a day treatment program, outpatient services, and a nonpublic school and training institute. Walden House is a highly structured program designed to treat the behavioral, emotional, and family issues of substance abusers.

The heart of the Walden House TC is a long-term residential treatment program, consisting of a series of phases from orientation to aftercare. Within the TC, all the household tasks, groups, and seminars promote responsibility and emotional growth. The activities are part of an integrated array of therapeutic experiences, in which residents continuously see themselves in a context of mutual support. The philosophy of Walden House emphasizes self-help and peer support.

Founded in 1969 by Walter Littrell as a response to the drug epidemic of the 1960s, Walden House has grown into one of the largest substance-abuse programs in California. The program pioneered the use of alternative treatments with substance abusers, for example, herbs, diet, and physical exercise. Walden House has designed many special programs to treat particular populations, including clients with AIDS, homeless people, minorities, pregnant women, mothers, and clients referred from the criminal-justice system as an alternative to incarceration.

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