top of page



Client-Customized Addiction Recovery

Shell Avenue is a boutique sobriety hub in Venice Beach, California. We blend the very best of the sober living and intensive in-patient rehab experience to deliver a full narrative shift and life re-architecture completely customized to the client. Our goal isn't just to contain and stabilize, or merely provide a place to stay. Our goal is to rebuild you, end generational trauma, create more fulfilled husbands, wives, partners, sons, daughters, employees and humans. In short, to help you live out loud.

A Different Kind of Transitional Housing

Untitled (1366 × 700 px).png

A Full Narrative Shift

The structured full-time residential program at Shell incorporates a variety of disciplines which we have found to be integral to treating addiction-related issues and introducing lifestyle shifting behaviors designed to rehabilitate and assist people in thriving once they leave. 

This includes tapping into what we call the Ten Principles of Action: the client’s emotions, intellect, honesty, integrity, compassion, physical fitness, social, spiritual, sensual and environmental life.


By combining a vigorous program of one-to-one treatment, adjunct service provider integrations, focused recovery work, and holistic lifestyle re-architecture we have seen tremendous success with our clients.

Shell Avenue & Venice Blvd signs on a sign post with "first one to love wins"

What Our Clients Say

The guys at Shell turned my life around in no time. I didn't know which was to turn until I found them.

Peter L.

Shell is a community that will help you go “higher” emotionally, physically, spiritually and professionally.

Justin H.

"Testimonials are a great way to showcase positive feedback you've received. Click to edit and add yours."

Dillon O.

I almost gave up on myself, my family, even my daughter until I got taught a new set of skills to help me live life.

Sebastian W.


Our Program

Sobriety isn't a linear process and neither is our program. In our experience, sobriety is achieved and maintained through an open-minded, curious, willing development of tools and self-exploratory action-oriented attitudes. These skills enable the person to develop self-love, self-respect and envision a life beyond their wildest dreams, and our phases of development all overlap.

Intake & Evaluation

Physical Transformation

Psychological Transformation

Relational Transformation

Lifestyle Re-Architecture

Emotional Sobriety

Spiritual Fitness & Maintenance

Comprehensive assessment including medically managed detox strategy, dual-diagnosis evaluation and treatment planning

Introduction to sponsor, 12-step work and 12-step meeting schedule; physical fitness and nutritional regime; ocean and dance therapy

2-6 sessions per week with Sean McFarland; adjunct therapeutic interventions (EMDR; brain-spotting; Traumatic Brain Injury, etc) as needed

Fellowship and social interaction; pairing with sober individuals with similar passions, goals, backgrounds; couples and family therapy, as needed

Custom routine building and self-love program; service & welfare initiatives; inner child work; introduction to the 10 dimensions of joy; life goal setting & strength-resourcing; squaring away unpaid debts and overlooked obligations

Overcoming limiting beliefs; establishing life-in-consultation strategies; breaking the gratitud-o-meter; redefining relapse; restraint of pen and tongue; self-advocacy and boundaries

Guided and self-paced meditation; prayer practice; writing workshops; post-Shell continuity and safety planning

Integrated Services

Over the course of 20+ years, Shell has built a deep bench of adjunct providers whom we trust to help our clients with everything they need to restore their body, mind and spirit to full strength. Whether it's medic-assisted detox through, behavioral therapy programs and creative workshops or massage to encourage positive, self-soothing routines, Shell caters to its clients needs holistically and extensively.


Medic-Assisted Detox



Meditation (TM®)

Music Therapy


Ketamine Therapy


Art & Writing

Holistic Healing


The Shell Difference

We understand searching for a recovery solution can be stressful, and you may well be looking for someone other than yourself, so here's why Shell is so special, in a nutshell:


  • Unlike other locations, Shell's sober apartments house three clients at any one time, so everyone receives unparalleled round-the-clock care.

  • Unlike other sober living housing and rehab options, we don't just focus on containment and stabilization. Sean McFarland's 35+ years of experience enables him to pinpoint the contours of the addiction's origins and anticipate those areas in the client's life where addiction transfers often occur (e.g. issues around sex, love, codependence, gambling, food).

  • Sex and love addiction (more below) are areas in which few 

  • We eliminate the anxiety of clients scrambling to find post-treatment sober living accommodation by combining the two.

  • We work with an exclusive set of holistic adjunct service providers, allowing us to offer clients medically-assisted detox, behavioral therapists (EMDR, neuro-feedback, CBT/DBT), psycho-pharmacologists, movement, dance and yoga practitioners, and more, all of which extend the therapeutic coaching offered by Sean McFarland.

  • Our practice combines an active AA and SLAA fellowship group and on-site meetings to both build the client's support system and enhance their social, professional, creative and personal network.

  • Shell alumni continue to receive curated one-to-one attention for as long as they need after they leave. 

Flowers of love outside Shell Avenue
Inner child artwork at Burning Man

Sex, Love & Addiction Recovery

Contrary to popular belief, drugs, alcohol or any addictive behavior are the individual's solution and not their problem.  The source of the problem goes deeper and, once the immediate addiction is treated, addictions often switch tracks. What AA calls the ”whack-a-mole” of addiction, typically sobriety results in addictive tendencies showing up in other areas of life, resulting in risky emotional relapses in relationships, sex lives, business and personal lives. Clients often tell us that withdrawal from heroin was a walk in the park compared to working through their sex, love and codependence issues.


Sean McFarland's deep experience separately treating sex and love addiction as well as codependence issues enables Shell to expand the concept of relapse and build more nuanced pictures of the addicted client's emotional life. This enables clients to develop the self-awareness to spot the emotional slips that can result in full blown physical relapse and even on their own lead to major depressive episodes and suicidal ideation.

Tower 28 in Santa Monica, CA

Why Venice Beach for Sobriety?

Los Angeles has the best AA and SLAA in the world. Whether it's the climate, the creative energy and spiritual inclinations, what's for sure is that with over 3,000 meetings every week, there's a tribe for everyone. 

Shell Avenue is in Venice Beach, a stone's throw from the ocean, close to Malibu and Santa Monica, and a 30 minute drive from Hollywood. Hikes, swims, kayaks, restaurants, gyms, high-end shopping - the west side has it all. Nestled in the heart of the Californian pacific-coast paradise, LA sobriety is complemented year-round by beautiful sunshine and plenty of opportunities to get outside and be grateful.

Ocean Therapy
Sean McFarland celebrates 35th sober birthday
Robert Downey, Jr. at Shell Avenue
Sean McFarland and Troy Polamalu at Shell Avenue
Three men happy and sober at Shell Avenue

It Takes A Village

The beauty of Shell is the integrated meetings we host here on site and our extensive alumni network. Clients staying at Shell have hundreds of people to make lasting friendships with from every walk of life, and almost certainly intersecting with their professional, personal and lifestyle interests.

Our tribe is one of the things we're most proud of. Finding people you can relate with and who have faced similar things to you, or even people you would never have imagined being friends with before are all fundamental to the recovery process. Humanity has more in common than the differences we let separate us and, for the lonesome native Victimese speaker with a PhD in terminal uniqueness, Shell offers the perfect antidote.

We Are Not A Glum Lot

We absolutely insist on having fun. Our second life begins the minute we realize we only have one and we plan on filling it with laughter, music, art, nature, food, fellowship, good conversation and lots of love. 

We throw family dinners, head to the movies, take in art shows, sit court side at Lakers and Clippers games, catch the latest shows at the Hollywood Bowl. Marinating in living room darkness isn't our get down...we're here to level up, live out loud and help our sober living community enjoy what the world has to offer.

Sean McFarland is a triple blackbelt in showing up
Matthew Davidson, a hero of transformation
Rising comedy star Steve Randolph at Shell Avenue
Five people lined up in the early morning at Gold's Gym, Venice Beach
Shell Avenue ocean swim tribe
Breathtaking views on Venice Beach
Beach towels for the ocean swim

Oceanic Therapy

At Shell, we're blessed to be so close to the ocean. Every week various members of the Shell tribe meet on the beach at 7am, go for a 3 mile run and dive into the ocean.


We emphasize the importance of starting the day early and with the right attitude.  A bit of sweat followed by the cold temperature shift is a powerful way of telling your body and your mind that you're showing up, ready to shift the narrative in the eternal present moment.

No Problem You Can't Give Your Way Out Of

Service and welfare are key components of a solid and lasting sobriety and Sean McFarland leads by example, with his time in Rwanda and Uganda helping victims of genocidal trauma.  Almost always when someone in recovery is suffering part of the pain comes from a life lived purely on their own terms. Doing something for others creates a sense of meaning, purpose and human connection that is full of love.

We encourage all of our clients to engage in outreach within the program, to use their unique skills and talents to help others in a bind, to get commitments at 12-step meetings and to perform community work such as food drops.

Shell Avenue homeless food drops
Sean McFarland in Rwanda helping genocide survivors
Sean McFarland in Uganda helping genocide survivors
Therapy office

Insurance & Rates

We are a private-pay facility. 

Rates depend on the client's addiction(s) and co-occurring issues, their length of sobriety and level of care required. Some people come to us with a complex array of treatment requirements, including family and couples therapy, trust as well as court mandated liaisons and communications.

bottom of page