CROSS Program | Sovereign Health California

CROSS Program

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CROSS: A Christian Faith-Based Recovery Program

Sovereign Health’s CROSS (Christian Recovery Offering Significant Success) Program integrates mental health and addiction treatment with Christian spirituality. CROSS is a holistic residential rehabilitation community for men and women seeking Christian faith-based care. The CROSS community is comprised of patients and those staff members who share values and belief and from many Christian expressions. CROSS provides a healing environment where fear and negativity are overcome by faith in God’s grace and love.

The desert environment offers CROSS Program participants the opportunity to seek God as they meditate on their desert experiences, and to reflect on Jesus’ experiences during His 40 days in the wilderness. Just as Jesus relied on God’s word to manage his time in the wilderness, CROSS patients are free to grow closer to God daily as they begin their journey through recovery with Him. CROSS encourages patients to create a healing community that fosters recovery and promotes transition to a healthy lifestyle that glorifies the Lord.

The CROSS Program at a Glance

Sovereign Health is a leader in residential mental health care, addiction and dual diagnosis treatment. Christian men and women who choose to get help at the Sovereign Health facility in Palm Desert can elect to participate in the CROSS Program. CROSS was specifically designed to restore mental and physical health to individuals age 18 and older with specialized focus on those in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. The length of the program is individualized and determined by the patient’s needs and medical necessity criteria. CROSS, like all of Sovereign’s programs, include all levels of care from detoxification to outpatient services. Throughout the treatment process, time is allotted for prayer, mediation and Bible study throughout the day. CROSS provides transportation for participants to access outside recovery meetings and religious services of their choice.

The CROSS Program provides comprehensive psychiatric assessment and treatment of all underlying and co-occurring disorders using scientifically proven therapies, including cognitive and interpersonal psychotherapy, motivational interviewing, cognitive enhancement therapy, group process, nutrition, medication (if needed), neurofeedback, and many other methods, all within the context of Christian faith. Our robust curriculum for group therapy is based on the developmental theories of Erik Erikson and the faith theories of James Fowler. In addition, some of the groups focus on the 12-Steptep model which rely intensively on a faith-based approach to recovery. If requested, participation in the 12-Step fellowship is facilitated.

Participants also learn how to manage chronic medical conditions, practice healthy lifestyle habits, let go of anger and resentment, develop healthy relationships, resolve legal and financial problems, and pursue vocational and other life goals. This foundation creates a truly holistic residential rehabilitation community for men and women seeking a Christian approach to treatment for their addiction and mental health issues. Supporting recovery through God’s Grace and promoting a life free from fear and shame are the core values of the CROSS community.

CROSS Is Ideal for Men and Women with:

  • Addiction
  • Mental Illness
  • Dual Diagnosis
  • Trauma History
  • Christian beliefs
  • Age 18 and over with a specialized focus on ages 40 and above

Levels of Care and What to Expect

Upon arrival, patients are welcomed and assessed by our medical and psychiatric physicians and patients requiring detoxification are quickly admitted to the detox level of care. Our detox home is specially designed to make the detox process as safe and comfortable as possible. Medications ease symptoms of alcohol and drug withdrawal and our professional staff ensure that the process is safe and comfortable for each individual patient.

When detox level of care is completed, patients are transitioned into regular treatment programing, transitioning to full-time Residential Treatment or Partial Hospitalization. They reside in comfortable homes at night and begin each morning with prayer and meditation on the Bible verse-of-the-day, gaining hope of a new life and renewed faith in God. Transportation is provided to the treatment facility daily for therapy, groups, classes, doctor appointments, lab tests, counseling and on-site pastoral care and services. Healthy, delicious meals are provided. All accommodations and amenities are suitable for those with sophisticated tastes and every effort is made to ensure each patient has everything they need.

After approximately 30 days, many patients can transition to the Intensive Outpatient (IOP) level of care. IOP patients attend fewer sessions at the treatment facility, so that they can begin to transition from treatment to the recovery community, while remaining in a structured, sober environment. Patients continue part-time treatment on weekdays, off-site church services, participate in equine therapy and expressive arts, connect with community-based recovery groups, develop healthy lifestyle habits and solidify their recovery and relapse prevention plans. Some patients also work on legal and financial issues or resume academic or occupational pursuits while in IOP. Patients generally stay in IOP for another 15 to 30 days.

Re-learning how to relax and enjoy oneself without the use of alcohol or drugs for the substance abuse population, and being medication compliant for the mental health population, is an important part of the transition process. Expressive arts include music, art, drama and other creative ways to express oneself and share these expressions with others. Laughter is strongly encouraged!  Structured activities and outings are geared toward the interest of Christian men and women 18 and over.

Patients progress through the different levels of care at different rates, based on their needs and goals. The transition back into the general community is critical, so Sovereign Health ensures that the transition is seamless through continuing care through the Recovery Management Program. The five levels include the following:

  • Detox (24/7 Care and Medical Monitoring)
  • Residential Treatment (24/7 Care)
  • Partial Hospitalization (24/7 Care)
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (Transitional Living)
  • Recovery Management (After Discharge)

Treatment Modalities

Sovereign Health uses a wide variety of scientifically tested treatment modalities that have been shown to be safe and effective.

  • Social model Detox and Symptom Management
  • Individual, Group and Family Psychotherapy
  • Process Groups
  • Workshops
  • Education Classes
  • Family Weekend Programs
  • Healthy Lifestyle Development (Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep Habits, Social Skills)
  • Cognitive Rehabilitation and Brain Wellnesss
  • Neurofeedback Training
  • Medication optimization
  • Prayer and meditation
  • On-site pastoral support
  • Experiential Therapy (Equine, Expressive Arts, and Recreational Therapy)

Multidisciplinary Team

Patients meet regularly with their treatment teams to ensure that patients’ needs are being met and they are making progress toward their goals. Treatment plans are frequently adjusted as needed to maximize the benefits patients gain from each day of treatment.

  • Psychiatrist
  • Psychologists
  • Primary Therapist
  • Case Manager
  • Clergy
  • Nurses
  • Dieticians
  • Substance Abuse Counselors
  • Specialized therapists (Equine, Art, Music, Yoga, Recreation)
  • Neurofeedback Technician
  • Clinical Concierge
  • Clinical Coordinators
  • House Managers and Drivers

Meet The Facility Director

Helen Kienzle, Ph.D.

Dr. Helen Kienzle is the Program Director for the CROSS Program in Palm Desert, California. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the School for Professional Psychology at Alliant University in Los Angeles, California. Specializing in psychiatric crisis intervention and resolution, Dr. Kienzle focuses on providing individual and group therapy to clients and their families.

Quote from Dr. Kienzle, “Ending an addiction requires more than just detoxification. Underlying issues must be identified and treated, and new coping mechanisms and lifestyle habits must be developed. Transition from treatment to ‘real life’ is a critical period and I make sure all of my clients have everything they need to sustain their recovery.”


Meet the Associate Program Director

Dr. Mary Berst

Dr. Mary Berst is the Associate Program Director for the CROSS Program in Palm Desert, California. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Northcentral University, Prescott Valley, Arizona. With a background in Pastoral Counseling, Dr. Berst specializes in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and crisis intervention. Dr. Berst focuses on providing individual and group therapy to clients and their families.

Quote from Dr. Berst, “Addiction and mental health treatment is not just about treating physical symptom, it is about treatment the body, mind, and spirit. It is important to treat the whole person and to help individuals suffering with addiction and mental health issues gain strength from their “higher power” God; that is what recovery is truly all about.”


Meet The Chief Clinical Officer

Anthony J. Mele, Psy.D.

Dr. Anthony Mele, a licensed psychologist, brings almost 25 years of clinical expertise and executive leadership on both the provider and payer sides of behavioral healthcare. Dr. Mele’s wide range of clinical expertise includes: the assessment and treatment of co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders in adolescents and adults, the use of telehealth to manage chronic medical conditions and the development of nonpharmacologic interventions for individuals with cognitive impairment.


About Sovereign Health of Palm Desert

Sovereign Health’s Palm Desert location boasts of sunny skies nestled at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains. This location provides a place gifted with warm weather, stunning landscape and a city rich in its history and community. The residential treatment facility is about a two-hour drive from Los Angeles and San Diego. Only a short drive from the 111 Highway and the Palm Springs International Airport, Sovereign Health of Palm Desert offers a convenient destination for those coming from other areas. We offer the highest quality care and personalized treatment for persons with addiction, mental illness and dual-diagnosis and their families.

We accept most major insurance plans and also have financing options through If you or someone you love would like to find out more about the CROSS Program or any of our specialized services, please call our 24/7 Helpline today.

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