Meet Derik Brian, Founder of Solara Mental Health [Interview]

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As Psych2Go attempts to educate you on various aspects and perspectives within the realm of psychology, we interviewed the founder and owner of Solara Mental Health, a JCAHO accredited, adult psychiatric treatment facility based in San Diego (, founded in 2004.  They work with clients from around the world and use comprehensive and progressive psychotherapy and holistic practices to treat a wide variety of disorders, including anxiety, mood, personality, and eating disorders.  

Derik Brian, the founder and owner of Solara Mental Health reached out to us through email to share with us some information about Solara Mental Health.  We at Psych2Go thought this would be a great opportunity for you guys to learn more from a different point of view and broaden your knowledge about treatment facilities.  

Q: To start off, tell us a bit about yourself.

Out of university, I was all set to start medical school, but I decided to defer for a year – and I never ended up becoming a physician.  Having significant understanding of eating disorders and a business background, I opened the Eating Disorder Center of Newport Beach CA in 2005.  Since that time, we’ve steadily grown and expanded our programs to comprise the full spectrum of mental health services from in-residence to transitional to outpatient.

Q: What inspired you to start your company?

Mental health and mental illness have always interested me.  And I have always asserted that mental illness deserves every bit, if not more, of the recognition and resources given to all other healthcare.

Q: Tell us a fun fact about what 16-24 year-olds, today, could do to get further ahead in life?

Travel beyond your own borders and experience other cultures, to the greatest extent possible.  Such valuable education, perspective, empathy, gratitude, and so much more is gained when one gets out and learns about others – doing so has certainly served me well in my life, thus far.

Q:  Tell us about Solara Mental Health Center?

We are a private, in-residence, primary psychiatric treatment program for adults.  Our coastal campus is a beautiful, tranquil, truly ideal setting for healing.  

Q:  Tell us what mental illnesses you treat?

We treat the spectrum of mental illnesses including severe Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Schizophrenia, Personality, Eating, and others.  

Q:  What ages do you treat?

We are an adult program, so we treat clients aged 18 years and older.  We always have a broad age range of clients in residence from 18 to 70+.   

 Q:  Tell us about your staff?

Our treatment team is outstanding – certainly among the finest in the field.  Our psychiatrists, psychologists, clinicians, nurses, case managers, psychiatric technicians, chefs, and everyone else involved with us, is highly experienced and expert in treating mental illness.  But we think our best distinction is how much care and devotion our team has for our patients; they are our clients’ biggest supporters and fans.

Q:  Describe a typical day in treatment?

Every day is a bit different, but typically weekdays consist of multiple, intensive therapy sessions (individual and small groups); one-on-one meetings with the psychiatrist and nurse; experiential activities and exercise; and time for decompressing and relaxing mixed throughout.  Our chefs prepare excellent meals and snacks every day.  On weekends, our clients really get to take advantage of our world-famous local surroundings by participating in longer outings and activities and events, combined with therapy – and great meals.

Q:  Do you accept insurance?

We are a JCAHO accredited program.  We do accept many private insurances to supplement the treatment cost.

Q:  What is the admission process like?

We have an expedited, stream-lined admission process.  Our admission team makes the process as simple and brief as possible.  We can admit clients almost around the clock, every day, with minimal notice.

Q:  Can clients bring their pet?

Yes – we do allow our clients to bring their pets and many do, depending on space availability.

Q:  Can families and loved ones participate in the treatment process?

Absolutely.  We know that loved ones are vital to the client’s healing process and we highly encourage loved ones to participate, in person or remotely.

Q:  Anything else you would like us to know about Solara Mental Health Center?

I’ll conclude by sharing that our unwavering goal and intention for all of our clients is that they become the very best version of themselves – that they live the happy and healthy life they deserve to live.  Please call us anytime – we are ready and wanting to help.  

Hope you guys enjoyed this interview as much as we did!  If you are interested in learning more about Solara Mental Health, please visit their website.  This interview was not a sponsored or paid endorsement, rather we hope it will bring awareness of some of the types of mental health treatment options available.  It’s important to remember that you (or your loved one) are not alone during difficult times and it is helpful to explore multiple viable options for yourself, such as mental health treatment centers, to receive the necessary amount of care you need to achieve a happy and healthy life.  

If you enjoy this interview, feel free to leave any questions you have about Solara Mental Health and treatment facilities.

You can learn more about Derik and Solara Mental Health through their website:

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  1. Mr. Brian needs to take some time to talk to the people actually running the place. The therapists at solara are golden and doing an excellent job there. However the administration in place is some of the worst I’ve ever seen.


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