What Sets Avery Lane Apart When It Comes to Helping Women Heal?

What Sets Avery Lane Apart When It Comes to Helping Women Heal?

In California and across the country, there are plenty of recovery centers doing great work to set people on a better path. When we started Avery Lane, we wanted to be different. We saw a need for women to have a safe and open space to heal that wasn’t just your average recovery center. Our goal was to fill that need. Through years of trial and error, we believe we’ve created a unique environment for helping women heal from trauma, mental health disorders, and substance use issues. 

Helping Women Heal

Through various approaches, Avery Lane is here to help women heal. 

Gender-Specific Care

Our facilities and programs are women-only, and that means that we can tailor your treatment to your life experience. Though co-ed programs are a great option, we believe that gender-specific care offers a new layer of authenticity, vulnerability, and comfort. We are the only treatment center for women that offers comprehensive mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment by focusing on whole-being recovery. 

Often in life, women find themselves in the role of caretaker. The burdens of others are placed on them by their spouses, children, friends, and families. When you’re always taking care of others, it can be hard to find room to think about your own issues and needs. Our goal is to create a space for women to lean on each other, to unload their burdens, and to put themselves first. When women are given a safe and judgment-free environment to exist and heal, they enrich each other’s lives. 

The staff at Avery Lane know what women go through because most of them are women themselves. Not only that, but many of them have struggled with SUD and mental health conditions in their own lives. In a world that asks you to be a caretaker, we want to take care of you. We’re here to bring strong women together in a safe environment to heal, be empowered, and reinvent themselves. 

A Diverse and Authentic Environment

We don’t place restrictions on who can take part in our programs. When a diverse group of women from different backgrounds and of different ages comes together, it’s an opportunity to learn from each other and forge unique connections. 

We believe in the power of women meeting each other where they are and learning to understand each other despite their differences. At the end of the day, our clients realize that they are all women and all human beings. They can relate to their shared experiences and support each other through treatment. A diverse treatment environment ensures that everyone feels safe, understood, and free to be themselves.

This also lends itself to creating a more authentic and vulnerable space for women. When we are all free to be ourselves, we can express our issues and struggles without fear of judgment. The power of women lies in our empathy. This is central to Avery Lane’s philosophy. We want to foster the ability to empathize with and relate to each other on a deep and profound level. This is how we can support, uplift, and empower each other through all stages of life, even our lowest points. 

Constantly Evolving Therapeutic Approaches

Most recovery centers choose their therapy modalities when they’re founded and stick to them. Maybe they really believe in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or specialize in mindfulness. They train their staff on those approaches, but they don’t usually go looking for something new. That’s part of what makes us different at Avery Lane. We are constantly evolving our methods and exploring new approaches to helping women heal. The scientific and holistic communities are rapidly changing and making new discoveries every day. In order to give our clients the best chance at wellness, we want to be changing along with them. 

We are open to unique, up-and-coming approaches that may not be widely used in clinical settings. While we still rely on the tried-and-true traditional modalities, we think it’s important to be knowledgeable of current research and experimental techniques. That’s why we’ve adopted unique therapeutic interventions like brainspotting and energy psychology into our programs.

Unlike other recovery centers, all of our staff are trained in the same things. There is no specific therapist you have to go to for CBT. This means that while you’re here, you won’t be bouncing around between professionals and explaining your needs to everyone. You’ll be able to develop a connection with a small team, all of whom are fully equipped to help your unique case. Our goal is to make your recovery a comfortable, healing, and well-rounded experience. 

Mental Health and Trauma

Traumatic experience and mental health issues are deeply connected. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), trauma endured during childhood dramatically increases the risk of mental health conditions and substance misuse. Trauma can be caused by any event or experience that dysregulates the nervous system, either for a short or extended period of time. This can include things that threaten your physical safety, your mental and emotional well-being, or even your life. 

Unfortunately, women are at increased risk for certain types of traumatic experiences. Sexual assault, harassment, and abuse are all more common for women and girls than they are for men. These experiences can be deeply upsetting and traumatizing. It can lead to mental health disorders such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety. The perpetrators of these traumatic experiences are overwhelmingly men, which is why a women-only recovery space is so important for some women. If you have been a victim of sexual violence, Avery Lane can provide you with a space to heal that is safe from triggers. 

Other types of trauma can lead to mental health conditions as well. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • The death of a loved one
  • Witnessing a crime or harm of another person
  • Medical emergencies/hospitalization
  • Natural disasters 
  • Gang violence
  • War (as a civilian or military member)
  • Witnessing domestic violence

You may feel like your experience wasn’t extreme enough to be traumatizing. Other people may even put you down and call you dramatic. You know yourself better than anyone, and if you feel like something has affected you, you should reach out for help. Everyone is different, and everyone deserves to feel heard. Avery Lane is helping women heal by listening to and believing their stories. 

Is Avery Lane Only for Helping Women Heal From SUD?

Avery Lane provides programs for a variety of conditions and issues that women may be facing. This ranges from alcohol and drug abuse to mental health disorders. Whatever you’re dealing with in your life, our team is here to help. 

If you are facing SUD, we can provide medically assisted detox, followed by residential treatment, to help you get sober and stay sober. Beyond that, we also want to address the underlying cause of your addiction. This might be trauma or a mental health condition that requires therapeutic intervention to help you heal. 

You don’t have to have SUD to visit us, though. Our mental health facility is made to help women heal from a variety of mental health issues. If you’re struggling, know that you’re not alone. Please reach out to us for help. 

Holistic Methods for Helping Women Heal

Holism, or the holistic approach, is based on the idea that a person should be treated as a whole instead of just their parts. The mind is not the only thing that should be considered; the body, energy, and spirit are all connected to the mind, and each plays a part in a person’s overall well-being. When you come to Avery Lane with a mental health or substance use issue, we aren’t just treating the condition. We are healing you as a whole being. Some of the holistic methods we use include the following.


This is a set of practices that focus on grounding you in the present moment. These practices include meditation, journaling, media and technology cleansing, and breathing exercises. Overall, mindfulness is a state of being. It means allowing yourself to fully experience your emotions, sensations, and thoughts without casting judgment on them. Mindfulness therapy teaches you to ground yourself in the present, which can be especially helpful to people with anxiety about the future or shame surrounding the past. Through mindfulness, you can learn to let these things go and accept that they are out of your control. 


This healing method originated in Japan in the 1920s. The word “reiki” roughly translates to “universal energy.” It’s based on the belief that a life force or vital energy flows through your body and can impact your emotions and thoughts. If you have adverse experiences or are in an unpleasant environment, your energy can become unbalanced. A trained Reiki practitioner gently touches your body or hovers their hands just above the skin to guide the energy. This can provide a sense of balance, peacefulness, and healing. Reiki is used to reduce anxiety, depression, and physical pain. It is often used along with traditional approaches and can be a very relaxing experience.

Nature Therapy

Surrounding yourself with nature has long been known to reduce stress and feelings of anxiety. This type of therapy is used to treat anxiety disorders, depression, and PTSD. You may meditate in a nature setting, have a talk therapy session outdoors, or simply take a walk through nature in silence. It isn’t known exactly why nature reduces our stress, but the phenomenon has been studied for decades. Some people think it’s because of a cosmic or spiritual connection to other living things. Others think that beautiful scenery is simply calming and enjoyable to the human mind. Whatever the reason, nature therapy can be a beneficial and relaxing tool for helping women heal from mental health issues. 

Evidence-Based Methods for Helping Women Heal

Avery Lane therapists are also trained in a variety of evidence-based approaches for helping women heal from mental health and substance use issues. Some of the therapeutic interventions include the following.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

CBT is one of the most common and highly studied forms of psychotherapy. Its effectiveness has been proven over decades of research and use in clinical settings. CBT can be effective in treating a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, and SUD. 

The basis of CBT is identifying unhealthy and unrealistic thought patterns and overriding them to more neutral, realistic thoughts. For example, you might think, “My friend hasn’t called me in a few days, so he must be mad at me.” This train of thought is likely not based in reality and is feeding off of your insecurities. CBT teaches you to change your thought pattern to something more grounded: “My friend hasn’t called me in a few days. He’s probably busy. Maybe I should text him and ask when he’ll be free to chat.” Though it might seem awkward and difficult at first, eventually, these new thought patterns will become natural.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) was originally created to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) with suicidal ideation. Now, it’s considered the best treatment possible for this population and is especially effective for women with BPD. It’s also frequently used to treat people with depression, PTSD, eating disorders, and substance use issues. 

The DBT approach focuses on the acceptance of change and the inability to control all aspects of life. It teaches clients to tolerate stressful circumstances, to be fully present in the moment, and to set boundaries. It’s especially important that clients undergoing DBT learn to maintain their self-worth under adverse circumstances. If you struggle with these things, DBT could be helpful to you. 


Brainspotting is a relatively new approach to trauma healing. It relies on the connection between the subconscious mind and the occipital lobe, which controls visual perception. The theory behind brainspotting is that your memories and emotions are connected to eye movement and that focusing on certain places in your field of vision can increase the effectiveness of therapy. 

When traumatic memories are revisited, you may experience physical bodily reactions that are heightened when looking at a certain point. These are the brainspots. By holding your vision on the brainspots, you may be able to access the memory more clearly and process the event more quickly. 

Energy Psychology for Helping Women Heal

Our mental health programs are unique for a number of reasons. One is that we use a therapeutic approach known as energy psychology. Energy psychology is a relatively new modality that isn’t widely used in the clinical world, but we’ve seen incredible results from our clients. There’s also hard science to back it up. Dr. David Feinstien, a renowned clinical psychologist and director of the Energy Medicine Institute, found in 2018 that “acupoint-based energy psychology protocols are rapid and effective in producing beneficial outcomes in the treatment of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and possibly other conditions.”

So what exactly is energy psychology? It’s a unique approach to helping women heal that combines holistic and traditional medicine to treat the client comprehensively. Energy psychology focuses on the connection between the mind and the body. Through this lens, the mind, body, and spirit are thought to be interconnected and continuously affecting each other. Your thoughts, behaviors, energy, emotions, and sensations are in relationship with each other. Improving that relationship and the health of each facet can improve your overall mental well-being. Energy psychology is often used alongside acupuncture therapy, Reiki, and other holistic methods.

Some things that energy psychology can potentially help heal include:

  • Trauma-related triggers
  • Emotional numbness
  • Grief
  • Adjusting to change
  • SUD
  • Co-dependency 
  • Feelings of shame and guilt
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Physical pain (injury-related or psychosomatic)

Avery Lane: A Unique and Caring Experience for Helping Women Heal

Recovery isn’t just for people with SUD. Everyone has a journey of recovery to go on. Mental health disorders can do a lot of damage if left untreated and often require a long road to healing. At Avery Lane, we are helping women heal every day by creating an authentic, diverse, and individualized experience for strong women.

We know that, as women, it can sometimes be hard to find the space to do our own healing. You carry so much weight on your shoulders, and that can take its toll, especially if you’re dealing with mental health issues. If you feel overwhelmed by the journey ahead of you, you’re not alone. Avery Lane can give you the safe space you need to process your trauma and fully feel your emotions. We want to help you build connections with other strong women to uplift and empower each other. More than anything, we want to help you on your journey of healing. Call us at (800) 270-2406 to learn more.

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Summer Lan Franco
MA, MFT-t, Primary Therapist

Summer Lan Franco loves working with people to facilitate recovery from substance use disorders, disordered eating, mental health issues and complex trauma. She earned her BS in Nutrition and Food Science from California State University Chico and MS in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University of California. She has worked in community-based and private practice settings. Her approach is personable and sincere. Summer believes in helping people rediscover their true selves by uncovering barriers that stand in the way. Her warmth and earnest interest in others’ wellbeing are always present in the work she does with people seeking help. She has experience with trauma recovery, substance abuse recovery, codependency, family issues, disordered eating, treatment for anxiety and depression, and working with personality disorders.

Alaina Dunér
Office Manager, Sound Healing Group Facilitator, Reiki Master

Alaina Dunér is a Sonoma County native. She studied sociology and outdoor adventure programming for two years at Loyola University of New Orleans and Warren Wilson College. In 2016 Alaina was on a recreational skydive and had a crash landing that resulted in her fracturing multiple vertebrae in her spine. Since her accident, Alaina has emersed herself in understanding the nuances and complexities of health and spirituality. She is passionate about supporting clients through Reiki and Sound. Since taking a pause from university, Alaina has become a certified Reiki Master Teacher in the Tibetan Usui system, an Ayurvedic yoga instructor, a health coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and a trauma informed sound facilitator. At the end of 2022 Alaina will attend Southern Utah University to complete her bachelor’s in aerospace and aviation with an emphasis on rotary flight.

Sunnie Skillman
Energy Worker

Sunnie has worked within the field of Energy Psychology for over 20 years and has been trained in a number of healing modalities, including EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and Access Consciousness. She has been using the tools of Access Consciousness for 23 years, teaching classes and working with clients using various hands-on energy body work techniques. She specializes working with clients who have symptoms of PTSD and assisting in clearing where trauma is stored in the body.
Sunnie brings her personal experience with trauma healing as well as her kind and
caring energy to support the ladies interested in working with other healing modalities
at Avery Lane.

Nicole Collins,
AMFT, Primary Therapist

Nicole Collins entered the field of healing after receiving her BA from Colorado State University
in Human Services, which led her to work in domestic violence. Following her beliefs and
passion in the body-mind-spirit connection and the Intelligence of the Self-healing power, she
got her MS from Touro University in Vallejo. She believes that addiction, alcoholism,
depression, the things that push against your joy, calm, serenity, and sense of security, are
powerful and baffling. Still, there is something unique inside of you that is ready to push back
against it all. The fear, anxiety, depression, and trauma that press against your head and chest
are real, but they should not define you. She feels her role is to help you find the resources
within to overcome the challenges and suffering that life may bring. She specializes in trauma,
substance abuse, LGBTQIA+ community, matters of belonging, helping individuals heal in their
relationships within themselves. In your work together, she will meet you where you are and
support you in reacquainting you, with all parts of yourself, including your inherent wisdom.

Erin Miller, RADT
Recovery Counselor

Erin is a Registered Alcohol Drug Technician, Certified Recovery Coach, and Certified Clinical
Trauma Specialist-A (Trauma and Addiction). She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in
Psychology and Addiction Studies at Aspen University. Through her personal experience with
alcohol addiction and recovery, Erin was inspired to support others on their recovery journeys.
She brings kindness, compassion, and encouragement to her work at Avery Lane. Erin lives in
Sonoma County with her husband and their two adventurous children.

Laurel LeMohn
Recovery Counselor

is a Mendocino County native. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Sonoma State University in 2014 and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University. She has been a Recovery Counselor at Avery Lane since October, 2021, and works from a trauma-informed, psychodynamic, and humanistic lens. She has had a desire towards helping others since she was young and looks forward to working with you as you transition your life into one where you are thriving and proud to be living.