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Ventura Vet Center

We offer confidential help for Veterans, service members, and their families at no cost in a non-medical setting. Our services include counseling for needs such as depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We can also connect you with support in the VA healthcare system and other community partners within Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.

Locations and contact information

Main Location

790 East Santa Clara Avenue
Suite 100
Ventura, CA 93001

Direct line

Ventura Vet Center Front Entrance

Other locations

Vet Centers are community based to be more accessible in areas where you live.

View more Ventura Vet Center locations

We also have non-traditional hours that change periodically given our community’s needs. Please call us to find out more.

Need help after hours?

Our call center is available 24/7. Call us anytime at 877-927-8387.

Prepare for your visit

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First time visitor? Give us a call at 805-585-1860, or come in to the office and let's discuss how we can help.  

We understand that you may not know what to expect for your first counseling appointment with the Vet Center. Upon your first visit expect the following:

  • You will receive and be required to complete an intake packet which includes demographic information, confidentiality documentation, and release of information forms(optional) to enable communication with current providers or family members.
  • Appropriate assessments will be made ensure that you and those around you are safe and have access to basic needs and serivces.
  • You and your counselor will establish trust, rapport, and develop a treatment plan that best fits your needs.
  • Follow-up appointments times will be determined by you and your counselor .

You do not need to be registered in the Veterans Health Administration or have a service connected disability rating to engage in Vet Center serivces. Upon your first visit, we will look for one or more of the following:

  • Discharge documents (such as a DD214)
  • Receipt of certain awards
  • Deployment orders
  • Other documents that display appropriate eligibility criteria

Request Your Military Service Records | Veterans Affairs (va.gov)

If you do not have these documents we can assist you in obtaining them that will enable counseling services. 

Parking at the Vet Center is free and accommodates parking with wheelchair access. Parking is located behind the Vet Center on the corner of Santa Clara and Ash St. There is designated Vet Center parking, however one can also park curbside on Santa Clara and Ash St. 

Gold Coast Transit bus route 6 stops on the corner of Santa Clara and Ash St. It travels from the Oxnard Transit Center (OTC) to Ventura via C St., Victoria Ave., Main St. and Ventura Ave. every 20-25 minutes. Plan your Route 6 - Gold Coast Transit District trip.

In the spotlight at Ventura Vet Center

Counseling services

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We offer couples and family counseling to support you as you work toward meeting your goals.

The Ventura Vet Center has clinicians who can provide services such as:

  • Individual counseling for couples, spouses, and significant others
  • Couples/marriage counseling to resolve military related problems.

We’re here to support you if someone close to you has died or you’re adjusting to a difficult life change.

Our Vet Center offers bereavement counseling to any family members of Armed Forces personnel who died in the service of their country. Also eligible are family members of Reservists and National Guardsmen who die while on duty.

If you’re struggling with issues like PTSD, depression, grief, anger, or trauma, we offer counseling and other support. We’ll work with you to help you achieve your personal goals.

The Ventura Vet Center offers individual and group counseling. If you’re struggling with PTSD, depression, grief, anger, or an unprocessed trauma, we offer evidence based therapeutic interventions that are effective in treatment.

Care at our center includes:

  • One-on-one  counseling sessions targeted at your individual needs
  • Group counseling is offered to those who will benefit from this approach to treatment. 

The following evidence-based therapies are provided:

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
  • Internal Family Systems (IFS)
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  • Problem Solving Therapy (PST)
  • Gottmann Method (couples counseling)

If you experienced sexual assault or harassment during military service, we can help you get the counseling you need. Any Veteran or service member, including members of the National Guard and Reserve forces, who experienced military sexual trauma is eligible to receive counseling. This applies to people of all genders from any service era.

To discreetly request MST counseling services simply ask for "SARA" and a Sexual Assault Response Advocate (SARA) will promptly align services with a Readjustment Counselor. With your permission, the Vet Center's Sexual Assault Response Advocate (SARA) can assist with establishing access and coordinating care with a Readjustment Counselor, VA healthcare provider, or other community partners to provide appropriate serivces and treatment.

If you have symptoms of PTSD after a traumatic event, we can help. We offer assessment and support through private counseling and group therapy. We can also refer you to VA or community counseling for treatment and therapy resources.

Even if your symptoms come and go, or surfaced months or years after the traumatic event, we can help. Effective evidence based treatments (EBT) are available to you. Call us at 805-585-1860 to learn about treatment options, self-help tools, and more. We can also refer you to VA healthcare provider or community partner for other counseling options if requested. 

Military service can affect your emotional, mental, and physical health. We offer recreation and creative arts therapy through activities that can be adapted to your needs.

Mindfully Moving Yoga Group

Mindfully Moving Yoga is a sensory enhanced form of yoga with props (chair) to assist in making yoga available for every body type and ability. Yoga and meditation practice helps to improve our overall wellness by taking time out to deepen our breath and move our bodies in ways that increase flexibility, strength, balance and emotional resilience.  Beginners to yoga are welcome.

Singing Bowls Relaxation Group

When we relax with the sounds of Tibetan singing bowls or the gong, our concentration improves and our emotional tensions and blockages are eased. The sound with its vibrations can ease mental or emotional pain (low self-esteem, worries, fear, anger, anxiety, depression, insomnia). Tibetan singing bowls are used for deep relaxation and muscle regeneration, to relieve pain in the joints, muscles and shoulders, to ease pain related to sciatica, the digestive system, headaches and migraine or spine injuries, to improve circulation, release tensions or blockages, to open the energy flow, eliminate the toxins from the body. Tibetan singing bowls and their unique tones are used to stabilize blood pressure, to ease asthma related issues, to renew the functioning of the adrenal gland, to open and stabilize the meridians and to improve the synaptic responses in our brain.

These recreation groups are facilitated by the following licensed therapists: 

Robin Briceño, RYT

Registered Music Therapist

Registered Yoga Instructor & Expressive Arts Therapist

Certified Accessible Yoga Instructor

Certified Warriors At Ease Yoga & Meditation Instructor

Certified Hatha & AIReal Yoga TM

And

Gillian Hinton McDonald, LCSW

Director of the Ventura Vet Center

If you’re returning from military service, we’ll help you transition to civilian life. We can connect you with educational and career counseling, mental health services, and other programs and benefits that will support your transition.

It is common for many returning service members to enroll in college. The GI Bill and the Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) program will support your academic goals. To learn more about these programs visit the websites below.

Whole health puts you—instead of your illnesses or conditions—at the center of care. We’ll work with you to develop a personalized health plan based on your values, needs, and goals.

At the Ventura Vet Center, we work to bridge mental health care with every other aspect of Veterans’ lives. You can expect your counselor to help you highlight the connection between mental health and various aspects of self-care, e.g., food and drink, working your body, surroundings, spirit and soul, personal development, recharging, and relationships.

Referral services

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We can help you overcome substance use problems, from unhealthy alcohol use to life-threatening addiction. We'll connect you to services for your specific needs.

We offer evidence-based therapies and referrals (as needed) to support your goals.

Please call the Ventura Vet Center at 805-585-1860 for additional assistance.

Call our Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-8255 (select 1) to get support anytime day or night. This service is private, free, and available 24/7. Our Vet Center can also connect you with ongoing counseling and services.

If  one is having thoughts of death, suicide or homicide, it’s important you talk to someone right away. The Veterans Crisis Line offers free, confidential support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

We can help connect you to VA and community resources that will support you in achieving your goals.

Listed below are websites to community partners who provide critical serivces for the Veteran population in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties:

 Veteran Services - Ventura Count assists with obtaining VA benefits to include filing for VA disability compensation.

County of Santa Barbara - Veterans' Services - Maps and Directions (countyofsb.org) assists with obtaining VA benefits to include filing for VA disability compensation.

Oxnard VA Clinic - VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System services include: Primary Care; Women's Health; Dietetics (Dietician); Physical Therapy and Mental Health.

Santa Barbara VA Clinic - VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System services include: Primary Care; Women's Health; Dietetics (Dietician); Physical Therapy and Mental Health.

Home - Gold Coast Veterans Foundation programs and services. (gcvf.org) mission is to reduce or eliminate suffering, lowered quality of life, re‐integration difficulties, and negative lifetime outcomes of American military veterans.

Ventura County Portal - Helping Individuals Reach Employment (venturacountyajcc.org) is your one-stop shop for workforce services, providing a comprehensive range of no-cost employment and training services for employers and job seekers.

Other services

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We provide private organizations and community agencies education on our Veteran community and military culture. Together, we build referral networks to expand support for Veterans, service members, and their families.

How we're different than a clinic

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Vet Centers are small, non-medical, counseling centers conveniently located in your community. They're staffed by highly trained counselors and team members dedicated to seeing you through the challenges that come with managing life during and after the military.

Whether you come in for one-on-one counseling or to participate in a group session, at Vet Centers you can form social connections, try new things, and build a support system with people who understand you and want to help you succeed.

Vet Center services are available to you at no cost, regardless of discharge character, and without you needing to be enrolled in VA health care or having a service-connected disability. If you are a Veteran or service member, including members of the National Guard and Reserve, you can access our services if you:

  • Served on active military duty in any combat theater or area of hostility.
  • Experienced military sexual trauma (regardless of gender or service era.) 
  • Provided mortuary services or direct emergent medical care to treat the casualties of war while serving on active military duty.
  • Performed as a member of an unmanned aerial vehicle crew that provided direct support to operations in a combat theater or area of hostility.
  • Accessed care at a Vet Center prior to January 2, 2013 as a Vietnam-Era Veteran.
  • Served on active military duty in response to a national emergency or major disaster declared by the president, or under orders of the governor or chief executive of a state in response to a disaster or civil disorder in that state.
  • Are a current or former member of the Coast Guard who participated in a drug interdiction operation, regardless of the location.

We encourage you to contact us, even if you are unsure if you meet these criteria. If we can’t help you, we will find someone who will.

Our services are also available to family members when their participation would support the growth and goals of the Veteran or active-duty service member. If you consider them family, so do we. We also offer bereavement services to family members of Veterans who were receiving Vet Center services at the time of the Veteran’s death, and to the families of service members who died while serving on active duty.

No. You do not have to be enrolled in VA Healthcare or have a service connected disability.

Safe and confidential. Our records cannot be accessed by other VA offices, the DoD, military units, or other community networks and providers without your permission or unless required to avert a life-threatening situation.  Here, you can be as open as you want – there’s absolutely no judgement.