Our program addresses the multi-faceted needs of each client affected by the ravages of their eating disorder and the co-occurring conditions they may also experience. We embrace the whole person, body, mind and spirit; addressing all components of each client’s care to include the psychological, medical, nutritional and spiritual components necessary for full recovery.
Each client’s care is specifically tailored to their specific needs and interests. There is no “one size fits all” treatment when it comes to healing. Our team understands that although each of our clients may have an eating disorder diagnosis, how each one arrived at that point and how each one will recover is as vast and varied as the number of stars in the sky.
Eating disorders are the manifestation not only of genetics and chemistry, but also deeply rooted beliefs that drive the behaviors of the illness. Restoration isn’t just about weight, lab values, or eliminating behaviors. Recovery happens from the inside out. Changing old beliefs and exploring how they came to be is often frightening and uncomfortable.
ACED strives to create a safe, healing environment for our clients to embrace and work though some of their most difficult struggles. Through a vast array of treatment options and modalities our staff and clients explore the development of their eating disorder; pinpoint experiences and emotions that contribute to it; and challenge the thoughts, beliefs and behaviors that inhibit them from living a free and full life.
Upon arrival, each client is assigned a primary therapist who will be their advocate during their time at ACED. Clients meet with their primary therapist based on their care level and/or according to the client’s individual needs. Together client and therapist create an ongoing recovery plan, addressing the elements of concern and identifying areas necessary for change. The client collaborates in their recovery plan by developing strategies to approach difficult topics, interrupt persistent behaviors and better communicate their needs effectively.
Group and Individual Therapy Working Together
Research shows the most successful treatment models for recovery include group cohesiveness and individualization. Therefore, ACED puts equal emphasis on group sessions and individual therapy.
A daily part of ACED, group therapy fosters a sense of community, restores relationships, and strengthens trust and socialization skills. Clients generally have one or more daily individual sessions with members of the ACED team to privately address emotional, relational, physical, and spiritual needs or concerns.
Successful re-entry into the community and integration of skills learned in treatment are the keys to full recovery, and therefore, are foundational at ACED. Planning and preparation for this transition begins the first day a client arrives. Our treatment team works intensely with clients to create an external system for support after treatment is completed. We also follow up with clients after they leave our program and at intervals for up to one year following their discharge.
Medical and Nursing
Eating disorders are mental illnesses that have direct physical and medical complications. The medical complications are serious and often life-threatening. Health concerns regarding eating disorders are often complicated and complex. Many clients suffering from eating disorders feel unseen and unheard in regards to their medical care. They may have had prior experiences with health care providers where they felt shamed because the providers were uninformed about their diagnosis or dismissed their complaints “because it’s all in your head.”
Our healthcare team understands that repairing the intersection between our client’s mental health and their physical health is a critical piece of the recovery puzzle. They also understand that trust must be earned by our clients over time. Our doctors are kind, and respectful of each and every client. They work directly with our amazing, compassionate nursing staff to ensure the physical health and safety of each client.
Clients meet with the physician and psychiatrist based on their care level and/or according to the client’s individualized needs. Clients also meet with nursing staff daily and as necessary throughout their time at ACED. Our nursing staff provides not only expert medical care but they also provide consistent social and emotional support throughout the day.
Working together, our doctors and nurses:
· Provide or review medical clearance for admission
· Review client’s ongoing medical status
· Order, review, and monitor labs as necessary
· Make appropriate referrals for specialists
· Monitor weights and vitals as necessary
· Prescribe, manage, and monitor medications
· Participate in health and wellness education
The nutritional component at ACED addresses the intense emotional aspects related to food and weight, providing fact-based education about health, diet, and exercise to each client. Our full time registered dietitians have regular, ongoing, individual sessions with clients to directly address issues regarding food and create a personalized meal plan. They also eat meals, portion and prepare food with clients to better support and explore each client’s struggle with food. The ultimate goal for clients is a healthy relationship with food.Toward that aim, programming includes food-related groups; restaurant and grocery outings, and mealtimes dedicated to nutritional healing and education.
Our team holds a great deal of empathy for those struggling to recover from their eating disorder. Our nutritional professionals understand the fear that comes with even thinking about letting go of the eating disorder and commit to meet each client where they are upon arrival, slowly and compassionately exploring and challenging the client’s relationship to food.
While ensuring nutritional stability, our dietitians patiently help clients challenge eating disorder beliefs and identify individual ways to create healthier ideas and thoughts about food and body image. With the help of the nutritional staff, clients may:
· Complete initial nutritional assessment upon arrival
· Explore client/family history related to food, including cultural, social and spiritual
· Create an initial meal plan supporting nutritional recovery while meeting the client where they are
· Work 1:1 with dietitian on identifying food fears, food rules, likes dislikes etc.
· Work 1:1 with dietitian and clinical staff in the kitchen
· Engage in food based recovery challenges
· Cooking 1:1 with the chef or dietitian
· Attend restaurant outings
· Develop independent meal plans
· Explore Intuitive Eating
· Explore beliefs and fears related to food and develop compassionate ways to challenge them
· Identify obstacles outside treatment and explore ways to overcome them with support and independetly
· Work together to rediscover the freedom and joys of life associated with a healthy relationship to food
We use the term spirituality in the most inclusive sense, as the essence of a person rather than a belief system. We realize spirituality is inherent to the recovery process, and we weave it into our program while respecting the practices, beliefs, and traditions of individual faiths. We hold spirituality groups, yoga classes and explore other various practices to help clients reach this essential part of themselves.
There is a growing body of evidence that spirituality and spiritual practices improve our health and well being. The practice of spirituality often includes contemplative practices that encourage an inward focus and the opportunity to quiet the mind. There are many ways clients can explore their relationship to spirituality including, reflection, prayer, meditation, yoga, journaling, or a walk in nature. All of these and more have been shown to increase the experiences of empathy, compassion, and attention. They have also been shown to decrease stress, anxiety and depression.
Engaging in spiritual practices or traditions encourages community involvement such as church, temple or other social networks that share the same values and beliefs; providing a sense of connectedness. This can have a powerful impact on decreasing one’s sense of isolation and enhancing overall feelings of well being and sense of belonging.
Our goal is to help each client explore their definition and experience of what it means to be spiritual and encourage them to find ways to engage in these practices or traditions in whatever ways they find meaningful. We understand the importance of finding a sense of purpose and giving meaning to the life we live. We hope our clients will find peace by connecting with relationships and things in their life that are greater than their eating disorder.