Eating disorders encompass a variety of afflictions related to unhealthy eating habits. Most commonly, these include anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating disorder. People with anorexia believe that they are overweight and restrict their eating in an attempt to lose weight. People with bulimia also believe they are overweight, but they cycle through binging, or periods of excessive eating, and purging, which is an attempt to rid themselves of the calories they consumed. People with binge-eating disorder eat excessively, even past the point of feeling full. Regardless of which one a person struggles with, all eating disorders have the potential to cause enormous devastation on a person’s life.
Those who struggle with eating disorders can find help at Carolina House. We understand the unique challenges faced by people who battle these insidious and painful disorders. Our compassionate, expert staff have developed programs that are designed to help these individuals rediscover a healthy and balanced relationship with eating.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
Watching a loved one struggle with an eating disorder can be an incredibly painful experience, and it may feel as though there is nothing you can do to help. While you might feel overwhelmed, there are steps you can take to help your loved one.
- First and foremost, take care of yourself. You will not be of use to your loved one if you are burned out, so try to carve out time for your own relationships and your own hobbies.
- Do your research on your loved one’s eating disorder. Find out about the signs and symptoms of the disorder, and talk with mental health experts about how to best help your loved one.
- Keep your relationship with your loved one healthy. This will require a lot of open communication with him or her, so remain patient and maintain your loving and nonjudgmental presence.
- Research treatment facilities to determine which one may be a good fit for your loved one. Offer to set up appointments and accompany your loved one on visits.
Why Consider Treatment at Carolina House
Eating disorders can negatively affect nearly every aspect of a person’s life. The emotional trials and ups-and-downs can seriously harm a sufferer’s self-esteem. He or she may withdraw from social contact, causing strain on relationships. His or her job performance may suffer, possibly resulting in job termination, and financial strain and chronic unemployment may soon follow. Eating disorders also harm a person’s body with effects ranging from malnutrition and organ damage to obesity, diabetes, joint problems, and even suicide attempts. With proper help, however, these negative effects can be reduced or avoided entirely.
Types of Treatment Offered at Carolina House
Since 2006, we, at Carolina House, have been devoted to providing world-class, residential care to women who are in need of comprehensive treatment to overcome the symptoms of eating disorders. Situated in a serene, wooded setting, Carolina House offers female clients, ages 17 and older, a tranquil environment that is fully conducive to true and lasting healing. We hold ourselves to a standard of excellence in the care we deliver so that all of the women who engage in treatment with us can succeed in discovering a renewed life of wellness.
At Carolina House, we have made it our goal to provide a beautiful, safe, and nurturing environment that is run by highly trained and supportive staff. We use a structured, multifaceted treatment approach that is designed to usher clients successfully into life-long recovery. Our treatment approach also encourages self-exploration towards transformation through self-nurturing expressions of living. This goal and these treatment approaches are met by providing clients with individualized treatment plans that are catered to meet each of their very unique needs. Various aspects that may be incorporated into these treatment plans are described in the following:
Medical care: Clients who are battling an eating disorder often need consistent medical attention to address such concerns as re-feeding issues, complications from starvation, somatic complaints, electrolyte imbalances, and/or gastrointestinal distress. Carolina House provides 24-hour nursing care for all clients, as well as employs a contracted medical doctor, a psychiatrist, and a registered dietitian, all of whom are skilled in the treatment of eating disorders. These professionals are able to meet with clients to ensure that their recovery remains on a healthy track.
Re-Feeding: When treating an eating disorder, there is often the need for re-feeding interventions to be made in order to help get clients back on track with proper nutritional intake. At Carolina House, clients are closely involved with the registered dietitian, the culinary staff therapist, and the clinical and medical teams so that specialized meal plans can be devised. These meal plans are designed to adequately address the nutritional needs of each client during each stage of treatment. Meals are closely monitored by staff in order to provide the highest level of support as clients reach nutritional stabilization and decrease their participation in the rituals and behaviors that are symptomatic of their eating disorders.
Culinary program: All clients at Carolina House may take part in our culinary program, which offers them full kitchen access throughout their time spent in treatment. Setting us apart from other eating disorder programs throughout the country, participation in this program provides clients with the unique opportunity to experience meal planning, grocery shopping, meal preparation, and a family-style eating environment, all of which work towards building self-confidence as clients make their way through treatment.
Medication management: When individuals are battling symptoms of a co-occurring mental health condition in addition to an eating disorder, the use of certain medications may be recommended in order to help alleviate some of their distress. Clients have the opportunity to meet with a psychiatrist once or twice a week in order to determine the need for any medication, as well as to monitor the therapeutic effectiveness of any medication prescribed.
Individual therapy: Clients are provided with one full individual therapy session each week that typically lasts between 45 and 60 minutes. Additionally, clients will meet with their therapists for one or two brief check-in sessions each week, each of which may last anywhere between 20 and 40 minutes. These sessions are designed to provide clients with an opportunity to meet in a private, confidential setting with their therapists so that they can discuss their progress in treatment, process through any setbacks that may have arisen, and celebrate any successes that have occurred.
Family therapy: Recognizing how important family involvement can be in our clients’ successful recovery from an eating disorder, the staff at Carolina House frequently incorporates family therapy into our clients’ treatment plans. Family therapy sessions are typically offered on a weekly basis, meeting for an average of 45 to 60 minutes for each session. If deemed appropriate and therapeutically beneficial to clients, additional family sessions may be added on an as needed basis.
Group therapy: When working to overcome an eating disorder, group therapy sessions have proven to be incredibly beneficial and effective. Clients typically participate in an average of six group therapy sessions each weekday, four group sessions on Saturdays, and two group sessions on Sundays. These group therapy sessions are typically broken down as follows:
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Groups take place three times per week and are facilitated by a licensed clinical social worker who is specially trained in DBT.
- Two Food and Feeling Groups take place every day. These are short, skills identification groups that occur after every lunch or dinner.
- Two Integrated Health Groups take place each week, including Addictions Education and 12-Step Facilitation. These are led by a licensed clinical addictions specialist and are attended by all clients. Weekly AA and NA meetings are also made available to clients who need them.
- Interpersonal Process Groups occur three times per week and are dually led by a licensed professional counselors and other qualified professionals who have been fully trained in the group modality.
- A variety of other groups occur during the week as well, including both process and psychoeducational groups. The topics that are covered during these sessions vary but may include discussions on body image, media awareness, empowerment, relapse prevention, nutrition, and guided self-care, among many others.
Experiential therapy: In order to offer clients a holistic approach to the treatment of eating disorders, Carolina House offers a number of experiential therapy options in addition to the more traditional therapeutic interventions. Examples of these therapies include the following:
- Strength training
- Yoga therapy
- Body movement activities
- Culinary Group
- Art therapy
- Embodying Recovery (a sensorimotor psychotherapy group)
Receiving comprehensive treatment in a residential setting is enormously advantageous for those who are suffering from an eating disorder. However, at Carolina House, we recognize that completion of residential treatment does not always mean that clients have finished achieving full recovery from their eating disorders. For this reason, we offer continuing care services through our partial day treatment program and our intensive outpatient program.
Additionally, keeping in mind that recovery from an eating disorder is an ongoing process, the staff at Carolina House is dedicated to ensuring that clients have a definitive plan set in place prior to their being discharged. From the time of admission, clients’ primary therapists are assessing their outside resources and determining what services need to be in place in order to support a smooth discharge plan. Typically, the goal will be to step down to a lower level of care slowly so that clients can be fully prepared for increased independence.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, the staff at Carolina House wants to help. Our world-class programming can help you overcome the symptoms that plague you, while also assisting you as you develop the confidence needed to embark on a bright and promising future. Do not continue to suffer. Let the staff at Carolina House show you that there’s a better way to live.