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Anorexia Nervosa - Signs, Symptoms, Treatment, and Recovery. Our Treatment Centers Center For Discoveryspecializes in treating this Eating Disorder.

Specialized Therapy for Eating Disorders |
Treatment Centers

Eating Disorder Specialized Therapies

At Center For Discovery, we are able to provide more therapeutic services for women struggling with eating disorders than any other residential treatment center. Our comprehensive treatment program includes individual therapy sessions, family therapy sessions, group therapy sessions, nutrition education and hands-on food preparation training and many specialized therapies. Every client at Center For Discovery receives a personalized treatment plan that is tailored to fit their individual situation and needs.

Psychotherapy

At Center For Discovery we utilize empirically supported treatments tailored to each client's needs. During residential treatment, clients meet with their therapist 2-3 times per week for individual therapy, 1-2 times per week for family therapy, and 4 times per week for Process Group therapy. During these sessions, therapists integrate principles and exercises from:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT targets the destructive thoughts that fuel eating disorder behaviors through problem-focused and action oriented exercises.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) – While pushing for change is obviously important with someone with eating disorder behaviors, attempts to change are often unsuccessful without a counterbalance of understanding, acceptance, and validation. DBT allows for both change and acceptance and teaches important emotion regulation, distress tolerance, mindfulness, and interpersonal effectiveness skills that clients can use instead of turning to eating disorder behaviors.
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) – As the name suggests, ACT encourages clients to accept thoughts as they come and go while staying committed to the goals that will lead them to recovery. By teaching clients that thoughts and emotions are temporary and do not make up our identity, clients learn to observe the eating disorder thoughts without engaging in eating disorder behaviors.
  • Process Experiential Therapy – People with eating disorders have a hard time regulating their emotions—often pushing them down or hiding them, which can sometimes be followed by emotional outbursts. Process experiential therapy helps clients become aware of and productively use their emotions as a source of meaning, direction, and growth.
  • Narrative Therapy – For many people with eating disorders, the eating disorder makes up a large part of their self-identity. As our identities are shaped by the stories we tell ourselves about our lives, narrative therapy helps clients retell their stories and subsequently reshape their identities outside of their eating disorder behavior.
  • Psychodrama – Sometimes it is hard for people with eating disorders to find the right words. Psychodrama allows clients to use dramatization and role-playing to understand their feelings, thoughts, behaviors, and interactions. With spontaneity and creativity, psychodrama allows clients to gain insight into their lives and verbalize important information to help them on their path of recovery.
  • Psychoeducation – In addition to the many types of therapy used in individual, group, and family therapy, Center For Discovery also provides multiple educational groups per day on topics relevant to eating disorder recovery and living a rich life. These topics can include nutrition, body acceptance, co-dependency, substance use, media influences, mental health, and general life skills.

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"The staff and therapists are wonderful, I do believe that they truly care about their patients and support them and their families on the road to recovery. If you or someone you know is struggling with and eating disorder, I highly recommend Center for Discovery."

Ruth R.
Discovery Alumni
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Kitchen Skills & Exposure

Utilizing an Exposure-Response-Prevention (ERP) therapeutic technique, Center For Discovery helps clients get comfortable with food again. Clients are led through a series of hands-on exercises, during which they are able to sequentially conquer their fear of certain foods and regain control of the process of eating. In a kind and compassionate environment, clients are helped to tolerate the negative feelings and thoughts that can be associated with simply being around certain foods, with meal planning, with preparing food, with shopping for food, and with eating food.

One component of Center For Discovery's ERP program that sets us apart is the Kitchen Skills group, during which clients are exposed to and taught about various components of cooking and baking, with the encouragement to challenge themselves to eat what they prepared. As clients tolerate the uncomfortable feelings, they are able to see that their anxiety decreases naturally, they gain a sense of mastery, and they take a step toward healing their relationship with food.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness, the practice of purposely focusing one's attention on the present moment and accepting it without judgment, can be extremely helpful in the process of eating disorder recovery. Whereas eating disorders preoccupy people and take them out of the moment, mindfulness helps people re-engage fully in activities, savor the pleasurable moments of life, and create a greater capacity to tolerate distress.

By focusing on the here and now, many people who practice mindfulness find that they are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past, are less preoccupied with concerns about their body, success, and self-esteem, and are better able to form deep connections with others. Therefore, Center For Discovery offers a variety of mindfulness activities to support clients with staying grounded and present in the moment and to increase tolerance for difficult feelings that will surface during the treatment process. Such activities include:

  • Yoga - Yoga opens the body, clears the mind, and provides space for meditation and harmony between the mind and body.
  • Meditation - Meditation is the process of being lead to calm awareness from within. It provides a sense of grounding and insight into one's current emotional process.
  • Relaxation - Relaxation techniques are provided as a tool for stress management and for tolerating and calming anxiety.
  • Spirituality - Spirituality invites the element of meaning and “knowing oneself" during the therapy process.

Family Involvement

Here at Center For Discovery, we strongly value family and loved ones being involved in treatment. While the family is never to blame for the eating disorder, family is a crucial part of the recovery process. Family therapy, which is provided 1-2 times per week, is a collaborative process in which the therapist aligns with the family as a whole in order to guide, educate, and instill hope. By teaching clients and their families about effective communication, individuation, and healthy emotional boundaries, families can create the space to repair strained relationships and decrease co-dependency and enmeshment. Through a collaborative exploration process between the therapist and the client, families are provided with an understanding of the origins of, and needs being met by, the eating disorder. Families are also given concrete tools as to how to best support their loved one who is struggling.

The ultimate goal of family involvement at Center For Discovery is the reintegration of the client into the home environment. To this end, families are provided a Therapeutic Family Meal, attended by the entire family, the therapist, and the dietician, with the goal of identifying effective language that families can use to support recovery during meals at home. Opportunities for such skills to be practiced and fine-tuned are provided during off-site Therapeutic Passes. Additionally, where available, families are encouraged to attend a Support in Recovery group that Center For Discovery provides for family members to connect with other families with loved ones struggling with eating disorders. In all of these ways, it is Center For Discovery's aim to ensure family members play a large role in their loved one's recovery process during and after treatment.

Expressive Arts

At Center For Discovery, we offer several modalities of Expressive Art as an alternative psychotherapeutic pathway that fosters awareness, encourages emotional growth and enhances relationships with others. Expressive Arts include:

  • Dance Movement, including Nia and Zumba - The therapeutic use of dance and movement in treatment is intended to evoke a range of feelings that the client may not have been able to access through other therapeutic means. It encourages the client to connect with the body and address body image struggles.
  • Music Therapy - Music therapy is a channel of expression that often goes beyond what can be expressed with words.
  • Art therapy - Using a variety of mediums, art therapy is an effective tool for self-exploration and, ultimately, for healing. It provides insight and perspective into struggles that may not be easily accessed through talk therapy.
  • Origami - Using origami as a therapeutic modality increases attention and focus, increases tolerance of difficult feelings such as irritability and frustration, and provides an element of relaxation.

Do I have an eating disorder?
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Does my loved one have an eating disorder?
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Do I have an eating disorder?
Take the Free Eating Disorder Quiz

Does my loved one have an eating disorder?
Take the Free Eating Disorder Quiz

Body Movement

At Center For Discovery, therapeutic body movement is incorporated into daily activity. Often during body movement interventions, body image concerns and uncomfortable feelings will surface. By creating a safe and supportive environment for such thoughts and emotions to be explored and processed, clients are able to begin to reconnect with their body and to learn how to incorporate an appropriate amount of exercise into their lives. Body movement activities include:

  • Nature Hikes - A nature hike is a mindfulness activity that fosters a connection with the body through activation of all the senses.
  • Leisure Walks - Leisure walks provide the opportunity of incorporating gentle movement as a coping skill to address daily struggles.
  • Gym - Attending a gym offers the opportunity to corporate moderate exercise into one's lifestyle and provides space to process thoughts and feelings that surface during exposure to the gym environment.
  • Yoga – Through gentle stretching and strength training, yoga opens the body, clears the mind, and provides space harmony between the mind and body.

Body Acceptance

Typically, key features of eating disorders include an obsession with one's body (or certain body parts), body hatred, and body distortion (that is, someone seeing their body much differently than others see it). This preoccupation with the size and shape of the body can lead the person to spend countless hours in front of the mirror inspecting and criticizing their body, feeling and "checking" their body for changes in size, and/or spending time stepping on and off of the scale. In fact, accepting one's body is often the hardest part of recovery from an eating disorder. Here at Center For Discovery, we work with our clients to help them begin to heal their relationship with their body.

Through expressive arts, experiential interventions, and individual and group work, we teach our clients a new way to "self-talk" – by encouraging our clients to be talk to themselves with as much compassion and kindness as the often talk to their peers, clients are able to begin to rebuild self-confidence and reposition their self-identity as coming from more than the size and shape of their body. Additionally, we work with clients to be present in their bodies by exploring the physical feelings that accompany emotions and by increasing their ability to identify hunger and satiety cues; we examine the messages that media and society inundate us with and learn how to become an educated consumer of such messages; and we find ways to enjoy and appreciate all that our bodies can do for us through such activities as dance, yoga, hikes. Through all of our body acceptance work with clients, Center For Discovery aims to empower clients, decrease reliance on outward appearance, and increase self-worth.

Body Movement

At Center For Discovery, therapeutic body movement is incorporated into daily activity. Often during body movement interventions, body image concerns and uncomfortable feelings will surface. By creating a safe and supportive environment for such thoughts and emotions to be explored and processed, clients are able to begin to reconnect with their body and to learn how to incorporate an appropriate amount of exercise into their lives. Body movement activities include:

  • Nature Hikes - A nature hike is a mindfulness activity that fosters a connection with the body through activation of all the senses.
  • Leisure Walks - Leisure walks provide the opportunity of incorporating gentle movement as a coping skill to address daily struggles.
  • Gym - Attending a gym offers the opportunity to corporate moderate exercise into one's lifestyle and provides space to process thoughts and feelings that surface during exposure to the gym environment.
  • Yoga – Through gentle stretching and strength training, yoga opens the body, clears the mind, and provides space harmony between the mind and body.

Meal Support

As part of Center For Discovery's Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) clients are offered support during dinner, as well as snacks if needed. At the IOP, meals are meant to simulate real world experiences, allowing clients to connect with staff and peers over meals, share stories and laughter, and identify triggers. Clients practice the real world activities of meal planning and preparation by bringing in their own meals, using guidelines agreed upon by the dietitian and client during weekly dietary check-ins. These guidelines give the clients the ability to honor where they are in recovery and challenge themselves to move forward along their recovery path. Clients are also exposed to weekly restaurant take out - to help clients learn to eat appropriately in the community - and families are encouraged to attend weekly Multi-Family Therapeutic Meals to integrate family into the dietary portion of recovery. In all the dietary work at Center For Discovery, clients are empowered to choose recovery, challenge themselves, and heal their relationship with food.

Take a tour of our Treatment Centers

Center For Discovery Treatment Centers specializes in behavioral  treatment through unique and specialized therapy with individualized treatment programs for every individual to get them on their way to recovery.

For more information, resources, or to consult with an eating disorder treatment specialist, call 866.482.3876

Body Movement

At Center For Discovery, therapeutic body movement is incorporated into daily activity. Often during body movement interventions, body image concerns and uncomfortable feelings will surface. By creating a safe and supportive environment for such thoughts and emotions to be explored and processed, clients are able to begin to reconnect with their body and to learn how to incorporate an appropriate amount of exercise into their lives. Body movement activities include:

  • Nature Hikes - A nature hike is a mindfulness activity that fosters a connection with the body through activation of all the senses.
  • Leisure Walks - Leisure walks provide the opportunity of incorporating gentle movement as a coping skill to address daily struggles.
  • Gym - Attending a gym offers the opportunity to corporate moderate exercise into one's lifestyle and provides space to process thoughts and feelings that surface during exposure to the gym environment.
  • Yoga – Through gentle stretching and strength training, yoga opens the body, clears the mind, and provides space harmony between the mind and body.
 
Center For Discovery