At The Highlands, we believe that clients have a greater chance for recovery if their support system is involved in the treatment process. Eating disorders affect more than just a single person; they impact an entire family. Clients and family members may both need help communicating about the disorder and the underlying issues. We encourage the participation of the family from start to finish and will help our clients and their loved ones work through the different challenges and emotions.
Philosophy: Family work will be individualized and collaboratively designed by the client, the client's family members, and the treatment team. Upon admission, clients will have the opportunity to address family dynamics, taking into consideration issues related and unrelated to the client’s eating disorder, with the goal of fostering a healthy, open environment to support a recovery-centered lifestyle during and post treatment at The Highlands. Clients and their loved ones may choose to participate in family therapy based on their comfort-level and willingness. A client may choose not to do any work with his or her loved ones. These clients will have the opportunity to explore family dynamics and issues with the Family Therapist through individual sessions. Clients will also have the opportunity to participate in our Family Week, which allows families to participate in the treatment process. Family Week occurs every 6-8 weeks and includes intensive education, therapy, meal sharing, exploration, and celebration.
During the admissions process, we encourage family members to contact us. Our family specialists are glad to work with you to gather your observations about the client and to hear your perspective regarding treatment. If you accompany your loved one on the day of admission, one of our staff will meet with you to discuss family history and treatment information and to answer any questions you may have.
Part of the treatment at The Highlands involves family therapy. Depending on your location, we encourage you as a family to visit the facility during specified hours and attend family events. If distance prevents you from visiting in person, we offer therapy sessions over the phone and can set up conference calls. Our family therapy involves examining the different roles each family member plays in the overall group dynamic. We help families establish healthy communication and boundaries, specifically surrounding the subject of the eating disorder and its contributing causes.
Every six to eight weeks, we host a three-day intensive therapy experience at The Highlands for our current clients and their support systems. When approved by the treatment team, clients can invite parents, siblings, spouses, and closely- involved others who will be part of their recovery. During the Family Week experience, our staff hosts educational groups to inform families about the different aspects of eating disorders and recovery. Individual and family therapy sessions with the client’s primary therapist/family therapist are offered to identify, explore, and resolve problematic dynamics and establish healthy communication among the parties involved. Multi-family process groups allow families to come together to process family dynamics and promote connection and healing. Families and friends also meet with therapists to learn how they can best support their loved ones as they recover.
For more information regarding Family Week, visit our Family Week page.