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Eating Recovery Center of Denver

I have been to both Castlewood and ERC. I was residential for a week at Castlewood because my insurance cut me. I then did partial there. I was only in partial at ERC because I came from Princeton’s inpatient. They are both great programs. Castlewood is much smaller than ERC. However, in ERC you have process groups that can only have up to six people in them. Which is really nice. Both places have outings during the weekend. The food is about the same at both places. ERC runs on a two week cycle and I think Castlewood is around that to. At Castlewood you see your individual therapist 4 times a week where as ERC you see them at least twice a week. I found that if there was ever a problem at ERC they were always there for you. Castlewood works with the IFS (internal family systems) model. I did not like that model. ERC is great when it comes to aftercare, where as I don’t think that Castlewood did as good of a job. Castlewood dose focus alot on trauma. ERC does to but it is more on an individual basis. Both places have apartments that you stay in for step down. At Castlewood you have to have your car. At ERC you don’t. Please let me know have any more questions about the programs.


There are people of all shapes and sizes here (I’m in PHP), although some of those shapes and sizes are more triggering than others! I think the initial shock was the hardest part for me, but I’m ok now. There primarily anorexics and bulimics, and some purely binge eaters and over-exercisers, and its split pretty evenly between the two. One thing I love about the program is they are very individualized with ideal body weight and meal plans- they will not make you gain weight if you don’t need to. Their program is really individualized and they don’t have this “most people need to gain so thats what our meals are intended to do.” They work with you to get to a healthy range through healthy means, whether its to gain, lose, or maintain your current weight (I know, seems impossible! lol). I’m sure you know to be prepared for fluid shifts as a bulimic, but keep in mind you will never see your weight during vitals. You can talk with your nutritionists about how your weight is compared to what its “supposed to be doing,” which can provide some reassurance. I’m a purging anorexic and they’ve been really good about easing me into my meal plan and trying to avoid refeeding syndrome, something the other programs I’ve been to haven’t done so carefully. I also feel comfortable to knock on any of my team members’ offices and ask questions, get reassurance, etc. I have my appointments, but they have an open door policy as well, and if they aren’t there I can write them notes. Their program is REALLY big- 40+ people on PHP adult alone- so the likelihood of you legitimately being the largest person in the program is very slim (something I feared, &no pun intended). Even if you were, which I doubt, your size doesn’t mean you “aren’t sick” or whatever. We all have our problems, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. There have also been a lot of people before us, so any fears your have about anything have probably been felt by someone else too.


Describe the average day:
For IP/residential:
5-7-wake up, vitals, weights, shower if on purge protocol(bathroom open from 5-7)
7-7:30- Fresh air break
7:30-8:15- breakfast
8:30-9:30- DBT group or Art therapy on Tuesdays.
9:45- snack
10-10:30- fresh air break
10:30-11:45- community meeting
11:45-12:30- lunch
12:30-1:30- process group
1:30-1:50- fresh air break
2-5- groups.
2:45-3- afternoon snack
5:15-6- Dinner
6-6:20ish-post-dinner wrap-up
6:15-10- phone/computer/free time
8:15- snack
9-10- bathrooms are open. Patients not on purge protocol can shower then.
10:30- lights out

What were meals like?
Levels 1 and 2 sit separately. Trays are pre-prepared. You have 35 minutes to eat and then about 5-10 minutes for processing afterwards. Eating on the level 1 tables was torture, at least for me because people are struggling a lot more. Level 2 was soo much better. Trust me if you want the process to be as easy as possible, GET TO LEVEL 2 AS SOON AS YOU CAN. My guilt decreased soo much after eating on the level 2 table. On level 2 you also get to eat snacks without a PCA on the table with you so that’s nice.

What sorts of food were available or served?
Lots of different variety. The food was pretty healthy for the most part too. I had a problem with the sweetness of most of the snacks but that’s probably more my ED talking anyways.
Oh and they go by the exchange system, not calories. The menu is also on a two week rotation but when I was there there was talk about getting a whole new menu soon.
Breakfast foods- cereal (Rice Krispies, Shredded Wheat, Raisin Bran, granola, Special K, Honey nut cheerios, corn flakes), white and wheat english muffins, white and wheat toast, cream of wheat, oatmeal, pb+banana quesadillas, pancakes, belgian waffles, rosemary potatoes, apple cinnamon ww pancake, maple cinnamon raisin oatmeal, blueberry muffin, white or wheat bagels, scrambled eggs, poached eggs, hard-boiled eggs, bacon, canadian bacon, omelets, PB banana smoothies every once in a while, cottage cheese, turkey sausage, pb, butter, cream cheese (on bagels), pecans, milk (soy, 1%, and whole), Activia or greek yogurt, really good fresh fruit, apple juice, orange juice, cranberry juice, raisins, etc.
Things like sugar, brown sugar, creamer, Half&half, honey, & jelly are considered extras and not included on your meal plan. You also get to have one cup of coffee (decaf or regular) OR tea at breakfast.

Lunch entrees- Turkey sandwich on white or wheat bread, portabella mushroom ravioli, black bean burrito, southwest chicken salad, oriental chicken salad, tofu stir fry (super bland), chicken fajitas, thai chicken or tofu quesadilla (SO good), hummus wrap w/ pine nuts, spaghetti w/ turkey bolognese, balsamic chicken, baked chicken w/ cornflake coating, grilled ham & cheese sandwich, chicken & dumplings, chicken soft tacos, greek chicken wrap, tuna salad pita pockets, turkey panini’s, chik’n sandwich, veggie burgers, vegetable chow mein, mediteranean wrap, vegetarian chili, chicken cabbage crunch salad w/ pita triangles, mac and cheese, mango tofu salad sandwich, tuscan panini, black bean burrito, chicken salad sandwich, egg salad sandwich, southwest chicken salad w/ cornbread or tortilla chips, pb&j sandwich, caprese panini, crispy tofu sandwich, etc
Fair warning, NEVER order the hummus+pita bread plate. You literally get like a cup of hummus with just a little tiny pita bread and almost always have to just spoon up the hummus by spoonful to get it down by the end of it. I never want to eat hummus again because of that meal.

Dinner entrees- zucchini walnut veggie burgers, hamburgers, jamaican jerk chicken, cheese quesadillas, teriyaki chicken, feta chicken, grilled lemon sage chicken, garden burgers, BBQ chicken pizza, tortilla crusted tilapia, pasta marinara, roast turkey, spiced pork, chicken sandwich, spinach & artichoke chicken, tuscan style turkey breast, citrus-glazed tuna, spinach & mushroom quiche, lasagna, cheese manicotti, veggie taco salad w/ pita triangles, mediterranean white bean pizza, falafel pita, baked lemon dill cod, broccoli cheddar quiche, caribbean spiced pork tenderloin, thai beef salad wrap, etc

Snack foods- You choose from snack list A, B, or C depending on your meal plan. Snack list A is the smallest calorie wise and C is the biggest.
options include greek yogurt (they have the BEST greek yogurt. I think the brand is Liberte or something like that.), peach, strawberry and vanilla Activia yogurt, Carrs WW crackers & cheddar cheese, poptarts, oreo cookies and milk, fruit, mixed nuts, Probars, Nature Valley fruit & nut bars, Cliff bars, “mighty” shakes (Haagen Daaz ice cream + milk blended), PB/nutella/banana wraps, PB sandwiches, White Chocolate & cranberry cookies, Chocolate PB cookies, greek yogurt + granola + banana + strawberry parfaits, PB sandwiches w/ honey, jam, or bananas, um Sun Chips, pretzels, cereal + milk, granola bars, granola + milk, Boost, etc

What privileges are allowed? Level 2 gets to sit unsupervised during snacks. They go to the bookstore (Tattered Cover) every Wednesday night and you’re allowed to go if you’ve been compliant/finished all of your meals since the last outing. They also do outings over the weekend (residential goes one day and IP goes the other) and the same compliance rule applies for that outing as well. Places they went to while I was there included nails, Michael’s and Ulta (2x), a movie (New Years Eve), um I think that’s it. There was also talk about going to the art museum and to the pottery place sometime.

Does it work on a level system?
Yes. Level one and level two. Technically level three is PHP but that is not held at the same place residential/IP is. Level ones all sit together during meals, and level two’s do too. Level two’s can go on passes with therapist approval.

What sort of groups do they have?
DBT, ACT, art, body image, nutrition, values, yoga, mothers group, recovery 101 for new people, psychodrama, physical self, weekend planning

What did you like the most?
All of the PCA’s were really cool in my opinion. I know some girls didn’t like a few of them but I didn’t have any problems with them. I loved the community while I was there, Sarah the med nurse, the weekly massages, and the fact that we were allowed to have our laptops/phones at night.

What did you like the least?
The water limit thing killed me. You can only have 16oz of liquid at each meal/snack but if your meal plan already requires milk or you get coffee or something then that obviously counts as a liquid so your water gets decreased. So most meals I was only allowed to have 8oz water and since my meal plan was huge, I never had enough water for the large meals. It was really hard for me.
I also didn’t like that I only had 2 family sessions for the entire 6 weeks I was there. The family therapist has too many patients assigned to her if you ask me.
I hated the fact that everyone has to have flush checks, regardless of whether or not you have a purging history. This bugged me because I’ve never purged in my life and I don’t think it was fair since I’d never done anything to lose their trust.
The groups also were pretty bad/boring if you ask me. I’ve never been to treatment other than this but especially the DBT groups were just so repetitive and boring. My last biggest pet peeve was how we had to plan out our meals a week in advance and how we weren’t allowed to pick snacks “in the moment” and instead had to plan them out with our nutritionist. That was annoying for me.

Would you recommend this program?
Hm, ya I think I would. Again I’ve never been any place else so it’s hard for me to compare but for the most part I was impressed with the program.

What level of activity or exercise was allowed?
Very little. Yoga 3 times a week if you are stable and even then the yoga is very easy and mostly just stretching.

Do you get to know your weight?

What was the average length of stay?
I stayed for 6 weeks but I was transferred from somewhere else so I most likely would have stayed longer had I come straight there.
The girl who’d been there longest when I was there was going on her 11th week but was getting ready to transfer to PHP.

What was the average age range?
18 and up. Mostly early-mid 20s. Females and males. I was worried about the male thing at first but honestly I ended up liking the 3 males that were there even more than some, if not most of the girls. Sometimes it’s just nice to have a few guys to lessen the drama of things. ha


*based on adolescent unit*
When were you there?
Been here 2 months

Describe the average day:
For IP/residential:
6:00-6:30 – wake up, SG’s, vitals, weights, meds
6:45-7:45 – shower (bathroom is locked at 7)
8-8:30 – breakfast
8:45-10:30 – school
10:30-10:45 – am snack
10:45-11:45 – community
11:45-12:00 – bathroom time and meds
12:00-12:30 – lunch
1:00-1:45 – process group or body image
1:45-2:45 – free time (mail and bathroom time)
2:45-3:00 – pm snack
3:00-4:30 – DBT/CBT skills, nutrition, or art therapy
4:30-4:45 – bathroom/meds
5:00-5:30 – dinner
5:45-6:00 -post-dinner wrap-up
6:15-6:45 – ‘anxiety tools’ (basically same as free time)
6:45-8:00 – free time
8:00-8:15 – snack
8:30-9:30 – vitals, meds, bathroom
10:00 – bedtime

What were meals like?
Everyone sits together unless you are on one-on-one in which case you sit at another table with a PCA. Meals are really condensed but snacks can be huge depending on what snack level you’re on. Breakfast and Dinner you sit at a table with a PCA and sometimes a nurse, at lunch on weekdays you sit with your therapist. There’s 30 mins for meals and 15 for snacks. If you do not complete then you are given Boost which you are given 5 minutes to drink, depending on who’s giving you the Boost they may make you sit there with it for 5 minutes even if they know you’ll refuse. Boost amount is based on percentage of meal and the least amount you can get is 25%

What sorts of food were available or served?
A lot of cereal for breakfast and pb sandwiches for lunch. There’s usually only one vegetarian option for every meal and there are some rather gross ones.

What privileges are allowed?
Res and PHP can go outside for sessions (IP can’t unless there’s a nurse). Res/PHP can go on the Saturday outing unless you’ve had to Boost at all during the week, Sunday you can sign up to go to church. That’s about all the privileges you are given, they provide you with a laptop but everything is blocked.

Does it work on a level system?
Kind of, there’s inpatient, residential, and PHP

What sort of groups do they have?
DBT/CBT skills, process group, nutrition (only on Tuesdays), body image, art, community

What did you like the most?
Patients and PCA’s/nurses, that’s about it

What did you like the least?
There is no outdoors time except for outings. Groups are boring and don’t seem to help anyone. Some staff treat you like a small child and with little respect. Staff has to check the toilet no matter what level you’re on.

Would you recommend this program?
Only if you really do want to recover, like 99% want to recover. If you’re not sure whether or not you want to they’ll just get you weight restored and then discharge you. Or they’ll keep you there until insurance runs out.

What level of activity or exercise was allowed?
Practically none, there’s yoga on the weekends but it’s really just deep breathing. You’re not allowed to stand either if they redirect you too many times they will put you in the wheelchair.

Do you get to know your weight?
No. You can ask to know your goal weight but they don’t usually tell you

What was the average length of stay?
IP is typically just a couple of weeks unless insurance doesn’t cover res. Res can really be anything and then PHP is max. 2 weeks

What was the average age range?
Since it’s an adolescent unit it’s ages 10-17 but I would say the average age is 16.


I was at Eating Recovery Center for 3 months in the spring of 2011. I thought i’d give a review because a lot has changed since the last review was posted.

When were you there?
March-June 2011

Describe the average day:
For IP/residential:
5:30-7-Bathroom is open. Know that although they tell you you cannot have hairdryers, hiarspray, perfume, etc…it is allowed. They keep it in a locked cabinet and you can only use it durring this time in the morning and at 9 pm when they open the bathrooms again.
8- breakfast
9- group
10:10- snack
10:30-12 groups
12:30- lunch
1:30-2:30- process group. I got a lot out of this group. Each therapist has 3 or 4 patients, so for this group two therapist and their patients have a small support like group. You get to talk about anything that is bothering you and help support others. It really helps in connecting with other patients as well.
3:30- snack
4-5- group
5:45- dinner
6:15-6:45ish-Dinner and wrap-up. Wrap up is a discussion that happens at the table after every meal (not snacks). You have to anser questions likewas the food challenging? How are you feeling? What are your goals for the day?
7-10- phone/free time with snack at 8:10
9:00- they open the bathroom again to get ready for bed. This means that if you want to go to sleep before 9, you will not be able to brush your teeth, wash your face, etc. Also night showers are allowed only for those who are not on purge protocol.

What were meals like?
Levels 1 and 2 no do not eat together. You come in on level one then when your treatment team, you, and your peers think you are ready, you go to level two. To be ready you have to finish around 90% of your meals without having to supplement (commonly known as “boosting” there :) ) you have to show less behaviors and listen to the leader of the table if you are corrected about behaviors, and you have to be on time for all meals and snacks. When you are “boosting” you have to stay after everyone else leaves, tell the leader of the table why you did not finish/ how you are feeling, then they bring out an amount of boost equal to the amount of food you did not finish. You can sign a sheet of paper saying you will not boost, but then that gets sent to your therapist and you have to talk about it with her/him.

What sorts of food were available or served?
Very real like food. There were salads and LOTS of wraps, grilled chicken, but there was also chili and cornbread, pizza, hamburgers, etc. The meals are on a 2 week rotation and you have 3 entree options for each meal. They work off the exchange program and all of the exchanges are listed on the menus that you fill out, so its not too difficult. Although it does make it hard to adjust back to real life sometimes.

What privileges are allowed?
No phones, laptops, ipods, etc during the day. Those are given out by staff every night at 7 then you have to give them back by 10. They do give you an ERC (eating recover center) ipod that you can put your own music on. Its only 2gb, and hard to put music on, but works ok.

Does it work on a level system?
Yes. You come in on level 1. Work your way up to level two. Then in PHP you come in on level 2 and work your way up to level three. Level one means no passes. Level two means you get to have passes and eat with other level two people. Still the same meals and you still sit with staff members. Level three means that you eat without a staff member (although they are still in the room), you have buffet style lunches, and buffet style snacks.

What sort of groups do they have?
process group, values group (they focus a lot on values.) psychotherapy, art therapy, yoga (only on Saturdays and it is optional. You can just sleep through it if you want to.) recovery 101, relapse prevention, community (where everyone on your “team” (there are two teams at ERC. They are based off of which psychiatrist you have. . Well usually everyone doesn’t have anything to say because community happens everyday and they keep asking, is there anything going wrong in the community? And we were always like, no….same as yesterday.

What did you like the most?
My THERAPIST!!! She was amazing. One of the first therapists to really understand me. And she had such an amazing sense of humor too.

What did you like the least?
The staff was helpful at times, but other times they were quite rude. I once had a PCA make fun of me for crying. Another one told asked why i was so upset..she said.. “it’s not like your dog died or anything.” Also the PCA’s are young and dress to the 9′s! They always look incredible! And most are in really good shape. That was triggering for me. They also did not work on everything they said they would work on with me. I have terrible night fears when alone, and they said they would help me deal with that, but they blew it off. They also said they would challenge me with a day where i could not wear make-up and had to wear sweats all day….never happened.

Would you recommend this program?
It was my first time in treatment so i have nothing to compare it to. And i am not sure i would recommend it. I think if you need a lot of medical care it is great. And the therapists are amazing…but when i got out i realized there was a lot a did not learn.

What level of activity or exercise was allowed?
Yoga on Saturdays.That is it. And there is really no talk about exercise at all. When in PHP they may give you an exercise contract so you can exercise at the apartments that you stay at, but it is very general and not monitored. I learned NOTHING about exercise, and exercise was a large part of my eating disorder.

Do you get to know your weight?

What was the average length of stay?
I have no idea. I know people who went through in 3 weeks (ip/res and partial) i also know people who had been there 8 months.

What was the average age range?
I knew people who were 17, and people who were in their 50′s. I liked that part of it though.

Also, i know that since i have left they have gotten even more rules in place. Everyone has to hold their flush until the staff sees it, and some rules I’m not sure how they work, so i wont give details. No rumors here.
I did feel quite confined there. All the doors were locked and had alarm systems. We only went outside 3-4 times a day for 10 minutes. During that time we just stood on a corner across the street. Nothing to do there. Also, over the weekends there are no therapists there. And there is almost no structure. You just sit there for hours at a time with nothing to do. Visitors are allowed on the weekends, but if you are out of town, it can be hard to see others get visitors.

Oh, something i forgot to explain…in the morning there a three things you have to do before you start getting ready. And there is always a line, which is why you want to get up early and beat the line (5:30 usually). You have to pee in a cup (you get used to it after a week. Then you have to get vitals standing up, laying down, temperature, they want to know exactly how many hours you sleep, etc. Then you get weighed. They give you a yellow see-through gown you have to wear and you have to walk in-front of everyone else in the bathroom until a staff member comes to take you in for weights. And you cannot wear underwear during the weigh in process. If that makes you nervous, i suggest you bring a robe. It was the best decision i made.
Also, on your first day (which is quite overwhelming and emotional) they ask you all of your weight details (highest/lowest etc.) i did not answer correctly both because i was overwhelmed, and because my eating disorder did not want me to tell the truth. But, they never asked the information again. That was my one chance to give the info. Make sure you are honest during that time.

Overall, it was on okay first treatment experience. Would i recommend? Not sure.
I hope this has helped someone. And know that your experience may be very different than mine. I wish you all the best.


Yes, when you first come in you will be on level 2 which is supervised meals with a staff. Once you are there a while and improving you can move up to level 3 which just means a staff doesn’t sit directly at your table but they are in the room and process with you after. Also, level 3 does “buffet” style for lunch 4 days a week.. it sounds scary but it’s not just a free for all. The RD’s are right there and will help you follow your meal plan.
The only thing not monitored are bathrooms, however I think if you just come directly into PHP you may be on bathroom observations for a short time or if you are struggling with purging they will put you on observations. Being in PHP does require a lot of accountability, I mean they are pretty good at figure out if your using behaviors and such but if your in PHP it’s expected you want to be there and that you will ask for support if you need it.
Programing is pretty much all day (8 to 7) so after I personally never really did anything. Some girls would go out, girls that were approved to exercise would go do pole dancing once or twice a week. Sometimes we’d get together in each others apartments and watch a movie or something. There isn’t too much directly around the apartments, you need to take a cab or some of the girls may have their car. It’s pretty laid back. Sunday’s we don’t go in to programing till 10:30 so you need to do your own breakfast. Generally people will go together to Einsteins or starbucks to get breakfast. Also, in PHP you can get passes, for example I had a pass one day from 1:30-5 so I took a cab to the cherry creek mall (OBSESSED WITH THAT PLACE) and did afternoon snack at starbucks in the mall. So there are things to do, just you usually need to find a way of transportation.
Length of stay, I would say average if you just go to PHP would be 6 weeks. I personally only stayed 2 but that’s because I was IP and Res for several weeks and then did a PHP by my home. Then there’s the rare case that stays a few months. I would say avergae 4-6 weeks though.


ERC rarely uses bedrest. Its really an individualized appraoch. And not a specific criteria that determines it. I think it would most likely be implemented if the patient requested it or if you were not gaining weight. BUt they would most likely go to the wheelchair before bed rest. They don’t like that method often. And I highly recommed this program by the way!


was there about a year ago. Don’t worry about not being the “sickest” or “thinnest” – this is a very common concern in general for people with EDs as I’m sure you know. But there were people of all shapes and sizes and to my knowledge no one gave a crap (at least I didn’t). What I liked about the ERC was the focus on your values system – what is important to your authentic self, what really makes you tick as a person and not as an eating disorder. I did a 12-step program once and it was absolutely not the right path for me because it didn’t seem as individualized as I wanted.

I had some pretty significant medical issues when I went. The ERC is attached to St. Joseph’s Hospital so I stayed there until I was stable enough to go back to ERC. They worked well with me, medically; they made appointments for me to see a cardiologist and helped me a lot with my intestinal issues (not ED-related). I have gastroparesis as well, among other GI issues, and thought they managed those issues pretty well. One other thing I appreciated was that they didn’t switch all my meds around like crazy (the ones I came in with) so that was a big bonus.

Art therapy, psychodrama, and small group therapy were my most helpful modalities. They also have a DBT group, body image, nutrition, etc. I absolutely adored my dietician and therapist (although the therapist is no longer working there). I am actually going to go visit the place when I’m in Denver soon, just to see the changes that have been implemented and try to help me make up my mind about whether or not to go through it again.


1. There is a lot of free time on the weekends, especially if you don’t go on the outing. There is basically just 1 one-hour group in the morning after breakfast. The entire afternoon and evening is pretty much free. There are visiting hours in the morning for about 1-2 hours, and some people go on passes, but other than that, you are free to work on what you need to/ sleep/ socialize. (You do, obviously have the meals and snacks to go to!).

2. Patients can have their laptops with them throughout the day if they have a pass or if they are not in groups/ free time. There are also several computers with printers for general use. You can also have your computer in you room at night.

3. There are designated pharmacy times when people line up to get meds, but usually is is a pretty broad window of time and there is hardly ever a line. Also, if you need a specific med at a specific time or if you need something PRN, they will accomodate that..

4. Psychodrama is a really intense group and most people love it, but it is a little too intense for me. I would suggest that you google it and read up about it. It involves acting out different experiences/ thoughts/ emotions, etc and everyone can be part of the “skit”.

5. Other than psychodrama, there is yoga once a week and art therapy once a week. There is also an optional weekend art group. Other than that, I can’t really think of any groups that are “artsy”.

Hope this helps!

PS In full disclosure, I am not sure that I would wholeheartedly recommend ERC over some other places that I have been to. If you want to tell me a little bit more about your specific situation/ concerns, I would love to try and help/ suggest

ex. from 2010

here is todays meal plan-
grains- oatmeal toast9 wheat,cinn raisin, shredded whet, smnoothie
protein- omelet. bacon. peanutbutter
fruiit- oranges, raisins, cran. oj
fats- buttr, diced pecans cheddar cheese
milk- rewg soy or yogurt

entree- caprese sandwich, rice and beans chicken curry salad
veges lettuce tom, carrot slaw with raisins
fruit- fresh fruit. apple
milki- reg soy
other- pita chips, potatoe chips, fig newtons

entree- spagetti with turkey bolognese, shrimp sicilian ove rice, portabello musroom ravioli
veges- tomatoe greenbean toss, salad sauteed greenbeans
fats dressing or butter\
milk reg or soy
dessert mouse or peanutbutter cookie

Permanent link to this article: http://www.edtreatmentreview.com/2012/06/09/eating-recovery-center-of-denver-2/


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  1. valeria14

    Has anyone attended here recently can you please give a review, I am debating going to the adolescent program at eating recovery center or oliver pyatt?

  2. butterfly95

    Are you allowed to use your phone during the day in between programs? What about laptops to watch Netflix etc? Thanks!

    1. anon.

      are you being admitted to ERC or just looking into your options right now? & i believe there are certain times of the day where you can “check out” your laptop/phone to use. not sure about netflix. i think there’s more electronic time on the weekends as well.

    2. Mollybrown

      If you’re looking at Residential or PHP you can have your phone and laptop at all times except during meals, groups and session with your team (obviously). There is some free time in the day just before and after meals and at night (in Res and PHP) and you can totally use your phone and computer then. There’s WiFi too (to access Netflix etc.). You don’t need to check out your electronics in Res/PHP. On the weekends there is generally just a little more free time. Staying connected to my family and friends was key so the fact there wasn’t restricted access was helpful for me. However…go to groups, don’t be on Netflixs all day :)

  3. anon.

    can someone tell me what their goal weights are like/how they are determined? do they discharge you once you hit a certain percentage of ideal weight?

    1. Mollybrown

      I know this is an annoying answer to get but I think it’s true- It’s all individual. I was in residential and PHP in Summer of 14 and essentially during my intake meeting with my team they asked what I thought I should weigh. I responded by asking what does the healthy part or me or the eating disorder part think 😉 I gave them both answers and then I asked later where they stood on my goal weight and they actually said my healthy answer, the place I thought I functioned best at, was in line with where they would like me to get to but they wanted a range +2 pounds. I decided to discharge a little earlier (than they would have liked by a couple weeks, although it was supported) so they actually lowered my goal weight by two pounds so I could have time practice at a maintenance meal plan before I left.
      Sorry for the long winded answer but essentially trying to say it’s individual to the situation. They wouldn’t discharge you once you hit a certain percentage as far as I know. There were people that hit their goal weight, or those that weren’t even on a weight restoration plan but were working at practicing at maintenance meal plans or working on other aspects of recovery who stayed in treatment longer. If you decide to discharge at a lower weight, I think there’s a lot more pressure to transition to a PHP or EIOP/IOP program closer to home.
      I think because I was rational and knew weight restoration and gaining was part of the deal, my dietitian even talk to me on a number level close to discharge as I was anxious to reach my ideal weight before I left as well as practicing maintenance. I know this wasn’t as common though as other patients didn’t have this same dialogue with their team.
      I will repeat, weight restoration seemed to be very individual to the person, even with the meal plan and the approach to it. I can’t say enough about ERC though, especially their strategy with the nutritional piece.
      Let me know if you have any other questions :)

      1. anon.

        I can’t thank you enough for such a thorough answer! I’m going to ERC on wednesday, & my therapist & I have agreed that i will stay for 4 weeks & then sign AMA and do outpatient from home. Do you know if ERC usually comply well with AMA’s? Should i let them know at the beginning of my stay there that I will be signing out after 4 weeks?
        Also, how many options are there per meal? And when getting a meal plan increase, does the patient get to decide what kind of exchange they want to add on?
        Do we go on meal outings that i’ll need money for? How quickly can I advance to Level 2 since i’m obviously going to be 100% compliant?
        Ugh so sorry for all the questions, im just so nervous!

        1. Mollybrown

          Hi! It’s completely normal to be nervous and have 8 million questions and be totally overwhelmed. You are making the right choice, I have only good things to say about ERC from my experience. My time there changed my life :)
          I know a lot of my anxieties came from having SO many questions and not knowing what I was “getting myself into” which is why I think this site is a good reference.
          I will preface these answers with saying, I’m sure some people have had different experiences but here was mine. Also, things MIGHT have changed in the last 6 months so no promises-
          In terms of signing out ‘AMA’, I would communicate up front that this is your plan/expectations. I had planed on 4-6 weeks as we had discussed during my intake. I told reinforced this during intake and was told that should not have been promised to me (??) and we would just see how things went. When I was coming up to 6 weeks, I had an open conversation and got some pushback about leaving. My team wanted me to stay a few weeks longer, I had this hard 4-6 deadline in my mind. When I thought about it more, I decided to extend a few weeks longer to get to my goal weight and practice on a maintenance meal plan (for only a few days but it was something…I do wish I had stayed longer to get used to what maintenance felt and looked like). It’s completely voluntary to be there obviously, but they will be honest about what they would recommend. In the end with me, they said they would recommend more time but would support my decision to discharge. It’s very individual, I knew some people who were still below their target when they left (to get back to school/jobs etc.) and it was recommended they do a PHP program closer to home. Most people they recommend a step down to IOP but are open to your individual after care plan. At ERC you have to give 72 hours notice that you are leaving and you are free to do so anytime. Usually when you sign your 72, it’s your decision to leave but not recommended or supported that you do so. I don’t know your situation but if this is a firm plan and something you communicate, I don’t think it would come to having to “leave AMA” or sign your 72…they might just not be super keen to see you leave if you’re not ready.
          Meals you get to choose once a week for the whole week during a menu group. They give you a copy of your meal plan that you’re aware and discussed with your dietitian (they will never increase you without you knowing) as well as the menus by day for the week. Then you take your menus and meal plan off somewhere and fill it out and hand it back in. You get three choices per meal and then choices on other exchanges (fruits, milk, other etc.) depending on your meal plan. Most of the time you get to decide where to add an exchange. I decided to add most of mine to snack (there’s A,B,C and C+ snacks). Some people added to breakfast, some added ‘others’ to lunch or dinner…being a dessert or snack. If you have specific food fears (ex. desserts) I think it might be encouraged or required that you add there but I’m not 100% on if this was mandatory. Choosing your snacks follows a different format FYI and that’s a little more individual based on your meal plan or weight goals.
          Once you move to level 3- eating unsupervised with other patients, also comes with a lunch outing once a week a cooking group once a week. You do not need to pay for the lunch outing but when you take a meal pass outside of ERC, you’re obviously responsible for paying for that. It can be a meal or snack challenge when you’re ready.
          They only have level 2 and 3. Level two is eating with a staff member and level 3 is not. I THINK it’s about two weeks until you can advocate to move to level 3 but you have to have moved to PHP to do this. Again, it’s individual, I had to stay in RES a lot longer than planned because of medical complications but had nothing to do with meal completion so I moved to level 3.

          Good luck!! Be confident in choosing ERC and the idea of experiencing a better life without your eating disorder.

          1. anon.

            thank you SO much!!! you are majorly relieving my anxiety about this decision & i can’t thank you enough for that.
            couple more questions if you don’t mind!
            what kind of meal plan will the typically start you out on? is there a typical “starting” plan? and when you get increased, do you get to choose which exchanges you get to add, or just what meal to add them to?
            i’m already stressing about lunch my first day there since i won’t be able to order in advance! will i meet with a dietitian before lunch on my first day? how will that work?
            again, THANK YOU so much!

        2. Samantha

          Anon, ERC is one of the few facilities in the country that will try to certify you so that you are involuntarily committed if you try to leave. If that is your plan do not go here, go to an unlocked facility that does not try to certify people and clarify your length of stay in advance.

      2. girlfighter13


        Could you please do a review of residential and PHP? I know it’s a lot to ask, but I would appreciate it SO MUCH!
        There’s a questionnaire somewhere on this site that you can copy and paste & I have a few questions of my own…

        1. Do they tube/under what circumstances do they tube?
        2. What kinds of outings are there? Restaurants and/or “fun” outings?

        1. Mollybrown

          Hi! I will try and find those questions to give you more information.
          In the meantime to answer your specific questions-
          No one was tubed when I was there. There are a few different levels of care- Inpatient, Residential and PHP. IP (at a different location in Denver) was for people who were needed more monitoring medically or were medically unstable. They might tube patients there but I can’t speak to that.
          Residential and PHP programming is combined (all patients together, just the Res patients don’t go to the apartments at night) and they don’t tube anyone as far as I experienced.
          They supplement with Boost at Res/PHP and if you refuse enough times I think they would likely ask you to leave. Again, I didn’t see people being discharged because they didn’t Boost. The point of Res/PHP is that you are motivated to get better and complete your meal plan. They don’t shame you for refusing to boost but if it becomes a recurring pattern…..
          Also, I know people who got passes taken away for refusing too much.
          Outings- organized outings on level 3 were lunch outings once a week. After a week in Res you can go on the Saturday outing which is either target or a “snack challenge” outing with your track (there are two tracks at ERC). Target and the snack challenge outing alternates per week. One week you do Target, the other the other outing. This would involve say a book store and Starbucks or Michael’s crafting and a packed snack or mini golf and a snack. I actually only went to Target haha. I had some medical complications that made them pull my privilege to go on the outing or on some individual passes. I didn’t care, I was feeling like crap and didn’t want to go anyways. haha.
          Hope this helps and I will try and give a more thorough review.

  4. admin

    I was wondering if someone could answer a few questions about the ADOLESCENT unit?
    1. Do you have to have dessert every night, or is it just a few times per week?
    2. Do you get to choose your meals on level 1 as well as the rest of the levels?
    3. How long is the inpatient stay when you cannot go residential?
    4. Do you get to talk with the dietitian?
    5. Do you get to choose where your increases are placed on your meal plan and what form of food they will be in?

    1. karaleah

      1- Yes you have dessert every night. You can’t avoid sweets here unless you’re on some sort of special meal plan from a previous treatment center which one adolescent girl was on when I was there a year ago.. The desserts arent all that bad though.
      2- You don’t get to choose your meals at all until usually PHP phase or a pretty high level of IP/Res. ERC Adolescent is based in FBT values so the teen doesn’t get a say or decision in anything food related, consistent with the policy. Exceptions are possible (I was one) but this is the case for most
      3- It depends on your insurance
      4- Yes! The dietitians are amazing at ERC .
      5- Depends on the patient but yes the dietitians are usually accommodating with major stuff like this

  5. Susan

    We have a 22 years old daughter, who got anorexia in 2010 and i refed her at home to a full weight restoration. She relapsed at college.
    , and not Won’t let me ( mom) refeed her. We are thinking of ERC Denver or Kartini clinic in Portland. Any thoughs or suggestions please?

    1. admin

      I emailed you but the address was wrong..

  6. Jul

    Can someone do a review? Would you recommend this program? Does anyone know the daily calorie levels? What supplement do they use? Is it boost plus? How do they determine what supplement you get and how much? What are their weight gain goals? Does anyone know what kinds / brands / serving sizes of the food you get? Any other tips / advice / suggestions for how to get through this program successfully?

  7. Amanda

    Has anyone been to Insight Chicago –bought by ERC company and now running residential etc??

    1. Alex

      Wondering this as well! If anyone has been to Insight residential and/or PHP a full review would be nice!

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