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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. Pattie

    My daughter has been at erc Denver for three months. She has transitioned into the apts and now is at level 3. She wants to stay another month. I would rather have her come home and transition to local therapists. Money is def an issue but she keeps pushing. Any advise

    1. Kathryn

      In terms of my own experience in treatment (not there but elsewhere,, the longer you have in treatment and the more stable it is the better. Change adds to the challenges when working toward the recovery. Obviously when money is an issue that changes thing, but if possible, a longer time in a stable place gives her time to practice and process things with a therapist she is already comfortable with.

    2. L

      I know the money is hard but I’d suggest letting her stay that extra month. She knows herself better than you do. I wish I’d been able to do PHP at ERC but alas my insurance wouldn’t cover it since there was a PHP here that took men too.

  2. Kay

    Does anyone know how much the PHP apartments are nightly in ERC Denver?

    1. Lexi

      Hi Kay,

      The PHP apartments are $50/night in ERC Denver (I’m not 100% sure, but I’m about 95% sure that’s how much they are). I moved to their PHP program after going through their Residential program, so I lived in the apartments. Feel free to let me know if you have any more questions about them!

    2. Anon

      I was at ERC in Denver at 2 locations. The Evergreen ip/res location and the Conifer php location from June-August 2015. When I was at the Lowry Park apartments, it was $50/night for me but I know it varies for everyone.

    3. S

      I paid $25 a night but I heard of others paying $50; I’m not sure what makes the difference. However, if you are unable to afford it, they do sometimes waive the fee.

  3. Lexi

    *My review is based on the adult residential/PHP program, which has some differences from the IP/RES program*

    When were you there? I was there two different times, the first time from September 2014 – January 2015, and again from May 2015 – July 2015.

    How many patients on average? Between the two times I was there, I would say the average number of patients was between 20 – 30 patients.

    Does it treat both males and females? If so, is treatment separate or combined. Yes, ERC treats both males and females, and the treatment is combined. However, there were rarely any males (3 max.) there both times I was there.

    How often do you see a medical doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist (therapist), nutritionist, etc? You see a medical doctor as needed after your nursing intake on your first day, psychiatrist is once – twice a week (it just depends on medication needs and such), therapist is twice a week for individual therapy, dietician is usually once a week, but I sometimes saw mine twice a week if I needed a meal plan increase or something. You also see a family therapist usually once a week, but sometimes twice a week (depending on your family situation – like I saw mine twice a week because my parents are divorced so I had separate sessions with each of them).

    What is the staff ratio to patients? I think it’s 2 staff to 1 patient… I could be wrong though, I’m not completely sure.

    What sort of therapies are used? (DBT, CBT, EMDR) etc? DBT and ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) are the main therapies used. ERC is really big on ACT – you learn a lot about your values and making values-based decisions in your life. It’s actually really interesting and I found it really helpful.

    Describe the average day:
    *When you first admit, you are placed on one of three tracks – Track 1, 2 or 3. It really doesn’t mean anything, it just depends on who your psychiatrist is. Tracks 1 and 2 follow the schedule below, while Track 3 does everything an hour later. I was on Track 1, so I can only give the schedule that I was on*

    6 am – wake up/spa opens (spa is the bathroom, and if your not in the spa by 7:15, one of the staff members will come wake you up)
    6 – 7 am: morning routine (You give a urine sample first and then change into a gown to get weighed and then you have the rest of the time to do whatever your morning routine is (shower, brush teeth, makeup, change, etc.)
    7 – 7:15 am: meds – when the med window opens and you get your meds for the morning if you take any
    7:30 – 8 am: breakfast
    8:00 – 8:15 am: fresh air break (this is where you get to go outside for 15 minutes to get fresh air. People who smoke are given a lighter to smoke if they want. Otherwise, you can just talk with other patients and such. The staff (they are called MC’s) watch out for pacing and they will ask you to stop if you they see you legitimately pacing)
    8:30 – 9:30 am: group (it’s either self-compassion, art therapy, mindfulness, or recovery skills and they change depending on the day)
    9:40 – 10 am: AM snack
    10:15 – 11:15: group (there’s various groups here, but I don’t remember them off the top of my head. On Fridays, you always have menu group, where you fill out your menus for the following week)
    11:15 am – 11:45 am: free time (people usually use this time to sleep, talk with other patients/staff, use the computer in the community room, do puzzles, arts and crafts, etc.). This is also another med time for those who need it, and a bathroom time (On the residential unit, the bathrooms are only open during certain times. But of course, like if you really have to go, staff will let you).
    11:45 am – 12:15 pm: lunch
    12:15 pm – 12:30 pm: fresh air break
    12:30 pm – 2:00 pm: process group or community meeting. So on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during this time, you have process group. Process group is where you meet with your therapist and all the other patients that your therapist works with. It’s basically group therapy for an hour and half. Everyone usually gets a chance to process about what is going on for them and the rest of the group (and your therapist) ask questions and give advice/support. I really loved process group – I loved my therapist and the girls in my groups and I found it to be a safe place where I could talk about anything and I know I wouldn’t be judged. Community meeting is on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the same time. This is where everyone on your track gets together. Each Community is lead by a different patient. All the patients go around in circle and talk about something they are accountability for (like using a behavior, for example), their committed action (what they are going to do to help with their accountability), a gratitude and a success. This is also a time where everyone can talk about what is going well in the community as a whole and talk about things that would be improved.
    2 – 2:15 pm: meds/bathroom
    2:15 – 2:35 pm: PM snack
    2:40 – 2:55 pm: fresh air break
    3 – 4 pm: group
    4 – 4:45 pm: group
    4:45 – 5 pm: bathroom/meds
    5 – 5:30 pm: dinner
    5:30 – 5:45 pm: wrap up (this is there you fill out a thought log, which basically has you list your thoughts, feelings, challenges/successes at the meal, and a gratitude and success for the day. You go around and share – you don’t have to share everything on the page (e.g. I didn’t usually share my thoughts just because it made me kind of uncomfortable). One of the MC’s collects them and they are given to your therapist to read over. You do one every night after dinner.
    5:45 – 6 pm: fresh air break
    6 – 8:20 pm: free time/visiting hours. You also get your electronics at 6 pm and there are two bathroom times within this time frame.
    8:20 – 8:40 pm: HS snack (HS stands for “hour of sleep” – it’s basically just a nighttime snack). Not all patients have one – it depends on your meal plan and your dietician’s recommendations
    9 – 10 pm: vitals/meds/spa opens for nighttime routine
    10 pm: turn in electronics/lights out (you don’t have to go to sleep at 10, you just have to turn off the light in your room, but you can keep your lamp on and read, journal, etc. Staff does rounds every 15 minutes – they just poke their head in your room to see if you are awake or not.

    What were meals like? ERC works on a level system. When you first admit, you start at level 1 and move your way up to level 3. Level 1 sits with staff at all meals and snacks. Level 2 sits with staff at just meals, no snacks. Level 3 doesn’t sit with any staff at any meals or snacks. Also, meals are on a exchange system and not on calories. So you have a certain number of grains, fat, protein, milk, and fruit at every meal – it just depends on your individual meal plan.

    What sorts of food were available or served? There was lots of different options actually. Breakfast was normal breakfast foods – eggs, waffles, pancakes, cereal, milk, fruit, etc. Lunch was a lot of different kind of sandwiches or wraps (the tofu quesadilla and lentil walnut burger were my favorite). Dinner was kind of a mix, it just depended on the day. Once I was able to get over the fact that it was pizza, the Mediterranean white bean pizza was pretty good. I think that and the white bean chicken chili were my favorites for dinner.
    Snacks are a little different. There are three lists: List A, B, and C. List A has the lowest number of calories, while List C has the highest. Most patients go from List A up to List C, and then once you hit your goal weight, you work your way back down to all List A snacks. List A snacks are things like granola bars, trail mix bars, fruit and milk, ½ of a Poptart, candy, chips, etc. List B are Clif Bars, Pro Bars, ½ banana and PB, graham crackers with nutella or PB, chocolate covered almonds and milk (my personal favorite), banana bread and milk, etc. List C snacks are banana and granola parfait, yogurt smoothies, milkshakes, dirt pudding. I found the snacks, overall, to be pretty good and manageable to eat once my body starting getting food regularly and was able to tolerate it.

    Did they supplement? How did that system work? Yes, they do supplement. You are given 30 minutes for meals and 20 minutes for snacks to finish. If you don’t finish within that time (the start and end times of the meals/snacks are always written on a white board in the café), then you have to Boost for the remaining part of what is left of your meal/snack.

    What is the policy of not complying with meals? Once you get the Boost, you are given 10 minutes to drink it. If you don’t drink any of it/only drink some it (basically if you don’t finish it within that 10 minutes), you have to fill out a Behavior and Intention Form (or a B&I for short). It basically asks about your thoughts and feelings that were coming up which didn’t allow you to finish the meal or snack and what you are going to differently the next time those thoughts/feelings come up. This form goes to your dietician and you talk about it with them in your session. I can say, from experience of signing more of those forms that I would care to admit and also having to drink a lot of Boost for not finishing meals, food tastes a lot better than freaking Boost does.

    Are you able to be a vegetarian? Yes. You talk about that during your intake and again when you meet your dietician on your first day.

    What privileges are allowed? You can go one passes once you are on Level 2. Moving levels is dependent on the person – some people move faster than others. For me, I was on level 1 for 7 weeks before I moved to level 2 this last time I was at ERC, and was on level 1 for 8 weeks the first time I was there before moving to level 2. Like I said, it really depends on the person and where they are/how they are doing in their treatment.

    Does it work on a level system? Yes, levels 1, 2, and 3. Level 1 is very monitored, as you sit with staff at every meal and snack, level 2 you are given a bit more independence by being able to sit with peers and no staff during snacks. Level 3 is when you sit at all meals and snacks without any staff. On level 3, you get to do buffet multiple times a week (where you portion your meal with the help of a dietician), go on a weekly restaurant outing, and do a weekly cooking group.

    How do you earn privileges? To earn privileges, you have to progress through the levels. Your treatment team moves you to the next level when they feel you are ready and have demonstrated you are ready for more independence. Once you get to level 2, you can start going on passes with other patients as well as solo passes. Most people go to Lowry Town Center for most of their passes, which is a short walk away (if you are approved for walking), or they take an Uber there. But for dinner passes, people will go out to eat at various different restaurants. I did that once I had done a few passes close to programming, and it was really nice to get out of ERC and have a “normal” meal with other patients (who honestly become your friends pretty fast).

    What sort of groups do they have? Lots of different groups – on the residential unit, the groups switch off between art therapy, self-compassion, mindfulness, and recovery skills. Once you move down to transitional residential and the partial hospitalization program (PHP), the groups are different. Those groups include psychodrama, art therapy, relapse prevention, recovery skills, ACT 101, CRT (cognitive remediation therapy), body celebration, body awareness, just to name a few.

    What was your favorite group? Art Therapy was definitely one of my favorite groups by far. I really liked it because I enjoy expressing myself in other ways besides talking. On the transitional res level, I loved Relapse Prevention. The person who teaches it is an outpatient therapist who works with eating disorders in the building like right across the street. Her name is Maira and she is awesome.

    What did you like the most? I loved the MC’s, nurses, and pretty much all the staff there – both times I was there. My treatment team was some of the greatest people I have ever met. I loved that I was in a place where I made connections with other patients really fast. A lot of these patients are people who I would call some of my best friends, and even though all of us are out of treatment, we still keep up with each other, which is awesome.

    What did you like the least? When you move down to Transitional Residential (it’s basically the same thing as residential, except you do groups downstairs during the day and sleep upstairs at night), there is a lot more freedom, which is something that was really hard for me. Up on the residential unit, you have to do flush checks every time you use the bathroom (to make sure patients aren’t purging), and pacing is a lot more controlled. When you move down to Transitional Res, you don’t have to do flush checks and you can go outside whenever you want. That was really hard for me since I have problems with purging and exercise. So I would say the lack of structure when you move down is hardest.

    What level of activity or exercise was allowed? You aren’t allowed to exercise. When you are on fresh air breaks (on the res unit), you can walk alongside the building, but MC’s will stop you if you pace back and forth. For the most part, you are asked to stay in one stop or sit down when outside. You are constantly reminded to “walk mindfully” throughout the building. If you do exercise (basically if you are caught exercise or doing excessive movement), your treatment team will usually put a body bug on you, which tracks your movement and exercise activity. They are not fun – try to avoid one if you can.

    What did people do on weekends? The weekends are pretty slow and there is a lot of down time – people usually watch movies, call home, write letters, do arts and crafts, things like that. It’s also a great time to pick up a new hobby if you want too – my last time in treatment I learned how to crochet from one of the other patients and I haven’t stopped since. The outings are also on the weekends – for the res unit, you always go to tattered cover (a really cool bookstore). Once you get to transitional res and PHP, the outings will change depending on the weekend. You do go to Walgreen’s every other weekend though. The other weekend outings depend – I have been to paint pottery, gone to Michaels and Barnes and Nobles, different museums. It honestly all depends.

    Do you get to know your weight? No, you don’t get to know your weight. You are blind weighted (stepping onto the scale backward) throughout your entire stay.

    How fast is the weight gain process? I’m not completely sure about this, but I think it’s 2 lbs. a week.

    What was the average length of stay? Average stay is 6-8 weeks, according to what ERC says when you do your intake. In all honesty, I wouldn’t say there is an “average” length of stay. Everyone’s experience is different, which is going to make their length of stay different. For me, for example, the first time I was there, I was there for 3.5 months and the second time I was there for a little more than 2.5 months. I know people who were there were 6 weeks too. It truly depends on the person and how much help and support they need.

    What was the average age range? It always depends, but it’s usually 18 – 30 years old. There have been some patients who are older than that though.

    How do visits/phone calls work? You get your electronics (so laptop if you bring one and phone/whatever other electronics you bring) from 6 – 10 pm every night. You also get your phones from 12:30 – 2 pm on Saturday and Sunday in addition to the 6 – 10 pm time. That’s when most people make phone calls to friends and family. Visiting hours, during the week, are every night from 6 – 8 pm and on the weekends from 12:30 – 2 pm, as well as 6 – 8 pm. For visits on the residential unit, an MC puts you and your visitor in one of the group room usually. You can also be in your own room too if you want.

    Are you able to go out on passes? Yes, once you get to level 2. See my above answer for more on this ☺.

    What kind of aftercare do they provide? Do they help you set up an OP treatment team? If you already have an OP team from before coming to treatment, they set up your first appointments with them before you leave discharge. If you don’t have an OP team, they will help you find one.

    Are there any resources for people who come from out of state/country? Yes, there are. Most people who come to ERC are actually from out of state.

    Would you recommend this program? Absolutely. ERC saved my life – twice. I don’t have any other treatment centers to compare it to, but both my stays were filled with both good and bad memories. Of course, there are times where I wish I wasn’t there and wanted to go home because I couldn’t see how sick I really was, but there were also a lot of good times. I met so many amazing people and made so many friends that still keep in touch with – from both of my treatment stays there. The staff and treatment teams are all so kind and caring, and truly want to help and care for you. It doesn’t feel like a hospital or anything like that – that was my biggest concern when I went the first time because I didn’t know what to expect. It feels like it’s own little bubble, and there is something really safe and comforting about that (at least for me it was). If I ever have to come back to treatment, I would come back here in a heartbeat.

  4. Lexi

    I’ve been to ERC twice for Residential. Once from September 2014 – January 2015 and again from May 2015 – July 2015. I would be more than happen to give my review of ERC – all I need are the questions that I should answer.

    1. admin

      if you could do an updated review that would be wonderful!!! blessings on your journey of recovery!

      1. Lexi

        Okay, no problem!! I’ll write it up and post it tonight! Thank you! :)

  5. T

    I am starting residential at ERC of Washington in a few days but can’t find reviews of that particular location. Does anyone happen to know how much different they are? Or should I expect it to be more or less the same as what people have described here for the Denver location? I know there will obviously be different staff but I am just curious about the actual program, schedule, meals, etc. Any info is appreciated. Thanks! :)

    1. admin

      I know someone who just went through the program, it’s the Moore Center I believe. I’ll try to get you a review

  6. Anon

    I was there for 5 weeks in June to July 2015.
    Both male and females are welcomed at this facility.
    Describe the average day:
    For IP/residential:
    6:30-7:15 weights and vitals
    6:30-7:55 shower if on purge protocol
    7:20-8:00 meds
    8:00-8:30 breakfast
    8:45-9:00 smoke break if in village 2&3
    9:00-10:00 homeroom for village 2&3
    8:45-9:45 homeroom for village 1
    9:45-10:00 smoke break if village 1
    10:00-10:10 bathrooms
    10:10-10:30 meds
    10:30-10:45 am snack
    11:00-11:45 group
    11:45-12:15 meds
    12:15-12:45 lunch
    1:00-2:00 process group
    2:00-2:20 smoke break
    2:20-2:40 bathrooms
    2:40-3:00 meds
    3:00-3:15 pm snack
    3:30-4:30 group
    4:45-9:30 electronics
    5:00-5:15 smoke break
    6:00-6:30 dinner
    6:40-7:00 wrap up
    7:05-7:25 smoke break
    8:30-9:00 hs snack
    9:00-10:00 meds
    9:00-10:00 you can shower if not on purge protocol
    What were meals like?
    There are 2 levels. Level one always sits with staff always and if you don’t finish you get boosted for the proper amount. Level two sits with staff at breakfast, lunch, and, dinner but not for snacks.
    What sorts of food were available or served?
    They go by the exchange system not calories. The menu is on a two week rotation, although I don’t really remember any of the non-vegetarian meals because I never got them.
    Breakfast foods- white and wheat bagels, white and wheat toast, white and wheat English muffins, raisins brain, corn flakes, cream of wheat, shredded wheat, breakfast potatoes, waffles, pancakes,, oatmeal, eggs, raisins, apples, oranges, cranberry juice, apple juice, regular milk, soymilk, yogurt, peanut butter, butter, cream cheese, 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 and dinner entrees- macaroni and cheese, quiche, Thai tofu quesadilla, vegetable quesadilla, cheese pizza, margarita pizza, white bean pizza, quinoa veggie burger, garden burger, black bean burger, Asian tofu wrap, tofu stir fry, portobello mushroom burger, croissant with cheddar cheese and avocado, vegetarian chili, cheese manicotti, Korean tofu, grilled cheese, bean and cheese burrito, lentil tacos, hummus platter, etc.
    Snack foods- You choose from snack list A, B, or C depending on your meal plan. They had things like apple and pb, 1/2 banana and Nutella, hummus and chips, yogurt covered pretzels, m&m’s, skittles, snickers, mixed nuts, smoothies, milkshakes, etc.
    Does it work on a level system?
    Yes. Level one and level two. Level one cannot go on passes but can go on outing if they finish all meals without boosting from outing to outing.
    What sort of groups do they have?
    DBT, ACT, art therapy, process group, values, psychodrama, men’s group, 35&over, menu group, yoga, etc.
    What did you like the most?
    Almost all of the PCA’s and nurses were amazing. My team was really good. I had such a wonderful community when I was there.
    What did you like the least?
    The amount of pacing that was done by the patients. It felt like the layout of ERC was made for pacing.
    Would you recommend this program?
    Yes x1000000 (especially if you want recovery.)
    What level of activity or exercise was allowed?
    Yoga a few times a week.
    Do you get to know your weight?
    What was the average length of stay?
    I saw 2 weeks and I saw 13 weeks but I stayed for 5.
    What was the average age range?
    18 and up. A lot of people in their 20s.

    1. Anonymous

      I spent about a month at ERC Denver between March and June 2015. It was my choice to come-i was tired of living with an eating disorder but PLEASE AVOID THIS FACILITY AT ALL COSTS!! Although the previous review notes “groups”- the only group people attended was the 1pm process group because it was required and most of the time was it was spent in silence (talk about food was discouraged which i found strange at an eating disorder facility, especially after lunch…) The “groups” during the day were led by PCAs (forget what this stands for) but they’re the aides that sit with you during meals-average age about 22. They were in no way qualified to lead a group on DBT…Also, there were way too many patients and not enough staff. Everyone wanted to be “the sickest” (as sick as that sounds) and people would get into arguments over getting wheelchairs. My therapist was decent but i had a fellow patient who had a therapist who had just been promoted from being a meal captain (meaning he oversaw meals etc) She really wanted therapy but finally realized the most she was going to get was the therapist talking about their love of cooking and photography. A lot of people’s experiences depended on the psychiatrist they ended up with-there were a couple great ones and a couple horrible ones. One was known for keeping patients for as long as possible and would put court orders on them if they considered leaving. When i was there the average stay was about 2 to 3 months although 2 patients (who left while i was there) had been there about 10 months. ERC is known as a “revolving door” facility-meaning patients frequently come back. I would guess this is due to a couple of factors 1) with the exception of therapy (assuming you get a good therapist) groups are led by assistants who do not know what they are doing and you are basically sitting around all day 2) ERC definitely refeeds you but does it in such an aggressive way (their weight gain goals are much higher and quicker than other facilities) that patients are in such shock when they leave they go straight back into eating disorder behaviors to get off the weight.
      If you’re looking to put on weight ERC is a great place but if you’re looking for the therapy that comes with beating an eating disorder-please go elsewhere!!

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