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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?
No

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?
No

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-
breakfast-
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

lunch-
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

dinner-
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/

224 comments

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  1. Lauren

    Does anybody have any really recent experience with adult inpatient/residential? I am deciding between this program and Center for Change and any insight would be so helpful. Are most people at this center underweight? I am going for anorexia, but returned to a more normal weight during the past yeat in outpatient treatment. If most people at the center are very low in weight it is going to be extremely triggering and not helpful for me.

  2. Mallory

    Are you allowed to have hair straighteners or curling wands at previous RES I was is I ask but at others I had to check them them out

    1. f.g.

      They’ll keep your straighteners etc. locked in the bathroom. You can use them in the morning or evening and the staff just mark down what you’re using and when you’ve put it back. Bring your own hair dryer–they have hair dryers but they suck.

  3. Mallory

    Do they allow electronics in residential? If so which specially like a cell, iPad, iPod, Laptop? To they keep them or you do I’m confused

    1. anon

      You are allowed to bring them, but you only have access to them during designated “electronics time” every day

    2. f.g.

      At Pine, you can bring whatever electronics you want, but you can’t access anything with internet during the day. There are a few hours at night that RES patients are allowed to use the internet–the staff make labels for your belongings with your name/room number and you check them in and out at specified times. Otherwise, they are locked up so you don’t need to worry about your laptop getting stolen. You get your laptop/tablet/whatever back when you go to PHP. Your team can revoke your privileges at any time, however. I don’t know what a person would have to be doing to have their computer confiscated (they will revoke privileges for not completing meals), but the staff can be really shady about the rules and seem to make up rules when it’s convenient. I almost had my visitation taken away for breaking a rule I didn’t know existed (I shut the door of the room they put us in to talk privately with my visitors…didn’t think it would be a big deal since there are cameras everywhere and no one came by and said “Please leave the door open.”) so that was awesome.

      I don’t mean to say the staff themselves are not trustworthy, just that when I was there I encountered a lot of issues with being told one thing, and then having the rules change with another staff member or person on my team. I don’t know if it’s an issue with communication or training (I would wager it’s both), but it seemed like some of the patients who had been there multiple times had a clearer idea of what was going on than the staff. Happened a lot at meals–not very much consistency.

      That was a longer response than I meant to write, but yeah. I wish I’d had that caveat before I came.

      1. Mallory

        Thank you

  4. Eryn

    Hello any reviews on the new pine residential facility at ERC Denver? Curious to hear thoughts as my treatment team in Seattle is encouraging me to admit there. Thanks

    1. anon

      Level of care (IP, Resi, IOP, PHP, etc):
      IP, Res, PHP

      When were you there?
      Spring/summer 2015

      Is it co-ed?
      Yes

      How many patients were there?
      I have no idea to be honest… maybe around 40-50? Because the tracks are split it’s hard to tell.

      What was the admissions process like?
      You do an assessment over the phone, they’ll tell you when your start date is (but they don’t tell you what level of care you’ll be entering since that depends on your labs/weight/vitals on the day of admission). When you get there you meet with the admissions coordinator to go over paperwork. My experience was pretty disorganized which was frustrating – we filled out the paperwork for PHP even though I had been told I’d probably admit to residential, nobody seemed to have any idea what level of care I was entering, and it wasn’t until the end of the day that they told me I was inpatient.

      Describe the average day:
      Hugely depends whether you are IP/Res or T-Res/PHP. (Confusing side-note: T-res stands for transitional residential, which means you are technically in residential but your team believes you are ready for more independence and more “intense” groups, so you spend the day downstairs with PHP.)
      (Second confusing side-note: this is only the schedule for tracks one and two. Track three has the same schedule but an hour later. The tracks are just dependent on who your psychiatrist is; they don’t really mean anything except track three is separated from tracks one and two during the day and does everything an hour later.)
      Anyways, either way the day breaks down more or less the same way: IP/res weights & bathrooms for track one and two at 6 or at 7 for track 3; breakfast at 7:30; group; am snack; group; lunch; either process group or community meeting, depending on the day; pm snack; group; dinner; wrap-up; then PHP goes home and IP/res has electronics time from 7-9:30 (so you get your phone/laptop), hs snack at 8:30, vitals/meds at 8:50, and bathrooms from 9-10 or 10-11 for track 3. (hs snack is at the same time regardless of what track you’re on)

      What were meals like?
      It depends. Sometimes there are a lot of people restricting or you end up at a table with a staff who calls out behaviors in a very abrupt and conspicuous way, which makes for a very uncomfortable meal. Once you’re on level three it’s a lot better, because you get to pick who you sit with and you don’t sit with staff. Also to get to level three you have to have eliminated behaviors (supposedly, although people often get to level three and resume food rituals because there’s no one around), so you don’t get the discomfort and awkwardness that comes with sitting with people restricting or not engaging.

      What sorts of food were available or served? Did they accommodate for dietary needs or vegetarians/vegans?
      No veganism. At every meal there were two options and one was always vegetarian. So it kind of sucks for vegetarians because they almost always only have one option. The food overall was decent. My favorites were the apple and brie panini and the thai tofu/chicken quesadilla. Sometimes the food was incredibly bland (like the tofu stir-fry and the falafel wrap), overcooked, or got cold by the time you sat down (and they don’t reheat).

      Did they supplement? How did that system work?
      Yes. They calculate how much supplement you get based on the percentage of your meal that you completed. You sit with it for fifteen minutes and if you’ve still refused to drink it you sign a form (it’s called a BNR or something like that) that basically acknowledges that you didn’t finish and you write out why and what you’ll do differently next time. If you fill out too many of those you could be sent to Evergreen (ERC’s other facility in Denver) and tubed.

      What privileges are allowed?
      Passes, t-res; both IP/res and PHP get outings on the weekend, and as you progress from level one to two and three, you go on more “challenging outings” that involve a snack

      Does it work on a level system?
      For meals, yes… levels one and two sit at assigned seats with MCs at meals, level two gets to pick their own seats at snacks, and level three gets to pick their own seats at meals and snacks, along with self-portioning (with guidance from a dietitian) at buffet a few times a week and participating in cooking group

      What sort of groups do they have?
      IP/res has the same incredibly boring and repetitive groups every day (self-care, compassion, art therapy, and a few others that I forget), which are led not be therapists but by MCs, some of whom are incredibly incompetent or clearly don’t give a shit. It’s not rare for an MC to just not show up to a group, so you’re left sitting in the community room for forty-five minutes twiddling your thumbs.
      Once you get to PHP/t-res they’re much better. Then they have anger management, sexuality, grief and loss, family, art therapy, psychodrama, CBT and DBT groups, among other things. They are led either by MCs (most of whom are vastly more competent than the IP/res MCs) or therapists. Whether you IP/res, t-res, or PHP, you have process groups three times a week and community meeting twice a week.

      What was your favorite group?
      It really depended on who was leading it. Psychodrama is awesome and so much fun, and the woman who leads it is amazing. It can seem kind of intimidating but it ends up being fun and actually really useful, moreso than many of the others groups. Same with movement group – you basically get really silly and dance around the room for an hour, which is SO not me but it ended up feeling incredibly freeing and so much fun. Process groups can also be really helpful, depending on who is in your group. (A process group is comprised of all your individual therapist’s clients, max 6, so you get to know the people really well and feel comfortable processing personal things with them.) I also really appreciated community meetings because they were a good place to address any issues in the community and practice assertiveness and interpersonal communication, although they were an hour and a half and could often drag.

      What did you like the most?
      Psychodrama, movement group, certain MCs and my team

      What did you like the least?
      How awful some of the MCs are; the entire IP experience and the fact that they think IP can’t handle anything other than self-care groups; that it’s fairly easy to get away with behaviors, especially once on level 3; how when the program got full, especially PHP/t-res, they didn’t seem to know how to handle it in a non-chaotic way; that the people tended to get clique-y and it left me feeling like I was in middle school with a bunch of people in their twenties, thirties, and forties; that exercise was not really addressed

      What level of activity or exercise was allowed?
      IP/res get four fresh air breaks a day, but you just stand around outside. Obviously once you start taking passes and move to PHP they understand that you’ll be more active, but they don’t allow any exercise to be reintroduced. For those in t-res and PHP there is a yoga group 3x/week.

      What did people do on weekends?
      Sat around… watched movies or TV, sometimes people had visitors. We got to have our electronics for a few extra hours so usually people would call family and friends or watch something on their laptop etc.

      Do you get to know your weight?
      Nope

      How fast is the weight gain process?
      fast

      What was the average length of stay?
      Almost always at least a month… I was there for four and a half months and that was on the longer side, but there have also been people who stayed for 8+ months

      What was the average age range? Min. 18, although they do let the occasionally seventeen or sixteen year old in if they felt like they’re too mature for the adolescent unit. There were people there of all ages, I’d say mostly twenties or early thirties and some in their forties, fifties, or sixties.

      What kind of aftercare do they provide? Do they help you set up an OP treatment team?
      Yes, they help you set up an OP team and do one week and one month follow-up calls.

      Would you recommend this program?
      Yes, although there are others that are better (I’d recommend Monte Nido as my top choice)

  5. Lv

    Never would I ever have believed that I could be in a worse place than I was when I was in my eating disorder. I entered ERC near death and after some lab work and weights they sent me straight to Denver Acute…actually a wonderful place. However, after my stay at Acute, I was forced back to ERC despite having reservations after only being there for that one hour. Before I knew it, they threw a court order on me and I was stuck for 3 months. In that three months, I have experienced the most horrible, ridiculous, inhumane treatment I have ever gotten at a treatment center. In IP/Res the PCAs are mostly in their 20s and have no idea what they are doing. Some of them were wonderful, but hearing “that’s your eating disorde” after every attempt at reaching out, became almost a joke. The psychiatrist I had was completely inappropriate in 90% of his comments and pretty much rushed you out of his office by ending every request with “I’ll talk to the team”. I spent weeks being lied to about transition, being threatened with forced medication and being put on a meal plan that an Olympic athlete doesn’t require. And now, after being literally forced into their php program, I am not only experiencing a similar approach, but possibly even worse. The dietitan had no sympathy or compassion, the doctor likes to hear himself talk so much you couldn’t get a word in if you wanted to and god help you if you do because he will simply tear it to shreds and make you feel like an idiot. All they focus on is weight here. People get punished for losing weight even if not acting on behaviors. People get sent to hotels for self harm or violating some rule which generally would be thought to require more care and attention, not isolation. Not at ERC. People who gave come here have been here repeatedly and I honesty can’t figure out why they would ever come back. It truly is a revolving door. I have never been this deoressed or anxious in my entire life and it’s not even about the weight. Please stay away from this place.i wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. Forced trearment doesn’t work, but ERC doesn’t care. It’s all about the money. The pain is irrelevant. Biggest regret in life is setting foot in these doors. And if they ever let me go, I’ll only be worse for the wear. Seriously, stay away. There are some amazing places out there that care more about things than just numbers. That place isn’t here. This place claims to give you your life back of take you to where you want your life to be. I just want my life to be over. That’s how great ERC is.

    1. Sydney

      I agree 100%. I’ve submitted official complaints to ERC’s accrediting bodies to inform them of what actually goes on there, and I suggest you do the same:

      The Joint Commission:
      http://www.jointcommission.org/report_a_complaint.aspx

      Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment:
      https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/health-facilities-complaints

  6. Sydney

    To add a recent (Dec. 2015) perspective from the Evergreen (adult IP/res) location:

    The good:
    Everything is clean – the housekeepers work very hard!

    The bad:
    Everything else. The staff-to-patient ratio is horrible. The unit holds 36 patients and is always kept at maximum capacity, but there are never enough staff to go around. You’re treated as a number and easily overlooked/forgotten. (Case in point: I arrived just before lunch on day one, but because I was being passed around from person to person for various check-in checklist items, no one offered me food until dinner rolled around. Let’s remember I was there as an extremely underweight anorexia patient!) I entered IP in a dire spot health-wise, but besides the scheduled blood draws, I received zero medical attention. Groups don’t run, appointments with your team are brief (or nonexistent – filling out a worksheet can count as your daily psychiatrist meeting), meals are frequently 20+ minutes late (yet the food has been sitting out, so hot food is cold and god forbid you have ice cream – you’ll have to drink it… yes, seriously), and you have to jump through hoops and pester nonstop to get even the smallest thing done (Need to pee? Expect a 45 minute wait. Can’t sleep because your room is so cold? Petition your team for an extra blanket and if you devote all your attention to that single cause, maybe you’ll get one in 48 hours.) The treatment is incredibly cookie-cutter and impersonal, no doubt due to the number of patients. You’ll have no say in your meal plan (I was handed a generic starter plan on day one from the diet tech… not even my dietitian… with no say in where to place exchanges. It was clearly printed before I even arrived and in no way took into account the minimal amount I’d been eating before arrival), you won’t get any support or “how are you?” outside of your scheduled one-on-one sessions (even if you’re hyperventilating in front of the nurses’ station), and please don’t have a medical issue… since no one checks on you, you might not be found for hours. And if you try to sign out, they’ll immediately place you on a mental health hold and begin the process to get you certified/court-ordered to stay there. ERC is a factory where you will be a faceless number in the crowd. Save yourself the time and money and just stay away!

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