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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/

137 comments

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  1. Julie

    I am wondering about the clientele. Are there man people who are overeaters, but not bulimic? I am addicted to food. Are there many clients like that there?

  2. Moosh

    Can someone do a recent review? As detailed as possible, please. Thanks!

  3. Karen Oppliger

    Can you be vegetarian?

    1. Haylee

      Yes.

  4. jenny

    I a debating whether togo to ERC. I hear good thinkgs aboutit but the meals seem scary. can anyone describe in detail how they are run and if braekfast is chosen by the patients. samole meals and snack options would be great. can you have the same B and snack a lot or do they frown upon them. Also, if you are not local what and where do you go forpasses if allowed for residential? please…anyone

    1. hannah

      i was at ERC in spring of 2011 and truly believe at the time it saved my life.. the place is amazing and i would recommend it to anyone. all of the meals are chosen about a week in advance, which can be kind of annoying seeing as though you might not be in the mood for what you chose the previous week. meals work on a levels system and everyone comes in at level one.. that means smaller tables with a PCA.. on week days you eat with your therapist at lunch.. and dinner is like breakfast.. when you get to level two and get to go on passes you can take a taxi places.. but there’s also a lot of places to walk to that are near and convenient.. it really is a great place and i hope you can find recovery :)

      1. kendall

        Hi Hannah,

        Could you possibly do a full review of your stay at ERC?

        Here are some questions that are helpful to answer:

        When were you there:
        What level(s) of care are you reviewing?
        How many patients on average?
        Is there a minimum age you need to be to attend the program?
        Is housing provided for partial hospitalization?
        Does it treat both males and females? If so, is treatment separate or combined.
        How often do you see a medical doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist (therapist), nutritionist, etc?
        What is the staff ratio to patients?
        What sort of therapies are used? (DBT, CBT, EMDR) etc?
        Describe the average day:
        What were meals like?
        What sorts of food were available or served?
        Did they supplement? How did that system work?
        What is the policy of not complying with meals?
        Are you able to be a vegetarian?
        What privelages are allowed?
        Does it work on a level system?
        How do you earn privelages?
        What sort of groups do they have?
        What was your favorite group?
        What did you like the most?
        What did you like the least?
        Would you recommend this program?
        What level of activity or exercise was allowed?
        What did people do on weekends?
        Do you get to know your weight?
        How fast is the weight gain process?
        What was the average length of stay?
        What was the average age range?
        How do visits/phone calls work?
        Are you able to go out on passes?
        What kind of aftercare do they provide? Do they help you set up an OP treatment team?
        Are there any resources for people who come from out of state/country?

  5. Anon

    Has anyone been to the adult programs (any or all ) recently that would been willing to do a review?
    Had this for 20 years and only done hospital or day programs…..my insurance will not cover residential – which is what all “professionals” have been telling me i need for last 10 years…
    so my main concern is transitioning back to life (or my lack of one at the moment)
    My main concerns are
    1. if i cant do the residential piece- how can i get passes if the PHP is so intense? do they let you eventually do 1/2 days or take days off to try to practice “real life” on your own? But then have a place to come and get help on what you may still ned to work on? B/C that is where i always fail and have not ever had the chance to do any sort of “transition” (just inpt in hospital setting and then on my own)
    2. it sounds like from the info on their site that they “prepare you to get back to your life”……..what if your ED has taken over so much you don’t even have one any more (i.e….i’m living in an area i don’t want to be, there is no support for people with AN here nor any dr.’s/ therapists that even know much about it except stereotypical outdated ideas (even thought I’m 10 min from at majorly well known and respected hospital and connected medical school …????, I cant work nor have i in a long time (so no job path to try to get back to) no family of my own to return to …..etc….
    Do you think that they can help me with that as well since i cant do a long term residential program ? (not like the residential ERC offers) but meaning be some place long enough to get help with my AN and try to gain back a life……
    Any other advise would be welcome as well.
    ps…..and no programs where I’m living now to come back to (in case you didnt get that from the above =)
    Thanks

    1. Haylee

      How recently are you looking for? I was there in January, is that recent enough? If so, I’d be happy to answer your questions, just let me know and I’ll come back and answer them. :)

      1. admin

        An updated review in general would be great!

      2. SD

        Yes, I’d like to know your opinion of ERC. Most importantly, did you find the treatment there helpful, and did it help you get over your eating disorder.

      3. Haylee

        Well good, I’m glad I can be of assistance then. :) To answer your questions:
        1. I’m a little bit confused by your first question. Residential and Inpatient are pretty much the same thing at ERC, and PHP is a step down from those programs so it’s less intense than residential. I never did PHP though so I’m unfortunately not much help on questions about that. I was just there for IP/residential. I’ve never heard of anyone being allowed to take off days in PHP to practice being on their own but I could be wrong. As far as I know, the closest thing to days off is just the passes you are allowed.

        2. ERC isn’t going to find a job for you and stuff, if that’s what you’re asking. A therapist will be there to help you figure out what you want to do post-treatment and how you want to change your life but they aren’t going to make the actual steps for you. It’s a good program but it’s still very much in the hands of the patient to figure out life post-ERC. I know that’s a daunting thing to hear though, especially being so in the dark about your future and what’s to come. I felt the same way before treatment, but even proper nourishment alone will greatly help you get a real life back. From personal experience I know this because while my life may not be perfect post-treatment and while I still have ED struggles, I am SO much happier than I was before I went. Proper nourishment will help you think more clearly and help you figure out what you want to do and HOW you’re going to get the life that you want. It takes time but it does happen. I had virtually no friends before treatment and never went on dates but both of those things were things that I was wanting to get out of treatment and sure enough, now I am slowly but surely making friends (and rekindling old friendships that I destroyed in my ED) and also dating. :)

        So yes I did find treatment helpful, because adequate nutrition helped me be able to deal with and fit into life better. Like since now I can actually concentrate in school, and now I can go out in public without having to worry about other people thinking I look sick. But as far as it treating my eating disorder, no I didn’t have that experience. I have maintained my weight since I’ve been home but I still am in a very rigid mindset with what/when/how I eat. So yes ERC helped me restore physical health and therefore allowed me to fit into and deal with life better, but as far as the mental aspects of ED, I didn’t find the program helpful.

        I hope that wasn’t incredibly boring to read through. Sorry it was so long!

      4. Haylee

        Oh and also, I’m hesitant to post my full review because it is posted above but just in case you’re wanting to know which one is mine, here you go:

        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, one of the med nurses, 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

      5. Anon

        Thank you so much for your review…
        I think some of my questions might have not been phrased right- but ill ask more specifically later- or try calling ERC again ….b/c the intake person on the on the phone was not too helpful and my MD just got the “Everything is individualized ” answers……..which i get they have to give to some degree. But she was not asking “can this person definitely be allowed to do such and such ” …etc…. It was more trying to find out if it even exists.
        b/c i just hate to repeat things that have proven over time not to work …….or i need to go back to my insurance co =(
        But your comment on how just getting nutritionally sound helped you a lot in making decisions etc….helped a lot and reminded me of the basics and gave me some hope – so thank you =)
        and ill try to rewrite a post with more specific questions and maybe someone that did the PHP can answer…..
        i think when i meant “days off “…i was thinking of how they would do it in a day program and seeing since they don’t have a day program – but my insurance will cover ERC if i could get it to fit my needs.
        ok, thank you! And the longer post to the questions was helpful too!

        couple questions from your reply:
        1.do you think if you had stayed longer – and done the PHP that it would have helped more with lasting change as the other person asked?
        or do you think you were not mentally ready for that at that pt and just got as much out of the program as you could?(re you said it helped you nutritionally but got the sense you did not feel it helped you so much internally change …..so get its just your experience….but do you think it was the program or your mindset at the time?(you say it didn’t help you with the “mental aspects ” and that is what I’m so afraid of after doing so many hospital based programs and its more about what you took away …..but i get no internal change- even when i was really ready and trying my hardest….
        2. so what is the difference between inpt and residential? at ERC
        3. how long were you at each level? and how many people were at each level?
        and did to feel like a hospital?
        4. what was the main attitude of the pts when you were there? (get it changes) but did they early want to get better- or just eat to get out ?
        thanks
        and good luck!!!

        1. admin

          I think some of my questions might have not been phrased right- but ill ask more specifically later- or try calling ERC again ….b/c the intake person on the on the phone was not too helpful and my MD just got the “Everything is individualized ” answers……..which i get they have to give to some degree. But she was not asking “can this person definitely be allowed to do such and such ” …etc….

          this is exactly why im trying to develop the professinal forum! if you call you might mention it, if the site has been a resource at all…if not then eh :p how can i improve it? :p

      6. Haylee

        Oh good, glad to hear my answers were helpful.

        1.do you think if you had stayed longer – and done the PHP that it would have helped more with lasting change as the other person asked?
        or do you think you were not mentally ready for that at that pt and just got as much out of the program as you could?(re you said it helped you nutritionally but got the sense you did not feel it helped you so much internally change …..so get its just your experience….but do you think it was the program or your mindset at the time?(you say it didn’t help you with the “mental aspects ” and that is what I’m so afraid of after doing so many hospital based programs and its more about what you took away …..but i get no internal change- even when i was really ready and trying my hardest….

        Hm, that’s a tough question. Honestly I think at that point I was just so over doing therapy day in and day out, that doing PHP wouldn’t have helped me much. Just because I really wanted to be done and didn’t have the patient to do more treatment/gain more weight. The fact that they had me gain extremely fast too made it so that I really honestly think that if I would have stayed for PHP (and therefore gotten to my ideal body weight) that I would have relapsed. A big reason that I haven’t relapsed now is that I actually LIKE my new body, so it gives me motivation to keep it like it is. But I really think that any more weight restoration would have put me over the edge. They had me gain extremely fast though. Like 5-6 lbs a week and it wasn’t from a slow metabolism, I was on upwards of 4,800-5,000 calories a day at one point. So because it was done so quickly, I really don’t think I could have handled PHP. Too much shock to my system all at one time.
        BUT that being said. I do think that PHP would have been very beneficial to learn how to eat on a maintenance amount for me. I think that would have helped with the the rigidity and strictness that I fell back into when I got home, because it would have given me more comfort knowing HOW to eat normally and that I can eat normally and still maintain my weight.

        2. so what is the difference between inpt and residential? Inpatient and residential is seriously pretty much the exact same thing. The only differences is that people on inpatient (IP) are not allowed to go on passes, which are like little trips you can have approved by your therapist. Passes are nice when you’re in treatment 24/7 so if you have a choice between going IP or residential, CHOOSE RESIDENTIAL. Another difference between the two is that everyone that is on IP meets with the primary medical doctor once a week in a group meeting thing. This is because insurance requires it. Other than that, they are seriously the exact same thing. Same treatment center, same meal plans, same therapists, same dietitians, same rules, same groups, everything.

        3. how long were you at each level? and how many people were at each level? Well my circumstances were a bit different because I transferred from Denver Acute before I went to ERC, so from the very first day I was on residential. I stayed on residential my entire stay, 36 days.
        I honestly couldn’t even tell you how many IP residents vs residential patients there were at any given time, because they are seriously so similar that people don’t even know what other people are on. The census in general changed a lot while I was there. When I was first there, there were about 20 people or so, then the weeks leading up to Christmas the census got SUPER low (like 13 I think), then the last couple weeks I was there it skyrocketed and I think I left with 29 or 30 people, the max I think is 30 or at least it was when I was there.

        4. Did it feel like a hospital? Definitely not. It doesn’t look anything like a hospital, it’s actually really nice. It’s nicely decorated and all of the rooms are really comfortable, with comfy sofas and chairs, and there’s even a fireplace in the main room that everyone tends to congregate around. (It’s super nice at the beginning when you’re cold all the time, but once your metabolism starts to rev up that fireplace is MISERABLE. I couldn’t even stay in that room the last couple weeks of my stay.)
        The bathroom is also very nice. Forgive me if I’m repeating myself, I wrote a review about ERC on another website yesterday and I’m getting confused what I said on there and what I said on here. But the bathroom is super nice and spa-like. There’s a massage room (you get weekly massages on IP/Resi, not on PHP which is in a separate facility all together). The bathroom also has really good smelling shampoos and conditioners in the showers for everyone to use, along with a few bathtub rooms that you can use if you get your therapist to ok it. It seriously is really nice, super clean and just nice. The bedrooms are super nice too, the bedding they use is really comfy. All of the beds have unique duvet covers and everything is just really nice and clean. It’s definitely far from a hospital-type setting.

        5. what was the main attitude of the pts when you were there? (get it changes) but did they early want to get better- or just want to get out ?
        Since it’s the adult facility, everyone there has a choice about being there or not, so the recovery attitude for the most part is VERY positive. Very, very positive, so that was nice. The only exception I can think of is this one girl, but at that point I think she had just fallen in love with treatment and didn’t want to leave. Other than that though, the community was very positive, aside from a few members who were quick to point out how sick they were and other crap like that. Ugh. That’s definitely the minority though, one or two people and that’s including the girl I mentioned earlier.

        Hope that helped! I’m happy to answer anything so don’t be hesitant to ask. :)

        Oh and Admin, just wanted to tell you that I think the professional review thing is a great idea! This entire site is a great idea, it seriously SAVED me when I was looking into treatment. Thanks so much for doing it all.

  6. Precious

    SD -

    My daughter went to ERC late last year. She also had a previous admission to Remuda Ranch a year prior, so we were in a similar situation. I would highly recommend ERC to you. Their approach is much different that what we experienced at Remuda. First – the family week that they have at ERC is spent teaching you about eating disorders – the biology of them and the latest research. It is much different than the family involvement at Remuda. You also spend time with the staff and a support group for parents. I learned ALOT during this sessions (and I thought I was well read! ).

    They also will discharge her with FBT – family based therapy where you will be in charge of part (or all) of her eating – this all depends on where she is at. This was based on the latest research which shows adolscents have a higher recovery rate with FBT versus traditional treatment. At Remuda, we were told “don’t be the food police”. The FBT approach is very different, you will be assisting her or in charge of food with this until she is in a position to take it over.

    ERC also does a PHP at the end of the treatment period where you will need to stay in Denver. I found this very useful as they prepare her for discharge and prepare YOU for taking her back home. This typically lasts around 2 weeks and parents can stay at the Ronald McDonald house (the one in Aurora is very nice and several of us stayed there).

    We were very pleased with ERC. However I would temper your expectations a bit – she might not be ready for recovery on her own when she discharges – this can take time. However with an FBT approach to sustain her at a heathy weight until such time that she is ready to do this on her own, you will be in a better position to move towards full recovery. I hope this helps you.

  7. SD

    My wife and I are looking at ERC Denver for our 16 yo daughter. She has struggled with anorexia for 3 yrs, and was at Remuda Ranch for 2 months last summer. She gained weight there but otherwise did not progress to recovery. I’d like to hear from patients or family members who have experience with ERC Denver. Thanks in advance.

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