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After several years of struggling, our daughter is now in recovery thanks to some good treatment and then our supporting her at home for about a year with the help of FBT and Maudsley team.

By the way, it’s good that your daughter is realizing that she needs treatment.
UCSD has a Partial Program for adults; they also do FBT/Maudsley for adolescents, teens and now young adults.
But Maudsley isn’t for everyone. With a young adult, you need a ‘willing participant’.
Montecatini has a very good reputation.
But at the end of IP or residential, it’s important that there is a continuity of care – as it takes time for someone to recover from this disease.
My daughter discharged from IP, then Partial and IOP last year, and what has helped her has been a good outpatient team of FBT, therapist, psychiatrist, medical doctor, an amazing RD and a great yoga instructor.
Just know that recovery is very possible.
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
But the key is to select good treatment and know that for quite awhile you may play a key role in supporting recovery.
Best of luck to you!

Thanks to all of you very helpful people! I just really need to learn more about the different programs and local therapists so we can get this done “right” the first time! Hugs to all of you!
Hating ED, on June 6, 2011 at 5:18 pm said:
Here is my full review of Montecatini that I posted on Shoreline’s page. keep in mind this is from when I was there a year ago, and things might have changed since then.
I truly believe that I wouldn’t be in recovery now if it wasn’t for Montecatini. It was an amazing place to be.
When were you there: Residential for 10 days May 2010. Had problems with insurance, so i did PHP and lived in their transitional condo for 6 weeks
Describe the average day: Residential — up around 630, downstairs by 7, fill out snack and morning check-in sheets, breakfast 730-8, gardening, snack, groups, lunch, more groups, dinner, hang out and watch movies or go on an outing till bed. A LOT of downtime.
PHP — lunch @ 1215 (bring your own lunch based on your meal plan. it will be checked by staff), one or two groups, snack, group, dinner (made by staff and maybe a client), group, leave at 8. IOP came at 4 (just after snack) and did the same groups/dinner as us.
What were meals like? Everything is based on exchanges. Your first three days are a standard “new patient” MP, then you receive your real MP. At residential, very strict. No food talk, hands had to be on the table. Everyone rated their hunger and goal for the meal, and stayed at the table till the last person was done. Then you rated your fullness and if you achieved your goal. One “family style” meal and “lunch outing” per week. Observation for 30 minutes (no using the bathroom)
at PHP, things were less strict, but same idea. You served yourself dinner to get an idea of portion sizes.
Everyone encouraged eachother, which was nice
What sorts of food were available or served? All over the map. . Every client is involved in the meal planning. One “dessert challenge” per week for snack.
Did they supplement? How did that system work? If you didn’t finish your meal, you had an Ensure Plus. at residential, if you refused Ensure, no outings for the week or exercise the next day. At PHP if you refused an ensure, no exercise and no one-on-one therapy appt. You had to fill out a “chain analysis” describing why you didn’t eat, regardless.
What privelages are allowed? After the first 3 days, you can go on outings and exercise. After 7 days, you’re allowed in the kitchen, phone privelages, and computer priveliges and can receive mail.
At PHP, you have all priveliges.
Does it work on a level system? No
What sort of groups do they have? CBT, DBT, body image, family issues, women’s issues, process, ANAD, pilates, yoga, NIA, relapse prevention, spirituality, menu planning, nutrition ed, meditation, weekend planning (for PHP people), art. Residential patients have 2 sessions with their therapist. PHP has one session. Weekly psychiatrist session. When I was there, there was one session with dietician a week, but I think they changed that to a group session. Not sure.
What was your favorite group? DBT, nutrition, art, weekend planning
What did you like the most? The staff was amazing. I still keep in contact with the girls there. I loved living at the condo because it was real life experience and got me used to living in recovery, while still being able to have the girls living with me to support me. I loved the groups, my therapist and dietician and the one on one sessions.
What did you like the least? The psychiatrist, the strictness of some things even though they were needed, obviously. Hated having to use the bathroom while the door was open a crack, but it curbed me from purging.
Would you recommend this program? Absolutely
What level of activity or exercise was allowed? If cleared by a doctor: beach walks (for residential), yoga, pilates (for residential), and NIA. PHP clients are given an exercise plan they’re expected to adhere to, based on their needs/disorder.
What did people do on weekends? Residential: a few groups, and a lot of sitting around. A couple of outings. Watch movies, do homework, go on the computer. Family visitations on Sunday.
In PHP, i hung out with my roommates. One day we went kayaking. We would watch movies, grocery shop, go out to eat, go to the beach a lot. Sometimes my friends visited.
Do you get to know your weight? No
How fast is the weight gain process? the weight gain process was different for everyone.
What was the average length of stay? Depends on insurance. Some girls stayed for months and months. Others a LOT less. Insurance sucks.
What was the average age range? 18-30ish. Lots of college students.
What kind of aftercare do they provide? Do they help you set up an OP treatment team? – They were in regular contact with my OP team, and my IOP center I would transition to. If you don’t have a treatment team, they set you up with one before discharge. I frequently called and emailed my residential/PHP therapist after I discharged, and she was happy to help me out.
How many IP beds? How many patients in PHP or IOP? – 12 IP beds (6 at the main house, 6 next door). 6 beds at the PHP condo. max of 12 or so in PHP/IOP
How would you describe the program? Individulized. At residential, the focus was weight restoration and curbing behaviors. At PHP, the expectation was that you were at restoration or well on your way, and the behaviors are minimized or gone. The focus is figuring out triggers, relapse prevention, and other skills. The staff is super caring and ALWAYS there for you to talk to. The director is awesome. The nursing staff is available 24-7.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.edtreatmentreview.com/2012/06/13/montecatini-2/


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  1. Heidi

    I entered eating disorder treatment for the first time ever at 30 years old at Montecatini. I was there from February 2013- August 2014, with a couple breaks in between. Having never entered treatment before I had no idea what to expect. What I did find was a very nice home located in a residential neighborhood in Carlsbad. It didn’t feel like I was in any type of facility or hospital-like atmosphere. The other patients were in varying ages. During my stay, there were girls as young to women as old as 50’s I would guess. The patient assistants were very kind and able to answer any questions I had, as were the other patients. There was a definite community feel.
    My stay began in residential treatment. We had all of our meals and snacks together, had community meal planning/cooking nights, lots of groups, individual therapy, dietitian, psychiatrist, and nurse sessions. I learned a lot from the more typical groups ; DBT, CBT, Body Image, Nutrition, but I really enjoyed the other “out of the norm” groups like Yoga, Music therapy, Art Therapy, and Yoga. The house was very spacious and nice. You would share a room with one other roommate. There was a calming view overlooking a golf course with palm trees, and a nice fountain garden area in the front. We had phone/computer nights on certain days during the week, visiting hours Sunday, and group outings.
    When I stepped down to the PHP program (5 days a week, from 8:30-4:30), there were still similar groups and all the individual sessions. We would bring our own approved breakfast at this level, and lunch and snacks were provided there. Both PHP and IOP (half days) were held at an office location nearby the residential house. I was so relieved to know that I would encounter the same staff at each level. This really helped ease my anxiety and trust issues. A great thing they offer at Montecatini is the availability of a transitional house. They have a group condo that is an option to stay at if you are from out of town, or if it’s determined a good option for your recovery. It holds 6 women and was such a great support to me by having other women to do recovery life with outside of programming.
    My needs shifted throughout my time there and I was able to be moved up and down the levels as needed from Residential, PHP, and IOP. I had a really tough insurance, which I hear is really common case when dealing with eating disorders. However, the staff at Monti fought so hard with my insurance to get me the treatment I needed. I did have a relapse and needed readmission to treatment, it was no question to me to go back to Monti and get it right. They were able to not only help support me with my eating disorder, but also my substance abuse, self-injury, and trauma symptoms. I have a life today better than I could have ever imagined thanks to Montecatini.My therapist was Sharon and she is absolutely amazing and an inspiration. She knows recovery inside and out! Leah was my dietician and is so incredibly knowledgeable about nutrition, eating disorders, and one of the most compassionate people I’ve met. I left Montecatini feeling like I had a family there. I still get to go there weekly for their free support groups which helps so much. I would recommend this place to anyone!

  2. katie

    Any updated reviews? I’m thinking of going here in the next few weeks. :/

  3. d

    reviews of UCSD adolescent program please

    1. Jenn

      I don’t know about the adolescent program , but I was in the adult program for 6-months and I thought it was ok. They are very clinical in their approach.
      Do you have any specific questions?

  4. Dee

    My daughter attended Montecatini over the fall for a binge-eating/bulimia disorder. We flew to CA from the East Coast because the program really seemed to be the right choice for her. We were not disappointed. The program is compassionate and realistic – not like a hospital but with appropriate limits and oversight. The staff is very patient-centered and put my daughter’s treatment above everything. When our insurance company denied her residential treatment after a week, they worked to come up with a solution and did not cause any great financial burden for us. She entered partial treatment which, in the end, worked out well. It was so hard to be thousands of miles away from my daughter and they communicated with me closely and reassured me. They listened and made intelligent decisions. The director and staff are caring and professional and respected the dignity of all of us- this is something that can be missing in health care facilities which can be dismissive to both patients and families. The place itself is pleasant, casual and in a very nice location (Carlsbad).

    While treatment is no holiday, my daughter changed dramatically in the 6 weeks she was there. Resistant to other therapies, she learned a lot about herself and was actually enthusiastic about trying new strategies. They took her shopping for food, to Starbucks and made sure that she could monitor both her purchasing and all of the emotions and fear that go along with it. She attended AA with her peers (even though she did not have a substance problem) to address the addictive nature of her condition. Whatever they did, they were able to work thru her resistance very quickly and effectively.

    I am thankful for this program and recommend it highly. My daughter is now home and in intensive outpatient as a transition. Montecatini helped her to arrange this and to have a positive attitude about the next steps. She is doing well though she takes things day by day and knows it will likely be a life-long challenge. Montecatini was an excellent program for our family.

    One note: Blue cross/Blue shield is notorious for refusing residential treatment for bulimia. Be aware that they will not pre-authorize, so you will be taking your chances if you enter residential treatment.

  5. JS

    I’m sorry you had such a terrible experience there! Do you mind elaborating? I’m considering going there and would like to get as many opinions as possible to help me decide. Thanks!

  6. alvarez

    can you please let me know why was it the worst treatment facility and can you recomend something else for me please please I am desperate in need of help. so every suggestion and help will help me to determane if i should go there please reply as soon as possible.

  7. Kari

    am thinking of going there soon and have been to other treatment centers. Why did you think this was the worst?

  8. Montecatini Treatment Center

    We are very sorry to hear that you were disappointed in your experience, and your comments mean so much to us. There are some things we would like to clarify, as we don’t want to deter the people who have found Montecatini to be life-saving, or those who are seeking help.

    Our weekly Residential program is intensive, filled with three individual therapy sessions and a variety of therapeutic groups and activities. Our weekends, on the other hand, are designed to replicate real life experiences and give patients the opportunity to relax and rejuvenate. An admission just before the weekend and leaving at the beginning of the week would not provide someone the opportunity to experience the full spectrum of therapies and programs that we offer, many of which patients express to be transformative and healing.

    We are deeply invested in our patients, and take great pride in our facilities. Our homes are in a destination location in an affluent community, just three miles from the Pacific Coast. We are very proud of the amenities we offer, and we’ve recently invested thousands of dollars into landscaping and refurnishing renovations to make Montecatini even more beautiful, so the perception of the facility is deeply concerning.
    In regards to the bedroom and bathroom doors being locked, first and foremost, it’s due to safety purposes. It is also in an effort to help our patients create physical barriers to break away from the patterns of their eating disorders, which they have been unable to do on their own.

    The first three days of treatment can be very challenging. This is why our registered dietitians, Executive Director, and your assigned primary therapist meet with you individually to share with you the protocols that we have in place for your physical health and emotional healing.

    The meal plan is based on your 24-hour food intake recall and designed for not only your health, but your physical safety. Communication and collaboration between staff and patients is incredibly important here at Montecatini. The food plan is designed to increase daily, and this is communicated to patients by their primary dietitian. Each patient has an individualized meal plan based on their nutritional needs. There is always support during meals and staff available at the table. Goals are discussed before meals and experiences are discussed after. Regarding fluid intake, patients receive 72 ounces of fluids per day so as to prevent the serious risk of hyponatremia. It also prevents the potential for patients to alter their weight and create a false sense of fullness. Based on medical trends, that intake can be adjusted.

    We make every attempt to schedule transportation for our patients, and ask for at least 24 hours’ notice. When requests are made in a short time, from a staffing perspective, it is difficult to provide adequate transportation as we want to ensure that all of our patients are given the attention and care they deserve.

    We are glad that you felt so connected with your therapist, Whitney, and encourage our patients to come to us immediately with any concerns. We welcome feedback and try to address concerns in the moment. This is why we have a very high staff-to-patient ratio, a weekly community meeting, daily check ins, and a patient suggestions box.

    Your thoughts and feelings matter very much to us, and we really appreciate you expressing your thoughts. From the bottom of our hearts, we wish you the best on your journey to recovery.

  9. admin

    objective reviews would be very helpful if anyone has the time. ideas of FAQ are on the FAQ and Guidelines page. thank you.

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