When were you there: April-Aug
Describe the average day:wake up, breakfast at the apartments around 8, go to the center at 9. There are 2 morning groups. Morning snack is in between the groups, usually around 10.30. The pregroup, lunch around 12.30 or 1, post group. from 1.30-5.30 are individual sessions. You meet with the nutritionist 1x/wk, your primary therapist 4x/wk, clinical director 1x/wk, and Wendy Oliver Pyatt 1x/wk. There’s a psychaitrist to fill in for Wendy if shes gone, but she usually handles meds and therapy. Afternoon snack is anytime before 4.30. Pregroup at 6, dinner at 6.30, post group, then an evening group ). After the group the therapist on call for the night does a closing circle to wrap up the day, then we head back to the apartments around 9, have snack there and sleep. oh and you get your vitals done every day.
What were meals like? Positively delicious!!! the chef is incredible. they’re really good about working with you and accomadating specifc needs. Im vegetarian and lactose intolerant and they were extremely nice and helpful. You eat with all the other patients and two recovery coaches, and usually a therapist. Before the meal, you do pregroup to rate your hunger level, talk about any feelings coming up for you around the meal, and set an intention (i.e., enjoy the food, not let emotions take over, be present, etc) and ask for support if you think you need. post group is the same, rating your fullness, and talk about how the meal went for you.
What sorts of food were available or served? oh my goodness, like EVERYTHING. Pizza, tofu, pasta, rice, couscous salad, sandwiches, veggie or turkey burgers, tempeh, chicken, fish, risotto, baked eggplant parm, baked french fries, mac n cheese, lasagna, curry, tabbouleh, falafel, quesadillas, pb&j; basically if you request it, it can be made for you.
Did they supplement? How did that system work? NOOOO supplements, however, if you have a VERY large meal plan, then you can have a shake at night.
What privelages are allowed? you can have your phone and laptop from the begining, then as you progress, you request any privleges you want (like overnight passes to go home, i went to a hip hop dance class) its all REALLY indivualized.
Does it work on a level system? Nope.
What sort of groups do they have?yoga, body image, process, psychodrama, cooking, therapeutic opportunity sharing, music and meditation, self-esteem, relapse prevention, therapeutic opportunity sharing, cbt, art, dbt, or my favorite, yogarhythmics!!! it was like interpretive/freeform dance
What was your favorite group? yogarhythmics! such a good release! we danced like seaweed, the color yellow/orange/purple, with a elbows; it sounds really crazy but you totally get into it.
What did you like the most? how loving and caring everone is- both the staff and the other girls. i learned so much in my time there and the envioronment is so nurturing and it was really different than the many other programs i had been to. its so individualized too, that they really work with your needs and listen to you.
What did you like the least? it took a long time to get anything done, there was no sense of urgency. you have to go through a lot of people for your request to be met.
Would you recommend this program? YESSSS without a doubt!
What level of activity or exercise was allowed? yoga 3x/wk (if youre medically stable) and yogarhythmics 1x/wk. also, we get an outing every day, which is liek shopping or going to a park.
What did people do on weekends? saturday is yoga, cbt, art, we go to the movies, and then after dinner is target/michaels. sunday is spirituality group, and after lunch we have a 4 hour outing to a mall or the zoo, beach,
Do you get to know your weight? definately not.
How fast is the weight gain process? they aim for 1-2 lbs/wk, but there arent consequences if you dont gain. a lot of girls are hypermetabolic, so it can take a while before you gain any weight.
What was the average length of stay? you have to stay a minimum of 6 weeks, but i think about 3 months is average. Everyone’s process is different though.
What was the average age range? 16-40
What kind of aftercare do they provide? Do they help you set up an OP treatment team? you have a 1 wk check in and a 1 month followup check in. before you leave, they help you set up a VERY strong support system/OP team. they wouldn’t let me leave untill i did that.
How many IP beds? How many patients in PHP or IOP? there are 8-10 girls in the program. there are 8 beds at the apartments, and then 2 spaces for girls who live locally who can go home at night.
bathrooms are locked at all times except for shower time in the morning. there is no way to purge there and there are no sinks ect. you never gain independence in the bathroom area from the time u arrive to the time u leave. they are always locked at the center. there is very little exercise. yoga and walks once you get to a certain level.depending on ur weight u can’t really walk around or carry your own bags and once in the center u are required to sit on couch. they do not let you know your weight. weight gain per week is 2-3 pounds depending on how much u need to gain. some people only gain like 1 or 2 depending on their circumstaances and how fast they want it to go.
no extra massages even if u pay for them. all the therapists are great. u can’t go on pass by yourself until like the very end and that has to be earned. you can get off building status when u can like go outside and stuff. average length of stay is 2-4 months. yes to family therapy but only if u want it. they do have family weekends. you can’t exclude whole food groups unless it is a medically document illness. there are no supplements unless on huge MP and then they do shakes or am early meals before breakfast. weekend outings are like to the mall, movies, park, nail salon, ceramics, ect.
the food is good. the meals plans are all individualized. there are 4 levels of snacks, orange, blue, green, or pink and u pick from a sheet.
the only snack not eaten as a group is night snack. night snack is in the apartments and the night rc makes it for you and portions it and serves it to you. u just have to eat it before 11pm. staff is always present when eating.
Ok outings-yes, you do have to be a certain level to be able to do certain things on the outings…for instance-if you are “level 1″ and go to target, you can only go to get what you need (shampoo/conditioner, etc) and then you have to sit up front and wait with a recovery coach until the other levels are done…also level 1 and 2s have a lot of activity/outside restrictions–like if you were to go bowling on a saturday outing, level 1s couldn’t bowl-just watch…and level 2′s could maybe granny bowl or something…
Levels are based on if you’ve completed your meals and weight primarily…if you have to weight restore, you will probably be on level 0 or 1 for awhile (I’m level 1 still after being here a month)…there are alot of girls then that stay on level 2 for awhile once their weight has started showing improvement…level 3s and 4s are pretty much those who have been here a couple months or who have achieved close to their weight range…
Meals-no choices really…that’s a bittersweet thing…we don’t find out what we are having for lunch or dinner until about 5 minutes before the meal during “pre” when we all go around in a circle in a side room and say what our level of hunger/fullness is and what we anticipate about the meal (“sounds good”…”sounds scary”…”I’m anxious”…etc.-it’s free for all)…the cool thing is that everyone is doing the meal together so you are all in it together-the good and the bad…some days are good and the meal sounds good-grilled chicken salad, wraps for lunch, fish and rice or ground turkey chilli for dinner…and other days suck or seem intimidating…creamy seafood potpie, pasta and chicken, dark meat chicken and veggies with gravy…but after awhile, the food doesn’t become such a focus and you get to try a lot of different things your ed, or you may have never tried before…
as for breakfast-it’s on a rotating schedule:
mondays-english muffin day
tues-frozen waffle day
saturdays-every sat. is pizza night and they order a takeout pizza
and every sunday is restaurant outing night, and one of the girls gets to pick a place from a list of area restaurants to go to (don’t worry, fast food is really not on there)…
movement/observations-RCs are pretty nice and are all about in their 20s or early 30s so they feel more like friends then anything..
sitting outside-depends on your level-level 0-no…but 1s…you get about 10-15 min outside…and as time goes on that becomes more…
it’s a tough program, but in the same way, more lax then Remuda that i went to…it’s no vacation for sure, but you will make it through…the girls are a huge support
i just have to keep reminding myself-this won’t last forever, and i will have an awesome life without ed and not in treatment when all is said and done…
Overall, the people are really really nice and seem to genuinely care about the girls. The staff also seem to be great role models of real health..and often times I have to reality check my crazy brain and say-”If they can eat like this…or not workout…and look like that (beautiful, normal)…then I am going to be OK!!”
Yes…alot of sitting around-particularly your first couple weeks if you come in needing to gain weight.
They have movement levels (0-5)…level 0 (that’s me for now) means really NO outings, no outside time, no carrying your own bags.
They are big on being “intuitive” here and self reflection…they emphasize sitting with your thoughts, journaling, talking…
As you gain weight, take challenges, and your labs/medical stuff improves, you “move up” in your movement level…level 1 you can start going on outings and experience minimal movement (walk around 15 min./sit in sun 15 min)…level 2 you are able to actually go on outings like CVS/nails/target/pet co…level 3 you are able to go shopping and actually buy something too (DSW/Forever 21/Nordstroms)…they rarely if ever go to the beach even though it’s in Miami-and you rarely if ever see the city…
As for the food…ehh…it’s treatment so expect, of course, to be challenged…however, most everything is made fresh and the chef is really nice. It doesn’t taste bad, but it will for sure give your ED a run for its money…
B- biscuit w/ egg and cheese, juice…cereal, dairy (milk, cottage cheese, yogurt), fruit…bagel or english muffin w/ spread (you choose nutbutter, cream cheese, jelly), fruit, dairy…Saturday is “surprise breakfast”…frozen waffle day w/ spread of choice, dairy, fruit..
S- you get to choose from a pretty extensive list…fruit or crackers paired with one option (cheese, nut butter, hardboiled egg, turkey, nutella, cottage cheese, milk); salty or sweet mixed nuts; yogurt and fruit; yogurt covered pretzels; chocolate covered almonds; ice cream; poptarts…
L- Mediterranean “plate” (falafel, hummus, grape leaves, pita, tomato slices)… tuna melt on wheat and sweet potato soup…pasta, chicken and tomato cream sauce…peanut butter and jelly…chicken on salad greens with poppyseed dressing…
D-Twice loaded baked potato w/ cheese, chives & smoked turkey…pizza night on Saturdays…turkey chilli…
Like I said…doesn’t taste bad…but I’ve found it very challenging for me personally with lots of carbs (as to be expected when you are trying to gain weight)…however, when I write this out…it doesn’t seem half as bad as it may seem in the moment when your ED is talking to you!
The nutritionists are super cool and you get a “dislike” list of 5 things…and the option of a “replacement” meal (one of 3 frozen dinner options-don’t sound too appetizing though–veggie lasanga, chicken pot pie, or fettucini alfredo) if you really don’t like the meal being served…
They don’t supplement here-and you just are prevented from going on outings/privilages/asked to leave if you don’t eat your meals…
The living accomodations are great! You live in an apartment with up to 4 girls (there are 10 total girls in your program at the Center)…the apartments are really cute and about 10 min. from the center where all the therapy takes place…it makes the experience seem like real life….
Overall, OPC is no vacation…but the girls in the program and your ultimate goal to say goodbye to ED make the experience justifyable…OPC is the best place I think I’ve been thus far (also been to Remuda and McCallum place–awful experience at McCallum in St. Louis!)…if you have any questions (i know I did!), don’t hesitate to ask!!