I’ve been to Renfrew in Florida, i was there for 4 months late last year. It is okay, however as other people have said there is a lot of drama. I felt like most of the patients there didn’t actually want recovery and weren’t trying hard, they were rebelling a lot and there were some fights about food and weight. However my therapist was really good and nice and caring, she really helped me a lot, my nutritionist was good as was all the staff there, i felt like the staff were really nice. some of the girls there were a bit mean, as you know anorexics get competitive about weight and how ‘sick you are’, etc, and I felt a lot of competitiveness going on in the clinic. Also my room-mate purged like every night, and she said if I told anyone she would kill herself and it would be all my fault. I didn’t know what to do, I wanted to help her but her threat held me back. We had bathrooms attatched to the rooms so you could purge which she did, I tried talking to her about it but it didn’t change.

Also when I was there this girl who had been there for just over a month, she has gained back to a normal healthy BMI, and as soon as she did she was discharged, she wasn’t even ready to go home, she may have been okay physichally but emotionally she was still in her eating disorder. So yeah, once you reach your target weight, from then on your on your own.


When were you there –> June 16, 2008 to July 31, 2008
Describe the average day –> you wake up and get in line for weights
and vitals, which have to be done from 5:00-7:30 A.M. Then most ppl
got back in bed until breakfast, which is at 8. Group from
9:00-10:15ish and another from about 10:45-11:45. Lunch at 12, more
groups and appointments blahblahblah, dinner at 6, groups (whooo…)
and then you have to go to bed.
What were meals like? –> they worked on an exchange system. there was
three meal plans, A, B, and C, but they were hardly different. B was
just a little more than A and C a little more than B. They give you an
hour for lunch and dinner but most ppl finish before the time is up
and then you just have to get a staff member to check your tray and
then you can throw it out. then people usually fill out their food
journals; we loved to play games at the table while I was there.
What sorts of food were available or served? –> surprisingly good
stuff in my opinion. if you’re a vegetarian you’ll be good here.
breakfast was always cereal or bagels which was kinda boring but for
lunch and dinner they had like portobello mushroom sandwiches and
hummus and stuff. they also had pizza and lots of salads, etc.
Did they supplement? How did that system work? –> yup. a <50%
finished meal was punished with two boost pluses, and >50% you had to
drink one. if you were on a weight gain plan then your nutritionist
might add more boost pluses at supplement times, which were at 10:15
A.M, 2:00, and 8:00 and 10:00 P.M. I think
What priveleges are allowed? –> see the level system. also you can
use the phone if you’re not in a group or session. uh, if your an
adolescent you can have your parents come visit you at night. adults
can too after level 2.
Does it work on a level system? –> yup. you start out on level 1. if
you’re bad, you go down to partial when you have to sit in a room from
8:00 in the morning-9:30 at night unless you have to go to a group and
then someone has to escort you. if you’re even worse, you’ll be on
full. you can’t even leave the room with an escort. if you’re good
though, you can go to level 2 and then you can swim! and level 3 you
can leave campus to go to the beach or the movies or the mall! level 4
which no one gets to i think you can use the internet or order from a
restaurant or whatever.
What sort of groups do they have? –> these gay pointless ones like
emotion regulation and self-esteem and mother-daughter relationships
blah. then there were anorexic and bulimic eating patterns; also
psychodrama and movement. yoga. sexuality. community. after-meal
support. they have special track groups. if your therapist decides you
should go to emotional eating, substance abuse, or survivor tracks,
she’ll send ya there.
What was your favorite group? –> mostly they were all pretty boring.
but psychodrama or the movement therapy probably if I had to choose.
What did you like the most? –> uhh, the food? lol and my therapist
What did you like the least? –> the fact that they made working out
seem like a capital offense
Would you recommend this program? –> maybe for some people. not for me though.
What level of activity or exercise was allowed? –> NOT SHIT!!! this
was the biggest issue I had with Renfrew was there NAZI policy on
exercise. it just so happens that I am a very hyper person by nature
and I have severe ADHD and hate sitting still; I am very active and
energetic. Besides, I don’t have exercise problems nor am I
underweight. But Renfrew didn’t take that into account. They refused
to look at my particular situation and basically punished me for the
most ridiculous things. stretching, sitting too tall in my chair,
fidgeting, lifting my leg…NO! YOUR TRYING TO BURN CALORIES!
seriously? FML
What did people do on weekends? –> uhhh, for me, sit on my ass and
watch TV. If you were on level 3, you could go out on pass, maybe have
lunch group at a restaurant or go to the beach or movies for an
excursion. and then the rest of the time you could sit on your ass and
watch TV.
Do you get to know your weight? –> Some people do but a lot of us
were put on blind weight.
How fast is the weight gain process? –> I didn’t have to gain weight.
But I think that if you do, they like a minimum of +1 lb. per week,
What was the average length of stay? –> 1-3 months
What was the average age range? –> For a long time I was the youngest
person in residential! (I was 15) but then they started having 14 year
olds which I think was the youngest. I would say the bulk of the girls
were college or just-out-of-college aged, maybe 19-24ish. But they
were older women there too.
What kind of aftercare do they provide? Do they help you set up an OP
treatment team? –> they have an aftercare provider who sets up all
your appointments for when you get home.
How many IP beds? How many patients in PHP or IOP? –> when I was
there I think there was about 55 girls most of the time.


Individual therapy was 3x/week, nutrition once/week, psychiatrist once/week. Group therapy is daily and there are usually about 5-6 groups each day, during the week. Therapy sessions are usually 45minutes – 1 hour. Group size depends upon the size of the community…and different people attend different groups so it can range anywhere from 3 or 4 to 35 or more (like in community group where everyone attends).

Examples of meals are like veggie burger with cheese or turkey burger or grilled chicken sandwich, eggplant or chicken parmesan with pasta, beans with cheese and cous cous, meat or tofu stir-fry, taco salad with meat or beans, veggie cheese or grilled chicken pizza, grilled cheese with tomato soup, meat loaf or vegetarian loaf, pasta with beef sauce or TVP sauce, broccoli/cheese quiche or roast beef sandwich, stuffed peppers with rice and beef or TVP, etc. With lunch you will have to a dairy, a fruit, a vegetable, and two fats in addition to an entree (and an additional starch if you are on Menu C). With dinner, you have to have a vegetable, two fats, and a dairy in addition to that (and an extra fruit if you’re on Menu C). Breakfast is always either pancakes or french toast, cereal with toast or a bran or blueberry muffin, a bagel which you can either get a dairy with or get scrambled eggs instead of the dairy. And with breakfast you always need a dairy and a fruit in addition to that, and one fat (two fats if you are on Menu C). All their food is pretty good, I only really disliked a couple of things. If you don’t like something, you can sub out three times a week but only on independent eating.
There is still a trauma track.
Desserts are mandatory. You have to have three a week, or two a week if you’re on Menu A. You can get more desserts if you want by adding them on, or if you’re on independent eating you can use them as a fat as often as you want until the nutritionist yells at you for eating too many desserts (wtf?) If you’re on independent eating, you can choose to have your mandatory two or three desserts any time you want and choose what they can be, but if you’re on trays, you have to have them on certain days and they will be certain things.
If you don’t finish, you have to do a Boost. You have to do two Boosts if you finish under a certain percent, which I think is 50% but I’m not totally sure. I’m not quite sure what happens if you refuse to do a Boost after not finishing a meal…I’m sure the repercussion vary widely depending on if you’ve done it before or have done other things wrong (and probably also, quite honestly, on how much the staff likes you.) I’m sure that the most standard punishment for not finishing a meal and refusing the supplement is dropping you a level.
They say the average weight gain is 1-2 pounds per week, but I gained faster than that at the beginning. Probably depends on your body. And if you are a purger, your body will hang onto a lot of water right after you start eating again and are not purging, so you will probably gain more than 2 lbs the first week you are there.

21 replies
« Older Comments
  1. Karina says:

    I went to Renfrew for a total of 3 moths out of which only 1 was inpatient. I did theday program and IOP.
    That said I will go into details of each one. Im gonna start with residential because that is the one that impacted me the most.
    I read some of the reviews here and they are all accurate.
    There are a few, very very important things that need to be said 1st as soon as your insurance stops paying for treatment they stop caring about you and discharge you no matter at what point in your recovery you are in. That bothered me immensely. Renfrew is monster about money and unnecessary and cruel rules, like making you drink 2 boosts (or 1. Depending on the situation) whenever you don’t eat your whole tray. You could have left an olive and they would have made you drink the boost. Cruel.
    2nd, the relationships among patients. renfrew was my first and last treatment center for ED, so I wasn’t too familiarized with other symptoms besides my own. Having said that, I can tell you that I learned A LOT from the other girls. I started self harming with things I didn’t think of before, my creativity with lying , finding new ways to self harm and hide my ED behaviors, and suicide ideation sky rocketed.

    3rd AND THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE that no one seems to care about is the fact that they (as many other treatment center do) mix all types of EDs together. You will be surrounded by not only your ED but other ones as well. You have bulimia, binge eating, and anorexia together and that is counterproductive. I can tell you from experience.
    The problem with that is that you see what you fear of becoming and also what you want to become. I actually called them to tell them about this problem but they didn’t care. It was super hard to get to a person with power and once I did it went to voicemail and thy never called me back. So when I called again I had to explain the problem to a receptionist or I don’t know who which bothered me a lot.

    IOP was useless and a waste of time because it was whatever. Those awkward group sessions and meals a few times a week was not helpful for me. I had to drive from aventura (about an hour and a little more away). My poor mom.

    The day program was not helpful either as they had to admit me inpatient. it was not helpful because even if I was doing well there or not, as soon as I got back home I went back to my old habits.

    Having said all of that I’m gonna say the few good things Renfrew has. 1) some of the staff members and employees are super nice and helpful (the one that was most meaningful and helpful to me was the receptionist. She was my true rock and the one that gave me words of encouragement that came purely from the heart because she chose to help me (and for free) and also my therapist most of the time, G*****(edited for names) who is no longer there. I loved her and I’m eternally grateful with her. Renfrew is not all bad but it does more harm than its worth and it’s super expensive my dad had to pay out of pocket for this and I just got worse. The ONLY thing positive I got out of it regarding my ED behaviors was that I learned to eat normally again and sit through a meal without crying and wanting to throw it all up. It was like that everyday but a few times. I relapsed very quickly after my discharged. I attempted suicide multiple times and fell back into my ED. I can safely say that my suicide attempts and ideation grew and increased there.

    So, if you read my long review and still want to go there, my advice to you is that you go inpatient first. Don’t waste money and energy doing either IOP or Day program first. Go head on and stay there full time. BUT try to not make such strong bonds with the other girls because it will be triggering even if you’re not realizing it. That’s what happened to me.

    I recovered but not thanks to Renfrew 100%. It served as the beginning but it wasn’t what truly made me change. I still struggle with it mentally on a regular basis but I no longer purge or restrict all the time, which is not easy to do but gets better everyday.

    Recovery is possible. Choose your treatment enter well. I would never recommend people going in one.

    I have a friend that recovered from anorexia by going to a nutritionist and a psychologist and living at home with the support of her family and friends.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

« Older Comments

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *