Each stage of our program is designed to help residents towards the goal of integrating their newly developed skills into their everyday lives, so that they are, we hope, equipped to deal with the joys and pressures that occur on returning to a full life.
Pre-Intake Client and Family Interview/Screening
The relative success of any eating disorder treatment program is, in great measure, affected by the "goodness of fit" between the program and its participants. For this reason, both the client and her family or other key supportive people, are interviewed regarding the elements of Avalon Hills' approach to treatment, thus enhancing the likelihood of long-term recovery. In those instances where it is determined that Avalon Hills is not the best fit, qualified admissions staff assist parents or individuals in finding a more appropriate setting.
Stage One – Intake and Treatment Planning
Welcoming clients to Avalon Hills consists of three elements: a detailed assessment, orientation to our program, and treatment planning. We spend many hours getting to know each client, and put together the most detailed history she will probably ever have. Each newly admitted client is assessed for readiness for change, her strengths, her psychological problems, challenges and concerns, symptom-related behaviors, medical complications and nutritional status. We highlight patterns of behavior, and triggers for her setbacks—both the conscious ones she is aware of, and those she may not be aware of. Additionally, a Quantitative Electroencephalogram (qEEG) of how the brain functions is acquired. This non-invasive brain wave scan helps guide treatment planning for both our traditional psychotherapeutic approaches, as well as biofeedback (a method of altering one’s physiological activity by observing it) and neurofeedback sessions (see Overview—How We Are Different, and Applied Neuroscience). Clients receive an orientation to the principles and regimen of our program. Finally, each client will have input into the development of her own treatment plan, where appropriate.
Stage Two – Awareness/Contemplation
In this stage, clients identify key factors that have led to the development and maintenance of their eating disorder attitudes and behaviors, including awareness of the psychological, biological, social, cultural, interpersonal and spiritual contributing factors if any. An interpretation with treatment staff of the findings from their qEEG or “brain map” typically occurs during this phase.
Stage Three – Exploration/Preparation
Clients advance to the third stage of treatment when they are able to acknowledge and have insight into their motivations for maintaining their eating disorder symptoms, take ownership of their choices, and are ready to explore the causal factors, meanings and consequences of their behavior.
Stage Four - Action
In this stage, clients have decided that change is necessary and desirable. They are willing to experiment with new ways of thinking, behaving, relating and coping.
Stage Five - Transition Management
Change is a process, not an event. Thus, even under the best of circumstances, some element of relapse is inevitable. The fifth and final stage of treatment focuses on preparing clients to leave the safety and predictability of the program and face the myriad of challenges that await them in the stressful, body-conscious and complex world to which they return. When they have a new challenge or stressful event, and are tempted to relapse, they now have the tools to quickly bounce back to healthy eating and living, and learn from it.
Stage Six- Aftercare
At the core, we want Avalon Hills to be the last higher level care setting for every client. To this end, we follow-up to a relationship with our clients and members of their outpatient treatment teams after discharge, by phone and in-person visits to their home community to ensure continuity of care. Occasionally, we have recovered clients return to Avalon Hills as recovery speakers to share what they have learned about taking the leap from residential treatment to sustaining their progress in the real world.