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.
Intake, Assessment and Treatment Planning
Welcoming clients to Avalon Hills consists of three elements: a detailed assessment, orientation to our program, and treatment planning. Clients at Avalon Hills will receive the most in-depth psychotherapeutic assessments available in the eating disorder treatment field. The assessment process includes an in-depth clinical interview with the patient and family members, as well as a large battery of evidence-based assessment tools. Our assessment includes clinical, personality, cognitive, physiological, medical and nutritional status.
The purpose of our extensive assessment fosters an in-depth understanding of the whole person including what may be driving their use of eating disorder symptoms. This approach informs treatment planning and directs interventions. Our assessment is evidence that the approach at Avalon Hills is anything but one size fits all. Through our extensive assessments, we have revealed insights and information that has been missed, sometimes for years. These assessment results often shift the clinical approach significantly.
A unique dimension of our assessment is the Quantitative Electroencephalogram (qEEG). This non-invasive brain wave scan helps guide treatment planning for both our traditional psychotherapeutic approaches. The qEEG informs our use of neurofeedback and biofeedback interventions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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/or video conference 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.