We Are Avalon Hills

Friday, Jun 24  •  


Avalon Hills is a unique eating disorder treatment facility that provides hope and healing to those suffering from eating disorders. Our program is tailored specifically to meet the needs of each individual who walks through our doors. We provide a safe and supportive environment where clients can regain their health and discover their true potential. Here at Avalon Hills, we believe that everyone can heal and achieve success.

History of Avalon Hills

Our founder, Benita Quakenbush, struggled with an eating disorder of her own and knows firsthand the suffering that is involved, how it affects others, and what it means to recover. Over the years, Benita and the amazing Avalon Hills staff have developed a program that combines the latest scientific understanding of how the brain adapts and changes with the very best forms of humane therapy, combining recent developments with those that have stood the test of time. We have committed our professional lives to building the best, most effective program we can achieve. We are singly focused on one goal – which we call, “Treat to Outcome.”

Treat to Outcome

We define Treat to Outcome as a commitment to positive treatment outcomes that are sustainable when our clients return home. This commitment to sustainable success is treating to outcome. We pioneered this concept to stop the revolving door of care among clients who so often cycle in and out of eating disorder treatment.

We have found that too many approaches to eating disorders merely focus on diminishing eating disorder behaviors before discharge, without also getting to the bottom of what causes the problem. Eating disorders are often said to be behavioral disorders. But that is not all there is to them. People binge and purge, restrict food, or even starve themselves, for a reason. These behaviors arise from intentions, and not addressing these does not, in our experience, lead to sustainable progress.

Treat to Outcome allows the treatment team to design and follow a treatment plan that is viable when they leave our facility. We don’t just treat the eating disorder symptoms. We treat the whole person. So we are not just suppressing symptoms, our goal is to help people to grow out of the need for them.

Treatment Plan

The Avalon Hills treatment plan consists of 5 stages designed to help them reach the goal of integrating their newly developed skills into their everyday lives. We hope that with these skills, they will be equipped to deal with the joys and pressures that occur when returning to a full life during recovery. 

  • Step One: 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.

  • Step 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.

  • Step Three: Exploration/Preparation

Clients advance to the third stage of treatment when they can 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.

  • Step 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.

  • Step 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.

At the core, we want Avalon Hills to be the last higher-level care setting for every client. To this end, we follow-up up 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 leaving residential treatment that has allowed them sustainable progress in the real world.