Admissions and What to Expect

You’ve already taken an important step by recognizing that you or your loved one may be struggling with a serious problem, by researching residential treatment centers. We’re here to guide you through the next phase of getting help.

The Next Step: Our Admissions Process

If you’re thinking about admitting yourself or a loved one to a treatment center for eating disorders, drug and alcohol addiction, PTSD / trauma, or a mood disorder, please call us today at 877.257.9611.

There are several critical steps to the admissions process. We realize this can seem overwhelming. Our experienced staff is prepared to respond to women and families who may be in crisis and in need of immediate help.

When you call, one of our licensed admissions counselors will ask you some questions about your situation to start assessing whether Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center might help. We then will schedule a more in depth phone screening, that typically takes about 30 minutes and is scheduled within 24 hours of your initial call. We can arrange to speak with you at a time when you can have this conversation in a safe and private location, sometimes that means rescheduling to talk at night or over the weekend.

During the screening, the admissions counselor will ask about current symptoms and challenges, as well as past treatment history. We also inquire about the prospective resident’s environment and social support system – her family, friends and situation at school or work.

At times, an admissions counselor may determine that a woman or her loved ones are in immediate danger and recommend that they seek inpatient treatment, or call 9-1-1. This is done for the safety of the woman first and foremost, and does not preclude us from later reviewing her for admission to Timberline Knolls.

Additionally, we will request a release form to allow us to speak with a woman’s outpatient treatment providers, and to receive copies of medical and psychiatric records. At times, if a woman is not currently receiving treatment for anorexia, bulimia nervosa, alcoholism or drug addiction, we may require results of medical tests to assess our ability to safely meet her needs.

Women and families who are interested in using insurance benefits can request a quote of benefits. This can typically be provided within 48 hours.

For adolescent women, we will also request to connect with her current or most recent school. The educational staff at Timberline Knolls Academy will be part of the process of assessing the woman’s need for support in the classroom.

Our counselors can initiate the admission review process based on information provided by a loved one. We typically require a personal phone conversation with the woman or girl prior to extending a formal offer of admission. The admissions counselor will work with family members to determine when that’s appropriate.

Some women also choose to visit and tour the Timberline Knolls campus. Parents or spouses find this very reassuring, too, particularly if they haven’t previously visited other residential treatment centers.

The admissions team will collaborate with our admitting psychiatrist and other clinical staff to review all information provided as soon as possible.

Admissions to Intake: Making Treatment A Reality

When we believe our residential treatment center is clinically appropriate and we are prepared to support a woman’s needs, we will extend an offer of admission. This will include placement in an age-appropriate residential lodge, along with a projected intake date.

Our admissions coordinators will work with the woman or her family to help estimate financial responsibility, and assess the contribution their insurance may make toward residential treatment. Upon request, they can also provide information on third-party financing options.

If the woman or family accepts our admission offer, the expected intake date is updated. At times, depending on availability, we may be able to offer an immediate placement.

Women and families are responsible for arranging airline travel. Upon request, a member of the Timberline Knolls team will meet the woman at the airport and provide transportation to campus. If other family members will be accompanying the resident, admissions counselors can recommend nearby hotels, as well as dining and entertainment options.

Once the woman completes the admission process, she will be be introduced to the staff on her residential lodge. After settling into her room and meeting other residents, she will undergo a comprehensive medical and psychiatric evaluation. At times, that may require consultation with other outside specialists to provide a full and accurate picture of her health and treatment needs.

For Families: The Emotions of Residential Treatment

It has been our experience that many families coming to Timberline Knolls often experience a similar progression of emotions. This begins as they research and evaluate treatment centers, complete the admission and intake process, and come to terms with life while a loved one is away in treatment. While each family’s circumstances are unique, we share this in order to prepare you for what you may experience.

Upset. The situation that brings a woman or her loved ones to investigate residential treatment centers is almost always upsetting and disruptive. It’s normal for both the woman and her family to experience feelings of anger, turmoil, fear or distress. This is especially true if there are differences of opinion among family members about the appropriate course of treatment, or if the woman has suffered a relapse following a prior stay in a rehab center or treatment program.

Ambivalence. Once a treatment decision has been made, and a woman has left home to enter a treatment center, loved ones may experience alternating swings of hope and regret. Did we do the right thing? What will life be like when she’s her old self again? Could she have gotten better at home?

The first days in residential treatment are difficult for every woman and her family. It’s common for women, particularly teens, to struggle with separation from family and friends. Adjusting to an intensive therapeutic environment also takes time. During this adjustment phase, it’s not unusual for residents to attempt to take advantage of loved ones’ ambivalence to try and persuade them to allow them to leave treatment.

In early phone calls, families may struggle with the feelings the resident may express. It can be heart-wrenching hear a loved one say things like:

“Everyone here is much sicker than me”

“I feel worse than I ever have”

or, “These people don’t understand me”

Our staff works with family members, on a daily basis if necessary, to put these feelings in the proper context so they can begin healing themselves. This support helps family members remain cohesive and resist any efforts the woman may make to undermine their confidence in the decision they’ve made.

Coming to terms with feelings of ambivalence can then lead loved ones to feel…

Guilt. As they gain perspective on their loved one’s disease, it’s not uncommon for family members to second guess themselves. Some may even begin to blame themselves for contributing to their loved one’s eating disorder or addiction, for things that happened to her in the past, or for not acting sooner. Since this is something we see and understand, we maintain daily contact with the family for as long as necessary to prevent the woman from being able to manipulate these feelings while the family is vulnerable, and to present the woman with a unified front of strength and support.

As women make progress in residential treatment, they will experience good days and bad days. Even the most positive breakthroughs often force residents to confront new and difficult realities. After a few weeks, the emotional intensity of residential treatment can strain a woman’s motivation to continue working on herself. During particularly difficult times, residents may still long for the false “comfort” they formerly received from anorexia, bulimia, another eating disorder or an addictive substance.

When this happens, difficult phone calls or emotional visits can make a family’s feelings of guilt seem overwhelming, particularly for spouses and parents. The result may trigger an instinctive desire to “rescue” the woman, which can be harder to resist than you’d think. Each woman’s treatment team includes a dedicated family therapist, who will help the family through their own process of recovery. Family therapists work with family members by phone weekly, individually and in groups.

With a new understanding of their ability to support each other as a family, loved ones may begin to feel…

Relief. As family members begin to recognize tangible signs of change, they gain confidence that the residential treatment center is helping both the woman and the family to recover from anorexia nervosa, bulimia, substance abuse, or trauma. They sense her renewal in her spirit, and a change from fearing the future to looking forward to it with hope.

Parents, children and spouses start to look forward to feeling like a family again. They can begin to return their focus to work, school, other children and family members, and to nurturing themselves without the constant fear for the safety of their loved one.

Resolution. This final phase is the time of transition, where both the woman and her loved ones learn to let go of feelings and beliefs that have held them back and plan to make her more hopeful future a reality. Family members will see the woman taking ownership of her recovery by working with our staff to plan for what comes after she leaves residential treatment.

For everyone, this is a time of reflection, preparation and hope. Despite the knowledge that there may be bumps along the path of recovery, both the woman and her family resolve to work together to utilize recovery tools and to support each other. They learn to trust their ability to make a difference in their own lives with the decisions they make every day.

Some women become uneasy about their ability to practice the new skills they’ve learned at Timberline Knolls without the structured support of an inpatient treatment center. Our treatment program is structured to provide appropriate closure to this critical phase of a woman’s life and help her move forward with the strength of a renewed spirit.

Lifelong recovery is our goal for the entire family.

Treatment staff at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center recognize the importance of supporting the family at each step of the treatment and recovery process. We are happy to discuss your family’s needs.

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