How do we Approach Treatment for Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
Generalized anxiety disorder treatment (GAD) at a holistic residential treatment center like Timberline Knolls helps a woman realize that she is not alone and she too can recover.
Whether she’s working to overcome chronic anxiety or addressing a co-occurring eating disorder or addictions, we understand the importance of providing a safe and recovery-oriented environment for each resident. Our caring staff creates an atmosphere where women find comfort expressing their feelings or talking about trauma without being judged. A woman with generalized anxiety disorder will learn from staff and other residents who understand the emotional, physical, social and spiritual aspects of her healing journey. We will help her develop the skills she needs to use on a daily basis to reclaim her life and live in recovery.
We Understand the Emotions of Anxiety Disorders
Women experiencing symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder often believe that they are past the point of being helped. They may have experienced poor results from treatment that doesn’t provide sufficient structure, support, or empathy with regards to their fears and emotions. As a result, women can feel an immense amount of fear about the prospect of seeking anxiety treatment at a residential facility. Our anxiety disorders treatment staff recognizes that treatment requires individual attention to a woman’s emotional needs, or it may actually increase a woman’s anxiety and fear.
With the support of expert mood disorder treatment professionals, each resident suffering with an anxiety disorder will explore ways to become more mindful of her feelings. Our anxiety disorder treatment program encompasses the entirety of a woman’s being:
- Social relationships
Each resident also receives coaching and reinforcement in key areas of interpersonal skills, distress tolerance and management, reality acceptance skills, and emotional regulation skills.
Long-term, unaddressed GAD increases the likelihood that a woman will develop a co-occurring addiction, or an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa, or bulimia nervosa. Women with co-occurring disorders face special challenges that require individualized care and support. For these women, the holistic, integrated treatment and recovery approach at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center can help her reclaim her life from an anxiety disorder.
How Do Treatment Plans Address Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Other Co-Occurring Addictions?
Treatment planning for generalized anxiety disorder, like eating disorders and other addictive disorders or psychiatric conditions, considers all accumulated knowledge about a resident. We leverage the experience of our entire anxiety disorder and addiction treatment staff to customize her care. This collaborative approach is one of the distinguishing elements of treatment for anxiety disorders, eating disorders, mood disorders, and other addictive disorders at a leading rehab facility like Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center.
Consideration of the resident’s treatment needs begins during the admissions process, when both the woman and her family provide information about her challenges, symptoms and past behavior patterns. After obtaining consent, we speak to her past treatment providers to gather additional information about her medical history, anxiety treatment progress and stumbling blocks to achieving or maintaining recovery from other addictions or eating disorders (particularly anorexia and bulimia).
In the case of school age women, we coordinate closely with her school to understand the academic roadblocks her anxiety may have created, and to best support her in progressing towards graduation during residential treatment.
Once she is admitted, each resident undergoes a comprehensive assessment by one of our psychiatrists. She is then assigned a treatment team with three core members, whom she will meet in the coming days:
- A Primary Therapist
- A Family Therapist
- A Psychiatrist
A woman who exhibits symptoms of an unaddressed mood disorder or other co-occurring psychiatric disorders will undergo additional testing to confirm that her residential treatment program is comprehensive. Each treatment team member also completes a thorough written assessment within the woman’s first days at Timberline Knolls. The findings from these assessments are shared with our entire clinical and academic staff, who collectively agree on the elements of treatment.
The primary therapist will share treatment recommendations with the woman, who will have input into the goals for her treatment and will choose several elective elements of her program. Each school-age resident will also have input on her academic coursework. She will be asked to sign off on her treatment objectives and the ongoing progression of her treatment plan, giving her input and ownership of her recovery from the outset.
The treatment team will meet weekly throughout the resident’s stay, and members consult each other informally as often as needed to remain abreast of her progress. If new symptoms appear, a resident may also undergo additional psychological testing to ensure that her treatment considers all aspects of her mental health.
Additionally, women with medical symptoms or other complications from anorexia nervosa or bulimia may be referred to consulting healthcare providers such as a cardiologist, gynecologist, dentist or nephrologist.
What Will You Experience At Our Treatment Center?
A woman’s experience at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center may differ significantly from other anxiety treatment programs, drug rehab centers or treatment centers for eating disorders she has attended in the past. That is by design.
Comprehensive, Integrated Treatment and Recovery
Every woman recovering from anxiety disorders and addictive disorders must develop tools she can trust to help when she experiences symptoms of GAD. We work with our residents help them identify the conscious choices they are making throughout their day when their anxiety may trigger feelings of shame or powerlessness. Our caring staff provides consistent support as women learn to use new tools in situations where they might have previously turned to self-destructive choices. As they gain confidence in their ability to make positive, healthy choices, women experience improved self-esteem, body acceptance, reduced anxiety, healing of trauma, and increased self-awareness.
Comprehensive and individualized treatment plans use approaches proven to help women learn to experience their emotions and develop the tools necessary for life-long recovery from an anxiety disorder. Specific examples include:
- one-on-one therapy sessions
- expressive and recreational therapy
- education about disease processes and recovery
- group sessions to teach and practice behavior modification and emotion management
- family therapy (including family participation, if appropriate)
- twelve-step facilitation, including onsite and offsite meetings of Emotions Anonymous, Al-anon, AA, OA and NA
- weekly psychiatric consultation
- trauma awareness and recovery
- educational services for school-age women
Expressive Therapy Provides a Productive Outlet for Complex Emotions
Expressive therapy has been clinically proven to promote healing and recovery, in addition to providing a needed creative outlet for women during their treatment and beyond. For women who may have suffered academically or in the workplace because of unaddressed anxiety, the creative arts may be especially therapeutic and empowering.
Our expressive therapy program includes a variety of outlets a woman can select based on her personal interests:
- art therapy in a historical art studio that supports painting, sculpture and other medias
- dance/movement therapy
- empowerment group (experiential trauma recovery)
- outdoor recreation such as volleyball, basketball, soccer, badminton or gardening on our 43 acre campus
Why Do We Focus on Co-Existing Conditions With Anxiety Disorders?
When treating women and girls for anxiety disorders, eating disorders, or other addictive disorders, our specialized treatment team at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center never assumes we are treating an isolated disease. Frequently, substance abuse, anorexia nervosa, or bulimia nervosa develops in attempts by a woman to either:
- Reduce feelings of anxiety worsened by underlying psychiatric conditions that we refer to as co-occurring disorders; or,
- Control intense emotions related to unresolved traumatic experiences in her past.
GAD is frequently associated with co-occurring disorders, but it is not always addressed appropriately by medical and behavioral health professionals who are primarily concerned with addressing a chemical dependency or eating disorder. Medical researchers have found that a large percentage of those who have an addiction or chemical dependency also have at least one other mental illness and/or personality disorder. Co-occurring disorders describe a situation where an addictive disorder persists along with at least one other psychiatric illness that is active and negatively impacts the recovery process. Women with co-occurring disorders tend to have more severe symptoms of each illness and higher potential for relapse.
Examples of other psychiatric conditions frequently co-exist with substance abuse, eating disorders, and other addictions are:
- chronic anxiety (generalized anxiety disorder)
- bipolar disorder
- panic disorders
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- personality disorders
- various phobias and compulsions
For a woman with co-occurring disorders, an attempt to address only the chemical dependency or eating disorder in isolation is at best incomplete, and at worst counterproductive. Life-long recovery requires an in depth understanding of each disease and the complex interactions between them.
We can help you determine whether all-female residential treatment for anxiety, as well as co-occurring anorexia, bulimia and substance abuse, might help you or a woman you love find and sustain life-long recovery. Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center accepts women, and girls (ages 12 and up) for admission seven days a week.