How do we Approach Treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder?
The intense feelings of discomfort and self-consciousness that overwhelm a woman with social anxiety disorder can make participation in a typical treatment program very challenging. Our anxiety disorder treatment staff recognizes that without individual attention to her emotional needs, attempts at treatment may actually increase a woman’s anxiety.
Women suffering from social anxiety disorder and co-occurring anorexia nervosa, bulimia or addictions face special challenges that require individualized care and support in recovery. For these women, the holistic, integrated treatment approach at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center can provide the opportunity to reclaim their lives from an anxiety disorder and develop confidence in a hopeful future.
We Focus on the Emotional Experiences Underlying Anxiety Disorders
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 addresses all aspects 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.
One of the benefits of anxiety disorder treatment at a holistic residential treatment center like Timberline Knolls is that a woman will realize she is not alone, either in overcoming her anxiety or addressing other co-occurring disorders or addictions. We understand the importance of creating an environment where women feel safe expressing their feelings and sharing their experiences without being judged. A woman with social anxiety disorder will learn from staff and other residents who understand her recovery journey. We will help her develop healthy strategies to live in recovery one day at a time.
How Do Treatment Plans Address Social Anxiety Disorder and Co-Occurring Addictions?
Treatment planning for social anxiety disorder, like other addictive behaviors and psychiatric conditions, considers all accumulated knowledge about a resident. We leverage the experience of our entire anxiety disorders and addictions treatment staff to customize her care. This collaborative approach is one of the distinguishing elements of treatment for anxiety disorders, eating disorders and substance abuse 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, anxiety 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 substance abuse or eating disorders.
In the case of school age women, we coordinate closely with her school to understand the academic roadblocks her social anxiety may have created, and to support her in progress 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 to ensure that her anxiety treatment addresses all relevant aspects of her mental health.
Additionally, women with medical symptoms or other complications from anorexia and 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 dramatically from other anxiety treatment programs, drug rehab facilities or eating disorder treatment centers she has attended in the past. That is by design.
Comprehensive, Integrated Treatment and Recovery
Every woman recovering from anxiety disorders and addictions must develop tools she can trust to stay in recovery when she feels desire to isolate herself. We work with our residents to help them identify the conscious choices they are making throughout their day when their anxiety may trigger feelings of shame, fear or terror. Our caring staff provides constant support as women learn to use new tools in situations where they would have previously turned to withdrawal from friends and family, or to addictive disorders. As they gain confidence in their ability to make positive, healthy choices, women experience improved self-esteem, body acceptance, reduced stress and 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 to recover from anxiety disorders. 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, AA, OA and Al-anon
- 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 untreated social anxiety, expressive therapy may be especially 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 media
- dance/movement therapy
- empowerment group
- 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 or Eating Disorders?
When treating women and girls for anxiety disorders, eating disorders, or other addictions, our specialized treatment team at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center never assumes we are treating an isolated disease. Frequently, substance abuse or eating disorder symptoms represent 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 some unresolved traumatic experience in her past.
Co-occurring disorders are recognized frequently in women with anxiety disorders, but not always addressed appropriately by medical and behavioral health professionals who are primarily concerned with addressing chemical dependency, anorexia, or bulimia. 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 addiction or an eating 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 anorexia nervosa, bulimia, substance abuse, and other addictive behaviors are:
- bipolar disorder
- panic disorders
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- personality disorders
- various phobias and compulsions
For person suffering with co-occurring disorders, attempts to address only the anxiety, chemical dependency or eating disorder in isolation is at best incomplete, and at worst counterproductive. Life-long recovery requires an understanding of each disease and the complex interactions between them all.
Call Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center today to learn more about how our mood disorder treatment specialists may help you or your loved one overcome social anxiety disorder, bulimia, anorexia, and other co-occurring disorders. We accept women and girls (ages 12 and up) for admission seven days a week.