Recovery Success Enhanced By Volunteering

Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center Residents Relish Community Outreach Opportunities

CHICAGO (June 30, 2010) – Women seeking to overcome an eating disorder or addiction still face numerous hurdles once they acknowledge their disease and commit to pursuing a path of recovery. Women with advanced or multiple interconnected diseases often seek inpatient or residential treatment, which gives them time to step back from the demands of daily life to focus solely on themselves.

Treatment staff at Chicago-based Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, a leader in the treatment of eating disorders, substance abuse and mood disorders, takes a slightly different approach. Timberline Knolls’ treatment philosophy recognizes that while women in residential treatment are struggling and need help, they are still part of a larger community. Many others around them are also suffering, and often face challenging circumstances with little support or attention from others.

Melissa Rocchi, Program Development Coordinator and Manager of Expressive Therapies at Timberline Knolls, recognized that women in early recovery gained new perspective on helping themselves by helping others, and began to organize residents to dedicate time weekly volunteering. At least once a week, Timberline Knolls residents can be found at the Franciscan Village, a senior living community, helping with events such as weekly bingo and holiday activity (from Halloween to Christmas), as well as facilitating outings. The residents also “buddy up” with members of the community, and have been known to keep in close contact even after their time at Timberline Knolls has ended.

“Anybody visiting means a lot for the residents at the Franciscan Village, as a lot of them do not have any surviving family members or their families do not live close. They love to have the girls from Timberline Knolls sit next to them while they play bingo and interact with them as if they were their own children or grandchildren,” said Betty Udell, Director of Volunteer Services at the Franciscan Village. And in turn she has seen how it affects the girls from Timberline Knolls. “It also means a lot to the girls at Timberline Knolls – you can tell a lot of them miss their own families and our residents are very friendly, loving and non-threatening for them. It’s great to see the interaction between them and how they benefit each other,” said Udell.

“Timberline Knolls residents really look forward to their time volunteering at the Franciscan Village, as well as the other places where we get involved, including the local animal shelter, nursing homes, children’s hospitals and veteran’s organizations. Residents from the Chicago area have even brought additional charitable organizations and causes to the attention of Timberline Knolls staff,” said Rocchi. “Volunteer work is an important part of residential treatment because it reinforces the ability to connect with others. It also helps them realize that they are not the only ones who face lifelong challenges and need the assistance of others in this world to live a healthy and fulfilling life.”

At Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, physicians and therapists work to enable each woman to take ownership of her own lifelong recovery journey: by addressing the unique realities of her disease, and by learning to respond to emotional adversity with healthy thoughts and actions. The volunteer work at Timberline Knolls is a piece of this, helping residents to achieve lifelong recovery.

About Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center
Timberline Knolls is one of the leading private residential treatment centers for eating disorders, alcoholism and drug addiction, and trauma, with or without a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. Expert treatment staff offers a nurturing environment of recovery for women and girls (ages 12 and older) on a wooded 43-acre campus in suburban Chicago. Women and families seeking Christian residential treatment have the option of working with a dedicated Christian therapist. For more information on Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, call us at 877.257.9611.