Clinically-Proven Effective Therapies for Anorexia Recovery

Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center provides comprehensive care for women and girls who are struggling with anorexia nervosa. Timberline Knolls delivers compassionate, comprehensive treatment utilizing the best therapies for treating anorexia.

Our Approach to Anorexia Treatment

An evidence-based approach to treating anorexia nervosa

Timberline Knolls offers a tranquil environment in which to escape the pressures of daily living and focus on recovery from anorexia nervosa. Each girl and woman who comes to heal with us will have a unique experience at our center, and will have access to a wide range of services and supports that reflect her goals for recovery from anorexia.

Anorexia nervosa is a mental health condition that impacts your mental, emotional, and physical health in many ways. While most people are familiar with the outward signs of this illness (e.g., very low bodyweight, hair loss, brittle nails, fatigue), the deep, underlying mental and emotional turmoil that accompanies anorexia is less understood.

The onset of anorexia is not simply the result of a desire to be thin or to achieve a certain number on the scale. Of course, unhealthy cultural messages about idealized body types certainly take their toll, and may prompt women or girls to begin restricting their food intake. But the disease of anorexia is far more complex, affecting your mind and body in a multitude of ways.

Due to the complex, multifaceted nature of anorexia, the staff at Timberline Knolls creates individualized plans of care for each resident that consist of the therapies that we know to be successful for treating anorexia nervosa. While there is no one surefire cure or single way to ensure a successful outcome, we rely on a research-based approach that guides us in our understanding of best practices in all we do. In addition, we acknowledge that women who are struggling with anorexia are often dealing with other co-occurring mental health conditions like depression or anxiety, or healing from the impact of significant trauma. Our approach to care is designed to take into account all the concerns that a resident might be facing and create a plan of care that reflects her unique strengths and challenges.

Individual Counseling

One-on-one support during anorexia treatment at Timberline Knolls

Each resident who receives treatment at Timberline Knolls will have opportunities to attend individual counseling sessions throughout their stay. Often, women who are struggling with anorexia have endured past traumas, and individual counseling provides a safe, private setting where they can process those events, discuss how the events are affecting them in the present, and work collaboratively towards new, healthier ways of coping with triggers and stress. This is also a time to process the successes and setbacks of recovery, and to plan for the future.

Group Counseling

Strength in numbers when getting treatment for anorexia nervosa at Timberline Knolls

Many teens and women who struggle with anorexia report intense feelings of isolation due to their condition. Feelings of shame and an inability to control your behavior can lead you to disconnect from friends and loved ones, and to stop attending social events. Group counseling is an especially effective tool for treating anorexia because it combats those uncomfortable feelings and allows participants to receive support and understanding from those who have walked a similar path. Led by an experienced facilitator, group counseling sessions revolve around topics that are relevant to women who are struggling with anorexia. Residents share their experiences in a safe space, offer guidance to peers, and find peace in knowing that they are not alone and that they are understood.

Family Counseling

Healing relationships through anorexia treatment at Timberline Knolls

At Timberline Knolls, we see the family unit as a critical component of the recovery process. As we work with each resident, we evaluate their family system, identify strengths and weaknesses, and invite loved ones to participate in the recovery experience as they are able. All residents will be assigned a family therapist in addition to their individual therapist, and family members will have opportunities to attend counseling sessions either in person or via teleconference. Together, we’ll work to strengthen the bonds between loved ones and heal any fractures that may have contributed to the resident’s anorexic behavior. We’ll discuss how the family can best support the resident after she leaves Timberline Knolls, and we’ll create a plan that will encourage her continued success in recovery once she’s back home. Weekly training for families (in person or via phone) is provided for meal support and how to best encourage their loved one emotionally in their struggle with anorexia.

Expressive Therapy

Healing for the mind and body during anorexia treatment at Timberline Knolls

Anorexia affects both the body and the mind. Therefore, we believe in integrating therapies that foster healing on a deep level. Our research-backed expressive therapies allow our residents to release their emotions safely and move their bodies in healthy ways. We are pleased to offer art therapy in a historical art studio that supports painting, sculpture, and other media; dance/movement therapy; an empowerment group (experiential trauma recovery); yoga and meditation; outdoor recreation such as volleyball, basketball, soccer, badminton, or gardening on our 43-acre campus.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Trauma-informed care during treatment for anorexia nervosa

Many girls and women begin experiencing symptoms of anorexia in the aftermath of trauma, such as an unexpected loss or tragedy, abuse or assault, or a catastrophic life event. Sometimes, the onset can occur immediately after a traumatic event, and sometimes symptoms take years to manifest. This important link means that certain types of therapies that are effective in treating trauma are also highly effective in treating anorexia. One of the most effective forms of trauma-focused care is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) is also incorporated into treatment which focuses on changing relationships with eating disordered thoughts. DBT focuses on raising awareness in the present so that you can make healthy choices for yourself, rather than reacting to triggers from the past. Specifically, DBT addresses feelings of anxiety, shame, and fear in a safe way while working to increase healthy coping mechanisms.

Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR)

Healing from the effects of trauma during anorexia treatment at Timberline Knolls

Another effective form of treatment for anorexia is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Part talk therapy, part exercise in creating new associations, EMDR sessions heal the neuropathways in the brain that link past traumas to reactive, unhealthy behaviors in the present. Many women and girls engage in the disordered eating patterns of anorexia as a means of coping with triggers from traumatic events. EMDR can help them reprocess those events in the present. In doing so, they can react with a wise mind and a present focus, and create space to make healthier choices that will support their recovery from anorexia.

Pharmacologic Therapy

Medication management services when getting treatment for anorexia at Timberline Knolls

Our goal at Timberline Knolls is to provide a comprehensive experience that addresses the various ways that anorexia has impacted each resident. We offer an array of services to meet the physical health needs of our residents, and supply psychiatric support and pharmacological intervention when necessary and clinically appropriate. Many women who struggle with anorexia nervosa also suffer from co-occurring mental health concerns, and they may need assistance monitoring the effectiveness of the psychotropic medications they take to manage their condition(s). While many residents don’t require pharmacologic therapy, this form of support can make an important difference in treatment outcomes for some. The psychiatric staff at Timberline Knolls will provide medication management services to those residents who need them.

Going to Timberline Knolls was one of the best decisions I have ever made! I highly recommend you go here for treatment! You will come out knowing how to cope better with life!

– A former resident
Why Choose Timberline Knolls?