Thirty days in residential. Ninety days in residential. Six months in residential. Clients attend treatment for various amounts of time depending on the severity of their disorder. However, clients cannot stay in treatment forever. What happens when they return home? When they go back to their environment that they were in before treatment what will support their recovery process and what will potentially hinder it? If nothing changes at home then it is likely that old behaviors will return and the client will not continue to get better within that environment. This is why it is absolutely imperative that the client’s family/ primary support network is involved.
We see the most improvement and progress when family is involved. If family members are motivated to support clients in their recovery process we have seen client’s have a much easier time recovering. Clients that do not get family support typically fall back into old, maladaptive behaviors. When a family is on the same page and working together, the healthy behaviors are more likely to get reinforced. Family members often underestimated the impact that they have on the client’s recovery process.
This is why we make family involvement a large part of our program. We have two family groups and weekly family therapy sessions. Eating disorders are a family illness. The disorder affects the entire family unit. All members need support and to understand how to assist the client with their recovery process. Individuals with an eating disorder should not have to go through the recovery process all on their own.