Family is integral to what we do here at Alsana. We take it seriously that the latest research supports that outcomes are improved with the inclusion of families because it is serious, and so important to the hard work of recovery. Those who are battling an eating disorder and attempting to start a new life of freedom, health, and wholeness need all the love and support they can get, and family support is the most important of all.
For this reason, we have a regular family therapy and Family Week here at Alsana; each Family Week event lasts for three days, and we have one every six weeks or so. Our clients are encouraged to invite anyone they like—spouses, siblings, parents, extended family members, anyone and everyone they wish to include in their recovery process.
Family Week involves a number of enriching activities. For one, family members are invited to spend some time in psycho-educational didactic sessions, led by members of the Alsana clinical staff as well as process oriented groups aimed at developing insight into family dynamics and the eating disorder recovery process. These sessions provide some actionable information into how eating disorders actually work, and what makes the recovery process succeed. These sessions also include some helpful information about co-occurring disorders, like anxiety, depression and OCD.
In addition, every family member that participates in family week participates in their own individual therapy, as well as family therapy group sessions with their loved one. There are some other offerings from our staff, including chances to simply meet our staff members and get to know the Alsana team a bit better.
More than anything, though, this is a great, tangible way to show your support for your loved one as he or she battles an eating disorder. This is a way for you to show up and say, okay, here I am. I’m standing alongside you in your recovery. I want to do whatever I can to help you get better, because I love you.
What we find is that Family Week is an encouraging and educational time for the assembled family members as it is for our clients. We send out family surveys after each one, and our most recent survey yielded some typically positive results: Of those surveyed, seven out of 10 say the Family Week experience makes them Very Likely to recommend Alsana to others who might need it. Meanwhile, eight out of 10 are either Satisfied or Very Satisfied with Family Week.
When asked about interactions with Alsana staff members, one Family Week participant noted, “They were all very positive and helpful. The staff was uniformly gracious and helpful.” Likewise, another participant marks the Alsana staff as “extremely helpful and responsive.”
Another individual says the Family Week experience provided “peace of mind,” reaffirming that we take good care of our clients, loving and supporting them at every step of the way. “I was grateful for the presence of caring people during sessions with my daughter to allow us to open up to each other deeply,” another person told us.
Of course we love to get this kind of feedback, but not just because it affirms that what we’re doing is well-received. We love it because it reminds us of why we have Family Week in the first place. It proves that, by bringing loved ones into this community, we can simultaneously open their eyes to the realities of eating disorder recovery while also giving them encouragement that their sons, daughters, spouses and siblings are in good hands here.
If someone you know is in treatment with us right now, we encourage you to consider coming to our next Family Week. You can get a lot more information, including a schedule, right here on our website. Think about it as a great way to expand your empathy and show your support.[cta] Join us for our next Alsana Family Week! [/cta]