Summer break: a time for Vacations! Rest! Relaxation! Sunshine! Beach! Mountains! And….. eating disorder treatment?
On the surface it may seem like eating disorder treatment is the last thing someone would want to do during summer vacation. However, summer may provide an opportune time for eating disorder treatment. Eating disorder symptoms can escalate during summer months. First, without school schedules, individuals with eating disorders may lose structure, which can increase risk for relapse or lead to an amplification of symptoms. Secondly, summer brings with it an increased focus on the body in warmer months, which can exacerbate eating disorder symptoms in individuals with eating disorders.
Summer can also provide a predetermined break time that allows individuals to seek the treatment they need for their eating disorder. Individuals who seek treatment during the summer months can often do so without having as much impact on their work or school. Sometimes students who are seeking treatment during summer months can attend treatment and be ready to return to school in the fall. Summer also may provide families with vacation time so that they are able to visit their loved ones in treatment or attend family weeks.
At Alsana we recognize that the Summer can offer treatment opportunities. As part of our Adaptive Care Model™ we are able to meet clients wherever they are in their process; Summer is no different. Sometimes clients can come in for just a few weeks to receive a booster to be able to return to school or their job in the fall. Other times clients may be able to use the summer to jumpstart a lengthier treatment process.
At Alsana, no matter what time of year you come to treatment, you will receive the same excellent quality services. But the summer affords some opportunities that make it a great time to come to treatment.
- At Alsana residential facilities, all meals are provided and prepared by chefs. We provide seasonal menus that offer a flare of the region of the center. Summer seasonal menus provide more fresh fruits and vegetables that are more readily available in the Summer months.
- Alsana’s Movement Program is architected by Brian Cook, PhD, our Vice President of Movement, Research and Outcomes. Our movement program is focused on helping clients develop an understanding of the role of movement in their eating disorder and their recovery and develop a sense of joy at the core of movement activities. Summer offers opportunities for more outdoor movement experiences, including equine therapy (*Birmingham location), water activities (e.g., canoeing), and beach visits (*California facilities).
- Part of the Alsana commitment to outpatient providers is to provide detailed, data-driven updates to keep outpatient teams in the loop. Our teams are also able to do provide these updates to school treatment teams or coaches. By keeping the school teams in the loop, clients often have a smoother transition when they return to school in the fall.
- At Alsana we have a comprehensive family program led by Caroline Nichols, LICSW, CEDS-s. Families are able to be involved in weekly family sessions, multi-family groups, and virtual support groups. Summer also offers more opportunities for families to attend Family Weeks, which include education, group therapy, and family sessions to promote recovery.
Summer is a great time to kickstart your recovery from your eating disorder. Alsana provides treatment tailored to your needs and your timing. We hope that if you need treatment for an eating disorder, you take the opportunity summer offers to get help.