The Relational Dimension of Alsana’s Adaptive Care Model® | Alsana®

 

 

Threads, or fibers, representing relationships stronger together

The Relational Dimension of Alsana’s Adaptive Care Model®

Eating disorder recovery happens in relationships.

  Eating Disorders, Nutrition

Alsana’s holistic approach to eating disorder treatment is rooted in our Adaptive Care Model, which is designed to meet each client right where they are in their recovery. It is made up of five dimensions (Medical, Therapeutic, Movement, Nutrition, and Relational) which together provide healing and hope for sustained recovery.

The Relational Dimension of the Adaptive Care Model is designed to heal and strengthen relationships, without which eating disorder recovery is impossible.

Relational therapies for eating disorder recovery

Alsana’s  Relational Dimension encourages clients to explore and develop their connection to themselves, others, and their own unique expression of spirituality. It is sometimes referred to internally as the thread that holds the Adaptive Care Model together because we believe that eating disorder recovery takes place within the bonds of relationships.

Just as the Relational Dimension is only successful when working synergistically with the other four dimensions of the Adaptive Care Model, whole healing in this area is only possible when clients are empowered to explore six unique relational “fibers.” Alone, none of these individual fibers are strong enough to pull someone through recovery, and that, of course, is not the goal. It is only when these pieces come together, forming a strong thread, that they are whole enough to support clients’ holistic, relational healing, helping them recognize their own innate wholeness.

Each relational offering described below works to heal and reinforce a fiber of our metaphorical Relational thread, giving clients the skills and tools they need to weave their own web of support for continued healing after treatment.

Relational therapies for eating disorder recovery

Alsana’s  Relational Dimension encourages clients to explore and develop their connection to themselves, others, and their own unique expression of spirituality. It is sometimes referred to internally as the thread that holds the Adaptive Care Model together because we believe that eating disorder recovery takes place within the bonds of relationships.

The work of the Relational Dimension

Just as the Relational Dimension is only successful when working synergistically with the other four dimensions of the Adaptive Care Model, whole healing in this area is only possible when clients are empowered to explore six key relational areas. These areas of focus are designed to work together, enabling different kinds of relational healing, each one critical in helping clients recognize their innate wholeness. Each relational offering described below is meant to strengthen a fiber of that Relational thread giving clients the skills and tools they need to weave a net of support for continued healing after treatment.

mother and daughter embracing
Healthy relationships-including those with family and supportive others, with Spirituality, with community, and with Self- are needed for full recovery.

Alsana Family Program

In this context, “Family” refers to our clients’ biological families, as well as their chosen family of supportive others. All families are different but they all play a role in recovery. Members of a client’s family were there before treatment, and they will be there after the client leaves treatment to help create an environment of continued support and healing. This is a big job. That’s why it’s important that our approach to treatment does not begin and end with the client. Rather, our team takes a holistic approach to ensure that all of the members of a client’s support network are fully equipped to be an extension of our eating recovery community.

Alsana’s Family Program provides Support and Skills Groups, free virtual workshops and webinars, monthly e-newsletters, and a sense of community and support. This program is designed for those who have loved one’s currently in treatment. Soon, we will be launching a new support resource for family members of alumni.

Alumni Program

We don’t cease to be a client’s recovery community when they leave treatment. Recovery is a long road. We know that eating disorders may develop for one reason, continue for another, and shape-shift a few times before recovery is achieved. We also know that a variety of things could re-trigger eating disorder thoughts and behaviors after a client leaves treatment. Therefore, we want our Alumni to know that we are always here for them, and that we will welcome them back without judgment should they stumble on their continued recovery journey.

We provide support groups, educational resources, and intensives for our Alsana alumni, offering weekly groups to mirror their need to continue with their healthy connections that provide them a sense of community.

 

Advocacy

Developing ourselves to be more active advocates for our clients is an urgent matter that I’m proud to say Alsana has taken to heart and soul. Alongside our eating disorder programs, we work with clients to help them heal from trauma.

Clients cannot expect to achieve full, lasting eating disorder recovery without addressing their traumas as well, full stop. Furthermore, we as clinicians know that it would be disingenuous at best to treat our clients’ trauma without also becoming passionate, active advocates for a world that does not continue to traumatize them. There is real action and intentionality behind our values; we are advocates for social justice and safe care for all. We believe that Black Lives Matter. We believe that All Bodies are Good Bodies. And we believe that Love is Love is LOVE.

Our Social Justice Task Force currently has three committees which examine the social justice needs in our community including LGBTQ+ issues, Anti-Racism, and HAES: Persons in Large Bodies. We are actively training and encouraging our staff to move from Ally to Advocate for marginalized peoples and to take a stand against discrimination and oppression to create inclusive communities for all.

Spirituality

Spiritually, our goal is to meet clients where they are and encourage exploration regarding what it means to be connected with something outside of themselves. Strengthening this relational fiber means exploring the healthy relationship one may have with something unseen and greater than themselves, whether that is expressed through religion or other means. When clients can incorporate a higher purpose and meaning into their recovery, they find that their recovery has a wholeness and intentionality. Clients have access to spiritual resources within the community if they wish to have this as additional support and connection during their time in treatment.

Additional activities such as journaling, listening and creating music, walking in nature, art therapy and practicing gratefulness and reflection before meals provide opportunities for patients to grow spiritually as they nurture their bodies and authentic selves.

Culture

We are committed to creating a compassionate, inclusive culture that promotes healing in every dimension for every client. Alsana’s culture is built for clients first, but we strive for a culture that is healing for all. Our healthy culture is part of the day-to-day mission of Alsana and is built on our Guiding Principles. As mental health healers, we cannot care for clients to a greater extent than that to which we have dared to care for ourselves; we cannot serve from an empty vessel. Our culture supports staff well-being not only because it is the right thing to do, but it is indispensable in setting an example for clients and in building an internal infrastructure that enables us to put clients first, always.

 

Community

Recovery happens in community and in the environment we create for ourselves and others. This means that clients’ long-term success is dependent not only on their brave work and the support of their team, but on the health of the community of which they are part. Our eating recovery community is one that does not begin and end with Alsana programs and staff. Our eating recovery community is something that grows every time someone leaves treatment and uses what they learned to stand up to diet culture, setting a brave example for others. Alsana may be at the heart of this community, but there are many hands doing the work.

Our community continues to offer a full spectrum of treatment, opening up new possibilities for clients like never before. As we support clients in lasting recovery, the relational aspects of life matter… and they really matter at Alsana.

 

In their own words

Here is what some of our community members had to say about the Relational Dimension at Alsana:

 “…You have challenged my mental being, my focus on self-love, and my body image in the best ways. I’ve rediscovered my love for some key aspects of my life, most importantly my faith. This is something I’ve wanted to work on for SO long. I never in a million years would have thought that by coming to Alsana I would be finding love for something I previously found myself hating, even though it changed my life once… I am grateful.” – A client reflecting on the relational work at Alsana.

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