Woodland Forge Testimonials

Common Questions Parents Have About The Family Program

Q: "I have never heard of this treatment. What could a program of several days possibly do to help my eating disordered child and our family?"

A: Our treatment approach is not designed to cure your child of the eating disorder in a few days. Given the intensive focus we must choose our goals very carefully. One parent expressed it beautifully: "By working with the entire family in a manner designed to keep our child at home, they helped us intervene at a critical time and head off potentially a much more severe illness." Our goal is to give you the tools and understanding you need to help your child.

Q: "How could such a short program justify charging what they do? How do I know it will be worth the expense? All of the hospital-based programs accept my insurance and this program doesn't."

A: As noted above, our program is intended to help families avoid a worsening of the child's eating disorder. In some cases, we are saving the family the cost of inpatient treatment which can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. As insurance companies are becoming more familiar with our programs they are becoming increasingly willing to reimburse a portion of the cost. While there are no guarantees and policies vary across insurance companies, our parents have been having more success in getting reimbursed. We provide a statement that provides all of the information insurance companies need to make decisions about reimbursement.

And, as one parent pointed out, "Hospital based programs remove the child from their normal lives and context thereby creating a bigger disruption to life than is necessary. The cost of the program is for the expertise of directly training the family to do what the child needs rather than removing the family and having paid caregivers (the hospital) do what the child needs. Where is the child going to live anyhow? Surely not in a hospital."

Q: "I don't like the idea of the intensity and conflict that such a program would bring up in me and my child. I don't want to be blamed for causing this. I just want someone to help my child. Why do I need to have the focus on me?"

A: In the words of one parent, "As parents we are in a better position than anyone else to help and support our child to regain good health. No one else knows our daughter and loves her as much as we do. If we can be part of the "treatment team" it will be much more effective than if we put this in someone else's hands."

Parents are definitely not to blame for their child's eating disorder. Every family has difficulties and ways in which communication does not proceed as effectively as it could. In our experience, explicitly working to open lines of communication and understanding can go a long way toward a smoother recovery process.

Q: We have read a little bit about family-based treatment. It seems too difficult and labor intensive.

A: Our approach to family-based treatment is a modification of the traditional method. In most cases, our intensive approach of coaching and family therapy significantly shortens the time it takes the family to learn how to help their child recover.