Mary was 17 years old when her eating disorder began; it consumed her life, as is this case with so many women who suffer. Due to the stigma often surrounding eating disorders and the confusion surrounding the symptoms, many women do not seek treatment. However, Mary was different.
She had tried to heal herself for some time, but finally reached a point where she needed more. She needed the kind of help that Magnolia Creek provides. Suffering from anorexia, orthorexia, bulimia and a co-occurring substance use disorder, Mary had reached her breaking point. “I chose Magnolia Creek based on my conversations with Michelle Kalz, she helped me understand that this place was different, and from the moment I arrived, I knew she was right. Magnolia Creek was like something I had never experienced.”
What is treatment like at Magnolia Creek?
Mary was immediately taken by the beautiful and serene setting of Magnolia Creek. The thirty-six wooded acres provide the perfect place for healing for our clients. She was also drawn to the personal attention that our clients receive the minute they arrive.
“At Magnolia Creek they get to know each woman on a personal level. They know what to say, and go that extra mile. From admissions to the therapists to the counselors, they understood me.”
Mary was suffering from not only an eating disorder but also a co-occurring substance use disorder. Magnolia Creek, dually licensed as an eating disorder and mental health treatment center, can tailor the program for a co-occurring substance use disorder. “It was so important that Magnolia Creek could also treat my substance use disorder. They didn’t just treat the behavior of my illnesses, they got to the cause,” shares Mary.
Our Addictive Behaviors group focuses on examining the root of maladaptive behaviors, triggers, and the emotions connected to these behaviors, and allows clients to explore the various means used to cope with perceived negative emotions. Magnolia Creek works with each client to create a customized treatment plan that nourishes the body and strengthens the spirit. For those struggling with addictive behavior, we believe that 12-step integration is an essential tool. We provide psychoeducation on the 12-steps as well as regular times for weekly client-led meetings, and off-site meetings if needed.
Our holistic approach to treatment provides clients with regular one-on-one sessions with primary and family therapists, dietitians, and medical staff. The Body Appreciation group was helpful for Mary, and she found it to be a safe place to go when she was feeling so vulnerable. Body Appreciation helps clients to process and address the contributing factors of poor body image and learn skills to improve their body image in the long run. Mary also benefited from the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) group, which focuses on practicing skill building by identifying distress tolerance skills, engaging in mindfulness, learning how to regulate emotions, and developing interpersonal skills. She shared, “The DBT group helped me to learn to handle stress and learn coping skills to move back into the world. The skills help me look at the way I view my body.”
At Magnolia Creek, we also have certified dietitians who help educate clients on nutrition-related topics, including the importance of a healthy lifestyle, nutrition content, food advertising, and other nutrition-related concerns. For Mary, this was a vital part of her treatment, “Education was key for me, especially with the orthorexia. Lucy helped alleviate so many of the myths surrounding food. She was a constant encourager, and you could tell she genuinely cared for me.”
The Cooking Group was also an essential element in Mary’s treatment, “Daryl was great and was able to introduce variety. He was so compassionate to each person and their struggles.” The Cooking Group allows clients to learn and implement cooking skills and create a balanced meal with chef supervision. The chef works to enhance awareness of kitchen tools and food safety. Clients learn how to judge food expirations, and how to cook food in ways that sustain nutrient.
What is life like after Magnolia Creek?
Today Mary is living a life free from her eating disorder, “I don’t think about food with an ill intention now; I am comfortable with food and my body. I feel good now about my eating disorder.” She is also attending AA meetings and seeing her therapist regularly. Magnolia Creek made a difference in Mary’s life
“Awareness is huge for me, and Magnolia Creek helped me become aware of what I am doing and what I am feeling. Your success depends on your commitment to treatment, and you have to want to be healed. Sometimes people are not ready. I am ready to live my best life. Magnolia Creek is encouraging; it is a hidden gem.”