Eating Recovery Center, San Antonio provides best-in-class eating disorders treatment to patients and families struggling with anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and related illnesses. Our eating disorder treatment experts help patients and families find hope and lasting recovery.
- Founded in 2010, Houston Eating Disorders Center partnered with Eating Recovery Center in 2015 and is now Eating Recovery Center, Houston.
- A multidisciplinary treatment team of professionals oversees Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient levels of care.
- Works closely with Denver-based Eating Recovery Center, an international center providing comprehensive treatment for adults and adolescents struggling with the full spectrum of eating disorder diagnoses and co-occuring illnesses, to provide a seamless transition to a higher level of care (Inpatient and Residential programs), if needed.
Group Therapy at ERC San Antonio
Group therapy is an essential aspect of eating disorder treatment at Eating Recovery Center of San Antonio in addition to individual therapy, family therapy and nutritional counseling and education. Group therapy offers an effective forum to explore issues and challenges related to an eating disorder as well help patients integrate skills for wisdom and effectiveness into their lives.
Body Image Groups
Eating Recovery Center of San Antonio offers a two-level body image program. Both groups focus on developing respect, appreciation and love for the body you have, as well as learning to be a discerning consumer of both cultural and media information. Level one is a 4-week program focused on generalization of DBT skills and concepts to body image work. Level two focuses more on exploration and exposure – utilizing the expressive arts in challenging and fun ways.
The community meeting is a time for the group to address the issues that arise in the life of the Eating Recovery Center of San Antonio community. Patients are encouraged to exercise the DBT interpersonal relationship skills they are developing to discuss community issues.
The movement group focuses on developing a healthy/joyful/normal relationship with one’s body. We teach joy-focused movement that encourages and develops a reconnection to body and breath.
The goal of this group is to encourage patients to explore and grow in their own spirituality and faith. No pressure is placed on any patient to ascribe to a set pattern of beliefs. Instead, the group provides a venue for patients to further their own spiritual journey and to explore their questions. The group is led by a licensed pastoral counselor.
The focus of this group is to utilize art and creativity as self-expression, as therapeutic release of tension and emotion, and as a self-soothing technique. A multitude of media and experiences are used, providing an opportunity for patients to explore the opposites of valuing the product versus valuing the process.
The goal of this group is to encourage exploration, discovery and growth of the self. Topics covered include personality types and their impact on relating, coping patterns, perfectionism, and ways to recharge and find fulfillment.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Group
ACT teaches patients to observe, accept and embrace their private thoughts and struggles, especially ones that have previously produced internal conflict. ACT helps the individual get in contact with the ultimate self—the aspect that is always there observing and experiencing and yet is distinct from one’s feelings, thoughts, perceptions and memories. ACT aims to help the individual clarify their personal values and to take action on them in order to live a more joyful and purposeful life.
Eating Recovery Center of San Antonio’s therapeutic setting is enhanced by its one of a kind therapeutic garden located in front of the building. Adorned with flowers, vegetables, herbs and artwork created by former Eating Recovery Center of San Antonio patients, the garden provides a stress- and anxiety-reducing environment for members of the group to practice specific DBT skills after the first meal of the day. Patients are involved with our horticultural therapy facilitator at every level of planning, planting, nurturing and harvesting organically grown vegetation. Patients are connected in a positive and powerful way to the food they grow, prepare and consume. Tending to the garden builds confidence, problem solving skills and mastery and promotes teamwork. Patients leave the garden with greater hope and faith in their own recovery.
Eating disorders can consume much of one’s time and energy, often depleting resources that were previously used to maintain important relationships. Preoccupation with food, body and weight can interfere with one’s ability to be mindful of social cues or create intense feelings around how others might perceive him or her in relationships. The main goal of the Social Skills group is to help members establish a sense of mastery around the skills needed to both create and reengage in meaningful relationships.
Diary Cards & Goal Setting
Keeping with the DBT approach, this group allows members to track day-to-day progress and challenges faced in treatment. Each member is given a diary card and encouraged to reflect upon and record specific behaviors, urges, emotions, skills practiced and meal plan compliance for that particular day. This group meets daily, which allows members a space to share progress, brainstorm and set goals, gaining a sense of accountability and receiving unconditional support from trained staff.
Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT)
Research has shown that people with eating disorders tend to have difficulty with attention, concentration, memory, mental flexibility and planning. CRT was designed to improve cognitive function along with addressing rigidity, black-and-white thinking, and obsessive behaviors that are commonly brought on by the disorder. CRT is an approach that uses cognitive exercises and games to help patients strengthen their thinking skills while allowing them to have fun and be creative.
In Play Therapy we want to have fun and work towards recovery! Expressive art and games are utilized in this group with intentionality to help clients learn, incorporate and synthesize the DBT skills they are learning in a developmentally appropriate way.
The Mastery group is based on the DBT emotion regulation idea that working on projects that give us a sense of accomplishment and competency decreases our emotional vulnerability. With the help of a clinician, patients discover and learn new things they can do on their own both at the center and at home.
Recovery is hard work, and 11 hours is a long time to be in one place! Patients in the Extended Day Treatment Program and Family-Centered DBT Day Treatment Program have one supervised hour a day to rest, read a book, work on a project or work on their DBT homework. Having a break helps to re-energize patients so that they can continue to participate in and get the most out of important afternoon groups.
Meal Support Group
Meal support groups are an opportunity for patients to share meals and snacks with other patients and trained staff. The staff, aware of each patient’s stage of recovery and nutrition requirements, provides support and challenges appropriate for the individual. The goals for meal support sessions are to help patients to observe their eating habits, to practice their skills, to address their fears about food, to relate to others around the table and to integrate normal, healthy and joyful eating as the ultimate goal.
Nutrition Education and Meal Planning Group
Eating Recovery Center of San Antonio offers a nutrition education group with a DBT format to help patients challenge their cognitive distortions and find their wise mind concerning nutrition, food, weight and health. The meal planning group is designed to match the patient’s stage of recovery which starts at mechanical eating and moves forward through intuitive eating. Each group is led by a dietitian and a psychoclinician.
DBT for Life (Outpatient Group)
This group is designed for individuals with a long history of eating disorder symptoms. Participants have the opportunity to spend additional time and attention implementing DBT skills while continuing to maintain weight restoration and monitor meal rehabilitation. The goal for the group is to help patients manage symptoms while increasing quality of and joy in life. The group is open to anyone age 16+ with knowledge of DBT.
Advanced DBT Group (Outpatient Group)
This group is available to alumni/graduates of Eating Recovery Center of San Antonio programs who are reintegrating to life. It meets weekly off-campus for a shared meal and support. This group is free of charge and led by a director-level clinician.
Nutrition Group for Parents/Caregivers
An important component of recovery is the patient’s ability to restore eating behavior at home and outside Eating Recovery Center of San Antonio. The parent/care giver group helps family members understand and work in parallel to the patient’s recovery phase while encouraging progress. This is an open group led by a Registered Dietitian. The group helps caregivers to:
- Identify Eating Recovery Center of San Antonio’s dietary philosophy (dialectics around weight restoration, food, nutrition restoration nutrition education)
- Identify the eating behavior\recovery phases
- Identify the appropriate level of support around meal time according to the client’s recovery phase
- For the adolescent patients, plan meals according to the dietary prescription
- Identify the indicators of recovery
- Validate patient’s struggles while encouraging change
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Parents, Partners, and Spouses
This group is a special opportunity for family members to learn DBT skills for application in their own lives. Each family member is encouraged to master the skills and use them effectively. This provides a common ground and language for the family to use throughout the recovery process.