Gina is joined today by Dr. Nicole Siegfried from Castlewood Treatment Center as she discusses the programs that this eating disorders specialized center offers as well as the different locations that are available.
Gina Thorne: Hi everyone, this is Gina Thorne with the Lakeview podcast series, and I’m here with Dr. Nicole Siegfried from Castlewood Treatment Center. Welcome!
Dr. Nicole Siegfried: Thank you!
Gina: You had a chance to spend some time with our folks here in Jacksonville and talk about eating disorders, but before we get to your topic, can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into the field of eating disorders?
Nicole: Sure. I am a clinical psychologist and I am a certified eating disorders specialist. I got interested in eating disorders, I myself had an eating disorder when I was in college, and so I had already planned on being a psychologist, but obviously this gave me something to be very interested in based on my own recovery.
Over the years I obviously realized that everybody’s story is very unique and different and their path may look nothing like mine, but I’m very passionate about the process of recovery and want to be able to bring that to other people as well.
Gina: Well you certainly steeped in a lot research and education around eating disorders. Your topic today was on resiliency and quality of life as it related to eating disorders. Can you explain a little bit about what that means?
Nicole: So in the past we thought a lot about correcting the negative symptomology associated with eating disorders, so helping people stop binging, helping people stop purging or restricting, and although there’s a place for that, it doesn’t really set people up for stepping into a life worth living or a life of recovery. And so being able to help them build the life that they want and being able to help them build the skills that it takes to do that is a necessary part of the treatment process.
I always think about with our clients, you know, if we are trying to help them stop all their symptoms but we don’t really have a life that they’re recovering to, that it doesn’t really mean very much. So developing a quality of life is something for them to strive for.
Gina: Somebody in the presentation today also equated that to what we were seeing in addiction treatment, that they’re moving in that direction as well, as far as the whole concept of recovery and coping skills and looking at life outside of just seeing yourself as an addict or an alcoholic.
Nicole: Definitely. That’s the whole philosophy behind AA. It’s a way of life and living from a place of gratitude and appreciation, so it’s a very positive mindset. So having recovery from that perspective or treatment from that perspective would be important.
Gina: So you’re currently the Clinical Director for the Highlands Treatment Center in Birmingham, Alabama, which is part of Castlewood Treatment Center. Castlewood has been predominately in St. Louis, but can you tell us a little bit about Castlewood and all of its locations?
Nicole: Sure! So Castlewood opened in 2000 in St. Louis and started as a residential facility for males and females with eating disorders ages 16 and up, but quickly expanded and developed another program there in St. Louis, so there are two residential sides; a partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient in St. Louis.
Then there’s a program also in California, and I had the opportunity to work there for several months when I first came on, and that opened in 2012. Then the Highlands, where I am in Birmingham, opened in 2013 and we are a PHPIOP. We offer an extended day of programming for PHP, 12 hours a day, knowing that our clients really need to be there with us for all of their meals to be able to get that structure. Then we also have onsite apartments that are free for our clients to stay at.
The philosophy for treatment at Castlewood is that the eating disorder has a complicated developmental pathway and we really need to address the underlying issues in addition to stabilizing the symptoms, and if we don’t address those underlying issues or co-occurring symptoms of depression or anxiety, recovery won’t be possible.
So we are very much a psychotherapeutically-based model and we do a lot of individually tailored treatments so there are up to four individual therapy sessions a week with a primary therapist and very much individualized approaches to creating that quality of life and life of recovery can look like for each client.
Gina: What’s the length of stay for someone in that program?
Nicole: The average length of stay for residential is about 30 days, and for PHP (partial hospitalization) is about 45 (days), and then for IOP the average length of stay is 60. They aren’t in programming each of those 60 days, obviously, they can go up to 7 days a week but it will range anywhere from 3 days to 7 days.
Gina: Ok, so before we ask how to access services at Castlewood, this is your first visit with us here at Lakeview, what are your thoughts and impressions of the program?
Nicole: Well I love it. I’ve been familiar with Roy Serpa, your CEO, and met him before, and his leadership model, in terms of servant leadership, just emanates through the entire program and you can feel that when walking through the campus here today. So it’s very much the things I’ve been talking about, from a very positive approach, rather than breaking people down to rock bottom, you’re sort of finding their strengths and building them up and so it has been a pleasure to be here and I love the program.
Gina: Well we mentioned to the folks at our presentation that Castlewood and Lakeview are almost sisters to each other because we are both working with Trinity but we are very appreciative of you taking your time to visit with us today. If someone needed to access services at Castlewood, how would they get in touch with you?
Nicole: We have an intake number that they can call and that number is 855-559-7611, or they can go to our website which is www.castlewoodtc.com and they can also call us directly at the Highlands and that number is 205-552-0417.
Gina: Very good. Well thank you, Nicole, for spending time with us today and for those of you that are listening that are interested in more information about Lakeview, we invite you to visit us at LakeviewHealth.com or if you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction and needs help right away, we ask you to call us at 866-887-0142.
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