Casa Serena Leading Eating Disorders Treatment Provider in Bay Area

Leading Eating Disorders Treatment Provider in Bay Area

Leading Eating Disorders Treatment Provider in Bay Area

In the crowded field of mental health providers who specialize in treating addiction and eating disorders, business longevity is rare.  Start-up facilities come and go at lightening speed, here one day and-Poof!- gone the next.  To survive and thrive in the business of treatment and recovery it takes a clearly-stated vision, an ongoing commitment to the mission statement, compliance with licensing and state regulations, solid business acumen, and, most importantly, a sincere and compassionate desire to help people regain their healthy lives.

Casa Serena, a treatment provider that specialized in eating disorders, is one such success story.   Where some treatment facilities are created and driven solely for financial gain, Casa Serena was started in order to fill a void in the care being offered in the Bay area.  Founder Jackie Holmes, M.Ed., MFT, was motivated on a personal level to start a new kind of eating disorder treatment program.  Jackie had been struggling with bulimia and binge-eating disorder herself and was frustrated by the scarcity of ED services within Contra Costa County while on her path to recovery.  To remedy this, Casa Serena was born in 2005.

Jackie’s immense professional experience, spanning over 30 years in the eating disorders field, includes 18 years as an outpatient therapist, five years as an inpatient clinical coordinator, and a teacher in the Eating Disorders Certification Programs at UC Berkeley and JFK University.  This extensive background made her uniquely qualified to put together a successful intensive outpatient program (IOP) like Casa Serena.  An IOP provides more structure and a wider range of services than a typical outpatient program, offering a middle ground between residential inpatient care and an outpatient program.  Clients benefit from the intensity of the program, but are still be able to go home each day.

Casa Serena offers specialized programs for teens and adults, each program customized to address the specific needs and differences between these age groups.  The adult program meets in the evenings to allow for clients to be able to work at a job or parent their children, where the teen program meets mid-afternoon, allowing for enough time in the evening for homework.

The components of each program are also tailored to the demographic.  The adult program includes group therapy, yoga and mindfulness group, nutrition class, supportive meal groups, body image class, living skills, and dialectic behavioral therapy skills training (DBT).  The teen program offers one-on-one counseling sessions, group therapy, community meetings, multi-family group, expressive arts, dinner-prep class, as well as the nutrition class, body image class, and living skills class.
Casa Serena has built its stellar reputation over the past eleven years by providing compassionate support and care to its many clients, and by focusing on the importance of family as an important component in the treatment and recovery of eating disorders.   The Multi-Family group allows family members and loved ones to gain a broader understanding of the multiple dynamics inherent in eating disorders, allowing for open communication between all parties.  In the Multi-Family group new skills are taught to help family members to better support their loved one in recovery, including better communication skills.

Casa Serena Can Help

Casa Serena has flourished all these years because it remains dedicated to the wellbeing and personal growth of each and every client.  The amazing staff at Casa Serena includes clinical therapists of the highest caliber, as well as professional specialists, such as dietitians and yoga practitioners, all ready to help clients discover their personal journey back to healthy eating and overall wellness.  Our experts frame every step of the recovery path in compassion and understanding, as some of them have also battled eating disorders personally.  They understand the multi-dimensional aspect of how eating disorders originate and the challenges in treating them.  Contact Casa Serena today at (925) 682-8252.

The Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Treatment for Eating Disorders

 As with any important decision in life, choosing the right treatment option for an eating disorder (ED) comes down to need and lifestyle.  Factors such as the severity of the ED, finances, and family/work/academic obligations will determine whether an individual is in need of intensive inpatient care, basic outpatient services, or an intensive outpatient program (IOP). An IOP is at the center of the treatment spectrum for an eating disorder, an elevation above basic outpatient services that may not provide enough structure or breadth in services to adequately address the needs of the client.  Intensive outpatient programs often fulfill the needs of a patient just discharged from an inpatient program, allowing for some independence without sacrificing the important treatment elements they have become accustomed to while in a residential program.

The various treatment levels of care for an ED include:

Inpatient residential treatment:  A dedicated residential treatment facility is indicated if the disorder is deeply entrenched and life threatening, where physical and/or psychological instability may require acute hospitalization.  An example of this would be a serious eating disorder, such as anorexia nervosa, that has impacted vital organs and has caused serious damage to the body.  An inpatient treatment program can offer cardiac monitoring, IV fluids to restore electrolyte balance, and medications for anxiety, depression, and agitation.

Intensive outpatient program:  An IOP is often utilized for patients coming from a residential program, once mental and physical health are stabilized.  Mental health providers have determined their symptoms to be under control and the patients are considered able to function in their daily lives while continuing to progress in recovery.

The Intensive Outpatient Program option is also a step-up in care for those with progressive eating disorders not managed sufficiently in a basic outpatient program.  For these clients, despite working with an outpatient team a couple of times a week, the basic services do not provide enough continuity and structure to produce a stable recovery from their eating disorder.

Basic outpatient services:  A basic outpatient program (BOP) typically offers services two days a week for those with newly formed eating disorders who do not meet the criteria for a higher level of care.  The BOP will offer treatment management and group therapy, but does not offer adjunct treatment services such as art and music therapy, equine therapy, meal therapy, or body image classes.

Teen IOP versus Adult IOP

 The stage of life an individual is in when they seek treatment can dictate not only their scheduling needs, but also the content of the program itself.  Because of the differing demands and responsibilities between an adult and a teen, it is helpful to find an IOP designed accordingly.  Casa Serena offers intensive outpatient programs exclusively, thus making us specialists in this level of care.  Therefore, we have created effective programs designed to accommodate the specific needs of both teens and adults.

Adult IOP:

An IOP designed for adults accommodates the need for the client to continue to work at their job, whether inside or outside the home.  Some adults who have parenting responsibilities may need to be present during the day for their children, while others simply cannot take time off of their jobs.  For adults, an evening program like the one offered at Casa Serena—four hours per evening, four days a week—is a perfect fit.  In the adult program, the client will learn better ways to manage anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem, factors often at the root of the disordered eating habits.  By addressing the underlying issue that fuels the disorder, the clients are taught new coping skills to overcome it.  The adult treatment components include:

  • Classes in body image, nutrition, and living skills
  • Group therapy (4 per month)
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  • Yoga and mindfulness group (2 per month)
  • Supportive meal groups (4 per month)

Teen IOP:

For teens aged 13-18, the IOP must take their school schedules and academic obligations into account.  Because of this, Casa Serena offers a program that meets after school hours four days a week for four hours, but allows the teen plenty of time in the evening to tackle homework.  The teen years are especially challenging, with emotions running high, hormone shifts, and plenty of peer pressure that can all trigger disordered eating patterns.  With a focus on helping the teens overcome destructive behaviors and developing new coping skills, our teen program helps them manage the issues that drive their eating disorder.  The teen program treatment components include:

  • Individual counseling appointments daily
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  • Group therapy (2 per month)
  • Yoga and mindfulness group (2 per month)
  • Classes in nutrition, body image, living skills
  • Expressive arts
  • Multi-family group

Casa Serena can Help

Casa Serena provides a well-rounded, comprehensive IOP that is designed for the demands in the client’s life, be they an adult or a teen.  Our expert clinicians treat all clients with the compassion and support necessary to overcome an eating disorder.  Call us today for details about our programs at (925) 682-8252.