Castlewood II - Saint Louis
I felt like Castlewood's program was really good at digging into all of the aspects of my eating disorder & other mental illnesses. "It's not just about the food" is frequently said here. There's a lot of deep, thoughtful therapeutic work that they encourage you to do. It wasn't just rattling off coping skills, there was no filling out worksheets. That being said, much of what I leaned was CBT/ACT/DBT related it was just learned in a more process oriented way that felt much more effective. IFS modality sounds really bizarre at first, but when you sort of see it explained it makes more sense - it's like the movie "Inside Out" where we'd talk about my "angry part" or "my eating disorder really wants me to do XYZ, but I get that it's just my ED part talking"
Staff was usually pretty awesome. (As awesome as staff in treatment can be- it's never much fun when they're challenging you to look at emotional things you've been trying to avoid, but that's therapy for you.) Some therapists had slightly different approaches and personalities - it's easier to click with some more than others. Overall everyone was very supportive and client-focused. The Direct Care counselors that are with you from ~7am - 10:30pm were really dedicated. (You'd probably have to be given all of the things they do - checking-in with clients, meal support, supervising groups, supervising in general, prepping snacks, taking us on outings, unlocking the bathroom & doing bathroom observations) I felt like they constantly needed more DCs, but I think they have trouble finding people to hire.
CW lets you have more freedom than some other programs (Phones, computers, iPods, caffeine) that can be amazing, but some people needed a stricter environment to work on recovery. If a client wants recovery and is willing to do the work - this program can be amazing. Clients that I saw come in that didn't want to be there and didn't want to recover usually transferred somewhere else, dragged down the community and weren't a good match for the program. I left because it was about time for me to step-down AND insurance wanted me at a lower level of care (so insurance sealed the decision for me.) CW had me set-up with a discharge plan, but I ended up changing my mind on some aspects of it after I left.