Michael Albright’s Avalon Story
I have been working residential treatment for the past two years, during which time I have been acquainted with the philosophies of many in the substance abuse industry. Whereas many treatment centers claim to offer “cutting edge treatment”, it simply is not true. As far as eating disorder residential programs, I have little experience but imagine a similar picture. What drew me to Avalon Hills was that they truly are innovative in their treatment of eating disorders, and one thing they desired in a therapist was the desire to continue to develop professionally. I had already invested thousands of dollars in my own professional development as a therapist and value it on an individual level. When I found out that they consult with world renown experts in the fields of neuroscience and psychology and invest heavily in their staff training, even to the extent that some consider excessive, I knew it was where I wanted to be. They are converging the latest developments in neurobiology with psychotherapy and applying them in ways unknown in the eating disorders treatment.
When I was invited to spend a day at the unit during my interview, what stroke me most was how qualified and dedicated their professionals are. They knew what they were talking about and their decisions were based on extensive training and experience. Treatment team involves serious consideration of the needs of each client from a multidisciplinary perspective, and it was the largest treatment team I had ever seen – around 20 to be exact. It was clear to me that they had a mission to provide the best care possible for their clients.
As I have often commented around the office, I am impressed with the quality of service that direct care, case managers, and neurotechs give. They are directly involved with all the clients and are diligent and professional in their interactions. I don’t know where Avalon Hills manages to find them, but I am convinced that one could not find a more dedicated staff.
Clients suffering with eating disorders often need much longer for recovery than is allowed by insurance companies. Residents need, after a period of stability, the ability to go out and test their newly acquired skills and to sharpen treatment according to their developing needs. Avalon Hills provides for this testing period and resists the pressure of insurance companies to limit the length of stay. That just doesn’t exist elsewhere. They take a bold stance to Treat to Outcome – not to insurance dollars – and fight for clients to receive the best possible treatment. As one referring provider with over 10 years experience in working with eating disorders recently said to me, treating to outcome is “unheard of” in eating disorders treatment and “what’s really needed”.
Avalon Hills excels in many other areas not mentioned above, due to my desire to maintain brevity. Nonetheless, commitment to cutting edge treatment, outstanding professionals, top-notch support staff, and fierce client advocacy in their commitment to Treat to Outcome are just some of the many reasons why I have such a high regard for Avalon Hills.
- Michael Albright