Carolina House Eating Disorder Treatment Center Review

Carolina House provides treatment for women 17 and older who suffer from eating disorders. This hospital is owned by CRC Health Group and has been operating in North Carolina since 2006. The mission of the facility is to help women who are suffering from anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorders and the issues related to these conditions. The basic effort is to help women conquer pathological, or unhealthy, relationships with food.

Accommodations and Food

The Carolina House is on 10 acres in Durham County, North Carolina. It is a residential treatment facility and is in a luxurious craftsman type farmhouse. There are 16 women living together. They share four large rooms and three bathrooms. Each bath has a jacuzzi and there are separate showers. The house has a lot of windows and offers expansive views of the local surrounding scenery. A large open kitchen is there for extensive food therapy. There is also a cozy living room with a fireplace and clients can visit there.

A dietician who is licensed and has a lot of culinary training, works with the clients to help them prepare food. The residents are involved in all of the food preparation, and they get involved in portion control as well when it is appropriate. The cooking staff is skilled in many areas of health and nutrition, as well as food preparation. The cooking staff can also accommodate special dietary needs. The clinical teams must approve those special needs. The clients eat three times a day family style in a large comfortable dining room. Outings to restaurants, supervised by staff, are also part of the program.

Treatment and Staff

The program takes an individual treatment approach. There is a strict structure involved, that is based on a one on one basis as things come up that need to be addressed. Clients must check in with a masters level therapist every day, and must meet for individual therapy three times a week. DBT is a core modality of the therapy, which the staff uses. There are additional individual sessions scheduled as needed. The patients also meet weekly with a psychiatrist, a registered dietician and a regular doctor. The doctor keeps track of general health and medications used. Family therapy is also scheduled as needed. Family therapy is also used as needed. Families meet with the clients and the primary therapist once per week. This is where they determine where the treatment will go from that point.

General sessions, relapse prevention, addiction education, spirituality and empowerment are part of weekly group therapy meetings. The 12-step program is used, and this is taught with A Woman's Way through the 12 Steps. Meals are also considered therapy since it is dealing with eating disorders. Clients are confronted with food often with food, and have to learn how to shop, how to prepare food, and how to eat in the group. How to order from a menu is also included. A healthy relationship with food and eating is the goal. Each woman works with the chef and dietician at least twice each day.

Clients wake up at 6:30 a.m. and have a medical check. After preparing breakfast, they take a walk or do some other approved activity.  Physical activity is monitored because even exercise can be an eating disorder in disguise, or a symptom. A full day begins at 9 a.m., which includes individual and group therapy, meetings, lectures and other activities. The program involves exercise and rest is also built in to the program. They take an hour nap after lunch. In the evenings there is some free time, and they may attend 12-step meetings, talk on the phone, or visit with others. Part of the program is learning how to relax and sit quietly as well. The women get ready for bed at 9:30 p.m.

After group therapy on Saturdays, the women are taken on supervised outings. There are visiting hours on Sunday, and the facility also offers ways to meet spiritual needs.

Partial Hospitalization programs (PHP) and outpatient treatments are also offered by the Carolina House in Raleigh, North Carolina. These are offered 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. The treatments are similar to those at the inpatient facility, but there is not the structure involved with an overnight stay.


Art, Mindfulness, culinary skills, gardening, movement and yoga are also offered as experiential therapies. Trips to a bowling alley, theaters, gardens, stores, as well as meal outings, are also part of the therapy.

In Summary

Learning to master eating disorders, and getting the tools for that, are what Carolina House offers. The comprehensive approach offers a lot of individual attention from qualified professionals, and it includes an extensive culinary program.