Dr. Kilmer here. Maria would get so mad at me. In Body Acceptance Group she was outraged at the “absurd and ridiculous” concepts I would spout. But she kept returning. In time she began to courageously challenge herself. She wished to not pass her shame on to her children. Three years later, Maria sent me this letter (click to read the full text), asking me to share it with others currently battling.
You have ALL been so wonderful to and for (my daughter) and our family during this time. We thank you so very much for what you do, every day. It is not often that we thank those who are doing “their jobs,” but when your job involves saving lives, you should be HONORED. Thank you all, each and every one of you! —D.C.
I think I was challenged and supported in a way that has been tailor-made to my needs. —K.L.
(What was most helpful about ACE?) Everything! It was a great benefit learning skills and then going out into the “real world” to practice these skills. That is something that cannot be done in an inpatient program. —V.S.
Family therapy helped to give me the support from my family that was so desperately needed. I know my parents felt more connected to me and my recovery through family therapy and also gained something useful and needed from our sessions. —L.C.
I never really thought I would actually recover, but with the help of ACE I have become a stronger and better person. I learned so much about myself and other people, and I wouldn't take back a moment…words cannot explain how grateful I am for my health. —A.B.
(What was most helpful about ACE was) the fact that the program is so well-rounded and addresses causes of disordered eating, meal planning and nutrition, age group issues (transitions), family dynamics, self-care, etc. I don’t believe that just seeing a single therapist who says they treat eating disorders would be nearly as beneficial as having all aspects of the issue examined by various specialists like ACE does. As a parent I am extremely pleased with the treatment my daughter received at ACE, and I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. You all have made a tremendously positive impact on my daughter and on our relationship with her. —L.F.
I have felt very supported as an adult in my treatment. I feel that my needs have been evaluated frequently and my treatment adjusted appropriately. I don’t feel as though ACE uses the “cookie cutter” theory of everyone needing the exact same level of treatment, and it feels good to have my individual needs met. Everyone has been so caring and involved in my treatment…I have felt so supported throughout my treatment at ACE. —K.F.
From Dr. Linda P. Buchanan: In a poem, one of our patients captured the essence of ACE by writing that she was "Encouraged, Empowered and Equipped..." (click to read poem)
(Regarding individual therapy), sharing my experiences and struggles with my eating disorder has been a liberating experience for me. I feel that my sessions were focused on areas in which I needed to improve. (My therapist) has been warm, caring and effective as a counselor. —A.T.
(Regarding nutrition education), the knowledge and understanding I acquired in this group about food and my body’s reactions to it are invaluable to me every day. Family therapy has also proved invaluable to my family’s communication. —J.H.
I have been in several other treatment programs, and ACE is by far the best. It is here that I have learned that freedom from ED is not only possible, but that it will be and is becoming my own reality…I could not speak more highly of my experience at ACE. It’s been nothing short of miraculous, and I am forever grateful for this life-giving experience. —K.L.
(Recovery Skills Group) taught great skills for early part of recovery when you don’t really have a clue of where to begin. —V.S.
This treatment program worked so well for me. The staff was amazing, and I can’t begin to express how their caring and willingness to help gave me the strength to move forward. Each member does an incredible job with each patient and their individual needs, and I think the world of each and every one of them. I owe ACE so much for the confidence and strength that it has given me and am forever grateful to have been able to work with this program. I know it sounds cheesy, but I mean it with the deepest sincerity. —L.C.
(Regarding family therapy) my entire family was able to benefit because of (the family therapist). He is so warm, he makes it easy to open up. My marriage is now better than ever, I owe a lot to (the therapist) for helping us get through some very rough times. My children will thrive now! Thanks! —S.H.
(Orientation Workshop) was excellent! It really helped my husband understand the eating disorder more and the process it would take to get to recovery. —K.F.
I'm more carefree, and I don't worry about food or perfection anymore. I’ve learned to spend my time enjoying life and food — not worrying or planning. —E.P.
ACE has changed my life — not just about my relationships with food, but with myself and with other people. I'm more optimistic now, I have more fun, and I've learned so much about myself. —E.P.