We receive many kind words of gratitude from patients and families who have received help from the River Centre Clinic. Below you can read about some of the experiences of people who have been through our program, and their comments are intended to provide you with hope and inspiration so that you can see that recovery is within your grasp. Of course, not everyone with an eating disorder recovers and sometimes success takes more than one attempt. However, our own experience, supported by the scientific literature, indicates that most people can expect to recover when provided with high quality treatment.
In Their Own Words: Success Stories
What makes RCC different is that they utilize research based practices based on and understanding of the physiology behind weight and eating disorders. In addition, the therapists at RCC are top notch. They were kind and sensitive, but unlike most counselors I had been to, they actually held me accountable. Most importantly, I felt like they treated me like the adult that I was.
Since leaving the RCC I was able to graduate college and am now in graduate school. I am also married, and last year gave birth to a healthy baby girl. My life is far from perfect, but I am so happy and thankful to be where I am. All of the wonderful things in my life have not been without significant stress, and I could not handle it without a rock solid foundation in recovery.
I am so glad I went to the River Centre Clinic. If I look at where my life was headed vs. where it has gone since, there is zero doubt in my mind they were the catalyst I needed. There is not enough I can say or do to thank them.”
I was in treatment at the River Centre Clinic for a total of three months. During my time in treatment, I learned so much about myself. Most importantly, I learned that there was so much more to me than my appearance. While I was in treatment, I had so much support from my peers but also the staff who worked there. It was very bittersweet to leave.
Within a week after I had left treatment, I started college at Bowling Green State University. Going to college wasn’t easy but it was possible because of the tools that I learned while I was at the RCC. Among many things, the RCC taught me how to meal plan, be more assertive, challenge my negative thoughts, and how to view food as neither “healthy” nor “unhealthy.” The RCC had transformed me into a better version of myself. I had a new positive outlook on life and a confidence about myself that I had never had before. I graduated from Bowling Green State University with my psychology degree in 2014.
Currently, I work at a mental health agency. I am passionate about my work because I can use my experience to help others along in their journey of recovery. But none of this would have been possible had it not been for the River Centre Clinic. Words cannot describe how grateful I am to the River Centre Clinic for saving my life.”
To say that I was stubborn and resistant to change would be an understatement. I wanted so badly to get better but I was stuck in the disordered mindset that I’d had for most of my life. I saw how much progress other patients had made but I believed that I would never recover from my eating disorder-that I was the exception. I was negative, stubborn and difficult to deal with during my time there. I questioned treatment at every turn because it felt so foreign to me after living a disordered lifestyle for so long.
Despite my attitude, the staff at RCC remained dedicated and supportive in their efforts to help me recover. Over time, I began to make progress and begin healing a little more each day. I managed to successfully complete the program and return to life outside of treatment.
Five years later, I can confidently say that entering treatment at RCC saved my life and gave me the capability to start living again. Recovery is an extremely difficult and lengthy journey and it took me a long time to get to where I am today. I strongly encourage anyone that is suffering from an eating disorder to seek help and contact River Centre Clinic. My only regret is that I did not enter treatment sooner-it is truly a life changing experience!”
“Six short months ago I was in the trenches of my eating disorder. After almost a decade of suffering from my own living hell, I quickly began to run out of options. I had violated the trust of loved ones, cut off all ties with friends, and ruined countless job opportunities. Slowly, my health had deteriorated and it became increasingly difficult to find reasons to get out of bed in the morning. Luckily, I was alive but I had forgotten how to live. After almost two years of searching for treatment, River Centre Clinic was recommended. I was extremely hesitant at first, but after recently completing my stay at RCC, I am convinced it saved my life. My parents dropped me off kicking and screaming, but ironically, at the end of treatment, I could not have been more grateful for the place. The staff at RCC is incredibly knowledgeable, patient, and understanding. Their approach to treatment slowly reintroduces fear foods and helps with the transition back into the real world. I also made some lifelong friends during my stay. I am leaving with a new sense of self and my passion for life has returned. Thank you RCC for giving me the opportunity to pursue my dreams and a second chance at life.”
“In 2008 I entered the River Centre clinic and this was the day that my life began again. I did not go to the clinic by choice and I was anything but willing to go. I had been in and out of hospitals as an adolescent and I had no desire to enter treatment again. Finally one day I went to the doctor and he told me I either enter treatment or else he was going to have to take action to get me removed from school and my driving privileges revoked. Based on this doctor giving me an ultimatum I decided to enter treatment at the River Centre clinic. The first few weeks were challenging to say the least as I began to reintroduce myself to foods that I had not enjoyed in six years, but with the help of the staff and other patients I was able to push myself through these experiences. Slowly I began to enjoy foods again. The River Centre offered me a supportive place to explore my unhealthy eating patterns and begin to eat again. They also gave me a safe place to discuss my past experiences that I had kept locked up inside. The clinic was less restrictive than a standard residential facility and allowed me to try the skills I had learned in several real life situations. Upon coming home from the clinic, I was not sure whether or not I could keep going but I did. I still have days where I don’t love my body, but I now have the motivation and coping strategies to overcome those negative thoughts. I no longer define my worth by the size of my body. I realize that I have many things to offer outside of my physical appearance. Without the River Centre I would not be where I am today. Prior to coming to the clinic I was going to be forced to leave school due to my health but now I am working towards obtaining my Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology. I am so grateful that the River Centre helped give me the foundation so that I could finally see out of the darkness and start to enjoy my life again. Thank You.”
“I arrived at the River Centre Clinic in May 2010 at the lowest time in my life. My bulimia had gotten so out of control I’d just failed a semester of college and I had no motivation to do anything but engage in symptoms. I barely had any interest in recovery at all. Though it took time and enormous patience on behalf of the staff, RCC completely changed the way I thought about food, my body, and myself. RCC has also been helpful in continuing to support me afterwards in outpatient therapy. I left the PHP program a radically different person than I came in and with the help of my therapist have continued to make progress far beyond my eating disorder and into just generally managing my life effectively.”
“Now, I consider myself nearly completely recovered. I have maintained a stable weight since leaving the clinic and have been completely symptom free for almost a year now. I do not even want to have symptoms. I can eat whatever I want and I am no longer stuck in the devastating cycle of control to loss of control that I was since age 12. I am on track to graduate college with honors, and though my life is still stressful sometimes, I am happier and more confident than I have been in years. I have no doubt that I could not have done it without the help of the RCC. I tried to do it on my own and with other a few therapists in the past, but I did not have the specific knowledge and skills that RCC provided. I am forever grateful to this amazing facility for helping me get my life back on track.”
“After visiting your website to help someone else receive information about an eating disorder, I realized that I never took the time to credit and thank the people that saved my life. I entered the River Center back in 2002 as a 12 year old girl who only had about a week to live. Now in 2011, thanks to the River Centre I can honestly say I beat that evil disease and have been recovered from anorexia for 8 years now. Despite my kicking and screaming to leave New York and travel to Ohio at age 12, to live without my parents and be forced to eat, I thank God every time I hear of someone still battling an eating disorder that I attended the River Centre. Your facility truly saved my life and I know that I wouldn’t be the happy, healthy 20 year old that I am today without you guys! Thank you all who both helped me personally and for those who have chosen to assist people with eating disorders.”
“10 years ago, I entered the River Centre as a scared, angry, and wholly emaciated 18 year old girl. I’d been refusing treatment for some time, but after a family consultation at the River Centre, was given two choices: start on Monday, or die within a week. Reluctantly, I chose treatment, and I am now overjoyed and thankful to say that I did. The staff welcomed me in with love and treated me with the utmost respect. Both staff and fellow patients provided me with the encouragement, determination, and tough love needed to successfully complete treatment and stay on the path toward recovery. I learned to love my body as is, and to express my pain, suffering and anger by communicating with others openly and honestly, not starve myself. Next month, I mark 10 years in recovery, and I am deeply blessed with a loving husband, a beautiful 18 month old son, and another baby on the way. I would not have this amazing life to live if not for the River Centre. Thank you!”
“I am a 63 year old woman who has struggled with compulsive exercise and restricting food for 40 years. I wanted to be the great athlete and have a perfect body but in the midst of these thoughts and actions I was destroying my body. After many trips to the hospital and the constant fear that I wasn’t going to be that perfect person I took the advice of my therapist and went to RCC for treatment. I can honestly say it wasn’t easy to adapt to the program at first but once I started using the tools they presented to me it got easier. Everyone at RCC is a caring, loving and supportive person and truly wants to see you conquer this ugly disease. I am coming up on my first year of healthy living and have learned that moderation is the key to everything. You have to feed your body and mind for you to function as a whole human being and the staff has taught me to do that and I can’t thank them enough. I have met and become friends with a lot of the people that were in treatment with me and can relate to all their struggles, I wish the public population would support us as well and that the media would not put so much emphasis on body image and athletics. There is no such thing as the perfect body or person. We can strive to be the best that we can be and live a fulfilling life, and that is what treatment at RCC has taught me. I don’t think I’d be here today if it wasn’t for the treatment I got at RCC. Eating disorders can affect anyone at any age or stage of your life, I am proof of that but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you all, for giving my life back to me.”
“When I first came to the River Centre, I was very engrossed in my eating disorder, and very resistant to recovery. However, the more treatment I received at the River Centre, the more willing I was to change. It was a long, exhausting process; but the with the help of caring staff, individual/group therapy, and structured meal planning, I felt that life was not only manageable… but also enjoyable!
The River Centre gave me the coping skills, knowledge, and information to handle life outside of treatment. While at the River Centre, I realized that life is a gift, and that recovery from my eating disorder is possible. During treatment, I began to develop an identity outside of my eating disorder. I learned that I don’t have to be perfect or thin to have worth.
The River Centre gave me hope and motivation to change. With the help of the River Centre, I realized that I have the tools and power to change my life for the better. I’ve met many inspirational people at the clinic, who have fully recovered. They have given me hope that I, too, can be a role model to someone who is struggling.
I believe that nobody has to grapple with illness or unhappiness. A life consumed by an eating disorder is just that… consumed. Letting go of an eating disorder is not easy- and it’s a process. It won’t happen overnight. But it gets easier. Now, optimism gets me through the day instead of restricting. Laughter makes me smile, rather than fitting into skinny jeans. Spending time with friends and family occupies my time rather than purging. If I wouldn’t have gotten the help from the River Centre, I don’t know where I’d be today.
The River Centre has helped me immensely, and can help anyone- because one of the most important things I’ve learned at the River Centre is that anybody can recover, if they put their mind to it, their heart in it, and take action towards it!”
A quote I found captures my gratitude: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
“I think that most people who have been at the River Centre can attest that treatment at the River Centre is a once in a lifetime, extraordinarily unique experience that will change your life for the better in some way. Recovery from an eating disorder or any serious mental health disorder is obviously a process, but the River Centre will give you a solid foundation to work from, and if you are fortunate, provide you with support beyond the beginning stages of change. I do not believe another treatment center or treatment philosophy would have impacted my mindset or behavior in an immediate or lasting way as did my treatment the River Centre. It is truly a quality program, progressive in its exceptional ability to transform research into practice, monitor patient progress, and match care to need. High expectations placed on both staff and patients help to foster an atmosphere of health, accountability, and personal growth.
I would say that my experience at the River Centre changed my life in so many ways. I built special bonds with other patients that I still hold close to me years after discharge. I gained important insight into eating disorders and myself that previous therapies failed to provide. For the first time in my life, I felt understood and taken seriously. Although my life may not be perfect, the skills I learned at the River Centre still help guide me today and have placed me on a path of health and hope. I would recommend the River Centre to anyone who has struggled to make sufficient behavioral change in their effort to overcome an eating disorder.”
“Before coming to the RCC, I lived a life consumed and confined by self inflicting rules and stipulations as well as destruction. During the treatment I received at the RCC I was taught how to slowly deconstruct those rules. It was then that I learned that, I COULD make it a day without symptoms, and eat pizza and survive. I could face things, and make it out ALIVE and STRONGER than previously ever known. River Centre Clinic was one of the only facilities willing to take a chance on me, and for that I am forever grateful. This facility will make a difference, and show that recovery is possible.
“When I came to the RCC I was a child; I went through high school numb and sad. I felt deserted and fearful. I felt safe with my eating disorder. It made me feel whole. I was doing nothing but bingeing and purging and trying to find something to make me happy. I had interests but nothing made me as satisfied as the feeling I got from purging. I felt like food was the love I needed. I was guilty for bingeing; purging somehow made it all okay. I couldn’t work on my art or find any sense of well-being. I missed 90 days of school my senior year. Then I went to a treatment center that was not effective and relapsed. Our family lost all of our money in the process and were pretty much homeless. I was blessed with a fundraiser to put me through treatment. That is how I found the River Centre Clinic. I went in after my HS graduation, summer 2008. I was shut off from the world and it took a long time for the staff to get to the real me. They never doubted me, even when I was sure I would fail. They never treated me with judgment or doubted my ability to try. They were honest in action and word and never once left me. If it wasn’t for the unbelievable dedication and love from the clinic’s team and of all the true companions I met during treatment, I would be a sad girl with little drive for a future. The clinic taught me how to teach myself. I became Smashlee. I will never regret the time I spent there; each day was a blessing that saved my life.”
“I suffered from an eating disorder for almost six years. Once I finally decided that I couldn’t handle the daily pressures I had forced upon myself, I sought treatment for my illness. I tried out-patient therapy, which worked but I need more treatment to help me overcome my disorder. I had heard from a people that the River Centre Clinic was an excellent treatment facility. I went there as a resident on the adolescent unit. Immediately, I realized that recovery wasn’t going to be an easy process. As time went on I was able to develop better eating habits and a positive outlook on recovery. I really enjoyed getting to know the other patients and the wonderful staff; in a way, the RCC became my home away from home. I overcame some of my fears, started to come out of my depression, and was able to see positive things in myself that I didn’t see before. Now people describe me as lively, outgoing, strong, and someone that never gives up. People at the RCC helped me accept these qualities in myself. I will never regret my decision to come to the RCC because of all the memories and friends that were made; but most importantly, I learned I was able to learn to live my life without an eating disorder.”
“I recommend entering the River Centre Clinic for treatment if you are battling an eating disorder. The treatment is so unique and the staff are very caring. It’s a real world treatment experience and that’s what makes it work. Now I can say in confidence I know who I am, I am confident in myself, I have a voice, and man I got my spunk back! The work I got to do in therapy is what saved my life. My therapist was like no other therapist I had ever talked to before. She listened to me; she gave me things to work on about myself, she understood eating disorders, and she gave me the feeling that I could trust her and in doing that, I was able to talk about the hurt I had inside myself that I had never been able to express before. Every session I had with her I let go of pain and gained insight into my own self.
Of course there was the re-feeding, the most dreaded part of all, the part that I thought treatment only consisted of. It wasn’t anything like I expected it to be. I was in shock that I got to plan my own meals that I got to make my plate of food up. It took the whole control issue and put it in a different perspective. No one was choosing it for me and making me feel like I had no say in what to eat. In getting to plan my meals, I felt in control of what I was eating, and it made it much easier to get through re-feeding. I am very grateful to this day that I had the opportunity to get help for my anorexia at the River Centre Clinic. I learned so very much, I was cared about, listened to, taught to eat and not fear it and all of this took place with other girls battling eating disorders just like me. I never thought I would be happy and dancing in between groups in treatment for my Eating Disorder, but I was and it was great.”
“I owe my life to River Centre Clinic. When I first walked through those doors, I thought that I would just be able to learn how to eat and not gain any weight and leave in two weeks. That was really my goal!! RCC showed me and taught me that if I want my life back I would have to be willing to give treatment a chance. Yes, it was very, very hard, especially those first two weeks. But then all of a sudden everything just clicked into place. With the help and support from all the amazing therapist and staff, (and I can’t forget to mention the other patients! They are also amazing and I made so many close friendships that will last a life time). I was able to realize that I am more than an eating disorder and I deserve to live a happy, healthy, and ED free life!! I went all through treatment without any symptoms and when I finished the program, RCC even helped me when I went home to live ED free. I would not be here if it wasn’t for River Centre. I learned so much about myself and they have been such an important place in my life. They gave me my life back!! I could write a book about RCC and how going there has changed my life for the better. Even now that I haven’t been to RCC for a while, I know that they are always there for me if I am struggling!! River Centre thanks for giving my life back and for saving so many others lives!”
“I am a 23 year old in recovery from an eating disorder I battled with for 11 years. I also struggled with mood disorders and addiction. It took me ten years to admit to my family that I was struggling and I found myself at the RCC not long after that. At first I was resistant and it was a difficult, but the staff and patients stuck with me and kept me positive. The RCC offers amazing service, not just for eating disorders, but addiction and other disorders as well. They tackle all the issues surrounding the disorder which past treatment did not pay as much attention to. RCC taught me tools that I will use for the rest of my life and I am grateful beyond words for their help and dedication.”
“I credit the River Centre Clinic with literally saving my life. When I arrived I had no interest in recovery, thought what I was doing was the right thing for me and fought attempts to help me. But with unbelievable patience and scientifically based professional skill, the RCC staff helped me challenge my beliefs and taught me other ways of relating to people and coping with the difficulties that come with life. Everyone at the River Centre, the therapists, the kitchen, office and environmental staff were supportive and continually encouraging. I am very thankful for their work and their belief in me even when I had none.”
“Before coming to the River Centre in May 2008, I had been in and out of inpatient treatment 6 times in several different places, along with too many hospitalizations to keep track. Since being at the River Centre Clinic, I have been symptom free. I never thought that it was possible to fully recover from my eating disorder, but I have learned that it is, and the staff at the clinic have taught me that. Unlike other treatment facilities, you are given the excellent care that you need, while having the freedoms that most places do not allow. Unlike other treatment facilities, the River Centre teaches you how to live your life after treatment, and through transitions you are given the opportunity to practice “real life” experiences while still being in treatment. I can honestly say that the River Centre saved my life, as well as so many others. I have never seen as high of a sucess rate in any other treatment centers I have been to.”
“Before RCC I had been treated as an illness, not a person, and I never felt like I was heard. The RCC staff and environment allowed me to gain control of my eating disorder and begin to make decisions which have led me to my full recovery today. The commitment and extensive knowledge of the staff provides a treatment environment which nourishes one’s body, mind, and soul. I am grateful every day for the new life that I began the moment I entered the RCC doors.”
“The consistent dedication and support of the RCC staff truly made the difference in my recovery. The knowledge I obtained is evidenced by my exceptional growth. I learned how to be honest about my feelings, how to ask for help when I needed assistance, and how to effectively cope when times were tough. Today, I am free from an eating disorder. My worth is not defined by a number on a scale, but the person I truly am. The RCC saved me from a life of desperation and pain. I am the healthiest I have ever been, physically, mentally, and emotionally. The RCC staff is excellent, and will forever hold a special place in my heart.”
“I can honestly say that I don’t think I would be here today if it weren’t for the River Centre. I have been eating disorder free for over four years; something that I never thought would be possible. Not only did the River Centre help me with my eating disorder, but they also helped me be a better person in all other aspects of my life. I learned so many skills that have helped me tremendously over the years. One of the best things about the River Centre is the amazing therapists and staff. Each one is incredibly caring and helpful. I am so grateful for the help and support I received at the River Centre. I would highly recommend the River Centre to anyone with an eating disorder. It truly is a wonderful place.”
“I am a 34-year-old woman who entered River Centre Clinic in 2007 after enduring a 20-year eating disorder. I went through 4 therapists and 30+ hospitalizations and nothing worked. The combination of psycho-education, nutritional stabilization, and individual, group, and family therapy; combined into an individualized treatment that is delivered using an evidenced-based model; backed by research is second to none. The staff’s knowledge and expertise allowed me to give myself fully to the program and the results are more than I could have ever expected. It was the scariest and most difficult thing I have ever done but it was worth it because now I can say I am 100% recovered! I have accepted myself as a person and not a size and now live a full life.”
“I was bulimic for 25 years (in which I binged and purged at least 10 -12 times per DAY.) I was slowly killing myself. I wanted to get help, but I was scared, ashamed and hopeless. I didn’t think I could ever live without my secret escape. The monster within me was relentless and was winning miserably. However, I was getting tired of my lies and loneliness. After researching the River Centre’s program and filling out the online assessment, I was confidentially contacted by understanding staff and was set to check in the end of Aug. 2009. Immediately, I started feeling comfortable (yet apprehensive) about my decision. Every staff person helped to prepare the foundation for healing to begin….from teaching me to eat like a “normal” person to introducing me to honesty and assertiveness. There was hope after all. Sharing in the group sessions and the one-on-one therapy sessions helped me learn how to express my feelings and realize that I deserved love and life! I am no longer just surviving and numbing myself with food, but I am actually present and available each day for myself, my family and friends. As of the end of Feb. 2010, it has been 6 months since I have binged or purged or even had the desire to. After 25 years of living with an eating disorder and NOT believing I could actually overcome it, I can honestly say that I will forever be grateful for The River Centre Clinic and the new hope and life I now have. Thank you RCC!”
“I am 38 years old and have suffered from anorexia for 23 years and then the last 2 years, I restricted all day which then led me to bingeing. Since I was 15 years old my ED has been the only thing I was ever able to control in my life. It was my own little way to make me feel better about life and myself. The nine months of my pregnancy was the only time I left my ED on the side of the street. After I had my son I went straight back to my ED because I could not stand the woman I saw in the mirror. I got so terribly sick I ended up in the hospital and the was sent to another treatment facility. The 30 days I spent there seemed to cure me , but as I returned to the real world and left my safe bubble, I slowly started to resort to my starvation again and then I slid right back to my eating disorder once again.
River Centre took me in with open arms and for the next 12 weeks I was in the PHP program. Initially, I was angry, sad and terrified that I was now going to have to eat and face all my demons. However, the support groups and therapists, kitchen staff were nothing less than wonderful. Living with other women suffering from the same disease, just in other forms was so soothing to me, I did not feel like such a freak in this environment. We had each other to lean on and support.
I have a long road ahead of me because it took 23 years to develop my ED and it will take some time and hard work to stay on the path of recovery. It was scary to walk out of those doors at RCC , but I knew that they helped me save my life and helped me be better equipped as a mother, daughter and friend.
This is a testimonial to help others know that no matter how young or old you are, there is always hope and each day you choose recovery is the first day to the rest of your life. To all you incredible women I met along the way, you know I will carry you all in my heart forever because we have such a strong bond in the desire to beat this disease. Thank you RCC and all of the people there who helped me save my own life and make me realize that I am WORTH it.”