Spirituality in Recovery from Eating Disorders

The spirituality offered at Montrose is one of the cornerstones of the programme and something that sets our eating disorder recovery programme apart from many others. The spiritual dimension of Recovery, especially the mention of a higher power, is often misunderstood and evokes different feelings in different people.

Some people are keen to explore the spirituality of the programme as they’ve been searching for something to make their lives more meaningful for a long time. Others are very wary of it as for any number of reasons they’ve become cynical about all forms of religion or spirituality. These people may be especially wary of the idea of relating to a higher power.

It is therefore crucial that each person is allowed to find their own form of spirituality in recovery from their eating disorder – one that they find meaningful and that they can comfortably take forward into their daily living. The concept of a higher power as originally conceptualised in the 12 step programme makes it possible for anyone to find something that they can relate to.

Our approach at Montrose is that Spirituality should:

1. Respect the full range of opinions and beliefs of clients.
2. Be suitable for everyone, regardless of their personal faith or their lack thereof (atheists, agnostics and those with an established faith should all be able to relate to the programme).
3. Make a practical difference to each person’s life. In addition to the tried and tested 12 step spiritual principles, we incorporate some of the well -researched tools of Mindfulness meditation and Positive psychology into the programme. These tools help clients to improve self esteem, manage their stress and maintain greater inner peace without resorting to their addictions. In this sense spirituality supports the Relapse Prevention aspect of the programme.
4. Provide people with a nurturing, supportive experience that supports an internal shift in their relationship with themselves, others and Life. The Big Book of AA defines a spiritual experience as something that brings about “an alteration in our reaction to life.”
5.Include involvement with the natural environment. At Montrose we are surrounded by natural beauty and use this to help our clients open up to something greater themselves. We also have access to a location out in the Karoo (a unique remote area of South Africa) where we can take clients for Retreats to support their healing and spiritual growth.

We therefore encourage you to approach this aspect of the programme with an open mind and to take whatever benefits are most meaningful and useful to you.

Contact us here for more information.