Montrose House, our recovery house, offers a safe and structured home in which people with eating disorders can transition from treatment to life in recovery. Montrose House is situated in Bishops Court Village, a short distance from Montrose Manor, and this beautiful house offers comfortable residence, where residents can enjoy a private or shared room with an en-suite bathroom.
The need for a recovery house stems from clients who have completed treatment and are looking forward to a sense of freedom and independence. Alongside the excitement is also an overwhelming sense of fear. We aim to promote lasting recovery and Montrose House is an opportunity to readjust to real life while continuing to fight their Eating Disorders in a contained and supportive environment.
Professional support is provided in planning a structured recovery plan based on the guidelines and tools learned in treatment, as well as meal planning and preparation.
Structure is imperative in recovery and the residents’ weekly planning will include regular resident meetings, and individual sessions with a therapist and a dietician.
Clients will enjoy the support of and accountability to a recovery community as a way of strengthening their recovery.
To be considered for residence, clients must have completed a treatment program and provide a recommendation and report from their treatment centre. An assessment by Montrose Manor will follow.
Why We Decided to Open the Recovery House
We can live without alcohol and drugs but we can’t live without food, so developing a balanced relationship with food and self is essential for ED recovery. Addicts (including ED’s) are “all or nothing” thinkers and this affects all their behaviours. Not only in their relationship with alcohol, substances or food, but work, play, exercise, sleep, money, need for intimacy or sex, etc. They will either restrict or be excessive in all the above. These behaviours are especially difficult to manage in early recovery when they are used to compensate for the urges they are experiencing. A recovery house exclusively for ED’s makes it easier to address the specific problems that emerge in this early stage of recovery and to focus on finding a balance.
The Middle Path is the Way to Wisdom
The theme of the house is “Middle Path”, because trying to manage these all or nothing thoughts and behaviours is like trying to push a whole lot of balls underwater at the same time, but they keep bouncing back! It’s exhausting and overwhelming in all areas of their lives. That’s where the holistic approach and the theme of Middle path feels so right!
What the House Offers
Because the residents have already been in treatment for a few weeks or months before coming to the house, they have learnt about the importance of structure and balanced, so their next job is sustaining what they have learnt and keeping watch for which of the balls start resurfacing.
In Montrose House, we implement methods that the residents have already been taught and are familiar with, but introduce them in a daily, repetitive way so they gradually gain competence and confidence in using these methods to manage their ED’s.
3 of the methods used to achieve this:
- The weekly diary:
At the beginning of each week, the residents discuss their diary in a group and are encouraged to support each other in finding balance and meaning. All residents need to either be working, studying or doing an online course or voluntary work. Hobbies and interests and moderate exercise is also important. Residents then put their weekly diary on a notice board in a central part of the house. The reason for this is that they can all be accountable to each other for keeping to their plans
- The Daily Hand Exercise:
This is “based on a “Brain Retraining Exercise” created by Dr Jeffrey Schwartz for the treatment of OCD, but it is effective for all anxiety related illness, including eating disorders. The first step is to recognise their “all or nothing thoughts” that usually start from early childhood. These become well enforced pathways in the brain which needs to be challenged and replaced with middle path thinking. By doing this exercise each day residents manage their ED thoughts improves significantly.
Before community groups, which take place twice a week, the residents take turns to bring a 5/10 minute dialectical or mindful exercise to do at the beginning of the group.
What Else Happens in the House?
Meal times are obviously important and challenging in early recovery. Although the residents will need to be independent in preparing and eating their meals, there is plenty of support offered:
Our dietician runs one group and has an individual consultation with each resident per week in which their meal plan is discussed and any concerns or struggles can be addressed. All meal plans are pinned on the central notice board, also for accountability.
Residents are responsible for their own Breakfast and Lunch, but Dinner is shared by all residents. Each resident is given a turn to cook for whoever will be home for dinner.
If a resident is struggling with buying their food or cooking, extra support is provided either by another resident or the house manager
Community meeting are held twice a week to discuss any issues that arise in the house and to plan outings or social events.
Extra Support Offered by the House
The house manager has a one hour session with each resident per week, but she is available for support whenever needed.
Our House Philosophy
The choices we make each day have a direct influence of how much meaning, purpose and wellbeing we experience in our lives, which is vital to our success in recovery