Family Work and Life-Enhancing Experiences

Family & Significant Others

Family and significant others are important members of the treatment team. Family work at Monte Nido encompasses family therapy sessions, family meals with and without staff support, passes and even overnight excursions. All of these experiences are important to help facilitate full recovery. A Family/Significant Other group is scheduled every week; although we realize many significant others may not be able to attend every group. A family weekend program is scheduled once a month. The program includes group sessions, educational presentations, shared meals and opportunities to meet with the clinical team. We view the family weekend as an essential part of our clinical program and highly encourage everyone to participate.

Each client’s therapist helps to establish specific relationship and family goals on a weekly basis. Individual family sessions are scheduled on a regular basis, adjusted accordingly for each client’s unique family needs. If family members or significant others cannot travel to the facility, we set up phone or video conference sessions.

Life-Enhancing Experiences

Monte Nido believes eating and exercise disorders can rob someone from the ability to enjoy life. We also believe focusing on eradicating the disorder is not enough. We want to help clients find things to replace the disorder, helping them sustain their motivation to get better and enhance their ability to enjoy what life has to offer. We will help you explore and address what you are recovering from, but equally important finding out what you are recovering to. With this goal in mind, Monte Nido programs place an emphasis on providing life-enhancing experiences. All of our clients, regardless of the level of structure and support they might currently need, spend time on outings at least two times per week. These outings not only provide opportunities for clients to challenge themselves and build skills for managing their eating disorder, they also help in building the capacity for relating to others and the community. We believe this ability to connect and reach out to others is a cornerstone of recovery.

Life enhancing experiences may include:

  • Museums, plays, and movies
  • Beach and mountain outings, walks and experiences
  • Restaurants and food shopping
  • Bowling
  • Pottery
  • Jewelry making
  • Psychodrama
  • Additional experiences and outings, as appropriate, developed in collaboration between clients and their treatment team 

Family Testimonials

AFTER FOUR YEARS OF FIGHTING anorexia, my daughter and I came to Monte Nido. We had experienced multiple treatment centers and treatment types. During the first meeting, I looked at the physical facilities and wondered how a “homey” place could provide what multiple hospitalizations at sophisticated centers could not. It was the meeting with Carolyn that provided the first glimmer of hope that my daughter would survive this illness. In 30 minutes Carolyn had connected with my daughter and identified some of the struggles and secrets she’d held inside for so long. I made the decision to trust Carolyn with my daughter. It was a decision I’ve never regretted. At Monte Nido Carolyn has brought together a wondrous group of individuals who soften the treatment demands with love and support. The focus is on living, not just surviving.

– D.J.

WE JUST CAN’T FIND THE WORDS to adequately express our profound gratitude to Carolyn Costin and her incredibly dedicated team of professionals at Monte Nido. After multiple stays in two other major programs, the uniqueness of the program at Monte Nido is the reason our daughter is alive today and getting on with her life. Staffed by individuals who not only talked the talk, but had literally walked the walk and were able to relate to our daughter on every level. No matter what a client’s belief system is, every client at Monte Nido is treated with the love and respect they deserve. Our dying daughter’s response to treatment at Monte Nido was nothing short of miraculous. Thank God for Monte Nido.

– S.J.M.

AFTER SEVERAL YEARS of our daughter’s struggles with anorexia and extensive treatment as both an inpatient and outpatient, it became apparent to all of us that a new direction in treatment would be required for our daughter to begin the process of “getting well.” On our therapist’s recommendation, we began checking around the country for a program that would offer her the kind of structure, guidance (for diet, exercise, medication, therapy, etc…) and support she needed. After checking into a number of programs in several states, we selected Monte Nido and are profoundly grateful we did. Carolyn Costin and the staff at Monte Nido addressed the physical and psychological issues facing our daughter in a way no one else had. Their supportive, yet firm, counseling greatly assisted our daughter and us. Today, she is again healthy, full of life and increased self-worth, and succeeding in college. Monte Nido deserves a great deal of credit, and we unhesitatingly recommend Monte Nido to others.

– A.M.

There was a time when I felt that only I could save my child-just like taking her to the doctor for an ear infection. When all of my efforts failed, and she continued spiraling downward, I somehow summoned the courage to put her in the hands of Monte Nido. Slowly, patiently, and always lovingly, they led Molly to the truth and helped her achieve independence from her disease. She learned about physiology, about nutrition, about medications. But she learned mostly to love and care about herself and to release herself from the demands anorexia was making on her. Today she is healthy, confident, engaged in life, and surrounded by caring friends. With great confidence and personal conviction, I would recommend Monte Nido most highly and most sincerely.

– J.M.

MY FAMILY AND I WANT TO EXPRESS OUR HEARTFELT thanks for the caring environment you provided for our daughter while she was in residence. You cannot imagine how impressed we all were with not only the treatment she received and continues to receive but the amount of warmth and love offered to all the young women and their families. In our opinion you cannot walk away from Monte Nido without a good feeling in your heart; knowing that the person you love is in the right place to help her overcome her behavior problems. We believe that our daughter is not the only person in the family to have been benefited from your system. The sessions were liberating, educational and emotional. Each of us feels our own personal attachment to Monte Nido because of the help and consideration we were afforded on our visits. I don’t think any of us will forget your advice: “always tell the truth without judgment”. I could go on and on but the bottom line is “keep up the good work”. I can truly say that I have never felt closer to my family. May God continue to bless you all in your professional and personal lives. Affectionately,

– C.D.

As overwhelming and difficult as last year was at times we know that when everything was said and done that it evolved as it was meant to. There was a reason that our daughter traveled out west and a reason that she didn’t enter the doors of treatment elsewhere. That reason was Monte Nido. We know how lucky we are that she was able to get there. There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t give thanks for all that she has become. We knew that it was always there….we are so grateful that today she sees it & feels it with joy. You have created an amazing haven for girls like our daughter. It has been like watching a caterpillar grow into a butterfly. With lots of thanks & hugs

– Family 3

Over the course of the past couple of months I have had the blessing of watching my sister fight to win her life back, and it has changed how I live mine. As she and I commonly talk about…… you all have the ability to “speak to our souls,” in a way that is so authentic. You speak and treat us all in a way that reminds us what really matters in life. Because of your compassionate guidance, my sister is truly living again. She allows herself to be happy and knows it is ok to be sad. She has a freeness and beauty about her that I have not seen in years. In a way, you could say that you saved my sister’s life.

As a family, you have shown us that although this world is messy at times, there is so much love. You have reminded us to stop aiming for perfection and start accepting each other…with all our beautiful imperfections. No matter what happens tomorrow, we are so incredibly fortunate to have each other.

I am not sure how you go about thanking a group of individuals for the blessings above. Thank you seems insufficient, for what you have given my family is immeasurable. I heard a quote the other day that said, “May you find inspiration in the big picture, but may you find love in the details.” Thank you for giving my sister the inspiration to live a full life, and thank you for teaching my family and I how to find love in the present.

– S.

The professionals at Monte Nido at Laurel Hill in Boston are unique in that they not only provide very effective treatment for eating disorders – they do so in a safe, caring and patient friendly environment. Our daughter had been in two previous treatment facilities for anorexia that proved to be abject failures. The staff at Monte Nido understands what both the patient and their families are going through as some of them are recovered anorexic patients! I am so thankful for the love and the care that my daughter is receiving from the MN staff. Their care is comprehensive and emphasis is on the patient’s’ mind, body and spirit and includes daily individual therapy as well as group therapy. I highly recommend Monte Nido to anyone who is suffering from an eating disorder. Prior to our experience at Monte Nido, our outlook was dark and we felt that there was no real hope for her recovery. Now, we feel that our daughter’s recovery is at hand. Thank you!

– Dr. L

Dear Carolyn Costin- It has taken me an entire week to formulate my words of thanks to you for what you have offered my daughter. You have given her not just incredible nurturing but unprecedented support in her struggle. Please know that she never could have found a stronger endorsement from outside herself of how important she is. Previously, she described herself as “half a person.” You gave her the additional half a person she was seeking. The staff at Monte Nido has done something no other staff has been able to do. You have done what no other person has done. We thank you for what I sincerely describe as a “miracle.” It takes courage to both give and receive…thank you, thank you, thank you, for your courage!!!

– K.B.

Eight years ago, we discovered that our daughter suffers from anorexia. Thus began a journey for us which has been confronting, full of uncertainty, at many times frightening and ultimately exhausting. We tried absolutely everything we could to seek help for our daughter in Australia, and to find ways to help her survive the starvation and self harm that comes with this little understood disease. At some points we saw signs of improvement and felt there was hope, but these were always dashed as she would invariably relapse to an even more dangerous weight and loss of mental health. Our daughter found Monte Nido from the internet and discovered a holistic approach to managing and seeking to cure eating disorders. It is holistic in the sense that the program seeks to both keep the patient alive (avoid starvation), as well as rebuild mental health which as the core of the disease. Finally the program offers a step by step path back to a more normal life where the patient can manage their own eating, mental health, self perception and self esteem, and ultimately reestablish independence. When we became aware of the program, it was the first time we saw a potential path for our daughter to survive. 18 months ago she attended the program, and since then has gone through a remarkable turnaround, and is now able to eat healthily, and live an independent life. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Carolyn for a great job to manage Monte Nido together with her capable team of staff.

– J.S.

I often think of Monte Nido. Thank you and your staff for saving my daughter’s life. She just graduated with a Master’s in Journalism and has a great job. None of this would have been possible without you and Monte Nido! Her Eating Disorder has been cured if that is correct to say. Her life is her own and not controlled by the eating disorder. Eating problems are in the past and she has her future to look forward to. All I Want to say is THANK YOU. 10 years ago I never thought she would get better. I never believed I could talk to anyone about her without crying. The next phone call always seemed to be about a new crisis. In the last several years I have a happy loving daughter. Carolyn you have made a monumental difference in our lives. You are always in my thoughts.

– Family 1