I have been to Carolina House 3 times (Homestead location), first in 2012, then in 2016, then 2019. All experiences turned out to be about the same. For the sake of review purposes, I’ll explain the most recent stay. My number one issue with CH, though several RPAs & nurses genuinely did care, was that the majority were very rigid, impersonal, easily offended/defensive, & either were not properly trained to know how to support people with eating disorders, or they just didn’t seem to care. It was a job to them, & only a job. Some examples: They redirected patients conversations probably 90% of the time, if you wanted to have a real conversation with one of your peers then you had to do it out of earshot. When I said rigid earlier, I mean RIGID. You can’t talk about eating disorder topics which of course makes sense, but they took it to the EXTREME. Any mention whatsoever was off limits. At the table you can’t even talk about food, even to say something tastes good, because it could “trigger” someone. Honestly, most of my peers would agree with me that this was ridiculous. And they always used the word “normative.” That’s not normative, is the number one thing you heard come out of an RPA’s mouth. You know what’s NOT normative? Not allowing patients to have normal conversation amongst themselves at the table because you make them play a stupid “table game” the whole time. Not answering innocent, conversation-making questions because it goes against confidentiality somehow. Making you drink an entire ensure plus after you’ve eaten 90% of your meal but you ran out of time to finish eating. Calling EVERY SINGLE THING YOU DO an eating disorder behavior. Not allowing adult patients to watch anything that’s not rated G or PG. (even some movies that WERE children’s movies weren’t allowed, because they could be “triggering.”) Not allowing you to ask logical questions about your food or portions (oh that’s just your eating disorder speaking dear, this much counts as this exchange because we say so and that’s it). I could go on & on for this topic but hopefully you get the picture. And compared to the other residential facilities I have been to, NONE of them ever had such rigid, special snowflake rules as Carolina House. Another example: you are encouraged daily to seek out an RPA or nurse if you are struggling or having a crisis & need support, but when you can’t even speak to most of them & feel respected as a human being, you don’t even WANT to. I would seek support from peers before approaching a staff member most of the time, because I didn’t want to talk to someone who comes off cold, impersonal, or passive aggressive. Okay, so I’m going to stop there before I continue, because I can get too heated. Bottom line is, I know some people that Carolina House has truly helped, & also a lot of people that it did the opposite. From my experience, the groups get very clique-y. If you don’t fit in to the general clique of patients there, prepare to feel alienated as hell because you won’t find much comfort from anyone else either. A houseful of 20 girls can get reallyy catty. Especially when some RPAs are literally no better. There was ALWAYS drama. And if you get sucked into this toxic mess, say goodbye to an effective treatment or having any kind of recovery process. This is one treatment center where I will 100% advise: focus. On. Yourself. You *might* be the only one who can help yourself while you’re there. Which is honestly unacceptable for a treatment program. I personally would not recommend this place for a friend. Ever.
HOUSE - 176 LASSITER • 2 bathrooms downstairs (1 full and 1 toilet/sink only) for up to 22 patients • 1 bathroom upstairs (2 showers, 1 toilet, small double vanity) for up to 16 women and it is not enough. **Patients have to remain downstairs for the entire day except for nap time** STAFFING There have been several staff members quit over the past month, and a few no-call/no-shows over just 5 days. Some of the nurses truly care while others are rude (ex: One morning I needed an anxiety pill and the nurse didn’t verbally reply or acknowledge my presence other than putting my pill into the cup.) THERAPISTS • I was not contacted after discharging to be checked on, even after I emailed and notified them. • Although the therapy groups and education are DBT-based, there was little mental health support for anything other than ED related issues. They claim to be dual-diagnosis and think that meeting twice per week with your individual therapist (1.5 hours/week) is enough to address any other issues (ex: grief, mood and personality disorders) PROS **Some patients who have been to other residential facilities have said that the nutrition education is great, and I don’t disagree - you have to plate your own meals and snacks so that you learn how to eat once discharged.** I wouldn’t return here, but it could be a decent option depending on what you need and what your other choices are. WISHING YOU THE BEST!
Carolina House residential & php helped me recover from my eating disorder. The staff, nurses, dietitians and therapists are all great and really care and the property itself is beautiful. It is an accepting program for folks of different races, gender identities, and sexualities. However, Carolina House’s billing department is a nightmare. Therapeutically its a good program but billing and administratively it is not the best.
Carolina House and their staff are amazing!!!! I've had an eating disorder for close to 35 years and have been in and out of treatment centers and while I can say most, if not all centers, helped me to a certain degree...the Carolina House was by far the best. Their staff is well-trained and understanding. The biggest difference between Carolina House and all the other treatment centers I've been to is that they really helped prepare me for going home on Day One. They incorporate a gardening group and help with meal planning and preparation, which I never had at any residential program in the past. It was an area that I needed the most help in since it was something I wouldn't do at home. So being able to go out to the garden, harvest and prepare food with the garden fresh vegetables, and then sit down and have a lunch that we all prepared together was revolutionary! I was also sooooo grateful for the fact that they treated me like a person, not just a patient with an eating disorder. They made me feel so important and really went out of their way to make accommodations not only for me but for the other people there. Their program is Top Notch!!! And I would recommend them to anyone struggling with an eating disorder. No place is perfect, and I've found that when I'm stuck in my eating disordered brain, I can find something wrong with everything and everyone. I can honestly say the Carolina House was as close to perfect as residential/php programs can be.
10/10 would NOT recommend. Unsupportive staff who do not set you up for success post discharge. No transition period, quick and completely non-personal weekly sessions. Little if any care given while part of the program from the designated therapist and dietitian. Go elsewhere. No respect with dietary indiscretions. Heavy play with favoritism. No transition period while adjusting to the house (lack of tour, establishment of rules, lack of management). I wish I had chose a different facility and maybe things would be different.