Eating Disorder

Luxury eating disorder
treatment centre

We are very pleased to be able to offer support for people suffering from eating disorders at our luxury eating disorder treatment centre in Marbella. Our co-founders have personal experience of overcoming eating disorders and have been helping young people with body image issues for many years. We know how damaging eating disorders can be, yet how little help is out there and have brought together a fantastic team of therapists, doctors and specialists to provide a highly effective programme for people suffering from eating disorders.

Our Co-Founder Ali Silver has trained as a nutritional therapist, has studied psychodynamic counselling and is a qualified eating disorder practitioner, and has coached young people in schools to deal with body image, eating disorders and nutrition. She is heading up our eating disorder programme and ensuring that all staff in our luxury eating disorder treatment centre are trained to support people with these serious and complex mental illnesses in the right way.

A deep understanding
of eating disorders

We recognise that not all eating disorders manifest in the same way. They are serious and complex mental illnesses, and in fact Anorexia Nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder.
Whilst eating disorders share many similar characteristics, such as poor body image, low self-esteem, and personality traits such as perfectionism, being highly sensitive and a tendency to black and white thinking – not all eating disorders manifest in the same way and they are caused by a wide variety of things.

Unhelpful thoughts, beliefs and values regarding food and body image can lead directly to behaviour which can sometimes feel unsafe, limiting, controlling and isolating. Sometimes an eating disorder is an expression of emotional pain. Using food and exercise is often the only strategy that people with eating disorders have to manage and deal with their feelings.

Every person with an eating disorder is unique and has their own story and journey to this point. That’s why we need to take a multi-faceted approach to eating disorder treatment, which goes far beyond the symptoms.

Eating Disorder Programme
at The Bridge

At The Bridge, we are passionate about supporting our clients to overcome their eating disorders make them stronger and better able to cope with emotions and stressful or difficult situations. Our programs are bespoke and we make sure to tailor-make them to suit client’s needs.

At our luxury eating disorder treatment centre we treat the following:

  • Anorexia nervosa

  • Bulimia nervosa

  • Binge eating disorder

  • Disordered eating

Depending on what the client presents with, our program will entail the following:

  • Weight restoration

  • Therapies such as CBT, psychodynamic and person-centred

  • Group therapy

  • Psychoeducation

We bring in specialists including Nurses, Doctors, Therapists, Psychiatrists, Dieticians and Nutritional therapists to provide a bespoke programme to meet our clients’ needs and help them overcome their issues.

How we
can help

We help clients to understand where their eating disorder started, what their triggers are and develop healthy coping strategies that they can take into the world when they leave us. We also work with clients to repair their relationships with their families and other people, which have often become strained by their condition.

At our luxury eating disorder treatment centre we all take a holistic approach to eating disorder treatment and treat every client as an individual. You will be given a personalized programme of therapy, coaching and counselling to make you stronger in every way. Our aim is to help you become the best you can be in all aspects of your life – your education, your career and your most important relationships. 

At The Bridge, we believe that recovery means less thinking and worrying about food and exercise, and more interest in everything else. You will be able to sleep at night without obsessing about tomorrow or yesterday. We tackle issues of Perfectionism, ‘I’ve -blown-it’ thinking, and beating oneself up – all damaging aspects of eating disorders.

It is important to remember that recovery isn’t just about food and weight. Recovery from eating disorders is about finding something deeper – a new purpose in life, a sense of being connected to other people. We aspire to help people thrive, not just survive.

Ali explains, “I am grateful for the opportunity to fracture some of the isolation that comes all too often with eating disorders, troubled body image and low self-esteem.

The first step in change is acknowledging that there is a problem, and what that problem is. Issues around disordered eating, body image and emotional eating are often so ingrained that we are not even consciously aware how they shape who we are and how we see ourselves.

Once clients have acknowledged that there is a problem, we are here to help them in a range of different ways. Our qualified therapists offer a wide range of therapies to get to the root of the issue and deal with any traumas. The Bridge is a safe place to rest and recover while receiving therapy and practical support on how to live free of food and body image issues.”

Read on for some examples of how we’ve recently helped clients with these issues.

Overcoming problems
with binging and purging

We recently helped a 17 year old (E), who was binging and purging.

It was sad to hear from her parents that she had been ‘in her room eating peanut butter’ and not eaten in front of a single person in two years. Her diet consisted of yogurt, peanut butter and bananas which she would binge on in her room and then purge. She was incredibly angry, non-communicative, was taking drugs and felt desperately depressed and hopeless.

When she came to us, she was assessed by therapist who also identified that she self-harmed. The first thing was to stop her from purging, as if she did not purge, then binging is less likely to occur. We had specialised eating disorder trained nurses accompanying E 24 hours a day. They would ‘shadow’ her – making sure she did not go to the toilet pre or post meals, that she did not go to the kitchen at night etc. They were also there to oversee that she ate her meals.

E’s meal plan was overseen by a team of nutritional therapist, therapist and doctor. She had 3 meals per day + 2 snacks, to ensure her blood sugar stabilised and make sure she did not get overly hungry so she wasn’t at risk of binging.

The meals started off incredibly simple; she would have extreme emotional reactions when confronted with ‘unsafe’ foods. For example, her first month at The Bridge meals were cod, rice & broccoli; plain chicken breast, quinoa and roast carrots; muesli with milk. They did not vary.

However, after 4 days she would eat with all the clients in the villa; eating in public for the first time in 2 years. By the end of E’s three months at The Bridge, her meals were colourful, varied and balanced. For example, broccoli and ham quiche, beef stew with rice, teriyaki salmon with stir fry vegetables and noodles. She would happily eat a variety of snacks, from fruit, to biscuits, nuts etc. E showed little to no signs of anxiety during snack and meal times, she was relaxed and happy around food.

E’s program consisted of daily one-to-one therapy, CBT, nutritional therapy and body image work, as well as recreation such as yoga, meditation and outings.

E is currently doing aftercare with her therapist and is applying to university to embark on a law degree!

In her own

Here’s how E felt at the end of her stay:

“My stay at The Bridge was an experience and opportunity that I will never forget. It became my home and every staff member and client became my family. The trust, honesty and compassion of every single individual in here has helped me progress in my recovery and I will always be grateful.

The Bridge took me in broken and I’m going home recovered. This place and the people in it are the magic that takes place here.”

Binge eating and
body image issues

JM, 26, came to The Bridge for a period of three weeks. She struggled with depression, low self-esteem, binge eating and severe body image issues.

She had extremely black and white thinking when it came to food choice: if she ate chocolate she was ‘bad’, salad was ‘good’ and she would berate herself when she ate a ‘bad food’ by binging as a form of punishment. She had stopped taking part in social events, withdrawing to her room. She showed a lot of all or nothing thinking with food and exercise, which more often than not meant she would eat badly and not move at all.

At The Bridge she worked on self-confidence and self-esteem but worked with the nutritional therapist mainly on challenging her thinking around food and exercise and finding a middle ground. She learned that there was a place for broccoli as well as chocolate – it did not have to be an either/or situation. She found forms of movement that she enjoyed, that did not feel like punishment for the meal she had eaten. She continued working with the NT for some months after she finished in-patient and has made wonderful progress.

There’s lots of help
out there

Unfortunately, recovering from an eating disorder is complex and different for every person. But with the right help you can learn to manage and have a healthy relationship with food. However, it is important to find help, as sadly eating disorders have the second highest mortality rate of all mental health disorders.

Here’s some excellent information from the NHS on How to help someone with an eating disorder. There’s lots of great advice and information on eating disorders from the charity Beat Eating Disorders. They also have a helpline and online peer support groups available if you are struggling. Find out more.

If you’re concerned about a loved one and think they may have an eating disorder, or if you’re ready to get support with your eating disorder, please contact us today. Our experienced team at our luxury eating disorder treatment centre in Spain are standing by and ready to help you overcome your eating disorder and turn over a new leaf, free of the obsessive and destructive cycle of eating disorders.