Frequently Asked Questions
The list below includes some of the most frequently asked questions concerning Mirasol's eating disorder treatment program. If you have questions that aren't included in this FAQ, please contact us for answers and additional information.
How is the Mirasol program different from other eating disorder programs?
Mirasol is the only treatment center for eating disorders in the United States that offers authentic integrative treatment for the mind, body, spirit, and soul! We use a true empowerment approach and do not use punishment or control methods in client care. We want clients to learn to make healthy choices for recovery and the journey of their souls through life. It is through the integration of the mind, body, and spirit that healthy choices are available to our clients, often for the first time in their lives! We are also the pioneer and industry leader in the use of neurofeedback to treat eating disorders.
I've had treatment before and it didn't do any good. What will be different this time?
Many people who attend Mirasol have been through multiple treatment programs. We strongly believe that it is not the person who fails a treatment program, but that past treatment programs have not been appropriate or suitable for the person! Success also depends on the client's willingness to be well and to take responsibility for her own recovery with compassionate and appropriate support.
How do I know if I really have an "eating disorder"?
Many people wonder whether or not they have an eating disorder, and whether or not their symptoms require professional help. To find out if you should seek further evaluation from a doctor, take our online eating disorder evaluation. You'll get instant access to your eating disorder profile, with recommendations for additional reading and follow-up.
I'm a vegetarian or I'm allergic to wheat, dairy, corn products, etc.
What will I do in treatment about my food?
Because Mirasol is such a small program, we have no problem in meeting special dietary needs for clients. If we find that the dietary restrictions are linked to the eating disorder, we bring that to client awareness and help the client learn about healthy eating. Each client has her own individual food fears and food issues that will be addressed in treatment. We offer vegetarian choices at each meal, and we are able to accommodate specific food allergies and other dietary needs. Click to read more about mindful eating.
What happens if I can't eat?
Mirasol therapists provide emotional support when our clients are struggling with eating. They help them learn to take responsibility for the choices they make about their eating and their recovery. They do not "punish" eating disorder behaviors but approach them with understanding and compassion while teaching each client how to make healthy choices with food. We realize that putting trust in the staff and essentially "handing over" the eating disorder to us is extremely difficult. We would like the woman to know that the program will be very difficult but that when someone is struggling, it usually means that she is making progress. Making sure that a client's health is not in jeopardy is of the utmost importance. If a client's health is compromised while in treatment at Mirasol, they may have to be stabilized at a nearby hospital.
What should I expect from the staff?
We have 60+ staff members fulfilling a variety of tasks. Our primary treatment team consists of state-certified therapists, psychiatrist, naturopathic physician, psychologist, clinical director, registered dietician, nutrition counselors, eating disorder support counselors, evening house mothers, and our wonderful cooks. You can also read more about our devoted team on our Staff Profiles page.
Can I exercise?
Each client is evaluated during the first week of treatment by the Mirasol physician, nutritionist, and exercise physiologist. If you are physically stable and exercise will not compromise your health or recovery process, exercise is encouraged. Yoga, stretching, toning, and walking are activities that are included in the exercise program. Read more about the importance of healthy exercise.
How many people are there? How old are they? Do you have other women (like me) who are anorexic, bulimic, or binge eaters? Do you take anyone who is obese?
Mirasol accepts no more than 10 clients at a time. This ensures each person gets enough individual care and support. We treat all types of eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder and obesity. Before admission, many clients worry that they may not be as thin as other clients or that they may be much heavier. This issue is addressed immediately and they rapidly learn that all eating disorders are the same — it is just the behaviors that are different!
Will I have a roommate?
Yes. We like clients to have a roommate for therapeutic reasons.
Can you describe a client room?
The rooms are large, bright, and very cheerful. Everyone has her own closet, dresser and desk space. All linens (sheets and towels) are provided. We also have washers and dryers. Click to view a virtual tour, including pictures of the rooms.
Is it like a hospital?
No. Mirasol's residences are very beautiful, large and comfortable homes. People usually feel very comfortable in this home-like setting as opposed to the sterile feeling of a hospital or larger treatment center setting. We do, however, offer 24-hour supervision.
Do you ever leave the house? Is it locked?
Mirasol is a voluntary program and the house is not locked but clients are not allowed to leave the house unless attended by a staff person. Residents go outside often for walks, outings, or just onto the grounds where they may play games, sit by the pool, or even have group or individual therapy.
Will there be any opportunities for free time and fun while I'm in treatment?
You bet! There are movie nights, outings to the Desert Museum, Mount Lemmon, Sabino Canyon, Rocks & Ropes, and trips to the mall.
What will I do on the weekends?
You'll have a chance to do homework and treatment assignments, have family visitors, participate in workshops, and go on outings. We've even gone caving and camping in the desert.
What is neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback helps "train" the brain to function more efficiently. Our neurofeedback practitioners observe the brain in action, share that information with the client, and "reward" the brain for changing its activity to more appropriate patterns.
What is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy?
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is where we learn to replace negative or destructive thoughts with healthy and positive ones.
What is a naturopathic physician?
A naturopath is a physician whose focus is on wellness. A regular doctor's focus is on illness. In the state of Arizona, naturopathic physicians are licensed just as regular doctors are licensed. Regular doctors are MDs. Naturopathic doctors are NMDs.
How much does it cost?
Mirasol is proud to be one of the few residential treatment centers that offers all-inclusive treatment costs. When comparing Mirasol to other facilities, please request a detailed list of fees for services and products that are not included in the base daily rate.
The daily rate covers the cost of the following services, which may be included in an individualized plan designed by your Mirasol treatment team based on your needs and interests:
·body image work
·expressive art therapy
·cooking and meal planning
·laboratory tests (staff)
·psychological testing (staff)
·sexual issues therapy
·a full year of aftercare
Will my insurance pay for treatment?
It can be challenging to obtain health insurance coverage for eating disorder treatment, but Mirasol will work with you to achieve the maximum possible reimbursement. For more information about insurance and eating disorder treatment, see Cover Me! Getting Your Insurer to Pay for Treatment, an article from Mirasol's Sunflower newsletter.