At Casa Serena, we understand that every individual’s journey to recovery is unique, which is why we provide comprehensive treatment for a range of eating disorders, including Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). Our specialized programs are designed to address the complex needs of women struggling with ARFID, helping them find whole-person healing and reclaim their lives.


What is ARFID?

ARFID stands for Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. It is a relatively new diagnosis in the field of eating disorders, added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) in 2013. ARFID is characterized by a persistent disturbance in eating or feeding that results in significant weight loss, nutritional deficiency, dependence on enteral feeding or oral nutritional supplements, or interference with psychosocial functioning. Unlike other eating disorders like anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, ARFID is not primarily driven by concerns about body image or weight. Instead, individuals with ARFID may have an extreme aversion to certain foods based on sensory characteristics such as taste, texture, or smell. They may also experience a lack of interest in eating or a fear of negative consequences related to eating, such as choking or vomiting.

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ARFID can manifest in various ways, including:

  • Avoidance of certain foods: Individuals with ARFID may limit their diet to a very narrow range of foods, often excluding entire food groups. They may refuse to eat foods with certain textures, colors, or smells.
  • Restriction of overall intake: Some individuals with ARFID may not consume enough calories or nutrients to maintain their health and growth, leading to significant weight loss or failure to meet developmental milestones in children.
  • Fear of consequences: Individuals with ARFID may experience intense anxiety or fear related to eating, such as fear of choking, vomiting, or experiencing gastrointestinal discomfort.
  • Psychosocial impairment: ARFID can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, affecting their social interactions, relationships, and daily functioning.

It’s important to note that ARFID can occur in individuals of any age, but it is particularly common in children and adolescents. Without appropriate treatment, ARFID can lead to serious medical complications, including malnutrition, growth delays, and impaired cognitive development.

Treatment for ARFID typically involves a multidisciplinary approach that addresses both the physical and psychological aspects of the disorder. This may include nutritional counseling, exposure therapy to gradually introduce new foods, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to address fear and anxiety related to eating, and family therapy to support the individual in their recovery journey. Early intervention and comprehensive treatment can help individuals with ARFID overcome their challenges and develop a healthy relationship with food.

What Sets Us Apart

Casa Serena Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder Treatment Program

Our approach to treating ARFID at Casa Serena is rooted in compassion, evidence-based practices, and a commitment to addressing all aspects of mental health. Our multidisciplinary team consists of licensed professionals, including therapists, dieticians, and group facilitators, who collaborate to tailor treatment plans to each individual’s unique needs.

We believe in the power of holistic healing, which is why we offer a combination of evidence-based treatments and recreational activities to promote physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. By addressing various factors that contribute to ARFID, such as underlying trauma, anxiety, or sensory sensitivities, we empower women to cultivate self-esteem, develop essential life skills, and learn effective coping strategies.

Comprehensive Therapeutic Modalities

At Casa Serena, we offer a wide range of therapeutic modalities to support women on their journey to recovery from ARFID. Our therapies include but are not limited to:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Helping individuals identify and challenge negative thought patterns and behaviors related to food and eating.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): Teaching practical skills to manage emotions, improve interpersonal relationships, and develop mindfulness.
  • Family Therapy: Involving loved ones in the recovery process to foster understanding, communication, and support.
  • Trauma Therapy: Addressing underlying trauma that may contribute to ARFID and helping women process and heal from past experiences.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): A specialized therapy to address traumatic memories and experiences that may impact eating behaviors.

Each woman in our ARFID treatment program receives a personalized treatment plan that may include a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, nutritional counseling, and experiential therapies. Our goal is to provide comprehensive care that addresses the unique challenges and strengths of each individual, empowering them to overcome ARFID and thrive in recovery.


Women's ARFID Therapy Program

At Casa Serena, our women's therapy program for eating disorders operates within a framework that acknowledges the unique experiences and challenges faced by women in society. Therapists take a holistic approach, considering not only eating behaviors and body image concerns but also mental health, emotional well-being, and social support networks. Treatment plans are tailored to address individual needs, incorporating various modalities such as individual, group, and family therapy, along with nutritional counseling. Emphasis is placed on promoting body acceptance and self-compassion, challenging harmful societal messages about body image, and fostering a positive relationship with one's body. Therapists explore underlying issues such as past trauma, low self-esteem, and interpersonal difficulties, helping clients develop healthier coping mechanisms and relational skills.Our approach integrates empowering women to challenge societal norms and systemic factors contributing to body dissatisfaction. Ultimately, women's therapy for eating disorders provides a safe and supportive space for women to explore their relationship with food and body image, empowering them to achieve lasting recovery and live fulfilling lives.
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Women's ARFID Therapy Program

At Casa Serena, we believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to reclaim their health and happiness. If you or a loved one is struggling with ARFID, we're here to help. Contact Casa Serena today to learn more about our specialized ARFID treatment programs for women and how our supportive community can guide you on the path to recovery.
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