Treatment Information

Cielo House has a special approach to treatment: a unique combination of professional treatment and collaboration with our clients to develop personalized and customized treatment plans in a trusting, healthy environment.  We inform, educate and support clients and their families in recovery through holistic therapeutic modalities including Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy, EcoTherapy, Restorative Yoga, Organic Farming, Expressive Arts Therapy, Music / Dance Therapy, Community Service and Evidence-Based treatment methodology.

Treatment Philosophy

Group Descriptions


Treatment Philosophy

The foundation of our treatment philosophy can be best expressed by the phrase, “Meet me where I’m at.”  This speaks to the collaborative stance of our treatment, how we truly accept our clients for who they are where they are, and we work with them to get to where they want to be.  We approach treatment with a spirit of teamwork among our staff and our clients.

We are committed to using treatments that are scientifically proven, and that allow us to track our results.  We also use techniques designed to treat more than just the symptoms of the Eating Disorder, but to help the person in all aspects of their life.  We strive to cultivate skills that clients can take with them even after they move on from our program.

At the heart of our treatment approach is group therapy .  We believe that with group therapy the whole is stronger than the sum of its parts, and so much healing takes place in therapy groups. Our programs offer a variety of groups, which incorporate many of the specific approaches that we use.

We invite you to contact us and learn more about our treatment philosophy and our unique approach to Eating Disorder treatment.  We love talking with people about what we do and are happy to answer any questions you might have.

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Group Descriptions

 Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Group

This group helps you identify and challenge some of the distorted thinking patterns that an eating disorder can get you to believe.  By changing how you think, you can change how you feel and develop new behaviors that reflect new, more balanced thoughts about yourself.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Group

This group focuses on the specific ways you handle difficult feelings and situations, giving you a concrete set of tools to use.  It draws on concepts from many different skills-based therapies and helps you develop and implement new ways to deal with adversity instead of engaging in Eating Disorder behaviors.

Equine Therapy 

Equine Therapy

 Equine-Assisted Therapy is a treatment method that has gained popularity in recent years as clients report remarkable changes through the process of interacting with horses.

Horses seem to be able to sense their internal state and provide feedback as to how they experience the real world.  Additionally, the bonds clients form with these powerful animals can be very therapeutic to them, and unlock potential that is not readily accessible through traditional therapies.

Working with the horses develops trust, compassion, and confidence and riding horses is an engaging and active form of healthy physical movement.


women serving food

Community Meal Group

This group involves sharing a meal with your housemates and staff.  For non-residential programs, you bring a meal based on the options that you and your dietitian collaborated upon and enjoy it in a relaxed, communal setting.  The idea is to have a normal meal and to process what it is like to do so.

We also do a weekly cooking group, where the clients plan and prepare a meal together and a weekly Restaurant Outing, where the group will go to a local restaurant together.  These different meal experiences help the clients challenge rigid food behavior and also provide a nice change of pace to their treatment.

In the residential program we place an emphasis on local, natural food.  Much of the produce we enjoy comes from our own garden or from the local coastside farms.

Excursions to the farms themselves or the harbor to pick up the fresh ingredients makes it so that clients take an active role in developing an improved relationship with food.  Our high quality meals help clients reawaken their palates and rekindle their fondness of food.

 Experiential Therapy Group

This group is designed to provide a unique and powerful experience to achieve a better understanding of who you are, how other people experience who you are, the interpersonal strengths that you possess and how well you utilize those strengths.

This group draws utilizes many different experiences to help you achieve the overall goal of seeing yourself for who you are, and how you are so much more than what the Eating Disorder tries to convince you of.

Nutrition Group

This group discusses proper nutrition, how to fuel our bodies with balanced food and exercise.  This group helps you challenge myths you may have about certain foods, counteract fears of foods and provide you with knowledge to make nutritional choices that are right for you.

Interpersonal Therapy Group

This group helps you examine how the relationships in your life impact how you feel about yourself and the behaviors you engage in.  This group can help you identify relationships that assist or impede your recovery, and how to make the most out of current or new relationships.  You will also learn how to communicate effectively in interpersonal relationships, and assert your personal rights for optimal growth. 

woman doing artExpressive Arts Therapy Group

This group uses the creation of artwork to give you a renewed potential for self expression. Art therapy provides a means of self-discovery, an opportunity to explore the self through the image. Art therapy can help you move away from feelings being locked up in the body to a place where they can be expressed, in a way that words cannot.

Restorative Yoga

This group focuses on relaxing the body in restful postures.  Designed to enhance body image, improve relaxation and concentration, this group is especially catered to our clients’ needs.  The group also focuses on helping clients reconnect with their bodies and learn to move them in a healthful and non-punitive way.
Community Service

We believe that there is tremendous therapeutic value in helping others while helping ourselves, and as such community service is an active part of our programs. Clients participate in a weekly meal that they provide and serve for underprivileged people in our coastal community.

Through this process clients hear the stories of others, who perhaps have struggles in their own ways, share a communal experience with food and caring that has numerous benefits to it.  By helping others, clients can build further self-esteem and also a deeper acceptance of the help they are receiving from others.

Spirituality and Philosophy Group

Woman meditating

While our program does not have a specific religious focus, woven throughout everything we do are concepts of spirituality and philosophy.  Through our spirituality group clients learn to be in touch with the less tangible aspects of their life and existence, helping them find meaning in the world around them and feeling like an active part of their spiritual existence.

In our philosophy group clients not only learn perspectives about the fundamental questions that have been important to humans since the beginning of time, but also practice critical thinking skills that help them overcome some of the cognitive barriers of impaired nutrition.  Clients often come away from the group as an armchair philosopher themselves.

Family Involvement Groups

Cielo House is a kind of special family of its own and so we understand the important role that family plays in our lives.  Family involvement is a crucial component of all of our programs.   For our residential program in Moss Beach, many families will visit their loved ones on the weekends and participate in family sessions, therapeutic groups, meal or other experiential activities with their loved ones. We also offer family support groups at our other clinics.

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