From January 2023 our clinical boost programma Human Concern Be-LeeF! will be open for everyone with an eating disorder and with the age of 18 years and older. Human Concern Be-LeeF! is a short term clinical boost programme, which mainly consists of group therapy and which is held at our location in Portugal. Our many years of experience have taught us that the intensive clinical programme can be an important step forward on someone’s recovery from an eating disorder.
For nearly 20 years, Human Concern has been a renowned GGZ-institution (mental health care), specializing in the treatment of eating disorders and they hold the quality mark HKZ (Harmonisation Quality Assessment in the Healthcare Industry). We work with highly educated, fully qualified employees, including Physicians, (Clinical) Psychologists, Psychiatrists, System therapists, Dieticians and our experience expert Therapists, referred to by us as Experience experts.
In addition, during the programme in Portugal, we have qualified nurses available at the premises day and night and also our somatic physician in Portugal will have individual consultations with every cliënt/patient during the first and fourth week and if necessary during the other weeks as well.
The clinical boost programme
Human Concern Be-LeeF! in Portugal consists of intensive group therapy and some individual therapy moments. Cognitive behavioural therapy (therapy focussed on behaviour) is used, supplemented by elements from the pesso-psychotherapy (body-orientated psychotherapy), scheme therapy, system therapy, ACT (acceptation and commitment therapy) and intensive nutritional coaching. Additionally, mindfulness, art therapy (creative and drama), garden therapy and equine therapy (therapy be use of horses) are used. If necessary, the programme will be adjusted to the relevant group and the clients. This could mean that certain elements could be changed.
At the location in Portugal, different disciplines are in operation, which together form the Treatment Team. The Treatment Team gathers every working day to discuss ongoing matters. In addition, a weekly multidisciplinary meeting takes place during which all clients are discussed.
The Coordination Practitioner (Clinical Psychologist or Psychiatrist) is ultimately responsible for the entire treatment. This does not mean that the Coordination Practitioner is also the treating person that you will have most discussions with. Usually, this is the Therapist or other member of the team. Sometimes another specialist, for instance a physician or nurse, is consulted regarding the treatment of your possible physical complaints. For that reason, during your stay in Portugal, for instance a blood or urine test may be necessary.
- Physical complaints: these should not be serious to such a degree that it would make the treatment irresponsible and/or require a more medical setting. For instance serious under/overweight (which will be measured during the intake), serious complications of the eating disorder such as arrhythmias, deviating blood levels or if you have a surgical procedure planned, in order to treat your eating disorder.
- Psychological complaints: In case of serious comorbid As I or As II, including psychosis, addiction problems, personality issues, an anxiety or compulsive disorder, PTSD, depression, impulse control disorders, aggression regulation problems that interfere with functioning in a group and/or require parallel treatment. Also serious current self-mutilation during the past three months, current suicidality or an attempt to suicide during the past six months, are contra-indications
- Lack of eating disorder: Sometimes there are some eating or weight problems, but they do not qualify as an eating disorder. For instance emotional eating without regular binge eating or occasional diet behaviour. Since the programme is not appropriate in this instance, we explicitly diagnose eating disorder in conformity with DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual or Mental Disorders), as a requirement.
- Below average intelligence: The cliënt/patient must be capable of reasoning and reflecting on the assignment provided during the programme.
- Lack of motivation for recovery: This could occur when, for instance, parents or the partner registered the cliënt/patient without him/her personally supporting this treatment. In case of a lack of motivation, the programme is not suitable for the cliënt/patient and he/she may disrupt the group process.
- Being below the age of 18 years old, unless the cliënt/patient reaches the age of 18 just before his/her stay in Portugal.
Human Concern has no contracts with (Dutch) health insurance companies for the Be-LeeF! programme. As a result, the patient is responsible to seek their means to finance the participation in time. The Human Concern Be-LeeF! programme also falls outside the (compensation) non-contracted care of Dutch health insurers, but it could be worthwhile to look at possible fiscal advantages in the area of health care, from the government in the country where you are residing. Likewise, we can see if any employer is willing to fund the treatment.
Should you discuss this treatment possibility with your patient, then we advise the patient to carefully read through our information brochure, which can be requested here. In the information brochure we inform the reader about the next step, which are our digital information meetings. During these meetings the Human Concern Be-LeeF! programme is explained in detail and everyone can ask their questions. Based on this the person can decide to apply for the Human Concern Be-LeeF! programme. It is important to apply in time because of the screening & intake which has to take place well before the patient can join the programme.
Regarding the referral, we request the following:
- The letter of referral (we have a format for this that can be requested via beleef@humanconcern);
- Lab research blood levels of four weeks old at the latest;
- The treatment history related to the need for care and/or expected diagnose (e.g. intake letter and/or concluding letters or already completed or ongoing treatments);
What years of experience have taught us though, is that the Human Concern Be-LeeF! programme could mean a possible breakthrough, to the benefit of recovery. Our clinical treatment can thus also be used for the patients with an eating disorder that you are treating.
Should you have any questions, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to a pleasant cooperation!