What is intuitive eating?

Integrative Approaches to Eating Disorders and Substance Use at Casa Capri

At Casa Capri, our work with the dual challenges of substance use and eating disorders is deeply important to me. 


A little-known fact is that approximately 70% of women with an addiction also struggle with an eating disorder. This is a significant number, and we take that statistic very seriously. When a client arrives, she is given a thorough intake assessment to identify potential disordered eating patterns. If she is determined to have an eating disorder, she is placed in Grace House, our nutrition house, and given biweekly sessions to assess her progress, discuss meal plans, and address any body image concerns. As the Director of Nutrition Services and a registered dietitian, I have the privilege of guiding our Grace House clients through the intricate journey of healing from disordered eating, employing a model that emphasizes intuition and distress tolerance as core components of recovery.

How We Treat

Intuitive Eating

Every Tuesday morning, we dedicate time to educate our clients about Intuitive Eating, aiming to reconnect them with their body’s natural signals of hunger and fullness. Intuitive Eating is a cornerstone of our treatment approach because it focuses on re-establishing a healthy relationship with food and body image. At each meal, we encourage a moment of reflection to assess their fullness and emotional state. This practice is supported by our compassionate staff, ensuring every meal and snack becomes an opportunity for growth and learning.


Distress Tolerance

At the core of substance use and co-occurring eating disorders tends to be a low tolerance for distress. We believe that understanding is the first step toward change, so our approach involves a blend of education and exposure therapy. By educating our clients about the nature of their distress and its triggers, we empower them to develop healthier coping mechanisms. Our strategies include setting timers to sit with distress for controlled periods, journaling, grounding techniques, and distraction methods, all practiced within the safety of our supportive environment.


Exposure therapy is another critical element of our program, particularly in challenging our clients’ fears surrounding food and public eating. Once a week, we venture out to a restaurant where clients are encouraged to confront their “fear foods” in a supportive setting. This practice not only aids in normalizing eating in social situations, but also prepares them for real-life encounters with potential triggers. The selection of restaurants is intentional, often chosen to address clients’ personal challenges with specific places or menu items. This allows for a tailored and impactful experience for each client.

Reducing the Stigma

We’re committed to reducing the stigma associated with eating disorders and recognizing these conditions as part of a broader spectrum of maladaptive survival skills. Clients in Grace House are provided with programming that focuses on nutrition and emphasizes the role disordered eating may have played in our clients’ survival.  Our message: you’re not alone, and there’s no reason to be ashamed.

Empowering Recovery and Beyond

At Casa Capri, our goal is not merely to treat the symptoms of eating disorders and substance use but to empower our clients to find lasting recovery. Through our integrated approach, we strive to equip our clients with the tools they need to navigate their recovery post-treatment with confidence and self-compassion. I am continually inspired by the bravery and resilience of the women we serve, and remain committed to supporting them every step of the way. Together, we are building a foundation for a future where food and substance no longer control their lives.

Casa Capri
Hanna McAlister

By Hanna McAlister

Director of Nutrition Services/Dietitian


Casa Capri Recovery

Our program offers the highest quality care for women struggling with addiction and co-occurring conditions in Southern California.

We are fully licensed by the State of California and our treatment center is accredited by The Joint Commission – the standard of excellence in quality programs.


Aetna insurance logo

Casa Capri Recovery is proud to be an approved Anthem Blue Cross, MHN, Aetna, The Holman Group, and Halcyon Provider.


DHCS logo
License#300326BP Expiration Date: 06/30/2024 Certification#300326EP Expiration Date: 01/31/2024
NAATP Provider Member
As Featured on A&E® Intervention

Get Help Now

If you or a loved one has a substance addiction, please give us a call today at 949-535-4998. It’s time to heal your heart and find true happiness.

Our admissions team is always available to talk and answer any questions you may have about our Drug and Alcohol Rehab Programs at Casa Capri Recovery for women.