Castlewood at the Highlands

By The Fix staff 08/03/17

Formed primarily for the treatment of eating disorders, Castlewood is a private behavioral health organization has three separate locations, all of which treat different circumstances. 

Castlewood at The Highlands
Location : 2807 Greystone Commercial Boulevard, Suite 36 Birmingham, AL 35242
Phone : (205) 552-0417
Price : $28,500 (30 days, PHP) $15,000 (30 days, IOP)
Overall :
Accommodations :
Treatment :
Food :
Insurance : No
Detox : Yes

Introduction and Basic Services

Formed primarily for the treatment of eating disorders, Castlewood is a private behavioral health organization has three separate locations—in Saint Louis, Missouri, Monterey, California and Birmingham, Alabama—all of which treat different circumstances. The facility in Birmingham, called the Highlands, caters to those with substance abuse as well as PTSD, anxiety and mood disorders in addition to disordered eating. This facility offers an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) along with transitional living for both men and women 16 and older. The Highlands also has a special focus given to eating disorders within the LGBT community.

Facility and Meals

Castlewood at the Highlands is named for the beautiful location in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The transitional living apartments are available near the clinical facility for an additional fee. This is a shared apartment setting with each unit having two bedrooms. They have open floor plans with a living room, kitchen and balcony. The rooms have two twin beds, walk-in closets, fireplaces and vaulted ceilings and each unit has two baths. Highlands does make an effort to provide clients with private bedrooms, but the apartments are built to house up to four residents and private rooms may eventually have to be shared.

Each client receives a personalized meal plan with portions specific to their needs. Certain foods such as sugar, flour and cooking spray are provided in the apartment kitchens, but other perishables that are part of an individual’s meal plan must be purchased. Cleaning supplies and toilet paper must also be provided by the resident.

The apartments have an outdoor pool and picnic area as well as access to lake. There is a fitness center in the building and an executive business center with Internet, a fax machine and a copier. Clients are allowed to bring their personal laptops, and rooms are equipped with complimentary Wi-Fi. Personal cars are also allowed. Visitors are not allowed inside the apartments.

Treatment Protocol and Team

The typical stay at the Highlands lasts four to six weeks. The organization recognizes that co-occurring issues such as substance abuse or mood disorders often accompany disordered eating, and employs the use of doctors, licensed therapists and dietitians—all trained to deal with such disorders—to cater to each individual client’s needs.

Depending on the level and nature of substance abuse, the Highlands may treat the client in-house or work concurrently with a substance abuse treatment center. Detox, if needed, occurs at an outside facility.

Using evidence-based treatments, the Highlands creates plans for individuals that are personalized and flexible because of the changing nature of treatment as it progresses. Intake and case management take place at the facility after a clinical assessment over the phone, by e-mail or in person. Upon intake clients meet with nurses, a nutritionist, their primary therapist, the facility’s clinical director and a psychiatrist. Treatment involves medical stabilization, nutritional rehabilitation and individual, group and family therapies. Medication management is offered for mental health disorders.

The evidence-based therapies at the Highlands include Cognitive Therapy (CT), DBT, Interpersonal Therapy (IT), EMDR for trauma, Cognitive Processing Therapy for Trauma (CPT) and ACT. These are experienced in both individual and group settings. The program does not include 12-step participation. It is also stressed that clients establish real-life skills before returning home.

Every week PHP clients have three individual sessions with their primary or family therapists, two private meetings with their dietician and one one-on-one session with a psychiatrist. Unlike a residential program, the PHP does not have on-site staff monitoring after treatment ends for the day. The PHP schedule begins at 7:30 am with a weigh-in, followed by a staff-supervised breakfast period, free time, walks and the taking of vitals until 9 am. Various groups take place from 9 am to 10 every day, including a body image group, one about addictive behaviors, a sexuality group, an attachment group and a family dynamics group. On weekdays the day continues with snack time, individual therapy sessions, then lunch until 1 pm and group meetings, individual sessions for an hour from 4:45 pm, and then dinner. On Saturdays clients are taken on a grocery shopping trip followed by a pre-exposure planning group, yoga and a restaurant outing with a post-exposure processing group afterwards.

The Highlands IOP serves as a step-down, allowing clients to attend daily therapy on the weekdays or weekends, while still rejoining normal work, school and social activities. The IOP schedule includes two individual sessions with a primary therapist per week, access to up to two groups per day, psychiatric support and monitoring by a registered nurse as needed.

Aftercare includes monitoring and communication with the client’s home treatment team and physician; outpatient treatment is encouraged.

Bonus Amenities

Families are included in the process with the help of a family therapist, and Family Week programming. Family Week is a three-day intensive program that happens every six to eight weeks and is based around education, therapy, meal sharing and exploration.

Therapies include a cooking class with a dietician, yoga, walks and healthy movement groups. Expressive therapies are also available, such as art, dance, music, drama and equine therapies. There are also alumni events available several times a year.


Castlewood at the Highlands offers a flexible program for those who struggle with both eating disorders and co-occurring mental health issues. With options for various levels of care and residency, it is ideal for both those living in the area and clients who would prefer to stay at the facility.

Castlewood at the Highlands

2807 Greystone Commercial Boulevard, Suite 36

Birmingham, AL 35242

(205) 552-0417

[email protected]

Castlewood at the Highlands Cost: $28,500 (30 days, PHP;, $15,000 (30 days, IOP). Find Castlewood at the Highlands on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix