Castlewood Treatment Center Reviews, Cost, Complaints

Castlewood Treatment Center


Castlewood Treatment CenterCastlewood Treatment Center Review

Castlewood Treatment Center has been in business for 10 years and takes men and women (though mostly women) ages 16 and up for extended inpatient stays. It has a handful of more-than-well-appointed facilities—two in St. Louis, one in Monterey, CA and one in Birmingham, Alabama—all with capable staff and all the amenities one could ask for.

Accommodations and Food

Castlewood’s main locations are their St. Louis facilities, Castlewood I and II, which have 10 and 16 beds respectively (Monterey has 12 beds while Birmingham has six). Both offer home-like environments and sleek interior design. All rooms have king-size, four-poster beds (most are shared though a few are private). Each also has a TV and an adjoining bathroom.

The houses both have main living areas with fireplaces, plenty of couch and easy-chair space and a TV (though it’s small enough to discourage its use). Castlewood also boasts an outdoor pool, while both I and II have art rooms and modest gym areas. Since Castlewood’s focus is eating disorders, exercise and gym time have to gradually be added into residents’ schedules, and this time is often supervised. Both locations are deep in the woods, on a 55-acre plot with plenty of expansive, green vistas.

Food and nutrition are essentially the focal point of Castlewood’s approach. Nutritionists (many of whom are in recovery from eating disorders themselves) work with clients individually to plan their diet and exercise plans, which tend to change as recovery progresses.

There are onsite chefs to serve up buffet style meals that balance health and comfort—offerings include salads, ribs and mashed potatoes to name a few. The idea is to give clients the nutritional tools to make good decisions, but also to teach them to “trust their bodies” and actually enjoy the act of eating. Vegetarian (though not vegan) diets are accommodated, and caffeine and nicotine are allowed in moderation. Finally, all meals are closely supervised.

Treatment and Staff

Intake at Castlewood requires that residents bring in a list of medical info. Everyone is expected to have a medical history, physical, blood work, urine screen, EKG and bone density (all from sometime within the seven days before treatment begins) before entry.

An average stay at Castlewood is between two to four months, though it can be extended when necessary. Every week, inpatient clients get four individual therapy sessions, one dietary session, one psych session and a variable amount of additional therapy for dual diagnosis issues (which tend to run the gamut here). 12-step meetings are available on weekends and evenings for those with addiction issues, and outpatient is largely the same on a more limited scale. Methods in both programs include psychodrama, art therapy, dance/movement therapy, EMDR, CBT, DBT, yoga and life-coaching.

The staff here is almost all female, and consists of seven inpatient therapists, five dieticians, four outpatient therapists and several nurses. There’s also plenty of staff on the leadership side who can double as certified therapists of different stripes when necessary.


Days tend to be pretty packed with treatment at Castlewood; basically, its the client, the client’s issues and the woods. One treatment bonus is a family session once every six weeks, where families are invited to the facilities. Those last three days and feature psycho-educational groups, didactic sessions and group therapy to deal with inter-family issues.

In Summary

Our only caveat, if an ex-employee can cause a caveat, is that Castlewood’s former psychologist and director faced some fairly damaging allegations. Yet the center dealt with this swiftly and he is no longer affiliated with Castlewood in any way. Overall, this luxurious treatment center could put those with eating disorders back in just the right shape.

Castlewood Treatment Center Location

800 Holland Rd
St. Louis, MO 63021

Castlewood Treatment Center Cost

$33,000 (30 days). Reach Castlewood Treatment Center by phone at (877) 937-8420. Find Castlewood Treatment Center on Facebook and Twitter 

Do you have a complaint or review of Castlewood Treatment Center to add? Use the comments area below to add your Castlewood Treatment Center review.



  1. In response to Deanna’s claim that that is not a current review of this program here is a current review –

    1. They use hardly any evidenced based treatments. Their main treatment of choice is something called Internal Family Systems which has NO empirical evidence behind it. It is dangerous and encompasses such things as dark energy – the staff at Castlewood believe that when someone has been traumatized they take on some of the “dark energy” of their abuser, and, in some ways, start acting like them. All it is is an excellent exercise in victim blaming and I guarantee you there is NO evidence suggesting this concept works, exists or even just to say it doesn’t hurt clients.

    2. They diagnose a ridiculously high amount of cases of Dissociative Identity Disorder. For those unfamiliar with this, DID is an exceptionally RARE form of mental illness, so rare in fact that the field of mental health is divided on whether it exists at all. So the fact that Castlewood at any one time has MORE THAN ONE person with DID in their facility (who were diagnosed AT Castlewood or by someone who used to work at Castlewood) is an abnormality so great that honestly either they know something the rest of the psychology world does not or they are MISDIAGNOSING many many people.

    3. Many many clients walk into Castlewood with NO history of trauma and walk out with horrendous trauma histories. Apparently they “recover” these memories while in treatment. Castlewood encourages this. Again, the field of psychology is split on the validity of repressed memories in general and those that do believe they are possible know that you NEVER push someone with gaps in their memory because that it the fastest way to create false memories. Castlewood makes a living from pushing people to remember trauma.

    Deanna James is right – Mark and Lori no longer work at Castlewood. But Nancy Albus (CEO) and Jim Gerber (Clinical Director) both worked WITH Mark and Lori and have picked up right where they left off.

    For the record, I have been to Castlewood since Lori and Mark left. Very recently in fact. I know people that are currently there. I was not kicked out of Castlewood nor do I have any kind of grudge. In fact for a long time I thought they were helping me. And in all honesty, in many ways they did. I was not one to “recover” memories of trauma. I did not receive a diagnosis of DID but my friends did. Off the top of my head I know 8 people who have been diagnosed with DID BY Castlewood. 8. 8 people, all in one city, at one facility who were diagnosed with the rarest mental illness. Check into what I am saying about the rarity. It’s true. There is NO WAY anyone in their lifetime would know 8 people with DID, whether or not they had been to a treatment center, 10 treatment centers etc. Do your research on IFS. I guarantee you you will not find that it is “evidence based” as Deanna states above. Chances are if you do find any kind of articles they were written by Mark Schwartz himself or other past or present staff members at Castlewood.

    Castlewood is a very dangerous place. But don’t take my word for it. Simply do your research and pay a little more attention than usual. Please.

  2. It is vitally important that I personally testify that the Castlewood Treatment Center has done enormous harm to numerous patients and their extended families. My family was basically destroyed after sending a family member for treatment of a relatively minor eating disorder to the Castlewood Treatment Center, under the direct care of Mark Schwartz, Lori Galperin and Nancy Albus in 2011. Very soon after her arrival Castlewood encouraged her to alienate her family members and this was particularly distressing since family therapy is the empirically supported approach to eating disorders. Instead, to treat her eating disorder, Castlewood used several “memory recovery techniques” including; powerful psychotropic drugs, hypnosis, IFS – parts therapy, regression therapies, guided imagery, literal dream interpretation, journaling,”drama therapy”, and even peer pressure from other patients. According to statements made by several experts in eating disorders, use of these controversial treatment modalities is not the standard of care for eating disorders primarily because patients are malnourished and vulnerable to psychological damage.
    Clinical Director and Co-Founder, Mark Schwartz, encouraged my family member to remain secluded at Castlewood for months, during this time she withdrew more and more from her family and the world around her and sank deeper and deeper into the inward-directed rituals of recovered-memory therapy. It was an extremely controlled environment where she was bombarded with strange ideas and encouraged to search for buried memories and hidden alter personalities. Over time, she became disturbingly worse, to the point of suffering. Eventually a diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder (previously known as multiple personality disorder) was suggested by one of her therapists, Mike Rechtien. Mark Schwartz even convinced my family member that she would die if she left Castlewood. It was like her mind was in a virtual train wreck.
    Bizarre and implausible beliefs were developed in the course of her treatment at Castlewood. While under the influence of various medically prescribed psychotropic medications she was coerced into believing that she endured horrendous physical abuse, the kind of abuse that should have left lasting physical scars, and that she was sexually abused by more than 50 different individuals including family members, coaches, lawyers, and policemen. She came to believe that she operated an underage prostitution business from her home, that she was high level drug abuser, and that her family members were aware of all of this abuse and did nothing but laugh at her. The only thing more tragic than actually being subjected to this kind of abuse is to believe it happened when in reality NONE of it is true.
    After Mark Schwartz and other Castlewood Staff encouraged my family member to cut all ties with us, the remainder of my heart-broken family was devastated by her false and impossible allegations of abuse. Before destroying my family and attempting to ruin our reputation, Schwartz and Albus should have sought out independent validation of her claims, especially the more bizarre and less than plausible stories that emerged. Yet no attempt whatsoever was made to vet or verify ANY of the ridiculous claims she began making as a result of their terrible and long debunked “therapeutic” techniques.
    Luckily, however, the officials in our state were compelled to look more objectively at these claims of abuse. My family and I were thoroughly investigated by the Special Victims Unit of the State Police, Child Protective Services and Family Court Judges. After many months and several hearings we were officially cleared of any wrong-doing. Beyond being cleared, not a single portion of any of the hundreds of abuse allegations were supported. After almost a year of intensive investigation one lead investigator looked at my husband and said simply, “Sir, there is absolutely nothing here.” A simple sentence that summed up the entire horror story. Sadly, this did little to restore the broken ties with our Castlewood-damaged family member, with whom we remain estranged from to this very day.
    At first we believed that we were the only ones enduring this hell, but slowly others came forward with similar experiences from Castlewood and Mark Schwartz. There were four civil lawsuits filed against Castlewood, all claiming similar stories of wrongdoing and malpractice. Sadly these cases were each settled out of court with gag orders, probably for large sums of cash. Unfortunately, these victims are now bound to an agreement that they will never disclose the facts of their case to the public-at-large. Even still, victims continued to come forward and we learned of over forty individuals that suffered similar fates after treatment at Castlewood. We joined a support group called Castlewood Victims Unite and discovered truly, that we were NOT alone in our suffering.
    Therapy should be a very gentle exploration and unburdening of problems, not cause a fresh gaping unhealable wound. Therapy should never manufacture delusional problems and horrors for the patient. Today my family member is left in an untenable psychological state, one that is much worse than when she began treatment with The Castlewood Treatment Center. Their treatment caused serious damage at great expense. I am aware that some patients actually have been helped by treatment at Castlewood. I am grateful for this. But it does not change what happened to my family or the more than 40 other families I know about. As a result, I encourage anyone seeking treatment to get help, but to look at facilities NOT called Castlewood. My family will never be the same as the result of our Castlewood experience, but if I can warn folks and perhaps prevent some other family from going through what we did, I may rest a little easier.
    For more information on the wrongdoings of Castlewood just google “The Most Dangerous Idea In Mental Health ” by Ed Cara or “Castlewood Treatment Center Lawsuit” by Blythe Bernhard.

    • Deanna James on

      Thank you for your review of Castlewood Treatment Centers, however this is not a review of our current programs or reflective of Castlewood’s approach to treatment. Castlewood denies these allegations and is no longer affiliated or associated with Dr. Mark Schwartz or Lori Galperin. Castlewood is proud of the programs we offer our clients and design our programs to treat the needs of each client. The modalities utilized are evidence based and cutting edge practice treatment modalities within the eating disorder treatment community. We do not utilize hypnosis, recovered memory or regression techniques in our treatment programs. In addition, our 2013-2015 Outcomes Study found statistically significant improvements in our clients over all functioning and a reduction in ED, PTSD and Anxiety symptoms and all information can be found here:…/research-assessment/

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