Timberline Knolls Reviews, Cost, Complaints

Timberline Knolls


Timberline KnollsTimberline Knolls Review

Located in suburban Chicago, Timberline Knolls opened in 2005 as a treatment center for adolescent girls with eating disorders, drug addiction and trauma. The following year, it expanded its campus and programming to cater to adult women as well. Singers Demi Lovato and Kesha are just two of the loyal alumni who praise the caring staff for getting their lives back on track. Timberline Knolls recognizes that addiction, eating disorders, self-harm and other mood disorders rarely occur in isolation. The clinical staff tackle these problems with an integrated, holistic treatment approach on a client-by-client basis. Because of this, there aren’t separate tracks for each type of treatment; someone getting help for cocaine and self-harm might share a room with a bulimic who’s never done drugs, for example.

Accommodations and Food

Adult women and teens reside in separate lodges on the wooded 43-acre campus, each of which resembles a small private college surrounded by ponds and pines; also like in college, women share relatively modest bedrooms with two to three roommates. Phone calls are permitted several times per day, but no cell phones or laptops are allowed.

Meals are served cafeteria style and carefully monitored by the six on-staff dieticians, as staff can’t be too careful when so many clients have eating issues.

Treatment and Staff

Most residents stay for more than 30 days and some for six months or longer. Treatment packs a one-two punch of clinical therapies and 12-step recovery. DBT plays a major role in individual and group counseling, and a range of expressive and experiential therapies include art, dance, and self-defense therapy. While the gym is small (maybe to discourage over-exercising), the art studio is top notch. During summer, equine therapy is available at Timberline’s adjacent ranch. The rest of the daily schedule gets packed with 12-step meetings, family therapy, psycho-educational groups, and regular consultations with psychiatrists and nutritionists. In addition to required core groups, there are specialized electives on topics like body image, sexuality and Big Book study. An empowerment group provides experiential recovery for trauma survivors.

Although women of all (and no) faiths are welcome at Timberline Knolls, spirituality is decidedly not optional. The spiritual director is a Christian minister, and a special Christian treatment track can be requested if desired. Despite the heavy 12-step emphasis, however, the clinical approach targets the underlying causes of each resident’s behavioral and emotional issues.

The medical care at Timberline Knolls is solid, starting with supervised detox for addicts. 24-hour nursing care is available throughout the program, so those withdrawing are in good hands. For those with substance abuse problems, personal treatment teams consist of a primary therapist, a family therapist, a psychiatrist, an internal medicine doctor, an addiction specialist, and a registered dietician. Alums praise the staff for their compassionate competence.


Outside of therapy time, the athletically inclined can play volleyball, basketball, soccer or badminton while the less-sporty can work in the garden or spend extra art time in the studio. Girls who are in school can work with a Learning Behavior specialist and Master’s-level instructors to create a customizable, transferable curriculum—even AP classes and SAT prep for those who want them.

In Summary

Despite all it offers, Timberline Knolls isn’t perfect; they’ve received a number of alumni complaints—about money, about discrimination and about the treatment. On the whole, though, Timberline Knolls benefits from a healthy combination of traditional spiritual recovery and clinically modern psychotherapy. Most importantly, it emphasizes individuals’ unique situations and the root causes underlying their behavioral issues. And it pays off—unlike many rehabs, Timberline Knolls actually publishes its outcome stats. A year after treatment, it reports that 80% of clients had stayed sober and 80-90% were functioning more effectively in relationships, family and school.

Timberline Knolls Location

40 Timberline Dr
Lemont, IL 60439

Timberline Knolls Cost

$27,125 (30 days). Reach Timberline Knolls by phone at (855) 439-0784. Find Timberline Knolls on Facebook and LinkedIn

Do you have a complaint or review of Timberline Knolls to add? Use the comments area below to add your Timberline Knolls review.



  1. Rebekah Hayden on

    My name is ****. My daughter is at Timberline Knolls, a facility licensed under SUPR. She was admitted for care regarding her OCD symptoms and suicide attempt. I made it clear she does not have an eating disorder, nor an addiction issue. They assured me that they were well suited for handling her OCD.

    While there, she ended up in the ER three times within the same week, followed by admittance to Bolingbrook Hospital. When M first arrived at TK on April 16th, she was on one psychiatric medication. Within a span of 16 days, three more psychiatric medications were added. She was not informed of the changes in medications. She just received the new meds from the nurse and was told she could refuse them when she asked what they were. Further, she did not receive any written information regarding the side effects of the medication provided. It turned out that the side effects of more than one of the psychiatric medications included urinary retention.

    On April 29, my daughter, M, informed the nurse that she was unable to urinate. She had been trying all day and was in terrible pain. She went to the ER. They discovered she had a UTI. They gave her medicine for the UTI, as well as medication to help her bladder relax, then sent her home after she urinated. The next day, Dr. B at TK looked at some lab results and saw that M didn’t have white blood cells in her urine. She pumped her full of antibiotics and gave her the UTI medication, but did not discuss her medications or look into possible alternate causes for the urinary retention. By the next morning, M still wasn’t urinating well and was in horrible pain. She was again sent to the ER where they gave her something to relax her bladder. The infection for the UTI was decreasing, but she couldn’t urinate on her own. She was pumped full of fluid and sent back to TK. By 3 am she was back at the hospital and this time, was given a catheter.
    She was admitted later that day, May 4th, and spoke with a Urologist. The Urologist, Dr. ***, told her she was very lucky her bladder hadn’t burst. He told her that urinary retention was a side effect of the four psychiatric medications she was on. He also confided that she was not the only TK patient he had seen for that very reason.
    When I called to talk to Dr. B about the lack of oversight regarding medication and monitoring for side effects, she told me that she didn’t prescribe the psychiatric medication. Her psychiatrist, Dr. D, did. I asked to speak with him and she said she “didn’t control his schedule” so she couldn’t guarantee he would get back to me. She went on to say that patients who are part of the facility are there for severe mental problems and should expect to be medicated.
    So, these are my concerns –
    1. Medicating clients without their informed consent is against the Illinois state code for mental health practice
    2. Not informing a patient in writing regarding possible side effects for psychiatric medications is not in compliance with state code
    3. Failing to monitor patients for possible side effects is negligent.
    4. Adding 3 medications within the course of two weeks is dangerous at best.

    It is my wish that Timberline Knolls be investigated for failure to comply with state law in regards to medical practice and patient informed consent.

  2. Dale R. Suiter on

    Don’t recommend Timberline. I do not believe patients are safe there. Not a good environment for young women in need of support and therapy.

  3. TK saved my daughter’s life. I will be forever indebted to the staff that cared for her. While their business office was quite harsh on the availability of payment, This was more of an issue with the insurance provider. I don’t agree with this reviews mention of a overly religious aspect of even the 12 step aspect. What I saw over more than a 90 day stay was staff trying to fin d what would work and then working really hard to make sure family was involved. I hope that my daughter continues her positive progress (battle) against her eating disorder, but if she has a severe relapse in the future TK will be my first choice for long term treatment.

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