Eating Disorder Treatment: What You Need to Know

2 Oct by HPA/LiveWell Eating Disorder Treatment

Eating disorders present differently in every person, meaning not all individuals will benefit from the same eating disorder treatment. Accounting for these differences, many treatment centers attempt to meet individualized needs. At HPA/LiveWell, we have developed an intensive outpatient eating disorder treatment program to help patients combat all types of eating disorders (including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder). Our LiveWell eating disorder treatment program is now offered in Albany and Poughkeepsie, NY.

Eating Disorder Treatment: Levels of Care

When selecting treatment for yourself or a loved one, it is vital that the appropriate level of care is chosen. Yet, you may be wondering what “appropriate” means in terms of eating disorder treatment. To help you identify the level of care suited to your needs, an initial assessment by an eating disorder treatment specialist should take place. This professional will then recommend one of the following treatments:

Outpatient treatment – patients remain in their home environment, maintaining “regular” daily activities, and attend therapy and dietetic sessions. Typically, patients attend weekly or more frequent sessions with their therapist and dietitian. Click here to learn how HPA/LiveWell offers this level of care.

Intensive outpatient program (IOP) – provide patients with more structure and care than conventional outpatient services. Often thought of as a bridge between outpatient and inpatient hospitalization, IOP is beneficial in helping patients address their eating disorder triggers that are unique to their own environments at home, work, school, etc. (programming typically consists of 3-4 days per week). This level of care often consists of a combination of modalities, including group, individual, and family therapy, along with nutritional counseling. IOP is heavily focused on the therapeutic and nutritional work needed for individuals to recover from their eating disorders. Click here to learn how HPA/LiveWell offers this level of care.

Residential/Inpatient treatment – provides patients a very structured treatment program, for patients who cannot otherwise independently and safely complete their treatment program. The residential/inpatient level of treatment aims to remove many of the stressors of the “real world” to assure that patient’s complete focus on the psychological and physical healing needed to recover from an eating disorder. Patients in this setting are provided a comprehensive treatment team, consisting of therapists, nutritionists/dietitians, doctors, psychiatrists, and behavioral technicians. A typical day follows a schedule, usually consisting of monitored meals and snacks, various modalities (individual and group therapy, medical appointments, dietetic sessions, experiential activities, etc.). The general aim of the residential/inpatient level of treatment is to prevent patients from retreating to previous eating disorder behaviors.

What to Ask a Treatment Provider

Patients who are considering eating disorder treatment, especially for the first time, often feel intimidated, scared, and overwhelmed. Even though this is extremely common, asking your treatment team questions can help soothe some of those nerves and fears. While no question is a “stupid” question, there are some particularly relevant questions that every individual should ask potential eating disorder treatment provider(s), such as:

  • What is your experience in treating eating disorders? What types of eating disorders do you treat?
  • What is your treatment approach?
  • Do you accept insurance? If so, which plans do you accept?
  • I am seeking anorexia/bulimia/binge-eating disorder treatment. What is the recommended treatment plan?
  • Who will my treatment team consist of? What professionals will you be consulting with?
  • Are there physical/medical concerns of my eating disorder that need to be addressed?
  • What role will my support system (family, friends, loved ones) play in my treatment, if any?
  • What are your success rates in treating my particular diagnosis? How do you define “success”?

Unfortunately, many eating disorders go untreated, regardless of how much the person suffering with the eating disorder knows about eating disorder treatment. Sadly, this is all too common, as many individuals are in denial about the severity of their condition.

If there is any suspicion that you or someone you know might be suffering from an eating disorder, it is crucial to further investigate. One way to do this is to utilize an easily accessible, online eating disorder screening tool. Click here for the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Online Screening Tool

Whether you or a loved one is in need of anorexia treatment, bulimia treatment, or binge eating disorder treatment, HPA/LiveWell can help. Please call us today.