7 Tips on Choosing the Right Eating Disorder Program

Choosing a treatment facility to help you recover from an eating disorder is a very important and often difficult decision. With so many options for treatment facilities out there, it can be hard to know where to start. To help you make the best decision, here are seven tips on choosing the right eating disorder program.

1. Decide which treatment model is best for you. Is the program designed for addiction or recovery? Is it in-patient or out-patient? Does it offer individual or group therapy? Here’s a closer look at some eating disorder treatment options:

In-Patient: These programs take place in a hospital or treatment center. Individuals will stay in in-patient care for a certain period of time ranging from a few days to a few months. This option is usually for acute cases of eating disorders where a person is so sick they need 24-hour care.
Out-Patient: These programs also take place in hospitals or treatment centers but allow the individual to recover at home and return for regular appointments with their doctor, psychologist and nutritionist. This option is reserved for people who are medically stable enough to recover at home.
Individual Therapy: These programs involve therapy sessions with a psychologist or counselor. The amount of sessions needed depends on the severity of the eating disorder and can also include family sessions.
Group Therapy: These programs are for individuals who have shown progress in individual therapy. Group sessions are moderated by a therapist who provides guidance to the group as they discuss their recovery from eating disorders.

2. Ask questions. Your chances of recovery will be greater if you choose a treatment program that makes you feel safe, respected and confident in their professional decisions. Some good questions to ask are:

What is the daily routine?
Are family members allowed to be involved?
Are alternative methods, such as holistic and natural treatments, available?
What kind of food is served?
Do they believe that you’ll always be in recovery or that you can be cured?
Do they incorporate religion or spirituality?

Don’t be afraid to ask any questions and, above all, trust your gut feelings. After all, this is your life and your money you are putting in their hands. You want to make sure you’re getting the most out of both.

3. Look for experts who specialize in your type of eating disorder. You want to choose a program that uses trained professionals who specialize in anorexia, bulimia, binge eating and other eating disorders. A good treatment facility will also have a staff of expert doctors, therapists and nutritionists to aid you in your recovery.

4. Look for comprehensive treatment. Your best bet for recovery is treating your eating disorder from a variety of angles. Comprehensive treatment should include individual and group therapy, psychotherapy, nutritional counseling and even holistic methods of treatment.

5. Look for proven results. How many people have they treated? What is the success rate of the treatment program? How do they deal with relapse? These are all important questions to ask and a good treatment facility won’t be afraid to share their track record.

6. Look for family involvement. Sometimes it’s necessary to keep a patient separate from friends and family during the initial phases of treatment, but most experts agree that the support of family and friends is integral to recovery. Find out if the treatment program will involve your loved ones in the recovery process.

7. Look for modern, innovative treatments. A lot of research has been done on eating disorders and new information is emerging every year. Traditional tried-and-true methods of treatment should be incorporated in any treatment program, but you should also consider facilities that use proven innovative ways of treatment. Holistic treatment for eating disorders is very popular for its effectiveness and can include acupuncture, yoga, and art therapy.