Common Pitfalls in Adolescent Eating Disorder Recovery and How to Avoid Them

Upon discharging from an eating disorder treatment center, adolescents must continue using their healthy coping skills to remain recovered. Through the use of these methods, adolescents can better handle the stressors in their daily lives without returning to disordered thoughts and behaviors as coping mechanisms. The removal of these obstacles allows children to return their focus to their preferred educational and social activities. This may also help restore their quality of life through the elimination of adolescents eating disorder symptoms.

The process of becoming and remaining recovered is never perfect and can include old and new triggers. These triggers can complicate recovery from eating disorders in adolescence, necessitating continued care through the teen years, if not longer. Parents can help their children avoid these pitfalls and continue to in recovery and acquire help from eating disorder recovery centers whenever needed.

Understanding the most common pitfalls to avoid, parents can help their kids avoid disordered thoughts and behaviors to remain recovered. They can use this guide to explore this topic in more detail as they prepare to provide their children with support in remaining recovered from eating disorders.

Slipping Back into Disordered Thought Patterns

If adolescents start to re-experience disordered thoughts, they may face difficulties in remaining recovered. The disordered thoughts can start to derail their progress and cause doubts to surface, complicating recovery from eating disorders. Children often need help continually challenging these thoughts, especially when they negativity cloud their perceptions.

Although occasional negative thoughts are a normal part of growing up, children should work to banish the negativity to move through life with confidence. Otherwise, the onslaught of negative thoughts may cause shifts in how they see themselves and perceive the world. They may also start to change the way they think about eating and exercise habits, increasing the risk of relapse.

While in eating disorder counseling, adolescents learn how to challenge these negative thought patterns and replace them with helpful thoughts. Mindfulness training is a big part of this process and can help with challenging these thoughts outside of the treatment center. Parents can also help their children utilize mindfulness and other helpful coping skills to banish the disordered thoughts and move forward in recovery. If the dysfunctional thoughts and perceptions cannot be controlled in this manner, parents can help their children acquire additional help at eating disorder treatment centers.

Skipping Healthy Coping Skills in Favor of Disordered Coping Behaviors

Children or adolescents with eating disorders need to continually rely on their healthy coping skills to handle the stressors that arise in their daily lives. Children and adolescents face a lot of different stressors that may take a toll if not properly addressed. When adolescents begin to revert back to using disordered behaviors to cope, they are likely sliding toward a return of their eating disorder symptoms and need immediate help.

Children or adolescents with eating disorders may need to practice selecting methods from their toolbox of healthy coping skills, as is appropriate for every stressor they face. Through each stage of life, these skills may change, prompting these individuals to continually adjust their approach to managing stress and remaining recovered. This means a lot of practice and the need for plenty of support from parents and professionals at eating disorder treatment centers.

When children can match their healthy coping skills to the situation, they are better able to avoid disordered behaviors overall. Parents can help their kids use their toolbox and add healthy coping skills as needed to remain recovered. This process is a lifelong venture that children need to learn how to manage themselves; but this comes with time. During adolescence, parents and other caregivers will need to offer immense guidance and support to combat against on disordered coping behaviors.

Arguing About Symptoms, Behaviors and Thought Patterns

When perceptions start to shift and disordered behaviors follow, parents may try to use logic to communicate with their children and help them remain recovered. Unfortunately, logic does not go very far in getting through to children or teens about topics in which they may have skewed perceptions. If they cannot see their symptoms, behaviors or thought patterns for what they are, parents must intervene and acquire help for their kids.

Simply trying to argue the point does very little in helping kids return to healthy thought patterns and behaviors. It also does not halt the symptoms of adolescents eating disorders, no matter how hard parents may try. Instead of using logic, it is important to reach out to the professionals at eating disorder recovery centers for additional support. These experts can assess the child’s state of mind and health status to determine the best level of support to provide.

Kids may need to return to the eating disorder treatment centers for additional care and guidance on an inpatient or outpatient basis. If caught early enough, it may be possible to reverse the return of disordered patterns with outpatient therapy sessions and educational workshops. Parents can attend these sessions and workshops alongside their child to learn how to provide their support through every stage of recovery.

Decreasing Parental Involvement in Remaining Recovered

As kids return home from eating disorder treatment centers, parents often want to respect their space and may give too much freedom too soon. Adolescents with eating disorders need their parents’ full involvement and support after graduating from treatment and in the months or years afterward. Without this guidance, kids may have difficulty handling daily stressors and using their healthy coping skills in an effective manner.

When parents set fair boundaries and enforce them, they communicate their love and support to their child. Children and teens tend to thrive when they have clear rules to follow that assist in living a healthy, happy life. As they are still learning and developing, children cannot always follow their plan in remaining recovered. They benefit from having their parents act as a guide in making the right choices for their continued wellbeing.

Parents need to remain watchful in identifying any disordered thought patterns or behaviors that may return. Noticing this problem right away can help ensure children and adolescents receive the continued support they need to eliminate these patterns. For these reasons, parental involvement will remain paramount in helping kids with eating disorders remain recovered over the years.

Avoiding Setting Limits That Help with Recovery

Kids receive the tools they need to remain recovered in eating disorder treatment centers, but they do not always have the willpower and wisdom to use them effectively. Parents often have to do the heavy lifting by establishing boundaries that provide children and teens a healthy framework for their daily lives. With this framework, kids can work with their toolbox of coping skills in managing stress while completing normal daily activities.

The boundaries can help when children face difficult challenges, including real-life situations that bring up any associated eating disorder triggers. The framework guides their choices and takes the fear of the unknown out of the equation. Adolescents with eating disorders tend to feel much less overwhelmed and afraid when they know they have their parents or loved ones support and guidance.

Parents do not need to create the boundaries from scratch, however, as eating disorder recovery centers establish the foundation. Family programming brings parents into the treatment center to explore this foundation and learn about the boundaries that will assist children and teens in remaining recovered at home. Parents can then build upon these areas to create common sense boundaries that provide adolescents the appropriate level of support.

Pushing Forward Too Soon and Too Quickly

Although parents play a vital role in helping their kids remain recovered, children also must remain responsible for their own wellbeing. They should be expected to take the initiative to use their healthy coping skills and challenge any negative thoughts that arise. Children and teens cannot take on all of this responsibility all at once, however. There needs to be a gradual return to full responsibility and continued guidance every step of the way.

Pushing forward too soon and too quickly can result in a backslide that necessitates additional support from the treatment center care teams. Children and adolescents with eating disorders benefit from gaining independence slowly while remaining responsible for themselves. They may need a little extra support from their parents and care team to work through problem areas and triggering situations.

To appropriately support their children, parents must continually gauge their child’s state of wellbeing at any given point in time. They can then dial in the level of support vs. independence they grant to help kids take on as much responsibility as they can handle without overwhelming them. With time, this approach helps children learn how to become fully responsible for their health and wellbeing without cracking under the pressure.

Missing Out on Opportunities for Continued Support

Eating disorder treatment centers offer their alumnae continued opportunities for support that assist them in remaining recovered. The lines of support offered by treatment centers include educational workshops, alumnae therapy sessions and digital resources. Adolescents with eating disorders and their parents can tap into these resources anytime they need additional support or simply want to learn more.

These educational and support-based opportunities allow children and their families to build their coping skill toolkits and gain the knowledge they need in recovery. Digital workshops, for example, allow kids and parents to explore well-defined topics that directly address their challenges and the leading solutions. By exploring the key areas in this manner, children and adolescents can confidently forge ahead in remaining recovered and their parents can provide the support they need through it all.

Adolescents eating disorder therapy sessions go one step further by inviting children and families back to the treatment centers for support. They may attend family therapy as a group with many other parents and their children or solo sessions with just their family alone. Children may attend therapy sessions alongside other alumnae and without their parents for individualized support. They may also go to group therapy compromised of past and current patients to gain perspective and see their journey in a whole new light.

Failing to Reach Out for Help from Eating Disorder Recovery Centers

When disordered thought patterns and behaviors return, parents need to reach out for help for their children right away. By helping their children and adolescents receive help at the first sign of a problem, it is possible to replace disordered patterns with ones that support adolescents with eating disorders in becoming and remaining recovered. At some point, reaching out for help is the best option in preventing a full relapse. Children and teens can always return to outpatient treatment or other programs to get past their challenges and continue on the path to recovery.

Our experienced clinicians and staff will use their expertise to help children and adolescents feel welcomed and supported as they seek care. Parents can rely on this team to provide them with the guidance they need to fully support their children through treatment and after graduating from the eating disorder recovery center.

With a clear understanding of the most common pitfalls in adolescent eating disorder recovery, parents can effectively help their children and teens avoid relapse and focus on wellness. As challenges arise, they can use their knowledge of these pitfalls to take the right steps and support their kids’ journey toward becoming and remaining recovered.


Carrie Hunnicutt

With 20 years of behavioral health business development experience, Carrie combines world-class marketing, media, public relations, outreach and business development with a deep understanding of client care and treatment. Her contributions to the world of behavioral health business development – and particularly eating disorder treatment – go beyond simple marketing; she has actively developed leaders for her organizations and for the industry at large.

Part Two: Spreading Awareness

Monte Nido & Affiliates Education Training Manager Jacquie Rangel recently spoke at a high school to help educate the students about eating disorders and self love. Jacquie shares a two part series on her experience and time spent with the high school students. Keep reading for part two…

To read part one of Jacquie’s series, click HERE.

Beyond the lesson of holding space for a person who is struggling to help themselves, I went in to present with the intention of driving home the importance of self-love. As our conversation around denial elucidated, a person who is incapable of hearing that they need help is really just struggling to believe that they deserve it. I got personal and shared with the students that I remember feeling this when I was first coming to terms with the reality of my own experience with an eating disorder many years ago now. I had moments of clarity when I felt and observed the danger of what I was doing to myself, but still I fought tooth and nail when family and friends would bring it to my attention. I had every excuse in the book for my behavior, my actions, my physical decay because at that point the persona of my eating disorder was in the driver’s seat and it kept telling me that I was not really “that sick”.

There is no such thing as “not sick enough” to get help, and the relentless practice of putting ourselves first makes that truth evident. If we were speaking of a friend, we would try to our best to cast away a negative self-thought as soon as we observed it. If we were speaking of someone we loved who started showing signs of illness we would encourage them to seek medical guidance and evaluate what stressors are affecting their physiology. If we were speaking of a family member, we wouldn’t let them hurt themselves for “just a little bit” because it’s unfathomable that this person we care about deserves to be in pain. For some reason however, we get into the mindset that the reel of self-criticism and even some degree of self-harm is tolerable. Simply put, just NO! The truth is we won’t be able to show up for a friend, someone we love or a family member in those scenarios if we don’t hold ourselves in the same regard. We, just as much as anyone, deserve the same amount of compassion that we so willingly give out.

I cannot emphasize how impressed I was with the student body at Miami Beach Senior High not only for their hospitality, but for the thought-provoking questions and engagement while I shared my story and provided education around a sensitive topic. I am so thankful for this opportunity to have shared time with this group. With each passing year that puts distance between me and my experience with an eating disorder, I hear myself speaking more confidently and compassionately. Though I consider myself fully recovered from my eating disorder, I see healing as a lifelong endeavor and every opportunity to share as a way to strengthen my practice of self-healing and self-love.


For more information about Monte Nido please call 855.265.1958visit our website and connect with us on FacebookLinkedInTwitter, and Instagram.

Carrie Hunnicutt

With 20 years of behavioral health business development experience, Carrie combines world-class marketing, media, public relations, outreach and business development with a deep understanding of client care and treatment. Her contributions to the world of behavioral health business development – and particularly eating disorder treatment – go beyond simple marketing; she has actively developed leaders for her organizations and for the industry at large.

Importance of Meal Support for Clients in Residential Eating Disorder Programs

While enrolled in residential eating disorder treatment programs, clients will receive meal support services to help them restructure their outlook on eating and mealtimes. The meal support services are designed to help them stick with their meal plan and overcome the challenges they might face. With meal support, clients can address their concerns and difficulties in real time to receive the support they need in finding their ideal coping mechanisms. With this level of support, they can gain the skills and confidence they need to follow their meal plans and comfortably engage in mealtimes.

For this reason, meal support services are integral to anorexia nervosa and bulimia treatment plans long-term effectiveness. Clients can begin their journey toward becoming recovered by taking a closer look at the benefits of meal support. They may get started by using this guide to learn all about how the meal support services can help them confidently overcome the challenges ahead and become recovered.

Promotes the Development of Healthy Eating Habits

Disordered eating habits can become ingrained, making it difficult for clients to return to appropriate eating patterns on their own. To challenge those destructive behaviors, it is important to replace those habits with better alternatives on a consistent basis. With time, the old destructive behaviors are replaced with ones that support their journey toward becoming and remaining recovered.

Before all this can happen, however, clients need to be able to see the destructive nature of disordered eating habits and other behaviors — and tell when they are engaging in them. Meal support aims to provide the insights needed to replace destructive behaviors with healthy eating habits. Eating disorder therapists will help their clients see the behaviors for what they are and promptly replace them to restructure their habits.

With meal support, clients will also receive help with following their individualized eating plans. With their eating disorder therapist available throughout all mealtimes, they can discuss the purpose of the plan and how it will help them become recovered. They can also learn about how they will transition to planning and managing their own meals using the skills they gained in residential eating disorder programs.

The understanding they gain through these discussions can act as their guide as they practice the skills introduced in anorexia treatment. As clients move through their programs, they can actively replace their dysfunctional behaviors with healthy eating habits that help them remain recovered.

Reframes Negative Thought Patterns About Food and Meals

Before people with eating disorders can start to replace destructive behaviors with positive alternatives, they must reframe their negative thought patterns about food and meals. This process can take some time, as it requires remaining mindful about feelings that arise while challenging any and all negativity. With mindful reframing of negative thought patterns, people with eating disorders can start to make positive associations with eating and sitting down for meals.

To make progress toward becoming recovered, clients can benefit from extra support at mealtimes while enrolled in eating disorder treatment programs. Eating disorder therapists can discuss how their clients feel in the moment and help them use coping skills to handle their strong emotions or distressing thoughts. Through this process, they can challenge the underlying thought patterns and associations that give them the most trouble in recovery. With clarity about those matters, clients can start building positive associations to reframe how they feel about this important part of life.

Allows Clients to Address Challenges as They Arise

As people with eating disorders receive meal support, they can directly address the challenges they face with guidance from their eating disorder therapists. Whenever they face difficulties in replacing destructive thought patterns and behaviors, it is possible to reach out at that moment to receive assistance. With this approach, they do not have to sit with the negative feelings clouding their mind and potentially encouraging destructive behaviors. Instead, they can receive the guidance they need to eliminate those challenges and move forward on the path to becoming recovered.

At meal support sessions, eating disorder therapists may ask leading questions and start a dialogue that promotes mindfulness and other self-monitoring behaviors. Clients can share their discoveries with the professionals leading the residential eating disorder programs to receive help getting around their main barriers to recovery. Working through these barriers allows them to build a healthy relationship with food and learn to enjoy mealtimes.

Helps Structure Mealtimes as Positive Events

For many people in residential eating disorder programs, mealtimes have turned into rather negative events due to the destructive thought patterns and behaviors that arise. The negative thoughts and feelings that come up at mealtimes can make it difficult to remain present and practice good coping skills. Some people may decide to skip mealtimes altogether to avoid those seemingly endless negative associations.

With meal support, however, eating disorder therapists do what they can to structure mealtimes as positive events. They prepare the dining room to make it feel welcoming and bright for all their clients. They also plan fun conversations and put out board games for people to play together as they work on following their meal plans. Although they are available to help their clients work through challenges, eating disorder therapists also want to help them see how enjoyable mealtimes can be.

When people with eating disorders can recognize what functional mealtimes should look and feel like, they can emulate that while practicing their skills outside the inpatient anorexia treatment center. Eating disorder therapists can help them understand where to best apply their efforts as they work toward seeing mealtimes in a positive light. Their exact approach will depend on their own unique life experiences and the feelings and thought patterns that arise as a result. With personalized anorexia treatment support, they can make progress in addressing these underlying factors and building positive associations with mealtimes.

Rewards Clients for Their Presence at Meals

While following an inpatient anorexia treatment plan, attendance at meals and snack periods will be naturally rewarded by a reduction of the stress clients feel about this vital activity. Clients can bring up the challenges that cause them the most problems and receive help without judgment. Through each meal support session, it is possible to actively work on personal eating disorder recovery tasks while remaining on track with the bulimia treatment plan established by the care team.

The one on one empathic support helps clients complete their meals with confidence that following their personalized treatment plan will help them move toward recovery. Through this arrangement, clients can rest assured that they always have someone to lean on when challenges arise while eating. With practice, they can also learn how to rely on their own coping skills to move toward stress-free mealtimes. Practicing these skills in a safe, monitored environment, as is found with meal support, helps improve their abilities without the risk of failing. This naturally-rewarding environment will help frame mealtimes as positive experiences that benefit all clients’ health and wellbeing.

Keeps Clients Accountable and Moving Toward Becoming Recovered

Accountability is key in becoming and remaining recovered after graduating from residential eating disorder programs. Meal support helps build this accountability through the gradual development of supportive skills. Through mealtime guidance, eating disorder therapist can help their clients increase mindfulness and self-monitoring skills, for example, to help them remain accountable through treatment and beyond.

As people with eating disorders make progress toward becoming recovered, they will show that they can be accountable for their own recovery by creating and following their own meal plans. They will continue to receive meal support throughout this process to ensure they can address their challenges head-on. As they continue to push the envelope in recovery, new challenges and setbacks are common and easy to overcome with help during meal support sessions.

Eating disorder therapist will know when their clients need help by observing mealtimes and noting when they need the extra guidance and support. When this happens, they may receive help restructuring negative thought patterns or replacing destructive behaviors to resolve those challenges.

Strengthens Social Bonds

When people with eating disorders invite family members to mealtimes, they can strengthen the bonds with those in their social network. Their attendance at these meal support groups can serve to improve their understanding of what their loved ones face in recovery. Caring family members can learn about the triggers that cause problems and healthy coping habits that help the most in the moment. They can also learn more about how to provide the best level of support as their loved ones transition from inpatient treatment to outpatient eating disorder treatment programs, and then again to home.

With a high level of support from family, clients can push past the difficulties they face and work on eliminating their eating disorder symptoms. These important individuals can help clients remain mindful and honest with themselves as they transition to home as a part of their bulimia treatment plan. The family support can also help clients better understand when they could potentially benefit from outside support services or additional treatment at the residential eating disorder program. Strong bonds with family can go a long way in helping clients remain recovered – and it often all starts at meal support groups and other events held by anorexia treatment centers.

What Clients Can Expect from Meal Support While in Eating Disorder Treatment

When people with eating disorders enter residential eating disorder programs, they can expect to receive meal support to help restructure their perceptions of food and mealtimes. Meal support comes from the dedicated eating disorder care team and their peers who attend group therapy sessions as well. Clients can also receive meal support from their family members, as their involvement is an important part of each person’s recovery journey.

With meal support, clients will simply attend mealtimes as a group led by members of the eating disorder care team. They can receive help following their eating plan through the care team’s oversight at every meal and snack period. If they have difficulties following their plan, they can share their challenges and receive help from their eating disorder therapist in getting past them. They can also discuss their successes and strengths to build up their toolbox of healthy coping skills and thought patterns.

The fully recovered staff members attend all mealtimes and arrange other helpful events that assist with meal support. These meal support events may center around family group therapy or educational workshops to help clients gain the insights and skills they need to become and remain recovered. The meal support events may center around different topics that can help the group and their family members move past barriers to recovery.

Beyond helping everyone cope with the process of becoming recovered, these meal support events also help build bonds between clients and their social network. These bonds can help clients remain on the path to recovery even as challenges come their way. They can also learn a lot about themselves and ways to eliminate their symptoms through the process of receiving meal support.

As people with eating disorders receive guidance and support from those around them, it is possible to gain immense personal insights that were likely never thought about before. These insights can really help as clients learn what makes them tick, and then use their strengths to become recovered. Therefore, meal support will likely prove invaluable as people with eating disorders move through the inpatient anorexia treatment program.


Carrie Hunnicutt

With 20 years of behavioral health business development experience, Carrie combines world-class marketing, media, public relations, outreach and business development with a deep understanding of client care and treatment. Her contributions to the world of behavioral health business development – and particularly eating disorder treatment – go beyond simple marketing; she has actively developed leaders for her organizations and for the industry at large.

Life-Enhancing Experiences and Their Role in Helping You Become Fully Recovered

While people with eating disorders enroll in treatment programs at eating disorder recovery centers, they will have regular opportunities to head out into the surrounding community to enjoy life-enhancing experiences. These outings give individuals a chance to try out their new skills and see how they respond to real-life situations. If any difficulties arise, fully recovered staff members can walk them through the coping process and help them address those challenges right away.

As individuals progress through binge eating disorder treatment near them, they will also have opportunities to go on outings with family and friends rather than just their peers and staff members at the treatment center. With this arrangement, they can continue exposing themselves to real-life situations and potential triggers to see what they can handle and conquer their challenges as they come. Upon returning to the binge eating disorder treatment centers, they can share their experiences and successes with their therapists for assistance with processing.

Although every life-enhancing experience offers opportunities for personal growth, the focus always remains on having a great time. When individuals have life-enhancing experiences to look forward to, it makes it easier to move through the treatment process with confidence. There are many activities that can be enjoyed while in treatment, making it easy for everyone to find their favorite outings, hobbies, and other experiences. Here’s what individuals need to know about this integral part of the recovery process at binge eating disorder treatment centers.

Types of Life-Enhancing Experiences Encouraged During Treatment

To help restore their joy for life, people with eating disorders will go on many different types of life-enhancing experience trips during the process of binge eating disorder treatment near me. These experiences may vary quite a bit in type to provide ideas on new hobbies and activities to enjoy after becoming recovered.

While developing new interests, individuals can replace disordered thoughts and behaviors with activities related to their hobbies of choice. In this way, hobbies can act as healthy coping skills that people can rely on as they become and remain fully recovered. Here are a few of the experiences individuals might enjoy while at eating disorder treatment centers.

Nature Exploration

People in eating disorder treatment might head out as a group to explore the beautiful nature retreats in the area while enrolled in programs at eating disorder recovery centers. Spending time in nature can help individuals feel less stressed and improve their moods for hours afterward. Nature trips are great initial outings for eating disorder individuals as there is a low risk of encountering potential triggers.

As individuals make progress in becoming recovered, eating disorder therapists may suggest increasing the difficulty by including a picnic lunch in the itinerary. These small adjustments can help people with eating disorders make solid progress toward their recovery goals. As they face their fears and overcome the challenges before them, it is possible to gain the skills they need to remain recovered after graduating from binge eating disorder treatment.

Theater and the Arts

Immersive trips to the local theater, museums and musical performances can prove very therapeutic while people with eating disorders work on becoming recovered. The arts tend to offer a wide variety of ways to appreciate the world and its amazing people.

While viewing awe-inspiring works of art and live performances, individuals at eating disorder treatment centers may gain new perspectives and insights that can assist in the reframing of their negative thought patterns. They may even find a new appreciation for themselves and their journey as they find reflections of self in the performances and works of art. If they find these outings pleasurable, there are likely endless similar options to consider as performers come and go, museums update their galleries and artists create new works.


To pass the time and build their skills, individuals can take on new hobbies while at eating disorder recovery centers. They may attend workshops alongside their peers or with their family and friends to learn the initial skills needed to start the hobby. They will likely try out many different hobbies as a result to find their favorite ones. The hobbies they may try include jewelry making, painting, gaming, photography, gardening, dance, and computer programming.

When people have at least one hobby, they can actively replace negative thought patterns and halt disordered behaviors by focusing on that activity. The focus will redirect their energy to the project to help them make progress in replacing destruction thoughts and behaviors with healthier alternatives.

Fun and Games

Outings that are purely about fun and games may delight individuals at eating disorder treatment centers the most. These outings may land individuals at the movies, arcade or bowling alley where they can play to their hearts’ content. The ability to forget about it all and just have fun can lift their spirits for a considerable amount of time afterward.

The lighthearted environment can make it easier for individuals to work through the challenges that may arise. They may even be able to push their progress by facing their fears and using their coping skills to work through the issues that crop up.

During the group outings, members of the care team will remain by their individuals’ sides, ready to help in case they need guidance and support at that moment. Individuals can start to tackle these outings on their own as they make great progress toward becoming recovered.

Restaurant Visits

As individuals work through their negative associations with mealtimes and other challenges, they can add restaurant visits to their list of regular outings. These visits allow for group meals in new settings that encourage personal growth and progress in building helpful skills. They can address their fears about eating in public and around other people while on these outings.

As many triggers may arise, eating disorder treatment center professionals will remain on hand to offer guidance and assistance as needed. Individuals can go on group outings as much as they need to in order to increase their comfort with this activity. Once they have developed a strong set of coping skills and the ability to address the challenges ahead, they may start to go on restaurant visits with their friends and family.

These are just a few of the activities individuals can potentially enjoy on outings away from the eating disorder treatment centers. Individuals can brainstorm activities with help from their eating disorder therapists if they want to try something different that may help them reach new heights in their recovery.

Benefits of Regular Life-Enhancing Experiences

Going on regular life-enhancing experience outings can help individuals move through the eating disorder treatment process with purpose. They can focus on making progress in their recovery while having a great time with their treatment group or friends and family. Eating disorder therapists will give their individuals the support they need to ensure these outings always help them work toward becoming and remaining recovered. Here are a few benefits people with eating disorders can expect to enjoy regular life-enhancing experiences.

Improves Self-Care and Confidence

By going on regular life-enhancing experiences, individuals in eating disorder treatment can practice great self-care routines by simply having a great time. Their mental and physical health will benefit from the opportunities to go out and have fun with their peers, friends and family members. Great self-care practices are integral to becoming and remaining recovered. Without self-care, individuals could suffer the effects of high stress levels and the lack of a healthy outlet.

As individuals go on these outings, there will be plenty of opportunities to address their challenges in becoming recovered. With each success in doing so, their confidence levels will receive a boost that keeps them motivated and encouraged. The increased confidence will serve them well as they work on following their treatment plan at the eating disorder recovery center.

Promotes Mindfulness and Self-Monitoring

Mindfulness and self-monitoring skills rarely come naturally. As with most people, individuals in eating disorder treatment centers need training to learn to use these skills effectively. When individuals go on life-enhancing outings, their immersion in a new environment can amplify the way they feel, making it easier than ever to remain mindful. The increased mindfulness can keep them accountable and help reveal behavioral patterns that could otherwise impede their recovery.

To truly decipher these behavioral patterns, they must also practice great self-monitoring skills on a daily basis. The outings can also help with this by giving individuals plenty to share as they continually push themselves toward becoming recovered. As they should always have their journal on them, it is possible to take a few quick notes here and there to assess how the experience helped or hindered their progress. With this approach, they can effectively narrow down their most pressing challenges and find ways to overcome them.

Allows Individuals to Practice a Recovered Mindset

With each outing individuals head out on, they can gain new perspectives that help them develop and maintain a recovered mindset. Their ability to apply the insights of the care team to their outside activities can make different aspects of their treatment plans click in their minds. With their improved understanding of the treatment process, these individuals can gain a recovered mindset that helps keep them on track with their recovery plan.

This new outlook can help individuals confidently work toward their personal goals and remain committed to each phase of eating disorder treatment near me. They can better manage their eating disorder and keep their symptoms to a minimum while maintaining the right mindset. This approach can keep disordered thought patterns and their resulting behaviors from causing setbacks and other problems as they work on their recovery.

Gives Individuals Opportunities to Understand and Address Challenges in Recovery

As individuals gain skills in eating disorder treatment near me, there will come a time when they need to venture out to try them in new environments. Otherwise, they may not know how different situations affect their ability to effectively use healthy coping skills. These outings also help reveal where individuals could use more support before graduating from the binge eating disorder treatment centers and heading home.

When people with eating disorders share information about their experiences with the care team, they can receive targeted support that helps them overcome the challenges that cause the most problems during their outings. Additional trips out can help these individuals proof these skills to ensure their old habits are permanently replaced with healthier alternatives.

Role of Life-Enhancing Experiences in Becoming and Remaining Recovered

Through life-enhancing experiences, it is possible for individuals to renew their joy for life and make additional progress toward becoming recovered. They can go on these outings approximately twice a week to consistently build their skills in new situations and environments. As they challenge themselves, they will learn valuable insights that can guide the process of acquiring eating disorder treatment near them. The care team can help individuals apply the self-monitoring data they require to identify their key strengths and areas in need of additional support.

As individuals move on to going on outings with their friends and family, they can start to repair and build their social bonds. These bonds will serve them well as they become recovered and transition back home to use their skills in day to day life. They can lean on their support system whenever challenges arise to work their way through them with purpose. All of this begins with simple outings designed to help individuals have some fun and enjoy themselves as they work on becoming recovered.


Carrie Hunnicutt

With 20 years of behavioral health business development experience, Carrie combines world-class marketing, media, public relations, outreach and business development with a deep understanding of client care and treatment. Her contributions to the world of behavioral health business development – and particularly eating disorder treatment – go beyond simple marketing; she has actively developed leaders for her organizations and for the industry at large.

Role of Journaling and Self-Monitoring in Outpatient Eating Disorder Treatment

At eating disorder treatment centers, accountability plays a major role in helping clients eliminate their symptoms and become recovered. In the early stages of treatment, clients receive assistance with accountability through oversight and support from the fully recovered staff members. As clients become recovered, however, they must learn how to be fully accountable for their own health and wellbeing.

To ensure clients can achieve this goal, they must learn to use self-monitoring and journaling to their advantage. Staff members provide the instruction needed to master these skills and apply them throughout the treatment process and after graduation. With this approach, clients can use these tools to remain mindful and identify when they need extra support and resources in remaining fully recovered.

What Is Self-Monitoring – and How Do Clients Learn How It Works?

Self-monitoring centers around remaining mindful of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and then recording them for later review. Clients also record their food intake and mealtime experience information in their notes. Tracking these areas can help clients notice patterns that indicate the need for additional support, but they must know how to decipher that data. It is also vital that clients know how to track effectively to build a solid outlook of their wellbeing outside of eating disorder facilities.

Many clients need mindfulness training and other helpful activities to begin to learn the skills that support great self-monitoring. Learning to pay close attention to thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can prove difficult for many people in eating disorder treatment centers. So, it can take a lot of practice to develop these skills and apply them enough to create useful data records and use them to remain accountable.

Eating disorder treatment professionals help their clients learn these life skills and apply them throughout the process of becoming recovered. Clients can practice these skills in a controlled environment inside the inpatient treatment centers before applying them to real-life situations on outings and after graduating. Through this gradual building of skills, clients can gain confidence in self-monitoring and journaling to remain fully accountable to their healthy selves.

The Role That Journaling Plays in Treatment and Recovery

Journaling is the mindful recording of all the things clients notice while self-monitoring. Through the recording of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, clients can see where they need extra support and reach out for resources before problems escalate. Journaling about food intake and meals also aids in remaining accountable to stay fully recovered after graduating from eating disorder treatment centers.

Writing down what they eat and how they feel is just a small part of the journaling process for clients at eating disorder recovery centers. Journaling can act as an outlet for larger than life thoughts and feelings. They can voice their concerns, address their challenges and find relief from many problems by simply writing that information down. Through this process, it is possible for clients to identify the stressors that contribute to the development of disordered thought patterns and behaviors.

Identifying their main stressors and challenges can help the most in remaining recovered. With the identification of these areas, it is possible for clients to find healthy coping skills that assist in mitigating those factors. Through this process, clients at eating disorder facilities can build the toolbox of skills they need to handle all types of situations.

Self-Monitoring and Journaling Tools Used in Eating Disorder Treatment Centers

Clients at eating disorder recovery centers have to learn how to use self-monitoring tools before they can utilize this skill effectively. Here are a few ways clients can work on building this skill.


Treatment options for eating disorders almost always include mindfulness training. With this training process, it is possible for clients to start cracking their inner code and making progress in their journey toward recovery. Simply noticing and acknowledging personal thoughts, feelings and behaviors can prove challenging for many people working toward becoming recovered. Before they can be recorded and utilized properly, it is a must that clients are accurate and honest in deciphering these inner workings.

Mindfulness helps with this by assisting clients in noticing how they are feeling, thinking and acting at any given moment. Training this skill requires a lot of living in the present moment rather than dwelling in the past or looking too far forward. With a moment by moment account of how they are doing, clients can remain accountable for their progress toward becoming and remaining recovered. As mindfulness develops, self-monitoring becomes much easier for clients.


With worksheets, clients can learn how to journal effectively and include all of the most useful information on every page. The worksheets show the structure that will best support the patient’s recovery goals. The sections on the worksheet may cover food intake times and amounts, dining location and any associated thoughts and feelings that arose during the meal. The sections may also have room to note any disordered behaviors that occurred and the situations that led up to those events.

Clients can move onto their own journaling materials as they learn how to apply the worksheet structure appropriately. While becoming recovered, clients must find the practices that work best for them to achieve great results in monitoring their wellbeing. With the move to journaling on their own, clients gain confidence in controlling their own journey toward becoming recovered.

Best Practices in Creating and Maintaining a Journal

Upon moving past using daily worksheets as a journal, clients can utilize almost any binder or notebook as their tracking location. Clients should try to stay away from digital recordkeeping methods, as physically writing the information down helps commit it to memory. Pen and paper records also help with accountability as they are difficult to change or erase without leaving evidence. Digital records can be easily altered or erased as difficult feelings, such as shame and guilt, arise. Staying fully present and in the moment while journaling also assists in facing and addressing the challenges that arise.

Clients must record their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in real-time to avoid making mistakes while recalling information at the end of the day. Writing down events as they occur results in the most accurate, honest information possible. To make sure this happens each day, clients must have their journal on them at all times. Clients also have to make an effort to remain mindful and receptive throughout each and every day. With this dedicated approach, it is possible for clients to gather the data they need to remain recovered after graduating from eating disorder facilities.

Using Journal Entries to Monitor Treatment Progress

Each journal entry opens the door to the patient’s mind and their innermost thoughts and feelings. Clients can use this glimpse into their own minds to their advantage by looking for trends and patterns that appear. These trends tend to reveal the underlying problems that trigger eating disorder symptoms, including disordered thought patterns and dysfunctional behaviors.

Clients can look at the type of food they eat, when they eat it and how much they consume with a focus on the situations and environments surrounding those behaviors, for example. By looking through that lens, clients can identify the challenges they face in remaining recovered. They must record their observations about the data and retain those records for later review as well. Different mindsets can reveal things clients may not have considered before, so journals and observation data can provide immense value time and time again.

When needed, clients can review the journals with the staff members at outpatient eating disorder treatment facilities for helpful insights. The new perspectives can help in making sense of the data and creating healthy coping mechanisms to handle the identified challenges. Eating disorder therapists can also set up helpful exercises that assist clients in coping with the challenges that stand in their way of becoming and remaining recovered. Fully recovered staff members can also help brainstorm activities to build improve coping skills, as needed, to overcome these challenges.

Remaining Recovered Through Self-Monitoring and Journaling

With self-monitoring, clients can constantly assess their state of mind and overall wellbeing to remain fully recovered. Upon graduating from eating disorder recovery centers, clients must utilize the skills they learned to remain recovered while handling real-life situations every day. Self-monitoring and journaling support all of the other skills learned in treatment, making them some of the most important clients will use. With these two skills, it is possible to identify challenges in remaining recovered and reach out for help before disordered thought patterns and behaviors start to take hold.

A commitment to continuing these practices outside of treatment is paramount in remaining recovered and staying accountable to the healthy self. Clients can make this commitment in treatment by mastering these skills with regular practice. Treatment centers encourage this practice through life-enhancing outings and daily life activities at eating disorder facilities. The ability to apply these skills to real-life situations can promptly reveal the patient’s strengths and the challenges they face at the eating disorder recovery center.

As clients move from inpatient to outpatient eating disorder treatment, they can begin to use self-monitoring and journaling while at home. This is an important transition as it allows for the full immersion in real-life situations while giving clients the support they need to remain recovered. Clients can address the challenges they face in self-monitoring and journaling at home while going through the outpatient treatment process. Eating disorder therapists will help their clients work through these problems to strengthen their journaling and self-monitoring skills for continued wellness after graduating from the eating disorder treatment center.

Self-Monitoring – and Knowing When to Seek Help

Eating disorder therapists spend a lot of time helping their clients understand the patterns that arise in their own data. This is especially true when looking at the patterns that show the patient could benefit from a little extra help and support. With the proper techniques, clients can use these patterns to learn when they should contact their care team for treatment options for eating disorders.

After becoming recovered, clients often need a little extra help to remain accountable to their healthy self. Through eating disorder facilities’ alumnae services, clients can build their peer support network and stay connected with their treatment staff. If problems arise in remaining recovered, clients can also speak with the admissions specialists to determine if they could benefit from treatment options for eating disorders. The admissions specialists can also help clients determine if they could receive assistance from outside care providers.

This collaboration in acquiring the support clients need is only possible with accurate and honest self-monitoring and journaling practices. Which is why clients receive so much support from the fully recovered staff in learning these skills at inpatient and outpatient eating disorder treatment. With guidance and training, clients can master these life skills and apply them to best cope with the demands of daily life. Clients who regularly journal and self-monitor remain highly accountable to their healthy self through treatment and after graduation.

Carrie Hunnicutt

With 20 years of behavioral health business development experience, Carrie combines world-class marketing, media, public relations, outreach and business development with a deep understanding of client care and treatment. Her contributions to the world of behavioral health business development – and particularly eating disorder treatment – go beyond simple marketing; she has actively developed leaders for her organizations and for the industry at large.