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Eight Things to Look for in an Eating Disorder Treatment Center

When it is time to choose an eating disorder treatment center, it is important the person seeking help finds a center that fits their needs. Eating disorder treatment centers are not all the same, although many of them may have similar offerings. Because they are all a little different, some of these centers may be a better fit for some clients than others will be. Clients may only be focused on the treatment center that is closest to home or one that someone else has recommended. While those can be important considerations, there is more to the equation.

Attaining full recovery is the ultimate goal and that is more likely to happen when the client is at a treatment center that personalizes the program for them. Here is what clients and their loved ones will want to consider when looking for the right recovery center to properly meet their needs.

  1. Quality Help From Dedicated Professionals

Any eating disorder treatment clinic should be staffed by professionals who are not only well trained, but who are highly dedicated to offering the best quality treatment options to all of their clients. The more skilled the staff at an eating disorder recovery center, the more they can help clients on the path to true recovery.

It is not just about education or the length of time these professionals have been practicing, it is also about their compassion and ability to support clients in the best way possible. They should challenge the eating disorder thoughts and behaviors, while making them feel comfortable, safe and supported.

  1. Residential Therapy That Is Intensive, Yet Gentle

Intensive therapy is an important aspect of treatment, but it does not have to be stressful. There are methods of offering intensive therapy, while still being gentle to the client’s mental wellbeing. Treatment centers that offer this combination make it easier overall for clients to explore their issues and concerns.

There are different types of therapy a client can be offered, and some or a combination of modalities may work better than others. Many treatment centers offer both individual and group therapy, with individual therapy typically being more intensive. It is more direct, for obvious reasons, and can be a great way for a client to explore the root of the issues that could be contributing to their eating disorder. When an individual feels safe with their therapist, they can open up about these issues and begin on the path to full recovery.

  1. Frequent Therapy for Proper Coping Skills

Whether a client enters day treatment on an outpatient basis or step down to a day treatment level of care after their residential treatment program has ended, they should maintain frequent therapy sessions. These sessions may decrease as time goes on, but after leaving a residential level of care it is important to maintain this connection and opportunity to explore triggers and further develop positive coping skills. As they learn and practice these skills over time, they will develop stronger coping skills and generally see their therapist less often. That is not a requirement, and some people continue day therapy for some time.

Other people attend day treatment every day as an additional level of support to continue on the path to recovery. Clients should expect an aftercare or post-treatment group where they can reach out for help, support and guidance. The best treatment centers will provide seamless levels of care, ranging from residential to day treatment and at times, including supported living environments.

  1. A Focus on Goals for the Future

When clients seek out a residential treatment facility, they should be looking for the most appropriate eating disorder treatment for their specific needs. If they do not enter a treatment program with a particular plan for the future, they should be encouraged to develop these goals, with the treatment team, while in treatment. A treatment center that is dedicated to encouraging their clients without any judgment is an important piece of the puzzle to achieve true and lasting recovery.

  1. Near-Hospital Levels of Care for Higher Success Rates

There are many eating disorder treatment center options available, but they are not all the same. Their differences may or may not be obvious. To achieve the highest success rates, an eating disorder treatment clinic will want to provide the highest level of care outside of a hospital setting. This allows the treatment center to support a range of clients, providing intense levels of help when needed and a lower level step down option when the client is ready.

  1. Programs That Are Focused on Clients as Whole Individuals

It is very important to remember every client is a person and more than a grouping of symptoms. In other words, a client is not their disorder. Human beings are very complex, and they are much more than one aspect of their lives or personalities. People seeking treatment should look for treatment centers that understand this, and that are clearly dedicated to it.

Seeing clients as people and ensuring the treatment of the individual comes first should be a standard of care. Finding a treatment center that puts the individual first increases their chances of becoming fully recovered and finding their true, whole self..

  1. Residential and Day Treatment Options

When an eating disorder treatment clinic offers both residential and day treatment options, there is greater optionality within the eating disorder recovery center for individuals to receive the comprehensive help they need. For many eating disorder clients, a residential program may be ideal. They may need this intense level of support and guidance while they develop better tools and coping skills on the path to recovery. However, some clients may need an option that is less intensive.

Some clients will attend day treatment programs after they have stepped down from a residential level of care or may require a higher level of care than individual therapy sessions can provide.

  1. A Strong Support System That Can Be Used Throughout Recovery

When clients are looking for an eating disorder recovery center, another factor they may want to focus on is resources they can continue to use after leaving treatment. As they move through treatment they may want to develop a support system of professionals and peers, along with family and friends, that they can reach out to and interact with as needed. This support system can increase chances of recovery.

Clients should carefully look for a treatment center that offers all of the above mentioned items. Entering the right program for the client’s individual needs can start that individual on the path to true recovery.