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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.




Melissa Orshan Spann, PhD, LMHC, RTY 200, is Chief Clinical Officer at Monte Nido & Affiliates, overseeing the clinical operations and programming for over 50 programs across the U.S. Dr. Spann is a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and clinical supervisor as well as an accomplished presenter and passionate clinician who has spent her career working in the eating disorder field in higher levels of care. She is a member of the Academy for Eating Disorders and the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals where she serves on the national certification committee, supervision faculty, and is on the board of her local chapter. She received her doctoral degree from Drexel University, master’s degree from the University of Miami, and bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida.