What to Look for in an Eating Disorder Treatment Center, Part II

Published On: February 13, 2018Categories: Therapy

Making the decision to get help for an eating disorder is the first step toward recovery. The next step involves choosing the right treatment center for your needs. You’ll find that there are many options to choose from, and the decision-making process can feel a bit overwhelming. In this article, we’ll talk about a few key things to look for in an eating disorder treatment center.

Accreditation for an Eating Disorder Treatment Center

Choosing the right eating disorder treatment center for your needs can be a matter of life or death. Some eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, have a mortality rate of up to 10 percent. It’s best to restrict your search to facilities that are accredited by a nationally recognized organization such as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. When you choose an accredited facility, you can feel confident in your choice because you know that the center:

  • Adheres to strict safety standards
  • Is subject to regular external reviews
  • Implements evidence-based treatment methods

Not only will an accredited eating disorder treatment center deliver a higher quality of treatment, but it can also boost your odds of lasting recovery. Research shows that clients who receive treatment at accredited facilities experience better health outcomes than those who do not.

Ask the Right Questions

When you speak to a staff member at an eating disorder treatment center, it’s important to be proactive and ask questions that can help you get a good sense of their treatment approach. Some key questions may include:

  • How long have you been treating clients for eating disorders?
  • What evidence-based treatment methods do you implement?
  • Do you offer individual therapy, group therapy or both?
  • Can you describe a client’s daily routine at the center?
  • What makes this center’s treatment program different from other programs?
  • Does the center specialize in treating any co-occurring conditions I may have?

In addition to these questions, you should also inquire about a center’s commitment to aftercare. You’ll leave the treatment center with many new habits and coping skills, but continued support and care is essential. Recovery doesn’t end when you’re done with treatment, and it’s important to ensure that you’ll leave with a comprehensive plan of action that positions you for continued success.

An Innovative Approach

New research and insights regarding eating disorders emerge each year. While it’s important for a center to include proven methods in their treatment programs, you may want to seek out facilities that complement these evidence-based strategies with some innovative elements. For example, many centers take a holistic approach to treatment, incorporating yoga, acupuncture, art therapy and other alternative treatments into their programs. These therapies help promote healing in all aspects of a client’s life by addressing the underlying issues that often fuel disordered eating behaviors.

Finding the right treatment center for an eating disorder may feel like a daunting task, but it’s important to remember that you’re taking a huge step toward healing. Recovery is a lifelong process, but a comprehensive treatment program will equip you to take on the challenges of recovery.

If you’d like to learn more about choosing the right eating disorder treatment center, read Part I of the series.


  1. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/directors/thomas-insel/blog/2012/spotlight-on-eating-disorders.shtml
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3156520/

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