Outpatient Treatment Eating Disorders: What You Need To Know

Eating disorders can majorly impact one’s life and overall well-being. However, with outpatient treatment eating disorders can be managed and overcome.

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Eating disorders can affect one’s overall health and well-being, both physically and mentally. Inpatient treatment is often necessary for severe eating disorders. Yet, with outpatient treatment eating disorders can also be well treated.1

Read on to learn how to discern which treatment might be best for you or a loved one struggling with an eating disorder.

Outpatient Treatment Eating Disorders

Questions About Treatment?

Let us guide you through your options and treatment opportunities. Contact Alternative Options today.

What are Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders are a range of serious mental health conditions. They feature irregular behaviors surrounding body perception, weight, and diet. These conditions affect people of all genders, ages, and backgrounds. People with eating disorders might have restrictive or unhealthy diets. They may also use laxatives to lose weight, or turn to other unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as excessive diets or binging. This can result in moderate to severe complications.2

What is Outpatient Treatment?

Outpatient treatment programs allow treatment from home. This works best when one does not need 24-hour monitoring within the facility. Outpatient treatment works for many conditions, including eating disorders.

In outpatient treatment eating disorders can heal completely. There are minimal visits to the clinic or hospital. This allows you to continue with your normal routines. This is because the treatment plans are flexible and tailor-made for each patient.3

This guide provides an overview of outpatient treatment for eating disorders. It includes different treatments and effectiveness. We also cover the importance of aftercare for long-term recovery.

What are the Major Types of Eating Disorders?

As previously mentioned, with outpatient treatment eating disorders can be managed. Eating disorders range from those that lead to obesity to those that cause one to be underweight. Some common eating disorders include:

  • Anorexia Nervosa: Anorexia features a low body weight for one’s age, gender, and height. One might be afraid of gaining too much weight. This might result in unhealthy practices like over-exercising and restrictive diets. Bulimia
  • Bulimia Nervosa: Bulimia features recurring periods of binge eating. This is followed by compensatory periods. They include fasting or excessive exercise. It can result in nutritional and electrolyte imbalances, leading to serious complications.
  • Binge Eating Disorder: BED is similar to bulimia. However, there are no compensatory episodes. This may lead to obesity and chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
Some disorders do not qualify as any of the above. They are Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders (OSFED). Some examples include atypical anorexia nervosa, purging disorder, and binge eating syndrome.4

Outpatient Treatment Modalities

An outpatient treatment eating disorders program may use:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT relies on correcting unhealthy thoughts and perceptions. Patients work with a therapist to get to the root causes of their eating disorders.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): This method combines elements of CBT with mindfulness.
  • Family-Based Therapy (FBT): FBT recruits relatives and loved ones to provide support. This is essential for recovery.
  • Nutritional Counseling: A dietician will help develop a nutrition plan and change one’s relationship with food.
  • Group Therapy: Group therapy provides a community for patients. They can talk to and learn from people with similar problems.
  • Medication: Physicians may prescribe medications for underlying conditions.
  • Interpersonal Therapy (IPT): IPT focuses on improving interpersonal relationships and social functioning.
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): ACT helps one do their part.
With outpatient treatment eating disorders can be managed. This requires one or a combination of different modalities. This provides a comprehensive approach to treatment.5

How Effective is Outpatient Treatment for Eating Disorders?

An outpatient treatment eating disorders program can be helpful. It is ideal for cases with moderate complications and a lower risk of self-harm. The effectiveness of treatment depends on several factors. These include one’s specific needs and the severity and duration of the eating disorder.

Treatment improves body image, symptoms, and quality of life.

Benefits and Risks of Outpatient Treatment

Some benefits of an outpatient treatment eating disorders program include:

  • Flexibility: In outpatient treatment eating disorders can be properly managed. This will not affect one’s daily routines and commitments.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Outpatient treatment for eating disorders is more affordable than inpatient programs.
  • Support: There is support from loved ones and professionals for lasting results.
  • Customizable: With outpatient treatment eating disorders are managed in a client-specific manner.
  • Continuity of care: This offers an opportunity for monitoring and relapse prevention.

Risks and Limitations of Outpatient Treatment?

Some potential risks and limitations to consider with outpatient treatment include:

  • Medical monitoring: In outpatient treatment eating disorders are managed with few visits to the clinic. This can cause a problem with monitoring. This is especially true for serious complications and treatment adherence issues.
  • Access to resources: There may be limited resources with outpatient treatment.
  • Time with providers: There are less frequent visits with healthcare providers. If more frequent visits are needed, outpatient treatment might not be the best option.
  • Insurance coverage: This can vary depending on one’s plan. Some providers don’t cover outpatient programs.

It’s important to weigh the potential risks and benefits of outpatient treatment.

Outpatient Treatment Eating Disorders Aftercare

In outpatient treatment eating disorders are better handled with a solid aftercare plan. This maintains recovery and prevents relapse. Here are some benefits of aftercare:

  • Sustained support: This can help one maintain the progress made during treatment.
  • Preventing relapse: After outpatient treatment eating disorders can resurface in a relapse. Aftercare equips one to manage triggers and prevent relapse.
  • Addressing co-occurring conditions: Co-occurring conditions can be treated and monitored after completing treatment.
  • Education and resources: Aftercare provides education to help one stay in control. This helps prevent relapse.
  • Improving long-term outcomes: Aftercare allows one to maintain their recovery. It also allows for better long-term outcomes.

Types of Aftercare Options

Some aftercare options for outpatient treatment eating disorders include the following::

  • Therapy
  • Support groups
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Medical monitoring
  • Check-ins with
  • healthcare providers
  • Self-help resources

Aftercare may involve a combination of these different types of support. Physicians and psychologists may review them over time as one’s needs change.

What is Relapse Prevention?

A relapse is possible following an outpatient treatment eating disorders program. This requires one to develop relapse-prevention coping strategies. Here are some coping strategies that may help prevent relapse:

  • Identify triggers
  • Develop a self-care routine
  • Maintain a support network
  • Use coping skills
  • Challenge negative thoughts
  • Practice mindfulness

Recovery is a process, and setbacks are normal. One can prevent relapse by developing coping strategies and seeking ongoing support.

Outpatient Treatment Eating Disorders

Outpatient Treatment for Eating Disorders at Alternative Options

Alternative Options is a treatment center in Orange County and Los Angeles. We help treat mental health issues, substance abuse/addiction, and eating disorders. We have a diverse team of professionals. It includes marriage and family therapists (MFT), psychologists, and clinical social workers (LCSW).

What We Offer

Our outpatient treatment program includes weekly therapy sessions. We also provide adequate support and resources to all patients. This helps you to improve your outlook on life and manage your recovery. We offer telehealth and in-person services for adults and adolescents.

We have many insurance companies within our network. To confirm your insurance eligibility, you can fill out our Insurance Verification Form.

Contact Alternative Options Today

Taking the first step toward recovery can be challenging. But with the right help, you can overcome an eating disorder and live a fulfilling life. Reach out to Alternative Options today to learn more about our outpatient treatment programs and how to begin sustainable recovery today.

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