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4 Signs of a Quality Eating Disorder Treatment Center

Update Date: Oct 27, 2020 05:41 PM EDT
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4 Signs of a Quality Eating Disorder Treatment Center
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When you or your loved one is ready to overcome an eating disorder, it's time to find an eating disorder treatment center that works for your needs. They aren't all the same; each has its own quirks and ideas about how to best serve their clients.With so many options, it can be hard to choose. However, this difficulty should never prevent you from seeking help; eating disorders like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder can wreak havoc on a person's life if left untreated.

Attaining a full recovery is possible, and that's much more likely to happen more easily and more quickly when the individual can find a center that is flexible and professional enough to tailor the program for clients. That's the goal for every person getting treatment. Here are four thinks you or your loved one will want to consider when they're looking for the best eating disorder recovery center.

1. Gentle but Firm Programming

While rules about eating and conduct are important, especially in residential programs, it's essential to avoid a feeling of punishment or bullying. They are never successful in treating mental health disorders.A truly successful eating disorder recovery center will offer individual treatment options with varying levels of intensity to make it easier overall for people getting treatment to open up and talk about their issues and concerns. 

Some centers use a level system of increasing privilege and responsibility as their clients progress through treatment. This balances the need for self-reliance and firm direction without being punitive; it gives the clients clear goals and achievable targets that are fair and objective. This type of gentle but firm treatment option allows eating disorders, clients, to address their ongoing challenges with food and eating, without a sense of being bullied or punished. 

2. Both Residential and Day Treatment Options

There are several different intensities and severity of eating disorders; not every client will need the same level of care. More severe cases may require medical care and intensive treatment, necessitating a residential program. This intensive care might go on for 30 days or more, even sometimes requiring several stints in residential treatment. It's the most effective and complete cycle of care for eating disorders, but it's not for everyone.

For less intense cases, or for people whose responsibilities prevent them from entering a residential program, day treatment (sometimes called outpatient treatment) programs are a great option. People in day treatment programs visit the center regularly for therapy sessions and other activities that further their recovery. Outpatient sessions are also perfect for "step-down" after residential treatment, allowing the individual to maintain their recovery. 

An eating disorder treatment center that offers both residential and day treatment options offer the best of both worlds. It should be a major focus when you're searching for the right center for you. 

3. A Caring Staff Who Are Also Recovered

Any form of mental health treatment requires extensive training and professionalism on the part of the staff. The more skilled the staff at the eating disorder recovery center is, and the more experience they have in treating people with a disorder, the better chances they have for a full recovery. You should be on the lookout for the staff's level of training and experience when choosing an eating disorder treatment center.

It's not just about the education or the length of time these professionals have been practicing, though. It's also about their compassion and their ability to help people getting treatment in the best way possible. In the case of eating disorder treatment, this might mean finding a staff that has also gone through eating disorder treatment and become recovered themselves.

People tend to respond best to people who have been through similar circumstances; there is a level of trust to be found in someone who has experienced the same challenges first-hand. Recovered staff can also serve as a clear and present example of the possibility of beating an eating disorder. While it's not a requirement, a recovered staff can go a long way to making their clients comfortable in treatment.

4. A Strong Support System for Aftercare

When it comes time to start looking for an eating disorder recovery center, another thing important focus is developing resources that they can continue to use after residential treatment or intensive day treatment ends. Group sessions and cohabitation at residential centers often causes clients to form strong friendships; these peers can form the basis of a strong support system after treatment has officially ended.

Because of the importance of a support system to prevent relapses and continue recovery, you should carefully look for a treatment center that provides an aftercare structure. This makes the chances of a long-term recovery more likely when they go out into the world after the individual's treatment is complete. Having the right kind of program and the right help goes a very long way toward ensuring that an individual does well with their future, and allows them to pursue their passions and focus on the things that are most important to them. 

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