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Frequently Asked Questions

Eating Disorder FAQs

We understand that if you are considering treatment for yourself or a loved one, you’re sure to have many questions. What’s important for you to know is that you don’t have to go it alone. Our admissions team is here to address all your concerns. Please call us any time at 866.482.3876. Your journey to recovery starts with Discovery.

Generally speaking, visitations are Monday through Saturday from 7-8p and on Sundays from 130-530p. However, visitation is accommodated as much as possible as long as it is previously discussed with the treatment team. We respectfully ask visits do not interfere with meals or groups, however, if there is a scheduling conflict, we work to find a mutually agreeable time. Family involvement is an integral part of the recovery process. We encourage and expect weekly family therapy sessions (either in person or via Zoom/teleconference if the distance is a concern). We also offer monthly family days, which is a great resource as well where families can come together and learn about both the recovery process and how the Center For Discovery program works. Families/support systems are an important part of the recovery process and Center For Discovery encourages as much involvement as possible. Another way the family/support system is involved is through passes. Once clients reach a certain place in their recovery (this looks different for every client), they are given days–typically on Sundays– to spend time with their family/support system. This helps them and their loved ones practice the tools learned in sessions.

If someone comes to treatment struggling with restrictive behaviors, we work with them to stabilize their eating pattern. Clients may still experience challenging emotions and restrict. When this happens, the Dietitian and Therapist will implement behavioral interventions. The first is offering the clients supplementation. If a client continues to refuse supplement, there are various interventions depending on the client’s level of medical necessity, and amount refused, again, very individualized. If a pattern of supplement refusal emerges, behavioral interventions such as couch rest or bed rest may be implemented. Other avenues such as 1:1 meals and/or dropping in levels may be used as well.

Most of our clients come in with co-occurring diagnoses, so to best help our clients, we individualize our treatment approach for each client. Some of the ways we do this are through medication management, individual & family therapy, and various therapy modalities such as DBT and CBT. DBT has research support for its use in managing self-injury/self-harm. CBT is the most empirically supported modality for the treatment of anxiety and OCD. With substance use, clients can attend AA or NA if appropriate. Clients with a history of trauma will be treated as recommended by their outpatient providers. If it is appropriate for the client to work on their trauma in RTC, then the therapists will do so, or if it is preferred the RTC team does not work on it, then they will help the client redefine safety not using their eating disorder.

Staff ratios vary based on level of care, number of patients at the facility, clinical indications and state regulations. The organization requires that staff ratios are never lower than one staff member to eight patients.

Two of the programs (Southport and Hamptons) have a teacher who comes in through a contract with LearnWell. They are onsite 2 hours per day, five days per week. They provide the services for our clients, and they work directly with the school to get compensated for these services. It is at no cost to the family, as the school districts are required to help with these services when a child is unable to attend school. For all other programs, the families can work with their home school districts to get a tutor to come in and work with the child. This is through the coordination of the family. We are happy to work with the tutor regarding their schedule, but we also cannot have clients getting pulled from treatment regularly for tutoring services. The other option is for the family to set up a private tutor that they fund themselves. Again, we will do our best to work with the schedules, but we have to be mindful that the client is participating in treatment regularly.

The length of stay in residential eating disorder treatment will be different for every patient. There are many considerations factored into the course of treatment that our clinical team will recommend, including severity of symptoms and medical necessity. Our typical treatment plan for residential patients will also include steps down to lower levels of care, including partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and then outpatient care. Our ultimate goal is to provide the appropriate level of support as patients become more comfortable utilizing their newfound skills for real-life recovery.

Eating disorder treatment takes a village, meaning each individual on the large treatment team plays a significant role in eating disorder recovery. From dietitians and nutritionists to doctors, nurses, therapists, and support staff; the treatment works together to develop an individualized treatment plan that is compromised of many different psychotherapy approaches with or without a medication regimen. Some psychotherapy approaches include dialectical behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and EMDR.

This is probably one of the most common misconceptions about eating disorders: that you have to appear “underweight” in order to have one. In truth, body size is not an indicator; eating disorders can impact anyone. At Center for Discovery, we support Health at Every Size® (HAES®) principles. We do not consider weight, size, or BMI as proxies for health. Rather, we view individuals holistically, including their medical, emotional and behavioral state as true indicators of their wellbeing.

*Health At Every Size® and HAES® are registered trademarks of the Association for Size Diversity and Health and used with permission.

Eating disorders affect 20 million females and 10 million males in the United States and can be diagnosed in boys and girls as young as seven years old. Eating disorders are not a lifestyle choice but are a mental health disorder similar to depression, bipolar disease, and schizophrenia. It is not an individual choice to develop an eating disorder, but rather severe underlying pathological factors drive individuals to take part in self-destructive behaviors associated with eating disorders. Genetic factors, environmental factors, and social factors all play a role in the development of an eating disorder. Interpersonal issues, past trauma, low-self esteem, abuse, co-occurring mental health disorders, substance abuse disorders, and unhealthy family and personal relationships all contribute to the environmental and social factors associated with eating disorders.