When it comes to eating disorder treatment and recovery, there are different options to consider. Many individuals will attend a residential treatment program, but that is not the best choice for everyone. A day treatment center is a good option for those individuals stepping down from a residential level of care or those individuals who need more support than what they are currently receiving in individual therapy sessions. It is important to consult with an experienced eating disorder treatment team to decide which level of care will be the most beneficial for the individual.

Eating disorder recovery is very personal and unique to the individual, with different underlying causes and treatment approaches that will be most beneficial. Whatever the underlying causes, there are programs that can help the client improve the quality of their life. Each and every client is different; by recognizing that and focusing on what is needed for that particular client, the ability of the treatment center to provide the most effective treatment is much greater.

Here is what to consider for clients who are looking at potential day treatment programs. Like any treatment, it is important to carefully consider all of the potential options and the services that will be provided.

The Difference Between Day Treatment and Residential Programs

The two main options for treatment are residential or day treatment. While in residential treatment, the client receives the most intensive level of care outside of a hospital setting and stays at the treatment center. With day treatment programs the client comes to the facility for a set period of time each day but returns home at night. Much like going to work or attending school, the client has a schedule they follow where they are at the facility for a set number of hours. During that time they may receive different forms of treatment, such as individual therapy, group therapy and exposure activities.

Day treatment programs are designed to work for individuals who are stepping down from a residential level of care or those who need more support than can be offered from individual outpatient therapy. Day treatment is a good option for some, while a residential level of care may be more effective for others.

Many people may believe the quality of services between these two types of programs is different, but that is not necessarily the case. The difference is more in the quantity, and to some extent the overall experience, provided.

Why Would Someone Choose a Day Treatment Program?

Among the reasons someone would choose day treatment over a residential level of care is being psychologically and medically stable to remain at this level, while still participating in their daily activities. An individual may choose, with the support of their treatment team, a day treatment option so they can receive a higher level of support, while utilizing the coping skills and tools they have learned in their day-to-day life. Day treatment can provide clients the opportunity to return back to their daily activities and responsibilities, while retaining the support and therapy needed to remain on the path to recovery.

Another reason someone may choose a day program instead of a residential option is that they need a lower level of care than is provided at the residential level. These individuals may have triggers and some eating disordered symptoms, but they can fully utilize the guidance and support provided in a day treatment program to support them on the path to recovery, while still participating in their daily life. Whether a day program is the right choice for treatment will depend on the individual, and there can be many reasons why a client, along with their treatment team, may choose one option over the other one for their recovery.

What if That Program Is Not Doing Enough to Help?

There are a number of day treatment programs for adults, and they work with people in all age groups and from all walks of life. Whether they provide enough support to fully help an individual client will depend on what that client specifically needs. If the day program is not providing a comprehensive enough treatment plan, it may be beneficial to attend residential eating disorder treatment. An individual may need to change their schedule or make other adjustments to their life for a period of time, so they can attend residential treatment and begin on the path to true recovery. This is not necessary for every client who is not making quick progress in an outpatient setting, but it is certainly worth considering for clients who feel they need more therapy or support than what they are receiving on an outpatient basis.

Clients Get Quality Treatment With Day Programs

Visiting a day treatment center and asking plenty of questions can help a client determine if that particular program could be right for them. Clients who are serious about their treatment options should look into the center they are considering so they feel confident in their treatment. They can receive high-quality treatment at a day treatment center, the quality of treatment is not solely of importance for a residential level of care.

At a day treatment program, clients will receive help with their eating disorder and life skills they can translate to many aspects of their lives. The coping skills learned and practiced in a day treatment program can help them move forward in a number of areas and can give them the confidence to begin on the path to true recovery and a life free from an eating disorder.

The Right Treatment Center Makes a Difference

When choosing a day treatment center, clients should remember these facilities are not all the same. They have different quality levels, different programs, different ratings and different offerings. The location that is closest to the client’s location may be a point of consideration, but there are other considerations to take into account. Sometimes traveling a little farther for a more well-respected program is well worth the travel time. In short, the best treatment center will make a difference in the quality of the treatment the prospect of recovery. In order to become and remain fully recovered, clients need a treatment center that works for them.

The right choice is the treatment center that works for the client and the one that is going to help them become fully recovered. The most important thing for any client is to find the day program that is right for them and that will teach them the tools they need for a successful recovery.

Focus on the Skills Learned During Treatment

There will be a number of skills learned during treatment, and it is important the client practice those skills each day so they can use them on the path to true recovery. These skills will be used in many aspects of life and will ensure a continued recovery, with less chance of relapse. The skills learned during treatment should be practiced regularly; the more these skills are practiced the easier it is to draw on these skills and tools when a triggering or stressful event arises, during or after treatment.

Therapists and Staff Want to See Their Clients Succeed

Whether a day treatment option or a residential program, the therapists and staff at an eating disorder recovery center want to see their clients succeed. They will do their best to provide the help and support these clients need, and they will work to provide them all the tools they need to begin on the path to true recovery. Clients can benefit from working with their treatment team so they can receive the help they need.

Overall, a day treatment program can be helpful for those individuals who need a step-down option after residential treatment or who need a higher level of care than individual outpatient therapy. While different than a residential program, this level of treatment can also be extremely valuable on the path to recovery. It is not for every client, but is an option that can bring benefit to some.

Oliver-Pyatt Centers is grounded in mindfulness and the belief that each person has the capacity for a mindful relationship with food and their body. Present in every aspect of our program, this philosophy encompasses nutrition and eating, as well as movement, with an emphasis on becoming free from negative habits, behaviors and rigidity. We work from a place of empathy and wisdom, using a medically grounded, psychologically gentle approach.

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Oliver-Pyatt Centers

6100 SW 76th Street
Miami, Florida 33143

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