Three “Do’s” and Two “Don’ts” for Attending an Eating Disorder Day Treatment Program

While attending an eating disorder day treatment program, you can achieve the best outcomes by following your treatment plan. Your treatment team will remain by your side every step of the way, starting from your arrival on the scheduled admissions date.

You can ease your transition from home to the residential eating disorder treatment center by learning what to expect ahead of time. When you know what to expect day to day, you can adjust to your new daily routine and treatment guidelines. To get started in learning what to expect, utilize these key “do’s” and “don’ts” of attending an eating disorder day treatment program.


In order to achieve your goals in eating disorder day treatment programs, you must commit to following the program and working with your treatment team. You can achieve your treatment goals much easier by making sure to do the following three things.

Plan to Partner with Your Eating Disorder Day Program Treatment Team

Throughout the treatment process, you will have opportunities to partner with your treatment team to receive support in achieving your goals and beginning on the path to recovery. The team of experts tasked with helping you become recovered consist of medical professionals, therapists and psychiatrists. They will help you follow your individualized treatment plan created with your specific eating disorders and underlying conditions in mind.

Although your exact eating disorder day program schedule will depend on your specific treatment plan, you will have individual, group and family therapy sessions to help you learn coping skills, mindfulness and relapse prevention techniques. These therapy sessions will give you new perspectives to consider from your peers, family members and therapists. The insights you gain in therapy can help you achieve your eating disorder day treatment goals and become recovered.

Your treatment team will utilize the individualized multi-domain level system to assess your readiness in moving forward with new activities. Depending on your treatment level, you may attend cooking classes, go grocery shopping or take restaurant outings as a part of your exposure exercises. Each week, you will work with a registered dietician on a regular basis to repair your relationship with food and learn healthy eating habits. You will always have the support of the staff at the residential eating disorder treatment program while you work on begin on the path to recovery.

Accept That All Co-occurring Conditions Require Treatment

Although you may have only sought treatment for an eating disorder, it is important to treat all underlying conditions as well to ensure you true recovery. Without treatment for these co-occurring conditions, their symptoms could complicate or fully impede your ability to become fully recovered. Depression and anxiety, for example, can both contribute to appetite changes, self-esteem decreases and other impacts that can trigger eating disorder symptoms.

Your treatment team will perform a thorough intake assessment to diagnose any health conditions you may have and add their treatment protocols to your individualized care plan. At the eating disorder day treatment program, you will have frequent access to your psychiatrists, medical team and nursing staff. Your treatment team remains available to ensure you have the support you need to begin on the path to bulimia nervosa recovery. You will have daily assessments and monitoring to check your medical status and determine if you need additional care.

During these assessments, your treatment providers will offer support for the treatment of all co-occurring conditions and your eating disorder recovery. You can commit to your success by accepting all co-occurring conditions will require treatment as you work on becoming recovered from your eating disorder.

Challenge Negative Thought Patterns While in Eating Disorder Day Treatment

Challenging your negative thought patterns can help build up a resilience against daily stressors and improve the success of the coping skills you learn in therapy at the eating disorder day program. You will work with your treatment team to transform negative thoughts into positive ones with daily affirmations and other effective exercises.

As you transform these thought patterns, you can work on the disordered eating disorder thoughts. Depending on your eating disorder type and any underlying conditions you may have, you may utilize different types of therapy models to transform your thought patterns. The therapy models used in effective eating disorder day treatment programs include cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral skills training and expressive art therapy, to name a few. Your ability to challenge and change your disordered thought patterns will be instrumental in your ability to become and remain recovered.


On the other side of the coin, there are things you should not do if you would like to achieve your goals in eating disorder day treatment and on the path to recovery. Here are two things to avoid to make the most of your journey toward eating disorder recovery.

Hold Onto Unrealistic Expectations

You must temper your expectations to smoothly move through the process of becoming recovered. Though tempting, you cannot rush the eating disorder recovery process, as it takes time to restructure your thoughts and behaviors to achieve your goals. Pushing too hard can actually cause undue stress that could potentially derail your efforts to become recovered.

Instead, you should trust in the individualized multi-domain level system to ease you through the process of becoming recovered. This level system allows for the objective analysis of your readiness to move through the stages of recovery. You can utilize telltale benchmarks to check your progress and work with your treatment team to find your ideal level of support.

At each level, you will have opportunities to go on outings, manage your food intake and approach triggering situations to practice your coping skills and other techniques learned in therapy. You can share your thoughts and feelings on the activities with your therapy group or individual therapist to gain insights on your progress. Slowly progressing through the levels can help you prepare to return home fully recovered and prepared to avoid relapse with continued step-down transition services.

Neglect Involving Your Loved Ones in the Process of Becoming Recovered

Effective eating disorder day programs invite their patients’ family members to directly participate in the treatment process. Their involvement can help you stay on track with your eating disorder day treatment program and achieve your wellness goals through each level. Your family will also play an integral role in your completion of exposure activities, especially meal prep and dining sessions.

Your family can accompany you to orientation and continue to visit on a weekly basis to keep up with the treatment process. Each week, your family will come in for family therapy and group therapy sessions to help support you on the path to recovery. At the eating disorder day program parents and loved ones are invited to visit for educational sessions, therapy groups and other programming options.

Throughout the treatment process, your treatment team will collaborate with your family members to ensure you have all the support you need in treatment and after you transition out of treatment. At each visit, your family will have an opportunity to celebrate your milestones and offer support as needed to get past any challenges you face. Embrace their visits and encourage their participation to build your social support network and improve your ability to become and remain recovered.

What to Expect Upon Calling an Eating Disorder Treatment Center for Help

With a single call to an Oliver-Pyatt Center residential eating disorder treatment center, you can acquire the help you need to overcome eating disorder side effects and symptoms. The admissions specialists will help you find the most appropriate level of care for your needs through a few important screening questions. You will also need to provide your medical history and other pertinent information about your mental and physical health.

With the completion of the intake assessment, the treatment team will receive your information and begin to create your individualized treatment plan. This personalized plan addresses the need for treatment of your eating disorder and any additional underlying health problems. Your treatment team will then set up an admissions date and time for your first visit.

You can arrive at the eating disorder day treatment program on your own, but it is often better to have your family along for support. You and your family will have an opportunity to meet the doctors, nurses and psychiatrists on the treatment team before touring the residential treatment center. The treatment center tour allows you to see where you will be staying and receiving care as you work toward becoming recovered.

Your treatment team will provide you with clear objectives to work toward at each level of the treatment process. Throughout the treatment process, you will be asked to challenge your disordered thoughts and behaviors and begin replacing them with healthier alternatives. You will also have to work on building mindfulness and learning coping skills that can help you move past your eating disorder symptoms and bulimia nervosa side effects.

Individual, group and family therapy sessions will occur frequently to help you build the skills you need to thrive outside of the eating disorder day program. Your family can participate in individual and group therapy sessions to help support your recovery progress. Your treatment team will try out many different therapy models to help you find the ones that offer the best results.

As you work your way through treatment, you will have opportunities to practice exposures to difficult or triggering situations. These exposure experiences slowly increase in difficulty to help you practice your healthy coping skills and other techniques learned in therapy. You will have a chance to complete these exercises with family by taking restaurant outings or simply having meals at home. Your treatment team will help you transition back home with an aftercare plan and resources you can use to acquire guidance and support from skilled professionals.

If you would like to learn more about treatment for eating disorders, and any underlying conditions, you can partner with the team at Oliver-Pyatt Centers by calling 866-511-4325. The admissions specialists will help you start the intake assessment process for a quick transition into treatment, so you can purposefully work toward becoming fully recovered. With a single call, it is possible to acquire the care you need to eliminate bulimia nervosa side effects and symptoms for improved wellness.