Is Outpatient Treatment for Eating Disorders a Right Fit for Teens?

Is Outpatient Treatment for Eating Disorders a Right Fit for Teens?
Is Outpatient Treatment for Eating Disorders a Right Fit for Teens?

Is Outpatient Treatment for Eating Disorders a Right Fit for Teens? Recovery from common eating disorders like bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa is possible with the right level of care and a strong support system in place. For parents of teens with bulimia eating disorder, finding the best treatment center available should be a top priority.

But how do families begin their search? What are the criteria for a high-quality bulimia treatment program? And is residential treatment or outpatient treatment the right fit? Keep reading to learn more about treatment for anorexia and bulimia – and which recovery program options may work best for teens.

What is the Difference between Residential and Outpatient Treatment for Anorexia and Bulimia?

Residential Treatment

Residential treatment for bulimia eating disorder offers teens the most comprehensive, intensive and structured level of care available outside of a hospital setting. Treatment centers are designed to help clients discover the tools they need to change their relationship with food and achieve better overall wellness in a comfortable, home-like setting. Teens will live on campus for the duration of treatment and have access to a community of medical and psychiatric care professionals, counselors, nutritional experts and more.

Teens in residential treatment may be medically or psychiatrically unstable and require supervision by our team of medical and psychiatric care professionals. Treatment time in a residential program varies from person to person but the chance to recover away from outside distractions has proven to be very helpful for adolescents with bulimia eating disorder.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment programs can vary depending on the facility and based on patient needs. Teens that enter this type of bulimia treatment program do not live on campus but instead visit regularly to receive treatment. Clients will typically attend treatment sessions at least once per week. Outpatient treatment is usually a good option for teens that are both medically and psychiatrically stable.

Often, outpatient clients have the option of attending counseling sessions with their family members and even close friends to help facilitate their recovery. This flexible treatment for anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa is also ideal for teens that cannot get away from school or work commitments to invest more time in a residential program.

Who May Be a Good Candidate for Outpatient Bulimia Treatment Centers?

Before committing to outpatient treatment for anorexia and bulimia, parents and their children should consider a few key factors. Teens may be a good fit for outpatient bulimia eating disorder recovery if:

  • Teens cannot commit to full-time treatment but have availability to meet up to 3-5 times per week.
  • The individual has been given a diagnosis but is still considered both medically and psychologically stable.
  • Moving away from home to seek treatment is not possible.
  • Cost restraints may make it difficult to enter into a more intensive treatment program.
  • The client is transitioning out of a completed inpatient or residential treatment program.

For parents of teens with common eating disorders like bulimia nervosa, navigating the recovery process can seem like a difficult task at first. But with a bit of research and a clear understanding of different treatment programs available to teens, finding the best treatment program for adolescent clients can be a simple process.


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Is Outpatient Treatment for Eating Disorders a Right Fit for Teens?