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Eating Disorder Recovery Programs: Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment

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Recovering from an eating disorder is an extremely difficult, lifelong process. Choosing the right recovery program is crucial to your success in staying healthy once you’ve overcome one of these dangerous, debilitating disorders.

There are several treatment options available, including inpatient and outpatient programs. Understanding the difference between these two types of recovery programs will help you decide which one is best for you.

Inpatient Treatment Programs

An inpatient or residential treatment program is one in which you receive 24-hour care at a live-in facility. Your physical and mental health are tended to during your time at one of these facilities, where you will likely stay for several months.

Various exams take place to assess the severity of your eating disorder before you are admitted to an inpatient facility. Constant supervision allows the staff to effectively monitor your health and ensure that you stay on track--keeping your food down, not weighing yourself, etc.

Inpatient treatment programs may be more effective than outpatient programs because they offer structured environments that can help you focus on recovery.

Outpatient Treatment Programs

An outpatient treatment program is more flexible than an inpatient program but requires more responsibility on your part. It allows you to continue living at home, attending school or work, taking care of your children, etc. But without the constant supervision that makes inpatient programs so effective, slipping up is easier and more likely to happen.

Outpatient treatment programs typically involve meeting with a counselor once or twice per week for a few hours at a time. Some of these programs may also offer family therapy or specialized therapies, such as art therapy.

Source: Casa Palmera Treatment Facility