Benefits of IOP Eating Disorder Treatment

Michelle Rosenker

August 15, 2019

More than 30 million Americans suffer from an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder. Eating disorders are mental health disorders causing people to manipulate their food intake in one way or another in an effort to achieve what they believe will be the desired physical appearance. The illness is so pervasive throughout American culture that every a person dies from an eating disorder every 62 minutes.

Women and girls are more likely to experience an eating disorder than men and boys, though both genders suffer from this illness. For some, the causes behind the development of their ED come from issues such as poor self-esteem, bullying, peer pressure, and low self-worth. Others develop ED in response to traumatic events, the need for control, or as a symptom of obsessive-compulsive behavior.

Regardless of how and why an ED develops, treatment can be obtained. For many, that treatment comes through an intensive outpatient program.

Intensive Outpatient Programs for Eating Disorder Treatment

Intensive outpatient programs are available to people struggling with a number of different diseases and illnesses, including ED. This specific form of treatment is most effective for those who:

  • Have completed a higher level of eating disorder treatment, such as inpatient treatment or partial hospitalization
  • Can manage their symptoms well enough to be able to continue living at home while receiving treatment/who do not require around-the-clock medical care
  • Have a support system at home that provides an environment conducive to healing
  • Need more focused, frequent treatment than what is provided through traditional outpatient ED treatment

If you are deemed a good fit for an intensive outpatient program, you will go to the facility where treatment is being offered on a regular basis, typically anywhere from three to seven days per week. While there, you will spend your time focusing on how to continue your healing process through the implementation of certain therapies, exercises, and activities.

Similar to intensive outpatient programs that address substance use disorders, those IOPs that treat eating disorders utilize evidence-based therapies to treat these illnesses.

Individual therapy, group counseling, and behavioral therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) can help establish the skills needed to keep from slipping back into disordered eating behaviors. The psychological, emotional, and spiritual work that you will do in these therapies will continue for the duration of your treatment, which can vary depending on your specific needs.

No matter what your individualized IOP plan looks like, there is no doubt you will begin to achieve great success in your recovery if you devote yourself to your health and well-being. Doing so will provide you with countless benefits that you can carry with you for a lifetime.

ED in Nashville

Benefits of Intensive Outpatient Programs for Eating Disorders

Your ED has likely done significant damage in all areas of your life, and continuing to participate in disordered eating will only create more complications in your life.

By getting treatment, though, you are ending the possibility of consequences related to your illness from getting worse or from new ones from developing. That is the very first and most important benefit of participating in intensive outpatient programming for eating disorders.

Other benefits include the following:

  • Consistent support. When you are enrolled in an intensive outpatient program, you are going to spend a large majority of your days at the facility. Even though some might feel that this is a con of IOP for eating disorder treatment, it is actually one of the greatest pros of it. This is because you are given the opportunity on an almost daily basis to see, speak to, and listen to others who are sharing your experiences or who can help you heal. That near-daily contact provides a strong sense of support and can even instill a sense of accountability to others into your recovery.
  • Improved relationships with food. Intensive outpatient programs for eating disorder treatment always focus on how to help you and others struggling with these psychiatric illnesses learn how to reestablish a healthy relationship with food, rather than one that aids in personal destruction. This is most commonly done through the provision of individualized meal plans, which you will receive if you do not already have one from another treatment facility.
  • Treatment for underlying conditions. Research shows that people with eating disorders often also have one more additional conditions occurring at the same time, such as a mental illness like anxiety or a substance use disorder. Intensive outpatient treatment for eating disorders can uncover those issues and provide you with the most appropriate, simultaneous treatment for them. Treating an eating disorder alone when another issue is occurring at the same time can be a waste of time and energy, as it takes a comprehensive approach to properly treat this type condition.

The more that you participate and engage yourself in the content of your eating disorder treatment plan, the more benefits you will gain. We cannot do the work for you, but we can guide you towards the transformative recovery you deserve.

Getting Help Today

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, there is no time to waste. The longer that you allow your ED to persist, the more likely you are to suffer from repercussions of your illness.

At JourneyPure in Nashville, we understand what you are experiencing and want to help. Get in touch with us right now to learn more about what to expect at our intensive outpatient program and how you can get started on the path to recovery.