Aftercare and Recovery
Recovery from an eating disorder is an ongoing process that takes a lot of strength, stamina and work. However, recovery is more than worth it. Having a positive relationship with food and your body, as well as constructive coping mechanisms provide the foundation for emotional, physical, and interpersonal health.
Our Aftercare/Recovery Program includes:
We work with you to make sure that you have a plan for ongoing treatment upon discharge from IOP and this process may occur gradually as IOP days are often titrated to help with this transition.
Most people will continue to receive therapeutic services with their outpatient treatment team upon completion of IOP. Typically, this includes regularly scheduled individual and/or family appointments with their therapist, nutritionist/dietitian, physician and psychiatrist when necessary.
For those individuals who did not have an established treatment team upon starting the IOP, there is the option to continue to work with their IOP therapist, dietitian and psychiatrist. Another option is to seek other qualified outpatient providers. We are happy to work with you to refer you to an appropriate fit based on your individual needs.
We provide the opportunity to eat meals with a therapist for extra meal support. Meals may involve a small group or 1:1 with the therapist depending on individual circumstances. We offer thee meals at a private rate of $15.00 per meal and are only available to individuals receiving individual therapy or in our IOP.
Therapists and dietitians are available to accompany clients on outings to assist in facing fears/challenges associated with recovery goals. We schedule outings on an individual basis and according to individual treatment plans. They include such outings as to grocery stores and restaurants.
Coaching sessions are available to clients receiving individual therapy, family therapy, or participating in the IOP. We offer these sessions as a supplement to therapy service. Coaching sessions offer additional help to accomplish specific recovery goals. Individuals discuss the goals and focus of coaching sessions. They serve to provide additional support, structure, and intervention. Individual coaching sessions may provide additional intervention with meal planning, exposure plans, coping plans, quality sleep, body image, grounding techniques for trauma symptoms, and mindfulness.
Relapse Prevention/Recovery Weekly Eating Disorders Groups
These groups are for those who have completed our Intensive Outpatient Eating Disorders Program and are committed to active pro-recovery behaviors and/or maintenance of positive behavioral changes. Group admission requires a meeting with the group facilitator. If interested, please call 314-289-9411 to schedule an appointment with the group facilitator. Space is limited.
- Adolescent Relapse Prevention Group: meets Tuesday evenings 6:00-7:30pm. Group facilitator, Cathy Lander-Goldberg, LCSW. West County Office, Baxter, Ste. 225.
- Adult Relapse Prevention Group: meets Wednesday evenings 5:30-7:00pm. Group facilitator Laura Huff, Ph.D. West County Office, Baxter, Ste. 225.
It is tempting to want to discontinue treatment, especially when you are doing and feeling better and have interrupted other parts of your life in order to prioritize your recovery by going to an IOP. However, we strongly encourage you to continue in treatment so to insure a strong recover across all areas of life.
It is often the case that transition from IOP is a challenging time. We recommend using more resources than you think you may need, longer than you think you will need them to actively protect and extend recovery.
Have realistic expectations. You probably should not immediately resume all of your former activities and responsibilities if possible. This is an important time of rest, healing, and practice of new skills.
It is also important for family members to have realistic expectations that recovery is a process and IOP represents a chapter in that process.
Often this is a time when anxiety may be heightened associated with giving up old maladaptive coping skills, allowing oneself to experience emotions more fully, and practicing healthier ways of coping.
For individuals with poor body image or for whom body change is part of a full recovery, body discomfort may also be high and is often the last symptom to remit. It is critical to commit to fully giving up your eating disorder.
Maintaining eating disorder behaviors, even if seemingly minor compared to former behaviors, creates greater vulnerability to relapse. However, you do not have to do this alone.
Ongoing treatment as well as support of recovery groups and educated family and friends are so important.
- Do not measure your worth by numbers.
- Maintain your perspective and avoid comparing yourself to others.
- Accept your thoughts and emotions without judgment and be open to challenge some beliefs
- Beware of judgmental comments and prejudices about weight/body size and appearance.
- Be kind to yourself/take care of your body.
- Stay active and enjoy movement but keep movement functional.
- Accept normal changes in your body/accept influence of genetics and environment.
- Question the degree to which you base your self-esteem on appearance.
- Ask for support in time of stress and avoid isolating.
- Spend time with people who have a healthy relationship with food, activity and their bodies.
- Stay mindful and grounded in the present