• Programs for Eating Disorders

    Our Services/How We Can Help

    How We Can Help Through a Variety of Services & Eating Disorder Treatment Approaches:

    A. The first step: Comprehensive Evaluations and Consultation Services

    B. Eating Disorder Intensive Outpatient Program

    C. Outpatient Eating Disorder Services 


    The first step is to schedule an appointment for an evaluation and a clinician will discuss with you appropriate treatment options suited to your situation.

    A. Comprehensive Evaluations and Consultative Services for Eating Disorders

    A licensed clinician who is an experienced diagnostician will meet with individuals and families for a diagnostic evaluation.  The goal of the evaluation is to conduct a thorough assessment of eating disorder symptoms and behaviors as well as of any co-occurring conditions.  Clients may be asked to complete some questionnaires and family members are encouraged to participate in the evaluation process.  Based on the evaluation, the clinician will discuss treatment options and decide together with the client and family on treatment that represents the best match with client needs.  The clinician will then coordinate services with other members of the treatment team if indicated.  Adjunctive therapies may include family therapy, nutritional counseling, psychiatric evaluation, and medical management.

    We may recommend a higher level of care depending on individual variables such as severity and frequency of eating disorder behaviors, body weight, social support and resources, individual history with treatment, and assessment of comorbidities.  We require that clients with eating disorders obtain a medical evaluation and often recommend laboratory tests, such as blood work and EKG, to insure that clients we treat are medically stable and able to benefit from outpatient services.  We closely work with area physicians and will provide referrals to physicians when necessary.  In the case of referring outside of SLBMI, we help to provide resources and coordinate care.  We also provide clinical consultation to outside providers.

    B. Eating Disorder Intensive Outpatient Program (ED-IOP)

    Our Intensive Outpatient Eating Disorders Program (ED-IOP) is for adults and adolescents, age 13 and over. ED-IOP is intended to help prevent longer term residential treatment and hospitalization.  IOP also provides a step-down level of care to help clients who are discharging from residential or hospital programs transition to the home environment. We believe our IOP is unique in that it is truly intensive, offering additional, personalized services to foster recovery. More about IOP Treatment…

    In order to meet the growing needs of our clients so they are ensured the most positive experience possible, our IOP now offers separate programs for adults and adolescents.  Our program emphasizes evidence based cognitive behavioral treatment as well as Family Based Treatment (FBT) components for younger adolescents.  The adolescent program also consists of a weekly Parent Only group.  IOP is held in the evening and weekend hours to accommodate students and working adults.

    Adult IOP Groups meet 6 Days a week:  Monday thru Thursday 5:00-8:00pm; Friday 11:00am – 2:00pm; and Saturday 8:00-11:00am.

    Adolescent Groups meet 5 Days a week:  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 5:00-8:00pm; and Saturday 9:00am-Noon


    Everyone is different.  If you aren’t sure if you or a loved one has an eating disorder or wonder if you would benefit from our services, please call our Intake Coordinator at 314-289-9411 to discuss your concerns.


    The first step is to schedule an appointment for an evaluation and a clinician will discuss with you appropriate treatment options suited to your situation.

    C. Outpatient Services

    Our Outpatient Eating Disorders Program is appropriate for clients whose symptoms do not meet criteria for the Intensive Program (ED-IOP). We see all ages in our Outpatient Eating Disorders Program. We offer comprehensive psychological assessments, psychological testing, psychiatric evaluations, nutritional counseling, and expressive therapy as well as individual and family therapy. More on these services below:

    Psychiatric Evaluations and Medication Management

    The psychiatrists provide psychiatric evaluations and medication management.  Pharmacotherapy has shown to be an effective treatment of some eating disorder symptoms and related disorders when used in conjunction with evidenced based psychotherapies.  Symptoms that may show a positive response to medication include rigid and intractable beliefs and anxiety, binge urges and behavioral compulsivity, depression, and mood swings.  Our psychiatrists provide assessment, discuss treatment recommendations and supervise medication interventions. They are compassionate and skilled physicians who understand that you may have questions and concerns about medication as a treatment modality.  They know that adherence to a medication plan is strengthened by client understanding and agreement with a treatment plan.  Therefore, they schedule individual sessions as needed to meet with clients as well as working closely with other members of the treatment team, such as individual and family therapists, to enhance the role of medication in treatment.

    Individual PsychotherapyWoman on Beach

    Individual psychotherapy is the most commonly used form of treatment for eating disorders. It consists of regular sessions with an individual therapist who specializes in the treatment of eating disorders as well as associated conditions such as mood disorders, anxiety, trauma recovery and other self-harm behaviors. The first goal of eating disorder treatment is to alter unhealthy eating practices such as aggressive dieting, food restriction and avoidance, binge eating, purging via self-induced vomiting or laxative abuse, and excessive exercise. Treatment selection and approaches are based on consideration of many factors, but often includes developing a treatment formulation of the factors maintaining the problem behaviors, a positive support plan to change behaviors, and the modification of disturbances in thoughts and feelings.  Therapy also may also focus on self-esteem, personal relationships, and making healthy life transitions.

    Family and Couples Therapy

    Family and Couples Therapy is an important component of treatment. Family Meetings are often conducted with an emphasis on providing psycho-education about eating disorders and on developing ways to assist their loved one with recovery efforts.  The focus on family therapy is on the entire family system.  Focus of sessions may include identifying family member roles in promoting positive behaviors in each other.  Additional goals may include enhancing communication, validation of emotions, clarification of rules, rights and responsibilities among family members, as well as definition of boundaries and limits.

    Parent Education and Training

    Parents are crucial partners in the recovery of younger children and adolescents with eating disorders. They are experts on their child and have the most power to extend treatment from the office into the home environment.  We encourage parents to actively participate in therapy sessions in order to learn about eating disorders; to improve their understanding of their child’s condition; to assist with providing a structured and supportive home environment that encourages behavior change; to examine their own beliefs and actions that may be fueling their child’s eating disorder; and to encourage self-care.  Watching a child suffer and engage in life threatening behavior is terrifying and often overwhelming.  Even the most highly skilled, determined, and loving parent may become emotionally depleted and exhausted.

    This is sometimes a hidden problem out of respect for confidentiality of your child.  We understand that parents also have other caregiver and work responsibilities.  The recovery process is very demanding on the entire family system.  We offer individual and marital therapy for parents who are coping with such extraordinary parenting challenges.

    Family Based Treatment of Eating Disorders (Maudsley Approach)

    We offer Family Based Treatment (FBT-AN) for adolescents and young adults with eating disorders (the Maudsley Approach). Controlled research studies have demonstrated that FBT is an effective intervention for adolescents with anorexia nervosa.  Controlled research studies report success rates as high as 80-90% within the home environment, thereby reducing costly admissions to residential or inpatient treatment facilities.  The focus of FBT is empowering and supporting parents to be actively take charge their child’s weight restoration, symptom reduction, and the return to their normal developmental trajectory.

    Learn more about why Family Based Treatment of Eating Disorders and why SLBMI’s Eating Disorders Program team member, Dr. Laura Huff, recommends you consider this treatment for your adolescent.

    Outpatient Weekly Group Therapy for Eating Disorders

    All group members are expected to also have an individual therapist, whether at SLBMI or in the community.  If interested please call 314-289-9411 to schedule an appointment with the group facilitator.

    Relapse Prevention 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 Groups meets Tuesday evenings 6:00-7:30pm.  Group facilitator, Cathy Lander-Goldberg, LCSW.


    •  Adult Relapse Prevention Group meets Wednesday evenings 5:30-7:00pm.  Group facilitator Laura Huff, Ph.D.


    Nutrition Counseling and Meal Planning

    SLBMI dietitians work directly with patients for a wide variety of nutrition needs including:

    • Celiac disease
    • Diabetes
    • Eating Disorders
    • Food Allergies
    • Gastric Bypass
    • GI disorders
    • IBS and Crohn’s
    • Maternal support
    • Overeating
    • Pediatric nutrition needs
    • Special diets
    • Sports nutrition
    • Weight loss, weight repletion, weight management


    Please specify the area of nutritional need upon scheduling your appointment with an SLBMI receptionist.

    What can I expect from my dietitian in the Eating Disorder Intensive Outpatient Program?

    The dietitian is a licensed clinical practitioner on the ED IOP team. You can expect your dietitian to:

    • Perform an individual initial assessment outlining your history and your treatment goals;
    • Create a personalized meal plan with you based on your individual needs;
    • Meet with you weekly or as needed, one-on-one, to work toward progress;
    • Conduct ongoing nutrition education individually and in weekly nutrition groups;
    • Offer meal support, including help processing emotions and working toward making eating natural and comfortable;
    • Provide outings such as shopping, meal preparation and dining out to practice eating disorder recovery skills;
    • Meet with family members and offer strategies and guidance;
    • Encourage and demonstrate using all foods in balance, moderation and variety and
    • Support you as you work toward challenges relating to your meal plan, nourishment and recovery.


    Comprehensive Psychological Assessment and Testing

    We offer a full range of psychological, psycho-educational, and neuro-psychological testing that may be recommended to clients for the purpose of diagnosis, treatment planning, and/or educational interventions.  Testing is typically not indicated until a client is properly nourished and close to ideal body weight.   Read More…


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