Finding an eating disorder treatment center that fits your needs, that makes you feel comfortable, that is reputable, and that is within your budget is a challenging task. Remember that not all eating disorder treatment centers are created equal. Should you look for treatment close to home or is it better to go farther away? How much time should you plan to spend in treatment? Should you worry about being diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder? These are some common questions that clients ask when they first begin their search to find a reputable eating disorder treatment center. The following are commonly asked questions and answers in the quest to find the best eating disorder treatment center for your needs.

Is it better to stay close to home or to attend treatment in another city/state?

This depends on each individual’s situation. For some staying close to home means that they may be triggered more easily and may feel as though their privacy is breached if they meet other clients who they know from their hometown. For others, staying close to home means a stronger support system composed of close family and friends. Bigger cities usually have better eating disorder treatment centers than small towns, and this can make a huge difference in your treatment, even if it means moving away. While deciding on which is right for you, it is essential to look at both sides of the coin.

Does the treatment center offer programs for co-occurring disorders?

Most individuals with an eating disorder will also be diagnosed with a mental health disorder once a professional can assess them. Although you may not think you have depression or anxiety, it may be best to keep your options open and look for a treatment center that can provide appropriate treatment for co-occurring disorders.

Does the treatment center have an established alumni or aftercare program?

Eating disorder treatment is only one sliver in your journey to recovery. After completing treatment, you will have to navigate the real world, which is full of the same triggers that caused you to develop an eating disorder in the first place.  Finding a treatment center that offers support, resources and a community after you complete the program is crucial to your long-term recovery.

Is the treatment center fully accredited?

Make sure the treatment center is licensed and accredited in all areas they are providing treatment for, whether it is trauma, eating disorders, mental health or substance abuse disorders.

What levels of care does the treatment center offer and how do they handle transitioning between these levels of care?

Some treatment centers only offer outpatient eating disorder treatment while others may provide residential treatment, inpatient hospitalization, and intensive outpatient care. Although it is not up to you which level of care you enter (this will be determined upon intake by a team of professionals), it is essential to know if the eating disorder treatment program can offer you the level of care that is necessary for your recovery. Additionally, ask how the treatment centers transition between levels of care as over time you will most likely transition from a higher level of care to a lower level of care. Will you have the same therapists? How will treatment be different? Will there be ample communication between treatment teams during the transition?

How will you pay for treatment?

Most reputable eating disorder treatment centers do accept private insurance plans; however, it is essential to spend the time researching how much treatment coverage your plan offers. Additionally, some grants and scholarships are given out by some treatment programs and eating disorder non-profit organizations. It is imperative to work out a way to pay for your treatment, so you are not buried in debt upon completion. Research your insurance coverage, look into scholarship programs and devise a payment plan.