Eating Disorder Treatment

Sanford Comprehensive Treatment for Eating Disorders (Sanford CTED) 

What is an Eating Disorder?

Eating disorders are complex mental health disorders with one of the highest mortality rates of any psychiatric diagnosis (second only to opioid overdoses). Because of this, treatment is most effectively provided by a multidisciplinary team of experts. Medical monitoring and stabilization, nutritional intervention, and psychological support are all essential parts of the treatment process.

Eating disorders can occur in individuals of all ages, genders, and body types, and are progressive in nature. At Sanford CTED we treat both adolescents and adults and offer outpatient (OP), intensive outpatient (IOP), partial hospitalization (PHP) and residential treatment (for adult women). Our continuum of care allows the individuals we treat to enter a program at the level that is appropriate for their symptoms. In-person and telehealth options are available.

When someone is ready to engage in treatment and get the care they need, sending them out of state is just not acceptable. We need to do better and provide a full continuum of eating disorder care in Michigan. Sanford Comprehensive Treatment for Eating Disorders has the programs and  resources to do that.

Gail Hall, LMSW, DCSW, CEDS-S, Executive Director SCTED

Environment - Why Sanford CTED?

Sanford Comprehensive Treatment for Eating Disorders is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). CARF is a nationally recognized accreditation organization, which surveys treatment programs against 1,500 CARF standards.

Convenient Locations - Eating disorders are treated in both our Grand Rapids outpatient location, and at Sanford West Behavioral Health Campus 12-minutes from downtown Grand Rapids in Marne, Michigan. Therapy may be individual or group; we utilize CBT, DBT, ACT, interpersonal, and family systems therapy. The groups are led by clinical therapists and registered dieticians. Emotion-focused family therapy (EFFT) is our primary family modality. Therapy includes members of the immediate family whenever possible, especially with younger individuals still living at home.

Health at Every Size - We practice a Health at Every Size (HAES) approach, which honors body diversity and encourages movement for health and enjoyment, not to lose weight. Our ultimate goal for everyone we treat, is to return to Intuitive Eating behaviors – eat when hungry, stop when full. However, most of the individuals we treat have practiced unhealthy eating habits for so long they have reduced or eliminated the body’s hunger and fullness cues. Often following a prescribed meal pattern for some time is necessary before Intuitive Eating can be reestablished.

The Sanford CTED Team - We are proud of the team we have assembled, with some of the brightest minds in the behavioral health field. The team at Sanford CTED includes:

  • Psychiatrist, Internist, Nurse Practitioner, RNs
  • Executive Director, Doctor of Clinical Nutrition
  • Psycho-therapists with specialized training in treating eating disorders
  • Registered Dietitians/Clinical Nutrition Specialists
  • Certified Recreation Therapists
  • Recovery Support Specialists
eating disorder treatment girls group
Honoring body diversity and encouraging movement for health and enjoyment!

Registered Dietitians -Dietitians are an important resource on the team. The dietitian prescribes the needed changes in eating patterns and weight. Our Registered Dieticians embrace the HAES philosophy, offering health habits for the sake of health and well-being. Through mindful eating, people learn to eat in a flexible manner, taking internal cues of hunger, satiety, and appetite. HAES begins to create a normal, relaxed relationship with food.

Experiential Therapy - We integrate experiential therapy into the recovery process whenever possible. Experiential therapy utilizes recreation, creative expression, and other activity-based techniques to restore physical and psychological health. At Sanford Comprehensive Treatment for Eating Disorders, we believe that the mind-body connection is a crucial part of long-term wellness. Activities such as art, movement, yoga, and therapeutic excursions can be an important adjunct to the more traditional therapies.

What We Treat

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Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by an obsessive fear of weight gain, and a refusal to maintain a healthy body weight. There may be strange eating behaviors or obsessional routines, and a denial of hunger or weight loss. At times, the individual might be obviously underweight; however, individuals might not be visibly underweight even though they are malnourished.

Avoidant Restrictive Food and Intake Disorder (ARFID)  - PHP and IOP Only

ARFID is a recently identified eating disorder. ARFID begins in young childhood but may not present for treatment until adulthood. These individuals eliminate foods based on food textures, smells, and the fear of vomiting or choking. Other sensory integration and processing issues may be evident as well. ARFID often results in failure to grow and develop at an appropriate rate. By adulthood individuals with ARFID will have extremely inflexible eating habits and will refuse to try any new foods.

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder. Binge is characterized by uncontrolled continuous eating beyond the pointof feeling comfortably full. Feeling out of control, feelings of shame or self-hatred, and changes in body weight are common. Symptoms may include fasting or yo-yo dieting. And co-existing conditions include depression, anxiety, PTSD, and substance use disorders.

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia Nervosa is characterized by excessive (binge) eating followed by compensatory behaviors – induced vomiting, abuse of laxatives, excessive exercise, and fasting. There is secrecy and shame about the behaviors. Individuals with bulimia may appear to eat small or normal amounts with others, but binge in secret. Individuals with bulimia often struggle with other impulse control problems including substance use disorders (SUD). Co-occurring depression is common.

Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorder (OSFED)

Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorder (OSFED) is an eating disorder classification for those who do not meet the diagnostic criteria for any other eating disorders. (OSFED has replaced “Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified” in The Diagnostic & Statistical Manual). A diagnosis of OSFED doesn’t mean someone has a less severe eating disorder. Individuals with OSFED commonly present with a distorted body image, disturbed eating habits, overvaluation of body shape and weight, and an intense fear of gaining weight. OSFED is the most common eating disorder, and is diagnosed for adults and adolescents and affects both males and females.

Eating Disorder Programs

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Outpatient Programs

We welcome persons at all stages of readiness to address eating disorders.  Our goal is to provide access to a full continuum of care so that individuals can get exactly what they need at any given point in their recovery process. We promote an environment that emphasizes empathy and respect for ethical and cultural values. Our ultimate goal is to provide a process of change that allows an individual to maintain their unique version of health and wellness so they can live an inspired, self-directed life. Robust Outpatient (OP), Intensive Outpatient (IOP) and Partial Hospitalization (PHP) programs allow individuals to complete treatment while living real lives in recovery.

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Residential Programs

The purpose of residential treatment for eating disorders is to provide structure, safety and accountability with 24/7 nursing and clinical support. This reduces the harmful effects of eating disorders and starts individuals on their recovery path. We understand that the needs of each individual seeking treatment are unique, and we work with patients to support a safe transition out of residential treatment when the time is right. Similarly, we strive to deliver a person-centered and trauma-informed program throughout the recovery process. Residential treatment is for those who require an intensity of service delivery that is beyond what can safely be delivered in an outpatient level of care.

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Family Programs

Sanford is committed to improving access to services, reducing stigma surrounding mental health and eating disorders, and promoting progress and innovation in treatment. Our mission is to provide our patients with evidence based clinical and medical services while identifying the unique needs of each person we treat. Our person-centered approach allows us to craft a specialized treatment plan that addresses all aspects of a recovering person’s life, with particular emphasis on family involvement.

How Much Does Eating Disorder Treatment Cost?

Therapy for an eating disorder can often involve months to years of treatment. The coverage for intensive and/or long-term treatment can be complicated. We work with your insurance company, and make treatment recommendations based on clinical necessity. We will also explore insurance benefits on your behalf, and advocate with your carrier.

Learn More About Our Free Insurance Assessment

Eating Disorder Resources

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