Understanding if Outpatient Care is Sufficient During Summer Vacation

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Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Director of Content and Social Media at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Whether you are a student or developing a career in the workforce, whatever your age, gender or socioeconomic status may be, summertime often brings a welcomed break in various ways and forms.

This may mean a break from an arduous school schedule, vacation time away from work and with family, or time for traveling, camping, or weekend trips.

Whatever the scenario might look like, summertime can be more challenging for those who are in recovery from an eating disorder.

Treatment Options Available for Eating Disorder Recovery

Depending on the level of care that you may have been in, it may be tempting to step down to a lower level of treatment during the summer season. However, it is important not to leave the level of care prescribed to you by your treatment professional prematurely, even if for the best intended reasons.

Eating disorder treatment often proceeds through different levels of care depending on the needs of an individual. There often comes an appropriate time to step down to outpatient care for eating disorder treatment.

Woman summer travelLearning When Outpatient Care is Appropriate

At the outpatient level of care, a person should be able to do several things sufficiently and with little supervision, including following a basic meal plan, appropriately applying healthy and positive coping mechanisms, and staying connected to support. Outpatient treatment is also appropriate for those who are medically and psychiatrically stable, who are not a threat to themselves or others, and who are not in need of weight restoration.

While outpatient care is the most flexible level of care, in terms of treatment, it is never advisable to step down to this form of care on your own accord. Always follow the recommendations of your professional treatment team, who will advise you as to when and how you should transition between levels of care. Though you may be anxious to have more freedom with your schedule and eager to return to doing many of the things you used to do, stepping down to outpatient care should only be done with the guidance of your treatment team.

Community Discussion Question – Share Your Thoughts Here!

How did outpatient care help support your recovery efforts during summer vacation?


Crystal Headshot 2About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.


The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on July 8, 2016
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com