What Does Outpatient Treatment Look Like for BED?

Blog Contributed By: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC

If you or a loved one has been suffering with Binge Eating Disorder, understanding your treatment options for recovery can be overwhelming. Because of the many stigmas associated with Binge Eating Disorder (BED), the severity of this mental health illness may be overshadowed by more known diseases, such as Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa.

Binge Eating Disorder Is a Life-Threatening Disease

The reality is that BED results in life-threatening consequences if left untreated or ignored. Many individuals struggling with BED may feel able to continue on with their lives, even if actively engaged in eating disorder behaviors, though the extent of damages may not be fully realized.

No matter how well someone feels they are able to function in their daily lives, despite the interferences of BED, an eating disorder left untreated leads down a fatal path.

Factors When Considering Treatment

Individuals contemplating treatment might also be deterred by the commitment or time involved. With the busyness that life entails, whether it is a demanding career, school schedule, or family life, it can be difficult to fathom putting everything on hold to get the help that is needed. However, the alternative of not seeking treatment could mean the risk of losing everything of value and importance.

The option of outpatient treatment for BED is a helpful solution for individuals who may be unable to complete higher levels of care, such as residential or inpatient treatment.

Outpatient treatment allows a patient to stay connected to resources that will encourage recovery, such as:

  • Regular therapeutic sessions with a counselor
  • Group therapy
  • Medical nutrition therapy

The following are some aspects of outpatient treatment that would be expected for Binge Eating Disorder:

  • Counseling Sessions

    Even in the outpatient setting, a patient will be connecting with a counselor or therapist. Regular sessions with occur in accordance with the treatment plan and can be flexibly scheduled around existing work/school.

    These sessions will allow for processing and may involve the integration of therapeutic techniques, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Interpersonal Psychotherapy.

  • Support Groups

    Attendance in regular support groups can offer needed accountability and connection to peers/mentors. Having consistent support is a crucial part of maintaining recovery from BED.

  • Medications

    Certain medications may be a helpful part of comprehensive treatment for BED. This is overseen by a psychiatrist/medical doctor who is part of the outpatient treatment team.

  • Medical Nutrition Therapy

    Having a weekly session with a nutritionist/dietitian will help support goals/challenges related to food and a meal plan.

Staying Connected to Support

Outpatient therapy can be a helpful way for individuals struggling with BED to continue treatment and stay connected to support, even while maintaining a home life, working, or finishing school.

To determine if outpatient care is appropriate for you, be sure to meet with your treatment team to discuss your options and assess your readiness for this level of care.

About Baxter Ekern

Baxter is the Vice President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. He is responsible for the operations of Eating Disorder Hope and ensuring that the website is functioning smoothly.