Eating Disorder Treatment in Florida

A number of recovery choices can be utilized within your state – spanning a range from executive residential to high-quality FL outpatient center

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Eating disorders are complex and serious mental health conditions, and the treatment of eating disorders is often equally complex.

A good program should cater to not only unhealthy or dangerous eating habits that have developed, but also the psychological components of these conditions, which often deeply impact someone’s body image and self-esteem.

Getting help for an eating disorder should involve finding a program that’s comprehensive and in line with a patient’s specific needs. Thankfully, in this regard, Florida residents have numerous choices for eating disorder treatment centers.

Types of Bulimia Treatment in Florida

Bulimia nervosa (BN) is a serious condition that can have devastating effects on someone’s mental and physical health. But the severity of the condition can also span the gamut, running from mild to severe.

Likewise, the level of care for bulimia nervosa can be more or less intensive. So when looking for the best possible treatment options, it’s important to keep in mind the type of care provided by an eating disorder treatment center.

Virtual Treatment

Virtual treatment for eating disorders is relatively new, but becoming an increasingly popular way to address eating disorders and any manner of other mental health concerns. This level of care takes place remotely, with a patient checking in with their care provider over the internet or, sometimes, over the phone.

In general, online therapy is a great option for those who live far from in-person treatment facilities, experience challenges around mobility or transportation, or have difficult-to-manage schedules. And telehealth, as it’s sometimes called, has been shown to be just as effective as regular therapy in a number of cases. [2]

Still, it’s important to remember that virtual care may not be for everyone. Those experiencing more severe eating disorder symptoms may benefit more from the type of observation and care that comes with in-person sessions.

Virtual Treatment in Florida

One of the benefits of virtual treatment is that it’s not tied to a geographic location, so even if a program is based outside of Florida, it may be possible to access their virtual options. Within Health is one of the leading providers of virtual care. The program is tailored to each specific patient, providing them with a personal treatment team chosen to fit their specific needs. The program can even provide medical equipment and pre-planned meals through the mail to help bridge some of the more limiting aspects of receiving care remotely.

Inpatient and Residential Treatment

Inpatient care and residential treatment sound similar, but they represent distinctive levels of care.

Inpatient treatment is often reserved for the most severe eating disorder cases. Generally, people who are admitted to these programs are going through a health crisis to the point where they need to be hospitalized.

During inpatient care, patients are monitored by staff 24/7, and the focus is on restoring their health to the point where they become medically stable. This level of care usually only lasts for a few weeks.

Once someone reaches the point of medical stability, they can enter residential treatment. (Patients who do not need more intensive inpatient care can also start their treatment journey here.)

At this point, patients will live full-time at a residential eating disorder facility, where they will have 24/7 access to licensed mental health professionals, doctors, nurses, and other staff.

Residential programs are often strictly regimented, and a daily schedule could include everything from individual and group therapy sessions to meal support to physical check-ups. These programs are meant to help someone start transitioning away from disordered thoughts and behaviors, with programs lasting anywhere from several weeks to several months.

Residential Treatment in Florida

The Renfew Center is a residential eating disorder treatment facility located in Coconut Creek, Florida. They offer a variety of programs for those seeking help for their eating disorder.

Partial Hospitalization

Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are the middle ground of eating disorder treatment.

While a patient is still expected to maintain a heavy treatment schedule, they will commute to these sessions and live and sleep at home. This makes a PHP the best option for someone who still needs or wants plenty of support on their recovery journey but who is ready to start making some decisions independently.

Partial hospitalization programs run anywhere from 4-6 days per week for up to 8 hours per day. They typically involve many of the same therapies a patient was practicing in residential care. [1]

Partial Hospitalization Programs in Florida

Turning Point of Tampa is one of Florida’s leading rehabilitation facilities and offers services for a number of mental health concerns, including PHP options for Florida patients with bulimia nervosa.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient care often represents the first or last, stage of care for someone struggling with BN. At this point, a patient is living at home and demonstrating the ability to manage their disordered behaviors enough to start taking on social responsibilities, such as work or school.

There are several levels of care available for patients at this stage.

Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) represent a more intensive level of care, with therapy sessions that may be more frequent or longer than those in outpatient care. This is generally a good place for someone who is stepping down their bulimia nervosa treatment to start.

Regular outpatient programs consist of regular therapy sessions or possibly meetings with other care team members, such as a psychiatrist or nutritionist. These sessions can be used to help someone stay the course, check in with themselves, and take the time to address any potential triggers or issues they’re experiencing.

Florida Outpatient Programs for Bulimia

The Institute for Life Renovation provides outpatient eating disorder treatments to Florida residents. Their mission is to provide a safe, comfortable, and supportive environment for individuals who are struggling with an eating disorder.

Florida Eating Disorder Support Groups

Eating disorder support groups can offer a great form of supplemental care for someone going through treatment or provide a forum for those impacted by the eating disorder of a loved one.

Some good eating disorder support group options for Florida residents include:

  • The National Eating Disorders Association: This leading national group has a wealth of information and resources on eating disorders, as well as care and treatment options. But the group also provides a number of support groups, including those catered to more specific groups of people struggling with BN, like teens or men.
  • National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders: Another eating disorder program that’s nationally renowned, ANAD hosts dozens of eating disorder support groups throughout the U.S. Each group is led by trained volunteers who are open to anyone who struggles with an eating disorder.

What to Look for in a Florida Bulimia Treatment Center/Program

When looking for the best bulimia treatment centers in Florida, the search can feel overwhelming. There are a number of centers in Florida that provide similar types of treatment, so it can be difficult to tell which programs might be better or worse for you or your loved one.

Still, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind, which can help you narrow the field of viable choices.

Licensing and Accreditation

While a patchwork of national and state laws work to ensure that eating disorder treatment facilities are above-board, it never hurts to double-check.

Make sure any facility you’re interested in is licensed by the Florida Department of Health to offer treatment services for eating disorders and that staff members are likewise credentialed.

Accreditation offers an additional layer of assurance that a program is competent. It means that a group of industry experts have looked over the program or treatment center and determined that it meets a number of industry standards.

Treatment Methods

Thankfully, bulimia nervosa is considered one of the most treatable types of eating disorders. A number of therapeutic techniques have shown to be beneficial in helping people curb the thoughts and behaviors associated with BN, including:

Still, while all of these treatments are intended to help, they operate from different points of view, with different treatment philosophies. It may be helpful to read up on these different techniques to get an idea of which one may work best for you when seeking out Florida eating disorder centers.

Cost and Insurance Options

While eating disorder care can be crucial, it’s also often prohibitively expensive. For most people seeking care, it’s essential to ensure that a program will work with their health insurance provider.

You can work through this issue by calling your health insurance company first to get an idea of the types of programs and treatments they may be more likely to cover. Or if you find a program first that you really like, it’s important to call them to ensure they will work with your insurance.

Many eating disorder treatment centers have staff members specifically trained in working with insurance questions, so speaking to one could be a helpful way to better understand your options.

Additional Considerations

Searching for the right treatment facility can be difficult for any number of reasons.

Aside from the above suggestions, you may want to keep a few questions in mind to help get the best idea of what a specific program has to offer, including: [3]

  • Who will be involved in your treatment, and who will coordinate all of the different professionals working with you?
  • What is the center’s approach to treatment? Is it based on any particular religious affiliation?
  • How long has the center been serving the community?
  • Is family help or input allowed?
  • How many patients does each staff member see in a day? How long do your staff members, on average, work at the center?

Finding Help for Bulimia Nervosa

If you or a loved one are struggling with bulimia nervosa or other types of disordered eating, it’s time to seek out help.

The above programs are great places to find the kind of treatment that could help you develop a healthier self-image and relationship with food. But if you want to explore other options, a good place to start is to ask your primary care physician, therapist, or another trusted medical professional. These experts are educated in many types of eating disorders and may be able to help give you an official diagnosis or point you in the direction of helpful programs.

If you’d rather not discuss the issue face-to-face with someone, there are also a number of eating disorder hotlines you can utilize for additional information and resources. These services are generally free and allow callers to remain anonymous and receive information over the phone or via text.

Bulimia nervosa is a dangerous condition, but it doesn’t have to be your destiny. Seeking help is the first step that could lead you on the road to recovery.


  1. Substance Abuse: Clinical Issues in Intensive Outpatient Treatment. (2006). Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 47. Accessed April 2023.
  2. Steiger, H., Booij, L., Crescenzi, O., Oliverio, S., Singer, I., Thaler, L., St-Hilaire, A., & Israel, M. (2022). In-person versus virtual therapy in outpatient eating-disorder treatment: A COVID-19 inspired study. The International Journal of Eating Disorders; 55(1):145–150.
  3. Selecting a Treatment Center for Your Loved One. National Eating Disorders Association. Accessed April 2023.

Last Update | 06 - 15 - 2022

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