Eating Disorder Treatment in Hawaii

Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), and binge eating disorder (BED) are among the most serious and dangerous mental health conditions, affecting millions of people within the United States alone.

Hawaii map

These conditions can impact anyone, regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexuality. And they not only have a huge impact on those directly affected but can put outsized social and psychological stress on the family and friends of those who are struggling. However, eating disorders of all types are treatable conditions. And for residents of Hawaii, there may be several options for getting the kind of care that can help lead to recovery.

Types of Eating Disorder Treatment in Hawaii

Eating disorders don’t just affect all types of people but come in all types of forms and severity. Conditions can range from mild to moderate to serious, with different levels of care developed to cater to this sliding scale of needs.

That’s why, when searching for treatment options in Hawaii, it’s important to look out for an eating disorder treatment center that will cater to you or your loved one, offering the type of care that will work best for wherever you are on the recovery journey.

Virtual Treatment

Virtual treatment is a relatively new option for eating disorder care, involving the connection between patient and provider through virtual means, such as apps, websites, or chatrooms.

This brings several advantages to Hawaii residents, including a significant increase in the choice of providers available, easier accessibility to treatment for those with challenges around mobility or transportation, and greater access to care for those who may not be close to in-person treatment centers.

And while research is ongoing, some studies have shown that online treatment can be just as effective as in-person care in many cases. [2] Though, it’s important to note that those with more severe eating disorder symptoms may still benefit more from the greater observation and caregiving potential of in-person programs.

Virtual Eating Disorder Treatment in Hawaii

While a number of programs are offered online, Within Health has one of the most comprehensive virtual eating disorder treatment programs in Hawaii or anywhere else in the country. 

Patients at Within are matched up with a care team chosen specifically for their needs, and individual treatment plans, as well as meal and medical equipment delivery are offered to ensure they have clear access to the road to recovery.

Residential and Inpatient Treatment

Both residential and inpatient treatment are characterized by the patient staying and sleeping in a facility in order to receive around-the-clock access to medical attention and care.

Inpatient facilities in Hawaii are often considered the most serious type of eating disorder treatment. These programs take place in a hospital-like facility, with the primary goal of getting a patient mentally and physically stable to the point where they can more easily pursue other types of treatment. Generally, this intensive level of care only lasts up to a few weeks.

Once a patient is considered medically stabilized, they can move on to residential treatment. This also calls for living full-time at a facility, though the environment is much more homelike.

Residential treatment programs in Hawaii generally follow stringent schedules, which can include everything from individual and/or group therapy sessions, meal support and supervision, nutrition education, holistic therapies, and regular medical check-ups. These programs can run anywhere from several weeks to several months, depending on a patient’s specific needs.

Residential Eating Disorder Care in Hawaii

There are multiple inpatient and residential Hawaii eating disorder treatment centers:

  • Ai Pono Hawaii offers residential treatment for bulimia and other eating disorders using a variety of evidence-based methods.
  • Avive la Vie has a treatment program specifically tailored to bulimia and which is customized to each individual patient.
  • Hawaii Island Recovery offers residential eating disorder programs and additional treatments for eating disorders of all types.

Partial Hospitalization Programs

Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) in Hawaii are the middle ground of eating disorder treatment. They’re best suited for someone who is well enough to start making important decisions outside of a facility environment but could still benefit from sufficient support and care.

During a PHP, a patient will live at home and commute to treatment, which can take place anywhere from 4-8 hours per day, up to 5 days per week. [1] Many of the treatments administered at these day programs are similar to those followed in residential care, such as individual or group therapy and meal support.

As a PHP continues, and a patient continues getting better, their schedule will generally also become slowly less intensive.

Partial Hospitalization Programs in Hawaii

Many facilities offer multiple levels of eating disorder treatment in Hawaii. On top of residential care, ‘Ai Pono Hawaii also offers PHPs to help curb disordered eating.

Outpatient Treatment

As the least intensive level of care, outpatient programs are generally either the first or last type of care someone struggling with an eating disorder will participate in.

For those stepping down from more strenuous programs, an intensive outpatient program (IOP) may be the best place to start. During this level of care, patients attend several therapy sessions, support group meetings, or meetings with other members of their care team per week.

Outpatient clinics in Hawaii can also cater to those who are ready for just a few treatment sessions per month. By this point, a patient hopefully has their eating disorder symptoms well in hand and utilizes therapy as a way to regularly check in with their recovery progress. But the additional time in their schedules can be used to re-engage in social responsibilities, including work and school.

Hawaii Outpatient Eating Disorder Treatment

Many residential treatment centers in Hawaii, including ‘Ai Pono Hawaii and Hawaii Island Recovery, also offer outpatient treatment. These options can be taken as a standalone treatment option or as part of a lasting recovery plan, depending on the patient’s needs and preferences.

Additionally, The Journey Therapy offers outpatient and group therapy for those with eating disorders as well as their families, all led by a certified eating disorder specialist.

Choosing the Best Eating Disorder Treatment in Hawaii

Choosing the best eating disorder treatment in Hawaii may seem overwhelming. On top of being an important issue, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind.

It’s important to remember all of the relevant factors when you’re selecting a treatment program for yourself or someone else. But there are some that may help you more easily make your decision.

Licensing and Accreditation

It’s required by law for treatment centers of all types to hire medically licensed staff, but ensuring particular centers in Hawaii have doctors, nurses, therapists, and other employees with the right kind of qualifications is still important.

Similarly, accreditation is a quick and easy measure to check for. When institutions are accredited, it means an overseeing body has deemed their program up to specific industry standards, offering another level of assurance.w

Treatment Methods

There are several evidence-based treatments that are widely used to help people overcome eating disorders, including:

If a Hawaii eating disorder treatment center offers these methods, it’s a good sign that they use therapies with a history of working. Additional considerations, including trauma-informed care for those who have experienced difficult events in the past or treatment for commonly co-occurring disorders, may be other beneficial aspects to look out for.

Cost and Insurance Policies

Whether it’s inpatient, outpatient, or somewhere in between, eating disorder treatment is generally lengthy, and an entire course of care can often be costly.

A majority of people are unable to cover these costs on their own, so taking health insurance coverage into consideration becomes a crucial aspect of choosing a treatment center.

You may want to start your search by calling your insurance company. Certain plans will only cover certain types of treatment, and finding out this information first could help narrow your search from the start. 

If you’ve already found a center in Hawaii that you like, it’s equally important to ensure they will accept your health insurance policy. Otherwise, you may be subject to bills that can be extremely financially detrimental.

Additional Eating Disorder Resources for Hawaii

On top of the best eating disorder treatment centers in Hawaii, there are a number of additional resources that can help provide additional help and information.

Regardless of where you look for treatment, the most important thing is taking that first step. Eating disorders can be relentless, and it may feel impossible to overcome these complex mental health conditions, but seeking the help of a caring professional team can make all the difference.


  1. Taulli, T., Gomez, I. (2022, September 1). How a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) Works for Mental Health Treatment. GoodRx Health. Accessed April 2023.
  2. Sarkis, S. (2021, February 14). Online Therapy Just As Effective As In-Person Sessions. Forbes. Accessed April 2023.

Whether you live in Honolulu, Hilo, Pearl City, or Waipahu, HI, treatment options are available to you. If an inpatient Hawaii eating disorder treatment center is not a practical solution for you, there are likely outpatient clinics and certainly nationwide virtual treatment providers within your reach. These solutions are typically more affordable and they may be able to accept your insurance.

Last Update | 06 - 15 - 2022

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