Eating Disorder Treatment in Illinois

Many diverse eating disorder treatment types are available in Illinois, including top-rated inpatient programs to remote treatment options.

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Binge eating disorder (BED), bulimia nervosa (BN), anorexia nervosa (AN), and other eating disorders are serious mental health conditions that can be dangerous or even deadly if left untreated. If you or a loved one are struggling with one of these issues, it’s important to seek out appropriate help.

Thankfully, there are many different eating disorder treatment programs in Illinois that can provide help at different levels of care.

Types of Bulimia Treatment in Illinois

While all eating disorders are cause for concern, the conditions themselves vary widely. Some people may struggle for a long time or experience especially severe symptoms, while others may experience milder symptoms.

Several levels of care have been developed to help address this range. In Illinois, all levels of care for eating disorder treatment are available.

Virtual Eating Disorder Treatment

Virtual treatment is a relatively new development in eating disorder care. Still, it’s an increasingly popular form of treatment, allowing patients to access doctors, meetings, and other medical resources through websites, video messaging software, or apps.

This type of treatment benefits those who live far from in-person care facilities, experience challenges around transportation or mobility or have schedules or social obligations that make regular in-person meetings difficult. Still, many people choose online treatment simply because it’s more convenient or cost-effective.

While the treatment is still relatively new, studies have shown it can be as effective as in-person treatment in many cases.2

Who Offers Virtual Treatment in Illinois?

One benefit of online eating disorder treatment is that a program doesn’t have to be based in Illinois for patients to access it.

Within Health offers one of the most comprehensive options among the nationwide field of online programs. A treatment team of multidisciplinary experts creates tailored treatment plans for each patient to ensure all physical, emotional, and mental health issues are addressed. Patients will also receive medical equipment and daily meals to help ensure a smoother recovery.

Inpatient and Residential Treatment

Inpatient care is the most intensive form of eating disorder treatment, with patients staying full-time at a facility to receive 24-hour medical monitoring and care.

The most intensive type of inpatient care is inpatient hospitalization. This involves a patient staying at a hospital-like facility and is generally only recommended in cases where the patient is experiencing acute health risks, self-harm or suicide attempts, worsening symptoms, or other serious medical complications. The overall goal of this level of care is medical stabilization or alleviating any immediate threats to the patient’s life.1

Residential treatment is a less intensive form of inpatient care, but it is still intended for individuals with severe eating disorder symptoms. Programs are more oriented toward long-term goals, with patients typically staying at least 30 days, so facilities are usually more home-like than clinical.1

During their stay, a patient may undergo a number of treatments, including individual and group therapy sessions, nutritional counseling, meal monitoring, regular medical check-ins, and other types of care.

Who Offers Inpatient Treatment in Illinois?

Timberline Knolls is one residential treatment center in Lemont, Illinois, that offers care for adolescent girls and adult women. Their treatment approach includes personalized care, a trauma-focused approach, meal support, and various other services.

After completing the residential program, Timberline Knolls grants individuals lifetime membership in their alumnae program to give ongoing support.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are also intensive forms of care, though they don’t require patients to stay overnight. Instead, patients commute to treatment and live and sleep at home.

Still, the programs can be intense, lasting anywhere from 5 days a week or more up to 10 hours per day.1 During this time, patients undergo many of the same types of treatment they may receive at a residential facility, including therapy, nutritional counseling, and other courses of action dictated by their individualized treatment plan.

Sometimes called day programs, PHPs are also long-term programs, for the most part, though schedules are generally adjusted as patients continue their recovery journey.

Who Offers Partial Hospitalization Programs in Illinois?

SunCloud Health has locations in Northbrook, Naperville, and Lincoln Park. They offer separate daytime programs for adults and teenagers from Monday through Friday. SunCloud Health treats with an integrated model, making it an ideal facility for anyone struggling with co-occurring disorders. They also offer residential care.

Timberline Knolls also offers PHP.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment is the least intensive form of eating disorder care, so it’s important that patients at this stage have reasonable control over their eating disorder symptoms. Most outpatient programs involve regular meetings with a therapist, psychiatrist, or other treatment team member, with occasional medical check-ins or medication adjustments as needed.

For those stepping down from higher levels of care or those who still want or need more support, intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) can also help. This level of care usually involves treatment several days a week, for several hours a day. This is also the point where many patients incorporate family therapy or support groups into their regular care routine.

Who Offers Outpatient Treatment in Illinois?

Rogers Behavioral Health has locations in Skokie and Hinsdale, Illinois, and offers intensive outpatient treatment. Their program is three hours a day, five days a week, and includes a care team led by a board-certified adult or child/adolescent psychiatrist specializing in eating disorders. Rogers Behavioral Health also offers partial hospitalization care. SunCloud Health also offers outpatient treatment, and Timberline Knolls provides intensive outpatient treatment.

Additional Eating Disorder Resources in Illinois

Aside from programs explicitly aimed at treating eating disorders, several other resources in Illinois can help people with eating disorders or concerned friends or family members receive more information, advice, or support.

Colleges like Eastern Illinois University and the University of Illinois offer resources to support students who are struggling with eating disorders. These on-campus options can be especially helpful when patients are away from home for the first time and struggling with the experience.

Illinois is also home to many eating disorder support groups. These meetings can make great places for those struggling to build a sense of community and share concerns and success stories alike.

Some Illinois eating disorder support groups include:

What to Look for in a Treatment Center in Illinois

The process of finding a reputable Illinois eating disorder treatment center that meets your specific needs can be complex. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment and recovery, so many factors must be considered.

Still, keeping a few key factors in mind can help you feel more confident in your choice.

Licensing and Accreditation

When searching for eating disorder treatment in Illinois, it is crucial to consider the accreditation and licensing of the treatment center. The Joint Commission Accreditation Health Organization (JCAHO) awards certification to centers that have undergone a rigorous process of adhering to strict policies and procedures.

It is important to verify that the center is accredited by the Joint Commission Accreditation Health Organization (JCAHO) and holds the necessary licenses for the treatments it offers. This ensures that the center adheres to strict policies and procedures and is qualified to provide the care you or a loved one needs.

Cost and Insurance Options

The cost of treatment is often one of the biggest concerns of people looking into this type of care. And, in many cases, that depends heavily on insurance.

Check with your health insurance provider to see if there are any particular programs, doctors, or types of treatment in their network that they’re more willing to cover. Double-check whether your plan will cover only a certain amount of treatment.

If you have found a program you’re interested in already, you can also call there to see if they have any financial aid options available or if they can help you work things out with your insurance company.

Additional Questions

Looking for the best eating disorder treatment centers for you or your loved one can feel overwhelming.

Asking these questions to would-be treatment providers may help you better understand your priorities and expectations around the experience and make a better decision based on those feelings:3

  • How long have you been treating eating disorders?
  • Do you address co-occurring mental health disorders?
  • What criteria do you use to assess whether treatment is working?
  • How do you involve family members or friends in treatment?
  • Do you require ongoing medical information?
  • Do you stay up to date on the latest research on eating disorder treatment?
  • Do you have a guiding philosophy on treatment?
Eating disorder coverage

Finding Help for an Eating Disorder in Illinois

If you or a loved one are struggling with an eating disorder, it’s important to seek out help.

Your primary care physician, therapist, or other medical professionals may be a good place to start. These experts can make an official diagnosis, which is often a necessary step to enter a treatment program or be able to help guide you in your next best steps.

Some eating disorder hotlines are also available. These services can provide additional resources and information and are generally free and anonymous, allowing callers to ask complex questions more easily.

But regardless of where you look for help, the most important thing is taking that first step. It often leads to a healthier and happier future.


  1. Levels of Care. (n.d.). University of California San Diego. Accessed December 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. Questions to Ask Treatment Providers. (n.d.). National Eating Disorders Association. Accessed December 2023.

Last Update | 01 - 8 - 2024

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