Eating Disorder Treatment in Kentucky

A number of recovery types are available throughout your state —ranging from private inpatient to KY outpatient clinics and even remote options.

Kentucky map

The impact of an eating disorder can be devastating, causing damage not only to the physical health of an individual, but to their psychological well-being and overall quality of life.

If you or a loved one are dealing with an eating disorder, it’s important to seek out help. And if you’re in Kentucky, there are a number of different resources and programs in the state that can help you start on the road to recovery.

Types of Eating Disorder Treatment in Kentucky

While eating disorders such as binge eating disorder (BED), anorexia nervosa (AN), and bulimia nervosa (BN) are always serious, there are varying levels of care to treat these conditions.

The best level of care for you or your loved one will depend on the severity of the case and individual medical histories or needs. Still, Kentucky has options for those at many different stages of eating disorder recovery.

Virtual Treatment

With the field of telehealth rapidly expanding in recent years, it’s now possible for many people to receive treatment for their eating disorders online. This helps extend therapeutic options to many people, including those who don’t live near an in-person treatment center, those who have challenges around transportation or mobility, or those whose schedules are difficult to manage.

And while telehealth is still relatively new, studies have already shown that it can be just as effective as in-person treatment in many cases. (3) Though, it’s important to note that online care is not for everyone, including those with severe eating disorder symptoms or those who may otherwise benefit from a more immersive therapeutic experience.

Who Offers Virtual Treatment in Kentucky?

One of the benefits of virtual care is that a program doesn’t have to be geographically close by in order to help. In a state like Kentucky, with limited in-person options for eating disorder treatment, this is especially beneficial.

That said, Within Health is one of the strongest virtual treatment options for eating disorders in Kentucky or anywhere else in the United States. The program offers nationwide virtual treatment for a number of different eating disorders and provides each patient with a specialized team of professionals to meet their personal recovery needs.

Inpatient and Residential Treatment

Inpatient treatment involves an intensive care program that addresses severely disordered eating along with other comorbid, or co-occurring, diagnoses. Severe complications from eating disorders can necessitate constant intensive motoring and care. This type of treatment is also suitable for those patients who are determined to be either medically or psychiatrically unstable. [1]

Once a patient is determined medically stable, they can move on to residential treatment. (Some patients may also start their journey here.) Residential facilities are also very intensive, with a patient living and sleeping there and having access to 24-hour medical support. But these environments are much more home-like.

Patients at a residential facility will often undergo vigorous schedules, which can include individual therapy sessions, group therapy, nutrition counseling, meal monitoring, medication management, and other types of care. Generally, residential treatment programs last until a patient has better understanding of and control over their symptoms – anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

Who Offers Residential Treatment in Kentucky?

Unfortunately, Kentucky does not currently have a residential eating disorder treatment facility. The Louisville Center of Eating Disorders offers the more rigorous treatment, available up to 5 days per week. While it’s not in state, Focus Treatment Centers, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is one of the more accessible residential treatment programs for Kentucky residents.

Partial Hospitalization Program

Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are the middle ground of eating disorder recovery. During this phase of treatment, patients live and sleep at home, while commuting to treatment.

Programs like this in Kentucky are often intensive, lasting up to 5 days per week, for up to 8 hours per day. (2) Patients who transition to this phase of care from residential programs often continue the same types of care and therapies they started at their residential programs, including continued therapy sessions, meal monitoring, and medical check-ins.

The purpose of a PHP is to start allowing a patient more autonomy. The set up allows them to begin practicing new coping strategies outside of a facility setting. And as they continue to progress, their schedules will be adjusted to be less intensive.

Who Offers PHP in Kentucky?

Currently, the Louisville Center of Eating Disorders is the only established eating disorder treatment clinic in Kentucky. Services include multiple daytime treatment schedules, including a PHP-type schedule, as well as a specialized network of therapists, dietitians, and treatment teams.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment services also vary, with tracks for intensive outpatient programs (IOP) and standard outpatient treatment.

Those in an IOP are usually stepping down from more intensive forms of care. Intensive outpatient programs resemble outpatient treatment, though therapy sessions may be longer, more intensive, or take place more frequently during the week.

When a patient is participating in standard outpatient treatment in Kentucky, they typically have better management of their eating disorder symptoms, and a higher ability to function in their day-to-day lives. Often, outpatient centers are utilized to help people receive ongoing support in their recovery, or to help people whose symptoms are just beginning or still in a more mild phase.

Who Offers Outpatient Treatment in Kentucky?

Louisville Center of Eating Disorders offers intensive outpatient treatment for patients in need of greater outpatient support, or those coming out of more rigorous residential programs.

Additional Eating Disorder Resources in Kentucky

While Kentucky doesn’t have as many programs designed specifically for eating disorder treatment, there are a number of additional resources in the state which may be able to help, including:

  • The University of Kentucky. The school offers on-campus educational options for attending students, as well as medical and therapeutic consultations.
  • Aubrey’s Song, a program that offers multiple connections with national eating disorder institutions and attempts to raise awareness of the physical complications of eating disorders.
  • The National Eating Disorders Association, a nationwide group that offers educational material and support for various forms of disordered eating.

While some of these programs may not be based specifically in Kentucky, they’re designed to help residents anywhere start on the path toward recovery.

Kentucky Eating Disorder Support Groups

No matter what stage of recovery you or your loved one is in, a little extra support can go a long way.

Support groups help build a sense of community, and offer a safe space to share stories, experiences, fears, and other concerns around a subject that may otherwise be difficult to talk about.

Some support group options for Kentucky residents include:

  • The Louisville Eat Lab offers both online and in-person group therapy and encouragement throughout the recovery process.
  • Western Kentucky University, the University of Louisville Psychological Services Center, and multiple other universities offer guided group therapy support sessions for those struggling with disordered eating.

It may also be possible to find additional local support groups through an online search, or by asking your primary care physician, therapist, or psychiatrist for a recommendation.

What to Look for in a Kentucky Eating Disorder Program

Aside from the level of care that would best suit you or your loved one, there are other considerations to keep in mind when choosing the best possible eating disorder program or treatment.

Licensing and Accreditation

While a number of state and national laws work to ensure staff are properly trained, it’s always good to look out for licensing and accreditation.

Every legitimate treatment program should be licensed for the specific treatment of eating disorders they offer, and certified under the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals or a similar organization.

Accreditation is not a requirement but it often adds another level of assurance that a program has been deemed safe and high-quality by industry experts. Accreditation through the Joint Commission or CARF International is especially helpful for eating disorder treatment clinics.

Treatment Methods

Each treatment center may offer an array of services including, but not limited to:

Most insurance companies will only cover evidence-based forms of care, so make sure to check with the facility and your insurance provider when investigating treatment techniques.

Make sure to discuss potential treatments with intake staff and licensed therapists. Different approaches may be more or less effective depending on the severity of symptoms and your own psychological needs.

Cost and Insurance Options

Eating disorder treatment is unfortunately often very expensive. In most cases, people need help from their health insurance company to cover the costs of care.

You may want to start your search by contacting your insurance company directly, to see which programs they will or will be more amenable to cover. This can help save confusion and frustration down the road, if you find a program you like that is out-of-network or otherwise not fully covered and financially out-of-reach.

Most eating disorder treatment centers also have staff dedicated expressly to insurance inquiries. These experts can help you understand what, exactly, will be covered, what your bills and co-payments will look like, and more.

Sorting out insurance may seem like the last thing you want to do when dealing with the physical and emotional consequences of an eating disorder. But taking this step early on can make the rest of your recovery journey much smoother and less stressful.

Additional Concerns

Choosing an eating disorder treatment program can feel overwhelming. There are so many factors to keep in mind, on top of feeling the need to race against a ticking clock.

If you’re struggling to find the best possible program for you, there are some questions you can ask of yourself or the center in question that may help you narrow your choices, including:

  • How long has the center been in business?
  • Can family participate in treatment? If not, what alternatives are there for family participation?
  • What type of security does the facility have in place?
  • What are the credentials and experience of the staff?
  • How many hours of treatment are provided to a patient each day and week?
  • What is the patient-staff ratio?
  • What happens in counseling sessions? Will there be individual and group sessions?
  • What after-care plans do you have in place and at what point do you begin planning for discharge?

Keeping these ideas in mind can also help you or your loved one better determine your priorities when choosing a treatment program.

Finding Help for an Eating Disorder in Kentucky

Eating disorders are dangerous and detrimental conditions—but they don’t have to be destiny. Help is always available for you and your loved ones.

If you’re unsure where to start looking, you can consult your primary care physician, therapist, or another trusted medical professional. These experts are generally trained in many types of eating disorders, and may be able to point you in the direction of a successful program or help you determine your next best steps.

A number of eating disorder hotlines also exist to help connect people with resources and information. These services are generally run anonymously, giving callers the chance to ask whatever questions they may have, no matter how sensitive.

But regardless of where you start, the most important step is starting. Recovering from an eating disorder may seem difficult or impossible, but reaching out for help is the first crucial step that can lead you to the road toward recovery.


  1. Types of Treatment. National Eating Disorders Association. Accessed May 2023.
  2. Taulli T. (2022, September 1). How a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) Works for Mental Health Treatment. GoodRx Health. Accessed May 2023.
  3. 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.
  4. Selecting a Treatment Center for Your Loved One. National Eating Disorders Association. Accessed May 2023.

Last Update | 06 - 15 - 2022

Medical Disclaimer

Any information provided on the is for educational purposes only. The information on this site should not substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with a medical professional if you are seeking medical advice, a diagnosis or any treatment solutions. is not liable for any issues associated with acting upon any information on this site.