Eating Disorder Treatment in Massachusetts

Many treatment approaches are made available in your state vicinity—from luxury inpatient to top-rated Massachusetts outpatient programs.

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Eating disorders like binge eating disorder (BED), anorexia nervosa (AN), and bulimia nervosa (BN) aren’t just physically debilitating, they can take a huge toll on someone’s mental and emotional health.

Many individuals may feel lost or alone when struggling with these conditions. But in reality, there are a number of treatment options that can offer help and additional support.

And in Massachusetts, there’s a variety of eating disorder treatment programs available, offering hope for recovery no matter where you or your loved one are on your journey.

Eating Disorder Treatment Options in Massachusetts

If you, your spouse or your child is struggling to take back the control that has been long relinquished to bulimia-nervosa, help is available. Search through our therapy directory, or contact our no-cost help line to speak with one of our eating disorder advisors to discuss available alternatives. Comprehensive recovery plans vary, but may comprise individual counseling and, when beneficial, with pharmaceuticals such as Topamax. As one might guess, therapy is frequently tailored to each individual, so it’s important to dedicate some time for deciding on the rehab clinic perfect for you. Re-establish normal eating behavior and devote yourself to maintaining a healthy lifestyle assisted by helpful care providers at a MA bulimia-nervosa therapy center right now.

Eating disorders are complex conditions, and while they should always be addressed, symptoms occur on a spectrum of severity.

To help address these varying levels of need, eating disorder treatment is also administered on a spectrum, with several levels of care available for patients, depending on their particular case and medical history, among other factors.

Virtual Treatment

The most flexible eating disorder treatment is virtual programming. One of the benefits of virtual treatment is having access to both Massachusetts-specific and nationwide programs.

Patients who don’t live close to in-person facilities, those with challenges around mobility or transportation, or those whose schedules are difficult to manage may find virtual treatment particularly beneficial, though this type of care can help everyone.

Studies have shown that virtual care is equally as effective as in-person care in many cases. However, it’s important to consult with your doctor first, as virtual treatment may not be recommended for those with severe eating disorder symptoms or other related mental health problems.

Who Offers Virtual Treatment in Massachusetts? 

Whether or not you live in Massachusetts, you can benefit from virtual eating disorder treatment programs.

Within this expanding industry, Within Health has emerged as a standout program. At Within, patients are assigned a personalized treatment team, based on their medical history and particular needs. And medical equipment and even meals can be sent through the mail, to give a patient everything they need to keep up with their care plan.

Inpatient and Residential Treatment

Inpatient care is the most intensive form of eating disorder treatment. This highly-specialized treatment is generally reserved for those dealing with medical complications or other circumstances that put them in immediate danger if not treated.

During inpatient care, a patient stays in a hospital facility, where they have 24-hour access to medical care and monitoring. Often, IV drips or other intensive forms of care are used, with the overall goal of inpatient care being medical stabilization.

A residential eating disorder facility is more home-like. These programs are still intensive, but designed for longer-term care, to give a patient the most support during the early stages of recovery.

In residential treatment programs in Massachusetts, patients follow comprehensive schedules, which can include individual therapy, group treatment, medical monitoring, meal support and monitoring, and medication consultations, among other types of care. These programs generally last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on someone’s progress.

Who Offers Residential Treatment in Massachusetts? 

There are several residential treatment options for Massachusetts residents. Walden Behavioral Care in Dedham offers both inpatient and residential programs. And Monte Nido Laurel Hill in Medford also has a residential program for patients in need.

Partial Hospitalization Programs

Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) represent the middle ground of eating disorder treatment. During this level of care, patients live and sleep at home, while attending treatment programs throughout the week.

PHPs can be intensive, with care taking place up to 5 days a week, for up to 8 hours per day. [1] Treatment is similar to that administered in residential programs, including meetings with eating disorder therapists, meal monitoring, nutrition counseling, and continuing medical monitoring.

As a patient continues to progress toward recovery, their schedule may be reduced. The point of a PHP is to help a patient transition to a more stable home life, giving them the autonomy to start making food-based decisions and practicing new coping mechanisms outside of treatment, while still offering them plenty of support.

Who Offers PHPs in Massachusetts? 

Once again, Massachusetts has several options for patients looking to enroll in a PHP. McLean Hospital in Belmont can help patients set up this type of schedule, as well as Cambridge Eating Disorder Center in Cambridge.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment in Massachusetts is offered on various levels, including intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) and standard outpatient treatment programs.

An IOP is similar to a stepped-down PHP, with patients attending several therapy sessions per week, or participating in sessions that are longer or more intensive than standard outpatient care.

Standard outpatient programs are generally the first or last level of care for those battling eating disorders. At this stage, patients generally have their eating disorder symptoms under decent control and can participate in other social responsibilities, including work or school. Regular therapy sessions are used to help someone continue honing their coping skills, or looking out for potential triggers.

Who Offers Outpatient Treatment in Massachusetts? 

In Massachusetts, patients looking for outpatient care can try the Monte Nido program in Boston, or continue working with the Cambridge Eating Disorder Center in Cambridge.

Additional Eating Disorder Resources in Massachusetts

Eating disorder support groups can be helpful, regardless of where you or your loved one are on your recovery journey.

These programs help create a sense of community, where participants can feel safe to share their experiences and concerns, learn from one another, and offer one another additional help and support.

It may be possible to find additional support groups with an online search. These services tend to be locally-run, and may be more easily accessed on a local level.

Massachusetts Eating Disorder Support

Aside from programs designed specifically to treat eating disorders in Massachusetts, there are a number of additional resources and programs that can help with all aspects of the recovery journey, including:

  • Multi-Service Eating Disorder Association – This Newton-based organization is dedicated to ensuring adequate care and resources for those struggling with eating disorders. They offer their own programs and can connect individuals with third-party providers.
  • Massachusetts General Hospital – Mass Gen offers multiple programs for those with an eating disorder. Patients can participate in group therapy, individual counseling, psychiatry, or teen mentorship programs, among others.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness Resource List – NAMI Massachusetts has compiled a list of relevant and reputable eating disorder resources, which can help patients find help and reputable programs.

What to Look for in Massachusetts Eating Disorder Treatment Programs

Deciding which Massachusetts eating disorder treatment program may be best for you or your loved one can feel overwhelming. But there are a few considerations to keep in mind, which can help you make the best decision possible.

Licensing and Accreditation

While a network of state-wide and national laws require staff at a treatment clinic to be professionally licensed, some physicians may have specialized licenses, allowing them to utilize particular treatment techniques. This can also point to the type of care or treatment philosophy adopted by a certain center.

Accreditation is not a requirement, but it’s a further marker of a trusted program. When a Massachusetts eating disorder treatment center is accredited by the Joint Commission or CARF International, it’s passed industry standards for safety and quality of care, which should make it a more viable option.

Treatment Methods

Providers may use various methods to treat eating disorders, with some of the most common including:

  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Family therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Nutritional therapy

These treatments are all considered evidence-based treatment, or methods which have been widely tested and considered effective. Evidence-based treatment is another marker of quality of care, and, oftentimes, an important indicator of whether an insurance company will cover the cost of the treatment.

Cost and Insurance Options

Indeed, insurance is often a major consideration in eating disorder treatment, as care is typically long-term and very expensive.

You may want to start your search for a treatment program with your insurance company. A representative should be able to point you in the direction of in-network programs or those the company is more likely to cover the costs for.

If you’ve already found a center that you like, you can call them directly to ask about coverage. Often, these programs have staff dedicated entirely to insurance questions, and they should be able to help further guide you and ensure your treatment is as affordable as possible.

Additional Considerations

If you’re still struggling to determine which eating disorder treatment center is the best option for you or your loved one, there are some questions you can ask of yourself or the center in question, to help you narrow down your choices, including:

  • What professionals will be part of the treatment plan, and who will coordinate the patient’s treatment?
  • Does the center have a treatment philosophy or any religious affiliations?
  • How long has the center been in business?
  • What’s the role of the family during the patient’s treatment?
  • What’s the ratio of patients to staff? How long has the team been working at the center on average?

These questions can not only help you make a solid decision, but understand what your priorities are for the treatment process.

Finding Help for an Eating Disorder in Massachusetts

Eating disorders may seem impossible to overcome, but help is out there, especially for Massachusetts residents.

The state has many renowned treatment programs which can help you or your loved one get on the path to recovery. If you’re still unsure where to start, you can consult your primary care physician, therapist, or another trusted medical professional for further advice or ideas on your next best steps.

A number of mental health and eating disorder hotlines can also help provide you with further information. These services generally allow callers to remain anonymous, making for a more comfortable atmosphere to ask any sensitive questions.

But regardless of where you decide to look for help, making the decision at all is an important first step. And following through can help you find your way toward a healthier and happier future.

MA State Resources


  1. Taulli T. (2022, September 1). How a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) Works for Mental Health Treatment. GoodRx Health. Accessed May 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. (n.d.). National Eating Disorders Association. Accessed May 2023.

Last Update | 08 - 28 - 2023

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