Eating Disorder Treatment in Missouri

Many diverse recovery types are available throughout Missouri, ranging from private inpatient to outpatient centers.

Missouri map

Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), and binge eating disorder (BED) are serious mental health concerns. If you or a loved one is struggling with these or other disordered eating behaviors, it’s important to seek out help as soon as possible.

Thankfully, if you live in Missouri, there are many resources available to help you with eating disorder treatment.

Types of Eating Disorder Treatment in Missouri

Not all eating disorders are created equal. Everyone will struggle with different symptoms, and these can range on a spectrum, from mild to severe.

As such, there are also different levels of care for treating eating disorders. These also occur across a spectrum, with each type of program designed to help people at different points of their recovery journey.

Virtual Treatment

Virtual treatment for eating disorders is becoming more common. Some people prefer receiving treatment from their own home in Missouri, or may not have helpful resources close to them. Others have difficulty with transportation or mobility, or may have a schedule that’s difficult to manage. As a result, many people are turning to online therapy as an alternative.

Virtual therapy also seems to be as effective as it is popular, with early studies showing it can produce similar results to in-person treatment in many cases. [2] Still, this type of care is not for everyone, particularly those with severe symptoms, so it’s best to check with your doctor before proceeding with a virtual care option.

Who Offers Virtual Treatment in Missouri?

Virtual programs don’t have to be in Missouri to be available to Missouri residents. That’s one of the biggest benefits of these types of programs.

With that said, Within Health has become one of the leading online programs for eating disorder treatment. This pioneering organization offers comprehensive care, assigning each patient a personalized care team, and even sending out meals or medical equipment through the mail to help patients stick to their recovery plans.

Inpatient and Residential Treatment

Inpatient care is the most intensive type of treatment for eating disorders. It may be a good fit for those with severe eating disorders and/or complications. Inpatient treatment consists of 24-hour supervision by medical personnel, including doctors, psychiatrists, and nurses. Patients are usually admitted to the hospital for up to several weeks, with the overall goal being medical stabilization.

Once someone is considered physically and mentally fit to leave inpatient treatment, they can enter a residential program. (Many people also start at this level of care.) While also intensive and immersive, these facilities are designed for longer-term stays and take place in a more home-like environment.

Residential programs generally offer a number of different treatments, which are administered throughout the day. Patients in Missouri may go to individual therapy sessions, nutrition counseling, regular medical check-ins, medication management, meal monitoring, and other types of care. The overall length of someone’s stay depends on their progress, but these programs can run up to several months.

Who Offers Residential Treatment in Missouri?

McCallum Place Eating Disorder Centers is a residential treatment program for eating disorders in Missouri, providing patients with this more immersive type of care.

Partial Hospitalization Programs

Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are a hybrid phase of eating disorder treatment. During this level of care, patients continue to take part in intensive therapy programs, but they live at home and commute to these treatments.

PHPs offer similar types of care that are offered in residential treatment. In fact, many programs will allow a patient to transition to a PHP while maintaining the same treatment team. Programs can last anywhere up to 8 hours per day, up to 5 days per week. [2]

The idea behind a PHP is to allow a patient the time and space to begin making their own decisions about food and practicing their new coping skills outside of a treatment facility, while at the same time continuing to offer them a supportive environment to continue healing and growing.

Who Offers PHPs In Missouri?

Sana Lake, a program based in Dittmer, MO, offers partial hospitalization programs among its many options for mental health and eating disorder care.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment for eating disorders is for those who are ready or able to take on social responsibilities, like school or work, but who still want the help of ongoing care, support, and medical check-ins. These programs are generally the first or last level of care someone struggling with an eating disorder will partake in and are best for those who have a good handle on their symptoms.

Still, there are several levels of outpatient care. Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) are, as the name suggests, a more intensive version of this type of care, with programs that are longer, more immersive, or more frequent than other outpatient programs. Standard outpatient care is the least intensive level of support, consisting of regular appointments with a therapist or another care team member to help someone regularly check in with themselves and look out for or navigate potential triggers.

Who Offers Outpatient Treatment in Missouri?

St. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute offers outpatient treatment programs for eating disorders that include individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy. The program can be tailored to meet the needs of patients and their families, including children, who are affected by eating disorders.

Additional Eating Disorder Resources in Missouri

It’s not just treatment programs that can help someone struggling with an eating disorder. If you live in Missouri, there are several other resources which can offer additional help and information.

The Missouri Eating Disorders Council. This organization offers a wide array of resources and educational material about eating disorders, with a website including information on the signs and symptoms of eating disorders, treatment options, and other helpful information.

The state is also home to numerous eating disorder support groups. These programs are a great place to meet people going through similar issues, exchange advice, concerns, and success stories, and build a sense of camaraderie and community.

What to Look for in Missouri Eating Disorder Treatment Program

Finding the right treatment center is key to success.

The best way to find a treatment center that’s right for you is to talk with your healthcare provider about what kind of treatment they recommend, and then do some research on your own.

But while on your search, there are a few things you should make sure to keep in mind.

Treatment Methods

There are numerous therapy and treatment options for eating disorders. Some of the most common types of treatment methods include:

What these specific treatments have in common is that they’re all considered evidence-based. This means they’ve undergone years of clinical testing and analysis and are generally considered effective in treating eating disorders.

This can also make a big difference when discussing treatment options with your insurance company, as most policies will only cover evidence-based treatments that are considered essential for helping someone.

Cost and Insurance Options

Indeed, insurance is often a major consideration for eating disorder treatment, as these programs tend to be lengthy and very expensive.

Aside from requiring someone to receive evidence-based treatments, insurance companies often have a number of other stipulations and caveats connected to the type of programs they’re willing to cover.

Before enrolling in any eating disorder treatment program, you should assure that they are in your insurance company’s network, or otherwise are willing to work with them, to help make the medical bills as manageable as possible. You may even want to start your search all together by contacting a representative from your insurance company to ask about the best options.

Additional Concerns

Narrowing down the options can be a difficult task, especially in Missouri, when there are so many different eating disorder centers available. If you’re still struggling with making a choice, there are some questions you can ask of yourself and the facility you’re interested in to help you make the best possible decision: [3]

  • Who will be involved in your care, and who will help coordinate your treatment?
  • What is the center’s philosophy of treatment? Does the center have any religious affiliations?
  • How long has this center been serving the community?
  • What is the role of family members during their loved one’s treatment?
  • How many patients are there per staff member? How long do the staff typically stay at the center?

These questions can also help you understand what your own priorities and expectations are when it comes to receiving treatment.

Finding Help for an Eating Disorder in Missouri

If you or a loved one are struggling with an eating disorder, it’s essential to find help for the condition before it’s too late.

Speaking to your therapist, primary care physician, or another trusted medical professional is a great place to start searching for care options. These experts are often educated in eating disorders and may be able to help point you in the direction of a successful program or determine what your next best steps are.

There are also some eating disorder hotlines that can help. These services are usually anonymous, allowing callers to feel more comfortable asking sensitive questions and offer more information and resources about eating disorder care.

But the most important part of the process, wherever you look for help, is making the decision to seek treatment at all. It may seem difficult to admit help is needed, but it is often the first step on the road to a healthier and happier future.


  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. National Eating Disorders Association. Accessed May 2023.

Last Update | 10 - 18 - 2023

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.