Eating Disorder Treatment in Montana

Several rehabilitation choices can be obtained statewide—spanning a range from executive residential to highly-rated Montana outpatient programs.

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If you or a loved one struggles with anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), binge eating disorder (BED), or another type of eating disorder, it’s important to not only seek out help but to understand that the healing process is a journey.

Thankfully, there are a number of eating disorder treatment centers and programs in Montana which can help people no matter which part of that journey they’re on.

Types of Eating Disorder Treatment in Montana

Eating disorders are complex mental health issues that manifest differently in each patient.

To help treat these conditions accordingly, there are a range of treatment options, with different levels of care designed to help with different types of symptoms, whether they be mild or severe.

Virtual Treatment

As the internet and its communication capabilities continue to become more common and sophisticated, interest in online therapy options, including treatment for eating disorders, has increased.

Virtual options offer much more flexibility to those in Montana with difficult schedules, accessibility for those with difficulties around transportation or mobility, and overall options for those living far away from in-person treatment providers.

It can also be just as effective as in-person treatment in many cases, according to early studies. Still, it’s important to note that this type of care isn’t for everyone — especially those with more severe eating disorder symptoms. It’s important to ask your doctor if virtual care is the best option for you.

Who Offers Virtual Treatment in Montana?

One of the biggest advantages of online care for eating disorders is that the programs can be located anywhere.

For those who live in Montana and beyond, Within Health offers one of the top online services for eating disorder treatment. The program develops comprehensive care plans for patients, assembles a personalized treatment team for them based on their individual needs, and can even send meals and medical equipment through the mail to help ensure a patient has everything they need to succeed.

Inpatient and Residential Treatment

Inpatient care is the most intensive form of eating disorder treatment. It’s typically reserved specifically for patients who are showing severe symptoms, are in a state of mental or psychological crisis, or are struggling with difficult or complicating co-occurring disorders.

This type of care is highly clinical, taking place in a hospital facility, where a patient has 24-hour medical care and monitoring available. The overall goal of inpatient care is medical stabilization, with a stay generally lasting no longer than a few weeks.

Once someone is considered medically stabilized, they can move on to residential care. (This is also the level of care many patients start their treatment with.) While also intensive and immersive, residential treatment centers are designed for long-term stays, with treatment taking place in a home-like environment where patients live throughout the duration of their care.

Schedules are often strict and full of various treatment approaches, including individual therapy, group therapy, nutritional counseling, meal monitoring, medication management, and regular medical check-ups. The length of stay depends on someone’s individual progress but generally can be anywhere between a few weeks and a few months.

Who Offers Residential Treatment in Montana?

The Billings Clinic in Billings, MT, offers a range of care for eating disorders, including inpatient and residential programs.

Partial Hospitalization Programs

Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) represent the middle ground of eating disorder treatment. During this level of care, patients continue to receive intensive treatment, but they will commute to these sessions while living and sleeping at home.

The hybrid approach allows for patients to start practicing their new coping skills outside of a facility setting while giving them more autonomy in food-related choices. But it still gives them the benefit of continued support, care, and medical monitoring.

Treatment options during this stage of eating disorder recovery are similar to those offered in residential care, with PHPs taking place up to 5 days a week for up to 8 hours per day. [1] In many cases, if someone is transitioning from a residential program, they will even keep the same members of their care team to make for a smoother transition.

Who Offers PHPs in Montana?

The Eating Disorder Center of Montana (EDCMT) is an example of a licensed eating disorder center, offering partial hospitalization programs and other types of care. It’s located in Bozeman, Montana.

Outpatient Programs

Outpatient treatments for eating disorders also range in intensity, though, overall, these programs are best for those whose symptoms are mostly under control and who are ready and willing to start taking on more social responsibilities, including work and school, while remaining committed to their recovery.

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is a good option for those who are stepping down from more immersive types of care, such as a PHP. These programs may include therapy sessions that take place several times a week or are longer or more intensive than other types of outpatient care.

A standard outpatient program generally includes a regular appointment with a therapist or another care team member to help someone stay committed to their recovery journey and look out for any potential triggers.

Who Offers Outpatient Programs in Montana?

Along with offering more tailored eating disorder treatment in Bozeman, the Eating Disorder Center of Montana (EDCMT) is involved in a number of outpatient programs throughout the state.

Additional Eating Disorder Resources in Montana

Aside from programs targeted specifically at eating disorder recovery, there are even more resources for Montana residents looking for help with these conditions.

Montana State University has an entire program dedicated to offering information, resources, and help. The school also provides an extensive list of eating disorder organizations and nearby sources of help.

It’s also possible to join a Montana-based eating disorder support group. These programs offer great places to meet other people going through similar situations, share concerns and success stories, exchange advice, and build a sense of community, which is a paramount part of sustained eating disorder recovery.

How to Choose the Best Montana Eating Disorder Treatment Program

Knowing what to look for in a recovery program is essential to getting the best care possible. When choosing an eating disorder treatment center in Montana, there are a number of important factors to keep in mind.

Types of Treatment

There are many different treatment methods available to help individuals with eating disorders. Some of the most common include:

These are all considered evidence-based treatments, or those that have been considered effective after undergoing rounds of clinical testing and analysis. This can be a crucial factor when securing insurance coverage for eating disorder treatment.

Insurance and Cost

Indeed, insurance is a major factor for many people looking into eating disorder care, as these programs are often lengthy and very expensive.

Aside from requiring evidence-based treatments, insurance companies also often have a number of stipulations patients must follow in order to have their treatment covered. It’s likely essential to choose a program that’s in-network with your provider in order to secure coverage.

You may even want to start your search for a treatment program by contacting your insurance company, to ensure that you’re only investigating programs they’re likely to pay for.

Additional Concerns

The many eating disorder treatment center choices in Montana is a wonderful thing, but it can also feel overwhelming.

If you’re still unsure of which option is best for you, or you’re struggling to even get started on your search, there are some questions. you can ask of yourself and the centers in question that may help you narrow down your choices, including: [3]

  • 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?

Aside from helping you organize your options, these questions can help you organize your thoughts around treatment, helping you determine any priorities or expectations you may have around the experience.

Finding Help for an Eating Disorder in Montana

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

Consulting with your primary care physician, therapist, or another trusted medical professional is a great place to start. These experts are often educated in eating disorders and should be able to point you in the direction of a helpful program or help you determine your next best steps.

If you’d rather not discuss sensitive details in person, you can also utilize a number of eating disorder and mental health hotlines. These services take place over the phone, allowing callers to remain anonymous while disseminating more information and resources about eating disorders as well as treatment and recovery options.

Eating disorders are dangerous and debilitating conditions, but they don’t have to be destiny. Seeking out the right kind of help can be 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 - 26 - 2023

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