Eating Disorder Treatment in New Jersey

Eating disorders are dangerous and potentially deadly conditions. If you live in New Jersey and are looking for eating disorder care, there are several options.

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Eating disorders like bulimia nervosa (BN), anorexia nervosa (AN), and binge eating disorder (BED) are serious mental health conditions that can impact someone’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

Without appropriate care, these conditions can become quite dangerous or even deadly. Thankfully, many methods for treating eating disorders have been found. And for people looking for eating disorder treatment in New Jersey, there are many options.

Types of Eating Disorder Treatment in New Jersey

All eating disorders are causes for concern, but each case manifests differently, with symptoms presenting at various levels of severity.

To help cater to this spectrum, there are several levels of care for eating disorders designed to help people at all different levels of recovery.

Virtual Treatment

If in-person care feels inaccessible for any reason—transportation, scheduling, or other commitments—virtual care may be a more feasible option for eating disorder treatment.

Virtual treatment can offer a high-quality, effective form of care with fewer barriers than a traditional, in-person setting may involve. It occurs in a HIPAA-compliant, flexible space and involves medical professionals like therapists and dieticians, individual and group counseling, supported meals and nutrition counseling, and more.

While this type of treatment for eating disorders is still relatively new, studies have already shown that online eating disorder treatment can be just as effective as in-person care in most cases.2

Who Provides Virtual Treatment in New Jersey?

Within is an option for virtual care for anyone in New Jersey, regardless of location. They offer virtual IOP and PHP programs, plus ongoing support upon completion of the programs. Within uses a holistic, comprehensive approach to treatment, including education and support for family members.

Inpatient and Residential Treatment

Inpatient treatment is the most intensive level of care for bulimia available. It involves a patient staying and sleeping at a treatment facility in order to receive 24-hour access to medical care and monitoring.

Inpatient hospitalization is the highest level of care for eating disorders. This treatment method is generally only performed for patients who are not considered medically stable and are usually in a state of physical or mental health crisis.1

During this phase, patients stay in a hospital setting, and the overall goal is short-term oriented: alleviating immediate threats to a patient’s life and helping them reach medical stabilization.1

Once patients are medically stable, they can move on to residential treatment. This is still an intensive form of care but is designed for longer-term treatments that cater to a patient’s mental and emotional well-being and physical health. Hence, facilities are more homey than clinical.

Programs are usually lengthy, with patients generally staying at least 30 days.1 During this time, they can participate in several different treatments, including individual and group therapy sessions, nutritional counseling, meal monitoring, regular medical check-ins, and more.

Who Provides Residential Treatment in New Jersey?

Hidden River in Chester, NJ, was the first residential treatment center for people with eating disorders in New Jersey. They treat girls and young women ages 11 to 20. Their program emphasizes family involvement as a crucial part of treatment and uses a multifaceted approach, including therapy, nutrition, psychiatric, and medical care.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are another form of intensive care for eating disorders.

During this phase, a patient may live and sleep at home, which is why PHPs are sometimes called day programs. But treatments are still significant, lasting up to 10 hours a day, up to 5 days a week or more.1 Still, as time goes on and a patient progresses toward recovery, schedules are usually adjusted accordingly.

PHPs also include most of the same types of treatment available at a residential program. This type of care is so comprehensive that it’s sometimes recommended to those who qualify for residential treatment but wouldn’t be as good of a fit for those programs due to financial or familial concerns.1

Who Provides Partial Hospitalization Programs in New Jersey?

Center for Discovery has centers in Bridgewater and Paramus offering PHP. They offer care for all genders, ages 10+, with separate programs for adolescents and adults. Their treatment teams include dieticians, psychiatrists, and counselors, and programs typically operate 5-6 days a week for 6-7 hours per day, depending on need.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient care is the least intensive form of treatment for eating disorders, generally consisting of regular meetings with a therapist, psychiatrist, or other treatment team member and occasional medical check-ins, especially if someone is taking medication as part of their recovery.

Due to the more relaxed schedule of outpatient treatment, patients at this level must have a good amount of control over their disordered thoughts and behaviors.

Those who want more support can also try an intensive outpatient program (IOP). This level of care involves several visits to an eating disorder treatment center per week for sessions that last a few hours at a time. It makes a good middle ground for those who are ready to start incorporating school, work, or more social responsibilities into their eating disorder recovery but who could still benefit from more support.

Who Provides Outpatient Treatment in New Jersey?

  • The Renfrew Center of Southern New Jersey is located in Mount Laurel, NJ, and has various treatment options, including day treatment, intensive outpatient, and outpatient treatment.
  • Center for Discovery also offers intensive outpatient treatment.

Additional New Jersey Eating Disorder Resources

Aside from eating disorder treatment centers explicitly designed to treat these conditions, there are some additional programs in New Jersey that can help provide more support, resources, and information, including:

Those looking for more help can also try eating disorder support groups. These communities are suitable both for people going through eating disorders and their close friends and families, giving them safe spaces to express their feelings and concerns, practice new coping mechanisms, and share advice and success stories.

Support groups are generally run on a hyper-local basis, so it may be best to do an online search in your area or even ask a friend, therapist, or doctor if they know of any good nearby groups.

What to Look for in an Eating Disorder Treatment Center in New Jersey

Finding the best center for eating disorders for you or a loved one is an essential step toward recovery. But there are some considerations you should keep in mind while making that search.

It’s important to ensure that your treatment center is certified by the Joint Commission, which ensures that healthcare organizations meet high standards for quality care. Individuals should also ensure the staff members are certified and licensed in the fields they provide treatment.

Cost of care is usually one of the biggest concerns people have about entering into eating disorder treatment.

If you need financial support, checking to ensure a center works with your health insurance plan is crucial. Consider beginning your search by calling your insurance company to ask if they have a list of doctors, treatments, or programs already in their network.

Even if your insurance covers treatment, paying attention to the details is important. Some plans only cover treatments for specific amounts of time, and others will only cover those considered “evidence-based treatments,” such as family or behavioral therapy.

If you don’t have insurance or want to attend a program not covered by your insurance plan, you can also speak directly with the program. Often, an eating disorder treatment center will have financial aid options available and staff dedicated to helping you work through these questions.

Additional Concerns

It can feel overwhelming to pick out the best treatment center for you or your loved one. If you’re having trouble narrowing down your choices or even figuring out where to start, it may be helpful to ask yourself some of these questions to clarify your priorities and expectations around the experience:3

  • Do you treat co-occurring mental health conditions like anxiety and depression?
  • What is security like at your center?
  • Do you offer opportunities for families to participate in recovery? If so, what do they look like?
  • What is your experience, and how long have you treated eating disorders?
  • How will you work with other treatment providers, such as doctors?
  • Will you work with my school or workplace?
  • What measurable criteria do you use to assess whether treatment is working?

Finding Help for an Eating Disorder in New Jersey

If you or a loved one are struggling with AN, BN, BED, or other eating disorders, it’s important to seek out help.

Contacting your primary care provider, therapist, or another medical professional can be an excellent first step. These experts are often versed in eating disorders and can help you secure an official diagnosis or determine what your next best steps should be.

If you feel uncomfortable asking someone directly, you can also contact eating disorder hotlines. These services are nearly always free and allow callers to remain anonymous, making it easier to ask difficult questions.

But regardless of where you start, the most important step is seeking treatment. It’s often the first step 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 | 06 - 15 - 2022

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