Eating Disorder Treatment in North Dakota

A variety of rehabilitation types are available throughout your state—ranging from private inpatient to great North Dakota outpatient programs.

North Dakota map

Eating disorders like bulimia nervosa (BN), binge eating disorder (BED), and anorexia nervosa (AN) are mental health concerns that affect people of all races, ages, genders, and sexual orientations, and these conditions can have a severe impact on not just the person struggling, but on those who love them.

And while there is a lot of available information on treatment, it can sometimes be hard to find useful information, whether for your particular case or to help direct you toward a useful solution. Thankfully, when it comes to eating disorder recovery, North Dakota has plenty of resources and treatment centers to help.

Types of Eating Disorder Treatment in North Dakota

When seeking treatment for an eating disorder, there are many levels of care, which are recommended based on the severity of the case. These include inpatient, outpatient, partial hospitalization programs, and virtual options.

In North Dakota, residents have access to all these types of eating disorder treatment. But learning more about these levels of care can help you or your loved one determine which program or center is the best fit.

Virtual Care

For those who don’t live near an in-person facility, those with difficulties around transportation or mobility, or those with less predictable schedules, virtual eating disorders treatment can be a helpful option.

While this type of care is still relatively new, studies have shown that telehealth can be just as effective as in-person care in many cases. [2] Still, this may not be the case across the board. Those with severe co-occurring conditions, such as anxiety disorders, or people who still struggle to control their disordered behaviors, such as self-induced vomiting, may not receive as much of a benefit from virtual treatment.

Before enrolling in one of these programs, it’s good to check with a doctor or therapist to see whether virtual eating disorder treatment is the right choice for you.

North Dakota Eating Disorder Treatment Centers that Provide Virtual Care

One of the biggest benefits of virtual care is that it doesn’t need to exist within a state’s borders in order to serve people there.

For residents of North Dakota and beyond, Within Health can extend a number of benefits. The program assigns an individualized care team for each patient, depending on the personal details of their case, and can even send meals and medical equipment through the mail to help ensure patients stay on track.

Inpatient Care

Inpatient treatment for an eating disorder is the most intensive care and may be necessary in severe cases. There are different types of inpatient care, including hospitalization and residential.

Hospitalization may be required in the most severe instances when a patient is suffering from life-threatening issues, such as unstable vital signs, rapidly worsening symptoms, self-harm, or suicidal thoughts. These stays include 24-hour monitoring from a medical team and are generally short, with the overall goal of medical stabilization.

Once someone is beyond the crisis point, they can move on to a residential treatment program. These programs are also intensive but designed more for long-term care, with patients living and sleeping at the facility throughout their treatment.

The immersive experience allows for a schedule that may include everything from individual psychotherapy, group therapy, nutritional counseling, and medical monitoring, among other types of care. Stays can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the severity of someone’s case and the path of their progress.

North Dakota Eating Disorder Treatment Centers that Provide Inpatient Care

Sanford Eating Disorders Medical Center provides a complete care approach that includes medical care as well as environmental trigger management, individual and family therapy, and personalized care plans. Their program can assist with all levels of inpatient care.

Partial Hospitalization Programs

Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) represent the middle-ground of eating disorder treatment. During this phase, patients live and sleep at home and commute to treatment sessions — though these are usually extensive, lasting up to 5 days a week, for up to 8 hours per day. [1]

Many of the same types of care offered at inpatient programs are also available through PHPs, and if someone stays in the same medical group, they may even keep their same treatment team.

The purpose of a PHP is to give people the time and space to start practicing their new coping skills and making food-based decisions outside of a clinical setting while still offering them plenty of support. All told, this phase of care can last from several weeks to several months.

North Dakota Eating Disorder Treatment Centers that Provide PHPs

CHI St. Alexius Health provides several levels of care for eating disorders, including partial hospitalization or day programs.

Outpatient Care

Outpatient care has many different variations and can be more intense or more relaxed, depending on an individual’s needs. These types of treatments are best suited for those who are medically and psychiatrically stable, whose eating behavior is mostly under control, and who can incorporate social responsibilities like work or school into their recovery routine.

For those who are stepping down from higher levels of care, intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) may be a better initial solution. These programs typically include several types of therapy, medical check-ins, or other meetings with treatment team members throughout the week.

Regular outpatient treatment options are similar, though less intensive, generally incorporating several therapy sessions per month, essentially to help someone stay accountable to their recovery and keep an eye out for triggering situations.

North Dakota Eating Disorder Treatment Centers that Provide Outpatient Care

Aside from providing inpatient care, Sanford provides personalized outpatient programs that take a multidisciplinary approach, including group sessions, medication management, therapy services, psychology, psychiatry, dietetics, and nursing.

CHI St. Alexius Health also provides outpatient services, including individual and group therapy sessions and other types of care.

Additional Eating Disorder Resources in North Dakota

Aside from the programs aimed at helping eating disorders directly, there are many other programs and resources for North Dakota residents struggling with eating disorders, including:

  • Sanford Medical Center: Along with the inpatient and outpatient services offered by this group, Sanford has a weight management center and other services that can help those struggling with eating disorders.
  • North Dakota Department of Health & Human Services: This state-run program offers additional resources on eating disorders and treatment options.
  • CHI St. Alexius Health: The medical center also provides other resources for eating disorder care on top of its recovery and treatment programs.

North Dakota Eating Disorder Support Groups

No matter where you are along your recovery journey, you may benefit from a support group.

These groups can offer a sense of community among people who are going through similar circumstances, allowing you or your loved one the chance to build upon a support network, build upon low self-esteem, and practice new coping skills in a safe environment.

Both Sanford Medical Center and CHI St. Alexius Health offer support groups for eating disorders of all kinds, but these programs are also often offered at a hyper-local level. An internet search, community message boards, or even word of mouth may be a good way to find a helpful support group program.

What to Look for in a North Dakota Treatment Center

When seeking treatment for eating disorders in North Dakota, it can be difficult to find the best choice for you or your loved one. Keeping the following factors in mind when making your decision may help ensure you’re making the best choice.


Always verify that the provider you are choosing is licensed to provide treatment for eating disorders. This signals not only that a program is meeting all state and federal laws but up to industry standards.

The North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services maintains a Mental Health Program Directory, which can be used to ensure any program or treatment center is properly licensed. 

Insurance Coverage

Eating disorder programs are often lengthy and can be very expensive. As such, most people need to rely on insurance to cover the cost of their care.

Not all insurance companies will cover all types of eating disorder treatment, however.

To avoid choosing a program you’ll have to pay much more for than you expect, you may want to first contact a representative from your insurance company and ask about the best possible options. Generally, sticking with in-network doctors and clinics will be the most cost-effective.

Additional Questions

Searching for the best possible treatment center can feel overwhelming. If you’re having trouble figuring out where to start, you can ask some additional questions of yourself or the facility in question, including: [3]

  • What is the center’s treatment philosophy?
  • Is the facility affiliated with any religion and if so, how much of a role does that play in treatment?
  • Is family allowed to participate in treatment? If so, to what degree?
  • What level of security is in place for me or my loved one?

These questions can not only help you sort out the best place to seek treatment but may help you realize or organize your own priorities and expectations around this experience.

Seeking out help for an eating disorder can be difficult or even frightening, but the most important thing to remember is that help is always available, and recovery is always possible.


  1. Types of Treatment. (n.d.). National Eating Disorders Association. Accessed June 2023. 
  2. Abrams Z. (2020). How well is telepsychology working? American Psychological Association; 51(5):46.
  3. Selecting a Treatment Center for Your Loved One. (n.d.). National Eating Disorders Association. Accessed June 2023.

Last Update | 10 - 27 - 2023

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