Eating Disorder Treatment in Virginia

Find an eating disorder treatment program or center in Virginia and start your healing journey today. Options range from inpatient, to intensive outpatient, to remote options, and more.

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Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), and binge eating disorder (BED) are serious mental health conditions that can have severe psychological and physical consequences if left untreated.

Eating disorders do not discriminate, affecting people of all ages, races, and genders. And early intervention, sometimes including treatment, is vital for recovery.

Thankfully, Virginia has many treatment center options for those seeking out eating disorder care.

Eating Disorder Treatment in Virginia

Just as eating disorders impact all types of people, they can manifest in all different kinds of ways. To help address these varying needs, treatment for eating disorders is also offered along a spectrum, with programs designed to aid people at different points in the recovery process.

In Virginia, residents can choose from all of these levels of care for help with eating disorders.

Virtual Treatment

Virtual treatment for eating disorders is relatively new, but the level of care is an increasingly popular one.

Virtual programs allow patients to receive treatment without having to leave home, which is ideal for those with challenges around transportation or mobility, those who live far from in-person programs, and those who simply prefer to stay home. In many cases, these programs have already been shown to be equally as effective as in-person care. [3]

Still, virtual programs are not advised for everyone, particularly those who are still struggling with severe eating disorder symptoms. Reputable programs should include an intake form at the beginning of treatment, which can help determine if virtual care is the best option for you.

Virginia Virtual Treatment Programs

One of the most significant benefits of virtual treatment is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be in-state.

Those in Virginia and beyond looking for this type of help can check out Within Health. The company offers extensive and multidisciplinary patient care, with individualized treatment plans, virtual meetings, an associated app with additional treatment and help options, and even the option to have meals and medical equipment sent to you by mail.

Inpatient Treatment in Virginia

Inpatient treatment is the highest level of care in Virginia for treating an eating disorder. At its most serious, it’s called inpatient hospitalization, involving a patient staying in a specialized eating disorder ward of a hospital, where they can receive 24-hour medical care.

Generally reserved for those who are experiencing a mental or physical health crisis, inpatient hospitalization is usually a shorter-term type of care. The overall goal is medical stabilization, with patients generally staying for a few weeks before reaching this point. [1]

Once patients are medically stable, they can enter an inpatient care facility, sometimes called residential treatment. These programs also involve living and sleeping at a treatment center, but the facilities have a more home-like environment designed for longer-term stays.

During their time in inpatient care, patients follow a rigorous schedule, which often includes individual and group therapy sessions, meal monitoring, nutritional counseling, regular medical check-ins, and possibly other recreation opportunities.

Who Offers Inpatient Treatment in Virginia?

Reflections Eating Disorders Center is a Falls Church-based facility that offers residential treatment, among other levels of care, with a number of available therapies. An individualized treatment plan is developed for patients at check-in, with the plan followed throughout the program.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Like residential treatment, partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are intensive and generally recommended for those who are still struggling with many aspects of their eating disorder behavior. But unlike residential programs, patients live and sleep at home throughout this level of care.

Sometimes called day programs, PHPs can take place as much as six days a week for up to ten hours per day. [1] Many types of treatment offered in residential care are also available through a PHP, including individual therapy, group therapy, nutritional counseling, meal monitoring, and medical check-ins and support.

A partial hospitalization program may be a good option for someone stepping down from a higher level of care, allowing them a bit of time and space to practice their new skills outside of a treatment facility. But it can also be a good option for those who need a lot of care but can’t afford it or otherwise don’t want to attend a residential program. [1]

Virginia Partial Hospitalization Programs

Clementine is a program that offers eating disorder treatment in two Virginia locations: Clifton and Fairfax Station. The center includes a “step down” program, where patients can participate in day programs and continue transitioning to less intensive types of treatment.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient care is the lowest level of treatment for eating disorders, so it is usually the first or last type of care a patient will receive. It generally involves a weekly or bi-weekly meeting with a therapist or counselor, so it’s crucial that patients at this level of care have their eating disorder behaviors mostly under control.

Patients needing more support can try an intensive outpatient program (IOP). This type of treatment is a hybrid of inpatient and outpatient, with patients living at home and commuting to treatment around three days a week, for a few hours at a time. [2]

Intensive outpatient programs allow patients to keep working toward recovery while incorporating more time in their schedule for social responsibilities, such as school or work. Usually, someone will transfer to an IOP from a PHP, eventually transitioning into a standard outpatient schedule.

Where to Find Outpatient Treatment in Virginia

Virginia eating disorder treatment centers that provide outpatient care or IOPs include the Center for Discovery, which offers programs for both adults and adolescents in Virginia and is in-network with all major commercial insurances. Bright Heart Health also provides this level of care in Virginia and is in-network with all major commercial insurances.

What to Look for When Choosing an Eating Disorder Program in Virginia

Even though Virginia has many eating disorder treatment center options, finding the best eating disorder treatment center for you or your loved one can prove challenging. Aside from thinking about the program itself, there are several considerations to remember.

Making sure your insurance company will help cover costs for your care is crucial before enrolling in a program to avoid surprise bills or changing programs mid-treatment. Contacting your insurance company directly may be the easiest way to ensure a program is in-network, or if you’ve already found a program you like, you can ask to speak to an insurance specialist.

Even with insurance sorted out, it may be challenging to understand what makes these programs so different. Asking the following questions of your would-be provider can help you start to get a feel for your priorities and expectations around treatment and hopefully help you determine which center is best for you: [4]

  • Which psychotherapeutic approaches do you use?
  • How would you describe your treatment style? Do you have a treatment philosophy?
  • How long have you been practicing/has the center been open?
  • How do you treat co-occurring mental health conditions?
  • Will you work with my workplace or school? If so, what is that communication process like?
  • Do you deal directly with my insurer, or am I responsible for that?
  • What is security at the facility like?
  • Are family members allowed to participate in therapy?

Finding Help for an Eating Disorder in Virginia

Eating disorders are dangerous and potentially deadly disorders. They often don’t get better on their own and require care that addresses both mental and physical needs.

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

Aside from the above Virginia treatment centers, you can speak with your therapist or primary care physician first. These professionals can help you get an official diagnosis, point you in the direction of a nearby helpful program, or help you determine your next best steps.

Regardless of where you seek help, the most important decision you can make is to seek it out. It’s often the first step to a healthier and happier future.


  1. Levels of Care. (n.d.). UC San Diego Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research.
  2. Intensive outpatient. (2023). Within Health. 
  3. 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.
  4. Questions to Ask Treatment Providers. (n.d.). National Eating Disorders Association.

Last Update | 12 - 12 - 2023

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