Eating Disorder Treatment in Washington

Several eating disorder treatment options are available in Washington, spanning a range from executive residential to top-rated outpatient facilities.

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Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), and binge eating
disorder (BED) can have a serious impact on mental, emotional, and physical health.
They can raise feelings of isolation and fear in people and drain them of the energy
needed to help themselves.

Thankfully, when it comes to eating disorder recovery, there are a wide variety of
resources, providers, and treatment centers available in Washington state. While
eating disorders may feel overwhelming, there is hope and help for you or your loved
one battling an eating disorder.

Types of Eating Disorder Treatment in Washington

All eating disorders are serious and should be addressed with appropriate measures, but eating disorder treatment programs are offered at several levels of care, designed to cater to people with varying degrees of symptom severity and at different points along their recovery journey.

When looking for the best eating disorder treatment facility in Washington for you or your loved one, it’s important to keep these varying levels of care in mind.

 Virtual Treatment

There are a variety of virtual options for those looking for eating disorder treatment. Aside from stand-alone virtual programs, many Washington eating disorder treatment centers that offer in-person services offer the same programs in a virtual format.

Completing a virtual outpatient program may give individuals more flexibility and heightened comfort. It’s a great option for those with challenges around mobility or transportation, those who live far from an in-person facility, or simply those who’d rather receive treatment at home.

Virtual outpatient consists of similar programming to in-person outpatient treatment, and studies have found that they’re just as effective in many cases. [2] Patients will participate in individual and group therapy sessions through HIPAA-compliant video call software.

Multiple outpatient programs are entirely based online; some even have apps. These programs assign patients their therapist, case manager, physician, and dietitian.

Who Offers Virtual Treatment in Washington? 

Another advantage of virtual care for eating disorders is that programs don’t necessarily have to be based in the same place as you or your loved one.

For those in Washington and beyond, Within Health offers a stellar online program for treating eating disorders of all types. The company employs a diverse group of medical experts who help tailor treatment plans specifically for each patient based on their history and needs. And additional offerings, such as meals and medical equipment sent through the mail, are also available.

Inpatient and Residential Treatment

Inpatient treatment is the most intensive form of care for eating disorders. At its highest level, it involves full-time hospitalization for patients who are experiencing a physical or mental health crisis, with the intention of bringing them back to medical stabilization. Usually, this can take up to a few weeks. [1]

Residential care is a step down from inpatient treatment. It also involves 24/7 access to medical staff and treatment, but these facilities are more home-like, designed for longer-term stays, with most patients participating for at least 30 days. [1]

During a residential eating disorder program, a patient may participate in a number of different treatments and activities, including individual and group therapy, nutritional counseling, meal monitoring, medical check-ins, and other recreational activities, depending on the facility.

Who Offers Residential Treatment in Washington? 

There are a number of residential eating disorder programs in Washington, including:

In case of a crisis, those looking for inpatient treatment can also go to the nearest emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) are similar to residential programs in their treatment options and level of intensity, though these programs allow patients to go home at night and sometimes throughout the weekend.

As such, these programs—sometimes also called day programs—can work for those who need a high level of care and support but who may not be able to stay at a residential treatment center for personal or financial reasons.

PHPs are also a stepping stone for those in recovery, with the flexibility of the program making it possible for a patient and their doctor to adjust the intensity of the schedule as time goes on.

Who Offers PHP in Washington? 

In Washington state, you can find partial hospitalization programs at:

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment is the least-involved level of care, and so is best for those who can manage their symptoms and balance their social responsibilities along with their recovery. In general, it involves regular meetings with a therapist or counselor and sometimes occasional medical check-ins.

Those who still want or need more support or are stepping down from a PHP can also try an intensive outpatient program (IOP). This level of care is a hybrid between partial hospitalization and outpatient treatment, with patients attending treatment several days a week for several hours at a time.

Who Offers Outpatient Treatment in Washington? 

In Washington state, you or your loved one can access outpatient treatment at:

Additional Eating Disorder Resources in Washington

Are you looking for resources for yourself or a loved one? Washington state has many reputable resources that can help in bulimia recovery. Here are some suggestions for you or your loved one:

  • EBTCS Eating Disorders Center: The Eating Disorders Center at EBTCS has doctoral-level providers specializing in treating disorders. They offer a variety of therapies and outpatient treatment.
  • Seattle Children’s Hospital: Seattle Children’s Hospital offers treatment programs for individuals 21 and younger. They can help you decide which program is best for you or your loved one.
  • Eating Disorders Resource Center Treatment Directory: This is a national directory of providers and treatment centers. It includes information from dietitians, physicians, psychiatrists, and more.

Eating Disorder Support Groups in Washington

Support groups are another good resource for someone struggling with an eating disorder. These meetings can help people meet those going through similar experiences and create an environment for growth and recovery.

Some support groups in Washington include:

  • Center for Discovery (Bellevue) – This group meets every Thursday and is free to the community. It’s run by a licensed mental health therapist and is “structured as a process group.” 
  • Eating Disorder Support Group of Snohomish County – This is a free, peer-to-peer group. They meet every other Monday at Martha Lake Fire Station #21.
  • Family and Friends ANAD Support Group – Every Monday, this group meets with loved ones of individuals with eating disorders to gather and support each other. It’s held at the Fremont Library and is a peer-to-peer support group.
Eating disorder treatment

What to Look for in an Eating Disorder Treatment Center/Program in Washington

When deciding which eating disorder treatment center may be best for you or your loved one, it’s essential to consider the following factors.

Licensing and Accreditation

A number of state and national laws ensure that all eating disorder treatment centers are well-staffed, but accreditation adds an extra layer of assurance.

When the Joint Commission or CARF International accredits an institution, it means it has been found up to or beyond industry standards by a group of professionals.

Treatment Methods

Various methods can treat eating disorders, and the best way differs for individuals. Possible treatment methods include:

Your providers will work with you to find the approach that is best for you, but examining the treatment options of particular centers can help you determine the type of care you can expect to be offered.

Cost and Insurance Options

Insurance is usually one of the biggest concerns for people looking into eating disorder treatment programs. Not all centers work with the same insurance companies, so some research is needed to ensure your provider will be able to help cover costs.

You may want to reach out to your health insurance company first for a list of available programs and providers. If you find a center you like first, you can call directly and ask to speak to an employee about insurance options.

For those without insurance, inquire if the center offers any financial assistance. Contact centers you’re looking into and ask what patients without insurance have done in the past.

Additional Questions

Determining the best eating disorder treatment center for you or your loved one can feel overwhelming. The following questions can help you determine the difference between programs and help you understand your own priorities and expectations around the experience: [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?

Finding Help for an Eating Disorder

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

Aside from these Washington-based facilities, you can speak to your primary care physician or therapist. These experts may be able to give you an official diagnosis—generally the first step toward securing a place in a treatment program—or help you determine your next best steps.

A number of eating disorder hotlines are also available. These services generally offer information, answers, and other resources for free while allowing callers to remain anonymous.

But regardless of where you look for help, the most important thing is looking. It can be the first step you take toward a healthier and happier future.


  1. Levels of Care. (n.d.). University of California San Diego. Accessed October 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. (n.d.). National Eating Disorders Association. Accessed October 2023.

Last Update | 12 - 14 - 2023

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