6 Myths about Eating Disorder Treatment

The road to recovery from an eating disorder can be difficult. Because of all the complications that can occur as a result of an eating disorder, individuals and families are encouraged to seek specialized treatment facilities and professionals for medical monitoring and psychological support. Finding the right treatment center may be difficult if you believe in any of the following myths about eating disorder treatment.

Myth: Eating disorder treatment is expensive

Truth: Many treatment centers accept insurance or can provide payment plans/sliding scales for individuals. You can contact your insurance company or the treatment center directly for a benefits check.

Myth: I will have to be in treatment for a long time

Truth: Length of time for treatment varies between each individual. A treatment plan and estimated length of stay is created based on the individual’s needs and goals and is assessed by the treatment team on a daily or weekly basis. Recommendations from your treatment team regarding your treatment duration are always made with your safety and recovery success in mind.

Myth: No one in a treatment center will understand me

Truth: Many treatment centers provide individual, group, nutrition and psychiatric counseling to address the unique needs and concerns of each individual. Staff is trained in the medical, psychological, emotional, cultural and personal effects that an eating disorder can cause. Eating disorder treatment encourages all individuals to discuss, process and connect their eating disorder experiences with others. It is likely that you will encounter others who have felt or gone through something similar.

Myth: I’ll have to follow a universal treatment plan

Truth: Every individual’s eating disorder presentation is different and so is the function that it is serving. In eating disorder treatment, individuals work collaboratively with their treatment team to develop goals and expectations that meet their unique needs and desires.

Myth: I won’t get support for my other mental health conditions

Truth: In many cases, an individual does not “just” struggle with an eating disorder. Most treatment centers acknowledge and support that individuals in their care may also be living with co-occurring disorders such as depression, anxiety or substance use disorders. Information and support for co-occurring disorders are often provided in group therapy and/or in individual sessions.

Myth: I don’t have Anorexia or Bulimia so treatment won’t help me

Truth: Eating disorder treatments provide services and support for all types of disordered eating behaviors and diagnoses. Some facilities have specific programs designed especially for those living with binge-eating disorder, the pediatric or LGBTQ populations and athletes. Regardless of the treatment group structure, you will learn the skills necessary to promote recovery success as the majority of interventions used in program can be universally applied to all eating disorder diagnoses and concerns

We understand that seeking treatment for an eating disorder can be an uncomfortable process. There is a lot of uncertainty and question marks. That is why we encourage you to reach out and ask questions to dispel any more myths that you may have that would prevent you from seeking support.



Jessica Ofray LPC is the Lead Clinician for the South Windsor adult and adolescent PHP and IOP programs. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UCONN and earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of North Florida. Jessica has been with Walden since 2014 and started as an adolescent clinician before transitioning to the adult programs. She is passionate about supporting the LGBTQ+ community and raising awareness on cultural competencies.



  1. Jordan July 13, 2018 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    Everything but the first myth seems true and well-put to me. I’ve struggled with an ED for years, gone to multiple treatment centers, and they’ve all been covered by insurance. And they’ve ALL been very expensive! Truthfully, that is what is prohibiting me some seeking professional intensive treatment anymore. If sliding scale payment plans exist they need to be communicated to patients more clearly and upfront.

    • Walden July 18, 2018 at 5:48 pm - Reply

      Great point, Jordan. Sorry that financial barriers are prohibiting you from accessing treatment. It is so very unfortunate that mental health care in general is often difficult to get covered by insurance companies. Have you tried talking to your manage care provider to see if you can change your plan? Sometimes that can be a way to maneuver coverage. Also, look into treatment scholarships–Project Heal gives them out each year and so does Center for Discovery which has locations across the country. Good luck and wishing you all the best. – Natalie

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