Eating Disorder Programs at SLBMI

WomanSt. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute has been treating eating disorders since 1983. Our experienced staff is committed to providing high quality, compassionate care and individualized treatment for children, teens, and adults of all genders. The goal of our multidisciplinary, collaborative team of professionals is to provide patients and families with the necessary skills to achieve and sustain recovery.

It’s our mission to be your partner in recovery.

We also provide services to parents as well as friends and other individuals who love and care about someone with an eating disorder. Family members are often involved through individual family or group therapy sessions. We also provide consultation services to help when a loved one is in denial or resistant to help. Individual therapy may help other family members work through their own feelings and mental health needs.

ISSUES WE TREAT

SLBMI provides comprehensive outpatient treatment for a variety of eating disorders and issues, including:

  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Binge Eating Disorder
  • Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
  • Orthorexia
  • Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders (OSFED)
  • Athletes and Eating Disorders
  • Body Image Disorders
  • Emotional Overeating

Many people with eating disorders also have other mental health problems also, such as anxiety, depression, OCD and mood disorders. SLBMI is the only eating disorder treatment center in Missouri that offers additional specialized programs in anxiety, OCD, child and adolescent services, families, and women’s reproductive mental health. You will benefit from a larger team of specialized professionals collaborating to ensure you and your family receive targeted, comprehensive care. 

The Center for OCD & Anxiety-Related Disorders (COARD) at SLBMI is a nationally recognized treatment center and works closely with the Eating Disorder Program. We offer specialized treatment for both eating disorders and anxiety, designing individualized, intensive treatment plans and coordinating treatment between both the eating disorder and anxiety specialty programs.

Our Treatment Approach

We specialize in outpatient treatment, including separate adult and adolescent intensive daily treatment (Intensive Outpatient Programs), so that you can stay at home with as little interruption to work or school as possible.

We design treatment plans based on exposure with response prevention (ERP) protocols and incorporate this research supported treatment approach in our IOP programs. We are committed to developing interventions that generalize beyond the office setting and into your life. 

Behavioral Exposure with Response Prevention Therapy (ERP)
Food avoidance and restricting behaviors are treated utilizing research supported ERP. The necessity of restoring nutrition and weight often dictates the pace of exposure work. We individualize plans with sensitivity to pre-existing eating concerns (e.g. sensory aversions) while also recognizing that flexible eating is adaptive and critical for full recovery. 

Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (CBT)
The focus of CBT is to help create more flexibility in thinking by learning to challenge and restructure unhelpful or distorted beliefs associated with body image concerns and other beliefs or rules associated with eating disorder behaviors. CBT is also effective in the treatment of anxiety and depression that often accompany eating disorders.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
DBT is a form of CBT and contributes mindfulness practices and specific skills to assist with emotional self-awareness, distress tolerance and self-regulation. Learn more about our DBT programming here. 

Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT)
ACT strategies are mindfulness-based and incorporate awareness of individual reactions to thoughts. A focus of therapy is changing this relationship rather than the thoughts themselves. ACT helps support individuals in this process as they learn to identify values beyond those dictated by their eating disorder.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
IPT addresses the significant role of interpersonal factors on development and maintenance of eating and mood disorders. Therapy focuses on enhancing interpersonal functioning by examining primary roles, role deficits, role disputes, role transitions, as well as grief and loss of important roles and relationships.

Prolonged Exposure (PE), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
Not all individuals with an eating disorder will have had a traumatic experience. However, for those individuals who have experienced a traumatic event or have been diagnosed with PTSD, it often can become entangled with the eating disorder which requires treatment of both the trauma and ED in order to recover. In the eating disorder program, we recognize the importance of addressing the trauma and provide a wide variety of trauma therapies: EMDR, PE and CPT. Our IOP program uses an integrative approach to help alleviate trauma symptoms, as well as address the eating disorder behaviors.

Expressive Therapy
Expressive Therapies are based on the idea that people can help heal themselves through art, music, dance, writing, or other expressive acts. 

Spiritual Counseling
Incorporating spirituality into the healing process can be a powerful addition to the recovery journey. Spiritual Counseling and Guidance encourages exploration into the role of spirituality in both maintenance and recovery from eating disorders.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect from my dietitian in the Eating Disorder IOP?
The dietitian is a licensed clinical practitioner and is a vital part of the Eating Disorder IOP team. You can expect your dietitian to perform an individual initial assessment outlining your history and your treatment goals and create a personalized meal plan with you based on your individual needs. They’ll also conduct ongoing nutrition education individually and in weekly nutrition groups and offer meal support.

How will I keep up with my schoolwork?
Our IOP is designed to prioritize recovery while allowing you to continue with work or school. However, work and school schedules may need to be adapted, especially in early stages of treatment. We are happy to work with your employer or school if your treatment requires notifications, including temporary medical leave. 

What if I have medical problems?
It is imperative to be medically stable to participate in the Eating Disorder IOP. If you are not medically stable, please seek medical attention from your doctor. If you do not have a doctor, we are happy to help you find one that fits your needs. Please have your physician complete the medical and H&P forms to assess for medical stability.

We’re Only a Phone Call Away

Our Intake Coordinators are always available at 314-289-9411 to schedule a confidential assessment if you, a loved one, or a patient may be experiencing a mental health issue. For additional questions about our programs, you can also use our online contact form.

In the case of a medical emergency or crisis, please dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Contact Us

New patients please call Intake Coordinators at:

314-289-9411

City of St. Louis, Missouri (Macklind)

1129 Macklind Ave, 
St. Louis, MO 63110 
314-534-0200 (returning patients)

Chesterfield, Missouri (West County)

16216 Baxter Rd. Stes 205 and 225,
Chesterfield, MO 63017
636-532-9188 (returning patients)

Belleville, Illinois

521 W. Main St. Ste 201B, 
Belleville, IL 62220
618-825-0051 (returning patients)