Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for Adults

For a free screen or to set up an assessment for Eating Disorders Intensive Outpatient Therapy services, please contact our intake coordinator at 636-534-6071.

The overall goal of our Intensive Outpatient Eating Disorders Program (IOP) is to provide additional treatment to break patterns that are creating barriers to recovery. We base our IOP on Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), evidence-based treatment for eating disorders, as well as interventions known to treat depression and anxiety that often co-occurs. Treatment targets personalized goals intended to achieve recovery while keeping you involved in your home and professional life. 

Our program is designed to offer evening and weekend hours to accommodate most work schedules. We include built-in exposure practice and coping skill practice, like a daily supervised meal and supervised complimentary outings to restaurants and stores, to establish and maintain healthier behaviors for continued, successful recovery.

Treatment Approach

Before someone begins treatment, we conduct a confidential and extensive assessment to determine what level of care is appropriate. We make every effort to expedite intake assessments within 48 hours of calling our intake department. We also schedule an individual orientation and education session to discuss individual goals and family involvement.

Our staff members are experts in the field of eating disorders. Our experience, professionalism, compassion and ability to collaborate together means that you receive exceptional care. Our licensed therapists work with individual clients and families, and lead therapy groups, to ensure consistent quality and personalized treatment. If needed, we work closely to help facilitate transition to a higher level of care, such as residential treatment.

We specialize in outpatient treatment 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.

Program Features and Schedule

Our IOP is an intensive schedule designed to offer maximum support to achieve success at an outpatient level of care. Each IOP day consists of three hours of group therapy, including a therapeutic and supervised meal. Our individualized group modules are designed to extend structure and accountability into the home environment. 

We carefully design our IOP therapy groups to reflect current trends and research on treatment effectiveness. Current groups include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Family Relations, Coping Skills and special topics such as Anxiety Management and Nutrition. We also individualize treatment based on the needs of participants.

Adult IOP Groups will meet six days a week: Monday through Thursday from 5 – 8 pm; Friday 11 am – 2 pm; and Saturday 8 – 11 am.
Each client also will work with our dietitian within the first few days in order to develop a meal plan and will meet for follow-up sessions according to their individual needs. Every client will also receive individual therapy sessions and weekly individual feedback on progress.

The length of time that you spend in the IOP is highly individualized but a typical average is 18 to 28 treatment days.
In most cases, insurance companies determine length of stay based on your plan and their determination of medical necessity. 

We will make every effort to work with your insurance company to determine a length of stay that matches your treatment goals. In cases when you may wish to extend treatment days, private pay is an option. Learn more about the insurance we accept.

Involving Families & Loved Ones in Treatment

Research supports the involvement of family and loved ones in eating disorder treatment. At SLBMI, we work with our clients to identify and engage family members and/or loved ones to help strengthen and build outside support for the client’s continued recovery outside of IOP. For our adult patients, we offer the Multi-Family Group, as well as individual family sessions based on client need.

Working with Existing Providers

If you are currently working with an outpatient treatment team, you are welcome to take advantage of our services that may not be available in a traditional outpatient setting. We look forward to collaborating with your outpatient provider(s) and physicians.

We also expect individuals who attend our IOP to be working with a physician who will monitor their physical health. Prior to admission, an evaluation and physician statement is required stating that clients are medically stable and able to participate in outpatient treatment. Please review and print the Adult Medical Clearance Form and the Adult Lab Recommendations for your physician to complete. If you do not currently have a physician, our program can assist in finding physicians to work with you.

Aftercare and Recovery

Discharge Planning
Most people will continue to receive therapeutic services with their outpatient treatment team upon completion of IOP. Typically, this includes regularly scheduled individual and/or family appointments with their therapist, nutritionist/dietitian, physician and psychiatrist when necessary. 

 For those individuals who did not have an established treatment team upon starting the IOP, there is the option to continue to work with their IOP therapist, dietitian and psychiatrist. Another option is to seek other qualified outpatient providers. We are happy to work with you to refer you to an appropriate fit based on your individual needs.

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:


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)