Treatment Options

Treatment Options

How are eating disorders treated?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating eating disorders, but we know that early detection and treatment can ultimately lead to higher rates of recovery. It takes time, rigorous treatment programs, ongoing support and unconditional love – but recovery is possible, and individuals can go on to lead healthy, fulfilling lives.  Most treatment programs include a combination of psychological therapy (psychotherapy), nutrition education, medical monitoring and sometimes medication.

A priority in the early phase of treatment is to establish some degree of normalcy with eating and weight. Restoration of weight is especially crucial with children and adolescents, whose growth and development could be stunted or compromised. Equally important is addressing underlying psychological issues as part of the treatment process.

A wide range of therapies can be used to help an individual on the road to recovery. Common approaches include:

  • Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT) is also a vital part of many treatments (and applicable to any age group). This approach trains caregivers as emotional coaches in the recovery process.

Stepped Care Model

What is Stepped Care?

Stepped care is an evidence-based, staged system involving a series of interventions, from the least to the most intensive, that can be matched to a person’s needs. This model of care allows people to ‘step up’ or ‘step down’ the intensity of treatment based on people’s needs and preferences.

A general guideline in eating disorder treatment is that the right level of care for a person is the one at which they can stop the eating disorder behaviors for a sustainable period of time. Requiring more support is not negative, it simply means that is the stage where one is at in their recovery.  The stepped care journey below shows an overview of typical care pathways for eating disorder recovery.

Ontario Service Providers by Step

This information was collected by Body Brave via NEDIC’s Find a Provider Tool, for the purpose of separating supports into stepped care sections. This list is not exhaustive and may be subject to change. Please note that many of the hospital-based programs listed below only serve residents of a specific region of Ontario (their “catchment areas”).  For more information about NEDIC, go to

Note: Providers noted with an (~) consider themselves ‘Inclusive and affirmative of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people’ and ‘Inclusive and affirmative of trans*, Two-Spirit and non-binary people’ within NEDIC’s Find A Provider Tool filters.

Intensive Inpatient  Programming 

Residential Programming 

*limited OHIP coverage

 Day Hospitalization 

Hospital-Based Intensive Outpatient Programming

Hospital-Based Outpatient Programming

Community-Based Group Programming 

*including Peer Support

Self-Guided Support 

Information and Resources

Community-Based Individual Programming 

Many thanks to Body Brave for allowing us to use this content about Stepped Care.  For more information about Body Brave, go to