Leading Orthorexia Treatment Center

the trauma story.
the eating disorder, addiction, and mental health story.
the recovery story.

The Refuge provides a supportive environment for healing that combines compassionate care with the latest in research-backed treatment modalities for eating disorders and other mental or behavioral health disorders. We invite you to learn more about orthorexia treatment in our stand-alone eating disorder treatment program, Oak House at The Refuge.

Orthorexia Treatment

Learn more about treatment for orthorexia at The Refuge, A Healing Place

The term “orthorexia” was established in 1998 to describe a condition that is characterized by an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating.

When a person struggles with orthorexia, they may focus on diet, food planning, ingredient lists, and related issues to the point that their health and well-being begin to suffer. For example, when efforts to eliminate unhealthy eating patterns lead to dangerously restrictive dieting, orthorexia may be to blame.

Also, people who are living with orthorexia may experience overwhelming shame, guilt, or other distress when they fail to adhere to their stringent self-imposed dietary restrictions.

Orthorexia does not appear in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), so it is not recognized as an official diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

However, at The Refuge, we understand that orthorexia can cause significant harm, and we have developed treatment services to help individuals whose lives have been impacted by this dangerous preoccupation with what they mistakenly believe to be healthy nutrition.

With our help, you can learn to manage symptoms of orthorexia and make the lifestyle changes that will enable you to pursue a healthier and more satisfying future.

Why Consider Treatment

Why consider receiving treatment for orthorexia at The Refuge

If you have been experiencing symptoms of orthorexia, and you fail to seek the appropriate care for this problem, you expose yourself to considerable harm.

For example, when you adopt dietary restrictions that force you to deny yourself of essential nutrients, you risk malnutrition and a host of additional health problems. The psychological distress that is characteristic of orthorexia can impair your ability to fully engage in healthy interpersonal relationships, cutting you off from valuable sources of support. It can also undermine your efforts perform to expectation at work or in school.

The cumulative impact of orthorexia on your mind and body can be devastating. But when you get effective professional care at a reputable program such as The Refuge, you can avoid these negative outcomes. At The Refuge, you can begin to heal from the past harm that orthorexia has caused while learning to make the lifestyle changes that will support a healthier future.

With our help, you can overcome the dangerous compulsions of orthorexia and achieve sustained recovery.

Our Philosophy

Our treatment center’s philosophy and benefits

At The Refuge, we use an effective three-pronged approach to help individuals who have been struggling with orthorexia achieve true healing in mind, body, and spirit. This whole-person approach reflects our belief that our clients are more than just the sum of their symptoms, and that each person is worthy of living a healthy, recovered life.

Our compassionate staff creates unique treatment plans that include the latest in science-backed clinical treatment modalities. We are proud to offer a completely individualized treatment experience for each person who chooses to heal from orthorexia at The Refuge.

Types of Treatment

Types of orthorexia treatment offered at The Refuge, A Healing Place

The Refuge features a wide range of treatment options for clients who are struggling with orthorexia. When you’re admitted to our residential treatment center, you will undergo a number of assessments in order to make sure our treatment team understands how best to treat you and how to optimally address your struggles with orthorexia. Our medical examination will determine whether you are struggling with physical health complications, while our psychiatric evaluation will assist our clinicians in diagnosing any co-occurring disorders that may be present.

Your treatment team will take the results of these assessments and work with you and your loved ones to create a plan of care that will guide you as you begin healing from orthorexia at our treatment center.

Medication may be used at the beginning of your stay at our orthorexia treatment center if it can help ease or alleviate certain symptoms. The type of medication you are prescribed, and the amount of time you continue to receive it, will be based solely on what’s best for you. Your medication usage will be closely monitored by your orthorexia treatment team and will be modified as needed to ensure that you’re receiving the maximum benefit.

Individual therapy is provided at our orthorexia treatment center to address personal issues related to your struggles with this disorder. It also serves to identify links between orthorexia and any co-occurring disorders that you may be suffering from. Our therapists use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which addresses errors or distortions in thinking. CBT can help you replace maladaptive thoughts with healthier ways of evaluating and responding to your environment. Our other clinical specialties include acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), accelerated resolution therapy (ART), eating disorder intuitive therapy (EDIT), and trauma-informed yoga.

Group therapy is a common type of therapy for individuals who are healing from orthorexia at our treatment center. Among its many benefits, group therapy can help you form productive relationships with others who are receiving care for orthorexia, learn to work together to solve problems, and develop healthy ways of processing difficult emotions. While you are in treatment for orthorexia at The Refuge, you’ll take part in several types of group therapy. For example, process groups discuss issues related to a common theme or co-occurring problems, such as trauma, substance abuse, or suicidal ideation. Our skills-based groups focus on topics like developing new coping strategies, re-entering social situations, avoiding risks for triggering orthorexia relapse, and identifying strategies for dealing with co-occurring conditions.

Family therapy is an important aspect of healing from orthorexia at our treatment center. We understand that your struggles with orthorexia may have impacted your family and friends. We also appreciate the important role that your loved ones can play in the healing process. During family sessions, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss how orthorexia has affected you, your treatment, and the progress you’ve made. Your loved ones will have the chance to discuss ways in which orthorexia has affected their lives as well. They’ll also learn how best to support you during and after your orthorexia treatment.

Nutritional support is provided by registered dietitians who have extensive training in the treatment of orthorexia, and all programming is reviewed by the attending physician. You’ll attend weekly meetings with registered dietitians to assess your nutritional improvement. Our intensive culinary program is designed to reshape your relationship with food, which will evolve and improve throughout your course of treatment.

Our orthorexia treatment center also offers a variety of evidence-based methods designed to complement traditional therapies. Based on need and availability, these therapeutic methods may include the following:

  • Detoxification (as needed)
  • Psychiatric support and medication management
  • Individual, group, and family therapy
  • Medical and psychiatric supervision
  • 24/7 nursing support
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Exposure outings
  • Supportive meals and meal preparation
  • Group shopping trips
  • Nutritional counseling and education
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • 12-Step education and support
  • Therapeutic massage and yoga
  • Art therapy

Continuing Care

Continuing care and levels of treatment for orthorexia at The Refuge, A Healing Place

Receiving comprehensive treatment at The Refuge can be an essential step on your path to long-term recovery from orthorexia. But your time on our campus will be just one part of your journey. To ensure that you are prepared to maintain and build upon the progress that you make while in our care, we’ll provide you with a detailed discharge plan prior to the end of your stay with us.

We’ll start to plan for your discharge shortly after you begin to receive care. This will allow us to develop an optimal plan for you. Depending upon the successes you experience while in treatment, as well as any issues that may merit further attention, your discharge plan may include referrals to a step-down level of care, recommendations for outpatient therapy, connections with community-based resources, and similar elements.

Also, completing residential orthorexia programming at The Refuge makes you eligible for 12 months of aftercare support. This opportunity includes biweekly phone consultations, assistance finding therapists and support groups in your area, and a continued connection with our nationwide alumni network.

From the day you arrive at The Refuge until long after you have returned home, our goal is to ensure that you have the care and support you need to experience true and lasting recovery from orthorexia.

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  • Unfortunately, we do not take Medicare or Medicaid at this time.
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