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Published On: Aug 20, 2021|Categories: Treatment|

Intensive Outpatient (IOP) Groups are a step-down in eating disorder treatment from a full-time program to one requiring only a few hours of treatment each day. Its goal is to help craft positive coping skills and build healthy eating habits which you can take with you and continue to practice on your own once you’ve completed eating disorder treatment.

At this time, many IOP programs are now offered remotely via teletherapy. This allows clients to continue to partake in therapy while remaining in the comfort of their own home.

IOP program characteristics

IOP groups, as run by Seeds of Hope, take place four times a week (Monday-Thursday) for 2 hours and 15 minutes. The sessions are run by either counselors or a nutritionist to provide treatment sessions such as:

  • Group therapy and process groups
  • Psychoeducation
  • Nutrition education and support
  • Meal practice
  • Medication management
  • Yoga
  • Art Therapy
  • Meditation

Counselors utilize cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy to provide support and healing through mental health practices, while nutritionists and yoga instructors provide the opportunity to increase physical strength and awareness of nurturing one’s physical body.

Remote eating disorder treatment (teletherapy)

While IOP programs offer clients the opportunity to partake in numerous recovery methods focused on mental and physical healing. Teletherapy provides the opportunity to take part in recovery without the need to physically travel to a treatment center. Using secure, HIPAA-compliant video conferencing, individuals are able to continue with their same treatment program. The only difference? It’s conducted remotely.

Benefits of teletherapy

The most obvious benefit of remote eating disorder treatment is the ability to participate in a treatment session from anywhere with internet access. But there are additional benefits making teletherapy an appealing treatment option for many.

  • No commute – If you live far away from a treatment center, it might be very difficult to carve out the time to travel to and attend treatment four days a week. With the option to receive the same level of care from home, you can remove the stress of a commute from your recovery journey.
  • One-on-one and group counseling – Both individual and group counseling can be completed via teletherapy. This way, you’re able to receive all the benefits from building a relationship with a group of individuals, sharing your stories and providing a support system through recovery, while remaining comfortably at home. Additionally, you’ll have access to individual counseling sessions in order to set and work towards your personal recovery goals.
  • You set the schedule – While in-person IOP occurs on a set schedule, teletherapy gives you the opportunity to set the schedule according to your personal needs. So, if one week you need to meet sooner than, or another week you need to push your session back by a day, remote eating disorder treatment allows you to do so.

So, does teletherapy work?

Overwhelmingly, the reviews have come back saying, ‘Yes, teletherapy is just as effective as in-person treatment.’ This is because counselors with Seeds of Hope do not change anything between their in-person treatment sessions to their remote treatment sessions. Clients receive the same level of care and the same personalized treatment plans all from home.

Is remote eating disorder counseling right for you?

During the admissions process into eating disorder treatment, each individual is asked to complete two questionnaires which allow counselors to understand your expectations regarding treatment goals, as well as your personal history and journey with an eating disorder. Called a Level of Care Assessment (LOCA), these can be conducted either in-person or online based on your level of comfortability, and take about an hour and a half to two hours to complete.

From there, the best form of treatment, including the possibility of remote IOP, will be discussed with each potential client.

Additionally, questions such as ‘How long will treatment take,’ ‘What exercises should I be doing outside treatment,’ or any other question you might have regarding treatment can be discussed and answered during your initial appointment.

Contact Seeds of Hope today

If you are seeking eating disorder treatment for yourself, or for a loved one, consider calling Seeds of Hope today at 610-644-6464. Our counselors will be happy to address your concerns as well as talk to you about all the different options for remote eating disorder treatment.

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