Eating Disorders

Overview & Clinical Expertise

If you have an eating disorder, your preoccupation with weight and food can be an attempt to gain control over your body and your life. But when this preoccupation spirals out of control, it ends up taking over your life, with potentially serious consequences.

We can help you. The Eating Disorders Center at Silver Hill Hospital is skilled at treating individuals of all genders who are suffering from a range of eating disorders, as well as complex co-occurring personality disorders, self-harming behaviors, and substance abuse. As part of a full-service psychiatric hospital, the Silver Hill Eating Disorders Center has the clinical expertise and depth of experience to treat even the most complex, multi-diagnosis conditions. This makes it a top choice for eating disorder treatment from Connecticut and New England, to New York and New Jersey, and to Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Our program is for individuals who are struggling with conditions such as:

  • Anorexia nervosa – A distorted view of weight and severe restriction of food intake sometimes to the point of starvation.
  • Bulimia nervosa – A fear of weight gain that leads to cycles of extreme overeating followed by purging or extreme weight loss methods.
  • Binge Eating Disorder – The compulsion to consume large amounts of food.
  • Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) – The persistent avoidance of certain foods, fear of eating, lack of interest in food, or selective eating that leads to significant weight loss.

Our treatment gives you the opportunity to:

  • Learn balanced and stable eating and exercise
  • Develop greater behavioral and psychological flexibility
  • Challenge unhealthy beliefs
  • Gain a sense of self and value that extends beyond the demands of an eating disorder

Transitional Living House

As a transitional living patient in the Eating Disorders Center, you will be treated at Hill House.

Hill House
Hill House

Treatments & Therapies

Treatment in our Eating Disorders program includes:

Evaluation – Your treatment begins with a detailed assessment to identify the complex array of variables – from lack of self-esteem to co-occurring psychiatric disorders – that underlie your eating disorder. You will also receive comprehensive medical testing to ensure your overall health. Using these findings, our clinicians develop a treatment plan to meet your individual needs and goals.

Treatment Plan – Your treatment plan helps you identify the core beliefs, emotions, and behaviors that have kept you trapped in an unhealthy relationship with food and weight. The overarching goal is to interrupt negative behavior patterns, emotions and beliefs that have limited your life and caused suffering – and to replace these with new behaviors that reduce suffering and increase emotional and behavioral flexibility in your life.

Treatment Approach – We will teach you new behaviors and skills, and let you practice these new habits each day.

We will help you:

  • Manage difficult emotions
  • Reduce fear, self-criticism and judgment
  • Challenge negative beliefs
  • Change unwanted behaviors
  • Increase flexibility
  • Balance relationships
  • Discover your values
  • Pursue valued goals

The foundation of our treatment approach is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), a highly-structured form of behavioral therapy that was designed to provide the skills necessary to regulate emotions, control destructive behaviors and improve interpersonal relations.

In addition to DBT we utilize other evidence-based therapies proven to assist in the development of emotion-management and behavioral tools, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

With these treatments and skills you will:

  • Learn balanced and stable eating and exercise
  • Develop greater behavioral and psychological flexibility
  • Challenge unhealthy beliefs
  • Gain a sense of self and value that extends beyond the demands of an eating disorder

Levels of Care
Most patients with eating disorders at Silver Hill begin treatment in Transitional Living Program, although those suffering with co-occurring disorders may enter our inpatient program first. Visit Being at Silver Hill for more information about inpatient care.

Transitional Living Program – for continued therapeutic recovery
You reside on campus and receive a range of therapeutic opportunities designed to interrupt unhealthy behavior patterns while promoting behavioral change and emotional growth. Your treatment is comprehensive and individually customized, with an emphasis on treating all aspects of the individual.

This highly structured, intensive program is right for you if you do not need close inpatient supervision, but are not yet prepared to manage successfully in an outpatient setting.

Our treatment approach is built around Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). DBT helps you with emotional control, impulsivity, self-damaging behaviors, and interpersonal disorganization.

In addition to DBT we utilize other evidence-based therapies including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – A goal-oriented therapy that focuses on identifying and changing damaging patterns of thought and behavior.
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy – A treatment that helps to identify their most important life goals and accepting what may be required to achieve them.

The length of the program is 4 weeks, but some patients opt to extend their stay.

Care this deep elevates hope

Sara Niego, M.D. and team share Silver Hill’s approach to treating complex eating disorders.

Co-Occurring Disorders

An underlying psychiatric disorder often drives and complicates the symptoms of an eating disorder. Treating a co-occurring condition – and at the same time as we treat your eating disorder – is essential to your successful and lasting recovery.

As a psychiatric hospital, we are especially suited to treat these dual disorders, including:

  • Anxiety Disorders The persistent, excessive and unrealistic worry about everyday things.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – A chronic and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over.
  • Depression – Persistent feelings of pervasive sadness, hopelessness and helplessness that interfere with thinking and daily activities.

If you are diagnosed with a co-occurring psychiatric disorder in addition to an eating disorder, our staff has the skill, sensitivity and training to treat your dual conditions together rather than one at a time, which is the most effective approach though often least available at other institutions.

Dual Diagnosis Video

Dr. Eric Collins on treatment for co-occurring disorders.

Patient Outcomes

Our patients report significant improvement at the conclusion of their treatment at Silver Hill. Here’s what you can expect:

Improved…

  • Relationship with food and eating
  • Mood and self-esteem
  • Skill and confidence in managing your life
  • Skill at coping with difficult emotions
  • Motivation, strength and courage
  • Flexibility, balance and freedom
  • Relationship with yourself and sense of well-being

Less…

  • Guilt and anxiety about food
  • Worry and shame about your body
  • Negative emotion, including depression, anxiety, fear, guilt, shame, and self-doubt
  • Negative core beliefs, such as feelings of inadequacy, unworthiness, unlovability
  • Need to try to control your life and relationships through food-related behavior

Staff

Our multi-disciplinary team works as a team on your care.

Take a look at our campus and treatment houses.

Patient Experience

Our eating disorder treatment philosophy is to provide you with opportunities to experience yourself and the world in new ways. For example, we have built a state-of-the-art fully equipped kitchen, where you will participate in cooking demonstrations and create meals. Rather than being a source of anxiety and tension, we want the kitchen to become your place to connect, share, and relax.

Levels Of Care
Inpatient Care – for crisis management
If you are being treated for an eating disorder at Silver Hill, you will begin treatment in our Transitional Living Program. However, if you also suffer with a co-occurring disorder, you may enter our inpatient program first in order to stabilize your symptoms. Visit Being at Silver Hill for more information about inpatient care.
Visit Adult Inpatient FAQs

Transitional Living Care – for residential treatment
As a resident in the Transitional Living Program you will reside in Hill House, an 8-bed residence nestled in the woods that fosters a family environment. The house has a private backyard with a deck and a view of the trees. Most bedrooms accommodate two people. (Private rooms are available at an additional cost.) Visit Being at Silver Hill for additional details.

Your 14-hour day includes:

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Psychopharmacology, when clinically indicated
  • Pre- and post-meal distress tolerance groups
  • Skills training, experiential and psychoeducation groups
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Acceptance & Commitment Therapy
  • Movement and body/mind therapies
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Meal preparation, cooking skills, food shopping and restaurant outings
  • Recreational activities
  • Visiting hours

Upon discharge from residential treatment, we warmly invite you to our weekly Alumni Support Group at Hill House. Check the Events Calendar for meeting date and time. It’s a great way to receive group support, stay connected to the hospital and your peers, and to share your recovery story. Recovery is a process—your story may be filled with detours, set-backs, come backs, and triumphs. All former residents are welcome.
Visit Eating Disorders FAQs

Family Participation
We recognize that the entire family can be affected when one member suffers from an eating disorder. That’s why we encourage your loved ones to meet with members of the your treatment team, and participate in family programs to help them build stability and develop concrete coping strategies.

We host a weekly Eating Disorders Family Program that provides information about the nature, course, and treatment of eating disorders. The program includes education about relapse prevention, aftercare, communication strategies and conflict resolution. Participants also have the opportunity to share personal experiences and offer peer support. The goal is to equip families with tools to facilitate the your continued growth and recovery, and reduce the likelihood of relapse. Check the Events Calendar for meeting date and time.

Wellness Services
During your treatment with us you may also purchase our Wellness Services, which offers a holistic approach to recovery in recognition of the integration of body, mind and spirit. Services include yoga, acupuncture, personal fitness training, meditation and massage therapy. These alternative therapies complement, not replace, traditional medical care. They are most effective when combined with medical treatment to help alleviate symptoms of pain and anxiety. The benefits, both short term and long, help promote a feeling of wellness.

Let’s get started.

Allow us to help you get better. Contact us today to find out which program might be right for you, or to begin the process of arranging for treatment.

Call us at
1 (866) 542 4455

– OR – Contact Us