Eating Disorder Therapy in Los Angeles, California

Eating disorders are complex and characterized by varying social, physical, and psychological experiences and beliefs. Despite this diversity, there is no eating disorder that does not involve dietary changes, psychological struggles, and medical consequences. All of these areas are addressed in eating disorder therapy at Trellis Recovery Centers in Los Angeles, California.

At Trellis, we have developed a program that addresses the clinical aspects of eating disorder behaviors as well as the unique experiences of each individual in their disorder. Our clinicians are trained in eating disorder therapy as well as numerous evidence-based therapies (such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Exposure Response Prevention, Motivational Interviewing, etc.) and use aspects of these therapies in varying ways depending on the needs of each individual client and what is proving most effective for them.

What is Eating Disorder Therapy?

Many misunderstand what eating disorder therapy is, believing it to simply be mental health therapy provided to someone that has an eating disorder. Effective eating disorder therapy, however, is anything but simple. Providing therapy to those struggling with an eating disorder requires extensive education and experience in eating disorder psychology, experiences, consequences, and interventions.

In addition to specific understanding of eating disorders, therapy in eating disorder treatment should include varied therapeutic experiences including group and individual therapies. Group therapy sessions are critical to eating disorder treatment because they allow individuals an opportunity to support one another while also encouraging accountability. In group therapy sessions, clients can recognize that they are unique yet they are not alone, they are struggling yet there is hope for them, and that they are worthy of being given space to speak and be heard.

Eating disorder therapy also involves various types of therapy groups. Process groups are commonly utilized as an opportunity for clients to speak to their current struggles and emotional experience without having any specific topic or guideline. Topic-focused groups allow clinicians to identify some areas that might be connected to eating disorders and mental health struggles while allowing each individual client to explore how this relates to their experience. Psychoeducation groups are also important, as they arm clients with information that can allow them to combat social misconceptions, to better understand their bodily experience, and to develop important life and relational skills. Finally, mindfulness and somatic groups such as art therapy, yoga, dance movement, etc. support an individual in exploring new activities, their identity, and their connection to their mind and body. All of these aspects are important to eating disorder treatment and recovery.

Types of Eating Disorder Therapies

No two individuals will respond to any therapeutic modality the same, therefore, there is no cookie-cutter way to treat eating disorders. Even so, there are a few therapeutic modalities that research indicates are typically effective in treating eating disorders:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is rooted in the belief that our thoughts cause our feelings and our feelings determine our choices. CBT therapies support individuals in identifying the thoughts that contribute to their eating disorder behaviors as well as how they can change these thoughts to change their behaviors.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy that centers on the “dialectic” that two things that are seemingly opposing can exist at the same time. DBT therapy teaches skills that help individuals with effective interpersonal communication, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and mindfulness.

Exposure and Response Prevention

ERP treatment recognizes that individuals may use eating disorder behaviors to avoid experiencing certain interactions and/or emotion states that are distressing. ERP therapy involves slowly exposing an individual to that which they are avoiding without giving the option of using a maladaptive skill.


Somatic therapies encourage exploration of the physical experience of emotional distress and guide individuals in altering their emotional experience through calming their physical experience.






While there are various other therapies that can help with eating disorder treatment, those above are most effective as well as being the modalities that Trellis Recovery Centers use.

Benefits of Eating Disorder Therapy at Trellis

At Trellis Recovery Centers, a key aspect of our therapeutic philosophy is the recognition that eating disorder behaviors are, most often, symptoms of deeper struggles. Some of these underlying issues may be co-occurring mental health diagnoses, experiences of trauma, identity confusion, negative self-view, and societal pressures and stigmas, to name a few. The team at Trellis recognize the role of these deeper contributing factors and work to guide clients in exploring these for themselves.

To treat eating disorder behaviors solely is ineffective. At Trellis Recovery Centers, we acknowledge this and, therefore, place emphasis on addressing behaviors while also treating what is motivating these behaviors. This will allow our clients to have a deeper understanding of what the eating disorder has come to mean for them and how they can find that meaning without causing themselves harm.

At Trellis, our treatment approach is also effective because our clinicians do not decide what therapeutic modality is best for our clients based on their own beliefs or preferences. Instead, Trellis clinicians are well-trained in numerous forms of eating disorder therapy and combine these as a way to support the client in determining their own therapeutic beliefs as well as identifying the methods of coping that are most helpful to them. 

Our therapists build on this individual approach to growth by encouraging “matched coping skills,” meaning, an individual is not only given worksheets on different types of coping skills but is supported in exploring these skills, what the intention behind them is, and how these skills react with their mind and body in order to determine what is most beneficial for their individual coping. Clients at Trellis will learn not just what coping skills exist but what coping skills support them in specific moments such as when struggling with eating disorder urges while eating at a restaurant or regulating their emotions when their anxiety is increasing.

Begin Eating Disorder Therapy in Los Angeles, CA

At Trellis Recovery Centers, our goal is to provide treatment that feels like a growth process. This means we want each moment of treatment, from therapy to meals to movement, to feel like a fluid experience wherein the client is being supported and guided as they find their own autonomous version of eating disorder recovery.

If you feel the above interventions might be helpful to you or a loved one, please do not hesitate to contact us and reach out to our admissions department. We are looking forward to supporting the unique process of all recovery journeys.