Eating Disorder


Key programme features

24/7 Nursing Care

Dedicated Specialist Doctors and Psychiatrists

Highly Qualified and Experienced Specialist Therapists

100% Confidential and Discrete

Tailored Programme with Inclusive Aftercare

Intravenous Vitamin Therapy and Genetic/DNA Analysis

Nutrition and Fitness Modules

National Centre For Eating Disorder Approved Programme


For many, an eating disorder will be characterized by two criteria:

1 – Excessive concerns over food, shape and weight, which in turn leads to a number of unhealthy weight control behaviours.

2 – Over-salience of one’s body image (beliefs about appearance and weight) most often being poor or indeed distorted.

More often than not, eating disorders are simply “not about food” and indeed are often a manifestation of more deeply rooted issues.

Do I Have a Problem With an Eating Disorder?

More than ever, there are extreme pressures on us to look good, and the cultural ideal is now unrealistically, and in many cases dangerously, thin. Ideal body sizes have changed remarkably over the last 30 years for both males and females.

Centuries ago, and for many centuries previous to this, a more voluptuous figure used to be highly desired and seen as a sign of good health, wellbeing and in many cases wealth.
One can say that self worth is increasingly based on external attractiveness, possibly for evolutionary reasons, and it can be argued that for many looking slim represents youth as well as beauty.

This is further endorsed by cultural opinions about “fatness”, which in turn create anxiety about weight gain.
Poor parental role modelling, faulty food scripts (early childhood experiences around food) and using food as a reward/punishment all form part of the predisposing factors that in many cases are evident in a poor relationship with food.

Other predisposing factors include reinforcing messages given to us during puberty. Boys generally see themselves as smaller than they really are and girls typically see themselves as bigger than they really are, becoming judgemental of body parts. Reinforced messages, bullying and abusive taunting can all endorse negative images and destroy self-esteem, leading to compensatory behaviours in particular around intake of food.

Eating Disorder Treatment At Strong Hope

Through the eating disorder programme clients will begin looking at the predisposing, precipitating and perpetuating factors of their condition, it is vital that these factors are identified and addressed as they are key to the prevention of relapse.

We explore these through a range of talking and non-talking therapies, so clients understand why they do the things that they do and about their relationship with food but equally importantly then learn new skills and coping strategies to do things differently in order to remove the need to relapse into old behaviour patterns on discharge. This we do through individual 1:1 work and group work for those who prefer.

Nutrition intervention, including 1:1 nutritional sessions with our registered dietician/nutritionist, is an essential component of treatment for clients that come to Strong Hope with eating disorders. The complexities of eating disorders, such as epidemiological factors, require a collaborative approach by an interdisciplinary team of psychotherapists, psychologists, nutritionists, chefs, fitness instructors and medical specialists. Strong Hope’s Nutritionist is an integral member of the treatment team and is uniquely qualified to provide medical nutrition interventions and meal plans for the normalisation of eating patterns and nutritional status.

One of the other areas we address in the eating disorder programme is body image distortion. This dissociative part of an eating disorder is very much associated with the body and contains the trauma from those memories that clients connect with rejection and shame about a body that is not perceived as it is. A further aspect of our eating disorder programme that is key to recovery is for clients to change their relationship to what they see as “forbidden foods”. We do this through psychoeducation, practical/experiential work and psychotherapeutic support.

All clients work to a daily schedule that is tailored for the individual in relation to their treatment plan and consists of a balanced programme of psychotherapy, complementary therapies, adventure therapy, health/nutrition and fitness. Clients will be expected to work on therapeutic assignments based on issues that are identified as part of their treatment, which they do outside of the core face-to-face hours, and present these in their sessions with their therapist. As clients come to the end of their treatment they will work with their primary therapist and therapy team to produce a relapse prevention plan, which Strong Hope will support through the aftercare programme that we offer.

Each client will have an experienced and fully trained primary eating disorder therapist, and this therapist will support and coach them throughout their stay even though the client may engage with other members of the therapy team according to need.

Programme Duration

Due to the highly complex nature of eating disorders Strong Hope offers a range of eating disorder programmes from 28 days up to 42 days depending on client availability and need. This is also inclusive of a family programme towards the end of the client’s stay.

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