Eating Disorder Intensive Programs

How we view Eating Disorders:

Eating Disorders (ED) are multifaceted mind and body states that can prevent an individual from participating fully in their life. Eating Disorders come in all shapes and sizes; restricting food (anorexia), binging and purging (bulimia), binge eating and over-exercising are some of the most common ways that ED show up. Emblematic of the disorder is an inability to participate in many or all aspects of life without nearly constant thought of food, body size, weight or counting calories. What makes an Eating Disorder a disorder is its disruption of the person’s functioning, rather than her or his weight. Eating Disorders are often mistakenly thought to be solely about food or weight. Although the person’s focus is often on these conditions, underneath there is a deep sense of emptiness and fear. It is these conditions that drive the ED behaviors and therefore are central to the ED program at VTCIT.

How we treat Eating Disorders using an integrated approach:

At VTCIT, we’re approaching Eating Disorders treatment differently. Most ED treatment focuses on the behavioral aspects of the disease, looking for a reduction in symptoms as an indicator of disease reduction. At VTCIT, we recognize that symptom reduction often does not indicate disease reduction. In order to change the mind states that cause the behaviors, one needs to attend to BOTH the behavioral aspects as well as the psycho-emotional aspects. Using Yoga, meditation, group work as well as individual therapy, we endeavor to provide clients with an opportunity to work with ALL aspects of these very complex and often misunderstood disorders.

Every ED Patient is Different:
We believe that clients struggling with ED are suffering greatly. Our goal is to reduce that suffering by providing them with the opportunities to increase their own internal compassion and connectedness through Yoga, therapy, and body based treatments. As in all our programs at VTCIT, we are using yoga specifically and pointedly to work with the areas of deficiency in the body and mind. In the ED client, activity is high in the mind but grounding and power are very low. Self-criticism and judgment are high and compassion and connection are low. We are able to sculpt our yoga sessions to include specific practices to decrease what is overactive and excite or increase what is deficient.

Yoga Systems to help treat Eating Disorders:
The yogic system is designed to shift and regulate energy in the body to provide greater balance. Using the breath as a focal point naturally relaxes the mind and provides a sense of calm. Yoga’s focus on the inner experience allows participants to access their own inner experience ultimately leading to a greater sense of connectedness. In time this sense of inner connection paired with practices to increase compassion and soften judgment delivers a greater sense of ease and freedom.

Services that we offer for Eating Disorders:

  • Individual Therapy
  • Group Yoga Therapy
  • Individual Yoga Therapy
  • Energy and Body Work
  • Nutritional Consultation
  • Food Allergy Testing
  • Eating Disorder Support Group

At this time we do not have a formal day treatment program. However, due to the overwhelming demand and need for this service, we often create individualized treatment packages for clients with ED in which she or he participates in multiple therapeutic services for two or three days per week for several months. If you are interested in speaking with Bree about package options, you can email her at