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Monte Nido & Affiliates Chief Clinical Officer Doug Bunnell, PhD, CEDS is an expert clinican and leader in the eating disorder field. He is passionate about research and the latest advancements in the field, and equally committed to individualized client care. In this week’s blog post, Dr. Bunnell shares an part one of an overview of treatment and recovery and how Monte Nido & Affiliates supports clients along their path to full recovery. 

Eating disorders are complex illnesses with biological, genetic, psychological, social and developmental roots. There is never a single cause for someone’s eating disorder and effective treatment must address this entire range of factors.

The treatment of eating disorders is equally complex. It involves a number of different treatment disciplines, and usually a number of different levels of care. Effective treatment and recovery involves an ongoing collaboration between patients, their families and loved ones, and clinicians. Families, especially for younger women with eating disorders, are essential partners in the treatment team.

Treatment teams often include:

Physicians and psychiatrists


Individual, Family, Group

Experiential therapists

Art, movement


Nurses, Educational consultants, …..(residential)

Levels of care include:


Day Treatment and Transitional Living

Extended Care

Outpatient Day Treatment

Intensive Outpatient

Outpatient Individual, Family, Group, Nutritional and Psychiatric therapies

Recovery takes place in phases or steps. Monte Nido & Affiliates’ continuum of care provides a way to gradually move from a highly structured and intensive residential treatment program to increasingly less structured levels of care. The transitions between levels of care are important moments in the process of recovery but this gradual “step-down” process helps minimize the risk for relapse.

A patient’s motivation to recover is a critical element in the recovery process. Healing and motivation are sustained and nurtured through involvement in a community. The treatment approach stresses these essential connections. As patients gradually regain their physical and nutritional health, treatment begins to focus on other aspects of successful recovery such as self esteem and broader aspects of the quality of life.

Most patients will fully recover from their eating disorders. Full recovery, however, often takes considerable time and effort. Patients with anorexia nervosa who are able to restore their weight to healthy levels have a much lower relapse risk than those who regain some, but not all, of their lost weight. Patients with bulimia nervosa who are able to completely eliminate their binge and purge behaviors have a lower risk of relapse than those who continue with even sporadic episodes.


We are exited to share the opening of Clementine Malibu Lake. Learn more about the program by visiting our website or calling an Admissions Specialist at 855.900.2221.

For more information about Clementine adolescent treatment programs, please call 855.900.2221, visit our websitesubscribe to our blog, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.