The Renfrew Center Eating Disorder Treatment Facility


First in Eating Disorders

Since 1985, The Renfrew Centers have been providing clinical excellence within a nurturing environment  empowering adolescent girls and women to change their lives.

Renfrew Eating Disorder Treatment Center FAQs


Where is The Renfrew Center located?

The Renfrew Center has treatment centers across the country. With facilities in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee, Renfrew’s network of eating disorder treatment facilities is the largest in the nation. No matter where they may live, patients are able to access a full continuum of care. Facilities and settings are pleasant, friendly and home-like in order to reinforce Renfrew’s emphasis on creating a sense of community. For more on Renfrew’s 19 locations, click here.

Can you explain The Renfrew Center’s treatment program and recovery process?

The Renfrew Center’s philosophy is established on the belief that eating disorders are complex illnesses with biological, genetic, psychological, social, and developmental roots. We believe that the experience of, and reaction to, our emotions drives symptom use. Another way to explain this is that the symptoms of an eating disorder —such as binge eating, restriction of food or purging—provide a sense of relief in the moment. The problem is that the relief does not last. When the emotions arise again (and they always do), the cycle of symptom use continues and becomes a powerful habit that is difficult to break.

Recovery takes place in phases or steps. Renfrew’s continuum of care provides gradual movement from a highly structured and intensive residential treatment program to increasingly less structured levels of care. These steady transitions are important moments in the process of recovery as this “step-down” progression helps to minimize the risk for relapse.

All levels of care are built upon The Renfrew Center Unified Treatment Model for Eating Disorders®. This integrates our relational approach, which fosters growth through healthy relationships, with a treatment model based on the latest scientific research. This allows us to address the complex needs of our patients who avoid experiencing their own emotions and are disconnected from others.

What services are provided by The Renfrew Center?

Renfrew’s clinical team understands the emotional issues that are involved in treating an eating disorder and the steps necessary to achieve recovery. Across all levels of care, clinicians are trained in the same treatment principles, and a variety of services are offered to meet patients’ needs.

  • Individual, Group, Family Therapy
  • Psychiatry
  • Nutrition Therapy
  • Creative Arts Therapy
  • Exposure Activities

Why Renfrew?

The Renfrew Center’s experience in treating eating disorders is unparalleled. It has been the pioneer in the treatment of eating disorders since 1985 and as the nation’s first residential eating disorder facility, now with 19 locations throughout the country, Renfrew has helped more than 85,000 women with eating disorders and other behavioral health issues. 

In a warm, nurturing environment, Renfrew emphasizes a respect for the unique psychology of women, the importance of a collaborative therapeutic relationship, and the belief that every woman needs to actively participate in her own growth and recovery.

Renfrew’s programs are backed by experienced staff and renowned clinical leaders and researchers in the field of eating disorders who expertly guide patients toward progress. Follow-up studies have found a significant reduction in the intensity of symptoms for the majority of participants in our residential program.  

Additionally, unlike many other facilities, Renfrew works with most major insurance, commercial and managed care companies, has many contracts with insurance carriers and is the Preferred Provider for many major insurance companies.

What is The Renfrew Center Unified Treatment Model for Eating Disorders®?

The Renfrew Center Unified Treatment Model for Eating Disorders® addresses both the eating disorder and co-morbid symptoms by explicitly targeting the core, maintaining factors of emotional dysregulation, intolerance and experiential avoidance. Through the use of therapeutic exposure exercises and a set of coordinated group, individual and family modalities, patients gain the skills and confidence to tolerate a range of internal emotional experiences without resorting to the use of eating disorder symptoms.  

Components of the Unified Treatment Model For Eating Disorders® include:

  • Motivation Enhancement and Psychoeducation
  • Mindful Awareness of Emotion
  • Cognitive Appraisal-Reappraisal Skills
  • Emotion Exposures
    • Interoceptive (tolerance of physical sensation)
    • Nutrition/Food
    • Body Image
  • Social/Interpersonal

To learn more about the Model, click here.

Does The Renfrew Center offer different levels of care?

Yes, The Renfrew Center is unique among treatment centers in offering not just inpatient programs, but a full continuum of care that supports patients well beyond their residential stay. This comprehensive range of services - which is available throughout the country and includes day treatment, intensive outpatient and outpatient programs - is tailored with each patient and her outpatient providers to develop treatment plans and goals based on her unique needs. 

Renfrew maintains continuity in philosophy and approach throughout the individual’s treatment, while facilitating timely transitions from one level of care to another in order to maximize treatment and insurance benefits.