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


1. How will Renfrew treat my eating disorder? 

1. How will Renfrew treat my eating disorder? 

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 therapeutic disciplines, and usually a number of different levels of care over the course of the illness. Effective treatment and recovery involve 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. 

Recovery takes place in phases or steps. Renfrew’s 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 as our gradual “step-down” process helps minimize the risk for relapse. Re-establishing a pattern of healthy eating, nutrition and physical well-being is the foundation of treatment. 

Your motivation to recover is a critical element in the recovery process. Healing and motivation are sustained and nurtured through your involvement in a community of peers. The Renfrew treatment approach stresses these essential connections. As you gradually regain your 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.

2. What types of therapy does Renfrew provide?

The Renfrew Center treatment programs, both residential and non-residential, utilize a variety of therapeutic techniques. The primary goal is to help patient’s stabilize their eating disorder symptoms. Directive techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy are especially helpful at this stage. As patients move through the treatment continuum, they may begin to work with more explorative techniques such as psychodynamic and interpersonal therapies. Click here to read more about all of Renfrew’s treatment modalities.

3. Does Renfrew treat ARFID patients?

Yes. The Renfrew Center Unified Treatment Model for Eating Disorders® is a transdiagnostic treatment approach that is designed to treat underlying causes of eating disorder symptoms, including those of patients struggling with ARFID. We treat the whole person by:

  • Building emotional awareness through recognition and acceptance of thoughts, physical sensations and behaviors and urges associated with food avoidance behaviors
  • Create flexibility in the way one thinks about and, thus, responds to food and fears of eating
  • Incorporating feared, avoided food slowly and progressively through carefully-planned exposure activities to build emotional tolerance into the experience of eating
  • Normalizing eating patterns through individualized structured nutrition planning

ARFID patients at The Renfrew Center work with a multidisciplinary team to address the medical, psychiatric, sensory, nutritional and behavioral aspects of their disorder. The goals of treatment are to increase one’s flexibility around food and eating and build tolerance to difficult emotions, sensations and situations. As tolerance and flexibility increases, so does one’s ability to live a value-driven life, free of the confines of an eating disorder. Families are provided with the education and skills to better understand and support the patient throughout her recovery and beyond.  

If you or a loved one is struggling with ARFID, please call Renfrew’s Program Information Coordinators at 1-800-RENFREW (736-3739) for more information or to set up a complimentary assessment. 

4. I’m dealing with an eating disorder and something else – like depression, substance abuse or anxiety. Can Renfrew help me? 

Yes, The Renfrew Center treats dual diagnoses - meaning we provide treatment for patients with conditions in addition to eating disorders, including substance abuse/dependence, depression and anxiety. We also offer specialty treatment tracks.

5. How much freedom and free time will I have while I’m in residential treatment?

Every day is fairly busy with treatment groups and meetings but there is down time, particularly in the evenings and on weekends. You are permitted to watch TV, engage in arts and crafts or just hang out with other patients in the community. There are pay telephones available for your use when you are not in a programmed activity. There is also the possibility of earning a pass or passes off campus when you have made a certain degree of progress in the program and are believed to be ready for that challenge.  

6. Will Renfrew provide me with aftercare?

Our commitment to you does not stop at discharge. Within the first few days at Renfrew, you will be assigned an Aftercare Coordinator who will meet with you throughout your stay. The Aftercare Coordinator works with you and your treatment team to develop next steps following discharge.

Once you leave Renfrew, our goal is to help you stay committed to recovery. By offering an extensive array of aftercare services and resources, including Alumni programs. Renfrew provides a community of support without borders.

7. I’m ready for treatment. What’s my next step?

A confidential phone conversation with one of our Program Information Coordinators is the best and most accurate way to address your questions or concerns and begin the process of receiving treatment. 

Our Program Information Department can be reached directly by calling 1-800-RENFREW. If you are calling outside of business hours, you may leave a confidential message and a Program Information Coordinator will return your call directly the following business day. 

All calls are handled in a confidential manner. If you request a confidential message, a Program Information Coordinator will call, identify themselves by first name and city only and will leave you the contact telephone for a return call. The Renfrew Center will not be identified on your answering machine or voicemail.