Eating Disorders

SANFORD Comprehensive Treatment for Eating Disorders

Announcing Sanford Comprehensive Treatment for Eating Disorders! Sanford Addiction Treatment Centers has taken the next logical step in expanding treatment services in West Michigan by partnering with Gail Hall, LMSW, DCSW, CEDS-S, and her talented team at Comprehensive Treatment for Eating Disorders (CTED).


When somebody is ready to engage in treatment and get the care they need, putting them on a waiting list or sending them out of state is just not acceptable. We need to do better, and provide a full continuum of eating disorder care in Michigan. I believe the partnership with Sanford will provide us with the resources to do that.





Providing state-of-the-art treatment for eating disorders in an intimate, personalized setting…

Treatment Philosophy

We believe that the best treatment for an eating disorder involves a team of professionals providing a combination of approaches. Often the eating behavior is a symptom of an underlying emotional conflict, or a way to meet a need.  But the exact nature of the conflict or unmet need may not be clear until much later in the treatment process.  Meanwhile, the disordered behaviors need to be directly addressed as soon as possible to reduce or eliminate medical complications.  Once the behaviors have been slowed or stopped, new healthier coping mechanisms are being learned.


Therapy may be individual or group, and is often cognitive/behavioral therapy. We attempt to change distorted thinking and encourage understanding of the function of the behavior. Therapy includes members of the immediate family whenever possible, especially with younger individuals still living at home. Our therapists are familiar with the Maudsley approach and can coach parents who are involved in home-based treatment for anorexia.


In addition to a therapist, a registered dietitian is a very important resource. The dietitian will prescribe the needed changes in eating patterns and weight. Our Registered Dieticians embrace the “Health at Every Size” philosophy. Health at Every Size (HAES) is based on a simple premise that the best way to improve health is to honor your body. The HAES approach encourages self-acceptance and natural diversity in body size and shape. It promotes the benefits of physical activity by encouraging social and pleasurable movement. And it supports people to adopt health habits for the sake of health and well-being. Through mindful eating, people learn to eat in a flexible manner that values pleasure, and honors internal cues of hunger, satiety, and appetite. This, in turn, leads to a normal and peaceful relationship with food.



Cozy, comfortable and colorful – the group room at CTED


Disordered eating interferes with one’s ability to hear and honor internal signals of hunger and satisfaction. Therefore, a more structured, meal planning approach is often needed until weight and eating behaviors are more normalized. Through therapy and individualized nutrition counseling, individuals reconnect with their body and learn to trust themselves.

What We Treat

Anorexia Nervosa

Characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss. Its symptoms include refusal to maintain body weight, fear of getting “fat”, extreme focus on shape and body weight, and loss of menstrual periods. Orthorexia is an addiction to exercise or “clean eating”. Anorexia/Orthorexia is not usually co-occurring with an SUD. Both are characterized by the need to control.


Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia is commonly co-occurring with substance use disorders (SUD). Bulimics eat excessive amounts of food in short periods of time. After the binge, they purge the calories by vomiting, taking laxatives or excessively exercising. Symptoms include eating beyond comfortable fullness; lack of control; frequent dieting or fasting; extreme concern with weight; and abuse of laxatives, diet pills, and diuretics.


Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating is commonly co-occurring with SUD. Binge eating disorder or compulsive overeating is characterized by uncontrolled continuous eating beyond the point of feeling comfortably full. Symptoms may include fasting or yo-yo dieting, feelings of shame or self-hatred, and changes in body weight or severe obesity.


Babies come into this world as intuitive eaters, eating disorders are learned behavior.



Group Therapy

We currently offer three sessions of small group therapy as part of our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). The groups are led by Clinical Therapists and Registered Dieticians. Our groups meet at 1:00 pm on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday and offer a safe environment for support, encouragement, and mutual accountability. There is a cost for these groups – insurance often covers the cost of treatment. For registration, or to discuss possible insurance benefits, please call 616.957.7700.


We integrate experiential therapy into the recovery process whenever possible. Experiential therapy utilizes recreation, creative expression, and other activity-based techniques to restore physical and psychological health. At Sanford Comprehensive Treatment for Eating Disorders, we believe that the mind-body connection is a crucial part of long-term wellness. Activities such as art, movement, yoga, and therapeutic excursions can be an important adjunct to the more traditional therapies.



Making masks in art therapy.


Our Services

  • Individual, Marital, and Family Therapy
  • Nutritional Therapy
  • Body Image Therapy
  • Specialized Groups
  • Clinical Consultation and Supervision


Occasionally, hospitalization or a residential placement may be necessary for the patient whose condition is more severe, or does not respond to outpatient therapy. We will assist you in making a referral to the appropriate facility and will remain involved in your care. We also maintain a directory of therapists across the state and region, and network with many of the national organizations involved in eating disorders treatment and prevention. Ask us for more information.

Treatment Costs

Therapy for recovery from an eating disorder can often involve months to years of treatment. The need for intensive and/or long-term treatment is not always well recognized by insurance companies. We will do our best to make treatment recommendations based on what we believe is clinically necessary. We will also explore insurance benefits on your behalf, and advocate with your carrier when necessary.