How do I get admitted to a program at CEDC?

Individuals and families can contact CEDC directly for an initial evaluation appointment. Referrals are also accepted from physicians, mental health professionals, college and high school staff, and other organizations within the community.  We begin the admission process with a phone screening to better understand your needs and suggest the best course of treatment in accordance with our services. After the initial phone screen, we will arrange an intake evaluation in which we gather additional information about your treatment needs and begin to outline an approach to treatment. If you need residential level of care, we will require you to have routine lab work and an EKG done prior to your intake interview. We will send information directly to your primary care physician’s office regarding what lab work and other medical information we will need.

What about insurance and payment?

We will obtain the necessary insurance information during the intake evaluation. The majority of the cost of admission for most patients in the program is covered by their insurance plan, and CEDC is contracted with most major insurance companies. Before you arrive for an initial intake, we will verify your insurance to make sure we are a contracted provider, your policy is in effect, and your plan’s benefits cover the level of care you are seeking. Not every insurance plan covers a residential level of care. You can obtain specific policy and coverage information by calling the member services line listed on the back of your insurance card.

Who will I work with?

If you’re a patient in PHP, you will be assigned a Case Manager who you will meet with twice a week to discuss your progress. We also expect you to be communicating and working with your outpatient team while in the PHP.

In IOP, you will meet with your Case Manager once a week to discuss your progress. For adolescents, these meetings are confidential, but your parents will be updated on your general progress. We also expect you to be communicating and working with your outpatient team while in IOP.

What is a typical day like in the Residential Program?

You will follow a daily routine to promote the development of a healthy self that encompasses both emotional and physical well-being. A typical day looks like this:

7:00 – 8:30AM Morning Hygiene/Vitals and Weight
8:30 – 9AM Breakfast
9:00 – 9:15AM Mood Monitoring
9:30 – 10:30AM Group Goal Setting
10:30 – 11AM Snack/Medications
11:15 – 12:15PM Group Session
12:30 – 1:15PM Lunch
1:30 – 2:15PM Group Session
2:15 - 3:00PM Group Session
3:15 – 3:45PM Snack/Medications
3:45 – 4:30PM Group Session
4:30 – 5PM Group Outing
5:15 – 6PM Study/Free Time
6:00 – 6:45PM Dinner
6:45 – 7PM Mood Monitoring
7:00 – 9PM Visiting Hours/Free Time
9:00 – 9:30PM Snack/Medications
9:30 – 10PM Group Wrap-Up
10:00 – 11PM Free Time
11PM Bedtime

We offer visiting hours Monday through Sunday from 7 – 9PM. On Saturdays and Sundays, we also offer visiting hours from 1:30 – 3PM. Every Friday, patients participate in a weekend planning session from 5:15 – 6PM. We also schedule off-site leisure activities such as bowling or a visit to a museum for residents on the weekends.

What is a typical day like in the Partial Hospital Program?

PHP groups run from 9AM – 3:30PM Monday through Friday. A typical day looks like this:

9 – 9:50AM Goal Setting
9:50 – 10:10AM Snack
10:10-11AM Therapy Group
11 – 11:10AM Break
11:10 – 12PM Therapy Group
12 – 12:50PM Lunch
12:50 – 1:40PM Therapy Group
1:40 – 1:50PM Break
1:50 – 2:40PM Therapy Group
2:40 – 3PM Snack
3 – 3:30PM Evening Planning

On the last Wednesday of every month, CEDC holds a family and friends support group from 7 – 8:30PM for family and friends of current patients.

What is a typical evening like in the Intensive Outpatient Program?

IOP groups run from 5:30 – 8:30PM Monday through Friday. A typical evening looks like this for both the adult and adolescent programs:

5:30 – 6PM Goal Setting (check-in)
6 – 6:30PM Dinner
6:30 – 7:30PM Group Session
7:30 – 7:40PM Break
7:40 – 8:30PM Group Session

What are the group sessions like?

Regardless of what program you are attending at CEDC, group sessions aim to provide you with the tools and the support you need to overcome your eating disorder. You will receive education and therapy on nutrition, how to reduce eating disordered behaviors, develop new coping skills, explore concerns and problems with relationships in your life, improve your body image, develop a new sense of how your mind and body are connected, cultivate a support system for recovery, and plan strategies to deal with future issues.

Will I have a roommate in the residential program?

The residential floors resemble a college dormitory with shared bedrooms (2 or 3 beds) so you will most likely have a roommate. We generally assign you a bed with roommates we believe you will be most comfortable with.

What about meals?

When you are admitted to the residential program, you will be fully evaluated by one of our Registered Dieticians and assigned a meal plan. You will have three meals and three snacks per day. You are responsible for selecting your meals and snacks from a menu in accordance with your meal plan. If you are underweight, your meal plan will match your current caloric intake and will periodically increase to encourage weight restoration. If you are not underweight, you will have a maintenance meal plan intended to normalize your eating behaviors.

In both PHP and IOP, you will participate in a therapeutic and supervised mean. In PHP, you will have two snacks and one supervised lunch. Once a week, you will be expected to bring a well balanced lunch as well as consider eating a “risk” food at least once a week. In IOP, you are expected to bring a well balanced dinner to each session and to eat 100% of the meal. You are also expected to bring a “risk’ food once a week. We aim to provide a supportive atmosphere for practicing new eating behaviors to challenge your distortions about food and eating in a safe and controlled environment. All meals and snacks are supervised in both the PHP and IOP.

Are the bathrooms locked?

The bathrooms are only locked on the residential treatment floors.

When can I see my family and friends?

CEDC has regular visiting hours every evening and during the afternoon on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays for clients in the residential program. If you are under the age of 18, your parents or guardian may specify who they do or do not want visiting while you are in the program. Family meetings are typically scheduled during business hours at the convenience of the family and availability of the Case Manager. For family members who are out of state or unable to make in-person meetings, the Case Manager will conduct the meeting over a conference call.

How long will I stay?

The length of stay in Residential treatment ranges from three weeks to three months. The length of treatment is dependent upon your medical stability, response to group therapy, symptom improvement, and insurance benefits.

The average length of PHP treatment is three to six weeks. For clients in IOP, the average length of treatment is six to ten weeks. However, your length of treatment is dependent upon your medical stability, response to group therapy, symptom improvement, and insurance benefits.

What are Therapeutic Passes?

One of the best tools for determining your readiness for discharge from the Residential Program is therapeutic passes. Therapeutic passes are intended to challenge you in situations where you may want to use eating disorder behaviors. The passes are designed to be as challenging for you as you are able to tolerate at the time. You are accompanied during your initial passes but can move to independent passes once you feel ready. The goal is to have some success in managing your behaviors in real world situations and begin to build confidence so that you can successfully contain your urges outside of the program. However, successful therapeutic passes are only one part of the way we assess your readiness for discharge.

What are the criteria for discharge?

In order to be discharged, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Medical stability
  • Weight within a healthy range
  • A concrete aftercare plan

You must also feel confident and committed that you can successfully step down to a lower level of care. To continue in recovery, you need a combination of tools to use when you are feeling urges to use eating disorder behaviors. In addition, you need the best structure possible to provide the emotional and practical support you will need, and most importantly, motivation and belief in yourself.


  • Today, I am happy, healthy and safe, and thriving because of the love and support I received at CEDC…
  • The CEDC program has left me feeling strong and optimistic, and I cannot say enough positive things about the program....I know that the road ahead will not be easy but just knowing that CEDC is there as a safety net gives me a feeling of calm…
  • Thank you for everything---especially for believing in me when I couldn’t believe in myself. Sometimes that was what convinced me to keep trying even when I felt hopeless…
  • I can’t express how grateful I am to have had people like you in my life. You have all helped me more than I could have ever dreamed possible. Every day I looked forward to coming in to partial to see your smiling faces, and your kindness has brightened the hardest of days…
  • Not only did CEDC teach me how to beat my eating disorder, but you also taught me how to be a good person, how to help other people, and listen to them….Thank you all for making me ME again.

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Contact Us

Cambridge Eating Disorder Center offers eating disorder treatment programs.

  • 3 Bow Street,
    Cambridge, MA 02138
  • 1(617)547-2255 (phone)
  • 1(617)547-0003 (fax)