Treatment for Eating Disorders

The Eating Disorders Program at Sierra Tucson
Tucson, Arizona

Sierra Tucson’s Eating Disorders Program provides comprehensive treatment for males or females (18 years and over) who suffer from Anorexia, Bulimia, or Binge Eating Disorder/Compulsive Overeating.

Eating Disorder Treatment – Program Services

Sierra Tucson’s multidisciplinary treatment team works with each patient to look at all aspects of his/her eating disorder. Treatment is research-informed and supported by an integrative system of neuropsychiatric care for the emotional, physical, and spiritual healing of individuals and families.

Patients benefit from our wide range of medical and clinical services that address the eating disorder and simultaneously treat co-occurring conditions such as depression, trauma, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, or addiction. The following treatment interventions are available:

  • Full-time Medical and Nursing Care
  • Psychological Testing
  • Group & Individual Therapy
  • Medication Regulation
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • DBT Skills Training
  • Biofeedback & Neurofeedback
  • Individual Consultations with Registered Dietitian
  • Meal Planning & Preparation
  • Food Shopping
  • Outings to Restaurants & Snack Challenges
  • Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Somatic Experiencing®
  • Equine-Assisted Therapy
  • Creative Expression
  • Integrative Therapies may include Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Massage Therapy, Qigong, Reiki, Shiatsu, Somato-Emotional-Release Massage, Yoga, and Zero Balancing
  • Family Program
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Continuing Care Planning

Individualized Treatment Plans

Utilizing a bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach, every patient has his/her own multidisciplinary treatment team to coordinate and direct an individualized treatment plan. Treatment plans are regularly reviewed and reassessed by the entire team, so each patient receives the very best treatment to address the total scope of his/her eating disorder.

Treating Body, Mind, and Spirit – the Sierra Model® of Treatment

The Sierra Model® of treatment recognizes a simple truth: all of us exist as mind, body, spirit, and emotions. Because all Sierra Tucson programs are designed to treat the whole person, patients learn to understand underlying causes of emotional and behavioral disorders and recognize how to avoid subsequent addictions and dependencies during the recovery process. This prepares patients for the challenge of staying healthy once treatment ends.

Breaking Through Denial

Our treatment model has a strong therapy focus on experiential work, shame reduction, understanding the basic disease concept, and recovery through the Twelve Steps. Patients are assisted in developing a balanced fitness regimen. The program assists individuals in breaking through denial while experiencing unconditional acceptance and guidance.

The Goals of the Program

The goals of the Program at Sierra Tucson are to educate patients, provide meaningful treatment experiences, and allow for integration of treatment effects. These goals are achieved by incorporating the following principles in all aspects of treatment:

  • Mindfulness training
  • Provision of skills and resources to replace current unhealthy personal coping mechanisms
  • Encouragement of autonomy in relationship to food and recovery for eating disorders
  • Promotion of healthy lifestyle, including healthy body image

The overall goal of the Eating Disorders Program at Sierra Tucson is to facilitate the patient’s first steps on the long road to recovery, restoring each person to wholeness and good health of body, mind, and spirit.

Nutrition Philosophy

The menu at Sierra Tucson strives to incorporate the latest medical and nutritional recommendations for our eating disorder population. The meals include a balance of low-fat, low-sodium, moderate-protein, and complex carbohydrate foods. Patients are encouraged to learn to enjoy the natural flavor of nutritiously prepared foods without adding artificial flavorings and sweeteners.

Personalized and Structured Meal Plans

All of the eating disorder patients are provided with a personalized, structured meal plan to assist in learning healthy and balanced eating behaviors. Sierra Tucson’s meals are based on the American Diabetes Association Exchange Lists. Patients are taken to a restaurant to apply their new knowledge and skills in a practical setting.

Sugar is used in the preparation of some foods and desserts, as not all individuals with eating disorders need to avoid sugar. Patients work closely with the dietitian to determine if abstinence from sugar needs to be part of their discharge plan. Desserts are served in small amounts twice a week. This allows patients to enjoy dessert in a safe, monitored environment that minimizes any binge eating.


The treatment for eating disorders program helps each patient develop a healthy relationship with exercise that is nourishing to the body. Patients work both individually and in group settings with a fitness specialist to develop a program that will meet their fitness goals within appropriate exercise boundaries. This personal approach leads patients through their fears, misconceptions, and unhealthy behaviors toward exercise.

Sierra Tucson’s facility includes a walking trail; swimming pool; and basketball, pickleball, and volleyball courts. A modern gym contains treadmills, stationary bicycles, stairmasters, elliptical machines, weight machines, and free weights.

Exercise Groups

During an initial consultation, the patient’s current relationship with exercise is explored, and a goal is established to define how the patient would like this relationship to develop. Patients have an individualized exercise program that may include strength training, flexibility, yoga, and water exercise. Eating disorder patients receive valuable instruction from our qualified and knowledgeable fitness staff to enable them to develop healthy exercise behaviors.

Patients receive education on exercise physiology to help them better understand conflicting information presented in magazines and the media.


Call Now, and let the healing begin.

Since 1983, Sierra Tucson has provided compassionate care and clinical excellence.

For more information, please call our Intake Department and speak to an Intake Coordinator.

  • Call our Intake Department now at 800-842-4487
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