Glossary of Terms

Below is a list of commonly used terms or phrases you may come across on EDTAC.ORG or while engaged in the treatment. If you feel we missed anything please don’t hesitate to contact us & let us know.

EDTXReviews Glossary of Terms
Accreditation is an additional option (above state licensing) that some facilities take to ensure potential patients and providers that they hold high standards of operation. There are two accrediting bodies that oversee operations of treatment facilities.

  • CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) is an independent, nonprofit organization that accredits treatment programs.
  • The Joint Commission (JCAHO) is the largest accrediting body of health care services across all specialties.

Facilities that meet accreditation standards have demonstrated a commitment to being among the best treatment facilities in the world. Accrediting bodies have higher standards than state licensing requirements as well as guidelines for ongoing improvement. Accreditation is a rigorous process that includes a thorough review of the program’s structure, practices, clinical programming and outcomes. Facilities that are granted accreditation meet internationally accepted standards of quality and are committed to individualized treatment and client satisfaction.

Programs reported as offering alumni support or events have indicated that they offer follow activities and support to past patients, this may be important for some patients who like to stay connected with the care providers and peers who supported them through such a big life transition.
Dual Diagnosis programs are for patients struggling with an Eating Disorder and secondary issues such as Self-Harm, Substance Abuse and/or Trauma. These programs are best for those struggling with dual issues and many will not accept patients who are dealing with Eating Disorders only.


Programs listed as “Dual Diagnosis Only” do not provide treatment for ED’s alone. Services are provided to individuals who struggle with an ED as well as one other speciality area such as Substance Abuse, Trauma or Self Injury

These are the most commonly referenced levels of care ordered from most to least structured. Please see the levels of care page for detailed information on each Level.

  • Medical Stabilization/Refeeding (acute care)
  • Inpatient (IP)
  • Residential (RTC)
  • Partial Hospital Programs (PHP)
  • Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)
  • Outpatient
Theoretical Models refer to a treatment programs focus of care.

  • Medical Models are often appropriate for medically or psychologically compromised patients. The primary focus is weigh restoration and medical stabilization, Most of these programs are found on inpatient units within larger hospital settings and length of stay tends to be shorter than other models.
  • Person Centered/Holistic programs focus on the whole person, not weight restoration alone, these programs tend to have more experiential treatment options such as drama or equine therapy and length of stay tends to be longer than other models.
  • Treat to Outcome Programs focus on the end result, these programs make a commitment to the patient to follow them throughout their care and recovery. Because of the nature of the treat to outcome philosophy length of stay may be the longest of all models.
  • Research Models are often hospital based programs (much like medical models) offered free of charge for patients who meet their current research requirements. These programs can be hard to get into and length of stay varies by patient need and study protocol.
The number of doctoral level staff is reported in our listings as some patients and parents have reported and interest in this information. Having a diverse staff that includes professionals from multiple backgrounds and levels of education benefits patients. Please see the types of providers page for more information about all the different types of professionals working with ED patients at all levels of care.
Programs reported as “openly embracing recovered staff” are determined by statements posted on their websites. Some patients may prefer to work with staff and clinicians who have experienced and overcome eating disorders while others will not.
Setting refers to the environment in which a program is located

  • Hospital Based ~ Usually this is a program that is either located within a hospital or one of it’s satellite locations.
  • Residential/Neighborhood ~ Usually a program is located in a private home in a neighborhood setting.
  • Stand Alone ~ Usually refers to programs who’s locations are either remote or in other commercial settings such as a business park.
  • Mixed Unit ~ Refers to a setting where patients with Eating Disorder’s come into frequent contact with patients who do not have an ED diagnosis, this could include shared groups, dorms, and/or meal settings.
We’ve also included the status of each program at the request of patients, caregivers and providers consulted for this project, this information can be helpful in assessing a programs resources and other factors involved in a patients care.

  • For Profit ~ Organizations are formed to conduct a number of business activities including the development of a treatment program. The primary reason to form a for-profit organization is to earn a profit for the owners of the company. Common positive feedback for these programs suggest that they often have more resources to provide a comfortable treatment experience, while negative feedback often relates to a programs early discharging of patients who’s lack funds for continued care.
  • Not for Profit ~ Organizations are formed for the common good of the public. Nonprofit organizations are usually formed for some specific religious, charitable or educational purpose. Common positive feedback for these programs suggest that they welcome patients who might otherwise be denied much needed care at other facilities due to lack of funds while negative feedback often relates to restricted programming or a lack of resources which may or may not impact care.
  • University Based/Research ~ University and Research Based programs are a form of not for profit organizations where the primary goal is to obtain data from patients in return for free care, similar to non-profits positive feedback for these programs suggest that they welcome patients who might otherwise be denied much needed care at other facilities due to lack of funds. Negative feedback often relates to restricted programming specifically where research protocols are involved and/or a lack of resources which may or may not impact care.
These are the most commonly referenced treatment modalities used in the treatment of Eating Disorders. Please see the treatment modalities page for detailed information on each modality.

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Art Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dance Movement Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Equine Assisted Therapy
  • Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy (ERP)
  • Family Therapy
  • Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
  • Maudsley Method
  • Trauma Therapy
These providers are treatment professionals who have been verified by EDTAC as having dedicated at least 50% of their clinical work to helping patients with eating disorders for no less than 5 years. Our verified provider profiles stand out in blue with a teal checkmark in our provider directory. Verification are always free to providers so you can rest assured that no-one is able to purchase this status. If you have questions about the specific process providers must undertake in order to obtain verification please feel free to contact us.