Individual Psychotherapy

Individual therapy is a critical component of our treatment program. Each client is assigned an individual therapist and participates in 2 to 3 one-on-one sessions per week. The purpose of individual therapy is to provide clients a safe space to learn valuable information about themselves, the way they think, feel, and act. It is a place where clients can uncover the hidden, unmet needs that are driving their disordered behaviors. It is a place where they can start to question the effectiveness of their current ways of coping with these needs, and gain valuable insight and understanding about themselves.

Family Meal Therapy Session

Your treatment plan may include a Family Meal Therapy Session. If so, your family will be invited to participate in a therapist-guided family meal session closer to your discharge from Oakview.

Group Therapy

Group therapy provides our clients a safe, non-judgmental place to fully express themselves and to explore issues underlying their eating disorder. It is also a place to learn and practice interpersonal skills, effective communication, emotional regulation, and thought challenging.


Our program draws from two critical behavioral therapies that have been shown to significantly help those suffering from eating disorders: DBT and CBT.

DBT Skills

Dialectical behavioral therapy, developed by Marsha Linehan, is an evidence-based treatment approach that has shown to be effective in helping individuals with eating disorders. Those who suffer from eating disorders are most often born with temperaments that can make them more vulnerable to emotional overload and negative and rigid thought processes. DBT is an effective way to help clients find non-destructive ways to deal with these challenges by teaching mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal skills, and emotional regulation techniques. Clients can expect to be tracking thoughts, feelings and behaviors on a daily basis and checking off which DBT skills were used to help themselves around these.


Cognitive behavioral therapy is a critical component of our eating disorder program. In this group, clients learn how to distinguish their critical eating disorder voice from their wise, compassionate inner voice. Eating disorder attitudes, judgments, and rules will be explored and challenged. Clients will learn how to see the distortions in their thinking and beliefs, and how these fuel the need for eating disorder behaviors. Cognitive behavioral therapy is structured and educational in nature. Clients can expect to be given moderate homework assignments weekly to tend to during quiet times in the program.

Meditation Group

An important aspect of recovery is the ability for clients to tune into what is going on within themselves. Often the tasks dictated by their eating disorder keeps them distracted from knowing what true needs are underlying the disordered behavior. A primary focus of meditation group therefore will be teaching and experiencing the skill of mindfulness – a way in which clients are able to notice, in a non-judgmental way, what they are thinking, feeling and saying to themselves. This gives them just enough perspective on themselves to enable them to question any distorted thoughts and beliefs.

Body Image and Yoga Groups

It is said that body image issues are the first to come and the last to go when faced with an eating disorder. The goal of this group will be to help clients come to a non-judgmental acceptance of their body’s wisdom and to broaden the clients’ awareness of their true personal values. A major focus is on gently bringing clients out of their “heads,” where their eating disorder thrives, and back into their bodies where they can access their inner somatic wisdom. Through sensing meditations and gentle movement meditations, clients begin to integrate their energy back into their bodies where they discover that the body can be trusted to guide them on their true needs rather than our perceptions of needs.

Expressive Arts Group

Expressive arts is key at helping clients express what they can’t express in words alone. This group allows clients to be creative and expressive in a safe, non-competitive, and non-judgmental environment. A variety of different expressive mediums including art, music, movement, writing, poetry and psychodrama are offered and explored. These groups are not “art for art’s sake”, but are carefully designed to create insight into the client’s recovery.

Nutrition Group

A registered dietitian, who specializes in eating disorders, conducts the nutrition group. Clients with eating disorders are often beyond knowledgeable about nutrition, but oftentimes the knowledge is distorted to serve the eating disorder’s agenda. Therefore, nutritional education is vital. A primary purpose of this group is to debunk the food myths and distortions with which clients enter and deliver the truth about the body, health, and food. Clients receive information on the physiologicaland emotional effects food has on their body and the complications that arise from poornutrition. Clients are also given the tools to re-establish a healthy relationship with food.

Process Group

This is a primary therapeutic group that is held on a daily basis and led by a licensed therapist. It is a safe, non-judgmental environment where clients will be able to share the ups and downs of the recovery process/journey with their peers. The purpose of the Process group is to help clients feel connected to others as opposed to isolated, with only their eating disorder voice to comfort them. It is also an interactive opportunity for clients to obtain feedback from their peers and to practice the interpersonal skills they are learning in the DBT skills group. Clients will not only learn from the content of the groups, but also from the process, acquiring a firm understanding of how they behave in real life social interactions.

Goals Group

The Goals group is a time to develop the coming week’s recovery goals and review their progress thus far. Recovery goals will focus on specific areas of food/nutrition, relationships, exercise, behaviors and weight. Based on conversations with one’s nutritionist, therapist and doctor, each client will work out one’s proposed goals and bring it to the Goals Group to be read aloud. In the Goals group, clients will have the opportunity to discuss each other’s goals and provide feedback and guidance to one another. Each client’s contract goals are then reviewed and approved by the treatment team during the staff meeting and then implemented.

Life Skills Group

The purpose of this group is to help clients create a plan on how to manage life without eating disorder behaviors once they return home. Clients will be identifying physical, intellectual, and emotional triggers that might lead to relapse, and practice which healthy coping skills to apply when faced with these triggers. Relationship, communication, and affect regulation issues will be explored while new coping mechanisms will be taught and experienced. Communication skills, stress management, and healthy boundaries are examples of some of the coping skills that will be taught and practiced. Prior to discharge from the program, clients will have completed a personalized life skill plan including what they will be doing for the next few days through the weeks following discharge.

Multi-Family Group with Clients

Eating disorders do not just affect the client, but have a significant impact on the family system. Family members often feel guilty, fearing that they somehow have caused the disorder and struggle with what they can do to help their loved one. They often feel misunderstood by their family members and are challenged to understand the subtleties of eating disorders in general. What they experience is how the eating disorder has taken over their family. This group brings together the families and significant others from all of the clients in treatment and provides families with a supportive environment to feel heard. It also works to demystify eating disorders and educate families on the ways they can support their loved ones. It is a place to clarify expectations, discover what recovery looks like, and lastly, it is an opportunity to share and process with other families that are encountering a similar situation.

Multifamily Group Without Clients

This support group, led by a therapist, is for the client’s family or significant others. There will be educational topics introduced, however, the primary purpose is to provide a safe space for the family members and significant others to share honestly what is occurring for them. It will also be a chance to hear how other families are managing (or struggling) during the recovery process.

Multi-Family DBT SKILLS Group with Clients

The purpose of this group will be to bring together families and train them on some of the DBT skills that the client will be learning during treatment. These skills will be helpful in guiding parents on ways to support their teen once they are out of recovery. The group also offers an opportunity for family members to practice these new skills with their teen and the opportunity to communicate openly.

Core Eating Disorder Group

The purpose of the Core Eating Disorder Group is to help clients understand their eatingdisorder; they may learn about the origin of their disorder, why it is here, the effects ofstaying entrenched in the disorder, and how to recover from it. Clients will learn how to notice when their eating disorder is in charge versus when their healthy self is in charge. They will explore and question their distorted thinking and will learn how to regulate their extreme emotional pain. Clients will also learn the stages of recovery and will be able to identify to which stage they belong.