Blue Horizon Eating Disorder Treatment Center® Guide:
What to Expect from Intake to Aftercare

The Path to Health Starts Here

On behalf of everyone at Blue Horizon Eating Disorder Services®, congratulations on taking the first step toward recovery from your eating disorder. This guide will introduce you to our treatment center and therapy programs, and help answer your most pressing questions before your arrival. Here you’ll get an idea of what to bring with you and what daily life will look like. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the different levels of care offered at our treatment center. We are excited to welcome you and are honored to be a part of your healing process — we’ll be with you every step of the way.

Next Steps

Now that you’ve decided to begin treatment at the Blue Horizon Eating Disorder Services®, it’s time to prepare for your program. Knowing what to bring, what to leave behind and how to reach our Florida facility sets the stage for your successful recovery.

What to Bring

This guide ensures you have everything you need while you’re with us, so you can focus on what’s really important — healing.

We recommend that new patients pack the following items:

  • Insurance and pharmacy card
  • Driver license/state ID
  • Positive reading material
  • Pictures of family and friends
  • Music device (cannot have internet access)
  • Insulin (if dependent)
  • Prescribed non-narcotic medications
  • A hat, if desired
  • Clear water bottle with water (no other drinks permitted), if desired
  • Blanket and/or jacket, if desired
  • On your first day of PHP or IOP please bring a meal that meets your meal plan requirements. If you do not yet have a meal plan your meal must include: 1) a protein, 2) a starch, 3) a fruit or vegetable. One item must be served hot (BHED provides access to refrigerators, microwaves, and toaster ovens).

Medical Exam

Your health is our first priority when you arrive. You will undergo a medical exam and discuss your goals for treatment soon after your first visit to Blue Horizon Eating Disorder Services. Patients in PHP and IOP will meet with Blue Horizon’s medical provider within 48 business hours of admission.

Keep in mind that all inquirers must complete an on-site evaluation at a cost of $250 before beginning a treatment program. This initial assessment with nurses and dieticians typically takes 2.5 hours.

Cell Phone Use

To ensure your continued recovery, no cell phones are allowed in session at our facility. For the safety and privacy of all patients, cell phones will be securely stored upon arrival at the front desk. Because healing is your first priority, keeping distractions to a minimum is key for recovery.

The Facility

Located in Winter Park, Florida, our facility offers the perfect setting for you to enter the world of recovery. The beautiful landscape, combined with our exclusive amenities, set the stage for your healing, self-discovery and acceptance. We invite you to read on to learn more about our amenities and treatment programs.

Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient Services

As part of a partial hospitalization (PHP) or intensive outpatient (IOP) program, you can expect to participate in the following groups and individual sessions:

  • Group Therapy
  • Therapy Education
  • Nutrition Education
  • Individual Therapy (PHP)
  • Individual Nutrition (PHP)
  • Art Therapy
  • Yoga Therapy
  • Meditation
  • Body Image Groups
  • Meal Support
  • Snacks (PHP)
  • Family Sessions
  • Medical Appointments


Patients will eat one meal at our facility every day they come in for treatment. Some of these meals must be brought from home, while others are provided by a catering service. Once a month, patients dine out with a therapist and dietitian at a local restaurant and every five weeks patients participate in a cooking group facilitated by a dietitian. Meals must be nutritious and follow meal plan guidelines. One snack is provided for patients in PHP every day. If you have any food allergies, please let us know prior to your arrival so we can appropriately accommodate you.

A Day in the Life

Your days at Blue Horizon Eating Disorder Services® will be spent learning how to live a life free from the grips of eating disorders. You’ll make lasting connections with others who share in your struggle and rediscover your own personal interests without relying on your eating disorder.

As you move through the different levels of care, your weekly sessions will change as you gain new insight and advance through treatment. Depending on your age and level of care, your day may include group and individual therapy sessions, meals, nutrition therapy and more. The sample schedule below will give you an idea of what to expect at Blue Horizon Eating Disorder Services®.

Blue Horizon Eating Disorder Treatment Center® Guide:What to Expect from Intake to Aftercare

Nutritional Philosophy

Our treatment approach is designed to maximize nutritional well-being and reduce symptomatic behaviors. The nutrition philosophy is founded on three main principles: variety, balance, and moderation.

We strive to eliminate the notion that there are “good” or “bad” foods. Rather we intend to guide you to be able to select food wherever you are.

We aim to provide you with sound nutrition knowledge to encourage nutrient dense foods. By including a wide variety of foods in your meal plan, we can challenge your eating disorder beliefs in a supportive environment to increase your level of trust around food. Meal plans and nutritional prescriptions are based on individual needs and requirements.

Through use of a recovery model and current nutrition research in the field of eating disorder treatment, intervention is based on patient need and severity of condition.

Therapeutic Modalities

Blue Horizon® utilizes evidence-based treatment approaches to address eating disorder symptoms and co-occurring issues. You can expect to receive therapy education rooted in the following therapeutic modalities:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Family Visits and Therapy

Family therapy is an integral part of the treatment process.  Research has provided compelling evidence in favor of the family, spouse, or significant other being involved in the treatment process.  Blue Horizon provides individualized treatment with a strong family component dedicated to those suffering from anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and related eating disorders.  Family therapy is mandatory for adolescents in IOP at a minimum of two times per month, adolescents in PHP at a minimum of one time per week, and strongly encouraged for adults.  Blue Horizon® also offers a monthly family and friends workshop, An Evening with the Facts, free of charge to family and friends and free to the greater Orlando community.  Workshop attendance is mandatory for the patient’s family and/or friends in order to grow and strengthen one’s support system, as well as their knowledge of eating disorders and how to be supportive. This workshop falls on the third Tuesday of each month from 6:30 PM-8:00 PM. While adult patients reserve the right to forego these sessions, they are mandatory for adolescents.

Outpatient Providers

Every patient is required to have an established primary care physician (PCP). Lab work is required monthly, or as recommended by your PCP. Patients in PHP will be seen by a Blue Horizon medical provider, psychiatrist, therapist, and dietitian weekly. Patients in IOP will be seen by a medical provider biweekly. IOP patients are required to see an outpatient therapist and dietitian weekly, but these services are not included in the program. The Blue Horizon team will assist you in establishing outpatient providers if you do not have them set up upon admission.

Off-Site Dining

While your treatment will take place at Blue Horizon Eating Disorder Services®, there may be off-site dining available. Once a month, patients dine out at a local restaurant in the company of a therapist and dietitian. Blue Horizon® staff cannot provide transportation to dining out experiences. Patients must transport themselves, or a family member can provide transportation.

Smoke Breaks

Smoke breaks are not permitted during treatment hours at Blue Horizon.

The Treatment Process

There are a variety of treatment programs at Blue Horizon Eating Disorder Services®. The treatment programs that you participate in will depend on your own personal needs. Patients typically stay in PHP for four to six weeks and IOP for four months. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this amount of time can vary from person to person. After treatment, you’ll be equipped with the tools and resources you need to continue your recovery at home, work and everywhere in between. Your treatment may include:

  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
  • Outpatient (OP)

Medical Stabilization for Eating Disorders

As part of PHP and IOP, an initial medical history and physical will be scheduled within 48 treatment hours of starting the program. Labs and other pertinent testing will be ordered and we ask the patient to complete these within five to seven days. A weekly medical visit will be scheduled to address symptoms or any medical concerns. The medical providers (NP/MD) will monitor labs, EKG and other pertinent testing to ensure safety, in conjunction with the dietitians, psychologists, therapists and the patient primary care medical providers.

Aftercare Groups

Blue Horizon offers aftercare groups intended for patients stepping down from IOP, or as an adjunct to outpatient care. These groups are facilitated by a therapist and dietitian and will recommended on a case by case basis to patients upon discharge. Topics of group may include:

  • Restoration of a peaceful relationship with food
  • Body image despair or concerns
  • Depression and shame
  • Recovery and nutrition management
  • Healing the shattered self
  • Mindfulness and stress management

Our Team

  • Karen Beerbower
    ED Program Advisor

    Karen Beerbower, MS, RD, LD/N, CEDRD, F.iaedp is a licensed registered dietitian and a certified eating disorder dietitian. She holds a Master of Science degree in Medical Science from the Indiana University School of Medicine.

  • Christina Purkiss
    Program Director

    Christina Purkiss, MA, LMHC received a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Central Florida. She has previous experience working with individuals with eating disorders, as well as various other clinical disorders including substance use, depression, and anxiety.

  • Kurry Friedell
    Director of Nutritional Services

    Kurry Friedell, MA, RD, LD/N, CEDRD is a licensed, registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in Human and Health Sciences from the University of Alabama. Her strong clinical background includes pediatrics, ketogenic diet planning, bariatric, renal, cardiovascular and critical care of all ages at Brookwood Hospital and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Insurance and Your Obligation During Treatment:

Many health insurance plans require that you pay out-of-pocket expenses prior to accessing your healthcare benefits. These “patient responsibility” expenses may include deductibles, co-pays, a coinsurance percentage and maximum out-of-pocket expenses. Each patient’s individual responsibility varies, depending on a number of factors, including:

  • Your individual benefits plan
  • Length of stay at center
  • Type of services received during treatment
  • Other services offered at center, but not covered by your insurance provider (lab tests, non-covered prescriptions, etc.)

Our office manager will review these fees with you at the time of admission, during orientation. The co-insurance amount and out-of-pocket balance will be billed and paid for after treatment, once services are complete.

Keep in mind that it’s your responsibility to check with your insurance provider prior to admitting at Blue Horizon Eating Disorder Services® to understand your individual benefits plan. Please also note that your insurance plan may not be a “participating provider” with Blue Horizon Eating Disorder Services®. You are responsible for all non-covered and out-of-pocket costs related to your treatment during your stay.


Blue Horizon Eating Disorder Services Welcome Guide: What to Expect from Intake to Aftercare
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Blue Horizon Eating Disorder Services Welcome Guide: What to Expect from Intake to Aftercare was last modified: July 14th, 2017 by The Recovery Village