Free Assessment

Eating Disorder Treatment
that Understands Athletes

Athlete EDGE™ at EDCare provides intensive, compassionate care from professionals who understand the world of sport and the challenges athletes face.

With our expertise and your commitment, you will get back to life and sport feeling confident, hopeful, and healthy.

Free Assessment

Eating Disorders Are Injuries

Eating disorders impact your life and sport, leading to mental, emotional, and physical problems. If you are struggling with an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, OSFED or ARFID, you may experience:

  • Obsessive thinking about food and body image
  • Physical injuries due to excessive and unbalanced workouts
  • Relentless perfectionism
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Isolation from friends, family, and teammates

Like any injury, eating disorders require proper treatment before returning to your sport. Our team will address these concerns and help you get back to doing what you love.

athletes training

38% of college male athletes and 58% of college female athletes are at-risk of developing Bulimia Nervosa.

Our facility in Denver, CO

Treatment Designed for Athletes

Most eating disorder treatment options do not cater to the specific needs of athletes. We understand that eating disorders in athletes are unique and require specialized help.

Located in beautiful Denver, Colorado, our Partial Hospitalization Program offers treatment up to 10 hours per day, 7 days a week for elite athletes and performers. We offer affordable housing options with overnight support.

In this setting, you will receive excellent, evidence-based care from professionals who understand eating disorders AND the athletic experience.

A Team Recruited for Athletes

You have dedicated yourself to your sport. We have dedicated ourselves to treating athletes and eating disorders by recruiting experts in the field to develop the Athlete EDGE™ at EDCare.

Using our CAMSA® treatment model, we focus on healing the whole athlete – mind, body and spirit. Our team is dedicated to helping you interrupt the eating disorder and integrate recovery-focused skills into BOTH your athletic and daily life.

Our team of professionals is committed to treating the whole athlete and addressing every aspect of your eating disorder. This includes personal and sport concerns, family dynamics, performance issues, nutrition, and strength and conditioning.

Amy Laurent, Psychiatrist

Amy Laurent, MD
Attending Psychiatrist

Allie Don Sing, MA, LPC

Allie Don Sing, MA, LPC
Mental Performance Coach

Dr. Riley Nickols

Riley Nickols, PhD, CEDS
Program Advisor,
Scientific Advisory Board

Linda Steinhardt, RD 
Registered Dietitian

Brandon Dress, CSCS

Brandon Dress, CSCS
Strength & Conditioning Coach

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Sport & Performance-Focused Treatment

In the context of personal and professional eating disorder treatment, you will get the benefits of sport-specific programming, including (click on each to expand):

Patients meet with your individual counseling and sport psychologist twice a week and attend weekly athlete-centered groups. Our sport and performance psychology consultants (or strength and conditioning coach and Mental Performance Coach work with patients in the gym to integrate recovery-focused skills into training.

This group is designed to educate athletes on how to properly fuel nutritional needs, both in sport and recovery. Using evidence-based guidelines, the group provides education on topics like:

  • Macro and micronutrients
  • Hydration
  • Metabolism
  • Eating on the road
  • Nutritional needs for sport or exercise
  • Food myths and Fad diets
  • Supplements

By applying the science of sports nutrition, the group encourages athletes to build a healthy relationship with food, develop adaptive strategies and implement meal plans that enhance health and optimal performance.

Training is an integral part of our program and supported by our medical staff, our strength and conditioning coach, and our sport psychology team. Upon receiving medical clearance, you will begin working with our team to improve your physical conditioning and participate in sport-specific training.

The Athlete Mental Skills group  equip athletes to use mental skills to enhance performance. You will receive practical, evidence-based sport and performance psychology  training to implement in your sport, daily life. Topics include:

  • Goal setting
  • Imagery
  • Self-talk

These, and other skills, are practiced, and applied to optimize performance and enhance well-being.

As an athlete or performer, your relationship with your body is complex. Pressure to perform, revealing uniforms and outfits, and comparison to teammates are just a few factors impacting body image. This group acknowledges the unique experiences of athletes and helps untangle these issues so you can cultivate a healthier relationship with your body.

Returning to sport with an increased sense of identity and skills learned during treatment is critical to recovery.

Conversation topics include:

  • Values
  • Transitions
  • Athletic identity
  • Career counseling
  • Grief and loss
  • Movement within society

As you prepare to transition out of treatment, you will learn to interact with your sport and identity in more adaptive ways.

Your sport and team culture directly influence your performance and well-being. This group will help you develop a more robust understanding of yourself, others, and how your sport impacts your eating disorder. As topics discussed in this group can be sensitive for some, creating an environment of safety and acceptance will be of utmost priority to ensure athletes can openly share and process.

POD (Peer Oriented Discussion) is a process group that meets 3x/week. This group helps you discuss what is happening in treatment in the safe context of your peers and group leader.

Integrated Training & Exercise

We understand the importance of training for athletes and elite performers. Training is reintegrated when your treatment team determines it to be appropriate and supportive of your treatment goals.

With the help of our strength and conditioning coach and mental performance coach, you will explore the connection between exercise, training, and your eating disorder behaviors.

And, in partnership with your coaches, athletic trainers, and treatment team at home, you will prepare a plan to get you back to maximize opportunities in life and sport.

strength and conditioning coach
soccer team

Your Team Matters to Us

Working with a new team can feel challenging. Rest assured, when you come to treatment, we stay connected with your team back home.

In addition to regular communication with your family, we work closely with your coaches, athletic trainers, and mental health professionals. In fact, they are invited to join our weekly staff meeting as we discuss your goals and progress.

When you discharge from our program, a game plan is developed in collaboration with you and your support system, allowing you to return to your sport and do what you love.

“I am incredibly grateful for the time I spent in the Athlete EDGE™ at EDCare. When I entered the program, I was trying to compete while unprepared and unmotivated. EDCare not only gave me the tools to relearn how to properly fuel myself for athletics (and life in general), but they also helped me find joy again in the sport I’d dedicated my life to. I haven’t felt as fulfilled, strong, and energized as I do now in all my years as an athlete, and I owe that to my time in the Athlete EDGE™ at EDCare program.

– Alice M.

Frequently Asked Questions

In the context of personal and professional eating disorder treatment, you will get the benefits of sport-specific programming, including (click to expand):

Eating disorders among athletes are different and require specialized treatment. In addition to our knowledge of eating disorders, our team has specialized training and a rich understanding of athletics and performance cultures. Group therapy, sport psychology, nutrition designed to fuel your sport are incorporated. Additionally, we will work with your coaches and athletic personnel to help you not only recover but return to sport stronger and healthier.

We utilize CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), Motivational Interviewing, and Sport Psychology principles. We also consider how your life’s relationships, systems, and cultures impact your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Treatment includes individual therapy (2x/week) and family therapy (1x/week). The goal of therapy is to help athletes build healthy coping skills to manage emotions, anxiety, and mood while also focusing on a strong return to sport.

When the treatment team has decided that a patient is physically and mentally healthy enough to return to training, a patient is granted permission to train again for sport. To determine this, we consider:

  • Acknowledging true intentions of exercise, with a growing commitment to not engaging in training to engage in maladaptive behaviors (e.g., control body size/weight, self-harm, purge, etc.)
  • Demonstrating consistent, active participation in programming
  • Following program guidelines and procedures
  • Following team’s recommendations
  • Medically cleared by our team physician
  • Consistent compliance with the meal plan (i.e., able to actively consume appropriate nutrition for demands of their sport)

We also meet weekly to assess how each individual is progressing and modify recommendations and training plans as necessary to align with treatment planning and implementation of both the eating disorder and sport.

Length can vary from person to person and is dependent upon readiness, commitment, and participation during treatment. We consider unique circumstances around sport and work to provide recommendations for treatment based on what is most recovery-focused for each individual.

Treatment generally begins in our Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), seven days per week, 10 hours every day.

Once patients have learned to internalize the recovery skills needed in the Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), they can begin the transition back into daily life at home with the support of our transitional Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP).

At this stage in their eating disorder recovery, patients transition to more meals/training sessions independently and spend more time away from the program. Our transitional Intensive Outpatient Program consists of a five-hour day anywhere from 3-7 days a week. Patients gradually step down before they discharge to an outpatient team.

The Connections House is part of our commitment to providing a supportive recovery setting. This tranquil, off-site home is located about 3 miles from our treatment center, accommodating up to 13 patients. Transportation between Connections House and EDCare Denver is provided at no additional cost. This clinically supported setting allows patients to practice the skills they have learned, connect with others, and build strong relationships on their journey to recovery. 

Patients can also choose to stay at a nearby hotel close to the treatment facility. There is no clinical supervision on staff at the hotel, and patients are encouraged to support their peers and find ways to practice skills they are learning during the program in a more independent setting. 

Housing is typical $30/day; however, accommodations can be made depending on circumstances.

Your team will work with you to create an individualized treatment program. Every week you will meet with your primary counseling and sport psychologist (2x), sport psychiatrist (1x), family therapist (1x), sport certified dietician (1x), mental performance coach (2-3x), physician (PRN), and strength and conditioning coach (frequency TBD). During weekly staffing meetings, changes to treatment plans/recommendations are discussed with the athlete.

The treatment team consists of:

  • You
  • Your team/family supports
  • Counseling & sport psychologist
  • Mental performance coach
  • Sport certified dietician
  • Sport certified psychiatrist
  • Physician
  • Strength & conditioning coach
  • Family therapist

Upon completing your time at EDCare, we will have a CAMSA® ceremony to celebrate your success. Additionally, your treatment team will help you establish an aftercare treatment team for continued support and guidance.

Our team will establish a relationship with your coach, team, and support system to educate them on eating disorders and prepare them to offer informed support in your recovery.

We are committed to providing the most cost-effective treatment possible. We accept over 35 insurance plans, including some state-funded programs. We work with each individual to address specific financial issues, including single case agreements and out-of-network insurance carriers. We are your advocates for good health and will work with you and your insurance company to obtain coverage.

Many collegiate and professional athletic organizations offer funds to help their athletes’ wellbeing. Contact your performance organization to enquire about funds through your organization and see if they have recommendations for outside grants/scholarships/loans for healthcare-related costs.

It is possible to continue working/going to school while in treatment. Many patients utilize online/virtual platforms. This is only advised if your schoolwork/job is flexible and does not interfere with program hours or quality of treatment. You should discuss this topic with your treatment team regularly.

We are aware of athletes’ conflicting responsibilities, so we strive to make accommodations, especially if decisions align with and support long-term recovery. However, we believe it is our responsibility to put an athlete’s health before their vocational & academic responsibilities.

Patients come from various performance backgrounds, including ball sports, aesthetic sports, endurance sports, anti-gravity sports, etc. Patients in this track identify as athletes and performers and actively participate in their performance domain. Criteria for the track include:

  • Active participation in an athletic domain at the collegiate, semi-professional, professional, Olympic, or Paralympic level
  • Funding through salary, grants, scholarships, or sponsorships
  • An intention to return to sport post-treatment

Patients do not need to be referred to EDCare. EDCare provides free, confidential assessments. Please note these assessments are designed for our program only and not intended for eating disorder diagnoses. If you think you have an eating disorder, take our Online Screening before contacting EDCare.

A typical day at EDCare varies on the needs of the individual patient. The day begins with check-ins and a staff-supported breakfast. After meal processing, patients will start a full day of individual and group therapy sessions. Groups and individual sessions are scheduled around staff-supported meals and snack times. Full PHP participation runs from approximately 8:30 am until 6:00 pm daily.

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The first step on your journey to recovery is contacting EDCare to schedule a free, confidential assessment and ask any questions you have about treatment.

Let’s get you back to loving life and sport.