You are unique. Your treatment should be, too.

Sexuality and identity do not come with a one-size-fits-all approach. We believe that every patient is unique, with individual needs and experiences. And the most successful way we can best serve everyone is to continue to make a conscious effort to be as inclusive as possible in our treatment approach and within our organization.

We make a point to meet each patient where they are in their personal journey by individualizing their needs and tailoring our programming to that specific person. Our overall approach is to treat a patient’s symptomology in the moment in order to give all of our patients effective coping skills to manage their feelings, thoughts, and questions to ultimately live a value-based life.

A young man walking outdoors

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: What is your general philosophy on treatment when it concerns a person who identifies as part of the LGBTQIA+ community?

    A: We meet each and every one of our patients where they are at in their journey. Therefore, we individualize the needs and tailor it to that specific person. We pride our staff on being able to meet folx where they are at and ensure supportive staff to help them explore their sexuality, identity, and mental health. Ultimately, our approach it to treat the symptomology in the moment in order to give patients coping skills to manage their feelings, thoughts, and questions to ultimately live a value-based life.

  • Q: How do you treat someone who is questioning their gender and/or sexuality?

    A: Every patient is unique, with individual needs and experiences. Therefore, our way of addressing these specific needs is an ever-changing approach because it is oftentimes complex and not a one-size-fits-all. We have staff who are equipped, compassionate, and informed in order to treat every patient in each stage of this journey while also addressing their mood and anxiety disorder and/or eating disorder.

  • Q: Do you have different approaches for patients who are transitioning, or identify as transgender?

    A: We know that within the transgender community, eating disorders are unfortunately rampant and absolutely require more inclusive treatment to best approach issues relating to body image, body dysphoria, sexuality, eating disorders, and overall mental health.

  • Q: What if a patient who identifies as LGBTQIA+ has comorbidities, such as substance abuse?

    A: We are informed to the fact that due to emotional and physical stresses like cultural bias, larger unemployment rates, ignorance, and less access to treatment, members of the LGBTQIA+ community struggle with higher rates of substance abuse. Therefore, we are prepared to address substance abuse as well as eating disorders and/or mood and anxiety disorders with separate tracks that support and treat both issues.

  • Q: What if my parents or loved ones do not support my sexuality or identity?

    A: We know how much it hurts when an important person in your life will not accept or appreciate you for how you are. You are not alone. No matter your situation, we will help you find a community that is safe and supportive as you move through your journey and beyond your time with us.

  • Q: What is the difference between Gender Dysphoria and Body Dysmorphia?

    We have an informed staff that understand and support on behalf of the differences between Gender Dysphoria and Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

    Gender Dysphoria is the feeling of distress or discomfort because of the difference between a person’s gender (assigned at birth) and their gender identity. This applies to both males who are assigned a female gender at birth and females who were assigned the male gender at birth. People with gender dysphoria are normally transgender. However, there are cases of non-binary gender identities in which gender dysphoria is present.

    Body Dysmorphic Disorder or Body Dysmorphia is the sense of dissatisfaction with one’s body, and the perception that their body is flawed or defective. Body dysmorphia is a common contributing factor to mental health complications which can require anorexia nervosa treatment. Body dysmorphic disorder is present in at least 25% of people with anorexia nervosa, and body image distortions are almost always present in these cases.

A female couple takes a selfie

Patient Experience

At ERC and Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center, our patients can expect a gender inclusive and respectful environment. We do not tolerate disrespect and bias from our staff nor our patients and act swiftly to ensure that our LGTBQIA+ patients feel supported and accepted in a comfortable environment.

We pride our staff on being able to meet folx where they are at and ensure supportive staff to help them explore their sexuality, identity, and mental health.

Recovery Centers

As a gender inclusive organization, we recognize all pronouns and all genders. In an effort to ensure all of our patients comfort and identities, we equip our treatment centers with gender-inclusive process groups run by accepting and knowledgeable staff as well as gender inclusive bathrooms.

Facts + Statistics

Stressors

Significant stressors like those associated with a history of microaggressions, discrimination and marginalization, stigmatization and social rejection, bullying and teasing, harassment and physical violence, or outright rejection from one’s family of origin and/or community, can all lead directly to behaviors such as disordered eating.1

Transgender College Students

Transgender college students were significantly more likely than members of any group of college students to report an eating disorder diagnosis in the past year.2

LGBTQIA+

LGBTQIA+ patients who sought eating disorder treatment often report suffering macroaggressions, negative experiences, and a lack of gender competence when seeking care.3

Gay Males More Likely to Binge or Purge

In one study, gay and bisexual boys reported being significantly more likely to have fasted, vomited, or taken laxatives or diet pills to control their weight in the last 30 days. Gay males were 7 times more likely to report binging and 12 times more likely to report purging than heterosexual males.4

42% of Males With Eating Disorders Identify as Gay

Gay males are thought to only represent 5% of the total male population but among males who have eating disorders, ~42% identify as gay.5

Gay Males More Likely to Have an Eating Disorder Than Heterosexual Males

Gay males were seven times more likely to report binging and 12 times more likely to report purging than heterosexual males.6

Higher Prevalence of Eating Disorder

Compared with heterosexual men, gay and bisexual men had a significantly higher prevalence of lifetime full syndrome bulimia, subclinical bulimia, and any subclinical eating disorder.7

Females Twice as Likely to Binge

Compared with heterosexual men, gay and bisexual men had a significantly higher prevalence of lifetime full syndrome bulimia, subclinical bulimia, and any subclinical eating disorder.

Elevated Rates of Binging and Purging

Elevated rates of binge-eating and purging by vomiting or laxative abuse was found for people who identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or “mostly heterosexual” in comparison to their heterosexual peers.

Black and Latinx LGB

Black and Latinx LGBs have at least as high a prevalence of eating disorders as white LGBs. A sense of connectedness to the gay community was related to fewer current eating disorders, which suggests that feeling connected to the gay community may have a protective effect against eating disorders.

Sources

1Diemer, E. W., Grant, J. D., Munn-Chernoff, M. A., Patterson, D., & Duncan, A. E. (2015). Gender identity, sexual orientation, and eating-related pathology in a national sample of college students. Journal of Adolescent Health, 57(2), 144-149.

2Duffy, M. E., Henkel, K. E., & Earnshaw, V. A. (2016). Transgender clients’ experiences of eating disorder treatment. Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling, 10(3), 136-149.

3Austin, S. Bryn, Sc.D.. 2004. Sexual Orientation, Weight Concerns, and Eating- Disordered Behaviors in Adolescent Girls and Boys. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, V43.

4Carlat, D.J., Camargo, CA, & Herzog, DB, 1991. Eating disorders in males: a report of 135 patients. American Journal of Psychiatry, 148, 1991.

5Center for Disease Control and Massachusetts Department of Education. 1999. Massachusetts State Youth Risk Behavior Survey. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (with National Coalition for the Homeless)

6Ray, Nicholas. 2007. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth: An Epidemic of Homelessness. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and National Coalition for the Homeless.

7Waldron, Jennifer J., Semerjian, Tamar Z., Kauer, Kerrie. 2009. Doing ‘Drag’: Applying Queer- Feminist Theory to the Body Image and Eating Disorders across Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. In The Hidden Faces of Eating Disorders, Edited by Justine J. Reel & Katherine A. Beals, (63-81).

Browse our blog for helpful resources and stories of self-discovery and recovery.

Listen to our curated selection of episodes from the Mental Note podcast.

  • QuaranTimes #1

    Visit the stage of our favorite drag queen, Eric Dorsa aka Fonda Koxx. We discover the importance of expression even when the audience is invisible.

  • Drag Queen Wisdom

    Eric Dorsa shares his story of grappling with life-threatening eating disorder, drug and alcohol abuse and an underlying self-hatred.

  • The Secrets of B.T. Harman

    Travel with B.T. Harman as he mines the secret journals of his early life in order to share with the world the liberty of authenticity.

  • The Journey of Transgender Recovery

    Sit down with Ryan Sallans - an author and speaker who shares about life as a trans-man. 

Reading List

  • Second Son

    By: Ryan Sallans
    Second Son is a unique lens on life and love, intimately exploring the transition experience of Ryan Sallans—born Kimberly Ann Sallans. Ride alongside Ryan’s transition from a child to a body-obsessed young woman with an eating disorder; from female to male, daughter to son, and finally a beloved partner to a cherished fiance’.

    Buy Book

  • Transforming Manhood: A trans man's quest to build bridges and knock down walls
  • The Velvet Rage

    by: Alan Downs
    The gay male world today is characterized by seductive beauty, artful creativity, flamboyant sexuality, and, encouragingly, unprecedented acceptability in society. Yet despite the progress of the recent past, gay men still find themselves asking, "Are we really better off?" The inevitable byproduct of growing up gay in a straight world continues to be the internalization of shame, a shame gay men may strive to obscure with a façade of beauty, creativity, or material success. Drawing on contemporary psychological research, the author's own journey to be free of anger and of shame, as well as the stories of many of his friends and clients, The Velvet Rage outlines the three distinct stages to emotional well-being for gay men. Offering profoundly beneficial strategies to stop the insidious cycle of avoidance and self-defeating behavior, The Velvet Rage is an empowering book that will influence the public discourse on gay culture, and positively change the lives of gay men who read it.

    Buy Book

  • Sissy: A Coming of Gender Story

    by: Jacob Tobia
    A heart-wrenching, eye-opening, and giggle-inducing memoir about what it's like to grow up not sure if you're (a) a boy, (b) a girl, (c) something in between, or (d) all of the above.

    Naturally sensitive, playful, creative, and glitter-obsessed, as a child Jacob was given the label "sissy." In the two decades that followed, "sissy" joined forces with "gay," "trans," "nonbinary," and "too-queer-to-function" to become a source of pride and, today, a rallying cry for a much-needed gender revolution. Through revisiting their childhood and calling out the stereotypes that each of us have faced, Jacob invites us to rethink what we know about gender and offers a bold blueprint for a healed world--one free from gender-based trauma and bursting with trans-inclusive feminism.

    Buy Book

  • Inward

    by: Yung Pueblo
    Inward is a collection of poetry, quotes, and prose that explores the movement from self love to unconditional love, the power of letting go, and the wisdom that comes when we truly try to know ourselves. It serves as a reminder to the reader that healing, transformation, and freedom are possible. Buy Book

Eating Recovery Center is accredited through the Joint Commission. This organization seeks to enhance the lives of the persons served in healthcare settings through a consultative accreditation process emphasizing quality, value and optimal outcomes of services.

Organizations that earn the Gold Seal of Approval™ have met or exceeded The Joint Commission’s rigorous performance standards to obtain this distinctive and internationally recognized accreditation. Learn more about this accreditation here.

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