View Navigation
blog twitter facebook instagram pinterest

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


How long has your program been in existence?
Our program has been a national leader in evidence-based care for over 20 years under the leadership of renowned eating disorder experts Harry Brandt, M.D. and Steven Crawford, M.D..  The Center for Eating Disorders opened in 1989 at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore and later moved to St Joseph Medical Center to accommodate growth and expansion of the program.  In order to accommodate further development we joined the Sheppard Pratt Health System in 2005 and re-located to a larger unit that was fully renovated specifically to meet the needs of our patients.  The Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt is one of the longest-running eating disorder treatment facilities in the country. 

Where are you located?
The Center for Eating Disorders is located in Towson, Maryland which is a suburb situated about 20 minutes north of downtown Baltimore.  Our campus offers convenient access to I-695, I-83 and I-95.  We are located approximately 1 hour from Washington D.C. and 1.5-2 hours from Philadelphia. It is approximately a 30-minute drive from the Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) to our campus, and we are within close proximity to other means of public transportation as well, including Amtrak train and the MTA bus system. Click here for a map, GPS coordinates and detailed driving directions.

Which eating disorders do you treat?
We provide treatment for individuals and families impacted by anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, eating disorder NOS, and other types of disordered eating and exercise abuse.  Our evidence-based treatment model also addresses disorders that commonly co-occur with eating disorders including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, trauma, and others discussed here.

What levels of care do you offer?
We offer a full-continuum of treatment and support.  This includes the Inpatient, Partial Hospital and Intensive Outpatient programs as well as comprehensive Outpatient services and support groups.

What is your treatment philosophy?  
Each person treated at The Center receives a personalized treatment plan and individualized care.  We are committed to providing evidence-based therapies that are backed by research and positive outcomes for our patients.  Our foundation for treatment at all levels is cognitive behavior therapy. We also incorporate a wide range of other treatment modalities, including family therapy, nutrition counseling and art therapy, all of which support the holistic healing of individuals impacted by eating disorders.

What ages do you treat?
Our program is one of few programs that provide treatment for children, adolescents, and adults of all ages who have eating disorders. You can follow this link to find out more about Who We Treat.

Do you treat males?
Yes, our program has a long history of treating males with eating disorders. You can follow this link to find out more about Who We Treat.

Do you accept insurance?
Yes. The Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt participates with an extensive list of insurance providers including Carefirst BC/BS, Tricare and Aetna. We can also help to advocate for treatment coverage with non-participating or out-of-network insurance providers. Find out more at Insurance Coverage and Payment Options.

I’m concerned that I, or a loved one, might have an eating disorder.  How can I know for sure?
It’s important to receive a formal evaluation by a trained professional prior to diagnosing yourself or a loved one with an eating disorder.  However, our online self-assessment can provide a starting point for understanding whether disordered eating behaviors are present. Early intervention for eating disorders can significantly impact positive outcomes in treatment so even minor concerns should be addressed right away. You can get more personalized feedback by sending an email to or calling (410) 938-5252.

I want to get treatment for myself or a loved one.  Where do I start?  
To start the admissions process simply contact one of our admissions coordinators at (410) 938-5252. Our staff would be happy to tell you about our programs, complete an initial telephone assessment with you, set-up an initial appointment and/or initiate the admissions process. You can find out more about the evaluation process here.

How do I know which level of treatment I need?
Our programs exist along a continuum. Not everyone enters treatment through the same level of treatment and people’s treatment needs can fluctuate depending on the severity of their eating disorder and other personal factors. During the initial phone assessment with our admission coordinators, you can discuss your current symptoms and concerns at which time our specially trained intake coordinators will give initial recommendations on which level of care may be the best fit for your needs. Based on this phone assessment they can schedule your admission into the appropriate program or they may schedule you for a “Level of Care Assessment” with one of our psychiatrists.

Can I schedule a tour of your facility?
We have an obligation to maintain the confidentiality of the patients we are treating, and we strive to create a therapeutic atmosphere on our unit that is free from disruption. In order to uphold these standards, we cannot accommodate requests for on-site tours of our unit prior to admission. In lieu of this, we encourage you to explore the virtual tour function on our website.  The virtual tour includes photos, staff interviews and 360 degree images that allow you to see inside our treatment facility. We hope that this information is informative and can help you feel more comfortable prior to your arrival.You can also call us anytime to get answers to your questions about the program.

I am worried about a loved one with an eating disorder who is refusing to get treatment.  What can I do?
We fully understand how difficult it can be for support people, especially parents and spouses, when a loved one is suffering yet is refusing help. We are available to provide resources and guidance to family members on how to help a loved one consider treatment. Additionally, family members and friends are always welcome in our free, weekly support group and are also invited to post and seek feedback online at our confidential discussion board for friends and family of people with disordered eating.

How long does treatment last? What is your length of stay?
Our program is very individualized. Length of stay can vary greatly depending on specific needs and individual response to treatment. You can find average lengths of stay for each level of care on the individual program pages:  Inpatient / PHP / IOP.  Due to the very personal nature of the illness and recovery process, the length of stay in any level of care may be longer or shorter and is always guided by what is best for the individual and his/her specific treatment goals.

I’m being admitted to the inpatient program – what can I pack?
Before you arrive on the day of admission, our staff will email you a detailed packing list with necessary and appropriate items as well as those items that are not permitted on the unit.

I’m worried about my son/daughter missing so much school while in the hospital.
We know that getting behind in school work can be a major source of anxiety for patients and their parents.  That’s why individuals attending school at the time they enter the program will receive support from Baltimore County Home and Hospital Teachers.  These well-qualified instructors assume responsibility for the individual’s education while they are hospitalized, and time is provided in the treatment schedule for instruction and assignment completion.  School books and assignments from the patient’s home school should be brought to the unit as soon as possible after admission so the instructor can help implement the curriculum on the unit. Grades can be sent to the home school following hospitalization.

Are people allowed to visit and contact me while I am in treatment?
Yes. Support and encouragement from loved ones and friends is very important during treatment.  The inpatient program has visiting hours every evening and more frequently on weekends and holidays. Upon admission into the inpatient program, patients are supplied with visitation times and policies to share with their families and support people who may be coming to visit them.

Where can I send mail to a loved one currently on your unit?
Patient mail should be addressed to:

Sheppard Pratt Health System
Unit B-1 Center for Eating Disorders
6501 North Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21285

Please be considerate of privacy and confidentiality by leaving the recipient’s name off of the external address label. You can write it inside instead so our staff knows which patient to give it to upon receipt.

Have a question not listed here?
Email us at or call (410) 938-5252 and we’d be happy to provide you with answers to all of your questions.  
back to top

Free Weekly Support Group

Join us each week from 7:00 to 8:30 PM for a recovery-focused support group open to anyone struggling with any type of eating disorder as well as friends, family and support people. This group is FREE and facilitated by a licensed clinician.

Every Wednesday

Find out more

#LetsCheckIn VIDEOS

These four video vignettes provide examples of real-life interactions, negative self-talk and disordered eating behaviors that indicate it might be time to check in more closely with a friend or family member.

View & Share

Watch Now Find us on Youtube

Free Weekly Support Group

Join us each week from 7:00 to 8:30 PM for a recovery-focused support group open to anyone struggling with any type of eating disorder as well as friends, family and support people. This group is FREE and facilitated by a licensed clinician.

Every Wednesday

Find out more