The Elite Athlete Eating Disorder Treatment Track

The ELITE Athlete Track is a highly structured and specialized partial hospitalization program for athletes and performers. Our dream was to create a place where the athlete's identity is understood and committing to treatment does not require them to interrupt training. Eating Disorder Center of Denver offers the most comprehensive care for athletes with eating disorders in the country.

Our goals are focused on interrupting the eating disorder and empowering athletes to return to their sport or performance stronger, both mentally and physically. Our team understands the complex issues that sport contributes to the manifestation of eating disorders in athletes and performers. With the support of not only our interdisciplinary team, but also their coaches and families, athletes gain an incredible amount of insight into the eating disorder and are empowered to explore new ways of freeing themselves from its power.   

The sport and performance track follows our CAMSA™ model and focuses on healing the whole athlete – their mind, body and spirit. Our multidisciplinary team, which includes a sport psychologist, sport psychology clinicians, as well as strength and conditioning consultants, is dedicated to helping individuals interrupt the eating disorder and integrate recovery-focused skills into their athletic and daily lives. Importantly, discussions surrounding the impact of continued participation in sport or performance on the athlete's health is an integral part of our treatment model. 


“The athletic program at EDCD made such an impact on my recovery. It taught me the art of being mindful. I learned to slow down for once, take in my surroundings, and pay attention to my body’s signals. I was able to be vulnerable about my fears, process my emotions, and grieve the identity that no longer defined me. This would never have been possible without EDCD’s athletic program, and for that I will always be thankful.”

In addition to all of the services of our Partial Hospitalization Program, our program includes:

Assessment: Specialized assessment for college and professional athletes with eating disorders.

Strength and Conditioning: We know how important training is in elite athletics and consider it an integral part of our treatment program. Training is supported by our medical staff, individual and conditioning consultants, and our sport psychology team. Upon receiving medical clearance, each individual athlete works with our consultants in a state-of-the-art sports and fitness facility.

Sport and Performance Psychology: ELITE athlete patients receive a variety of sport and performance psychology services. Patients meet with their individual sport and performance psychologist twice a week and attend weekly mental skills groups. Our sport and performance psychology consultants also work with patients in the gym to help them integrate recovery-focused skills into their training.

Sport-Focused Group Therapy: Sport-focused groups cover such topics as:

  • Sport Psychology & Mental Skills
  • Sport Body Image
  • Return to Sport
  • Sport Nutrition
  • Athlete Process Group

Signs to Look for:

  • Decrease in physical and/or psychological performance
  • Change in weight or body shape
  • Changes or isolation around meal time
  • Shifts in mood or irritability
  • Conflict with teammates and coaches
  • Change in behavior around teammates and coaches
  • Inability to concentrate during performance or practice
  • Peer reports of concern to coach
  • Amenorrhoea
  • Chronic or overuse injuries
  • Obsession, rituals, or rigidity around food or exercise
  • Training beyond prescribed routine
  • Training when injured or tired
  • Obsessing about training details or feeling distressed when training routine is interrupted

Take Action

Our ELITE Athlete Clinicians are available for consultations to help you determine the best course of action regarding individual cases. If you are concerned about an athlete under your care, please refer the athlete to a mental health professional and medical doctor for further evaluation. The treatment of eating disorders can occur in multiple settings depending on the severity of an athlete’s illness. Options include: outpatient treatment while maintaining participation in sport, outpatient treatment with removal of sport participation, or a higher level of care such as our partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient treatment.