Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Day Treatment provides a 5 to 7 day/week structured environment that immerses clients in a deeply therapeutic and caring all-day program without having to leave home and enter a residential treatment center. Insurance companies are more willing to cover the costs of day treatment than residential or inpatient programs. Also, the transition from day treatment to daily life requires less adjustment. Clients experience a fluid transition from day treatment to our Intensive Outpatient Program. Clients have the same therapists in each program and choose the groups they want to keep in IOP. Our consistent and comprehensive support system minimizes the risk of relapse.

What is unique about Central Coast Day Treatment?

With almost 30 years experience treating eating disorders, Francie White and co-owner Terry White offer specialized expertise that clients can trust. We know that treatment is a time-limited experience in which every day counts, and we work for real, permanent relief from the suffering these disorders cause.

Central Coast PHP Includes:

Individualized Nutrition & Metabolism Rehabilitation

Our nutrition program considers individual body types, past and current medical evaluation, unique metabolic considerations alongside evaluation of psychological barriers to eating. Our dietitians specializing in nutritional psychology – know how to design nutrition programs that target nutrients needed for brain & nervous system repair, over-all physical stamina, metabolism regeneration and the holistic healing for each body recovering its optimal health. 120-page Nutrition Science & Exercise Workbook included.

Compassionate Meal Support

Implements each individual nutrition program with prescribed challenges that are compassionate and caring while clients take charge of their lives and their bodies once more. We evaluate each client for supplement needs (we do not sell supplements) to enhance energy levels, brain function and metabolism, along with holistic meal additions where appropriate for optimum health. Meals that are eaten at the center transition from highly structured to intuitive or conscious eating programs (see Eight Keys to Recovery by Costin & Grabb). We offer cooking classes, shopping outings, and mentorship opportunities to help others learn from those further along the path of confident eating.

Exercise Addiction & Exercise Resistance

Troubling exercise goals and motivation problems are the common result of our culture’s fitness movement, elite athlete history and emphasis on exercise as a body image product, creating over and under exercise problems. Our program addresses both ends of the spectrum, allowing individuals to re-set their natural drive to enjoy physical activity in a way that is deeply gratifying, strengthening and empowering. Francie White described “exercise resistance syndrome” for the first time in the health science literature and is currently writing a book on how to heal beleaguering resistance patterns in all ages.

Meal Planning

Meal & supplement plans evolve each week through our phase-in process. Meals that are eaten at the center transition from highly structured meal plans to intuitive or conscious eating plans as individuals progress. Our meal planning support transfers life skills to each client, with menu-planning, grocery shopping, and food preparation skills that build lasting confidence and self trust. Our cooking classes give beginning and more advanced cooking strategies for busy lives on a budget. Grocery shopping excursions help with organizational skills ad new methods of shopping to combat anxiety and paralysis common in grocery stores!

Specialized Individual Psychotherapy

Individual sessions focus on the 6 core elements of our unique treatment formula, following the resource workbook, also useful for future reference. Therapists give specific reading assignments and assign useful challenges throughout program. Our emphasis on defining and contacting the true Self helps relocate the seat of control, power and agency in life, allowing individuals to renegotiate their relationship to self, others, nature, creativity, spirituality and life purpose.

Keep Your Own Therapist

throughout your program or return to prior therapist after treatment. EITHER WAY, OUTSIDE THERAPISTS CAN RECEIVE WEEKLY UPDATES ABOUT CLIENT’S PROGRESS.

Parent Support Group

Provides information as well as supportive sharing between parents of loved ones struggling with an eating or body image disorder. The support group teaches family members why our culture based on nutrition, exercise and body image consciousness has backfired into an epidemic of life destructive disorders. Learn from other parents and staff how to get weight and eating issues healed in families and create effective and supportive ways of helping loved ones move beyond the cultural pressures around eating and exercise.

Individual Parent/Partner or Family Therapy Sessions

are included in IOP & PHP level of care at personalized level of need based on individualized program. In these sessions we help couples or families with new patterns of relating that address the differences inherent in personalities within any family system. With care, a sense of humor and extremely effective insights and skills taught by our staff, all family members get insights about their role in the family and gain a renewed perspective that improves life for everyone involved!

Group Education & Process Sessions

see below for our in-depth Recovery Process.

Yoga & Conscious Movement and Mind/Body Integration Groups

including Nia, Yoga, and other forms of conscious movement and activities.

Medical Supervision & Treatment

Each client sees our attending psychiatrist, Dr. Dan Shackman (Psychiatrist) unless client’s own established psychiatrist stays as primary physician. Patients see our second attending physician, Dr. David Hernandez for medical evaluation, laboratory tests, vitals, and EKG or bone scan if required. Weekly vitals are monitored and medications prescribed or monitored by nursing staff and physicians as needed. Nutritional requirements and physical barriers to exercise are monitored throughout nutrition rehabilitation process.

Insurance Authorization

Clients and family do not have to call insurance companies directly. We do a benefits check for everyone, and report on specific insurance coverage for IOP or PHP level of care. We do the authorizing with insurance and have contracts with most major companies.

Our Recovery Process

Our In-Depth Recovery Formula Includes These Key Elements:


  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) & Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

    work to replace the distorted mind-control of the eating disorder with new core fundamental belief systems, a new way of being and relating to oneself, widened perspective and in the end…actual concrete ways of living a more grounded, meaningful life.

  • Social-Intimacy Skills

    drastically improves ones experience of being connected and belonging in the world just as we are instead of living inhibited by self judgment and lack of confidence. One of the areas most drastically needed, social /intimacy skills gives anyone a better sense of confidence and mastery no matter what insecurity may lurk in any given day. , and learned and practiced in the experiential laboratory of group therapy, which provides a safe environment and a fascinating perspective on how both introverts and extroverts can improve their interpersonal skills. Our primary relationship is to our own buried true Self is a key focus of our program. Our ability to connect to ourselves and authentically relate to others puts the eating disorder out of a job.

  • Body-Centered Integrative Therapy & Body & Soul Group

    explores the passage out of the body image trap, into a body-inhabiting freedom. The body is thought to be the medium between the natural world around us, and the soul within each human life. It is the body through which receptivity occurs ~ the multi-dimensional levels of beauty around us can be perceived, only as we drop the limited context of objectification of the body.

    The way out of body image obsession and distortion is through integrating more deeply into the body, through inhabiting the body in new ways. Through yoga, effective relaxation and conscious movement processes, individuals flip body image for body experience which a richness never thought possible. The body becomes the vehicle for the true Self, a link between the soul and the surrounding natural world.

  • Consciousness Studies

    brings awareness and access to the less visible aspects of human psychology, the “presence” inside each of us. Moving from a life plagued by obsessive thinking about food and weight, our consciousness course work teaches methods to translate our symptoms to the deeper guidance system right there for us. In western culture we don’t often learn the vast resources accessible in art therapy, dream work, writing processes and focused imagination. This section opens up the “being” in human beings, available to each of us at any time.

  • Self Care/Soul Care/Body Care Plan for Life

    Summing up the program elements, individuals take away a plan to take out into the world ~ a way of living with new habits that replace the need for emphasis on body image, disordered eating and exercise. The 2 workbooks: The Source Workbook and Nutrition/Exercise Science & Psychology Workbook are included in materials to keep for life. Mentorships become step down job for anyone who wants to reach back and help others along the path of recovery, and integration into the next level of care and of life is planned with each graduate. Alumni groups are available and referrals to outside therapists, dietitians and physicians are given.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click the questions below for answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding our PHP Program

What Age Categories Are Offered in PHP?

We offer three tracks for male and female clients from adolescents to 65+:

  • Teen Track: 13-16 years old
  • Young Adult Track: 17-25 years old
  • Adult Track: 25-65+ years old

(16/17 year olds can choose teen track)

What if I am referred by a specific therapist whom I wish to continue to see while in the program?
Clients in PHP are encouraged to continue to see their existing therapists, and all existing health care professionals can receive weekly progress if the client so desires.
What types of individual appointments do PHP clients have?
  • 2 individual psychotherapy sessions
  • 1-2 individual sessions with a registered dietitian specializing in eating disorders
  • 1 or more meetings with our attending medical doctor and/or psychiatrist
  • 1 family or couples session/week
  • Possible individual yoga, body-mind integration, or exercise sessions
  • Possible individual stress reduction/meditation sessions
What are the hours and days per week of the program? What if I need to modify the hours?

Our program is available 5-6 days/week. Individuals can initially attend 6 days and then gradually step down as they progress in treatment. In Santa Barbara, Day treatment generally begins at 11 am and ends at 7pm. In San Luis Obispo, Day treatment generally begins at 9 am and ends at 4 or 7 pm. The timing can vary depending on individual appointment times and the amount of meal support needed.It is possible to individualize the PHP schedule to accommodate certain outside scheduling demands without interfering with the quality of the experience.

Why are groups important?

Groups function as a teaching environment as well as a laboratory in which to explore vulnerability, take creative risks, communicate more deeply with others, and observe new patterns of social interaction.

Groups encourage breakthroughs to new levels of insight as clients expand their understanding of others. A sense of camaraderie allows for humor and surprising friendships and provides relief from the isolation inevitable in eating & exercise disorders of all types.

Group meal support addresses and breaks down competition about eating that sabotages trust and connections to friends in the outer world.

Testimonials on Group Therapy

“I started going to groups because I felt like I had to. The first time, I was completely overwhelmed. I felt strange as the youngest person in the room and sat huddled in the corner of the couch. I lacked all social skills and had no idea how to act in a group. I gained so much knowledge and empathy in the groups, and I learned how to interact with others as my true self.”
~ Adolescent in Recovery from Anorexia

“I was not sure I was the right for groups at first. I didn’t think I would fit in, and I was scared that everyone would think I was gross. Group ended up being one of the most enriching experiences I have ever had, and I wish I could be back there now! There is something amazing that happens in the recovery process during groups that I couldn’t get from individual sessions alone.”
~ Young Adult in Recovery

Sample Schedule

Click Here to Download a PDF of our Sample PHP Schedule or click the tabs below to view by day.

  • 10:00am – 11:00am: Beach Walk (for those on exercise restriction – Ocean Reflection/Writing )
  • 11:00am – 12:00pm: Individual Therapy
  • 12:00pm – 2:00pm: Nutrition Education & Lunch Process Group
  • 2:00pm – 3:00pm: Skill-learning Session (personalized skill-set assignment time)
  • 3:30pm – 5:30pm: DBT Process Group and Goal Setting for Week
  • 5:30pm – 7:00pm: Dinner Support Group with Research Topic Discussion (TedTalk or other current/world education discussion)
  • 10:00am – 11:00am: Beach Walk (for those on exercise restriction, Ocean Reflection/Writing )
  • 11:00am – 12:00pm: Individual Session with Nutritionist or Therapy Session
  • 12:00pm – 2:00pm: DBT Education & Lunch Process Group
  • 2:00pm – 3:00pm: Skill learning session (specific anxiety management technique tailored to individual) or family therapy
  • 3:30pm – 5:30pm: Body / Emotion Education and Movement Group (lead by MFT specialist, can include yoga or Nia)
  • 5:30pm – 7:30pm: Dinner Support Group with Social Skill Challenge and Process
  • 10:00am – 11:00am: Beach Walk (for those on exercise restriction – Ocean Reflection/Writing )
  • 11:00am – 12:00pm: Individual therapy, family therapy, or session with nutritionist
  • 12:00pm – 2:00pm: Advanced adult alumni lunch group/ Teen open topic lunch group
  • 2:00pm – 3:00pm: Skill-set education tailored to individual, including unstructured time management challenge
  • 3:30pm – 5:30pm: Understanding and Exploring the Unconscious, Dreams, & Symptoms as Metaphor
  • 5:30pm – 7:00pm: Dinner Support Group Outing – Restaurant Experience & Process Group
  • 6:00 pm – 7:00pm: Parent Support Group or Individual Family Therapy
  • 10:00am – 11:00am: Beach Walk (for those on exercise restriction – Ocean Reflection/Writing ) or YOGA
  • 11:00am – 12:00pm: Session with Psychiatrist/Medical Doctor or Individual Nutrition/Therapist
  • 12:00am – 2:00pm: Cooking Class & Process Lunch Group
  • 2:00pm – 3:00pm: Individual Skill-Set Education – Art or Journal Therapy Technique Assignment
  • 3:30pm – 5:30pm: Body / Mind /Emotion Integration Advanced Adult Group and Teen Self-Esteem Recovery Group
  • 5:30pm – 7:30pm: Dinner Group with Exploration of Consciousness / Search for Meaning
  • 6:00pm – 7:00pm: Family Therapy Sessions
  • 10:00am – 11:00am: Beach Walk (for those on exercise restriction – Ocean Reflection/Writing ) or YOGA
  • 11:00am – 12:00pm: Individual Nutritionist, Therapy, or Family Session
  • 12:00pm – 2:00pm: Lunch Outing Challenge – Self-Care Discussion and Goal Setting
  • 2:00pm – 5:00pm: TGIF Field Trip – Incorporating Theme of the Week and Weekend Goal Setting
  • 5:30pm – 7:30pm: Dinner Support Group – Integration of Learning from the Week/Reflection
  • 11:00am – 6:00pm: Adventure Day – Designed to be both challenging and enjoyable for those needing Saturday program