Eating disorders–including anorexia, bulimia and binge eating–have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness and effect people of all ages, genders and backgrounds. The widespread presence of eating disorders makes the treatment of this disease increasingly important. Many people on the Central Coast wrestle everyday with the question of what life would be like without an eating disorder. The experts at Recovery Road Eating Disorder Program have combined their efforts to provide a solution and an answer to this question.

Santa Barbara’s Recovery Road Medical Center is opening an intensive outpatient program for eating disorders that will bring together the expertise of therapist Rachel Cantrell, registered dietitian Laura Klein, and medical physician Dr. David Hernandez. The core of the program is provided through group therapy sessions four days per week within a safe, homelike environment. Patients will receive a medical evaluation, an individualized nutrition plan as well as supervised meals, restaurant outings, and grocery shopping practice. To create a holistic approach to treatment, this team of experts will meet weekly to review each patient’s progress.

The Recovery Road Eating Disorder Program will be led by Rachel Cantrell, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in the treatment of eating disorders. Rachel attended Westmont College and received her M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fuller Seminary. She developed a passion for helping those with eating disorders after she journeyed through her own process of recovery. Co-Medical Director, Dr. Sherif El-Asyouty, comments that, “We have seen the need for an intensive outpatient eating disorder program at Recovery Road, but did not have the right person to lead the program until we met Rachel. We’re very excited about all that Rachel’s expertise has to offer, and to have her as a part of the Recovery Road team.”

Recovery Road treatment programs acknowledge the necessity of dual diagnosis, a term that refers to the common co-occurrence of substance dependence and mental health disorders. Many patients who suffer from an eating disorder may also have other mental health disorders as well, or may also abuse, and ultimately become dependent on certain drugs like cocaine, methamphetamines or diet pills in order to lose weight. By being able to address both chemical dependency and mental health disorders, Recovery Road Medical Center is able to offer a comprehensive treatment plan for both conditions in addition to the eating disorder.

Recovery Road Medical Center is the product of Addictionologist Dr. P. Joseph Frawley and Psychiatrist Dr. Sherif El-Asyouty, who both saw the need for structured intensive outpatient programs for people suffering from addiction, mental disorders, chronic pain, and eating disorders. The facility is located at 3891 State Street, Suite 205 and 210. For more information on Recovery Road’s Eating Disorder Program or other treatment programs, contact Recovery Road at (805) 962-7800.

Mike McElhaney



P: 805.898.2101 M: 805.570.6740 F: 805.898.2373


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