Latest news | 18 Aug 2014

Butterfly’s 1st Eating Disorders treatment service opens


Butterfly Foundation today launched the Butterfly Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for eating disorders, bringing to Australia for the first time the internationally renowned Monte Nido treatment program.

The highly successful Monte Nido treatment program operates in eight locations across the United States, offering people living with eating disorders an out-of-hospital clinical treatment pathway to recovery and a full and healthy life.

Butterfly Foundation CEO, Christine Morgan, said that the Butterfly IOP is a key part of the organisation’s mission to ensure Australians with eating disorders have access to essential step-up-step-down models of care that are located in community, not hospitals.
The Butterfly IOP provides individual treatment plans, while also intimately involving families and carers, as a way of helping people emerge from the devastation of an eating disorder and work to recovery.

“The Butterfly Foundation is committed to creating recovery opportunities for people with eating disorders, through a tailored evidence-based treatment that works with the individual and their carers,” said Ms Morgan.

“There is a woeful lack of community-based treatment for people with eating disorders. Recovery is possible – however, as only 22 per cent of Australians with a diagnosed eating disorder seek treatment, there is an urgent need to provide access and options.”
The Monte Nido founder, Carolyn Costin, has herself recovered from an eating disorder. Her focus on discovering the individual path to attaining mental and physical health now serves as the basis of the Monte Nido and Butterfly programs.

Ms Costin said the Monte Nido approach focuses both on the underlying causes of the eating disorder, and the person’s relationship with food.

“Supervised meals form a key component of the IOP, helping participants to normalise food intake and eating behaviours, and manage eating difficulties in a supportive structure that acclimatises people to potential everyday barriers.”

“The IOP structure allows people to work on their recovery while being able to also participate in employment or education, providing the extra support needed to develop full independence,” said Ms Costin.

“The other advantage of the IOP approach lies in the group therapy component of the treatment plan – with trained eating disorders clinicians running group sessions that help carers, parents and family members to deal with difficult aspects of eating disorders, such as eating disorder thinking and behaviours, body image, relationships and relapse prevention.”

The Butterfly IOP program operates for three-and-a-half hours, three days a week. It is open to those over the age of 16 diagnosed with an eating disorder, either by self-referral or through a referral from clinicians, carers or family members.

Butterfly welcomes anyone who is interested in participating, or wants further information, to download and fill out a registration form at

Anyone needing support with body image or eating disorders is encouraged to contact the Butterfly National Eating Disorders Supportline on 1800 33 4673 (1800 ED HOPE).