When your child struggles with an eating disorder, it can be a time of fear, frustration, heartache, and confusion. From navigating treatment options to learning how to support your child’s recovery, it can be a complex and challenging time. The Emily Program knows this. Since 1993, we have worked with families and friends to help them support loved ones suffering from eating disorders.
Eating disorder treatment is specialized care that addresses all facets underlying an individual’s eating disorder along with their current behaviors. Eating disorders are treated most effectively at a specialty treatment center that provides multidisciplinary support. At The Emily Program, intensive care involves a medical professional, therapist, and dietitian. These professionals comprise an individual’s eating disorder treatment team, ensuring that their eating disorder is holistically addressed and that recovery begins with a solid foundation. At The Emily Program, treatment teams provide multidisciplinary, integrative support for individuals of all identities struggling with food and body issues. Treatment may look different for every client and can vary based on the level of care recommended for the individual.
Levels of care refer to the appropriate amount of support an individual needs to successfully reach long-lasting recovery. Typical levels of care offered for eating disorder treatment include:
Residential Care. Residential care provides treatment for individuals who are suffering from a severe or prolonged eating disorder that requires 24/7 professional support and medical monitoring. In residential, clients receive 24/7 inpatient support while living in a home-like treatment center. These centers are quiet, safe, and comfortable. Additionally, residential facilities are designed to provide individuals the opportunity to engage in therapy while practicing healthy daily living.
Partial Hospitalization/Intensive Day Program (PHP/IDP). PHP/IDP is an all-day treatment program that is typically a step-down from residential programming, but it can also be a starting point for clients who need a higher level of care than outpatient provides but don’t require 24/7 support. Typically, clients in PHP/IDP spend up to 35 hours a week in programming.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). This level of care provides support for those stepping down from PHP/IDP or individuals who start needing more support and structure than outpatient offers. In IOP, individuals typically receive 12 hours a week of programming.
Outpatient Program (OP). Outpatient care is typically the next step down from IOP or it is a starting place for individuals who need a lower level of support. Outpatient provides non-intensive, tailored treatment that may include group therapy, individual therapy, nutrition education, and recovery skills development.
Realizing your child needs eating disorder support is the first step to starting them on the road to recovery. Once you have decided that your child would benefit from eating disorder treatment, we recommend the following steps:
Once your child is officially in treatment, you can continue to provide support and guidance for them. We encourage parents to attend family therapy sessions, recovery nights, and more. By showing up for your child’s treatment, you can act as a positive role model and encourage them to reach full recovery. In addition, we recommend supporting your child’s treatment team and their set meal plan. If your child falters in recovery, that is completely normal. Recovery is a process and it takes time. It is seldom logical or linear. The best thing parents can do is be available, be supportive, and be open to the hills and valleys of the recovery process. Full recovery is not only possible, but it’s also probable.
If your child is ready to start eating disorder treatment, call The Emily Program at 1-888-364-5977. We would be happy to get the whole family started on the road to recovery and healing.
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