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There’s Help. There’s Hope! The Emily Program is a warm and welcoming place where individuals and their families can find comprehensive treatment for eating disorders and related issues. This blog is a place for us to share the latest happenings at The Emily Program, as well as helpful tidbits from the broader eating disorder community. Subscribe via RSS to receive automatic updates. We want to hear your story. Email us ( and ask how you can become a contributor!

June 26, 2024

Inpatient Eating Disorder Treatment for
Children, Teens, and Young Adults

Contact us today

For children, adolescents, and young adults, real healing can begin in a safe, supportive, and homelike environment. At The Emily Program’s Treatment Centers in Atlanta, GA and RTP – Durham, NC, we offer inpatient treatment for children and adolescents of all genders who struggle with eating disorders.

Around-the-clock personalized eating disorder treatment

The Emily Program’s inpatient eating disorder treatment programs for children and adolescents offer unparalleled 24/7 care tailored to the unique needs of young clients with eating disorders. 

Our 24/7 inpatient care teams include:

  • Physicians/Physician Assistants
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Dietitians
  • Expressive arts and movement therapists
  • Academic support staff
  • Nurses
  • Eating disorders technicians

Nursing staff is always on duty, while eating disorder technicians and/or therapists are always on hand to support and manage appropriate client relationships. Depending on the location, school-aged clients receive academic support through local licensed teachers, parents coordinating with home schools, or LearnWell Educational Services.

Our team of therapists, dietitians, psychiatrists, and/or medical doctors seamlessly integrates supervised care and medical monitoring with personalized treatment plans. Your child will engage in individual and group therapy. The structured and supportive care we offer combines the clinical expertise of our experienced staff with evidence-based therapies incorporating psychological, nutritional, medical, psychiatric, and integrative interventions in a comprehensive approach.

Substance use disorder, abuse history, or other mental health complications often add layers of complexity to eating disorder treatment. We know. Many of us have been there, too, and we’re ready to guide your child on the recovery journey. We’ve worked successfully with children, teens, and young adults with eating disorders — and their families — for decades.

Components of inpatient eating disorder treatment for children and adolescents

Inpatient care is The Emily Program’s highest level of care and is often the first step in a child or adolescent’s recovery journey when medical stabilization is necessary. Our inpatient treatment provides 24/7 care and supervision, with a focus on interrupting and changing harmful eating disorder behaviors. At The Emily Program, our treatment approach is dynamic and personalized. Each child and adolescent in our inpatient programming receives an individualized, evidence-based treatment and discharge plan, supervised and carried out by our compassionate, qualified, and experienced multidisciplinary care teams. Inpatient treatment includes:

  • Individualized support from a multidisciplinary team consisting of a medical provider, a psychiatrist, a registered dietitian, and a child psychotherapist, all trained in providing specialty eating disorder care to child and adolescent populations
  • A focus on physical health, psychiatric health, and weight stabilization/restoration, as necessary
  • Daily individual and group, skills-based programming informed by dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Pediatric medical and dietary treatment of eating disorder
  • 24-hour nursing care
  • Regular supervision from therapeutic assistants 
  • Education sessions
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), to learn how to tolerate uncomfortable emotions while building a life outside of disordered eating  
  • Therapeutic meals and snacks with exposure to a variety of food experiences
  • Yoga and mindfulness therapies
  • Support for co-occurring conditions/other concerns
  • Integrated education 
  • Family-based treatment (FBT), including family/community of support coping and relapse prevention skills 
  • Expressive arts and yoga therapy 
  • Coordination of discharge into the recommended level of care

What can children, teens, and young adults expect during a day in inpatient eating disorder treatment?

At The Emily Program, children, adolescents, and young adults stepping into our inpatient eating disorder treatment centers will find structured, supportive days designed to pave their path to recovery. A typical day in our inpatient eating disorder treatment program may look like the following.

Mornings begin with a therapeutic meal, carefully designed to support your child’s nutritional needs. After breakfast, your child will attend group therapy sessions, offering a space for reflection and growth through shared experiences and professional guidance. Key topics include coping mechanisms, body image, and managing emotions, utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

Afternoons are often dedicated to nutrition therapy and experiential activities, such as meal preparation and expressive arts. Each of these sessions aims to help your child rebuild a healthy relationship with food and themselves. These activities not only educate but also empower your child with practical skills for life beyond treatment.

Family therapy sessions foster a supportive recovery environment by engaging families in the eating disorder treatment process. In Family-Based Treatment (FBT), parents and caregivers learn new skills to support their child’s recovery and interrupt eating disorder behaviors.

Each of our inpatient eating disorder treatment centers also offers educational support, making certain that your child doesn’t miss a step in their academic journey.

Each day, from morning until night, there are opportunities for learning, growth, and healing, supported by a dedicated team of professionals. This comprehensive, compassionate care makes The Emily Program a beacon of hope for those seeking inpatient eating disorder treatment, whether they’re adolescent or children, ensuring a path toward a healthier, fulfilling life.

While working with The Emily Program, you can expect us to:

  • Respect you and your child as individuals
  • Reassure your child that recovery from their eating disorder is possible
  • Understand how hard recovery can be
  • Remain committed to your child’s recovery, even on days when they doubt it
  • Take every diagnosis and treatment seriously
  • Provide insights and skills that help your child improve their life
  • Provide your child with a knowledgeable, trustworthy individual therapist and dietitian
  • Provide medical and psychiatric services, as needed
  • Offer multiple therapy and support groups, addressing a wide range of issues
  • Encourage and support your involvement with Family-Based Treatment, family therapy, couples therapy, and other support for family and friends, based on your unique needs
  • Base our treatment decisions on research, community standards, and sound clinical judgment
  • Help you navigate the insurance system, working diligently to ensure the highest coverage possible
  • Work with passion and integrity to serve you and your child in a way that works best for you

Our expectations for you and your child are simple — and also may be difficult (that’s okay; recovery is hard work). We expect:

  • Your child to actively participate in recovery from their eating disorder
  • You and your child to be honest and respectful with yourself and those around you
  • You and your child to make treatment and recovery a top priority

We stay with you through recovery

When your child is ready to transition out of one of our inpatient eating disorder treatment centers, we’re still here for your family for the next step. The length of an inpatient stay depends on your child’s needs and situation; most residents “step down” to our child and adolescent residential treatment program when leaving inpatient care.

You’ll have access to The Emily Program’s other lower levels of care for your child, including our partial hospitalization/intensive day (PHP/IDP), intensive outpatient (IOP), and outpatient programs; individual, group, and family therapy; psychiatry and medical services; and nutritional counseling. We also work with community professionals, including your child’s physician, school staff, and your local therapists and dietitians, to ensure appropriate aftercare.

Get started

  • residential exterior

    24/7 Inpatient Eating Disorder Treatment
    for Children, Teens and Young Adults


    Atlanta, GA

    Learn more

  • RTP – Durham Bedroom Setting

    24/7 Inpatient Eating Disorder Treatment
    for Children, Teens and Young Adults

    North Carolina

    RTP – Durham, NC

    Learn more

Get help. Find hope.