New Eating Disorder Program Gives Teens Hope

New Eating Disorder Program Gives Teens Hope

Thursday, November 08, 2007

In an effort to provide hope and healing for those in  need, Loma Linda University Behavioral Medicine Center (LLUBMC) has recently expanded  their eating disorder program. On November 5, 2007 LLUBMC began admitting adolescents both male and female ages 13 and up who suffer from an eating disorder into their newly developed adolescent program.

Successful treatment for those who have an eating disorder requires a slightly different methodology than from other diagnoses. In order to address all aspects of their condition, teens in the program are treated using an individually tailored treatment plan with a multidisciplinary approach, which is catered to not only the teen but also includes parents. This means that each patient works closely with a psychiatrist, registered nurse, clinical therapist, registered dietician, clinical counselor and chaplain. All patients are assigned a treatment coordinator. Additionally there is an aftercare support group designed to continue spiritual and psychological care for patients after they have graduated from the program.  

The treatment team’s primary objective is helping patients stabilize eating patterns and mood, ensuring continued medical stability through daily check-ins and vital sign assessments. The team is also focused on providing the right tools for long-term health and recovery.  

The counselors and psychiatrists work to improve each patient’s body image, replace self-destructive coping skills with healthy ones, and identify underlying causes for their behaviors. Additionally, patients learn to express their feelings in a group structure and families are given guidance to better understand their loved ones’ diagnoses. In this environment, education and communication are key components of the recovery process.

In addition to the new adolescent program, LLUBMC has an eating disorder program designed for adults.  LLUBMC is grateful for the opportunity to serve both populations. Through early intervention, education and whole person care, the teens will have the opportunity to experience recovery prior to adult-hood.