Treatment for Children & Teens with Eating Disorders
Treatment components of the program at the Arkansas Children's Hospital Adolescent Eating Disorders Clinic include individual therapy, group therapy, and support groups. The frequency of medical monitoring and nutritional follow-up appointments are determined by necessity after a full evaluation of your child. Referrals for psychiatric medications are provided when necessary.
Overarching Goals of Treatment
- Address psychological and psychosocial issues
- Assess and treat existing medical complications
- Provide nutritional education and support, restore weight to normal range
- Promote/support long-term recovery
Components of the Treatment Program
Individual psychotherapy sessions are weekly at the onset of treatment. Frequency of these sessions may change with progress in treatment. Treatment is cognitive-behavioral in nature with humanistic/experiential and psychodynamic underpinnings. Interventions that are research supported as being efficacious in treating eating disorders are utilized.
Group psychotherapy sessions are held on Monday and Tuesday evenings at 5pm and are one hour in duration, ending at 6pm. Each patient is assigned to attend one of the two groups and attends that particular group weekly. Attendance on a weekly basis is required. These groups are structured and include planned treatment activities combined with a supportive process component. Research has consistently demonstrated that the group therapy component of treatment of eating disorders has a measurable and positive effect on treatment progress when done in conjunction with individual therapy.
Parent Support group sessions are held on Monday and Tuesday evenings at 5pm and are one hour in duration, ending at 6pm. This group is open to family and family friends of the patient. Dr. Portilla and Dr. Pasold co-lead the parent support group, which includes an educational component and a supportive process component. Feedback obtained from parents and patients regarding the parent group have consistently indicated the positive impact of the parents’ attendance in the parent support group on both the patient and the family.
Medical Monitoring and Nutritional Support:
Patients will be regularly monitored by our pediatrician and will also be engaged with one of the dieticians. Frequency of medical monitoring and nutritional follow-up appointments are determined by necessity based on medical status and medical/nutritional needs.
Note: This clinic is available to your child by physician referral. Talk with your child's physician and tell him/her you would like to be referred to ACH. Have the doctor contact the Arkansas Children's Hospital Appointment Center to make a referral at 501-364-4000. If your child does not have a regular physician, please call 501-364-4000, option 1 and we will be happy to recommend one in your area.