Frequently Asked Questions

Inpatient Eating Disorders Treatment for Adolescents

How long is the average length of stay?

From seven to 12 days

What should a parent expect when their child enters Walden’s Inpatient Eating Disorder Program?

At the inpatient level of treatment, patients and families should expect to receive the most intensive level of care, which includes 24-hour medical management and a highly structured, therapeutic program. A key component of treatment at this acute level of care is to stabilize patients both medically and behaviorally. For this reason, patients should expect to work closely with a treatment team of physicians, nurses and therapists. Once stabilized, patients and their families will work with the treatment team to advance the patient to a less intense level of care. During treatment, patients and families should also expect to receive education on eating disorders and proper nutrition.

How is inpatient treatment for adolescents different from inpatient treatment for adults?

While both involve the family, treatment for an adolescent is driven by the family, so the role of the parents/guardians is critical in understanding their child’s illness. Therefore, at the inpatient level of care our team of family-based treatment specialists begins integrating families into their child’s treatment process. This is done by providing family therapy, skills education and coaching using Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. This approach specifically targets emotional dysregulation related to interruption of eating disorder behaviors, addresses barriers of ambivalence to treatment and enhances effective family communication.

Why should someone choose treatment at Walden’s Inpatient Eating Disorders Program?

Walden Behavioral Care is the only dedicated inpatient hospital level of care for eating disorders in New England and is one of the few in the country. In addition, Walden is the only facility in New England that provides a full continuum of care for adolescents and adults — of all genders — with eating disorders. For this reason, we are able to treat you or your loved one at various levels of care including hospital, residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and outpatient.

What should I bring with me in case I am admitted to the inpatient eating disorder treatment program?

Please bring a list of any medications you are taking and the medications themselves, as well as your insurance card and a form of identification. We ask that you limit your total belongings to what will fit in one medium suitcase. Items not approved will be sent home. Please bring appropriate, comfortable clothing. Upon admission, a staff member will respectfully search your belongings and any items deemed inappropriate will be removed and either sent home or kept by staff. Click here for a complete list.

If I am being treated on the Alcott inpatient unit or in the residential program, can I have visitors?

Patients on our Alcott Inpatient Eating Disorders Unit can have visitors from 7 to 8 p.m. on weekdays and from 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 8 p.m. on weekends.