The GOALS Program – Intensive Outpatient Treatment for Competitive Athletes

Athletes are two to three times more likely than the average person to develop an eating disorder. Those impacted by disordered eating or nutritional deficiencies will become be less competitive in sport, more prone to injury and risk permanent physical damage that, in some cases, can be life threatening.

Walden’s GOALS Intensive Outpatient Program is built specifically for athletes of all ages and levels (high school, collegiate, professional), optimizing the balance between nutritional needs and performance goals.


To equip athletes with the mental and nutritional skills to achieve their full athletic potential and sustain a positive mindset.

Expert Team

Our multidisciplinary team of experts includes counselors, sport psychologists, dietitians, and exercise science professionals. As experienced athletes and licensed professionals, they understand the unique challenges, requirements and high demands of competitive sports. Meet the team.

Program Elements

Each athlete receives an individualized assessment, counseling, group education and exposure to essential life skills that allow them to thrive both inside and outside of their sport.

Our curriculum is built on Five Pillars of Strength:
1) Fueling for Sport and for Life
2) Eating Competence
3) Body Esteem
4) Recovery Skills
5) Resiliency
Learn more

In some cases, treatment can be conducted without interruption of training or sport participation. When athletes can benefit from time off, our team works to fully preserve the athlete identity and ensure the strongest possible return to competition. Our certified exercise specialist ensures this smooth transition.

Program Requirements

  • Participants must be 16 years or older.
  • Current participant in competitive individual or team sport
  • Does not require a higher level of care.


  • Case management, including coordinated care with outpatient team
  • Supervision of one therapeutic meal
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy

Program Schedule

Individuals attend three nights per week, three hours each night, at Walden’s Waltham clinic. Most insurances accepted. Physician referral not required.

News and Blog Posts Related to the GOALS Program

Athletes & Eating Disorders – When Can I Exercise, Again?

Emily Slager - January 2017
While there is no "one-size-fits-all" approach in determining when / if someone struggling with an eating disorder could return to exercise or their sport, here are some of the criterion we use to help determine the appropriateness of incorporating exercise back into the life of an eating disorder patient. Read More

An Interview with Paula Quatromoni, DSc, MS, RD, LDN

Paula Quatromoni - January 2017
An interview with the Senior Consultant to Walden Behavioral Care's GOALS program, an eating disorders treatment track designed especially for competitive athletes, Paula Quatromoni, DSc, MS, RD, LDN Read More

A Tale of Two Runners: A Case Report of Athletes’ Experiences with Eating Disorders in College

Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics - December 2016
Athletes are at higher risk than the general population for eating disorders, and risk is heightened for athletes in thin-build sports, including track. Collegiate athletes are particularly vulnerable to disordered eating when the transition from home to the college environment adds to the stress of performance pressures and the high demands of the sport environment. Read More

I Was a Competitive Athlete with an Eating Disorder. Here’s What I Did About It.

Andrea Walkonen - December 2016
My name is Andrea. I’ve been an elite, competitive runner for almost 20 years. I was a Division I scholarship athlete who became an All American and a national record holder in college. I also developed an eating disorder. Read More

10 Ways to Make Exercise a Win-Win

Lacey Vogel - November 2016
Exercise has many internal benefits that should never be ignored. If you are having a hard time navigating your relationships with exercise, check out some of these tips to keep exercise a win-win! Read More

Running for Life

Inside Sargent - October 2016
Elite long-distance runner David Proctor came to the United States ready to take on the world. At 18, the Briton had earned an exclusive athletics scholarship at Boston University—the first step to realizing his dream of Olympic glory. Read More

Meet GOALS' Lead Nutritionist and Exercise Science Advisor, Matthew Stranberg

Matthew Stranberg - October 2016
Learn more about Matthew and GOALS, our specialized treatment program for athletes struggling with eating disorders. Read More

Athletes and Eating Disorders: 5 Key Warning Signs

Matt Stranberg - September 2016
Eating disorders happen in all sports, to athletes of all ages, competitive levels, body types and genders. Most worrisome, they can be difficult to detect, even by the most seasoned athletic trainer, coach or concerned parent. Read More

Athletes & Eating Disorders: The Warning Signs, Risks & What to Do

New England Cable News - August 2016
Athletes are 2-3 times more susceptible to eating disorders than the average population. Detecting warning signs and knowing where to turn to help can be challenging. But there are more options for specialized attention today. Read More