Walden Behavioral Care has opened the Connecticut shoreline’s first clinic specializing in treating eating disorders at 157 Goose Lane, Guilford.
During an open house at the new 6,000-square-foot clinic, Rebekah Bardwell Doweyko, assistant vice president of clinical operations, explained in an interview with News 8, WTNH, that the biggest barrier to recovery from an eating disorder is access to specialized care.
She said misperceptions about eating disorders are common. For example, many people think that only young women are affectedand that those who have eating disorders grow out of them. But 20 million women and 10 million men nationwide will suffer from an eating disorder and many will not recover.
Eating disorders can be life threatening, she said, as they have a higher mortality rate than any other psychiatric disorder.
Touring the clinic, News 8 made note of the group therapy room and the nourishment room, where the patients bring in their own food. They are given a suggested meal plan and then are coached and encouraged to follow it.
The clinic has one floor where adolescents receive treatment and a second floor for treating adults.
“Really, we individualize treatment,” Bardwell Doweyko said. “We meet the patient where they are. Not everybody’s eating disorder is the same. Everybody’s eating disorder is different — how they got there — and we really do a thorough evaluation on all the things that maybe lead up to the development of their eating disorder. See what their goals are, where their motivation lies and really meet them where they are, and develop a unique treatment plan for every person.”
The Guilford clinic, which is Walden’s second in Connecticut, will treat both adolescents and adults with bulimia, anorexia or binge eating disorder.Walden also has a clinic in South Windsor.