Walden Behavioral Care is now offering home-based eating disorder care to adolescents and their families in the Waltham and Worcester areas.  The treatment will address the needs of children and adolescents 10-17 years of age who suffer with anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating disorder, Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED), and Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID).  To give you an overview of the program, we decided to interview Renee Bazinet Nelson, Psy. D., the director of Walden’s adolescent services and one of the creators of the home-based care program.

Why did you decide to start a home-based care?

Home-based care has been a vision of Walden Behavioral Care for years.  We are constantly looking for ways to meet the challenges of providing care for patients who cannot access effective treatment.  Home-based care allows us to meet that need for families who are unable to participate in our more intensive programming whether due to logistics, age, or for those who would benefit from intensive family work aside from group programming.  It is also a resource that families within our care have been consistently advocating for across our sites. Families have requested these services either as an adjunct to our IOP and PHP, as a transition plan as they prepare for discharge, or as an option for families who have previously been in treatment at Walden and feel they need more support, but don’t need our more intensive programming.

Can you describe what home based treatment looks like?

Home-based care is provided through Walden Behavioral Care’s outpatient service provider, Walden Psychiatric Associates. The program and offerings were developed with flexibility in order to meet a family’s unique needs.  For example, our full program offers a 3 hour, in-home session including family based treatment, a coached meal, and skills training or education.  It truly offers an option for support that fills the gap between the intensive outpatient program and outpatient treatment.  If a family does not need the full intensive package, we offer each component separately as well.  It is important to point out that our home-based programming is not meant as an alternative offering for higher levels of care.  Patients must be medically stable and meet criteria for outpatient care.

Who is part of the home-based treatment team?

The home-based treatment team consists of our highly trained adolescent clinicians who have experience in Family-Based Treatment, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills training.  Many also have experience in providing in-home treatment.

What geographic area(s) will this program serve?

 Our Waltham and Worcester clinics will be the first to offer our home-based care.  However, any request for service will be considered as it is always our goal to help patients and families whenever possible.

Who might be a good candidate for this program?

 As a stand-alone treatment: Families of patients who are medically stable and meet criteria for an outpatient setting.  In addition, families with younger children who may be hesitant to enter our adolescent programming due to age or those who prefer treatment outside of a group setting.  Also, Families who have discharged and have contacted us for support or advice during a difficult time but do not need a higher level of care.  As an adjunct to our other levels of care:  Any family that feels in-vivo support in the home would be helpful to their child’s recovery, and/or for easing a transition between levels of care.

How can someone find out more about this program?

Families may contact our Waltham clinic at 781-647-6700 or our Worcester clinic at 508-796-5797 for more information.  Clinicians who have questions about the new home-based program may email Renee Nelson, Psy.D., director of adolescent intensive outpatient programs, directly for information and referral options.  rnelson@waldenbehavioralcare.com