Frequently Asked Questions

Intensive Eating Disorders Treatment for Adolescents

Does Walden or do parents provide the snack?

Walden will provide the snack.

Do parents have to bring dinners?

Yes, they should bring a dinner representative of what they might eat at home. The Intensive Outpatient Program provides utensils, microwaves and refrigerators for storing dinners during the program.

How long will my child be in the program?

The program has an eight-week curriculum, but our staff will evaluate the specific needs of individual adolescents and their families.

What is the goal of the Intensive Outpatient Program?

The goal of our program is weight restoration and alleviation of behavior related to eating disorders, such as binging, purging and over exercising.

Do I need an outpatient team before coming to the program (i.e. nutritionist, therapist, etc)?

No, you do not need to have a full outpatient team before entering the program. Your family’s needs for these services can be evaluated and appropriate referrals made during the program.

When will my child’s self-esteem and body-image improve?

These issues have been shown to remit once the adolescent recovers. For example, the patient’s self-esteem and body-image typically improve when:
  • The goal weight has been reached and maintained.
  • If female, menses returns.
  • There is no eating-disordered behavior.
  • Age-appropriate adolescent activities resume.
  • Age-appropriate participation in peer relationships resumes.

Do both parents have to come every night?

No. Both parents are encouraged to come to the parent group and family therapy meetings, but only one parent is required to be present for group sessions, meals and family therapy.

Can siblings come to the program?

Sibling participation is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Does the program require the entire family in the family session?

Individual situations vary. The clinical administrator will discuss your case with you and determine what is most appropriate.

When the adolescent is discharged and starts to exhibit eating-disordered behavior again, what can we do?

Post-program consultation with the program director is always encouraged, especially if you fear your child may be engaging in eating-disordered behavior again. This helps parents assess if their child needs to resume a higher level of care or work differently with the outpatient team. Your child may also be demonstrating transitional behavior, which is expected during the path to recovery.