Outpatient Treatment Programs for Eating Disorders

Once an initial evaluation and assessment is completed, our eating disorder treatment team will help the patient determine the most appropriate level of care. We have incorporated our clinical services into a number of outpatient programs designed to meet all psychological, nutritional, and physiological needs. Thus, we provide the necessary tools to a healthy road to recovery.

Our Clinical Services Include

Regardless of the severity of the eating disorder, once enrolled, our goal is to guide our patients through the necessary steps to help them reach the highest level of psychological functioning.

  • Individual, Family, and Group Psychotherapy
  • Nutritional Counseling & Meal Therapy
  • Individualized Food Planning & Meal support
  • Cooking Classes
  • Restaurant Experientials
  • Body Image Therapy
  • Comprehensive Psychological Test Batteries/Career Testing
  • ADHD Testing
  • Body Composition Analysis and Resting Metabolic Rate Test
  • Exercise Prescription

Family Psychoeducational Support Group

The Walker Wellness Clinic offers a family psychoeducational support group for parents so that each family member may be educated on the research, development, and preventive techniques regarding a formal eating disorder. Sessions are taught by our staff and include valuable topics such as nutrition, psychological aspects of the eating disorder (i.e., genetic predispositions and personality traits), physiological aspects (i.e., the female fat cell and exercise prescription and the resting metabolic rate test) and precipitating factors that influence the development of the eating disorder and how to prevent a second episode from occurring.

What Makes Walker Wellness Clinic Unique In Our Approach to Treatment?

The Walker Wellness Clinic’s philosophy is to provide an environment that allows patients to maintain their current lifestyle such as continuing their academic and/or occupational functioning while enrolled in treatment. We recognize that patients’ quality of life and active personal pursuits are meaningful to them, and that they typically do not wish to disrupt their lifestyle (i.e., fundraising, attending school, or career development). Our clinical objective is to educate the patient on continuing to live in the “real world” and learning how to cope with the “day to day” stressors of overcoming a formal eating disorder.

Who Needs Intensive Outpatient Treatment?

  • Individuals who have been unresponsive to outpatient care may be successfully treated in our intensive outpatient program without resorting to more costly hospitalization.
  • Medically stable individuals that necessitate a higher level of care than traditional outpatient therapy, but who don’t require residential or inpatient treatment.
  • Individuals who need a transition program from inpatient to a more routine lifestyle while continuing treatment.
  • Individuals who require intensive treatment without interrupting their academic or career track as well as their quality of life.

Flexible Scheduling

Most patients do not want to disrupt the quality of their lifestyle to be enrolled in our standard outpatient program, intensive outpatient program, or day program. Many of our patients continue to enjoy their occupational, academic, or extracurricular activities. Patients may have the flexibility to schedule some of their appointments so that they can continue to lead exciting lives and pursue their career and/or academic functioning. Therefore, the program has been designed to offer some of the sessions during the day or evening hours.

Supporting Occupational / Academic Pursuits

Many patients are still pursuing academic and/or occupational pursuits. We would prefer for our patients to “live in the real world” and not disrupt issues that are important to them. Thus, the programs are custom designed so that the patient can have the freedom to pursue their important day-to-day activities.

Psychiatric Treatment

It is often recommended that a patient receive a thorough psychiatric evaluation as part of the initial comprehensive assessment process. The Walker Wellness Clinic will refer the patient to one of the psychiatrists who we often consult with to determine if medication management would be clinically appropriate for the patient. The primary psychotherapist will continue to collaborate with the psychiatrist and will objectively measure the patient’s treatment progress throughout the course of treatment and the psychiatrist will determine if the medication needs to be adjusted. Clinical assessments are used to assess the patient’s progress, such as the Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Anxiety Inventory, and Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory and similar checklists of eating disorder symptoms.

Psychological Treatment

Individual, group, and family psychotherapy are comprehensive treatment modalities for the patient. Our primary approach to treatment is based on cognitive-behavioral, dialectical behavioral therapy, and family systems theories. Every patient initially completes a psychological, career, and/or ADHD test battery depending on what is deemed clinically appropriate and recommended by the psychotherapist for that particular patient at the onset of treatment. Throughout the course of treatment, some of the tests are re-administered to confirm that the patient is making progress such as the Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Anxiety Inventory, Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory, and an Eating Disorder Inventory III. We emphasis the significance of the psycho-educational aspects of treatment by incorporating prevention techniques such as bibliotherapy (a reading list) as well.

Nutrition Education

All patients will be asked to undergo nutrition analysis and education. On completion of a nutrition analysis, regular meetings with a registered dietitian or an exercise physiologist will focus on learning basic nutritional health concepts and dealing with food issues. Patients will learn how to choose healthy food combinations along with menu planning and food shopping. Patients will also be educated on how to become more comfortable with the sensations of hunger and fullness. Moreover, cooking classes and meal therapy will be an integral part of the nutrition education.

Exercise Prescription and Physiological Considerations

Although the appropriate amount of exercise in relation to the specific condition of the patient will be addressed early in the treatment process, exercise will be an integral component of the overall program. When appropriate our exercise physiologist will provide the patient with an individualized comprehensive exercise prescription and on-going support. The patient may choose a custom designed exercise prescription such as a running, swimming, team sports, snow skiing, or from a myriad of other exercise prescriptions that appeal to their personal preference. In addition, patients will learn the physiological implications of eating disorders, the physiological issues concerning weight management, and the process of recovery.