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St. Paul, MN 55108
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A group of children gather for a group therapy conversation
July 21, 2023

How to Know if PHP/IOP Treatment is Right for Your Child

As a parent, you want nothing but the best for your child. So when it comes to finding the right program to treat their eating disorder, it’s important to pick one fully equipped with the specialized knowledge and tools necessary to meet their unique needs.

Many eating disorder programs offered today began with treating adults and later added services for children and adolescents. However, at Veritas Collaborative, our program was specifically built with children and adolescents in mind. Treatment at Veritas stands out in our ability to provide age-appropriate, best-practice care tailored to the unique medical, nutritional, and psychosocial needs of children and their families.

As a comprehensive healthcare system, Veritas is also one of the few eating disorder programs in the nation that offers a full continuum of care, from inpatient to outpatient. We are proud to offer intensive outpatient programming (PHP/IOP) for children and adolescents that provides both structured support and the flexibility of living at home, all while grounded in the support of our multidisciplinary care team. Read on to learn more about the benefits of our PHP/IOP eating disorder treatment centers for children and adolescents.

A Focus on Highly Structured Support

A consistent routine and stability are key for eating disorder recovery. Our child and adolescent partial hospitalization (PHP) and intensive outpatient (IOP) programs offer a level of structure that encourages sustained recovery. At this level of care, we recognize that patients often benefit from being with others who can provide structure and emotional support. From the start, we assign your child a multidisciplinary care team, whose goals are to address all aspects of your child’s illness, guide your child through treatment, and minimize the risk of returning to disordered eating habits and thoughts. Your child will get to know their team very well, generally spending a minimum of 30 hours a week in PHP and a minimum of 12 hours per week in IOP.

Treatment of child and adolescent eating disorders with PHP/IOP at Veritas is customized to suit your child’s needs. Your child’s individualized care plan will feature a variety of age-appropriate therapeutic modalities designed to help them develop recovery skills, navigate triggers, and better understand and manage the emotions, thoughts, and behaviors that maintain their illness.

Multidisciplinary PHP/IOP treatment at Veritas Collaborative includes:

  • Therapeutic meals, which are clinician-guided, dietitian-designed, and therapist-supported
  • Skills-based group therapy, such as expressive arts, body acceptance, culinary experiences, and “cope ahead” groups
  • Family-based treatment (FBT), which harnesses and integrates the support and structure families offer their children
  • Psychiatry and medical services, as appropriate

The power of treatment is often in the group atmosphere, and PHP/IOP treatment at Veritas offers the opportunity for fellow recovering children and adolescents to form bonds with and support one another. We try to structure all groups to be as developmentally informed as possible. Your child will be among others who innately understand their pain and challenges, lessening any feelings of isolation generated by the eating disorder.

The Flexibility of Living at Home

Dividing time between treatment sessions and home allows your child to practice their recovery-supporting skills in their everyday settings. Our goal is to equip each patient and their family with the take-home skills they need to continue eating disorder recovery and thrive in the home environment.

Veritas has the distinction of prioritizing family involvement at every level of care. This involvement allows us to incorporate the principles of family-based treatment (FBT) at levels even beyond inpatient and residential programming. FBT is widely regarded as the leading treatment method for children and adolescents, as families and communities of support play a distinct role in ensuring long-term recovery. Recognizing that parents are the experts on their children (and the ones who are with their child day in and day out), our qualified treatment team will harness your knowledge to help restore your child to health. We will make sure your family has the tools and confidence to support your young loved one outside of care, into early recovery and beyond.

Support From Our Multidisciplinary Care Team

While all types of eating disorders can affect children and adolescents, studies suggest higher prevalence rates of restrictive-type eating disorders among younger patients, including anorexia nervosa and Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). Early-onset restrictive eating disorders are especially concerning in their potential to disrupt growth and development.

Given the significant risk of medical complications, the inclination might be to have your child’s eating disorder treated at a children’s hospital or pediatrician. However, it’s important to note that, often, the sole focus in these settings is nutritional rehabilitation and weight restoration. While medically effective, this approach tends to disregard the host of psychiatric symptoms and biopsychosocial factors that gave root to the eating disorder, resulting in a higher likelihood of relapse.

At Veritas, our multidisciplinary care team attends to more than just your child’s weight and nutrition, recognizing the importance of a holistic approach to care. Our team of pediatricians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, and medical assistants all work together to closely monitor your child’s vitals and assess any acute medical problems associated with your child’s eating disorder. Alongside our dedicated medical providers, our therapists and dietitians support patients in challenging disordered thoughts and behaviors, helping patients explore the complex relationship between eating disorder behaviors, thoughts, and emotions.

In combination with our professional team of providers, both medical and therapeutic, IOP and PHP treatment at Veritas provide the most structured, coordinated method of promoting your child’s full recovery.

If you have additional questions about Veritas Collaborative’s intensive treatment programs for children and adolescents, check out our Parent FAQs. Speak with a member of our team at 1-855-875-5812 or fill out our online form to get your child started on the path toward recovery today.