Adolescent Intensive Day Program Opening in St. Louis Park, MN
The Emily Program in St. Louis Park, MN is launching an adolescent intensive day program (AIDP) on June 5th. The AIDP will expand levels of care at the site, which currently offers an intensive outpatient program and outpatient group for adolescents.
Therapist/social worker Alex Montes shared some details about adolescent treatment at The Emily Program and the new intensive day program.
Q: Why does The Emily Program have programming specifically for adolescents?
A: Early intervention of an eating disorder for adolescents improves outcomes for recovery, and individualized care enables us to meet the specialized needs of adolescents and families. We recognize that adolescents not only work to create their own identity and sense of self, they do so while their brains are still developing. Further, they are trying to understand who they are individually and how they function in society, systems of family, school, work, peers, extracurriculars, etc. Additionally, peers are significant in the teen recovery process, which makes adolescent groups a healing place to feel connected when isolated by an eating disorder. Adolescent treatment at The Emily Program recognizes these components of family involvement, peer support, adolescent developmental stages, and early intervention to provide specialized and individualized care to better work towards recovery from the eating disorder in adolescence.
Q: What does a typical day look like in AIDP?
A: A typical day in AIDP begins when the adolescent arrives in the morning to eat breakfast with support from a therapist and dietitian, followed later by a snack and lunch. During meals and snacks, teens can use skills they learn in groups to manage emotions, challenge eating disorder thoughts, increase mindfulness of thoughts and behaviors, and support their peers. Between meals and snacks, they attend a group such as art therapy, yoga, a coping skills group, process group, nutrition group, or body image group.
Q: How are families involved in the program?
A: We recognize that families are one of the best resources for an adolescent's recovery. Families are required to participate in a weekly three-hour Family Night, during which an experiential group works to improve communication around the eating disorder. Afterward, staff supports adolescents and family members during dinner. Lastly, adolescents and family members often separate into two different groups, one for teen support and one for guardian support, to receive feedback from their peers. In addition to Family Night, family members are involved in collaborative weekly treatment planning to best support the adolescent and family during the healing process.
The Emily Program offers different levels of care to meet clients where they are in treatment. To learn more or to refer a client, please call 1-888-364-5977.