Young Adult Intensive Outpatient Program Now Open in St. Paul, MN
The Toogood Adolescent Outpatient site in St. Paul, MN provides a variety of adolescent and young adult services, including individual therapy, family-based therapy, nutritional counseling, medical services, and group therapy.
Recently, Toogood launched a new program called the Young Adult Intensive Outpatient Program (YAIOP) specifically for clients dealing with the unique challenges of transitioning into adulthood.
We caught up with Toogood site director Robyn Janssen so she could tell us a little more about the program.
Q: Why did The Emily Program decide to start a Young Adult Intensive Outpatient Program?
Robyn: Young adults are a unique population who are dealing with specific life events/transitions such as going to college, differentiating from parents, taking charge of their own recovery, and independent living. The Young Adult Intensive Outpatient Program was created to provide young adult clients with more intensive treatment, structure and support throughout the week as they work toward achieving their recovery goals and prepare for the transition into adulthood. Beneficial aspects of this program include clients learning new coping skills as alternatives to the eating disorder, interrupting eating disorder symptom use, giving and receiving feedback from peers, and identifying and developing social supports outside of treatment.
Q: What makes YAIOP different from other outpatient programs?
Robyn: Our YAIOP focuses on treatment of the eating disorder while teaching independent living skills, whether that means practicing going to the grocery store, shopping and trying on clothes, or simply managing a budget and learning how to take public transit. Often, when clients have been in higher levels of care for eating disorders treatment, they miss out on learning life skills that their peers have already mastered. YAIOP is a judgment-free zone for clients to learn and discuss what skills will help them feel more empowered in their own lives. This program also focuses on practicing flexibility (both with food and with other activities), which is a skill that those in eating disorder treatment often need support around. Young Adult Intensive Outpatient Program is designed to be a bridge between higher levels of care and clients returning to their daily lives.
Q: What kind of advice could you offer to young adults trying to juggle treatment and other commitments, such as school and work?
Robyn: It can be a difficult choice between school or job commitments and participating in eating disorder treatment. Young adults need to get the appropriate support and treatment for their eating disorder so they are able to be fully present in other parts of their lives. What is a short-term sacrifice can be helpful in the long term, and ideally gives young adult clients the skills they need to function outside of higher level of care treatment. Staff can also help clients talk with their schools or employers to emphasize the need to continue treatment until the client is ready to return to their regular responsibilities.
Learn more about the program here.