Comprehensive Treatment for Teens with Mental Health Symptoms Accompanied by Disordered Eating Behaviors
Center for Families’ Nourish program is a unique treatment program specialized for teens experiencing mental health struggles that are accompanied by poor body image and/or a difficult relationship with food.
More and more teens are struggling with depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicidal ideation, and low self-esteem. In many adolescents, these symptoms are accompanied by body hatred and disordered eating behaviors like food restriction, secretive eating, and over-exercise. At Center for Families (CFF), we see these behaviors as expressions of emotional distress, which are intensified by social media and cultural expectations.
While food- and body-related issues may seem typical for this age group, if left untreated, they can develop into eating disorders with significant medical and psychological consequences. Yet families struggle to find programs that proactively address these behaviors before they develop into primary eating disorders.
CFF’s Nourish program was created to fill that gap.
At CFF, we recognize that emotional and physical wellness go hand in hand.
CFF’s Nourish program, located in West Chester, PA, treats primary mental health concerns like our other Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs), while ensuring teens get the care they need to improve their relationship with food, eating, and their body. We partner with the registered dietitians at Balanced Nutrition to provide individual nutrition screening and risk assessments, nutritional consultations and education, and hands-on food/exposure groups.
A Family-Focused Approach
At CFF, we recognize that the family is essential to healing, and our Nourish programming provides numerous opportunities for strengthening the family unit and parent-child relationships.
Community and Connection
CFF’s Nourish Program ends isolation and builds leadership skills, teamwork, empathy, positive peer relationships, and the resilience needed to maintain long-term recovery and healthy eating habits and body image.
Integrated and Integrative Care
By blending behavioral and medical treatment (integrated care) and providing both clinical and experiential modalities (integrative), our approach achieves outstanding results.
What’s Included in CFF’s Nourish Program for Teens
With full-day programming, five days a week, CFF’s Nourish PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program) includes:
Therapy to Address Underlying Issues
Individual, group, and family therapy to treat anxiety, depression, trauma/PTSD, and other mental health issues
Screenings and preventative care for teen disordered eating and body image issues
Evidence-based clinical and experiential programming that incorporates a focus on body awareness
Individualized, data-informed treatment planning and medication management to support timely and effective results
Nutritional guidance and education, weekly dietary assessments, and nutritional goal-setting
Compassionate, gender-affirming care for LGBTQI+ adolescents that mitigates the potential impacts of body image and gender dysphoria on mental health
Academic program with accredited curriculum and specialized teachers and tutors
Family involvement empowers parents to help their teens improve their mental health and relationship with food and nourishment, including meal support at home
About Our Team
CFF’s Nourish program was developed and is led by a team of experts who have dedicated their careers to providing the highest-quality care for mental health and eating disorders.
Our clinicians and care coordinators are passionate about supporting teens to build positive relationships with eating and their body, while guiding them to heal underlying trauma, anxiety, and depression.
The Nourish team partners with the dietitians at Balanced Nutrition, who bring extensive experience in nutrition and eating disorder treatment. Our clinicians also work collaboratively with clients’ pediatricians and other healthcare providers to ensure comprehensive and cohesive care.
Above from left: Laura Whitman, M.Ed., NCC, LPC; Hayley Addesa, MA, NCC, LPC; Ivy Elwell, MSS, LSW
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Nourish teen therapeutic program’s hours?
Center for Families’ Nourish Day Treatment Program for teen mental health and disordered eating issues in West Chester meets five days a week from 8:00 am–3:30 pm ET. Teens who have been identified as needing additional support are also welcome to attend one of our Outpatient evening groups. Additionally, our Nourish Partial Hospitalization Day Program schedule includes daily academics integrated with experiential and clinical modalities. Upon admission, teens are enrolled in a specialized treatment plan to meet their individual needs.
How closely are parents involved in CFF’s Nourish Day Treatment Program?
We believe that parents are essential members of the CFF treatment team. Our staff works closely with parents to help them understand their child’s progress or setbacks while in treatment, and provides parents with weekly updates from their child’s primary therapist, who have advanced training in Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT) and utilize that training in the treatment approach.
How will being in a treatment program for teens impact my child’s school attendance/schoolwork?
While a teen is enrolled in our Nourish PHP Program for teen disordered eating treatment in Pennsylvania, our credentialed teaching staff works confidentially with the teachers at their home school to develop a year-round academic plan to meet their specific educational needs. Through the collaborative efforts of our team approach, teens can keep current with their home school curriculum, get back on track if they’ve fallen behind, and excel academically while receiving the treatment they need.
Learn More About Our Approach
Which programming is right for your teen?
Our Therapeutic Day Program helps teens build strong relationships, learn and practice healthy coping skills, grow their self-worth, and reestablish trust and connection with themselves and their loved ones, while staying on track with academics.
Based in our integrated approach, our Outpatient Treatment Services offer the tailored treatment young people and their families need to find healing but who don’t need quite the structure of IOP and PHP settings.