admission, each patient is evaluated by a physician to determine the most
effective level of care. Treatment levels include:
- Inpatient treatment. Our 14-bed inpatient unit offers
psychological, medical, nursing and nutritional care in a highly structured
environment. We are one of only two programs in New Jersey to provide inpatient
care for eating disorders patients.
- Partial hospitalization. Up to five days a week, with five
hours of therapy per day.
- Intensive outpatient services. Up to three days a week,
with three hours of therapy per day.
- Weekly support groups for patients.We also offer
educational sessions and free weekly support groups for family and friends to
help them better understand the nature of eating disorders and the recovery
Eating disorders can be destructive physically, emotionally, socially,
financially and intellectually - and can ultimately cause death. Eating
disorders serve a purpose in a person's life. Although these illnesses are life
threatening, the disorder often is used as a coping mechanism or a way to feel
"in control" when life feels unmanageable.
Treatment in a safe, supportive environment can provide skills and insights
that enable the individual to challenge distorted beliefs, change harmful
behaviors and work on the underlying issues that sustain the disorder.
Who is Appropriate for Treatment
People experiencing the
following should seek an evaluation of their condition:
- dramatic weight loss through self-imposed dieting, or binge-eating followed
by self-induced vomiting or the use of laxatives
- significant weight fluctuations, which may be accompanied by severe
- continuous concern with food, weight and body image – causing their lives to
become severely compromised
After a comprehensive evaluation, each
patient’s treatment is planned to ensure that she or he receives the services
needed for recovery.
Treatment may include:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy and education
- Specialized groups (body image, women's issues, spirituality and stress
- Medication management and education
- Nutrition education
- Self-help groups
- Occupational therapy
- Recreation therapy
- Aftercare groups
The program typically combines a brief goal-oriented hospitalization with a
continuum of outpatient treatment that allows individuals to remain within the
social network of family and friends, school or job. The program also
coordinates schooling services for hospitalized and home-bound students.
The location within Somerset Medical Center assures that the full spectrum of
diagnostic and emergency services is always available.
How Patients Start Treatment
Treatment begins with a
phone call to our Assessment Center (800-914-9444). Patients then receive an
initial evaluation with one of our psychiatrists to determine the level of
treatment necessary to start the process of recovery. Many patients start at the
inpatient level of care to "break the cycle" of the eating disorder. In some
cases, patients are referred to the partial hospitalization or intensive
outpatient levels of care.
Once someone decides to be admitted, they are "medically cleared" through lab
work, and EKG and clearance by a family medicine position. Patents can be
admitted on the day of the evaluation, and are encouraged to bring belongings
from home to make themselves more comfortable.
As a patient's eating disorder may
affect the entire family, our program offers family education sessions that
enable parents and siblings to better understand the nature of eating disorders
and the process of recovery.
A Caring and Experienced Staff
staff includes psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, social workers, registered
dietitians and occupational and physical therapists who have special expertise
in eating disorders. Our staff members are nationally recognized as experts in
the field, appearing on CBS' "48 Hours" and NBC's "Today" and participating in a
White House conference on mental health.
If needed, patients have access to specialists at the medical center,
including cardiologists, gastroenterologists, obstetrician/ gynecologists and
pediatricians. In addition, a licensed teacher works closely with patients'
schools to coordinate an educational plan. Tutors are available to provide
one-on-one assistance with schoolwork.