Acute Inpatient Program
The 16-bed inpatient eating disorders unit is located in a treatment pavilion that is separate from all other clinical programs on the hospital grounds. The Center embraces a comprehensive, individualized approach to patient care that is characterized by an aggressive group therapy schedule, intense individual and family work, focused nutrition correction and prompt and complete discharge planning. Our ultimate treatment goal is to eliminate the symptoms that endanger our patients' lives while dealing with the issues that drive the eating disordered behaviors.
Shortly after admission, an individual therapist, family therapist and nutritionist are assigned to each patient. A thorough assessment is completed by each discipline and appropriate diagnostic laboratory studies and psychological testing are ordered. Each patient has three individual psychotherapy sessions and two family therapy sessions per week. If the family resides outside of the area, which is typically the case, most of the family sessions are conducted by way of conference calls on speaker phones.
The Center is committed to providing patients with practical tools with which to contain symptoms. Modifying distorted thinking, normalizing body image, correcting disordered eating, and normalizing weight are major goals of the program. Emphasis is placed on understanding the underlying dynamics, developing healthy coping skills, managing stress and preventing relapse.
For school aged patients, a tutor isprovided daily for educational consultation, tutoring services and a liaison between school and patient.
Partial Hospitalization Program
The Eating Disorders Partial Hospitalization Program offers patients a less intense alternative to inpatient care. It serves as a transitional step to bridge the way between inpatient and outpatient programs. Patients receive step-down treatment within the inpatient milieu on a 7:30 am to 6 pm schedule. They typically transition from seven days per week to fewer days, until they are fully prepared for discharge to outpatient treatment. For patients living outside the area, staff assists in coordinating convenient, affordable housing opportunities.
When sufficiently stable, rather than dining on the unit, patients begin eating in the hospital cafeteria from a prepared tray. They then progress to going to the cafeteria with a menu and, finally, to choosing their foods from the cafeteria line. This process enables patients to gradually test and utilize the tools they have acquired in order to be able to ultimately meet the challenges of normal social dining.
Our goal, thus, is to empower patients to make healthy food choices for themselves. During the hospital stay, patients go on a grocery store outing to choose the ingredients for the two cooking activities held on the unit each week. They also practice eating out as a group on a weekly restaurant outing. As discharge time approaches, therapeutic passes into the community enable patients to dine out, testing their ability to tolerate the stress of eating alone outside the safe haven of the hospital. After measuring each consecutive level of eating normalization, patients become confident that they can successfully assume responsibility for eating healthfully and safely on their own.
The Eating Disorders Treatment Center's outpatient clinic is located in a separate medical office building on the River Oaks campus. The clinic is staffed with licensed therapists, nutritionists and a psychiatrist, all specializing in the treatment of eating disorders. Outpatient services include individual, family and group therapy, as well as nutritional counseling and medication management.
If you have specific questions regarding The New Orleans Institute or The Eating Disorders Treatment Center at River Oaks or would like to begin the admission process, please contact: Kimberly.Kinsey@uhsinc.com