Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) for Children and Adolescents

Eating Recovery Center’s Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) offers the intensity and structure of residential eating disorders treatment while providing opportunities for patients and families to practice recovery skills outside of the treatment environment during evenings at home or in recovery-focused housing near the treatment center. PHP for children and adolescents actively engages families in the recovery process and is rooted in the Maudsley approach with the use of key therapeutic Family-Based Treatment (FBT) tenets. Patients can direct-admit into the Partial Hospitalization Program, or step-down to the program following medical and/or psychiatric stabilization at the Behavioral Hospital for Children and Adolescents.

PHP offers 11 hours of daily programming for patients, parents and families that emphasizes the development of recovery skills, communication, relapse prevention and healthy parent/child interactions through individual, group and family therapy and staff-supported meals:

Patients — A combination of individual, group and family therapy emphasizes recovery skills and the role of families in lasting recovery. For those patients stepping down from 24-hour care, there is a shift in therapeutic focus from “what is happening on the unit with you and other patients in the milieu” to “what is happening with your family when you are not on the unit.” Patients continue to participate in school in the afternoons at the Learning Center.

Parents — Parents are invited to attend parent groups in the morning and education lectures/discussions in the afternoon, during which time they learn about meal planning and weight restoration, recovery skills, parent empowerment and relapse prevention in a supportive environment of peers.

Families — Families receive two family sessions per week, and patients continue to meet weekly with their individual therapist. Registered Dietitians meet with parents to provide individualized education and training tailored to the needs of their child. Therapists and dietitians also facilitate Family Meals, during which families practice eating together again while supporting the patient with meal completion and coping strategies. Multi-family group therapy brings together the milieu of patients and parents for expert-guided experiential and skills groups.

Resources for Child and Adolescent Patients and Families

In addition to comprehensive daily programming for patients and families alike, Eating Recovery Center’s Partial Hospitalization Program for Children and Adolescents offers several services to support families that do not reside in the Denver area:

Continuity of care is a priority for patients stepping down to the Partial Hospitalization Program from Inpatient or Residential levels of care. Patients retain the same treatment team throughout the course of treatment and maintain the trust that is achieved in the residential treatment environment, where patients spent approximately 60% of the day in therapeutic programming with their primary therapist. Patients and families continue working with their assigned therapist, dietitian, and physician in the PHP level of care, although the distribution of time changes slightly (less face-time with primary therapist, more family programming and multi-family group therapy).

Partial Hospitalization Program Medical and Clinical Leadership

Ovidio Bermudez, MD, FAAP, FSAHM, FAED, F.iaedp, CEDS

Chief Clinical Officer and Medical Director of Child and Adolescent Services

“We have drifted away from shaming and blaming of families and have moved toward an understanding that families are an integral part of eating disorders treatment, not only in helping an individual respond well to treatment, but also go onto lasting recovery.”

Elizabeth Easton, PsyD

Clinical Director of Child and Adolescent Services

“Eating Recovery Center is unique in the way we treat children and adolescents. We have all levels of care from Inpatient for medical stabilization to Residential treatment for 24-hour care, and on down to Partial Hospitalization, where patients and families reconnect with one another in a very real, authentic way and start getting back to real life.”

Nadine Dexter, RN, MSN

Chief Nursing Officer

“Dedication, caring and wisdom are evident in all aspects of the treatment program at Eating Recovery Center. Our highly-skilled, compassionate staff, combined with our commitment to implementing evidence-based techniques, can pull someone out of the depths of an eating disorder and start them on the road to recovery.”

Marla Scanzello, MS, RD

Director of Dietary Services

“The role of nutrition services is very important in the treatment of an eating disorder. Our dietitians work with patients who are often terrified of eating, to help them eat, achieve a balanced pattern of nutrition and reach a healthy weight for optimal recovery”


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“I found that visiting Eating Recovery Center and having the opportunity to observe the program was invaluable to me as an outpatient clinician. I feel very comfortable referring a patient to Eating Recovery Center after the visit. It is obvious that their primary focus is first and foremost patient care, which aligns perfectly with my [...]

-Susan G., Eating Disorder Professional