Eating Disorders in Teens & Children: ERC Opens a New Treatment Center
In 2010, I was asked, along with several Eating Recovery Center leaders in the medical and nutritional disciplines, to develop a specialized program for treating eating disorders in teens, children and adolescents — that will also support families.
The goal was to meet the recovery needs of not only the patients, but also the parents/caregivers who would become the ‘agents of change,’ borrowing from the mission of Family-Based Treatment (FBT). The spaces at our Lowry treatment center were thoughtfully designed to optimize recovery in a safe yet comfortable environment.
Eight years later, I was given the chance to do it again. I was asked to identify what we would improve if we were to re-design our treatment spaces, knowing now what we may not have known then. In collaboration with ERC’s incredibly experienced, tenured leadership team (most of them with whom I have had the honor of working alongside for 6-9 years, both as clinicians and leaders), this opportunity has allowed us to conceptualize an ideal treatment space solving treatment challenges and supporting our highly specialized programming.
We welcome you to our relocated and expanded Child and Adolescent Program. We are so proud of this new treatment center on the Saint Joseph Hospital campus, which housed ERC’s first treatment program. This new space supports the delivery of truly excellent patient care for children, teens and families with complex behavioral health concerns. We are also thrilled with the new center’s convenient walking proximity to the Ronald McDonald House, which provides accommodations for many of our out-of-state families.
ERC’s trusted, comprehensive Child and Adolescent Program is now housed in a single building, with all levels of care available across two floors, fostering enhanced continuity of care. Every aspect of the treatment center design is intentional and healing. We focused on opening spaces to ensure natural light and safe observation of patients throughout the day and evening. We also created an Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU) as a ‘program within a program’ for patients with significant medical and/or behavioral needs who may be supported with a slower introduction to the more complex ‘main unit’ program. Patients will be able to move within this smaller, specialized unit with separate group, dining and bathroom spaces.
Rest assured, this is the same ERC Child and Adolescent Program you’ve come to know and trust, and ERC remains steadfastly committed to supporting providers, patients and families.
Our program continues to be rooted in empirically-based approaches to treating eating disorders in teens and children by way of supporting caregivers, specifically Family-Based Treatment (FBT) and Emotion-Focused Family Therapy (EFFT).
Our individual therapy approaches focus on skills for emotion regulation and returning to a values-driven life, specifically
- Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
- Exposure Response Prevention (ERP)
We will also continue to anchor our patients in smaller patient groups (called ‘villages’) within the larger ‘main unit patient community’ to ensure individualized support. Our patient schedules have been refreshed, our group curriculum (patient and caregiver) has been updated, and our commitment to providing ‘center of excellence’ quality of care has never been stronger.
Thank you for your patience and support during this important transition to the new treatment center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your treatment team members and our leadership team with any questions or concerns.
- Elizabeth Easton, PsyD, CEDS
Dr. Elizabeth Easton is Regional Clinical Director at Eating Recovery Center. She has played a vital role in the creation and development of the program’s Family-Centered Therapy model. As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Easton is a clinician, supervisor, and speaker passionate about educating and empowering patients and parents to engage in the treatment and recovery process for eating disorders. She graduated with a Doctorate in Psychology from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. Dr. Easton completed her pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at The Children’s Hospital of Denver.