An Innovative Approach to Treating Overeating in Adolescents
Partnering with Eating Recovery Center, Insight Behavioral Health Centers offers comprehensive, developmentally appropriate programming for adolescents (ages 12 through 17) and families struggling with overeating in the Midwest. The Comprehensive Overeating Recovery Effort for Adolescents (AP CORE) addresses overeating through a compassionate, thoughtfully designed program fusing mental health, dietary support and education, exercise/movement and medical management. This innovative program goes beyond diet and exercise, integrating evidence-based strategies to address the true causes of obesity.
Experts leading Insight’s AP CORE program passionately acknowledge that adolescent overeating treatment must be carefully tailored to this age group in both philosophy and curriculum. As such, this specialized program was developed to safely and effectively address adolescent overeating, stabilization of weight and prevention of future gain. The AP COREprogram is modeled after and meets criteria for the American Academy of Pediatrics guide for excellence in multidisciplinary care for adolescent weight management. The Intensive Outpatient Program is tailored to meet the needs of teens and parents with busy schedules, with a two-week intensive program that meets for two hours after school, Monday through Thursday. AP CORE allows for the intense support needed for a healthier life, without interfering with academic commitments, and is offered monthly as to allow adolescents to continue engaging in extracurricular activities.
“The focus of Insight’s AP CORE curriculum is not weight loss, but rather creating a lifestyle change to stabilize BMI, educate, and provide tools and strategies to effectively address overeating and prevent quality of life issues down the road,” explains Julie Friedman, PhD, Director of Weight Management Programs at Insight. “AP CORE also seeks to eliminate behaviors that interfere with weight management, including binge eating, night eating and emotional/’stress’ eating and teach healthy lifestyle behaviors like moving more and eating differently vs. ‘less.’”
AP CORE’s programming is fully medically supported, and is overseen by Lynn Gettleman Chehab, MD, MPH. A pediatrician with extensive expertise in weight management, Dr. Chehab is a noted thought leader in obesity prevention, recognition and treatment among children and adolescents. “Even now, much of the pediatric literature cites low self-esteem and mental health issues as results of overeating and obesity, and not as contributing factors,” explains Dr. Chehab. “Insight’s AP CORE program recognizes that improving mental health is a key component to better weight management.”
Treatment provides supported opportunities to practice overeating recovery strategies, which have been thoughtfully designed to be authentic and applicable to today’s adolescents. Examples include the use of recovery-focused apps and completion of a therapeutic art project leveraging the increasingly-popular “selfie” photograph. Unlike other adolescent treatment programs that address the full spectrum eating disorders, AP CORE brings together only peers struggling with overeating and weight issues. As a result of this specificity, the group therapeutic experience is both cohesive and supportive. “Insight provides the tools for better weight management and overall health,” continues Dr. Chehab. “I am constantly amazed by how effectively the adolescents themselves support and advise each other on realistic ways to implement those tools. So many new friendships are made in the process—it is both wonderful and inspiring to observe.”
Family involvement is also an integral part of AP CORE programming to ensure that families have accurate information and can employ effective strategies to support their child’s lifestyle changes. Parents participate in one evening of family programming each week, which emphasizes skill building and involves multi-family therapy, education, process groups and supported meals. Eligible parents can enroll in the intensive adult Comprehensive Overeating Recovery Effort program should they benefit from overeating intervention and medically supported, non-diet weight management support.
Comprehensive Overeating Recovery Effort for Adolescents (AP CORE) At a Glance:
- Two week Intensive Outpatient Program for female and male adolescents (ages 12 through 17)
- Two hours of after school programming, Monday through Thursday
- Post-intensive weekly support group
- Targets binge eating, night eating, nocturnal related eating, emotional and impulsive eating, compulsive overeating, weight management and stabilization of BMI percentile, as well as co-occurring mood and anxiety symptoms (mild to moderate)
- Modeled after and meets criteria for the American Academy of Pediatrics guide for excellence in multidisciplinary care for adolescent weight management
- Combines evidence-based practice with psychoeducational and experiential components, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Multifamily Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Psychoeducation, food exposure work, and homework support
- Patients learn how to monitor and change key eating and exercise behaviors, including emotional eating, as well as how to cope in environments that encourage weight gain
- 1-3 hours of parent participation (therapy, education and skills training) required per week; adult CORE programming available to eligible parents of AP CORE patients
- Thorough assessment, including comprehensive “weight physical” with a pediatric weight management physician, extensive eating and weight history, complete psychiatric diagnostic interview, exercise assessment and support, and resting metabolic rate evaluation
- Individualized weight management goals determined by patient in collaboration with the multidisciplinary treatment team, including psychologists, psychiatrists, Registered Dietitians, experiential clinicians and Certified Fitness Specialists
- Medical nutrition therapy and education with a Registered Dietitian and weekly exercise sessions
- Medical support available as necessary to address weight-related medical comorbidities, including referrals to community specialists
For more information about Insight’s innovative adolescent programming targeting overeating in adolescents, visit http://www.insightbhc.com/adolescent-intensive-weight-management-program, or call 312-298-9936 to speak directly with a clinical specialist.