Eating Disorders Center
The Eating Disorders Center (EDC) at Cohen Children's Medical Center is a a nationally recognized program for the treatment of children, adolescents and young adults (up to 21 years old) with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) and other food related disorders. We are the only program in the New York metropolitan area to treat children under 13 years old. Our caring and experienced staff members understand the complexity of eating disorders and provide a supportive, nurturing environment to foster successful recovery. Our team includes:
- Adolescent medicine specialist
- Child and adolescent psychiatrist
- Nurse practitioners
- Social workers
- Child life specialists
- Art therapist
We believe that when one member of the family suffers from an eating disorder, everyone is affected. And families play a large role in recovery from the disease. At the Eating Disorders Center at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, our approach is based on the philosophy that effective treatment must address the biopsychosocial needs of the patient as well as the entire family. We have been designated as a New York State Comprehensive Center for Eating Disorders. That means we're the only eating disorder program with inpatient, outpatient and day programs for adolescents in the New York metropolitan area—so you can choose what works best for you and your family.
Our unique day treatment program (DTP) provides treatment comparable to an inpatient setting, without the difficult separation or financial burden of hospitalization. It is also an ideal transition for an individual leaving an inpatient setting who requires further weight gain or stabilization of eating disorder symptoms. Patients attend the program from 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday (we offer the longest running daily hours in the area) and receive individual, group and family psychotherapy, nutritional counseling and medical monitoring. Groups are designed to target eating disorder symptoms and behaviors, as well as other associated symptoms including depression and anxiety, by various evidenced based treatments including dialectical behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and family based treatment. Other therapeutic groups include art therapy, pet therapy, yoga/relaxation, weekend planning groups and coping skills groups. The patients also receive nutrition groups twice weekly including nutrition education and menu planning.
All school-aged DTP patients attend a New York City accredited school on site. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and all snacks are provided and closely supervised by staff. (We are the only program in the New York metropolitan area that does this.) Each month, a multi-family breakfast is held and patients have the opportunity to share the meal experience with family members and the eating disorders team. The patients also receive nutrition groups twice weekly including nutrition education and menu planning. A levels based system is utilized to allow for various rewards including outings, as well as privileges, such as choosing food from the cafeteria and going home for dinners. In addition, a weekly support group is available to families while they are a part of the program and beyond. Patients are closely monitored medically while in DTP and are seen by adolescent medicine for evaluations, weekly physical exams, and labs and EKGs are also obtained when necessary. We provide a warm, nurturing environment that can help many patients and their families during this difficult time of recovery.
Inpatient medical services are also available if patients become medically unstable for various reasons including bradycardia, hypotension and electrolyte disturbances. During the inpatient medical stay, all patients are evaluated by a psychiatrist and are assigned a primary therapist. It is also an option for some patients to attend DTP in the afternoons while they are on the medical unit. Our goal is always to provide patients and their families with the self-confidence, knowledge and support they need to lead happy, healthy and productive lives.