The Healthy Teen Project provides Intensive Outpatient and Partial Hospitalization treatment programs for teenagers who struggle with eating disorders in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Eating disorders create significant challenges for teens and their families in all aspects of their lives. Sometimes these challenges require intensive treatment. Through our multidisciplinary approach, we address physical, emotional, and nutritional health, academic functioning, and family and peer relationships. Our goal is to provide holistic care that supports adolescents and their families in finding new and healthy ways of living.
So often, teens with eating disorders and their families feel isolated and alone. Our program provides structure and support. It gives clients a chance to connect, relate and problem solve with others that struggle with similar issues. We help guide families in supporting their loved ones in a safe and caring way.
Why Adolescent Only Treatment?
The Healthy Teen Project believes a teenager-only therapeutic environment is important when treating teens with eating disorders. Teens have specific needs that are different than those of adults:
- With teens, family support and therapy is an integral component, both for nutritional rehabilitation and to explore other challenges of adolescence and mental health.
Group therapy and support from their peers
- Group therapy allows teenagers to find a place where they can open up and be honest and real about their struggles, relate to others, and receive much needed support. Teenagers are at very different places in life than adults and it is other teenagers that provide the validation and support they require.
Greater focus on behavioral and experiential opportunities vs. cognitive/verbal skills
- Teenagers get more out of “doing” rather than “talking about doing”. At HTP, teenagers are actively engaged in experiential opportunities and behavioral approaches, such as art therapy, yoga therapy, meal preparation and restaurant exposures.
Additionally, HTP provides a teen-oriented environment (from beanbag chairs to teen-oriented meals/snack choices) where teens can feel safe, nurtured and hopeful. By not treating adolescents along side adult peers, HTP is able to provide the interventions specific to teens with eating disorders.
A Note From A Family The Healthy Teen Project Helped
“Our experience at the Healthy Teen Project has been profoundly transformative. HTP provided the support our entire family needed to help our daughter start her recovery from an eating disorder. Everyone on staff went above and beyond in helping our daughter get the help she needed. I cannot imagine our lives without the deep, caring foundations they helped us create.”
— You will not find a better place than Healthy Teen to help restore your child’s health! – Rita M.
A Note From A Family Member to Our Team at The Healthy Teen Project
Dear Katie and the Team,
The words ‘Thank You’ are woefully inadequate to express our appreciation for what you have given to our family; however, we do, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
I speak for our family when I write that you literally, helped to save our daughter’s life. She reached out, entirely on her own, for help. Alas, appropriate, effective ED care was virtually non-existent. We investigated several facilities, and found them to lack a connected team of professionals, and enough structure to envision real recovery. It was virtually impossible to have any real hope of recovery until she found HTP.
From the moment she walked through your doors, relief washed over her. She had been suffering in silence and shame for a good part of the past 7 years, 1/3 of her young life, hence opening up took incredible courage on her part. I believe that she was able to do that, to get so much healthier, and to begin a lifetime of recovery, due in very large part to your professional, constructive, mindful, and loving care. You encouraged her to work hard, and supported every one of her victories.
Many evenings she called me to tell me about her day at HTP. She shared with me the joyful, at times painful, growth she experienced during the restaurant field trips, art therapy, group meals, talk therapy, nutrition, and medical check-ups. She spoke of the team effort you made for her, with you all connected to one another and on site, seeing her for regular appointments, and on an as-needed basis throughout the day. She found solace with at HTP, and said only positive things about every single team member, and the program, itself.
We appreciate you, perhaps more than you might know. Thank you, and we look so forward to her continuing regular out-patient visits to HTP. You offer my girl a safe, loving, and incredibly important home-away-from-home.
Love and hugs to each and every one of you.
— Letter from HTP parent after her daughter’s graduation from the program
A Note From A Client to Our Team at The Healthy Teen Project
Dear HTP Team,
Before coming into HTP my life, health and family relationships were all in complete disarray. After completely losing all hope for myself, and my future, I was given one last opportunity to get my life in order, and that opportunity was HTP… You were able to take a girl who was so severe, broken and ready for residential care, and you fixed her. The time, dedication and care that each team member took to work with me was like no other. Every day was a new journey of discovery, learning and self-awareness, and I will cherish those experiences forever… The team’s help, love, care and support, I have become a whole new person. You all completely re-taught myself about myself and I can never thank you all enough for that.
To be able to live a normal, happy and controlled life is the best thing I could have ever asked for, and as a team, you help me to achieve that. Each and every one of you has been such a blessing to me, and my family… you are all miracle workers as well. The lessons that I learned at the program are ones that I will forever cherish, and no card or chocolates can express how much gratitude we have towards this program. I can live a normal and happy life, and that was something that I never thought I could say. Thank you HTP. You set me up for success, made me a better daughter, sister, friend and individual, and I will be forever grateful.
Sincerely and with love.
— Letter from HTP client after graduation from the program
The Healthy Teen Project aspires to help teens accept themselves and acknowledge their eating disorders while discovering new healthy ways of coping. Through hope and empowerment, we inspire teens to value themselves and their health as they confront future challenges.
At The Healthy Teen Project we aim to provide a safe and supportive environment for our clients to grow and heal.
Our philosophy is fourfold:
1. Every client is a unique individual who comes with his or her own unique strengths and challenges.
- We meet each client where they are and create an individualized plan to meet their unique needs.
- Adolescents have many needs that are different from adults. We have created a unique program that caters to the needs of adolescents.
- We empower our clients to be their own unique people and to let their individuality shine.
2. The family is a crucial component in an adolescent’s eating disorder treatment and recovery
- Parents can be the best support for their child.
- Parents of teens with eating disorders have been thrown into a new world that they are often struggling to navigate. We provide them with the support, encouragement and education that they need to navigate this new world.
- Our clients’ eating disorders significantly affect their siblings. We aim to provide support for siblings as well.
3. We do not work in isolation.
- We are part of a treatment community. Many of our clients have a strong support network outside of the program. We make it a priority to connect with this support network in order to make the transition into and out of the program as seamless as possible.
- We do not just communicate with outside providers upon admission and discharge. We keep in close touch with the client’s home treatment team (pediatrician, therapist, dietitian, psychiatrist) throughout the client’s time at The Healthy Teen Project.
- We coordinate with the client’s school to help them keep up with necessary work while they are in program and to help ease the transition back to school.
- If a client is a competitive athlete and wishes to have their coach involved, we work with with their coach to develop a plan for them to reintegrate into their sport.
- If a client does not have a treatment team when they admit to us, we will help them develop a strong outpatient treatment team while they are here. That way they can smoothly transition into outpatient care once they no longer need the extra support of our program.
- Eating disorder prevention is crucial. The hope is that over time there will be less and less need for programs such as ours.
- We work closely with schools and community agencies to provide education and implement prevention programs.