Adult Programs

We work with adults, of all ages and genders, struggling with difficulties with eating, weight, and/or food. We offer all levels of care, low-cost supportive housing, and a wide-range of evidence-based treatments that are tailored to your specific symptoms and goals. If you’d like a free phone-consultation with one of our therapists, please fill out this form and we will schedule a call with you.

Testimonials

“This program literally saved my life. I felt cared about and supported the whole way through and it was amazing being in a group of people who were going through the same thing and could understand how I was feeling. It made me feel less alone and more confident that I could find a life outside my eating disorder. I finally have built a life that I can enjoy living and now have so many skills to troubleshoot tough times and thoughts. I am so thankful for program!!”

Read other testimonials from our graduates

Philosophy and Treatment Approach

Over the past decade, there have been tremendous advances in science that have revolutionized our understanding of eating disorders. Technological tools such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have now substantiated that eating disorders have a powerful neurobiological basis. Researchers have identified specific neurobiological differences in the brains of people with eating disorders that affect how they eat, how they feel (their emotional experience), and how they make decisions. This explains why eating disorders tend to run in families and why people with eating disorders often exhibit certain personality traits. For example, individuals with anorexia nervosa tend to be driven, perfectionistic, harm-avoidant, and obsessional. Individuals with bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder also tend to be perfectionistic and harm-avoidant, but also impulsive and novelty-seeking.

We also know that people with eating disorders struggle with emotion regulation, or the ability to successfully manage their emotions in flexible, effective ways. Some people with eating disorders are highly sensitive to emotion and experience their feelings very intensely, which is overwhelming and leads to ineffective or destructive behavior. Many of our patients have alexithymia, or difficulty identifying, labeling, and/or expressing emotion. People with eating disorders tend to be prone to anxiety and depression.

For these reasons, the Adult Program uses Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), an evidence-based treatment that is considered the “gold standard” for treating emotion regulation problems. Comprehensive or “fully adherent” DBT includes 4 components: 1) individual therapy, 2) DBT skills groups, 3) phone coaching, and 4) a consultation team to help the therapist deliver the treatment correctly and effectively. The Adult Program has all of these components, and our treatment team has been intensively trained in DBT.

Four Components of DBT

  1. individual therapy
  2. DBT skills groups
  3. phone coaching
  4. consultation team

DBT skills groups teach strategies to increase mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation. This is a key component of DBT, and our program offers an intensive “dose” of these skills through the standard DBT groups as well as supplemental DBT groups. The phone coaching component is designed to help patients apply these skills outside of the treatment. Patients are encouraged to call their therapist when they are having strong urges or difficulty applying a skill in their daily life.

In addition to DBT, we incorporate other evidence-based treatments such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Our program also offers new, promising treatments such as Radical Openness DBT (RO- DBT). Whereas standard DBT was designed for patients who lack control over their emotions (“under-controlled”) RO-DBT focuses on problems of “over-control.” There is a growing evidence base for RO-DBT for individuals with anorexia nervosa.

Finally, because we recognize that intensive treatment is… well, intense, we have groups like expressive arts and yoga. Part of what we are teaching is balance in all things, and combining “heavier” treatments with more light-hearted ones is important!

Treatment Programs

We provide several levels of care, helping people to re-integrate back into their lives while building lasting recovery and preventing future relapses. You can speak with one of our clinicians to determine the right level of care for your symptoms and your goals.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

PHP offers a structured environment with an intense focus on learning skills for recovery, while offering the important advantage of allowing the patient to continue living at home or in our supportive housing. This allows the patient to build skills for recovery and practice them in their home environment. Our goal is for patients to not only recover, but build a lasting recovery, preventing future relapses.

What does php include?

10 HOUR PROGRAM

  • 3 meals and 1 - 2 snacks per day
  • Restaurant outings (once patient is deemed ready)
  • 5 - 6 therapy groups per day
  • 1 hour/week individual therapy
  • 1 hour/week of family or couples therapy (not required but recommended)
  • Weekly appointments with a dietitian
  • Weekly appointments with a psychiatrist
  • Weight and vital signs obtained 3 times/week

6 HOUR Program

  • 2 meals and 1 - 2 snacks per day
  • Restaurant outings (once patient is deemed ready)
  • 2 - 4 therapy groups per day
  • 1 hour/week individual therapy
  • 1 hour/week of family or couples therapy (not required but recommended)
  • Weekly appointments with a dietitian
  • Weekly appointments with a psychiatrist
  • Weight and vital signs obtained 3 times/week

ATTENDANCE

10 hour

MONDAY – FRIDAY
am – pm

6 hour

MONDAY – FRIDAY
am – pm or pm – pm

10 & 6 HOUR

SATURDAY
am – pm

* All patients in 10 hour PHP attend Saturday program unless an exception is made.

* Some 6 hour patients are encouraged to attend Saturday program as well.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Our IOP curriculum is designed as a step-down from PHP with two primary goals: 1.) relapse prevention, and 2.) a smooth transition from treatment to life building. Consistent with the DBT model, IOP patients are encouraged to contact their primary therapists outside of program, while returning to jobs, school, relationships, hobbies—using text and phone support to help coping skills generalize to the stressors of everyday life. Your IOP treatment plan may also consist of practice with grocery shopping, meal planning, cooking, creating resumes, practicing interviewing, and many other skills as you transition fully into recovery.

What does IOP include?

  • 1 meal and 1 snack per day (or, in some cases, 2 meals per day)
  • Restaurant outings (once patient is deemed ready)
  • 1 to 2 therapy groups per day
  • 1 hour/week individual therapy
  • 1 hour/week of family or couples therapy (not required but recommended)
  • Weekly or bimonthly appointments with a dietitian
  • Weight and vital signs obtained twice a week

ATTENDANCE

4 HOUR

3 - 5 Days/Week
am – pm
pm – pm
pm – pm

Tracks Designed to Meet Comorbid Conditions

Eating disorders tend to be comorbid with other psychological or psychiatric conditions. Most typically, individuals with an eating disorder may also meet criteria for one or more the following disorders:

  • Mood disorder
    Major Depressive Disorder or Bipolar Disorder
  • Anxiety disorder
    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder/OCD, Social Anxiety, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder/PTSD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Personality disorder such as Borderline Personality Disorder/BPD
  • Substance Abuse or Dependence

Our primary treatment approach, DBT, has been shown to be effective in treating many components of these comorbid disorders. However, in order to provide more comprehensive treatment for some of these disorders, we offer “tracks” that involve specialized programming that is imbedded into the schedule of the treatment program.

Substance Abuse/ Co-Occurring Disorders

Patients who engage in problematic substance use or abuse are recommended for this track. The therapists and medical professionals that work with our COD patients have extensive experience treating substance use disorders and follow evidence-based practices. Our COD team works with patients to determine what approach to substance use is most effective for them, whether it is abstinence, harm reduction, or dialectical abstinence. We can offer or conduct urine toxes (“u-toxes”) when appropriate, and have the ability to detox patients in our setting.

Our COD track includes groups such as:

  • CBT for Addiction
  • DBT for Substance Use
  • Seeking Safety
  • SMART Recovery
  • 12 step/NA
  • Recovery Planning
  • Carers for COD (a group for significant others)
  • Expressive Arts for COD
  • Yoga for COD

Young Adults with Anorexia Nervosa

Young adult patients diagnosed with Anorexia who are living at home or have the support of family members/loved ones are recommended for this track. Patients in this group are joined by their loved ones for a 6-week group curriculum. The group typically runs from 4pm to 7pm and includes education about the neurobiology of Anorexia, discussions about parents’ role in supporting their young adult, a family meal, and meetings with a program dietitian.

Anxiety Disorders

We offer evidence-based groups for conditions like Social Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

These groups include:

  • Transdiagnostic Anxiety group (containing cognitive and exposure-based work)
  • Biofeedback
  • Developing Relationships

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Patients who meet criteria for PTSD, want treatment, and are stable enough for trauma work can participate in Prolonged Exposure (PE) or Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). Both are evidence-based treatments for PTSD that a subset of our staff have been trained in.

Other Specialized Groups

We offer groups for other problems commonly found among people with eating disorders, such as:

  • CBT for Insomnia
  • Biofeedback (helpful for anxiety, and gastrointestinal discomfort)
  • Vocational Training
  • Carers (educational group for loved ones)

Supportive Housing

Our program offers apartment and hotel housing to patients who are from out of town, or who require a temporary living arrangement that is safe and supportive in order to make progress in treatment. Our supportive housing is about a mile away from our clinic, and is offered at an affordable, sliding-scale rate based on your current financial situation.

Contact our admissions department for more details.

How does payment work?

The majority of our patients use insurance since we are contracted with many major insurance companies. Cash payments are also accepted.

Ahrha Ko

Insurance Verification Specialist
(858) 534-8019
edintake@ucsd.edu