Levels of Care: Partial Hospitalization Program
The Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt's Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) is a unique treatment option that allows patients to bridge the gap between inpatient and outpatient care.
It is an important and highly recommended part of our stepped-care approach. The transition from a highly structured and supportive hospital environment back to independent living can be challenging and overwhelming. To help patients successfully navigate this transition, the PHP is a day treatment program that has been designed to complement and extend the inpatient program’s structure and therapeutic care. It can also be very useful for individuals who do not necessarily require inpatient hospitalization, but could benefit from a more intensive level of care than intensive outpatient program (IOP) or outpatient therapy can provide.
Please note: in response to COVID-19, The Center for Eating Disorders' Partial Hospitalization Program is currently virtual.
Important elements and goals of PHP include:
- Extended treatment from 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., 5 days per week - Monday - Friday. Patients remain at home on the weekends; time at home allows patients to practice meal planning and adaptive coping skills.
- A continued focus on normalization of nutrition and symptom blockade, both while in programming and at home.
- Patients continue to explore the function of the eating disorder in their life while working to strengthen and develop other healthy aspects of themselves separate from the illness (i.e. values, personal strengths, important life roles)
PHP provides the important elements of structure and therapy throughout the day, balanced with the responsibility of returning home each evening. During their independent time away from programming, patients are expected to practice newly developed coping skills and self-care while nurturing a commitment to their recovery outside of the hospital. PHP, like the inpatient program, incorporates a combination of treatment modalities and daily structure to support patients as they progress through each phase of their recovery.
Major components of The Center for Eating Disorders Partial Hospital Program include:
- Multidisciplinary Treatment Team/Continuity of Care: We are committed to providing high quality care for our patients. In order to facilitate smooth transitions and continued progress, PHP patients will work with a multidisciplinary team led by a board-certified psychiatrist. The treatment team consists of specially trained staff from a full range of disciplines, including psychology, social work, counseling, nursing, nutrition/dietetics, art therapy, movement, and occupational therapy.
- Daily Assessments: PHP patients complete a brief assessment upon arrival every morning and have the opportunity to process their at-home experience with a nurse or a therapist each day when they return to treatment.
- Individual Psychotherapy: PHP patients will meet with their individual therapist once a week to work through underlying issues that may be contributing to eating disorder thoughts and symptoms. Special attention is given to the identification and management of stressors encountered by patients during their time away from the virtual treatment environment each evening and on the weekends.
- Case Management: A therapist will work directly with PHP patients to assess the needs of the patient by helping patients reach their goals or fulfill their needs; working with various agencies, acting as an advocate between agencies and clients and with the patients supports system. Discharge planning will include a combination of individual, family, nutritional, and/or group therapy tailored to your specific needs.
- Group Therapy: Group therapy in PHP continues to be the principle mode of treatment. Some groups are designed with an educational focus to help patients understand the illness and to improve knowledge of the consequences of eating disorders. Other groups have been developed to allow for exploration of underlying issues related to the eating disorder and provide opportunities for new core beliefs and positive behaviors to emerge. Many of the group therapies offered in PHP cover the same topics as the Inpatient groups, but the focus of therapy shifts to issues that arise specifically during this transitional level of care.
- Nutritional Counseling: During PHP, our staff of registered dietitians (RDs) spend additional time helping patients to plan ahead for the nutritional needs that take place after patients leave programming. RDs will help monitor and process any issues that arise as they focus on helping patients maintain their nutritional plans during and away from programming.
- Medication management/Medical consultation: PHP patients will meet with their treating psychiatrist twice a week to monitor medication efficacy and compliance. Their weight and vital signs will be monitored as per our program’s policy. The need for additional lab work or medical work up will be determined on an individual basis.
- Art therapy: Art therapy is a mental health profession in which art therapists facilitate patients' art making and creative process, and talking to help clients work through issues relating to mental health, trauma, and more. The patient can use art making to help communicate thoughts, feelings, and conflicts. Art therapy is not about becoming a great artist. No prior knowledge or skill is needed - just a willingness to try using the materials and engaged in the process. Art therapy allows patients to use creative expression for things that are difficult to express verbally.
- Movement therapy: Dance/Movement Therapy uses movement and dance to establish or strengthen the connection between the mind and the body. Our movement therapist may work individually with patients struggling with over-exercise and body image through the use of movement and mindfulness. The goal is to explore body awareness and practice body tolerance to reduce symptoms and improve coping through movement.
- Occupational therapy: Occupational therapy (OT) is the art and science of helping people engage in day to day activities that are important and meaningful to each individual’s daily life. OT intervention goals are directly connected to a person’s valued occupations. Areas addressed may include life roles and occupations that have been impacted by the eating disorder along with values, time management/daily structure, leisure, meal/snack preparation, and socialization and life skills.
- Collaborative Care: In our Collaborative Care Skills Class, our clinicians work with families, friends, and significant others of patients to provide support and practical advice to gain a better understanding of the illness. It teaches specific skills and techniques to help with the recovery process. We view families and friends as our greatest allies in the treatment process. Our common goal: recovery.
Upon successful discharge from PHP, many patients step down into the Intensive Outpatient Program, while others may transition directly to an outpatient treatment team.