Proven Treatment for Adolescents and Teens Ages 11 to 18 with Eating Disorders

If you or your loved one is an adolescent or teenager suffering from an eating disorder, or other body image disorder, we can help. Eating and Body Image Therapy Center knows how difficult life can be for today’s youth and they turn to eating disorders, alcohol or drugs, self-harm behaviors or other behaviors to mask their pain. The sooner they get help, the better their chances at a happier and healthier life.

Our Columbia, Maryland, location specializes in eating disorder treatment for adolescents and teens ages 11 to 18. This program requires family participation in care.

Teenager Smiling


When teenagers come to Eating and Body Image Therapy Center, they are typically under intense stress. Most often teenagers describe their stress coming from:

  • School and a deep perfectionistic need to get all As and feel like a failure if they don’t succeed even if their parents say it’s okay
  • Bullying at school and in the community
  • Major change in the home such as separation and divorce or moving to a new area
  • Hormonal changes in their body associated with their physical development
  • Athletic performance and drive to be “the best”
  • Social pressure to look and act a certain way
  • Trauma, abuse, and neglect

Underlying mental health concerns like anxiety, depression, OCD, ADHD, and the like are often precursors that lead to the development of eating disorders as a coping tool to self-medicate and manage these problems. When a teenager is stuck in this disorder, they can’t simply choose a healthy behavior because they were told to.

Eating and Body Image Therapy Center wants each adolescent and teen to first feel normal for having these concerns. This is a disorder based on stigma and secrecy which we address. Next, we educate the teenager on what is an eating disorder, how came to be, and how we treat it. Next comes learning the special skills of self-soothing, mood regulation, and tolerating the feelings that often seem overwhelming. By identifying the thoughts that lead to these emotional and physical feelings, clients start to process what is true versus what is their distorted thinking. All the while, clients are practicing these skills both in our program by eating meals with their treatment providers and at home with their families to challenge their food and body image anxieties in a safe space.

In addition, we are teaching parents one-on-one all the same information, so they can reinforce at home what we are working on in program. For many parents, this is all new information, and they grow emotionally and intellectually right along with their kids.

What Makes Eating and Body Image Therapy Center Unique

Unlike most programs, TBITC reviews each client’s weekly review of the Change in Eating Disorders Symptoms (CHEDS) scores to know where your child needs the most help. Also, we are constantly measuring progress in these seven key areas:

  • Body preoccupation
  • Body dissatisfaction
  • Body checking
  • Binge eating
  • Restrictive eating
  • Food preoccupation
  • Purging

Our goal is not only the total end of eating disorder behaviors, but measurable improvement in how clients feel about their body. This unique approach counteracts eating disorder struggles to better help overcome hurdles encountered with everyday life.

We also provide telehealth services for clients who are not in the immediate treatment area so no child is left without the care they need. Anyone who lives in Maryland but is more than an hour commute from our program can participate using telehealth for our Intensive Outpatient Program.

Personalized Eating Disorder Treatment Programs

Our experienced therapists have spent years working with adolescents and teens in a variety of settings, including private practice, group homes, schools, and intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization programs.

We teach our young clients to help regulate their moods and learn coping mechanisms to deal with their feelings. Our belief is that children don’t get better on their own, and that family therapy is a crucial part of recovery.

Our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) program in Columbia, Maryland, accepts new clients as young as 11 on a rolling admissions basis. This way, you or a loved one can join a group when you need intervention without having to wait for a new group to start.