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Treatment Insights from Child & Adolescent Psychiatrists

In the ERC/Insight family of programs, full-time psychiatrists lead the multidisciplinary treatment teams in all child and adolescent programs. Psychiatrists bring extensive training and an elevated understanding to complex cases, and provide valuable guidance and direction to therapists, dietitians, nurses and other clinical staff. Because psychiatrists are onsite full-time, treatment teams can be agile, efficient and empowered to do whatever is needed—medication management, family meetings, intakes and discharges—whenever it is needed to optimize impact of the family’s time in treatment.

“No matter their age, a child simply cannot recover in a vacuum; in fact, isolation is often part of what brought them into treatment. This reality means we are not just treating the patient, we are treating the whole family. We are constantly meeting, educating, training, supporting and communicating with parents and caregivers about their young loved ones and the role of the family in recovery. Our psychiatrists conduct the intake meetings with patients and families at admission to ensure the treatment plan meets the unique recovery needs of each family. And, our psychiatrists also run weekly family education programming to help parents and caregivers understand their child’s disease and consistently reinforce what we need from them in treatment. So many of our families tell us they have never met with a
psychiatrist in their child’s entire illness history, and that’s a missed opportunity. Each patient and family at ERC Dallas is known to a psychiatrist specializing in pediatric populations with eating disorders, offering families a highly meaningful way to conceptualize recovery as well as improve treatment outcome.”

– Stephanie Setliff, MD, CEDS-S
Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist
Regional Medical Director
Eating Recovery Center and
Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Centers

“Fathers play an essential role in the eating disorder recovery of their children, but many dads have never been told to show up in treatment or taught how they can help. We know Family-Based Treatment (FBT) is an effective intervention, but evidence shows that the focus is on the mother-child dyad. Mom comes to family programming, mom learns about the illness, mom participates in family therapy, mom makes meals, and mom eats with the child. If anything, dad assumes the role of mom’s support person. As treatment continues, mom gets burned out, dad gets distant, and mom’s relationship with their child becomes more enmeshed, which can be problematic in recovery. We know that developmentally, children, and especially teenage boys, need to connect with fathers. When families come to treatment, moms often must take a step back, and dads must take a step forward by engaging in all aspects of treatment; evidence shows that dad’s involvement improves both recovery gains and projected recovery. All families are different, but when there are two parents, dad simply must be involved. At ERC Dallas, we are very clear about our expectations of fathers and other male caretakers (brothers, uncles, grandfathers), and we educate, support and motivate these men in a way that resonates.”

– Tyler Wooten, MD
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
Medical Director
Eating Recovery Center and
Insight Behavioral Health Centers, Plano, TX