Eating disorder center for adolescent girls opens in Clifton

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Clementine Twin Lakes, an accredited treatment program exclusively for adolescent girls struggling with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or exercise addiction opened recently in Clifton.

The Fairfax County center’s evidence-based process helps each adolescent replace her eating disorder with healthy skills and habits and to develop a sense of her own individuality.

“Eating disorders are devastating from both a psychological and medical perspective,” said Joel Jahraus, MD, FAED CEDS, and Clementine physician, who has personally cared for the medical complications of children, adolescent and adults with eating disorders for over 22 years. “Serious growth and development issues may occur with eating disorders, and research and shown early intervention in treating eating disorders give patients a greater chance of permanent recovery.”

The National Eating Disorders Association reports that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental health illness.  Eating disorders are unique among mental health disorders in that they manifest in physical health complications, which can lead to serious and life-threatening illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, organ failure and even death if not treated.

Anorexia nervosa is the third most common chronic illness among adolescents. Young women who suffer from this illness have a mortality rate that is 12 times higher than average, making it the mental health illness with the highest premature mortality rate. If left untreated, eating disorders tend to become more severe and less receptive to treatment, studies have shown. However, identifying and treating the disease within the first three years of onset provides increased likelihood for full recovery.

Located in a private residential area of Fairfax County, Clementine provides personalized and medically sophisticated care for girls ages 11-17.

“Clementine is specifically designed with the needs of the girls in mind. It’s filled with light, decorated in warm colors and intended to encourage girls to connect in the ways they enjoy,” says Molly McShane, MD, MPH, CEDS Medical Director of Monte Nido & Affiliates. “The Clementine environment itself suggests hope, which helps with recovery,” she said.

Clementine applies a multi-disciplinary, family-based approach to treatment through customized medical, psychological and nutritional treatment, parent support, coaching and through aftercare planning. The holistic program is designed to support adolescents as they move towards long-term health and full recovery.

“We work together to instill hope and trust, and heal the entire family. Critical to residential treatment is preparing our our adolescents for the real world,” said McShane. “We want each girl to develop a full sense of self. We treat the whole girl, not just the disorder.”

Clementine is part of the Monte Nido & Affiliates, a Joint-Commission accredited network of 20 eating disorder treatment facilities nationwide. Clementine is one of five centers for adolescent girls in the Monte Nido & Affiliates network.

Signs that may indicate an eating disorder: 

  • Restriction of Food
  • Significant Weight Fluctuation
  • Increased Isolation
  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Talk about Food Excessively
  • Extreme Exercise Regimen

For more information about Clementine Twin Lakes please call 866.784.9358 or email clementineadmissions@clemementineprograms.com.

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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.