Education and Adolescent Eating Disorder Treatment


We know consideration of an adolescent’s educational needs is an important component of treatment. At Clementine, a personalized education plan with a multi-disciplinary approach to learning begins upon admission, and we are committed to integrating where each adolescent is at academically, balancing what is in the best interest of her recovery. We believe an important part of residential treatment is preparing them for the real world outside of residential treatment and the back-to-school readiness component is key.

Our goal is to help teens to restore healthy and normal adolescent development. Healthy development is one of the key factors for solidifying a foundation for full recovery from an ED. Supporting our teens’ intellectual, cognitive and educational development is a key component of that process and we view our educational program as an essential part of our treatment program.

Research has shown that teens with eating disorders are particularly vulnerable to the stresses of developmental and academic transitions. We pay particular attention to helping our teens manage these real life transitions and the demands of their academic careers through the development of self-care and stress management skills. To learn more about the educational program at Clementine, visit here.


For more information about Clementine adolescent treatment programs, please call 855.900.2221, visit our websitesubscribe to our blog, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

To learn more about our newest location, Clementine Briarcliff Manor, opening on April 24th, please reach out to a Clementine Admissions Specialist at 855.900.2221.

Our Clementine Family: Amy Sosa


Clementine South Miami Clinical Director Amy Sosa, PsyD shares her personal journey to joining the Clementine team in this week’s blog post. Read on to learn more about Dr. Amy Sosa and her dedicated team…

1. What is your name and what are your credentials? What is your current role? My name is Dr. Amy Sosa and I am a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. I am the Clinical Director of Clementine Adolescent Treatment Program.

2. Please give us a brief description of your background? Dr. Sosa received her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology where she also received her Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Throughout her career, Dr. Sosa received comprehensive training in play, couples, family, individual, and group therapy. Currently, Dr. Sosa specializes in providing empirically-validated treatment to adolescent girls diagnosed with anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, and/or exercise addiction. She has a passion for treating issues impacting girls and women with a focus on enhancing body image. Moreover, she has experience treating complex trauma internationally and completed her dissertation research on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Secondary Traumatic Stress within Rwandese healthcare providers. Additionally, she is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Further, she is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Psychological Association (APA) and Division 52 (International Psychology Division) of the American Psychological Association. Lastly, she is co-chair of the Education Committee for the Miami Chapter of the International Association for Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP).

3. What does a typical day look like for you at Clementine? There is no typical day at Clementine and that’s what I love about my job. Throughout the day, Clementine girls engage in school, individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy, and meal support. Our group therapy program is comprehensive and is rooted in empirically-validated treatment models. For example, we offer a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Group, a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Group, a Body Image Group, and a Family and Relationships Group, among others. We also offer several movement groups in order to facilitate a healthy relationship with oneself and one’s body that is void of compensatory exercise (such as yoga and Thai Chi).

4. In your own words, please describe the philosophy of Clementine. At Clementine, we believe in empowering girls to live a wholehearted life. We provide intensive individual, family, and group therapy in order to improve self-worth and enhance girls’ relationships with themselves/others.  Adolescence is a delicate developmental period where girls are often concerned about appearance and acceptance. At Clementine, we provide girls skills to understand that their identities are multilayered and that their worth is tied to various aspects, including academic, familial, sports, play, and resilience, among others. Oftentimes, our girls are perfectionistic and we strive to give them permission to fail and to learn from their failures. This allows them to develop appropriate coping skills to manage life stressors without engaging in eating disorder or other maladaptive behaviors. We also believe in addressing underlying factors driving eating disorder behaviors in order to fully understand and practice authentic living.

5. How does your team work together? How do your roles overlap and differ? At Clementine, the treatment team is a family which allows us to foster a family setting for our girls. Our team consists of Internal Medicine Physicians, Psychiatrists, Therapists, Nutritionists, Nurses, and Recovery Coaches.  We have lunch together daily and have consultations throughout the week to discuss client care. We also believe in the importance of nurturing relationships outside of work and engage in teambuilding activities deepen relationships with one another.

6. What is your favorite thing about Clementine? My favorite aspect of Clementine is patient care. Our girls are incredibly ambitious, curious, and resilient, and I learn so much from the in-depth work they put forth daily in order to achieve recovery.

7. What are three facts about you that people do not know? I am obsessed with animals: I have one dog, two cats, and I got married on my horse. I love the outdoors: My connection to nature provides me with a sense of groundedness in order to do the work that I do. I spent a year in Swaziland, Southern Africa, which solidified my passion for psychology.


For more information about Clementine adolescent treatment programs, please call 855.900.2221, visit our websitesubscribe to our blog, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

To learn more about our newest location, Clementine Briarcliff Manor, opening on April 24th, please reach out to a Clementine Admissions Specialist at 855.900.2221.

Clementine Briarcliff Manor


Clementine Briarcliff Manor Clinical Director Danielle Small, MS, LMFT and her team are ready to accept adolescents into their care. Clementine Briarcliff Manor is a unique residential treatment program exclusively for adolescent girls seeking treatment for Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, or Exercise Addiction. It is the only licensed residential treatment center for adolescents in the state of New York. Read on to learn more from Danielle about Clementine Briarcliff Manor…

As a clinical professional in the field of eating disorders and a veteran Monte Nido team member, I am excited about the arrival of Clementine Briarcliff Manor, our eating disorder program exclusively for adolescent girls, in mid-April.

Adolescence is a time of growth and struggle. It can be both anxiety provoking and exciting navigating new challenges and figuring out one’s place in the world. When grappling with eating disordered thoughts and feelings it complicates this process even more, planting seeds of doubt and fear. At Clementine, we believe you and your loved ones can connect to a place of hope – a place where the eating disorder doesn’t feel necessary to cope.

Within our community there is space to not only speak your truth and face your fears, but experience laughter, friendship and adventure. Part of this adventure is empowering you to connect to a healthy sense of self that will move you toward being fully recovered. It won’t always be easy, but I have faith that when your struggles are explored without judgment and new skills are integrated into your daily life, subtle yet powerful transformations will occur.  These subtle shifts lead to great change and incredible emotional and spiritual growth. This growth is the gift that truly makes this difficult yet amazing journey of recovery so worthwhile.

Located in Westchester County, NY, just north of Manhattan, our new Clementine Briarcliff Manor blends personalized and sophisticated care with the latest research and strategies for adolescents suffering from eating disorders. The highly specialized medical, psychiatric, nutritional and clinical approach, sensitive to the developmental needs of adolescent girls, offers the highest level of care for teens outside of a hospital.

We have assembled an experienced group of professionals who will provide high quality medical, psychological and clinical care for adolescents who are suffering from eating disorders and their families.

Clementine Briarcliff Manor is now accepting adolescents into their care. Please contact an admissions specialist at 855.900.2221 or for more information.

For further reading…–affiliates-treatment-programs-for-eating-disorders-opens-clementine-residential-program-for-adolescent-girls-in-westchester-county-ny-300434995.html

For more information about Clementine adolescent treatment programs, please call 855.900.2221, visit our websitesubscribe to our blog, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

To visit or tour a Clementine locations with one of our clinical leaders, please reach out to a Clementine Admissions Specialist at 855.900.2221.

The Sun and Wind Dispute: Navigating Motivation and Readiness for Change in Adolescents with Eating Disorders


Treating an adolescent who is resistant and treatment ambivalent can be very challenging for a clinician. In this week’s blog post, Clementine Miami Pinecrest Clinical Director Bertha Tavarez, PsyD offers some strategies to help strengthen the therapeutic alliance and build the groundwork necessary for full recovery. 

“The sun and the wind were having a dispute as to who was more powerful. They saw a man walking along and they had a bet as to which of them would get him to remove his coat. The wind started first and blew up a huge gale, the coat flapped but the man only fastened the buttons and tightened up his belt. The sun tried next and shone brightly making the man sweat. He took off his coat.” – Anonymous

The metaphor of the sun and the wind is an accurate depiction of the challenges that many clinicians face while working with adolescent patients. Although we may have access to the gravity of our patient’s clinical needs, simply communicating our concerns and providing much needed skills can be met with resistance. Our patients remain “locked in” to their emotional experience while simultaneously feeling “locked out” of the insight and motivation needed to increase their receptivity to much needed skills development. The adolescent, preoccupied with exerting and maintaining control and autonomy, may hold tightly to their coat, rendering our intentions to provide care futile.

So how do we, like the sun, create shifts in awareness and influence change?

The power of reflection

It may be tempting to adopt the roll of cheerleader (“You can do this!”) or problem solver (“Why don’t you try this?”). When an adolescent patient presents with resistant talk (“I don’t want to be here”) or talk that inhibits change (“I got straight A’s with ED, what’s the problem?”). Often the simplest and most effective way of building rapport and loosening the grasp of resistance is to simply reflect the patient’s message in your own words. Often, patients are primed for persuasion and direction. Reflection statements can contribute to feelings of validation and interpersonal trust.

Resistance as an interpersonal process / Resistance as developmentally appropriate

It is important to keep in mind that resistance is both developmentally appropriate for adolescent patients and an interpersonal process that occurs within the therapeutic alliance. Although, we may expect a certain degree of resistance on a developmental level, we can provide corrective experiences around resistance that still promote autonomy. A clinician may benefit from awareness about the resistance that is brewing in a session, abstain from engaging in a power struggle, and promote an alliance with the patients’s desire for autonomy.

Highlight intrinsic control

An effective technique that facilitates a shift from resistance talk to change talk is the clinician’s emphasis on the patient’s access to her personal control. A clinician may reflect the pros and cons experienced by the patient:

Patient: “I got straight A’s with ED, what’s the problem? Gosh! That was so hard!”

Therapist: “It sounds like you did well in school this year, but ED made it more difficult.”

A clinician may also reflect a patient’s choice within the constraints of the treatment environment while having the knowledge of the consequences. For example, the patient may be informed of her choice to select what day an exposure is initiated or asked to reflect on her choice to not participate in a group while being aware of consequence of losing a daily privilege as a result.

Shifting focus  

If resistant talk persists, the clinician can shift the focus to another closely relevant therapeutic topic that may tie into the overall theme beneath the resistance. For example, if the patient states, “I don’t want to take medications and that’s final!” the clinician can say, “Ok, how about you tell me how you’re feeling about your overall health today?”

Working with patients experiencing resistance and treatment ambivalence can be challenging. However, there are great opportunities at this treatment phase that can strengthen the therapeutic alliance and build the ground work necessary for lasting change. Motivational interviewing and person-centered techniques are an integral component of the clinical work at Clementine adolescent treatment program.

For more information about Clementine adolescent treatment programs, please call 855.900.2221, visit our websitesubscribe to our blog, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

To visit or tour a Clementine locations with one of our clinical leaders, please reach out to a Clementine Admissions Specialist at 855.900.2221.