Walden Behavioral Care opens new facility in Peabody

By Howard Newman
November 1st, 2014

Because of an increasing demand for treatment of eating disorders in Boston’s North Shore area, Walden Behavioral Care, LLC has opened a new clinic in Peabody, Mass.

Walden Behavioral Care, is a private psychiatric hospital based in Waltham, Mass., and includes satellite facilities in Braintree, Worcester and Northampton, Mass., as well as South Windsor, Conn. Serving patients in New England and New York, the regional facility provides inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient treatment for eating disorders.

Full-time hospitalization and 24-hour care are available in the Waltham facility.

Paula Vass, LICSW, senior vice president of clinical operations at Walden Behavioral Care, will oversee the new clinic in Peabody, which will have a 10-person staff. “It definitely fills a need,” says Vass. “In the North Shore [area], there are minimal services for eating disorder treatment.

“Being in the Peabody location, we are able to capture and service the whole Cape Ann area as well as up to southern New Hampshire. We’re providing better access to care for patients and allowing patients to receive treatment within their community.”

The Peabody clinic, similar in size and programming to the other satellite facilities, opened in mid-October and will offer a variety of treatment options, serving up to 50 patients as well as six to eight families. For adults, there is a partial hospitalization program that runs six hours per day, five days a week, and an intensive outpatient program three evenings per week.

For adolescents, the new clinic provides a partial hospitalization program (six hours/day) and an after-school IOP. The after-school outpatient program requires family participation.

Walden Behavioral Care offers a full continuum of services, ranging from part-time programs (available at all facilities) to hospitalization and 24-hour care (available in Waltham only). Programs are matched to the severity of the disorder, allowing the patient to “step up” or “step down” treatment intensity, depending on his or her progress.

“If a patient goes to Peabody and he or she needs inpatient or residential care, they can come to Waltham,” Vass says. “They can leave 24-hour care and go back to the community but they’re staying within our continuum. So we’re continuing to provide consistency and continuity of care.”

Walden also uses a whole-health approach, integrating medicine, psychotherapy, nutrition and healing therapies. Treatment includes cognitive behavior therapy and the Maudsley approach (family-based treatment for anorexia in adolescents). Group sessions, as well as individual counseling, are part of the treatment plan.

James Greenblatt, M.D., Walden Behavioral Care’s chief medical officer will serve as the Peabody clinic’s psychiatrist. The staff includes a director, dietician and full-time clinicians, who are generally MSWs, LICSWs, LMHCs or Ph.Ds.

Patients and providers in the North Shore community are very enthusiastic about the new program. “They’re really excited,” says Vass. “There’s a demand for it. We’ve had a dozen or more inquiries over the past month from patients asking when we were going to open. I think it’s going to be very busy pretty quickly.”

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