Talk to someone now. Call us on 1800 33 4673.

Talk Over The Phone Chat Online Talk over email What to do in an emergency

You are here: Support for Australians experiencing eating disordersOur Services Treatment › Youth Program


Outpatient Program for Young People 

Butterfly’s Outpatient Program for Young People (Youth Program) is a 10-week therapeutic group program providing early intervention for young people with emerging eating disorders.  

About the program

Who is the program for?

The Youth Program is for individuals aged 14 to 24 years who have early signs and symptoms of an eating disorder and/or disordered eating.  

Why early intervention?

Research shows the earlier the treatment for an eating disorder, the higher the success rate.

What's unique about this program?

The Youth Program is unique in targeting early intervention in an accessible and affordable format.

It’s designed to help young people with an eating disorder or emerging eating disorder overcome obstacles affecting their quality of life. It provides intensive support, whilst enabling them to continue with school, university and/or work.

Where and when is the program held?

The program pilot site is Crows Nest, Sydney. Our aim is to roll the program out into the community in across Australia. The program attempts to fit in with everyday life. Group sessions run Monday and Thursday evenings from 6:00pm - 9:00pm for 10 weeks.

To find out about treatment options for other states and territories, please contact the Butterfly National Helpline (1800 ED HOPE).

How much does it cost?

The Program is designed to be affordable at $120 per week. However, if the costs of treatment are a barrier, through the generous support of Sportsgirl, participants can apply for financial assistance.

Program Approach

The primary treatment approach of the Youth Program is enhanced cognitive therapy (CBT-E), as developed by Christopher Fairburn, and is also based on Carolyn Costin’s work.

Carolyn Costin’s work draws on a number of evidence-based interventions (e.g. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy) that support behavioural experimentation and change. For example, the concepts of the ‘eating disorder self’ and ‘healthy self’ support a non-judgmental approach to discussing eating disorder thoughts and behaviours that works with resistance to change. It also fosters the individual’s ‘healthy self’ to challenge the thoughts and behaviours supporting the eating disorder.

The Youth Program focuses on instilling the belief that recovery is possible, as feeling hopeless or powerless is common in people experiencing an eating disorder or disordered eating.

Program outline

Holistic Program

The group therapy sessions in the Youth Program focus on:

  • Normalisation of eating behaviours
  • Addressing body image concerns
  • Emotional regulation
  • Relational difficulties and psychological issues
  • Allowing participants to explore their struggles in a safe, supportive, and recovery focused environment.

Supportive Environment

The environment of the Youth Program reflects the following:

  • An open and non-judgmental approach, which places emphasis on forming respectful and trusting therapeutic relationships
  • Inclusion of family and other support people in treatment wherever possible.  We encourage loved ones or family members to attend family therapy sessions in weeks three, five, seven and 10.
  • Shared meal between participants and the team each session. 

Treatment Team

We work closely with clinicians currently caring for participants, such as their GP, dietitian or psychologist. We may also refer participants to external clinicians during or after the program whereappropriate.

Post Program

After completing the program, all participants receive regular follow-up and support, with some receiving further intensive support. The level of support needed is assessed by our clinical team in consultation with the participant and their family.

Find out more

We are accepting referrals and enquiries for the Intensive Outpatient program now. 

Please fill out our treatment enquiry form or call (02) 8456 3915 to find out more information. 

For support now, please contact our Helpline to talk to one of our professional counsellors (8am - midnight 7 days a week AEST).

Make a payment

Click HERE  to make a payment for the Outpatient Program for Young People.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Support Butterfly
with a donation.

Worried about a friend or someone you care about?

It can be extremely difficult raising the subject of eating disorders with a friend or loved one. To be supportive one needs to learn what to say and what not to say.  


We can help you with knowing when to talk to your friend and what to say. ›

Concerned parents & carers

Communicating your concern with your child about eating and dieting behaviour can be extremely difficult. Butterfly offers a range of services that can provide you with skills and information related to communicating with your child.  


We can help you with recognising issues and what to do. ›

Teachers & Professionals Working with Young People

Teachers and those working with young people are often the first to become aware of dis-ordered eating behaviours.  Butterfly Education provides early intervention and prevention skills for professionals working with young people. 

We have a range of advice & resources ›