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.
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.
Research shows the earlier the treatment for an eating disorder, the higher the success rate.
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.
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).
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.
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.
The group therapy sessions in the Youth Program focus on:
The environment of the Youth Program reflects the following:
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.
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.
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).
Click HERE to make a payment for the Outpatient Program for Young People.
Michelle Sperling is the National Manager, Treatment and Support.
She is a registered Clinical Social Worker and Psychotherapist. A highly-experienced eating disorder clinician.Michelle has worked in a wide range of settings including;individual counselling, Butterfly’s Intensive Outpatient Program, Recovery and Carer support groups and programs.
Michelle is trained in evidence-based therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Schema Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) and Narrative Therapy. Michelle has a holistic approach to treatment and advocates that recovery is 100% possible. She is passionate about working with those experiencing and caring for someone eating disorder.
Claire is the Treatment Program Coordinator for the Adult and Youth Intensive Outpatient Programs.
Claire has worked for not-for-profit and health based organisations for the past decade. Her passion for health and wellbeing began after completing a project with a local charity, in rural India. Since then, Claire has spent a considerable amount of time working in developing countries. She is an enrolled nurse with many years’ experience in medical administration and management. When Claire is not working at The Butterfly Foundation, she is busy studying a degree in natural medicine and nutrition.
Emma Sheens is the Senior Therapist for the Adult and Youth Intensive Outpatient Programs.
Emma is a warm, genuine and trusted registered Psychologist. She enjoys working with people across various stages of their illness and supporting clients to obtain complete recovery. Her clients typically build strong and natural connection with her early in treatment.
Emma is dedicated to raising awareness about eating disorders and has a strong desire to help people who are suffering and impacted by eating disorders, including individuals and their families. She has been published in the field of eating disorders regarding reducing stigma around eating disorders and presented her research at the Australian and New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders (ANZAED) conference in 2017. Emma is passionate about trying to educate and inform individuals about the very real and true nature of an eating disorder.
In addition to her work at The Butterfly Foundation, Emma works in private practice at ‘BodyMatters Australasia’. She has also worked previously at Northside Group, St Leonards Clinic.
Sarah is an Adult and Youth Intensive Outpatient Program Therapist.
Sarah is a provisionally registered Psychologist who has had direct experience working with adolescents and young adults experiencing disordered eating and other co-morbidities in a therapeutic role. Before joining the IOP, Sarah was a Youth Access Clinician at headspace Hurstville and was also chosen by headspace National as a subject matter expert and spoke in a 90 minute training video for new Intake Workers, and actively supported and assisted with training of new Youth Access Clinicians and Clinical students. More recently, through a Butterfly and headspace partnership, Sarah co-facilitated our Emerging and Unfolding 6 week recovery programs for young people in the community who were experiencing disordered eating and body image concerns. Sarah is passionate about continuing her career in Eating Disorders, working with people and their families.
Bronwyn is an accredited practicing Dietitian working in a casual role as part of the Adult and Youth Intensive Outpatient Program team.
Over the past year she has been working with the National Eating Disorders Collaboration in a role to support Australia’s Primary Health Networks.
This has included delivering introductory level education to health professionals, stakeholder management and disseminating consistent evidence-based information on eating disorders prevention, early intervention, management across Australia. She maintains fortnightly private practice work at a GP Clinic in Sydney’s south and looks forward to working alongside the IOP team and the opportunity to expand her clinical experience in the treatment of those experiencing eating disorders.
Mihaela is a Sessional Therapist for the Youth Intensive Outpatient Program.
Mihaela has a Master's Degree in Psychology with University of Zagreb, is a certified NLP Practitioner, Systemic Family Constellations Facilitator and a Reiki Master Teacher, having training in Yalom Process Group Psychotherapy and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), using a holistic, integrative approach in my work. Mihaela also has a lived experience of an eating disorder, having been recovered for 16 years.
Mihaela’s journey in the field of eating disorders begun in Croatia where she was an Eating Disorder prevention group facilitator, implementing a 10-week prevention program with young adolescent girls in high schools and also founded Support Groups for eating disorders. Mihaela was a Psychologist intern at the Counselling Centre of Healthy City Porec before moving to Australia. Mihaela has worked in South Pacific Private psychiatric hospital with addictions and mental health issues for a year and a half, both in the inpatient (Primary Therapist) and in the outpatient (Day Program Therapist) setting. Since February 2018, Mihaela has been a Counsellor on the Butterfly National Helpline.
Alyssa is a Sessional Therapist for the Adult and Youth Intensive Outpatient Program.
Alyssa has a passion for working with people who are in need of empathy and care. Her desire is to be someone to walk alongside people so they can have the full life they deserve. Her interest for supporting people experiencing an eating disorder has developed over many years and after completing her counselling studies, provided the motivation to work in this field. Alyssa hopes that all people can receive the support and care that they need to experience a full recovery. Alyssa also is a Counsellor on the Butterfly National Helpline.
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