Mental Health Treatment for Girls and Young Women

McLean offers treatment options to support girls and young women throughout the life span. Contact our programs to speak to admission staff to find the care that’s right for yourself or your child.

At McLean Hospital, we are committed to supporting young people and their families while they learn the skills they need to manage their mental health. From comprehensive treatment programs to robust support and education, we are here to help.

Research underscores that gender is an important factor in determining risk, occurrence, presentation, course, and treatment of mental illnesses. Therefore, at McLean we have specialized services that focus on the unique psychiatric needs of girls and young women.

As the brain and body develop from infancy through adulthood, kids and teens may encounter an array of challenges. Some issues may be easy to solve, while others may result in crisis. Some young people have the ability to deal with these challenges, while others may need assistance to navigate their way through these problems. Child and adolescent care focuses on mental health symptoms and diagnoses as they apply to youth development and is focused on supporting young people and their parents and families on the path to recovery.

McLean offers an array of treatment services for girls and young women. These programs utilize proven diagnostic and therapeutic techniques to treat symptoms and restore health.

Treatment at McLean

McLean Hospital offers comprehensive mental health care options, from short-term acute care for individuals in psychiatric crisis to outpatient appointments. Services for women and girls cover a range of symptoms and diagnoses, including borderline personality disorder, addiction, eating disorders, trauma-related disorders, and more.

Young women in group therapy

McLean is at the forefront of mental health care for women and girls

Customized treatment plans can include individual, group, and family therapy, behavioral therapies, diagnostic assessment, consultation services, medication evaluation and management, and aftercare planning. We emphasize evidence-based treatment and therapy models informed by cutting-edge research conducted at McLean and around the world. By incorporating various approaches, treatment can be customized for each individual to help ensure recovery.

Robust patient and family education and support including informational materials, support groups, and assistance with community resources are also incorporated into patient care.

McLean’s Programs for Girls and Young Women

At McLean, we offer treatment options focused on women and girls on our main campus in Belmont, Massachusetts and other satellite locations nearby.

3East: Adolescent DBT Programs
McLean’s adolescent dialectical behavior therapy programs, collectively known as 3East, provide specialized care for teens and young adults who require treatment for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and emerging borderline personality disorder. The programs in the 3East continuum are specifically designed to accommodate patients in different phases of the treatment and recovery process, from highly focused residential treatment to outpatient care. We have intensive treatment tracks for both boys and girls, and our day program (partial hospital) and outpatient program are coed.

Klarman Eating Disorders Center
Founded with the generous support of the Klarman Family Foundation, the program provides state-of-the-art treatment for young women ages 18 to 26. Our residential and partial hospital program specializes in the treatment of anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder. Recognizing that each young woman has a distinct set of issues that contribute to her eating disorder, we also understand that many also struggle with co-occurring mental health problems such as substance use, depression, mood and anxiety disorders, as well as trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.

McLean’s Programs for Children and Adolescents

In addition, many of our programs are coeducational. Learn more about all of our treatment options for young people.

Child and Adolescent OCD Institute
OCDI Jr. offers intensive treatment for children and adolescents ages 12 to 18 with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), specific phobias, panic attacks, and anxiety disorders. Treatment plans are tailored to each child, with exposure and response prevention therapy as a main focus of care. Educational services are also available for children and teens to help our young patients keep up with schoolwork during their time at the program.

McLean Anxiety Mastery Program
At the McLean Anxiety Mastery Program (MAMP), we work closely with children and adolescents ages 7 to 19 who present with social anxiety, specific phobias, panic attacks, separation anxiety, agoraphobia, and obsessions and compulsions. Located on the campus of Sancta Maria Hospital in Cambridge, our self-pay outpatient clinic provides group cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) sessions with an emphasis on exposure and response prevention (ERP). These treatment methods help kids and teens learn the skills they need to understand and manage their fears and anxieties.

McLean-Franciscan Child and Adolescent Inpatient Program
The McLean-Franciscan Child and Adolescent Inpatient Program is a place for hope and healing for children in psychiatric crisis. Intensive psychiatric stabilization is available for children and adolescents ages 3 to 19. Located in Brighton, Massachusetts, we offer expert assessment and inpatient mental health treatment in a safe and nurturing environment. The goal of the program is for each child and adolescent to successfully return to his or her home, school, and community.

Teens in mental health care

McLean is a leader in mental health treatment for kids and teens

Adolescent Acute Residential Treatment (ART) Program
The Adolescent Acute Residential Treatment (ART) Program provides intensive, short-term, and highly focused psychiatric care for teens and young adults through age 19 with emotional and behavioral difficulties. With a length of stay between 10 and 14 days, this insurance-based residential program focuses on stabilizing adolescents in acute crisis.

Belmont Adolescent Partial Hospital Program
The Belmont Adolescent Partial Hospital Program offers structured day program care for teens and young adults ages 13-19 with an array of mental health challenges. This intensive, insurance-based program focuses on stabilizing adolescents and teaches effective ways of coping with life stressors.

Support, Treatment, and Resilience (STAR) Program
The STAR Program delivers high-quality outpatient care to teens and young adults ages 14-25 who are at risk of psychotic illnesses. The program offers individual therapy and psychiatric treatment for young people who are experiencing changes that impact thinking, emotions, behavior, and functioning. Although changes like these do not always indicate a first episode of psychiatric illness, they may place a person at increased risk of developing psychosis.

Child and Adolescent Outpatient Services
At McLean Hospital, we recognize the challenges children and adolescents with mental health conditions face. Through our Child and Adolescent Outpatient Services, located on the campus of Sancta Maria Nursing Facility in Cambridge, we are focused on helping young people and their families cope with mental illness. Our outpatient care includes individual and group therapy focused on an array of mental health diagnoses.


Arlington School
McLean Hospital’s Arlington School is an exceptional, nationally recognized college preparatory high school that integrates strong academics with clinical support for students with mental health issues that can interfere with their education. We provide a safe and supportive community where students grow academically, heal and thrive emotionally, assume greater responsibility for their learning, and work toward personal goals.

Pathways Academy
Pathways Academy is a year-round, therapeutic, day school developed to meet the social, sensory, psychological, and educational needs of children and adolescents ages 6 through 22 with autism spectrum disorders. Our students may struggle with social pragmatic (social communication) difficulties, sensory challenges, and difficulty meeting typical school expectations. Students may also have co-occurring psychiatric diagnoses, including depression, social and academic anxiety, and other disorders.

College Mental Health Program
The College Mental Health Program helps college students with mental illnesses and adjustment issues live more productive lives. We provide the highest level of mental health care, working closely with college student-patients, their families, and their institutions of higher education to ensure the greatest probability of academic and personal success.

Learn More About Mental Health in Girls and Young Women

Find articles, news, videos, and more about mental health and well-being for women and girls.


About the Conditions

Though men and women alike struggle with every type of mental health disorder, there are a few conditions that occur more often in women and girls. Learn more about these conditions, including definitions and helpful resources.

What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?
Mental health experts agree that the name “borderline personality disorder” can be misleading; however, a more accurate term does not yet exist. The good news is that when BPD is accurately diagnosed, treatment can be successful and individuals can go on to lead meaningful and productive lives.

What Are Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders happen as a result of severe disturbances in eating behavior, such as unhealthy reduction of food intake or extreme overeating. These patterns can be caused by feelings of distress or concern about body shape or weight, and they harm normal body composition and function. A person with an eating disorder may have started out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food than usual, but at some point, the urge to eat less or more spirals out of control.

Learn more about other mental health conditions and McLean’s public education efforts on our Education Initiatives page.