Q: Why do I have an Eating Disorder and my friends don’t?
A: Since eating disorders have a biological and genetic component to them, you may have a history in your family that puts you at more risk than your friends.
Q: What helps most people recover from an Eating Disorder?
A: Getting professional help to address all underlying causes to the eating disorder is what I would say in a nut shell. But most important I think is staying on a structured meal plan for a period of time before transitioning to a more loosely structured meal plan. Then it means eating mindfully, listening to what your body needs to eat to stay healthy and eating regular intervals of food. Recovery requires honoring your feelings and learning how to manage them without medicating through food or the lack there of. It means staying in active communication and connection with others, and not isolating when life gets tough. It means staying in tune with your unique biology and personality. It means finding what makes you tick. It means finding your passion!
Q: How many sessions does it take?
A: This is difficult to determine. It depends on how long the eating disorder has been experienced, age at onset, biochemical imbalances, participation, etc. Many different factors contribute so it is hard to acurrately say.
Q: Why does my child need a therapist for an Eating Disorder?
A: There are issues such as anxiety and/or depression that can be some of the underlying causes to the eating disorder. The therapist is trained and experienced in addressing these issues while the dietitian addresses the meal planning and dietary concerns and the physician addresses the medical concerns.
Q: As a parent, how do I know what is being discussed with my child?
A: Sessions are confidential. When meeting alone with your child it’s important that they have trust in expressing their issues and concerns. However, if they feel they are a threat to themselves or others that is brought to the attention of the parent. Also, I include as much as logistically possible to include one or both of the parents in part or all of each session. At the end of the session, we summarize what is important that your child wants to discuss with the parents, discuss the coming weeks goals and I bring up any concerns I may see.
Q: Can’t I just start eating more and the anorexia will go away?
A: Anorexia is a complicated, bio-psycho-social disorder. It is not just about food. You have to address factors that are the underlying issues such as personal and family dynamics, a trauma that may have happened to you, how social pressures are influencing you, anxiety or depression, and any biochemistry that may be imbalanced. It takes professional help just like it does if you had cancer or another medical condition.
Q: What is experiential learning?
A: We humans learn best by doing. Experiential programs in a group with other people such as working with horses or doing outdoor, structured activities, allows for the person to learn by doing. Talk therapy in an office is great. But when you do both, it can complete the picture of recovery.