Eating Disorder Specialty
Eating Disorders are a serious health condition. Not something to be taken lightly. In fact, early diagnosis and intervention significantly enhances recovery! I applaud you for taking the first steps in exploring what recovery looks like for yourself or a loved one.
Eating disorders may seem to be solely about food and weight, but they are far more complicated than that.
Eating Disorders are a Bio-Psycho-Social disorder. They often occur along with other mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, mood disorders and low self-esteem. There are biological factors such as biochemical imbalances and genetic contributions. Interpersonal dynamics contribute as well such as difficulty expressing emotions or a history of trauma. Social pressures to be thin and cultural norms that overvalue personal appearance can also be a driving force. Those who struggle with this disease are using food and the control of food, as if it were a drug, to manage all these overwhelming factors!
Given the complexity of eating disorders, I believe the most effective and long-lasting treatment is a team approach, combining psychotherapy or counseling, with evaluation and assessment of medical and nutritional needs. A positive and successful therapy journey involves regular sessions with the individual who is struggling with the eating disorder. I encourage the immediate family member and/or parent(s) to join part or all of the session if at all possible or appropriate. In my practice, a dietitian/nutritionist works in conjunction with our psychotherapy. The dietitian/nutritionist meets regularly with the patient to establish and educate both the individual and family on nutrition, and to create and monitor a structured nutritional plan and establish goals. A primary care physician is recommended to monitor the individual’s medical needs such as labs, vitals, and overall medical concerns. A psychiatrist is involved if medications are recommended. Integrative and alternative medicine referrals are available as well to address the medical components.
Recovery is the goal in treatment. Recovery means getting the mind-body-spirit back in balance.
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You may have questions about why a therapist is necessary for recovery, how long does therapy take, and maybe even “why me”? I would love to discuss any and all of those questions with you. It might help to look through some of the more commonly asked questions and answers.