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Getting The Right Eating Disorder Treatment Program For You

Eating disorders are a serious problem in todays society. You will want to determine how much attention that program gives to a persons emotional, intellectual, relational, spiritual aspects. A program that focuses only on diet doesn’t address the underlying emotional factors of why people eat, for example.

1. Long-term is better than short-term

Some hospitals treat eating disorders in the wrong way. Be wary of those hospitals and treatment facilities that use interventions such as forced eating, anti-depressants, and other pharmaceutical solutions. It’s always your choice.

Take note that treatments, though it reduces the symptoms that usually accompany an eating disorder, should treat the underlying issues that are at the core of why there is a disorder in the first place. Programs should not just deal with the hows. Relevant results begin when both the why and how are taken into consideration and are answered.

2. The mind-body connection is relevant

A valid treatment program should also take into consideration that any imbalances in ones hormones, nutritional and vitamin deficiencies, gastrointestinal causes, etc. also have an effect on ones eating disorder.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of treatment programs that do not take these factors into consideration. An approach that is multi-faceted and seeks a link between emotional wellness and physical well-being enhances over-all change and healing.

3. All for one and one for all

Usually, in efforts to solve an eating disorder, patients compile a number of treatment and health providers. Example of these include a dietician, a medical doctor, a counselor for mental health issues, etc. Of course, there may be instances wherein communication between these various providers pose a challenge, logistics wise. If no appropriate coordination is present, all these providers may work in contrast with each other, unnecessarily compromising the interest of the patient who is suffering from eating disorder.

But when a treatment happens within a framework wherein a treatment is cohesive enough that it warrants each of the therapy providers consistent diagnosis and all agrees and is working on the same objectives, the efforts expended are most probably positive in result.

4. Each problem is unique

Be cautious of treatment programs that presents a solution that fits all sizes. Usually these consists of therapy that deals in behavior, or those that emphasize more on medication or pharmaceutical therapy.

The development of an eating disorder is a process that is very complex and multi-faceted. There is no one reason that could easily be named as its only cause. Ones recovery should be approached in a flexible, open, and wholistic one, using all aspects of a persons personality, this includes the individuals intellectual, emotional, relational, spiritual and physical life. With this approach, the persons total personality and individuality is involved in the healing process.

5. Look for a certified specialist

There exists an association called IAEDP (International Association of Eating Disorder Providers) where counselors specializing in eating disorder are certified, that is if they pass the exam and if they have appropriate experience. The highest certification is a CEDS or a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist.

It would be best that any counseling sessions be done on a one-on-one basis where personal healing and health is the focus and with the therapy provider or counselor believing in the patients ability to create changes their own changes and healing.

6. See how you are treated on the onset

When attempting to call an eating disorder treatment program, observe how they treat you early on. Try to notice if they greet you as a problem more than as a person. Are they actively listening to you or are they more insistent in providing you information in as short a time as possible? Are their responses sound like real human and humane responses or more like rehearsed scripts? Did you feel like you were important after calling them and did they feel like you were worth spending their time with?

7. Respect matters

Even if the treatment program works, you want to make sure that you will be treated with the utmost of respect. Any information regarding finances and costs must be provided in a way that is honest and up-front and one that would enable you to factor them in your eventual decision-making later on. Boot camps are one popular way to shed pounds during the summer – they focus more on burning fat through physical exercise than diet.

For more great eating disorder related articles and resources check out

Daniel Le Grange, professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience and director of the Eating Disorders Center at theUniversity of Chicago Medical Center, talks current standards of treatment for eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder. For more information: This video is part of a recurring feature on the ScienceLife blog where a University of Chicago Medical Center expert will address – in a series of short Q&A-style videos – frequently asked questions about a popular medical topic. These videos accompany stories posted on the blog, and are meant to offer clear, accurate information about common diseases and the accepted medical treatments currently available.
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