Disordered eating is typically a sign that an individual is struggling with a mental health condition known as an eating disorder. Essentially, eating behaviors may become distorted as a result of individuals attempting to self medicate symptoms of underlying mental health conditions. These mental health conditions can differ from person to person and can include trauma, depression, anxiety, and more. Fortunately, addressing both underlying mental health conditions and negative self-medicating behaviors through treatment can be effective in helping individuals struggling with eating disorders. However, since eating disorders can affect individuals differently, there must be many different aspects of treatment to address each issue.
In this article, we discuss a number of effective treatment approaches utilized throughout various eating disorder recovery programs. This way, individuals struggling with eating disorders can find out which aspects of treatment may work best for them. And, can begin to actively search for the treatment program that works best according to their specific needs.
The Two Types of Treatment for Eating Disorders
Before we dive into therapeutic approaches utilized in the treatment of eating disorders, we must touch on the types of treatment you can select from. Basically, you have the option of either inpatient or outpatient treatment.
Inpatient Treatment: With inpatient treatment, individuals in care live at the facility they receive treatment from. This allows them to completely focus on treatment efforts and get the help they need full time. Obviously, this type of treatment is best for more serious cases. However, this is a drawback for people who may not be willing to travel to get help, can’t leave their kids, or can’t get time off from work or school to go to treatment.
Outpatient Treatment: This type of treatment allows individuals to utilize treatment approaches in either daytime or nighttime house. Patients do not live at the facility and can go home to their families after treatment each day. Outpatient treatment is best for individuals who have already graduated from an inpatient treatment facility and need further care. Or, those who can’t take time from work, school, or other obligations to live at an inpatient treatment facility.
Psychotherapeutic Approaches Used to Address Disordered Eating
One of the main ways to address, confront, and change self-harmful eating behaviors is to utilize psychotherapeutic approaches. Some of the most commonly used psychotherapies used in eating disorder treatment include:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBD): One-on-one therapy with a specialist that is meant to identify thinking, behavioral, and emotional patterns that may contribute to an eating disorder.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): A type of one-on-one therapy that helps to stimulate mindfulness or the control of one’s thoughts in the present moment. This can help build coping mechanisms used in negating disordered eating.
Family Therapy: These sessions allow patients and their families to share their experience with eating disorders to determine a better understanding. And, allows families to learn more about this mental health condition so they may offer invaluable support.
Nutritional Therapy for Individuals in Eating Disorder Treatment
Another important aspect of eating disorder treatment is nutritional counseling. Women struggling with eating disorders may have bee living with disordered eating habits for so long that they don’t understand proper nourishment. So, relearning or even learning this information is vital for a successful recovery. During therapy sessions, individuals may be encouraged to learn nutritional facts about specific foods and food groups. Also, they may benefit from the teaching of how to prepare their own nutritious meals. This way, they may be able to nourish their bodies as they need once treatment ends.
Supportive Therapies Used in Eating Disorder Treatment
Along with psychotherapy sessions, a number of supportive therapies have shown great success in eating disorder treatment. These include:
Ecotherapy: Gardening and being out in nature can stimulate mindfulness. This is important through recovery efforts to learn to manage thoughts and emotions.
Trauma Therapy: Addressing traumatic situations one has experienced can help to identify underlying causes for eating disorders. This can help to confront the inner, underlying issue so that true healing can commence.
Acupuncture: This eastern therapy is known to help release toxins associated with mood management, which is imperative to have control over when battling with cravings and triggers during recovery.
Art Therapy: This form of expression helps individuals to address and confront underlying negative emotions which may have contributed to their disordered eating.
Getting Eating Disorder Help for You or a Loved One
Are you struggling with an eating disorder? Do you think an approach to eating disorder treatment that involves all of these methods may work for you? If so, consider Willow Place for Women.
We strive to provide women living with disordered eating with the skills they need to live happy, successful, and healthy lives of recovery. To learn more about our treatment and approaches, contact us today.