When you’ve come to understand and accept your eating disorder, a long road of recovery lies ahead. The learning process on how to heal starts with treatment. I’m sure one thing you may find most nerve-racking is what to expect in treatment. Although each treatment program is tailored uniquely to each person, there are certain components you’ll be able to expect when you’re entering treatment for an eating disorder. Here are four.
1. Psychotherapy and psychological counseling
The most successful type of eating disorder treatment is psychotherapy and/or psychological counseling. These approaches are generally combined with careful attention to medical and nutritional needs. Psychological counseling should address the physical symptoms of the eating disorder as well as any underlying interpersonal, psychological, and environmental forces that may be contributing to the eating disorder. This could be in the form of inpatient or outpatient programs.
2. Learning to live with food
As you know, food is an essential part of life. Learning to have a healthy relationship with food is imperative to healing from an eating disorder. Meeting with a nutritional counselor will help you identify healthy eating patterns, recognize destructive thoughts, and change these thinking patterns to empower you and how you feel about food. Feelings, thoughts, and behaviors all have to do with your eating disorder, which are all addressed in treatment. The goal is to live peacefully and healthfully with food.
3. Medical help
Treatment can be delivered in hospitals, resident treatment facilities, and private office settings. Care should be provided by a licensed health professional like a social worker, psychiatrist, psychologist, nutritionist, or medical doctor. Medical help will aid in medical prescriptions, any immediate health issues that could be life threatening, and other dental or medical issues that you may be dealing with due to your eating disorder. Ongoing treatment for health issues may be needed as you begin to heal.
4. Group support and aftercare
There is nothing more comforting than sitting amongst a group of people who have been through exactly, or similar to what you’ve been through. Being with other people who have an eating disorder in group therapy can help you address thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to your disorder. Group support can provide skills, help you manage symptoms, and establish camaraderie with like-minded individuals. Listening to others experience, strength, and hope can help you during and after your stay in treatment. Aftercare is essential is living a healthy life in recovery from your eating disorder. You are the most important member of your treatment team. Obtaining the most education and skills you can while in treatment and continuing to attend support group meetings after you leave is imperative to your journey. Putting your new coping skills into action can lead to long and healthy life learning to live with your eating disorder.
These are the four basic components of eating disorder treatment. They make up the foundation of the rest of your life. The pain and suffering stop here.
If you have questions about treatment, we are here to help. Please call us today: 877.257.1638.
Written by: Kelly Fitzgerald
Kelly is a sober writer based in Cape Coral, Florida, best known for her personal blog The Adventures Of A Sober Señorita. Follow her on Twitter.