Outpatient Therapy & Disordered Eating
WHAT IS DISORDERED EATING & HOW CAN OUTPATIENT THERAPY HELP ME?
Disordered eating is unhelpful food behaviors usually prompted by a desire to lose weight or promote an idea of health. Common behaviors might include:
Any kind of “dieting”, including fad diets
Participating in cleanses or purges
Excluding one particular type of food or nutrient (desserts, carbs, etc.)
Using diet pills
Skipping meals or fasting
Increased focus on appearance, including appearance of self, others, and/or food
Regularly eating not enough or too much
If left untreated, these behaviors can develop into patterns leading to preoccupation with food and body resulting in impairment to your daily functioning along with serious consequences to mental and physical health.
How can outpatient therapy help?
In the outpatient setting, your therapist will work within a team setting including a registered dietitian, a physician, and/or a psychiatrist when indicated. Additionally, if you still live at home, your family may be invited to be part of the team.
First steps include an assessment followed by treatment planning with the first goal to stabilize any medical or psychiatric needs including weight restoration if needed, followed by interrupting any disordered eating behaviors, establishing normalized eating behaviors, challenging unhelpful thought patterns and behaviors related to food and body image, addressing any ongoing mental health or medical concerns, and finally relapse prevention planning. Other goals can also include how you prefer to include movement and play into your daily routine while exploring how this impacts your mental health, challenges your food behaviors, and empowers you to use your body in helpful and empowering ways.
Challenging and addressing disordered eating can be terrifying, especially in our diet culture centered society, and outpatient therapy can help you navigate the fear of letting go and developing skills in order to move forward into freedom.