Choosing an Eating Disorder Psychotherapist: 5 Tips to Getting the Help You Need to Heal

An eating disorder psychotherapist requires understanding and effective treatment.

You have a right to it. You deserve it. And with it, you’ll feel better about your body and your ability to live the life you really want.

Psychotherapy can be challenging, but it is a worthwhile part of your healing. An eating disorder psychotherapist helps facilitate therapy sessions and various types of help that improve your self-awareness and coping skills.

It is vital that the problems you face are not complicated by any sense that your recovery attempts are unsupported or following an unproductive course. For the best outcome, choose your eating disorder psychotherapist with the following 5 tips in mind.

1. Don’t underestimate the benefit of self-education and therapist credentials

To get the help you need, start by learning what you can about your diagnosis. Talk to your doctor and seek out trustworthy research. Get a better sense of your own needs.

Generally, too, you’re looking for an eating disorder specialist with an active practice and successfully recovering clients.

2. Honor your right to ask questions

Don’t be afraid to conduct a pre-session interview. You are about to embark on an intense and personal relationship. Thus, take the opportunity to see where your therapist is coming from before the focus shifts primarily to you and your eating disorder.

Here are a few questions you might ask:

  • In your opinion, what causes or contributes to eating disorders (EDs)? Listen for evidence-based explanations as well as societal reasons.
  • Would you please describe your ED treatment philosophy and approach? Listen for an emphasis on holistic treatment, including body awareness, coping skills and self-care.
  • What’s your educational background, training, and experience in ED treatment? Be sure that their answer reflects satisfactory experience for you.
  • How many patients with an ED have you treated recently and are they fully recovered? Be sure that ED patients aren’t a rarity and his or her clients are thriving.
  • If co-occurring disorders are an issue, will you address and treat them too? Listen for a willingness to see you understand your condition completely and deal with correlating issues.
  • Generally, do you have a long-term treatment plan for healing and lasting recovery? Make sure that learning to manage your condition independently and optimally is the end goal.

3. Discuss specialties, approach, and perspective

When you’ve narrowed down your choice, talk more specifically about what treatment you can expect. Be sure your therapist is up to date and open minded. Furthermore, will they share with you new approaches and appreciate your desire to share ideas that may be beneficial?

You want to feel that the help you seek is knowledgeable, teachable, and accepting of your ideas regarding beneficial treatment possibilities.

4. Find an eating disorder psychotherapist who is willing to collaborate

Eating disorder treatment is rarely successful in a vacuum. Talk to your therapist about how he or she will connect with other professionals to get you the help you need. Is she open to collaboration with a treatment facility, dietician, or a nutritionist? Will she be bothered by your attempts to learn more about your eating disorder and seek additional guidance?

Seek out a therapist who values secure, supportive therapeutic relationships as an aid to your recovery. Your therapist should encourage healthy relationships with yourself, health professionals, and supportive loved ones.

5. Assess Your Sessions and Trust Your Instincts

Most of all, listen to your gut and pay attention to your responses in your early therapy sessions. Is the environment safe and welcoming? Are you fully accepted without judgment?

You should sense that you are being supported, informed, and provided practical strategies to help you listen to your body and understand the core issues that are causing your food, weight, and dieting issues.

Taking the First Step

You may find choosing an eating disorder psychotherapist to be difficult initially. After all, putting yourself out there and admitting you need help is tough when you’ve struggled so hard to stay in control.

Reaching out to secure your recovery is a brave move. It’s okay to feel anxious or uncertain. But don’t make that a reason to go on suffering alone.

Most of all, gather all the support you can grasp against your eating disorder. It is the best thing you can do for yourself. Don’t wait to live a life that honors your mind and body. Healing is the right thing to do.

If you would like extra support and are are seeking an eating disorder psychotherapist, please contact me here for a free 30-minute consultation to learn about how I can be of service.

To find out more about my services click here: Eating Disorder Treatment

About The Author

April Lyons, MA, LPC is a somatic psychotherapist and currently owns a private practice in Boulder, CO. She specializes in PTSD, eating disorders and child counseling. April is trained in EMDR Therapy, Trauma Informed Care, and is certified as a Eating Disorder Intuitive Therapist. To find out more about April click herePsychotherapy Boulder.

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