April Lyons, MA, LPC
2334 Broadway Suite B
Boulder, CO 80304
Their weight wasn’t right. The way they ate (or didn’t eat) your home-cooked meals wasn’t right. And they way they dodged your questions wasn’t right either.
And now you know why. Your child needs help. College eating disorders aren’t to be ignored or wished away. You’ve seen enough talk shows, news stories, and medical websites now to know better than to wait any longer.
Unfortunately, your child is no longer a child. They are a young adult, away from home, and you’re going need to approach this threat differently than you would have a few short years ago.
So. How does a parent find the right help to save their college student’s life?
How will you find the best and most experienced professionals? How will you afford what it takes to see it all through? Will your child recover quickly or will this be a long journey?
Finding the right help probably feels confusing, daunting, scary. But you can do this. There are viable options out there for college eating disorders. You just don’t know yet which will meet your child’s needs and work well.
As a parent, you want the answers now. You want to fix your child’s pain right away. That’s understandable. But first, take a moment to accept what is, educate yourself, and gather personal support. Then you can persistently dig into the process of finding appropriate treatment for your child.
What’s the most important thing you can do right away to find your child the help they need?
See that they are evaluated by a professional immediately and are medically cleared by a physician. Early intervention improves the chance of full recovery. Thus, expert evaluation is crucial. Encourage your child to visit an eating disorder treatment specialist who will have other resources on hand.
While it’s true that college eating disorders are challenging because you can’t force your young adult to seek help, you can do what you can to put a consistent stream of support, advisors, and connections in their path. This way, your child knows that others are aware of their struggle and are willing, without judgment, to provide support.
For your part, stay calm and proactive, shower your child with love and unconditional support. Offer to listen and set up appointments. Simply be there for them as much as you can. Remain vigilant. If you see that the problem is escalating quickly be prepared to suspend tuition and welcome them home to get better.
Following your student’s initial evaluation, a treatment recommendation for care will be made. There are five core types of college eating disorder treatment as detailed by the National Eating disorders Association:
It’s important to be as knowledgeable about your therapist and clinician training as you can. Get as clear as possible about treatment offerings before engaging your student or family. The following questions can be particularly helpful.
The costs associated with eating disorder treatment can be a source of worry. It’s important to be as informed and proactive as possible. Which financial considerations apply to you? Your answers will guide how you find the right help.
Finding the right help can be challenging, but keep the goal in mind. You are doing a phenomenal thing for your child and your family. Take measures to stay strong mentally and physically. Encourage your student to do the same. Seek support to keep you strong and focused.
College eating disorders are treatable. Stay the course, sound the alarm, and keep searching for help. You can do this. You will find the right people with the right balance of skills and compassion to help your child recover.
f you would like extra support and are are seeking an eating disorder specialist, 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
April Lyons, MA, LPC is a somatic psychotherapist and currently owns a private practice in Boulder, CO. She specializes in PTSD, eating disorders and bipolar treatment. 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 here: Psychotherapy Boulder.
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