Eating Disorder Counseling
What Are the Types of Eating Disorders?
Although there are many different ways in which an individual can develop atypical eating patterns, the most commonly diagnosed eating disorders include anorexia, bulimia, or binge-eating:
- Anorexia: when self-restriction of food intake results in an extremely low body mass index (BMI), but body dissatisfaction motivates the individual to continue pursuing weight loss despite evidence of adverse health consequences
- Restricting subtype: weight loss is accomplished primarily by restricting food intake
- Binge-eating/Purging subtype: the individual achieves weight loss by self-starvation, but occasionally “slips up” and engages in episodic binge-eating. Afterward, the individual compensates for weight gain through purging methods (vomiting, enemas, laxatives, etc.)
- Bulimia: when an individual of normal body weight participates in uncontrollable binge-eating and uses subsequent purging techniques (vomiting, self-administering of laxatives or diuretics, etc.) to avoid gaining weight
- Binge-eating: when binge-eating episodes cause extreme remorse in an individual, but no compensatory methods, such as purging or extreme exercising, are implemented afterward to lose weight
Less common eating disorder types include:
- Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder: when an individual avoids or restricts food for reasons other than body image (for example, a lack of appetite or phobic response to eating, etc.); body mass index becomes extremely low and the individual may require nutritional supplements or tube-feeding
- Pica: when an individual consumes items that are non-digestible or non-food
- Rumination disorder: when an individual regurgitates food following a meal and then re-consumes it
How Can Eating Disorder Counseling & Therapy Help My Condition?
Without proper treatment, an eating disorder can progress into a life-threatening medical condition. But, fortunately, recovery is achievable. A successful outpatient treatment plan should use an integrated approach, relying on the medical expertise of doctors and counselors to assess your condition:
- Foremost, your treatment program should prioritize your medical needs. Severe eating disorders can result in sudden cardiac or respiratory arrest, esophageal hemorrhaging (from repetitive induced vomiting), multiple organ systems failure, or death: So, early medical intervention to restore your nutrition is key!
- Next, your therapist will help you address maladaptive beliefs about your body image and food. You may work to process your emotions surrounding food in individual sessions, with a nutritionist who may help you design a meal plan, in the context of a group, or as a component of family or relationship counseling. Your therapist will help you develop coping mechanisms to avoid the urges to binge, purge, or restrict food and help you understand the extenuating stressors that may be contributing to your condition (for instance, a correlated history of sexual abuse or working in an environment, such as athletics or dance, that “demands” thinness).
- Your therapist may introduce you to alternative therapies—such as psychotherapeutic yoga, meditation, mindfulness, equine therapy, and expressive arts as therapy—to equip you with tools for relaxation as you navigate your recovery process
- Your counselor will devote special attention to other psychological conditions that may occur simultaneously with your eating disorder, such as substance abuse, obsessive compulsive disorder, PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc., and ensure that you receive comprehensive treatment for each need
- As fitting, your counselor may connect you with alternatives for higher levels of care, for instance, residential treatment programs or inpatient (hospital) care to stabilize your physical health prior to outpatient treatment
Meet our counselors who specialize in this issue
- Adriana SpeikerLPC, RYT 200, PYT 200Dallas & Fort WorthSpecialties: Addiction & Substance Abuse, Anxiety Disorders, Behavioral Addictions, Depression, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Eating Disorders, EMDR, Mindfulness Training, Psychotherapeutic Yoga, PTSD Recovery, Stress Management, Trauma & Abuse Recovery, Veterans & Military, Yoga Therapy
- Jessica LatchawLPC Intern, LCDC Intern Supervised by
Chris Jones, LPC-SFort WorthSpecialties: Addiction & Substance Abuse, Body Image, Codependency Issues, Couples Counseling, Cutting, Eating Disorders, Grief & Loss, LGBTQ & Gender Issues, LGBTQ Couples, New Parents, Pre-Marital, Pregnancy Issues, Self Harm, Young Adults in Transition
- Alana McCrawMasters Level Intern, INHCFort WorthSpecialties: Adolescents, Anorexia, Anxiety Disorders, Binge Eating, Body Image, Bullimia, Depression, Eating Disorders, Exercise Addiction, Extreme Dieting, Food Addiction, Kids, Teens & Tweens, Mindfulness Training, Stress Management, Tweens & Teens