A multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of eating disorders and disordered eating is necessary due to the complicated concerns that involve medical, dietary and psychological issues. Eating disorders can impact many aspects of daily living, including physical and emotional health as well as other aspects of well-being.
When a student is struggling with an eating disorder, the best practice for care is a collaborative approach with a counselor, dietitian and physician who will work to provide a wholistic treatment plan. Depending on the level of concern, the counselor will work with the student to determine the best next steps for appropriate care.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Eating disorders are treatable, and individuals can recover. However, treatment can be a process depending on the length of struggle prior to treatment. A large factor in recovery is making positive changes in one's life. Counseling can support those positive changes.
- Most counseling services are completely covered by student fees. This includes individual counseling, support groups, therapy groups, etc.
- Due to the clinical demand at Counseling and Psychological Services during the fall and spring semesters, students typically can expect to meet with their counselor every other week after the initial few sessions. If long-term and/or weekly therapy is needed or desired, the counselor will work with the student to determine the best next step.
CAPS DISORDERED EATING & BODY IMAGE SERVICES
Depending on the student's needs and the severity or complexity of the eating concern, a student may need one or more of our services:
This is an opportunity to address the emotional and psychological aspects of an eating disorder. At the initial assessment, the counselor will ask questions to ascertain and understand the presenting concerns. The information gathered will be used to determine the best way we can help. If the counselor determines an eating disorder is present, he or she may make a referral to staff skilled in working with eating disorders or resources outside the counseling center if a different level of service is needed.
Body Acceptance Program
The Body Acceptance Program is a dissonance-based body-acceptance workshop. It is designed to help college-age women resist sociocultural pressures to conform to the thin-ideal and reduce their pursuit of thinness. This is achieved through verbal, written, and behavioral exercises. Results from these workshops have shown improved body satisfaction, improved mood, reduced use of unhealthy weight-control behaviors, and decreased binge eating and other eating disorder symptoms.
Support and Therapy Groups
Support and/or therapy groups on topics such as body image, disordered eating, food preoccupation, exercise obsession and eating disorder recovery are offered when interest and demand is met.
University Health Center Medical Services
The UHC dietitian can help students balance their eating patterns. In the first appointment, the dietitian will ask about food intake, weight, diet and exercise history. The dietitian will set food-related goals based on current behaviors.
Physical complications can result from an eating disorder, which is why this evaluation is important for those struggling with eating disorders. The visit will be similar to any physician visit except that it will also address issues specific to eating concerns.
Any of the providers will refer a student to higher levels of treatment when needed. If more regular or frequent care is needed than we can accommodate or if the situation extends beyond our level of expertise, a referral to other treatment resources and services will be made in order to best meet those needs (i.e. outpatient or inpatient treatment).