What is Professional Help for an Eating Disorder
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  • Writer's pictureKate Ringwood, LPC

How to Start Recovery From an Eating Disorder

Updated: Nov 6, 2022

Starting the process of recovery is HARD. In most cases, if you are struggling with your relationship with food or your body, you may be feeling increased anxiety. Well, what better way is there to try to get rid of anxiety then just ignoring it, right? Do you find yourself avoiding certain foods, events, clothing, or even mirrors? If any of this feels relatable to you, then you could benefit from seeking professional help, such as a licensed eating disorder therapist.

Professional help can look like a lot of different things in recovery. Know that there is no wrong way to start this process. The key is starting with a professional that specializes in eating disorders. However, you do not need to have an eating disorder diagnosis to see an eating disorder specialist! A treatment team typically consists of a therapist, dietitian, and doctor.

Finding a therapist can be tricky because all therapists are not equal. Just like any other relationship, we do not connect with everyone. It is perfectly okay to try a few sessions to see if you can connect, while also keeping in mind that a relationship can take time to build trust. If you need help finding a licensed eating disorder therapist, here are a few resources:

When in search for dietitian, making sure they are an anti-diet dietitian is extremely important. Diets are the leading cause to eating disorders and have been shown to have a harmful result on your relationship with food and your body. An anti-diet dietitian will not talk about numbers, calories, or weight. They will guide you towards having a better relationship with food by increasing your connection with your body. Here are some ways to find a dietitian:

Finding a doctor that works with eating disorders extremely important. Just like you would go to an orthopedic if you break a bone, you want to find someone that has specific training. This can be difficult because it is not a common specialty. A place to start looking is a local hospital to see if they can connect you with an eating disorder unit. Feel free to reach out to Serendipity if you are in the states of NJ, PA, MD, or FL, and need assistance in finding a local doctor!

It is important, when speaking to your doctor, to be open and honest about your concerns. Whether they provide you with a diagnosis or not, you still deserve, and may benefit from, further support. Having a good relationship with your doctor can be extremely important. If you do not feel they are providing you with the support you need, it is okay to find a new doctor. This is your journey and you deserve a treatment team that can support you in the ways you need.

If you aren’t sure if recovery is the right step for you, here is something to help. The National Eating Disorder Association has a screen tool to help you determine if seeking professional help is right for you. Click here to get started.

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