What Does Therapy For An Eating Disorder Look Like
Treatment for eating disorders and body image can be incredibly effective and improve all areas of your life. In therapy, I start by providing a safe space for you to share any and all concerns that you are experiencing regarding your current struggles. We will explore and identify negative thought and behavioral patterns that are persisting in your life and that are no longer serving you. We will help you uncover hidden emotions that are causing the behaviors to persist, and process them fully. Then we will help you break these patterns and replace them with healthier coping skills. Together, we will take a look at your values and help you develop a plan to live fully in alignment with them leading to more joy, ease, satisfaction, and confidence.
Finding An Eating Disorder Treatment Center In San Diego
If you or a loved one is battling an eating disorder, you may, at times, feel stressed, frustrated, and hopeless. Eating disorder treatment can provide you with the lifeline you need to find sustainable recovery. While eating disorders are complex, recovery outcomes are highly favorable, especially if you seek treatment.
True Life Center, a nationally recognized mental health treatment center and eating disorder treatment center in San Diego, is here for you. To find out more about eating disorders and treatment, call us today at .
Jessica Lester Ms Rdn
Jessica is a registered dietitian nutritionist with experience working with both adolescent and adult populations. She is a graduate of UCLA and California State University, Los Angeles where she completed her masters degree in nutritional science. Jessica completed her dietetic internship with Cedars-Sinai and Kaiser Permanente and is now a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is passionate about helping individuals heal their relationship with food through proper nutrition care and education. By utilizing the All Foods Fit philosophy and Intuitive Eating principles, Jessica guides her clients to discover their own path to eating disorder recovery. She works alongside both clients and their families to provide support for recovery in program and at home.
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Otherwise Specified Feeding Or Eating Disorder
This category was created to include those patients who did not meet the diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa but still had a significant eating disorder that could not be ignored. OSFED accounts for about 30% of all diagnosed eating disorders.
The severity of OSFED is extremely understated due to the prevalent myth that it isnt as dangerous as other conditions. This has made it increasingly difficult to get insurance coverage for the same.
Because OSFED encompasses a wide variety of eating disordered behaviors, any or all of the following symptoms may be present in people with OSFED. Warning signs and symptoms include:
- Frequent episodes of consuming very large amount of food followed by behaviors to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting
- Evidence of binge eating, disappearance of large amounts of food in short periods of time or lots of empty wrappers and containers indicating consumption of large amounts of food
- Self-esteem overly related to body image
- Dieting behavior
- Expresses a need to burn off calories taken in
- Evidence of purging behaviors, including frequent trips to the bathroom after meals, signs and/or smells of vomiting, presence of wrappers or packages of laxatives or diuretics
Do I Have An Eating Disorder
Maybe you’ve tried dozens of diets throughout your life. Even if there was a time when you got to the place where you wanted to be, the weight loss didnt last. And of course, you blame yourself, not the diet. Even though youve heard diets dont work, you still feel like a failure.
Maybe you obsess about fitness and exercise. Are you compelled to workout every day, close all your rings on your Apple Watch or compensate for what you ate by burning calories even if you are hurt, sick or tired? Are you beginning to realize that your obsession with being healthy isnt healthy because you have less time for the people and activities you used to enjoy in your life?
Maybe youre struggling with more extreme behaviors like restricting meals, purging, compensatory exercise, abusing laxatives or find yourself bingeing or feeling out of control around food. What started off as a way to feel more in control is now feeling out of control, and each meal can be an anxiety-inducing experience.
Trying to control your body doesnt work and just leaves you feeling like you will never measure up. You long to make peace with food, your body and yourself. You’re ready for a change. Youre ready to reach out for help.
Youve been searching online, but finding an eating disorder therapist or dietitian in San Diego who has availability and really understands eating disorders and food and body issues, can be hard!
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Does My Entire Family Need To Come
Entire families are highly encouraged to participate in the Intensive Family Treatment week. When a child suffers from the devastating illness of an eating disorder all members of the family, and the relationships between them, are profoundly affected. Unprecedented levels of success are reported when families and siblings become centrally involved in the treatment process. Siblings are provided with a safe space to discuss fears, struggles that he/she may be experiencing, and changes in the sibling dynamics. IFT benefits the whole family with improved understanding, open dialogue, and facilitates the capacity for growth. Having the entire family attend the IFT week will empower families as the effects of eating disorders impact the whole family unit.
Common Warning Signs Of An Eating Disorder
- Sudden weight loss or gain
- Disordered eating, such as habitually skipping breakfast or lunch
- Participating in fasting challenges or keeping track of everything they eat in a day
- Sudden change in mood or socializing habits
- Self-esteem issues about body image
- Anxiety or depression
- Girls experience menstrual irregularity or stoppage
- Boys focused on bodybuilding and body fat
- Dizziness or fainting
- Stomach cramps or acid reflux
- Cuts and calluses across the top of the finger joints
- Difficulty concentrating
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Philosophy And Treatment Approach
Over the past decade, there have been tremendous advances in science that have revolutionized our understanding of eating disorders. Technological tools such as functional magnetic resonance imaging have now substantiated that eating disorders have a powerful neurobiological basis. Researchers have identified specific neurobiological differences in the brains of people with eating disorders that affect how they eat, how they feel , and how they make decisions. This explains why eating disorders tend to run in families and why people with eating disorders often exhibit certain personality traits. For example, individuals with anorexia nervosa tend to be driven, perfectionistic, harm-avoidant, and obsessional. Individuals with bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder also tend to be perfectionistic and harm-avoidant, but also impulsive and novelty-seeking.
We also know that people with eating disorders struggle with emotion regulation, or the ability to successfully manage their emotions in flexible, effective ways. Some people with eating disorders are highly sensitive to emotion and experience their feelings very intensely, which is overwhelming and leads to ineffective or destructive behavior. Many of our patients have alexithymia, or difficulty identifying, labeling, and/or expressing emotion. People with eating disorders tend to be prone to anxiety and depression.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy 4 components:
Four Components of DBT
Will Insurance Cover This Program
UCSD Eating Disorder Center is contracted with most major insurance companies. The IFT program is typically covered by insurance companies. Our billing office supports patients by providing an insurance screening which allows us to verify and interpret coverage for this program. We also provide a financial consultation to go over your financial responsibility for this program.
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Treatments For Binge Eating
Many of the same strategies for BED stem from other approaches to eating disorder treatment. Eating disorder treatment may include talk therapy, medications, or a combination. The goal is to reduce symptoms, improve quality of life, and treat health consequences and mental health issues related to disordered eating.
A Team Of Eating Disorder Specialists
Through our program, you’re not assigned a doctor you’re supported by a team. Specialists inpsychiatry,internal medicine, psychology, nursing andnutrition offer compassionate support. Expect both group and individual therapy, thorough medical assessments, body-image counseling and supervised meals. And with a high staff-to-patient ratio, we’re here every step of the way personalizing your recovery to you.
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Adult Eating Disorder Program
We work with adults, of all ages and genders, struggling with difficulties with eating, weight, and/or food. We offer all levels of care, low-cost supportive housing, and a wide-range of evidence-based treatments that are tailored to your specific symptoms and goals. If youâd like a free phone-consultation with one of our therapists, please fill out this form and we will schedule a call with you.
Life At Eating Recovery Center San Antonio
Our specialized treatment programs provide comprehensive support adults, adolescents and children of all genders. Compassionate expertsincluding psychiatrists, internal and family practice physicians, mental health therapists, Registered Dietitians and nursescollaborate with patients and families to address these complex illnesses and restore healthy lives and relationships.Eating Recovery Center San Antonio offers our patients the most comprehensive and effective eating disorder treatment available.
- Founded in 2009, Eating Disorder Center at San Antonio partnered with Eating Recovery Center in 2013 to become Eating Recovery Center, San Antonio.
- Eating Recovery Center, San Antonio is an eating disorder treatment program that serves female and male adults , adolescents and children with anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and ARFID.
- A multidisciplinary eating disorder treatment team of professionals oversees a seven-day-per-week Partial Hospitalization Program and three-day-per-week Intensive Outpatient Program.
- Works closely with Denver-based Eating Recovery Center, an international center providing comprehensive treatment for adults, adolescents and children struggling with the full spectrum of eating disorder diagnoses and co-occurring illnesses, to provide a seamless transition to another level of care, if needed.
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Binge Eating Disorder Treatment
When someone struggles with Binge Eating Disorder , they often require intensive eating disorder treatment. Untreated, BED can be life-threatening, but it is treatable.
Other Eating Disorders include anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. These are frequently accompanied by another mental health condition and a generally unhealthy relationship with food.
Britt Beswick Ma Lmft
Britt is a licensed marriage & family therapist. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and then obtained her Master of Arts degree in marriage and family therapy from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University in San Diego.
Britts therapeutic approach is compassionate, empathetic and nonjudgmental, creating a safe space in which patients can participate in a collaborative dynamic to meet their identified goals. Britt believes that all patients have unique strengths and are capable of creating meaningful change in their lives. She enjoys helping patients access these strengths while improving their relationship with food, body and mind through identifying and connecting with values, learning healthy coping skills and improving communication.
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Thomas Insel: Toward A New Understanding Of Mental Illness
Through our multi-decade research at UC San Diego and with collaborators around the globe, we believe that mental health disorders are brain disorders. We take a medical model and treat symptoms and behaviors using evidence-based treatments. Weâve found that genetic vulnerabilities to anxiety, emotional sensitivity, and obsessive/perfectionistic personality traits, predispose individuals to develop eating disorder behaviors. These temperament traits can be modified through new coping strategies, to allow these traits to become assets rather than liabilities. Through both our research and our work with thousands of people suffering from eating disorder symptoms, we strongly believe that people do NOT choose to have eating disorders, they do NOT choose to suffer, and families do NOT cause eating disorders but rather are the critical factor in successful recovery and relapse prevention.
Eating Disorder Causes Are Complex And Not As Important As Getting The Right Treatment
Eating disorders are complex brain disorders with strong genetic, neurobiological and psychological underpinnings. No single person, experience, or issue causes an eating disorder. They often co-occur with and can be hidden by anxiety disorders, depression, OCD, PTSD, and substance use disorder. The good news is that we don’t need to know the exact cause of your child’s eating disorder to treat it effectively.
Researchers are still learning what triggers or “turns on” eating disorders in the brain. For many, it seems to come from a negative energy balance caused from more calories out than in which can be triggered by a diet, over-exercise, stomach bug, or surgery. Once that imbalance occurs, a switch flips in the brain, turning the eating disorder on and tyrannizing the brain.
Many people use disordered eating behaviors, such as bingeing, purging, excessive exercise, and restricting, to help regulate or soothe their emotions similar to the use of alcohol or self-harm to escape difficult feelings. When these behaviors are used frequently to manage emotions, it goes from ‘disordered eating’ to being an ‘eating disorder.’
Societal and cultural factors such as the pandemic, diet culture, and social media can trigger an eating disorder for those with a genetic predisposition and/or can trigger big emotions that people try to combat with disordered behaviors.
I feel like I can exhale for the first time since this nightmare started and I am very grateful.
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Overview Of Eating Disorder Treatment
The UC San Diego Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research provides inpatient, day treatment/partial-hospitalization , and intensive outpatient levels of care for children, adolescents, and adults struggling with food, weight, eating disorders, and related symptoms and behaviors. As a non-profit, university-based program, we are committed to providing state-of-the-art treatments based on research and new understandings of eating disorders to help people recover, prevent future relapses, and build a life worth living.
Alyssa Dahlberg Ma Amft
Alyssa is an associate marriage & family therapist. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Point Loma Nazarene University, and graduated with her Master of Arts degree in marriage and family therapy from the University of San Diego.
Alyssa has experience working with adults and children with trauma, eating disorders and substance use disorders. Alyssa has training in therapy modalities such as acceptance & commitment therapy , cognitive behavioral therapy , internal family systems , dialectical behavior therapy and other family systems theories. Alyssa enjoys work with adults, families and couples, and has training and experience working with eating disorders, substance abuse disorders, PTSD, bipolar and other mood disorders, as well as psychotic disorders. Outside of work, she enjoys surfing and diving, going to concerts and enjoying the San Diego weather.
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Do You Or Your Loved One:
- Have difficulty maintaining a healthy body weight?
- Worry about eating too little or too much?
- Feel out of control around food, eating too much or not enough?
- Want a healthier relationship with your body?
- Feel like food controls your life?
Eating disorders are life-threatening biological illnesses. Fortunately, there are treatments available that can lead to a healthy mindset surrounding food and body image. Through treatment, clients can learn to rebalance their time and energy in order to fulfill larger life goals.
Eating Disorder Therapy Can Help
Disordered eating and excessive focus on weight/body is often used as a coping skill and a way to distract an individual from disturbing feelings or events that are taking place in their life. You may not even be aware of these feelings, especially if you have been dieting and hyper-focusing on food and your body for many years. Therapy can help you uncover these emotions and get to the root cause of why you feel compelled to focus on food and control the way that your body looks. We can work together to help you develop clarity, process these feelings, and develop healthier coping skills. Healing from an eating disorder through therapy can come with many benefits, including:
- Improved relationships with loved ones, as you will no longer be constantly thinking about food when you are with them or skipping social events due to food-related anxiety
- Improved ability to cope with distressing emotions
- Improved energy and mental clarity
- Improved overall self-esteem
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Symptoms Of Binge Eating Disorder
The defining element we see in individuals with binge eating disorders is eating a lot of food in a short window of time, regardless of whether or not you are hungry. Emotional distress often triggers binge eating. While eating is happening, some people feel relief. Then, afterward, these feelings can turn to shame and feelings of a lack of control.
For a mental health professional to make a diagnosis, three or more symptoms must occur according to DSM-5 criteria. These disorder symptoms and diagnostic criteria for BED patients are:
- Faster food intake than normal during a binge episode
- Eating until youre uncomfortably full during recurrent episodes.
- Having large amounts of food despite not feeling hungry.
- Embarrassment or shame leads to eating alone.
- Feelings of disgust or guilt with yourself.
Its common for someone with this kind of disordered eating to feel extreme unhappiness when they think about their overeating and their body weight and body shape, even when theyre medically an average weight. Body dissatisfaction and distorted body image are common across all EDs.
Some people may overeat occasionally, but that doesnt necessarily mean they have an eating disorder. BED usually starts when people are in their late teens or early 20s, and untreated, it can last for years.
As with other EDs, BED is more common in women than men.