Eating disorder treatment
What do you need to know about Eating Disorder Treatment? Suffering from an eating disorder, or watching a loved one suffer from an eating disorder can be one of the most challenging situations a person may face in their lifetime. The first step to recovering from an eating disorder is recognising that you, or a person you love, has a problem and requires treatment from a caring specialist who understands the complexities of an eating disorder and can provide compassionate, effective care. The Wellness Workshop originally opened its doors in 2018 to help sufferers and sufferers' families deal with and overcome eating disorders, as well as provide information, support and referrals to other specialists in the community who provide best practice evidence-based eating disorder treatment.
eating disorder treatment options for patients
The Wellness Workshop offers Dietetic & Nutrition services to treat patients suffering from a range of eating disorders including Binge Eating Disorder, Bulimia, Anorexia, Disordered Eating, Body Image disorders and OSFED. In addition to this, we also offer support services for ongoing eating disorder recovery including Intuitive Eating Coaching and Mindfulness and Meditation appointments. These services, together with evidence-based eating disorder treatment assist with the transition to normal life after suffering from an eating disorder; an area we believe is largely ignored in the eating disorder recovery process yet essential in preventing relapse.
support for families and loved ones of e.d patients
Often when a loved one or friend is suffering from an eating disorder, the people closest to them experience a significant degree of suffering also. This is because eating is such an intrinsic part of our everyday lives, therefore trying to navigate how to interact or speak to someone suffering with food issues, without further exacerbating the problem, can be confusing and difficult. At The Wellness Workshop, our Dietitians and Intuitive Eating Coach assists parents, families and friends with this dilemma by providing expert advice including what and what not to say to an ED sufferer, how to listen effectively, knowing when, and when not to intervene, how to manage confrontation, and much more.
how are eating disorders treated?
Eating disorders can be treated using a range of different methods depending on the sufferer, their situation and the reason for developing an eating disorder in the first place. Some patients require treatment from just one or two Practitioners, while others require a more multidisciplinary approach that tackles a range of underlying issues and moves from one area to another.
Eating disorder treatment options include Psychology, Psychiatry, Dietetics, Nutrition counselling, General Medicine, Family therapy, self-help approaches, Allied Health intervention (e.g. Exercise Physiology), complementary medicine and Wellness Coaching. Examples of each are listed in the tables below.
eating disorder treatment options
Psychological treatment seeks to understand the thoughts, emotions, behaviours, habits and observations of a patient, and how these interrelate and contribute to an eating disorder. Through psychotherapy, a patient may become more aware of how their mind works, and the reasons for their behaviour, making them more likely to minimise or control triggers that may be detrimental to their health. Models for psychology adopted to treat Eating Disorder patients include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT).
General medicine intervention for Eating disorder patients depend on the severity and stage of the disorder. In-patient programs (when a patient is admitted to hospital) usually involve the expertise of a psychiatrist, physician, dietitian and nurses. The common goals of the medical team are to treat medical complications and restore stability of the patient, begin the process of nutritional rehabilitation, reduce purging or other eating disorder behaviours, and assist in the development of appropriate eating behaviour.
Psychiatric intervention can often be effective for patients with an eating disorder, particularly when they are suffering with another illness or disorder such as depression, anxiety, psychosis or mood disorders.
Medications are usually used in conjunction with other forms of treatment and should be closely monitored by a registered Psychiatrist or General Practitioner.
Self-help strategies for Eating disorders can often be useful for patients suffering from Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder or OSFED (Other Specified Feeding & Eating Disorder) but is not recommended on its own for sufferers of Anorexia.
Self-help approaches generally involve the use of books and work-books, manuals, smartphone apps, web-based platforms and other step by step programs designed to help the sufferer understand, manage and overcome their disorder. Guided self-help is considered to be more effective than pure self-help as it has the additional benefit of the support of a professional or facilitator.
Nutritional management provided by a registered Dietitian ensures patients suffering from an eating disorder have adequate amounts of nutrients, vitamins and minerals in their diets to sustain normal bodily functions, as well as develop regular and adequate eating behaviours. Our Dietitans will also help you understand flexible eating, explore the challenging feelings you have around food, food rules and rituals, and help you feel less stressed around meal times.
Allied Health Practitioners include the previously mentioned Psychologists and Dietitians, as well as Physiotherapists, Exercise Physiologists and others. It's important for patients suffering with binge eating or Binge Eating Disorder that they seek the guidance and treatment of a practitioner who has experience treating eating disorders.
Unfortunately it is not uncommon for patients of B.E.D to have received incorrect, harmful and uncompassionate advice/treatment from practitioners who don't understand, are not experienced or not trained to treat eating disorders or disordered eating.
Frequently asked EATING DISORDER TREATMENT questions
what should i do if i think i have an eating disorder?
If you, or someone you know appears to be suffering from an eating disorder, it's important you/they contact their General Practitioner first and book an appointment regarding treatment. You can also call us at The Wellness Workshop for further information, or for recommendations to a local GP that specialises in Eating Disorders.
The following symptoms indicate a possible eating disorder in children or adults, and are considered warning signs of an eating disorder:
Obsession with dieting and weight
Restrictive eating or sudden intolerances to food
Preoccupation with food and calories
Withdrawal from usual friends and activities
Poor body image
Purging behaviours (vomiting, laxatives, excessive exercise)
what's the first step in getting treatment?
The first step to getting treatment for an Eating Disorder is booking an appointment with your GP. Your GP will then ask you a series of questions, usually in the form of a mental health questionnaire as well as conduct a physical examination (heart rate, blood pressure...etc)
If you fit the criteria for an eating disorder, you may be diagnosed with one of the following:
Binge Eating Disorder
OSFED (Other Specified Feed or Eating Disorders)
From here, you can request to be referred to The Wellness Workshop's Dietitians, Branavie or Elena who can treat your eating disorder with nutritional therapy. With an EDP (Eating Disorder Plan) you will receive subsidies for up to 20 sessions per calendar year with a Dietitian. You may also receive a referral to see a Psychologist or Mental Health Clinician for up to 40 sessions. If you'd like recommendations for a Psychologist or Mental Health Clinician, The Wellness Workshop can provide you with a few trusted names also we often refer to.
HOW MUCH DOES treatment COST?
Depending on the type of eating disorder treatment or support service you select, consultation costs may differ. See below for details:
Dietetics & Nutrition Therapy
Initial 50 minute consultation: $115
Follow-Up 30 minute consultation: $70
* Medicare and private health rebates may be claimed for some services provided by a Dietitian. If you have an EDP (Eating Disorder Plan) you will be covered for 20 x sessions in a calendar year. If you have a private health policy with at least Medium Level Extras cover, usually it will cover Dietetics/Nutrition consultations for up to $400 per year.
For more information, or to chat with our Practice Manager to find out whether our eating disorder treatment options and support services are right for you, please email us and we'll get back to you:
What are the risk factors for developing an eating disorder?
The development of eating disorders involves a combination of factors including psychological, sociocultural and genetic.
Psychological risk factors include low self-esteem and poor body image, perfectionism or obsessive-compulsiveness, stress, depression, anxiety, heightened sensitivity, poor or no coping mechanisms, trauma and avoidance of social interaction.
Sociocultural risk factors include high exposure to body ideals (magazines, TV, social media, advertising) as well as relationships with peers, friends, family, teachers or other authoritative figures.
Genetic factors are also emerging as potential risk factors for eating disorders where a person's predisposition is increased if a close family member or relative has suffered mental illness or an eating disorder as well.
what other support services can i explore?
If you're curious about support services other than conventional treatment to aid in the recovery of eating disorders, or have tried many forms of therapy with little improvement, The Wellness Workshop offers a range of options that might be suitable to you.
Intuitive Eating Coaching can be particularly useful for sufferers of Binge Eating Disorder and Disordered Eating. Both allow the client to explore the psychological reasons and triggers that are fueling the disorder, while providing hands-on strategies to assist in dealing with overwhelming emotions, strained personal relationships and poor body-image or low self-esteem.
The Intuitive Eating Program, first developed by two American Dietitians has been proven to help free sufferers from yo-yo dieting and overcome their negative relationship with food using a 10 step approach that is now been tried and tested by millions across the globe. Our Dietitian is trained and accredited to deliver the Intuitive Eating Program. You can also buy both the workbook and book online to assist in your recovery journey.
Does Medicare cover eating disorder treatment costs?
On November 1 2019, Medicare released new subsidies to support a model of evidence-based care for eligible patients living with an eating disorder. The below information summarises these subsidy payments as indicated by the NEDC (National Eating Disorders Collaboration):
Eligible patients will be able to receive a Medicare Rebate for:
the development of an Eating Disorder Plan (EDP) by a medical practitioner (including a General Practitioner, Psychiatrist or Paediatrician);
General Practitioner reviews of their progress against the treatment plan after every 10 sessions of psychological treatment;
specialist review by a Psychiatrist or Paediatrician after 20 sessions of psychological treatment;
up to 40 sessions of evidence-based eating disorder psychological treatment (in a 12 month period) with a suitably trained Clinical Psychologist, Registered Psychologist, Accredited Mental Health Social Worker or Accredited Mental Health Occupational Therapist
up to 20 dietetic services with an Accredited Practising Dietitian (in a 12 month period).