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What to Look For in a Quality Eating Disorder Treatment Team

With the abundance of eating disorder treatment programs and providers to choose from, it can be a real challenge to decipher which one is right for you.

When looking for a high-quality treatment team, it’s critical to choose a team of professionals specialized in treating eating disorders, as they are most likely to have a compassionate and deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding these conditions. It’s also essential to consider unique individual needs and circumstances to receive the best possible care and increase the chances of sustained recovery.

Let’s discuss some of the main factors to consider when searching for a quality eating disorder treatment team.

What is a Treatment Team in Eating Disorder Recovery?

The treatment team in eating disorder recovery refers to a group of healthcare professionals with differing expertise who collaborate to provide the most comprehensive care for individuals with eating disorders. Although members of the treatment team may differ depending on the individual’s unique needs and circumstances, it typically includes:

  • Primary Care Physician (PCP): Critical to monitoring overall health, conducting physical exams, and managing medical complications resulting from the eating disorder.
  • Psychiatrist: Assesses and treats the psychological aspects of the eating disorder, including co-occurring mental health conditions. When necessary, they may prescribe medication to help individuals manage symptoms.
  • Therapist: Helps address the underlying emotional and psychological factors contributing to the eating disorder while providing a safe space for individuals to address their concerns and develop necessary coping skills.
  • Dietitian: Essential in evaluating the individual’s current nutritional status to help design a personalized nutrition plan to help restore physical health and normalize eating behaviors.

Other potential treatment team members may consist of an occupational therapist, physical therapist, or other healthcare professionals to address certain health concerns. Family therapy can also be highly effective in recovery for children and adolescents. On top of this, group therapy and support groups can be greatly beneficial during the recovery process, as they offer individuals a safe space to connect with others and gain valuable support.

We’ve designed our RecoVERY Community to help support individuals with all types of eating disorders with continuous community support, valuable psychoeducation, virtual meal support groups, and more! Join the community for free today to see how it can help enhance your recovery.

What to Look For in a Quality Eating Disorder Treatment Team

When searching for a high-quality eating disorder treatment team, it’s first and foremost important to find healthcare professionals specialized in treating eating disorders, as they are familiar with the challenges individuals with eating disorders face, allowing for a more accurate assessment and treatment plan. Now, let’s talk about some other aspects to look for when choosing an eating disorder treatment team.

Individualized Care

Individualized treatment is crucial in recovery because each person’s journey is unique. Customizing interventions to specific needs helps address the complexities of these disorders, considering factors like physical health, psychological well-being, and personal circumstances. By addressing root causes and challenges specific to the individual, this personalized approach enhances the effectiveness of treatment and increases the chances of sustained recovery.

Collaborative Approach

Also vital to eating disorder recovery, a collaborative approach integrates the expertise of various professionals (e.g., therapists, dietitians, doctors), offering a comprehensive strategy for treating all aspects of the disorder. By collaborating, the treatment team can ensure the most holistic care possible, tackling all physical and psychological concerns. The collaborative treatment model has been shown to promote a more nuanced understanding of the individual’s needs, resulting in a well-coordinated, effective treatment plan.

Sensitivity to Body Diversity

Opting for a team that recognizes and respects individuals in larger bodies by promoting body acceptance and avoiding weight-centric approaches is also critical when choosing a treatment team. Honoring individuals with eating disorders who have larger bodies helps dismantle weight-related stigma and encourages a focus on health rather than appearance, creating an environment where a diverse range of body sizes and shapes are acknowledged and embraced. This inclusive perspective also contributes to a more supportive and effective recovery journey free from body judgment.

Evidence-Based Practices

Ensure your treatment team utilizes evidence-based therapeutic modalities, staying on top of the latest research to offer the most effective treatment. Evidence-based practices are crucial as they rely on scientifically validated methods. By incorporating these proven interventions, individuals are able to receive care with a higher likelihood of positive outcomes and increase their chances of lasting, successful recovery.

Continuum of Care

Having the appropriate continuum of care to ensure a seamless transition between different stages of treatment is essential for preventing relapse during recovery. Offering a range of aftercare services, such as ongoing therapy, support groups, and alumni programs, helps ensure adequate support that promotes long-term recovery success by adapting the level of care to meet the individual’s changing requirements and challenges.

Cultural Competence

Unfortunately, one of the largest barriers to receiving proper treatment for marginalized individuals – including people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, and those with disabilities – is the lack of cultural competence regarding current treatment models. Finding a treatment team with appropriate cultural awareness is essential, as it helps recognize diverse cultural influences on body image and eating behaviors. Tailoring treatment with cultural sensitivity may also aid in fostering a sense of trust and understanding by addressing aspects of the individual’s cultural background.

Consider Eating Disorder Treatment with VERY

By prioritizing these qualities, you’ll be more likely to find a treatment team that best aligns with your unique needs and promotes a sustainable path to recovery.

At VERY, we offer virtual outpatient treatment for individuals with all types of eating disorders from our team of compassionate ED-informed, expert providers. Our physician-led, multidisciplinary approach is designed to help foster treatment cohesion and collaboration to support lasting, successful recovery for all of our members.

Have questions? Schedule a free, no-commitment consultation with our VERY team so we can get to know you and your needs and get you started on your journey to recovery.