So you have made the decision to seek some professional advice or treatment. I’m sure you are now thinking what will treatment involve, how long will it take, will it make me feel better? Treatment is a very individual expereince, what works for one person may be very different for what will work for another. A specifically trained health professional who has extensive training in eating disorder and mental health conditions is preferable in conducting an assessment of the severity and risk of any mental illness and especially with eating disorders.
We will liaise with your GP if necessary to discuss treatment options, recommendations and plans so that you receive the best quality health care.
Specific Information on Eating Disorder Treatment
There are many physical complications that can result from disordered eating. Left unattended, these can lead to serious health problems or can even be fatal.
Most people will contact their GP as a starting point. GPs can play a very important role of medical monitoring. They should at a minimum check your blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature and could ask for a blood test. This will help in determining how severe your current eating disorder is. However not all GPs will have experience and specialised knowledge in the management of eating disorders.
Your GP should refer you onto a team of qualified and specifically trained eating disorder health professionals. There are often a number of different health professionals involved in one person’s treatment and care. There are also many different types of treatment therapy used. Most times a Psychologist or Clinical Psychologist will conduct the assessment appointment to determine what type of eating disorder behaviours and symptoms you are expereincing. Once this is decided then the most appropriate type of treatment will be discussed. While there is evidence that some approaches are more likely to be effective with certain age groups or particular types of disorders, it is important to remember that there is no one treatment method which has been shown to be effective for all cases of eating disorders. It is wise to remember that eating disorders tend to be long-term conditions and treatment may be on-going for months to years in some cases. Therefore you should be aware of the costs of different treatments and therapies as well as the rebates available via Mediare and Private Health Funds.
Treatment can involve:
Establishment of a well-balanced diet is essential to recovery. For this reason dietitians are usually involved in the treatment, working in conjunction with other professionals in the treatment team. Talking about food variety, taste preferences and helping the individual identify their feared foods and addressing the physical consequences of not eating well is involved in nutrition education. This can be particularly beneficial when the person or family has lost track of what ‘normal eating’ is.
Psychologists conduct assessments to diagnose mental illnesses or conditions and develop treatment plans that specifically address mental and emotional issues associated with the eating disorder. Psychotherapy aims to identify the psychological stresses that may have contributed to the onset of the eating disorder. The aim of treatment can be to reduce the feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, negative body image and guilt etc and enhance the individuals life skills. The individual is able to use their own resources and skills to overcome difficulties.
Mental Health Social Workers
These are university trained health professionals who provide extensive counselling including individual, couple and/or family therapy. Their role in the treatment team may include assisting with information and advice on living situations, relationships, body image and self esteem. Mental Health Social Workers are often involved with treatment if the person presents with behavioural, social or mental health issues in addition to an eating disorder. Social workers are tertiary qualified and can provide individual, couple and family counselling for people with eating disorders and their carers as well as case management and referrals or resources.
Myrtle Oak Clinic’s team of highly skilled clinicians have a vast range of knowledge and experience in the field of Mental Health, Anxiety, Depression, Stress, Eating Disorders, Disordered Eating, Body Image and Self Esteem issues, enabling us to provide a variety of services. All therapies offered at Myrtle Oak Clinic are evidence-based. These therapies have been clinically validated and are widely accepted. We have listed a sample of our services below, however if you have a specific request or enquiry please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your needs.