Should I See An Eating Disorder Therapist Near Me?
Updated March 08, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you may wonder whether or not seeing a therapist near you would be a good idea. Ultimately, this is a choice which only you can make; however, being as informed as possible about what your options are and how an eating disorder therapist can be of value is so critical.
There are a series of misconceptions which pertain to eating disorders and people who struggle with them. One of the most common misconceptions is that eating disorders are about food. In reality, eating disorders are not about food; food is merely used as a supplement for the real issue which the person is struggling with. There are many reports of people struggling with eating disorders when they feel a lack of control in their lives. The consumption of food, or lack thereof, is one of many things which the individual has control over.
The Dangers of Eating Disorders
Virtually everyone has a general understanding of just how dangerous eating disorders are. Comprehending the specific perils of these type of disorders can be helpful. First and foremost, when the body is deprived of the proper nutrients and calories, it begins to use its tissue and muscles as fuel. This subsequently leads to fewer blood cells and major drops in one's blood pressure. If this process lasts for too long, the person places themselves at risk for heart failure, a fatal health issue.
The dangers of eating disorders are not mutually exclusive to the cardiovascular system. The digestion system also takes some major hits when the body is suffering from eating disorders. Some examples of very serious issues include, but are certainly not limited to esophagus damage, constipation, bacterial infections, and swollen salivary glands.
Eating disorders also have a series of adverse impacts on the mental and psychological state of the afflicted individual. Sleep apnea, fainting, dizziness, trouble with concentrating, and seizures are only the tip of the iceberg of issues associated with eating disorders.
A Word to the Wise
Eating disorders are nothing to mess around with. Their effects can be deadly if treatment is withheld or delayed. It's true that seeking treatment is up to you, but anyone who is dealing with an eating disorder is strongly advised to seek the proper, professional assistance. It could quite literally save lives.
What To Expect From A Therapist Working With You on Your Eating Disorder
When deciding whether to work with a therapist on your eating disorder, it's natural to have a lot of questions, and that's OK. First and foremost, you should know that the job of your therapist is to help you and be of service to you. There is no condescension or judgment. Moving forward, getting to the root of the issues which are causing the eating disorder at hand, and solving these issues are the objectives of eating disorder therapy.
Psychological Therapy and Treatment Procedures
Working with a therapist will always involve some type of talk therapy. There are a variety of benefits associated with this treatment; for starters, you will learn how to transform unhealthy habits into healthy habits, develop productive coping mechanisms, and better your emotional state. While the benefits of therapy are well-documented, it's important to remember that therapy involves a time commitment. Eating disorders and their underlying issues don't materialize overnight and won't disappear that way either. With the help of your therapist, you will be working towards new healthy behaviors and feeling better.
Various Types of Psychological Treatment
There are many types of therapies which can be used to help people overcome eating disorders. Some therapies will be more effective for certain patients while others benefit from different alternatives. Nevertheless, having a basic idea of the existing options is helpful in easing apprehension and ridding yourself of uncertainty or nerves.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Patients who undergo cognitive behavioral therapy will be able to work with a specialist who helps them grasp the emotions, belief systems, and actions which relate to their eating disorder. When an individual suffers from seemingly external issues like eating disorders, it's almost always indicative of an issue on the inside. The symptoms of internal issues tend to manifest on the outside until the root of the problem is dealt with.
You are not alone in your struggle. There are others who are battling eating disorders. Group therapy is another type of treatment used to treat eating disorders. During this therapy, you will work with a licensed therapist and a select group of others who have been dealing with eating disorders as well. There are a variety of benefits associated with group therapy which don't necessarily pertain to one on one sessions.
Working in group therapy can provide a sense of support and help you realize that there are other people out there who are just like you. Also, in group therapy, you have the opportunities of listening to others who are overcoming eating disorders, and you can learn various healthy coping mechanisms from others. Another additional benefit of group therapy is the ability to inspire others. The participants in the group will be listening to you and your story. You never know whose life you could touch.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Dialectical behavioral therapy centers learning new skills to regulate emotions.
Seeing a therapist who works with eating disorders you can be advantageous. Therapy is even available online through BetterHelp where you can be matched with a therapist that has experience in the problems you're facing and is a licensed professional. Working with a BetterHelp therapist means that you can message your therapist at any time and that you can schedule a phone, live chat, or video sessions with them too - all from the comfort of your home.