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Veritas Blog

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Through advocacy work, community and professional events, and media outreach, Veritas is helping to bring cutting-edge research, best-practice care, and scientifically backed information into the national eating disorder conversation. Here in our blog you can learn about the work we and others are doing to advance the understanding and treatment of eating disorders. You’ll also find interesting articles and helpful insights that can support you or a loved one on the journey to lasting recovery. We want to hear your story. Email us (blog@veritascollaborative.com) and ask how you can become a contributor!

April 28, 2023

Why You Should Start Screening Your Patients for Binge Eating

The importance of identifying binge eating early

Binge eating disorder (BED) is a serious mental health condition marked by recurrent episodes of consuming a large amount of food in a short period of time, often accompanied by feelings of distress, guilt, and lack of control. If left untreated, BED can lead to significant physical and mental health issues. 

As a healthcare provider, it’s important to screen for binge eating in your patients to identify and treat the disorder early. Here are some steps you can take to screen for binge eating:

April 27, 2023

Mental Health Awareness

Mental Health Awareness Month highlights the importance of acknowledging mental health as a shared human experience. A licensed mental health counselor supervisor and certified eating disorder specialist supervisor, Sara Hofmeier lives that mission every day as part of her effort to normalize mental health talk.

April 26, 2023

A Day in the Life of an Adolescent Patient in PHP/IOP Care

Seeking help for an eating disorder takes tremendous courage. We applaud you for taking this brave first step toward helping your child heal. By pursuing the right level of care for your child today, you’re giving them the best chance at achieving full and lasting recovery. 

Your child’s upcoming admission into Veritas Collaborative’s partial hospitalization (PHP) or intensive outpatient (IOP) program will put them on the path to healing, restoring their health, and getting them back to the things that matter most to them. We understand that the most daunting parts of eating disorder treatment aren’t always related to food or body, but rather all the unknowns. You might be wondering: What does an average day look like in treatment? or What types of eating disorder therapies will my child encounter? or How are parents and communities of support involved in treatment? 

We’ve crafted this blog to alleviate any anxieties surrounding the components of our intensive eating disorder treatment programs. Read on to learn about what to expect from these levels of individualized, support-driven care.

April 25, 2023

Staff Spotlight, Jo DeVane

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Jo DeVane. I’m a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), and have been a psychotherapist at Veritas Collaborative in Atlanta since May 2022. I also worked as a therapeutic assistant at Veritas from December 2020 through May 2021 while I was pursuing my master’s in social work. 

April 20, 2023

A Day in the Life of an Adolescent Patient in Inpatient and Residential Care

Eating disorder treatment is a big step – especially when your child will be leaving home to receive care. It’s normal for both you and your child to feel some anxiety about upcoming inpatient or residential eating disorder treatment. After all, you are taking a very brave leap into the unknown! Knowing what to expect during treatment can help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety. Our clinical team also understands the apprehension surrounding treatment. We promise to be right beside you, offering support and guidance on your first day – and every day – of the treatment journey.

Adolescent Inpatient and Residential Care Schedule Overview

A day in the life of an adolescent patient in an inpatient or residential program is full from start to finish. With a focus on around-the-clock support and care, all patients and families are provided with the structure and skill development needed for lasting recovery back in their home environment.

Throughout the week, your child will take part in treatment interventions and hands-on culinary experiences to develop skills and equip them to maintain their recovery once they return to their everyday life. Some therapy sessions, nutrition sessions, meals, and culinary experiences will include families so skills can be discussed and practiced with caregivers and communities of support. Your child will also have structured time built into the day for schoolwork so they can keep up with their studies while they receive care.

April 11, 2023

Considering Treatment? 3 Reasons Not to Wait for the “Perfect Time” to Get Help for Your Child

Seeking eating disorder care for your child can be an overwhelming decision. Their illness has already robbed them of so much, and you can’t help but wonder: Won’t treatment mean sacrificing even more? Maybe it can wait until a better time, you reason – when school is out, or social activities have settled down. For now, you just want your child to have some semblance of normalcy. 

It’s understandable to want to shield your child from interruptions to their life, especially when they’re already struggling. However, postponing eating disorder treatment often only leads to greater pain and disruption. In fact, every moment spent waiting for the “right time” is a moment an eating disorder can take deeper root.

Here are three reasons not to wait for the “perfect time” to get help for your child with an eating disorder.

April 7, 2023

Navigating Resistance: How to Support Families Who Want to Postpone Eating Disorder Treatment

“My patient received a recommendation for a higher level of eating disorder care, but their family wants to hold off until a ‘better time.’ How do I help them understand the risks of waiting?”

Eating disorder clinicians frequently face the challenge of resistance to care. This resistance stems from various factors, such as a fear of the unknown, difficulty acknowledging the severity of the illness, and ambivalence toward the recovery process. The prospect of interrupting life for treatment often only adds to the anxiety.

April 3, 2023

Episode 82: No Longer Settling for “Fine” with Rebecca Amis

Episode description:

In this episode of Peace Meal, Rebecca Amis shares her story of recovery from a decades-long eating disorder. Rebecca first traces her path through illness and healing, disclosing the risk factors that may have contributed to her anorexia, as well as the intense life transitions and medical issues that prolonged the disorder and complicated her recovery. 

Loneliness is a common thread through Rebecca’s years of struggles. She shares that she felt invisible and sorely misunderstood by those around her, resulting in the urge to hole up with nothing but the false sense of comfort that her disorder provided. The prospect of following a meal plan and losing the rules and rituals of her eating disorder terrified Rebecca and initially kept her from pursuing treatment. With the encouragement of her support system, she courageously surrendered to help and experienced a profound “rebirth” of self on the other side of suffering.

March 29, 2023

Staff Spotlight, Shannon Wilcoxson

Tell us about yourself!

Hi everyone, my name is Ro’Shannon Wilcoxson-Jordan, and my preferred name is Shannon. I have been a Veritas collaborator for three years and 11 months, and that time has flown by. My current primary position is the Practice Manager for Veritas’ Eating Disorder Treatment Center in Atlanta, Georgia.  

I began this path as an on-call front desk administrator. After a few months, my supervisor recommended me for a full-time opening. My passion for supporting those in need was evident, and I was hired as the second full-time administrator. 

Over time, the Practice Manager position opened. Although I had just enrolled in my school’s master’s program and was providing support as a therapeutic assistant for our IOP program at the time, I accepted the role. Since growing with Veritas, I have learned invaluable information and become a mental health advocate for patients and families battling this illness.

March 24, 2023

Accanto Health’s Statement of Support for the Transgender Community

We at Accanto Health are deeply concerned by the bills being introduced in state houses across the country that single out LGBTQ+ individuals – many specifically targeting transgender youth – for exclusion or differential treatment. The ACLU is currently tracking 420 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the U.S. These laws are aimed to limit access to medical care for transgender people, parental rights, social and family services, student sports, or access to public facilities such as restrooms, and unnecessarily single out already marginalized groups for additional disadvantage. 

As an inclusive healthcare organization, we strongly believe in every individual’s right to access high-quality care. Emerging data show transgender individuals are at particularly increased risk for eating disordered behaviors. We believe that exclusionary legislation, barriers to care, and societal ostracization is harmful and unjust and will only cause these trends to increase. We are saddened by lawmakers’ refusal to listen to best practices set by the American Psychological Association and American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as many others. We at Accanto stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community and strive to create a space that is safe for all, where all are treated with dignity and respect. 

March 23, 2023

What Are the Levels of Eating Disorder Treatment?

At Veritas Collaborative, we provide the highest standard of care across a continuum of treatment levels. We recognize that each patient comes to us with a unique set of treatment needs based on their current medical status, the amount of structure necessary to decrease their eating disorder behaviors, and their motivation for recovery, among other factors. To create a treatment plan just for them, we consider these factors, as well as individual circumstances and clinical judgment, to ensure each patient receives the treatment that’s right for them. The right level of care at the right time provides a solid foundation for long-lasting recovery.

March 17, 2023

A Collaborative Care Approach to Treating Eating Disorders in Adolescents

A young patient enters your office with their parent, the parent understandably worried about the child’s dwindling number of “safe” foods. Their rising anxiety levels. Their near-constant complaints of stomach pain.

Something doesn’t seem right. You suspect it may be an eating disorder—a serious illness that requires timely intervention from providers like you. Once identified, eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and ARFID require a prompt course of action: comprehensive treatment from a multidisciplinary team of eating disorder specialists.

If you encounter a child or adolescent patient displaying eating disorder symptoms, consider Veritas Collaborative your trusted partner. We offer a range of treatment programs specifically tailored to the needs of young people. Our multidisciplinary care teams, including medical providers, therapists, and dietitians, offer expert and compassionate care to address all aspects of your patient’s illness.

March 6, 2023

Episode 81: Finding Your Wise Mind with Sarah Rzemieniak

Episode description:

This month’s Peace Meal guest is Sarah Rzemieniak, who brings multiple perspectives to a rich discussion about eating disorders, healing, and recovery coaching. Drawing from her personal experience and professional background in dietetics and coaching, Sarah begins by sharing some of the temperamental and social factors related to the development of her eating disorder. Though she sought help soon after her anorexia was recognized at age 13, Sarah acknowledges that her recovery was not without challenges and setbacks. She shares how meditation played an essential role during a particularly difficult relapse, helping her to get out of her head and ground herself in her body. 

Now an eating disorder recovery coach, Sarah uses her personal experience, education, and training to support clients in implementing the skills and tools learned in treatment into the “here and now” of their lives. Sarah ends the podcast by sharing her wishes for her young son’s relationship with himself and offering advice for people who feel like recovery is out of reach.

March 2, 2023

Staff Spotlight, Nooshin Ghazi-Moghaddam

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Nooshin Ghazi-Moghaddam and I am a Registered Dietitian at Veritas Collaborative’s Eating Disorder Treatment Center for Adults in Durham, North Carolina. I started working here in June 2019, so I’m coming up on almost four years!

Describe the educational path that led you to Veritas Collaborative.

I first became interested in eating disorders during college while observing peers around me struggling with disordered eating. I was always interested in health and nutrition, but never understood the myth that we must  give up our favorite foods to be “healthy.” I was studying Public Health at the University of South Florida, and this budding interest in eating disorders initially led me down the path of becoming a Registered Dietitian (RD). 

February 16, 2023

Spot Eating Disorders via Child and Adolescent Growth Records

Eating disorder clinicians are noticing symptoms emerging at younger ages than before. While these illnesses can present at any time in life, early-onset eating disorders are concerning for several reasons. Childhood and adolescence are critical times for growth and development, and disruption of the nutrition required for the development of vital body structures can have lasting effects (Mumford, Kohn, Briody, et al. 2019). 

Eating disorders can significantly impact psychological and social development as well. It’s critical to detect these serious illnesses early to limit any of their lasting effects. 

February 9, 2023

Quiz: How Do I Know If I Have an Eating Disorder?

Eating makes you anxious. So anxious, in fact, that you try to avoid “bad” and “unhealthy” foods—at least until you find yourself bingeing on them later. 

Your new exercise routine has you hooked; you’ve even canceled some plans to fit it in. 

You think about your body constantly, with frequent mirror checks and harsh self-scrutiny becoming a daily routine. 

It’s common to question whether certain attitudes and behaviors related to food may point to an eating disorder. However, it can be hard to determine what is considered “normal” in our culture that celebrates restrictive eating and thinness. 

You may feel overwhelmed and unsure where to turn. We’re here to help. Read on to learn about key eating disorder diagnoses, the signs and symptoms to watch for, and some self-assessment questions. By gaining knowledge about eating disorders, you’ll have a better understanding of what you or a loved one may be experiencing. Remember, you don’t have to face this alone. We’re here to support you from the very start. 

February 6, 2023

Episode 80: The Role of an Eating Disorder Nurse with Stacey Brown

Episode description:

Stacey Brown, RN, joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to reflect on the role of nursing in eating disorder care. She begins by acknowledging the lack of eating disorder education and training in nursing programs; it wasn’t until she began interacting with patients that she fully understood the impact of these illnesses on every body system. Stacey’s experiences have set her on a mission to speak to nurses at all levels about best practices when caring for patients with eating disorders, including developing strong emotional intelligence. She highlights the importance of every care team member and multidisciplinary collaboration to meet a patient’s full range of needs. The episode concludes with Stacey’s words of wisdom for the next generation of eating disorder nurses.

February 2, 2023

Staff Spotlight, Laura Brown

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Laura Brown, MBA, MS, RDN, LD, and I am currently the Manager of Nutrition Services at Veritas Collaborative’s Atlanta, Georgia eating disorder treatment center. I have been with Veritas for almost two years. 

Describe the career path that led you to Veritas Collaborative.

My path is far from linear, but I am definitely at home with Veritas. I received my Bachelor of Science in Recording Arts: Music Business and my MBA from Middle Tennessee State University. I worked at Fortune 500 companies in marketing/management, but I longed to find a career where I really felt like I could help people. Through my own nutrition/eating disorder journey, I decided to return to school to become a Registered Dietitian and give back to the eating disorder community. I received my Master of Science in Nutrition Health Sciences from Georgia State University, which has been the best decision I have ever made. Before coming to Veritas as a Registered Dietitian, I worked for another treatment facility as a diet tech.  

February 1, 2023

Don’t Delay: PHP/IOP Treatment Can Help You Recover Sooner

You don’t know what to do. You love college life, but juggling your double major, on-campus job, and social circles is a lot. The straight A’s you knew in high school are now harder to come by; self-care is even harder. The pressure is suffocating.  

If your relationship with food and your body is becoming increasingly disordered, it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed. You may try to minimize the situation – to write off the issue as temporary or even “normal.” You tell yourself that you can take care of this. You’re the one who “has it all together,” after all, and you can handle this on your own, too. Besides, you reason, help is for those who are sick – and you don’t feel sick, even though your friends and family may be worried.

Please know that if you are suffering at all, you deserve help. Your pain and your experience matter. There is no question that it is hard to face the reality of an eating disorder, but you don’t have to do it alone. We’re here to help as soon as warning signs emerge. 

January 19, 2023

5 Reasons PHP/IOP Can Help Your Patient Recover From an Eating Disorder Without Residential Care

Your patient seems to be struggling more lately. More talk about food, more self-judgment and isolation. Their eating disorder behaviors are up and their motivation for recovery is down. They could use some extra support.

Then again, this doesn’t exactly scream crisis. Surely your patient doesn’t need residential or inpatient care yet.

Where to turn?

At Veritas Collaborative, we offer partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs (PHP/IOP) to treat eating disorders; these are early intervention services that help patients recover sooner. These structured programs offer more support than traditional outpatient eating disorder treatment and more flexibility than around-the-clock care. Patients can admit directly to PHP/IOP, well before 24/7 care is warranted.

Rather than wait until your patient may need the highest level of care, consider how early intervention may help them now. Here are five reasons PHP/IOP may be right for your patient.