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Posts Tagged “Eating Disorder Recovery”

August 17, 2023

Disentangling from the Eating Disorder Identity

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

Isadora G. (she/her) is a recent graduate of the University of Colorado in Boulder, where she studied psychology and sociology. During her senior year, she worked at an all-female residential mental health facility, which solidified her passion for working in mental health care. She is a recovery peer mentor for ANAD and has been in eating disorder recovery for over three years.

August 15, 2023

I Think I Have an Eating Disorder. What Should I Do Next?

Perhaps your body has been on your mind more than ever recently. And it’s not just the typical pressure to be thin that diet culture fuels year-round. This feels persistent and compulsive, demanding a significant amount of your daily mental energy.

Or maybe your relationship with food is causing you uncertainty and stress. You find yourself skipping out on family dinners or declining birthday invitations from friends, instead preferring to eat alone or in secret—and often to the point of physical discomfort.

If your relationship with your body and food is becoming increasingly disordered, you’re likely feeling overwhelmed about the next steps. Eating disorders comprise a cluster of symptoms, measured according to physical and mental health complications, severity and frequency, and the number of behaviors. If your observed disordered habits have negatively impacted your health and monopolized your life and daily functioning, they’ve probably tipped into eating disorder territory. Our Eating Disorder Assessment Quiz will let you know whether additional evaluation is needed.

August 9, 2023

Screening for Eating Disorders in Children and Adolescents: A Guide for Providers

Countless studies over recent years add up to a concerning reality: eating disorders are becoming increasingly prevalent among young people. According to a JAMA Pediatrics review released in early 2023, one out of every five children worldwide displays symptoms of disordered eating. Not only are patients being diagnosed with eating disorders at ages younger than ever before, but they’re also coming into eating disorder-related health visits with more severe mental and physical symptoms (CDC). We know that childhood and adolescence are critical periods of growth and development, adding gravity to the role of providers in screening and intervening effectively and early to limit the eating disorder’s potential for irreversible consequences.

Given this urgency, as a provider, what should you be looking out for when meeting with child or adolescent patients? How can you ensure that your eating disorder screening is informed, comprehensive, and age-appropriate? Here, we hope to equip you with a deeper understanding of the importance of early intervention, common signs of eating disorders in children and adolescents, and how to respond if you suspect your young patient is struggling with an eating disorder or disordered eating.

July 31, 2023

Episode 85: Supporting a Child Through an Eating Disorder with Holly Thorssen

Episode description:

In this episode of Peace Meal, Holly Thorssen recounts her experience of mothering her daughter Madison through an eating disorder. Holly walks us through the course of Madison’s illness, noting the warning signs of Madison’s struggles with food and body, and sharing the family’s efforts to find a suitable treatment provider. Holly acknowledges the importance of building a supportive, judgment-free space when discussing eating concerns with a child – a space where your child can feel safe enough to disclose their emotions and struggles without fear or shame. In a poignant moment of reflection, Holly speaks on how she learned to differentiate Madison’s voice from the voice of the eating disorder, leading to a better understanding of Madison’s conflicting desire to get better while also resisting change. Connecting with The Emily Program’s family-oriented specialty care made all the difference for Holly and Madison, offering much-needed comfort and healing for both mother and daughter.

July 28, 2023

BIPOC Mental Health Month: A Q&A with Veritas Therapist Chelsea Brown

Chelsea Brown, MSW, LCSW, is a PHP therapist at Veritas Collaborative’s Charlotte, North Carolina site. She received her undergraduate degree in sociology at East Carolina University and pursued her Master of Social Work from there as well in 2017. Since starting in the field, Chelsea has gained training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Chelsea worked on her clinical social work licensure from 2017 to 2019 and has utilized her supervision to gain knowledge around clinical and behavioral diagnosis while in the field.

Chelsea has worked within diverse socioeconomic groups that have helped foster her person-centered approach to treatment and building therapeutic rapport. She has mainly worked with the adolescent population in addressing behaviors and coping skills, as well as with parental approaches to increasing support and guidance in parenting skills. Chelsea has also worked with young adults through their transitional phases from adolescents to adulthood.

In this blog, Chelsea shares her perspective on BIPOC Mental Health Month, offering valuable insights into the importance of recognizing and addressing mental health issues within the BIPOC community.

July 25, 2023

The Impact of Social Media on Eating Disorders: A Closer Look

Social media has woven itself into the fabric of our lives, connecting us with people and information across the globe. While social platforms offer numerous benefits, it is essential to acknowledge their potentially negative impact on mental health, including how they can contribute to the development or worsening of eating disorders

In this blog, we delve into the relationship between eating disorders and social media, shedding light on the challenges people with eating disorders may face online and how all of us can work toward a healthier digital environment.

July 21, 2023

How to Know if PHP/IOP Treatment is Right for Your Child

As a parent, you want nothing but the best for your child. So when it comes to finding the right program to treat their eating disorder, it’s important to pick one fully equipped with the specialized knowledge and tools necessary to meet their unique needs.

Many eating disorder programs offered today began with treating adults and later added services for children and adolescents. However, at Veritas Collaborative, our program was specifically built with children and adolescents in mind. Treatment at Veritas stands out in our ability to provide age-appropriate, best-practice care tailored to the unique medical, nutritional, and psychosocial needs of children and their families.

July 10, 2023

Episode 84: Treating Binge Eating Disorder with Stacy Schilter Pisano

Episode description:

Stacy Schilter Pisano joins Peace Meal to shed light on the signs, symptoms, and complexities of binge eating disorder (BED), dispelling the myth that the condition is a mere matter of willpower. She describes the unique challenges facing those with BED, including misunderstandings about the illness, cultural stigma and shame related to overeating, marginalization in healthcare settings, and societal weight bias, particularly for those with BED who live in larger bodies. In light of these challenges, Stacy emphasizes the vital importance of treatment tailored to those affected by binge eating.

Stacy then provides an overview of The Emily Program’s virtual CARE IOP, a standalone treatment program for those BED and OSFED with a pattern of binge eating. Informed by the expertise of eating disorder professionals and the lived experiences of previous patients struggling with binge eating, CARE IOP offers a supportive environment where individuals can connect with others who truly understand their unique intersectional experiences. Unlike mixed-diagnosis treatment settings that may leave those with BED feeling isolated, CARE IOP provides tailored, comprehensive care that promotes safety and healing. 

July 6, 2023

What Is Orthorexia? When Healthy Eating Becomes Harmful

In the pursuit of health and wellness, many find themselves navigating a complex landscape of dietary advice and nutritional guidelines. It’s an experience that often begins with the best of intentions: to care for one’s health by nourishing the body well. But there’s a fine line that separates healthy eating from an unhealthy obsession with it. This is where orthorexia comes into play.

What is Orthorexia?

Orthorexia, a term coined by Dr. Steven Bratman in 1997, is a disordered eating pattern characterized by an extreme fixation on “healthy” eating. In many cases, the condition starts with an innocent desire to improve nutrition that spirals into rigid dietary rules, intense anxiety, and an extreme fear of consuming anything perceived as unhealthy. The relentless pursuit of a “healthy” diet becomes so consuming and restrictive that it interferes with a person’s daily life, relationships, mental and physical health, and overall well-being.

June 29, 2023

Which Approach Is Right for My Patient? Comparing Virtual and In-Person Eating Disorder Treatment Options

Healing from an eating disorder is a collaborative journey that often begins with a patient, their referring healthcare provider, and our specialty care professionals. It is imperative that, as a provider, you work to develop competency around eating disorder screening and early detection and act quickly after spotting the signs of issues around food, body image, weight, and/or eating. Eating disorders may begin innocently, but without intensive, evidence-based treatment, they can snowball into serious, potentially life-threatening illnesses.

Once you become aware of an eating disorder in your patient, you can also support them in determining the treatment setting that’s right for them. At Veritas Collaborative, our model of care is comprehensive, empirically based, and refined by the clinical judgment of experts in the field. It is also tailored to what each patient needs. Although eating disorders share many features across individuals, recovery looks different for each person, and treatment must take a number of factors into account, including individual life circumstances, history, co-occurring conditions, motivation to recover, symptomology, and illness presentation. No matter the level of care or treatment format (in-person or virtual), patients at Veritas can expect superior treatment modalities and support from each member of our multidisciplinary treatment team.

June 21, 2023

The Power of Family-Based Treatment in Adolescent Recovery

Family-based treatment (FBT), also known as the Maudsley method or Maudsley approach, is widely regarded as the treatment of choice for children and adolescents with eating disorders. Extensive research has consistently shown the efficacy of FBT, and our experience at Veritas Collaborative supports these positive results. Specifically, we have observed that adolescent patients who engage in FBT achieve the most favorable outcomes when compared to non-FBT treatment approaches utilized for this age group.

At Veritas Collaborative, we use this evidence-based treatment method because we understand that involving a patient’s family in treatment is essential to their successful recovery. 

June 15, 2023

3 Ways PHP/IOP Can Help Adults Balancing Treatment and Family Life

Eating disorders are serious, potentially life-threatening illnesses, and yet, research shows that a majority of diagnosed, suffering adults will not seek treatment for their symptoms or concerns. We know that early treatment is critical when navigating the challenging landscape of an eating disorder. The longer one delays care, the greater the risks are for an extended duration of illness, heightened social isolation, increased body shape concerns, deeper internalization of eating disorder-related cognitive distortions, and worsened mental and physical outcomes, including a heightened mortality risk. 

The treatment of eating disorders often requires practitioners of all disciplines to engage in challenging conversations with their patients. Managing ambivalence, preferences, and resistance to recommendations for entering specialty eating disorder care are known concerns when working with adults affected by eating disorders. For adults with children, concerns about care often revolve around leaving behind family. 

June 7, 2023

Utilizing Expressive Arts in Eating Disorder Recovery

Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder are complex mental health conditions that require a comprehensive treatment approach. While traditional therapies play an important role in the recovery process, integrative interventions such as expressive arts and movement therapy can also offer unique benefits.

At Veritas, we facilitate expressive arts alongside therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and family-based therapy (FBT). Combining these interventions offers additional avenues for self-expression and exploration, ensuring patients receive treatment highly tailored to them.

Discover our eating disorder treatment centers.

The Power of Expressive Arts in Eating Disorder Treatment

In eating disorder treatment, expressive arts groups involve active art-making and creative processing to support patients in navigating thoughts and emotions surrounding food and their bodies. The practice encompasses many expressive activities to support a patient’s personal growth, enhance self-awareness, and address treatment goals across varying diagnoses. These goals may include creating coping methods for eating disorder triggers, exploring and addressing difficult emotions that have been avoided, and more.

May 17, 2023

The Role of Nutrition in Eating Disorder Treatment

Veritas Collaborative’s patients generally enter eating disorder treatment mired in food rules and rituals. Their mindsets around food tend to follow a pattern of dichotomous extremes. Types of food and eating behaviors are labeled either “good” or “bad.” Food consumption might alternate between periods of total restriction and severe overconsumption. One might hyperfocus on food when eating or disconnect entirely. Often, the “perfect conditions” must be met to eat, with rigidity around the location, specific foods or food groups, and other people present while eating. Eating can feel like a test that one passes or fails. Disordered eating and eating disorders weaken the mind-body connection, elevating the power of these intense cognitive distortions as the mind takes over as a micromanager of the body’s needs.

May 16, 2023

Grasping for the Light

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

KP Pauly (they/them) is a queer, nonbinary person recovering from anorexia. They enjoy writing, reading, meditation, yoga, and spending time outside. They are passionate about eating disorder recovery and disrupting diet culture.

May 10, 2023

3 Reasons to Recommend PHP/IOP Treatment for Your Adolescent Patients This Summer

Summer can be a hectic time for families. With vacations planned, camps booked, and social gatherings scheduled, your patient’s family may hesitate to seek eating disorder treatment. Unfortunately, these illnesses leave no room for putting off care. The “right time” for treatment may, in fact, be this summer — not because the timing is perfect, but because the sooner an eating disorder is treated, the better. 

Eating disorders are severe, potentially life-threatening illnesses. Adolescent patients are particularly vulnerable to their effects, as they are in a critical stage of development physically, emotionally, and mentally. Therefore, it is critical to get your young patients the help they need as quickly as possible. As a healthcare provider, you play an essential role in identifying the signs of an eating disorder and referring young patients to the right resources. Early intervention is crucial to protecting their overall health and achieving positive treatment outcomes. 

May 9, 2023

Is Overeating the Sign of Something Deeper?

Everyone overeats sometimes. Maybe it’s at a special event, a night out with friends, or a stressful day. Maybe it’s when your favorite food is around. This occasional overeating is common and, in most cases, nothing to worry about. However, when the behavior becomes compulsive, it could be a sign of something more serious.

Compulsive overeating is a disordered eating behavior characterized by consuming an excessive amount of food frequently and uncontrollably, without regard to hunger levels. Typically, this behavior serves as a way to avoid challenging feelings or circumstances. If you consistently eat excessive amounts of food in a way that feels uncontrollable, it may indicate the presence of an eating disorder, such binge eating disorder (BED) or Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED).

May 1, 2023

Episode 83: Eating Disorders and Menopause with Val Schonberg

Episode description:

Val Schonberg joins Peace Meal to discuss eating disorders during menopause, an often-overlooked period of vulnerability for midlife individuals. She begins by explaining why this life stage carries an increased risk for disordered eating and eating disorders. Our cultural biases toward aging and weight are partially to blame, she says, which can lead providers to misdiagnose or completely miss disordered eating behaviors. To better serve midlife individuals during this vulnerable period, Val urges healthcare providers to re-evaluate their own beliefs about aging, weight, and menopause. She emphasizes that menopause is a natural phase of life and not a “disease” that must be “fixed,” as many problematic cultural messages suggest. Val ends the podcast by expressing her belief that everyone can recover – no matter their age – and that aging is a precious gift. 

Val Schonberg is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition science from the University of Minnesota. She is Board Certified as a Specialist in Sports Dietetics, a Certified Menopause Practitioner with the North American Menopause Society, and a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Val owns a private practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where she specializes in midlife health and menopause, recreational and professional sports nutrition, all types of eating disorders, and helping individuals break free from dieting and disordered eating. 


Discover our eating disorder treatment centers.


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 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.