Posts Tagged “For Providers”
Episode 86: Attachment Styles and Eating Disorders with Kathryn Garland and Vanessa Scaringi
Kathryn Garland and Vanessa Scaringi join Peace Meal to discuss the connection between attachment styles and the development and maintenance of eating disorders. They first provide an overview of attachment theory, exploring how this framework can help us better understand the impact of early attachment experiences on our relationships with food and ourselves. Insecure attachment styles, they explain, are associated with eating disorders and can manifest in disordered behaviors and thoughts. Kathryn and Vanessa share how therapists can help patients address attachment-related issues and nurture secure connections with family and friends that support recovery.
Kathryn and Vanessa also dive into the impact of the pandemic on our ability to connect with others, which in turn has played a role in exacerbating disordered eating behaviors. In addition, they explain how a relational approach to eating disorder care can complement other treatment modalities, including cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). They end the episode by stressing the importance of connection to good mental health and encouraging those in recovery to take the time they need to nurture their relationships, both with others and themselves.
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.
Always Striving for Better: Advocating for Expanded Access to Eating Disorder Treatment
Elouise Cram is a therapist at Veritas Collaborative’s Eating Disorder Treatment Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. She obtained her MSW from the University of South Carolina in 2020. She was thrilled to join the Veritas Collaborative team in 2022 after working at an eating disorder treatment center in the Midwest. She appreciates bringing the values of curiosity, willingness, and collaboration into her therapeutic approach with adults and adolescents in the Charlotte program. When not at work, she can most likely be found listening to Maggie Rogers or cuddling with her poodle, Poppy.
Every clinician is familiar with the exciting, empowering, occasionally frustrating “rubber hits the road” moments we see in early and sustained eating disorder recovery. We hold space for, push for, and model not just wanting recovery but actively moving toward recovery every day. We are holding space for the people we work with to not just “talk the talk” of recovery, but also “walk the walk” of a recovery-oriented life. When I am struggling to hold both (for myself and for others) of talking and walking at the same time, I’m reminded of a principle of dialectical behavior therapy: individuals are doing the best they can and individuals can always do better.
Episode 84: Treating Binge Eating Disorder with Stacy Schilter Pisano
Stacy Schilter Pisano joins Peace Meal to shed light on the signs, symptoms, and complexities of binge eating disorder (BED), dispelling the myth that it is merely a 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 virtual CARE IOP, The Emily Program’s and Veritas Collaborative’s standalone 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 them feeling isolated, CARE IOP provides tailored, comprehensive care that promotes safety and healing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How Does School Work in Child and Adolescent Eating Disorder Treatment?
If your child is suffering from an eating disorder, we understand the pain you’re experiencing as a parent. You want your child to get the help they need, but you’re also worried about them falling behind in school or missing out on childhood experiences. These concerns are completely valid. Your child’s health must come first, however. Early intervention is key to a successful, long-lasting recovery from eating disorders. Fortunately, prioritizing treatment does not mean that academics have to go ignored.
At Veritas Collaborative, we serve the whole person on their path to recovery, including supporting our child and adolescent patients’ academic progress. In our higher levels of care – including inpatient and residential – we offer a range of onsite education options, allowing your child to make progress in their academics while prioritizing their treatment.
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:
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.
What are the Levels of Eating Disorder Treatment?
At Veritas Collaborative, we provide the highest standard of care across a continuum of 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 clinical judgment, to ensure each patient receives the treatment modalities that align best with the severity of their illness. We know that recommending the level of care that is right for each patient provides a solid foundation for long-lasting recovery.
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.
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.
Episode 80: The Role of an Eating Disorder Nurse with Stacey Brown
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.
The Importance of Screening for Eating Disorders
Oftentimes, primary providers are the first line of defense against eating disorders. They can be the first to notice the early signs and discover an eating disorder since they see their patients regularly. Identifying these symptoms can help interrupt these mental disorders from developing further.
In this article, we will discuss the importance of early screening and detection, the warning signs of eating disorders, and what to ask your patients when conducting screenings.
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.
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.