5 Things that every health professional needs to know about eating disorders
- Do not delay!
If someone has an eating disorder, the evidence is clear that early intervention is more likely to result in a successful recovery. Please don’t wait for a significant change in weight or behaviour. Don’t feel that you are being over dramatic. Start talking about eating disorders sooner rather than later.
- Understand that the person will probably be reluctant to engage in recovery.
The eating disorder will be helping the person to block or regulate their emotions, so letting go of it will feel scary. You have to understand the complexity of each eating disorder and the mindset of the person who is trapped within it.
- Separate the person from the eating disorder.
Please don’t refer to someone as ‘an anorexic’ or ‘a bulimic’ etc. Although someone with an eating disorder may feel the eating disorder is part of their identity, it’s very important that we separate the two right from the beginning.
- The person did not choose to have an eating disorder.
No one would choose this! Eating disorders are not glamorous, it’s not about food and it’s not about being thin. Pushing weight loss or weight gain does not provide a solution.
- If you don’t have the training to treat eating disorders, then please refer to someone who does.
Eating disorder work is a specialisation demanding that therapists know much more than psychology or counselling.
They also need to have training in basic nutrition and physiology with some understanding of neuroscience. They need to understand the physiology of weight gain and loss, appetite production/regulation and the bio chemical effects of over and under eating. They also require a thorough understanding of the mind-set, behavioural and cognitive-emotional aspects of each eating disorder and the influence of body image.
Here at ACFED we provide comprehensive, experiential training suitable for anyone who is likely to encounter eating disorders in their work.
Our 5-Day course provides a solid foundation to enable you to successfully recognise and treat a range of eating disorders. This course is in line with the latest thinking from a range of psychological approaches and you will learn practical and effective skills that will enable you to engage with clients and offer them constructive help to recover from their eating disorder.
Join us for the 5 Day Eating Disorder Essentials Course in locations across Australia and New Zealand.