Eating Disorder Treatment

Eating Disorders and Food Addiction

Eating disorders, or Addiction involving food, is a chronic medical condition that requires assessment and treatment. With Addiction in this area, the ability to make healthy choices is impaired and compulsive behaviours control the individual’s life, leading to feelings of unmanageability. The eating disorder is a symptom of what is happening in the brain and it leads the person to seek escape, relief and/or reward. While there is no off switch to stop this process completely, with recovery and treatment, a high quality of life is possible.

Symptoms of eating disorders can include:

  • Obsession
  • Compulsion
  • Distorted body image
  • Low self-worth
  • Difficulty dealing with feelings
  • Avoidance, isolation
  • Seeking escape, reward and relief with food
  • Anorexia
  • Bulimia
  • Restriction
  • Bingeing
  • Purging through vomiting, laxatives or exercise
  • Persistent overeating
Doctor treating a patient | Health Upwardly Mobile Inc., (HUM) | Addiction and Mental Health Counselling Team | Calgary

How we treat eating disorders

Total abstinence from food is not possible, as we all need food to survive. Through eating disorder treatment and psychotherapy, the goal is to increase awareness to establish and maintain healthy boundaries with food to promote recovery and health. At HUM, we provide outpatient, continuing care. Once a person is a patient at HUM, there is no end point to the services and individuals can access services indefinitely based on their needs. Continuing care/treatment includes a range of services to optimize health and wellbeing of individuals for eating disorders. Treatment is tailored to your needs and can include one on one therapy, group therapy, intensive outpatient program. In addition, other recovery actions such as meditation and journaling are recommended as part of a holistic bio-psycho-social-spiritual framework of recovery.

Available Services For Eating Disorders

If you are concerned about your relationship with food, related behaviours, and/or body image, it is recommended that you consider starting with HUM’s comprehensive assessment. The assessment includes 3 appointments and is designed to get to know you, the acuity of your issues and appropriate treatment recommendations. The 3 appointments include a nursing assessment, an assessment with a registered psychologist or social worker and a session with a medical doctor. Following this, treatment options will be provided that are based on your needs and current situation. Social and peer support in the community may be recommended as well as other aspects of a bio-psycho-social-spiritual framework of recovery.

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At HUM, we use a range of techniques based on experiential relationship building, dialogue, communication and behavior change that are designed to improve the mental health of an individual,and improve relationships with others. Our goal is to provide an open, supportive, and confidential environment for you to address the issues that are concerning you. These principles can also be provided through couples/family sessions.

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This provides the opportunity to clarify boundaries, identify what may be individual issues for people to work on, while addressing issues jointly without telling each other what to do.

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The recovery support groups are process oriented therefore the structure of each group is fluid and reflective of the needs and current issues raised by group members. Group members have an opportunity to process their life issues and reflect on their recovery including successes and challenges they are facing. Group therapy allows individuals to discuss issues with the support of others in recovery, provide and offer feedback, build a recovery network and increase accountability.

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The IOP is spread out over 3 Phases and 3 months with a weekend family/friends program included. The IOP is designed for those wanting more intensive treatment who have identified having an issue with Addiction, Mental Health and/or Chronic Pain.

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