Eating Disorder Treatment and Counselling

Eating Disorders (or Addiction involving food) can involve symptoms of obsession, rumination, compulsion, distorted body image, low self-worth, difficulty dealing with feelings, avoidance, isolation and similar seeking of escape, reward and relief with food that people struggling with Addiction involving substances experience.  People seeking Eating Disorder Treatment and Counselling often follow the Addiction pattern of impairment in behavioural control, such that there is a great deal of time, effort and resources put into participating in these behaviours. These behaviours may vary and can range from anorexia, restriction, binging, purging, and/or persistent overeating as a response to exposure to certain foods, unhealthy environments/relationships and stress.  There are significant consequences for those seeking Eating Disorder Treatment and Counselling as there is an inability to stop the behaviours without help in spite of a desire to do so.

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, memory, motivation and related circuitry.  Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations.  This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief, including using food for this purpose. Addiction is about differences in brain functioning where the substance use or behaviours are recognized as consequences of the disease.  Addiction is a single condition-Addiction is Addiction rather than describing “addictions”. This is the reason that we use the language of “Addiction involving…”

Addiction is characterized by:

A.  Inability to consistently Abstain
B.  Impairment in Behavioural control
C.  Craving
D.  Diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviour and interpersonal relationships and
E.  Dysfunctional Emotional response

Eating Disorder Treatment

Total abstinence from food is not possible, as we all need food to survive. Through eating disorder treatment and counselling, awareness is cultivated about the specifics in which the individual is vulnerable to acting out with food. The goal is to increase awareness, establish and maintain healthy boundaries with food to promote recovery and health. Slips into addictive behaviour are likely for those seeking eating disorder treatment and counselling and these experiences are used as learning opportunities to re-establish boundaries and recovery priorities. This work may be done in residential, partial hospitalization, intensive or outpatient settings and participation in food-specific 12-step groups is often encouraged.

At Health Upwardly Mobile, we provide Eating Disorder Treatment and Counselling with an outpatient and intensive outpatient approach.  All new clients initially undergo our comprehensive assessment. It is recommended that all appointments be done on separate days to optimize the opportunity for you to talk openly and honestly with each professional and learn incrementally through each interaction. A comprehensive treatment plan will be developed throughout this process and shared with you as the assessment progresses. By the final assessment session, recommendations will be discussed, which will provide guidance regarding ongoing services at HUM, which includes individual counselling and group therapy.  Referrals to external resources will be done as needed.