Certain areas, like eating disorders, addictions, and trauma, are true specialties. You should feel comfortable asking questions about someone’s experience in a certain area – this is your treatment!
Almost nothing upsets me more than hearing someone resist getting the therapy they need because they have had unhelpful, or worse yet, damaging eating disorder treatment in the past. It takes so much courage to reach out for help that you want it to be worth the risk, right? So, how do you know that the eating disorder specialist you are seeking treatment with is likely to be a good fit? Although there are no guarantees, the following points are worth considering when you looking for a treatment provider or team:
1) It might seem obvious, but do they specialize in the treatment of eating disorders? Eating disorders pose unique challenges and demand a unique set of skills and knowledge. If you encounter someone who states that they specialize in eating disorders but they also specialize in everything else, ask about their specialty further. Most therapists are trained as “generalists” and therefore have the resources to help you recover from many common mental health concerns like depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and life transitions. Certain areas, like eating disorders, addictions, and trauma, are true specialties. You should feel comfortable asking questions about someone’s experience in a certain area – this is your treatment!
2) Can the eating disorder specialist describe their approach in a deep, yet understandable way? Good therapists are able to boil down their “theoretical orientation” or treatment approach into terms that not only make sense to you, but fit the issue(s) for which you are seeking treatment. If the therapist seems overly general, inquire further, or move on in your search.
3) Is the therapist up-to-date on current research? Psychological science is constantly changing and therefore, so is our understanding of the development, maintenance, and effects of eating disorders. Your eating disorder specialist should know where the research currently stands on the role of families, biology, and other factors in eating disorder recovery. For instance, we now know that family is often a huge asset to treatment, whereas historically parents of minors were encouraged to stay out of their child’s treatment. Getting to know the research yourself will enable you to identify when a therapist is up-to-date.
4) Is the therapist a good match for your style? This is a consideration for anyone seeking a therapist, not just an eating disorder specialist. The relationship between therapist and client is central to the effectiveness of treatment. Finding a therapist that you find to be sincere, trustworthy, credible, non-judgmental, and a good personality match creates the perfect situation for growth and recovery.
Although it might be frustrating to meet with a few different therapists or take the risk to start treatment again after a negative experience, finding the right fit therapeutically is key to regaining your health -time well spent!
For detailed information on our training, specialities, and treatment methods, visit our website at www.clearhorizonsaz.com.