An eating disorder is a complex mental health issue that impacts emotional and physical well-being. Those affected develop an unhealthy relationship with food, weight, or appearance.
Various eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. These conditions don't discriminate; they can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or body shape.
Treatment usually involves a multifaceted approach, combining cognitive therapy, medication, and other therapeutic practices. Today, we'll delve into how effective therapy is in curing eating disorders when paired with medication and healthy eating.
How are Eating Disorders Treated?
Before discussing the importance of therapy in treating eating disorders, let's explore some of the other common treatment approaches.
Proper nutrition is crucial for individuals suffering from anorexia nervosa. There is, however, a danger of 'refeeding syndrome' if eating patterns are drastically altered without professional guidance.
Thus, nutritional intake should always be overseen by experts in the field. For people with bulimia nervosa or binge-eating disorder, weight management is often a concern. An emphasis is placed on altering thought patterns and behavior for long-term weight management.
For children, fostering healthy eating habits through structured family meals is important, and healthcare professionals must regularly monitor their eating patterns and overall health.
Medication is generally not a first-line treatment for anorexia nervosa due to a lack of evidence supporting its efficacy.
However, for bulimia nervosa or binge-eating disorder, medications like antidepressants or mood stabilizers might be prescribed, especially if another mental health condition is present. It's crucial to consult your healthcare team about any potential side effects.
Therapy plays an indispensable role in treating eating disorders. It allows for addressing underlying triggers and provides tools for long-lasting behavioral change. Psychological treatment is often the bedrock upon which other forms of treatment, like medication and healthy eating, can build.
At Elevate Rockwall, we offer a variety of therapeutic methods tailored to individual needs. Our therapists are committed to providing the highest quality counseling services, upholding values of unconditional positive regard, professionalism, and confidentiality.
Whether it's traditional cognitive therapy or newer methods like EMDR for trauma, we provide comprehensive care for individuals grappling with eating disorders.
Therapy is vital in the multifaceted approach to treating eating disorders. When combined with other treatments like medication and a proper nutrition plan, therapy can significantly improve the odds of recovery.
How Effective is Therapy in Curing Eating Disorders?
When considering therapy's role in treating eating disorders, it's vital to note that different therapies are effective for different disorders and individuals. Some of the most commonly used therapeutic approaches include:
It's worth noting that the term "cure" may not be the most accurate when discussing the treatment of eating disorders. A more fitting term might be "recovery." The goal of therapy isn't necessarily to eliminate the disorder but to equip you with practical skills and coping strategies.
This focus on skill-building enables individuals to manage symptoms effectively, ideally leading to periods of recovery where symptoms may be minimal or absent.
At Elevate Rockwall, we specialize in providing tailored therapy that aligns with individual needs and circumstances. Our team of professional therapists practices unconditional positive regard, ensuring you get the full attention and confidentiality you deserve while exploring the most effective therapeutic options for your condition.
If you're considering therapy to treat an eating disorder, our experts are here to guide you. To learn which therapeutic approach may be best suited for you, schedule a consultation with us today.
What is family-based therapy for eating disorders? Family-based therapy (FBT), the Maudsley method, is increasingly recognized as a highly effective treatment for adolescent eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders (OSFED).
Trained professionals conduct FBT, mainly offered in outpatient settings, but it has also found its way into residential and partial hospitalization programs.
FBT is often considered the first line of treatment for families dealing with children, adolescents, and even some young adults with eating disorders.
What Makes Family-Based Therapy Unique?
What is family-based therapy for eating disorders: The uniqueness. Family-based therapy is a unique approach that involves the entire family in treating an individual's eating disorder. Unlike traditional family therapy models that might place blame on family dynamics, FBT focuses on empowering parents to participate in their child's treatment actively.
The approach starts with weekly family sessions and gradually decreases in frequency as progress is made.
What sets FBT apart is its level of care, often mirroring the intensity found in residential or partial hospitalization programs. It usually begins with a family meal at the therapist's office, allowing for direct observation and immediate feedback.
This hands-on involvement of parents serves as a potent change agent in the treatment process. The parents are responsible for planning, preparing, serving, and supervising meals, making them active participants in their child’s recovery.
Central to the FBT approach is the philosophy that "Food is medicine." It recognizes the cruel irony that while children with eating disorders may fear eating, recovery is impossible without regular, nourishing meals.
Elevate Rockwall's dedicated therapists bring experience and professionalism into every therapeutic relationship. We pride ourselves on offering unconditional positive regard, full attention, and strict confidentiality as we guide families through the complexities of Family-Based Therapy.
Whether you're dealing with adolescent eating disorders or other behavioral health issues, our tailored services are designed to meet your individual needs.
Family-Based Therapy FAQs
You may have many questions when considering Family-Based Therapy (FBT) for treating eating disorders. It's a big commitment, and understanding how it works is crucial for successful outcomes. Below are some frequently asked questions that could clarify this therapy option.
Who is FBT For?
FBT is a research-backed method primarily aimed at children and adolescents diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
It can also be effectively tailored for young adults and other adults struggling with other eating disorders, including Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders (OSFED). FBT has effectively treated ARFID (Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder) among children and teens.
The therapy is adaptable to various family configurations, including separated or divorced families.
How Long Does FBT Take?
The duration of FBT is not set in stone. While some families may complete the treatment within a year, it can take longer for others.
Speedy diagnosis and early intervention often yield faster results. Still, it's essential to remember that eating disorders are complex and may require extended treatment, especially if weight gain is slower than expected.
How Do I Supervise All Meals?
Supervising all meals can be a challenge, particularly for families with tight schedules. Sometimes, one or both parents may take a leave of absence from work to oversee the treatment.
Grandparents and other extended family members can also pitch in. Additionally, coordinating with your child's school for supervised lunches or even keeping the child home for a period may be necessary.
Doesn't My Child Need to See an Individual Therapist?
FBT is primarily a behavioral treatment focusing on nourishing a malnourished brain and tackling symptomatic behaviors.
As such, there's only sometimes a need for an individual therapist, especially in the initial stages. However, certain medical providers and treatment centers may recommend additional individual therapy.
Elevate Rockwall offers comprehensive services underpinned by unconditional positive regard, professionalism, full attention, and confidentiality. Our team is skilled in FBT and other treatment modalities, ensuring your family receives the best care possible. Reach out to us today, we can help.
Your thoughts, feelings, actions, and interactions determine your psychological, emotional, behavioral, and social well-being. Yet you might not know how disordered cognition and poorly managed emotions affect your relationships. Instead, you might feel dissatisfied, anxious, and exhausted, yet not know why. Mental health therapy can help navigate this mental confusion. What’s more, it can treat depression, improve relationship challenges, and it soothes the symptoms of excessive sadness, anger, or guilt.
In this article, we will explore why is therapy important for mental health, the benefits of attending therapy, and share tips on finding the right therapist.
What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is a method used to treat mental illnesses like bipolar disorder or depression. It encompasses a variety of modalities designed to help you manage your emotions and cognition, including CBT, EMDR, DBT, and more. These and other forms of psychotherapy can help alleviate symptoms, and identify the psychological root causes of your condition, leading to improved function, enhanced emotional well-being, and healing.
Moreover, psychotherapy can help with coping with stressful life events and trauma, managing a medical illness or grief, and specific mental health conditions like anxiety. Some types of therapy may work better than others in certain clinical situations and can be combined with medication, nutritional therapy, or alternative medicine for a more holistic approach. Below, we explore the types of therapy available and how they can help.
Mental Health Therapy Options
Did you know that mental health therapy can be customized to your situation? A therapist, such as our experts here at Elevate Rockwall, can help determine if your mental health condition is exacerbated by relational conflict. If so, they might recommend family or couples therapy. Yet if your issues seem based on negative, obsessional thinking, or anxiety, individual therapy would be encouraged.
No matter what type of therapy you choose, the results affect more than just the direct participants. For instance, the mood and thought management skills you learn in individual therapy can help in your relationships by improving communication and interaction. Thus, the effects of this type of therapy can extend far beyond the session, leading to better marriages and partnerships, more effective and functional workplaces, and healthier wider communities.
Benefits of Therapy
If you’re still not convinced that therapy can help, you should know what the research says. Studies have shown that approximately 75% of people who work with a professional therapist see improvement. Moreover, those with mental health conditions who seek therapy have found that their symptoms lessened and their overall quality of life increased.
However, therapy is not just for those with depression, anxiety, or mood disorders. The guidance, constructive listening, and supportive feedback provided by a therapist can help anyone seeking better methods to manage their thinking and emotions. Some of the benefits of therapy include:Better communication
Your emotions and thoughts can positively or negatively affect your relationships. Therapists can provide new coping skills, allowing you to delve into your thinking, feeling, and behavior patterns to manage daily stressors. If you want to improve your mental health, our therapists at Elevate Rockwall can help support you on your journey to emotional wellness. Don’t hesitate to reach out today and one of our therapists will give you a call.
Good relationships require good communication, even when there is conflict. Yet many families don’t know how to talk to each other, especially when emotions like stress, anger, or grief are involved. During these times, family therapy is an essential tool that helps couples, parents, and children share emotions and resolve conflicts. Sessions are guided by psychologists, social workers, or therapists with extra training in family therapy such as our team of experts here at Elevate Rockwall.
So how does family therapy work? This article will review the therapy types that might benefit your family.
What is Family Therapy?
This type of psychological counseling, also known as psychotherapy, is provided by a psychologist, clinical social worker, or licensed therapist. These professionals possess graduate or postgraduate degrees and may hold credentials from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).
These sessions are usually short-term, include all family members or those who can or are willing to participate, and are designed for better communication and conflict resolution. The specific treatment plan depends on the family conflict and situation. Family therapy sessions can equip you with the mental and emotional skills to strengthen connections and navigate stressful times, even after you've completed the therapy sessions.
How Does a Family Therapy Work?
Sessions usually last about 50 minutes to an hour. Family therapy is often short-term, typically around 12 sessions. However, the frequency of meetings and total sessions will depend on your family's specific situation and the therapist's recommendation. Family members typically attend therapy sessions together.
However, a family member may attend sessions individually. During family therapy, you can expect to explore family roles, rules, and behavior patterns to identify strengths and resolve problems.
What are the Types of Family Therapy?
There are a variety of techniques used by mental health professionals. The type of therapy chosen depends on the needs and circumstances of your family. Moreover, therapists may combine various therapeutic approaches to find what works. Here are the most common forms of family therapy:
What are the Benefits of Family Therapy?
Psychotherapy improves family relationships, leading to better functioning at work or school. Moreover, studies show that family therapy can treat mental and emotional conditions and health issues like adolescent substance use, depression, and obesity. After family therapy treatment, nearly 90% of people experienced better emotional health, and about 66% reported better overall physical health. About 73% of parents reported that their child's behavior improved.
If you're looking for a family therapist, give us a call at Elevate Rockwall to get started! Our team of local therapists provides high-quality counseling services to individuals, couples, teens, and children. We can help you improve family communication for a happy home environment.
Family therapy is a form of psychotherapy that tries to enhance family communication and relationships. It is a team-based strategy that assists families in identifying and addressing problems that may be creating conflict or distress.
Benefits of family therapy include improved interaction, more understanding and empathy, problem-solving abilities, and closer relationships between family members. Working together, families may learn to overcome obstacles, strengthen bonds, and create a more supportive and enjoyable home environment.
What Is Family Therapy?
Family therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on family interactions. It is a collaborative method in which all family members work together to identify and resolve problems that create conflict or discomfort. Family therapy sessions with a therapist or counselor usually include open conversations and problem-solving activities.
The fundamental principles of family therapy are based on the idea that families are systems and issues affecting one member of the family might affect the rest of the clan. The members of a family may improve their ability to communicate and engage positively with one another if they work together to recognize and alter destructive patterns of behavior.
Several problems are improved with the use of family therapy. Even when there aren't any glaring issues, it may improve family interactions and bonding.
Common Goals of Family Therapy
The goal of family therapy is to improve communication, lessen arguments, and forge closer ties among family members.
The purpose of family therapy is to help family members better understand and care for one another by identifying and resolving dysfunctional patterns of interaction. In addition to bringing people closer together, it might also help them learn to solve problems, increase their awareness of others' perspectives, and enhance their ability to communicate with one another.
Ultimately, family therapy seeks to create a more supportive and fulfilling home environment where all family members feel heard, understood, and valued.
Benefits of Family Therapy
Family therapy can offer a range of benefits for individuals and families, including:
Overall, the benefits of family therapy can be far-reaching, providing individuals and families with the tools they need to navigate challenges, resolve conflicts, and build better and more fulfilling relationships.
Family therapy is a valuable tool for improving communication, resolving conflicts, and strengthening relationships within the family unit.
By working together to identify and address issues, families can learn to develop effective coping strategies and problem-solving skills, leading to a more supportive and fulfilling home environment.
Whether dealing with behavioral issues, mental health challenges or simply seeking to enhance family dynamics, one of the top benefits of family therapy sessions is that they provide a safe and validating space for families to learn and grow together. If you’re in or around Rockwall, TX, contact the family therapy experts at Elevate Rockwall to schedule an appointment today.
Do you need help with an adolescent child who refuses therapy? This is a difficult question parents face when their teen displays signs of mental health issues. Parents can face a tough decision regarding their teen's mental health if they begin showing signs of emotional issues.
You may feel like you have no good options available if your adolescent resists professional help and support. However, understanding why adolescents refuse therapy and the benefits they could receive from seeking treatment can provide insight into how best to approach this situation with care and compassion.
So how do you help an adolescent child who refuses therapy? Let’s explore some of the reasons why, as well as potential strategies for helping them accept assistance, and resources that may be available should you decide to pursue further intervention for your child who refuses therapy.
Why Do Teen Children Refuse the Therapy That They Need?
Adolescents may spurn counseling on various grounds, like the apprehension of assessment or lack of knowledge of what therapy is. Major obstacles to getting a teenager to accept therapy include fear of judgment, a lack of trust, and feelings of discomfort.
Fear of Judgment
Adolescents may be reluctant to open up about their feelings in front of adults due to a fear of being judged or misunderstood. They may be wary of expressing themselves, especially in front of an adult they don’t know. Consulting a therapist, then, can be challenging for them.
Remember what it was like to be a teenager. You were worried about what your friends thought, what the cool kids were doing, whether you wore the right clothes, and if the music you listened to was acceptable to your peers. Kids still feel those things. And there’s mounting evidence that social media tendencies are exacerbating them. so the risk of making them feel judged is always a real one.
Alleviating the apprehension of being judged requires cultivating a space where teens feel secure and valued when disclosing their issues.
Lack of Trust
Another reason some adolescents may not want therapy stems from a distrust of the process or the therapist. And if they’ve had negative past experiences with other adults or professionals, they might be further entrenched in the belief that more therapy isn’t an answer.
Building trust with an adolescent who refuses therapy means extending patience and understanding to the teenager who needs help during times of difficulty.
Many adolescents have no desire to talk about personal matters. It can be intimidating and overwhelming and lead them to avoid therapy altogether. Therapists must take the time to get acquainted before diving into more serious topics. Taking this time allows teens to adjust before delving deeper into conversations regarding mental health concerns or emotional struggles they are facing.
Teenagers may also see the admission of a need for help as a sign of weakness. Many people recognize this admission as a sign of true strength, but few of those people are teenagers. Seeking professional assistance shows courage, strength, and resilience. And most kids have all those qualities.
There may also be an element of fear or embarrassment, so a teenager's insistence that “I don’t need any help” may be a cover for not wanting to admit to feeling apprehension.
Is It Okay to Force Your Adolescent Child to Get Treatment?
The short answer is usually not. A teenager who feels compelled to seek treatment is unlikely to feel motivated to change. Even if they get dragged to their appointments, talking about their feelings will likely be low on their list of priorities that day.
That doesn’t mean you can’t require your teen to attend a few sessions. As mentioned above, a skilled therapist should be able to set the teenager at ease in those few mandatory sessions and perhaps make inroads that will help the client realize the necessity and importance of the process.
Since we were all teens at some point, we can recognize that a teenager might not want his parents to know he’s enjoying the process or that it’s helping. If a teenager complains about going to therapy, but you’re not having to haul them in kicking and screaming each week, it might be going better than they’re letting on.
All this goes by the wayside, though, if an adolescent is at risk of hurting themselves or someone else. Risky behaviors are also red flags that can justify forcing a kid into a therapist’s office.
How Do You Help an Adolescent Child Who Refuses Therapy?
Overcoming objections can make an enormous difference in talking a teenager down from their adamant refusal to participate in therapy.
1. Explain What Therapy Is
How many teenagers know anything about anything? Not a majority. We often fear what we don’t understand, so getting your adolescent to understand what therapy is may do a lot to help.
Age-appropriate explanations can help someone understand better what the process entails. Young children need to know that they won’t get any shots. Teenagers might need specific instruction about client confidentiality and that nothing they share with a therapist will get back to mom and dad.
Having a better understanding of what they can expect may help assuage your teenager’s doubts.
2. Make Them Part of the Process
Just as we avoid tantrums from our kids when they’re toddlers by giving them choices, we can help teenagers better accept therapy and the need for it by giving them some input into the process.
Offer different treatment options, allow them to essentially “audition” a therapist or two, and allow them to have a part in the final decision. This thought process is similar to the one many people use with the type of work supervisor who needs to believe that the new office procedure was his idea.
3. Find the Right Therapist
Every patient is different, no matter what age. Therapists won’t be one-size-fits-all. You’ll need to find one that your teenager can work with. If they don’t like or respect the person they are working with, therapy will be ineffective.
If your teen has tried therapy in the past and didn’t get anything out of it, ask questions. What didn’t they like? What helped? What didn’t? (And make them give real answers as opposed to the non-communicative catch-alls many teenagers use: “Nothing helped. It was all terrible.”)
These questions can help you select a therapist and make your teenager more amenable to the process.
4. Don’t Give Up
Helping an adolescent child who refuses therapy is not a one-conversation undertaking. Important conversations aren’t typically settled in one sitting. Progress may come gradually. So don’t give up on the conversation. If your child says no the first time you talk about therapy, keep trying.
It’s also important to continue listening to how your teen feels and what they think they need. Use the strategies above and try asking clinicians what they would recommend.
5. Bring Up the Subject With Your Teen Positively
If you think your teen might need counseling, how you broach the subject is very important. The first conversation you have will likely set the tone for your teen’s attitude toward therapy.
It’s common for teens to be embarrassed by their problems, and it can be hard for them to admit they need help. As such, it’s important to avoid sending a message that could cause feelings of shame.
You don’t want to imply your teen is crazy, that there’s something wrong with them, or that they’re not smart enough to make good choices. Instead, share why you believe counseling is important and how it could be helpful. Ask for input from your teen and be willing to listen to your teen’s opinions.
If you experience therapy yourself, consider sharing that with your teen, which can normalize it and remove some of the stigma the adolescent may associate with it.
The decision to help an adolescent child who refuses therapy is a difficult one. It requires understanding why they may be refusing, exploring the potential benefits of therapy, and considering strategies that can make it easier for them to engage in treatment.
If you are worried about your adolescent’s mental health and well-being, do not hesitate to seek professional assistance. There are many resources available that can provide support as you work with your adolescent on their journey towards healing and growth.
Take action now to help an adolescent child who refuses therapy. Reach out to us at Elevate Counseling for guidance on how best to approach the situation with empathy, understanding, and patience.
Lara Yates, LCSW
Lara is a therapist who sees clients at Elevate Counseling Group in Rockwall, TX. Lara works with teens, adults and couples.
After 15 years in the field of mental health, I have come to learn there is a huge learning curve for families that comes when seeking the RIGHT provider for you. Most Americans can tell me the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist; a cardiologist and a primary care doctor; a surgeon and a nurse. So why is there so much naiveté when it comes to the world of mental health and all the different providers? I think it comes with the massive stigma attached to seeking out treatment (more on that later in another blog post) and the lack of education in schools and our homes. If it’s not “cool” or accepted to talk about it, a lot don’t know about it.
A common complaint I hear is “I went to see a psychiatrist and they didn’t listen” or “I saw a therapist but she never put me on medication.”
The goal of this post is to educate and break this down for you, so you can choose the right provider or path for you, according to what you are looking for.
*Disclaimer- I am NOT saying one provider or license is better than any other. We all serve different purposes and have been trained to focus on different things. We are all parts of one large community that would be worse off if we didn’t have the variety we did.* This is not one size fits all. It is YOUR responsibility to do your research to find who is right for you.
With that being said, let’s begin.
PSYCHIATRIST- A psychiatrist is a medical doctor. An M.D. They went to school to learn about your brain, its chemistry and medication. Their sole job is to listen to your symptoms, diagnose, and PERSCRIBE MEDICATION. So often I hear complaints about psychiatrist, “they didn’t talk to me, and they didn’t listen.” With good intentions I think the public will often set them up for failure, expecting something out of them they are not trained to do. Their job is not to provide therapy. They are the doctor of the brain, medication management is their goal. These doctors aid in the overall health when medication management can be PARTNERED with talk therapy.
PSYCHOLOGIST- A psychologist is also a doctor but holds a PhD. They tend to focus more on
administering assessments (i.e. IQ test, ADHD assessments, psychological evaluations, and more). While they can perform therapy, most entered into a PhD program for research purposes. You CAN diagnose and provide therapy with a Master’s degree; the main purpose for moving forward with a PhD is research.
THERAPIST (LPC & LCSW)- I am grouping these two license holders together for the sake of the length of this blog. The two (Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Clinical Social Worker) are different in a lot of ways when it comes to our boards, our training, and backgrounds. BUT we are similar enough to group together for the time being. Both diagnose and provide therapy. A social worker CAN become a therapist after going further in education, licensing, and obtaining thousands of hours in training. I personally hold an LCSW. I get a lot of shock when people learn my background and roots are in social
work. There is a lot of stigma in that itself and people assume I just work for CPS or “take kids out of homes” (again, another blog post later on LPC vs LCSW tracks). Therapists are trained in dozens and dozens of different theories, therapy modalities, and can work with children, adults, families, and couples. Both are trained in the life span (birth to death) and all diagnoses found in the DSM-V (our bible for diagnosing and mental health disorders). Therapist CAN NOT prescribe medication. We are the talk therapy portion of your care. If we begin working with you and feel you would benefit from being on medication, we will often write a letter to either your psychiatrist or primary care doctor, often citing you are under our care and what symptoms we are noticing. We may encourage you to get an evaluation to see if medication would work best in you, while continuing to see us as therapist. Think of
it as a treatment team of support around you. What therapist do not do, is give our opinion. My clients will often ask “well, what do you think? Tell me what to do.” That is not our job. You can get that for free from a friend having coffee. Our job is to partner with you in finding the best version of yourself you can be, through different treatment modalities and therapies that fit best for whatever you are walking through. Opinions do not heal trauma. Therapy does. I bring this up because while we are talking about titles, often lines can get blurred of clients wanting their therapist to be their friend. It’s understandable. It can be very intimate sharing pain, your story and your healing with someone.
LPC-A- I thought this credential was worth mentioning. If you notice your therapist has a letter “A” after their license, this means they are working on becoming fully licensed (LPC, the ‘A’ will drop off) after obtaining 3,000 hours, under the supervision of a LPC-Supervisor. So, if you are looking for a more seasoned therapist, this is important to know.
While there are still many more credentials I did not cover, my goal was to hit on the most common feedback I hear in my practice. I truly hope this was helpful. There can be frustration when time and money are lost and if you feel you have spent energy towards the possible wrong provider; depending on what your goals are. This can often make people want to quit. Please keep going. Finding the right therapist/doctor for you can be like dating; not everyone is a good match. Advocate for yourself and ask questions. You will not offend your mental health provider.
Lara Yates, LCSW is a therapist who sees clients at Elevate Counseling Group in Rockwall, Texas.