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Eight Things to Look for in an Eating Disorder Treatment Center

When it is time to choose an eating disorder treatment center, it is important the person seeking help finds a center that fits their needs. Eating disorder treatment centers are not all the same, although many of them may have similar offerings. Because they are all a little different, some of these centers may be a better fit for some clients than others will be. Clients may only be focused on the treatment center that is closest to home or one that someone else has recommended. While those can be important considerations, there is more to the equation. Continue reading…


The Art of Nutrition: Looking at the Similarities and Differences of the Monte Nido & Affiliates Programs

Oliver-Pyatt Centers, Monte Nido and Clementine are three eating disorder treatment programs that operate with the same intention: To support individuals healing from eating disorders and to help them realize their potential of full recovery. That being said, we understand treatment is not a one-size-fits-all formula. Our three directors of nutrition come from the same underlying dietary philosophy that combines medically based research in the treatment of eating disorders with practices that help individuals learn to confidently nourish themselves independently. By understanding the slight differentiators that are practiced in all three facilities, it becomes easy to see that though the day-to-day may differ for clients from facility to facility, the fundamental reasoning for these different practices come from the same place.

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What to Tell Your Eating Disorder Therapist In Order to Receive the Best Help

Working with an eating disorder therapist during an adolescent’s time in a treatment center is beneficial in supporting a client on the path to recovery. There are several considerations when talking to a therapist. If a therapist and a client do not work well together or if their personalities clash, the client may not get what they need from the interaction. Fortunately, there are ways to navigate this issue. Sometimes an individual seeking treatment for an eating disorder simply needs to spend more time with the therapist to develop a stronger connection.

If they work with the therapist over time a stronger relationship often develops. Of course, that is not always the case. Sometimes individuals are not going to work well together; if that occurs the therapist and client may discuss this split in the relationship and may decide it is best for the client to work with another therapist. Quality eating disorder recovery centers should have more than one therapist available, and the client can appropriately transition to this new therapist, if deemed necessary by the entire treatment team.

Once a positive connection between an eating disorder psychologist and a client has been made, the most important task for the client is to truly open up to their therapist and explore their concerns, fears, hopes, dreams, etc. This is not always easy, but it is almost always worthwhile. Working with an experienced therapist can be very beneficial in helping a client reach a fully recovered state. To achieve the highest level of success possible, here are some items a client could share with their eating disorder therapist.

Information About Trauma or Harm in Their Past

Not everyone who seeks out help for eating disorder recovery has past trauma, harm or a conflict that may have been a contributing factor. Some clients do have have this type of trauma to work through while in treatment. If they do, it is important to work with a highly skilled therapist to safely explore these issues and the impact they have had on the development of an eating disorder. Individuals may want to avoid talking about past trauma because it can be painful, but it can also have a great deal of value once discussed. A seasoned therapist can help a client explore and work through these traumas safely.

Providing someone a new way to look at something can often make a difference in how they see the world. When people who are looking for eating disorder support work with therapists trained to support them, they may be taught new ways to process past traumatic experiences. It is often the processing of past trauma that can move a client toward a fully recovered state.

Without negative feelings about past experiences holding them back, they can be excited about the future and what they want to do with it. While that will not necessarily solve every issue or concern a person may have, it can be very beneficial on the path to true recovery.

The Plans and Goals They Have for Their Future

Everyone has goals and dreams, and the best eating disorder treatment includes support to explore and pursue these goals and dreams. Therapists who work in eating disorder treatment facilities understand the value of having something to work toward, that is separate from the eating disorder. Treatment is not just about treating the symptoms, it is about treating the whole person.

When clients and therapists work together to explore positive goals and dreams for the client’s future, they may be more apt to re-focus past negative thoughts and behaviors on these new, exciting potentials.

Fears and Stressors

Clients who work with an eating disorder psychologist should also talk about their fears and worries.  Understanding and exploring each client’s unique stressors is an important piece of providing the help a client may really need. That does not mean the therapist will be able to simply fix all the fears, but talking about them and putting them in perspective can often help individuals make breakthroughs in their therapy.

If fear or a lack of confidence in their own decisions and abilities is holding a client back, their therapist may be able to work with them on tools and techniques that will alleviate or reduce the stressors.

Working with an eating disorder therapist is a vital part of a strong recovery plan. Because the relationship between therapist and client is a private one, those who are seeking help for an eating disorder should be able to tell their therapist anything without fear of judgment and without concern that the information will be provided to others.

The People Around Them Who Support Them (or Do Not)

A big part of eating disorder support comes from family, friends and loved ones. People who are seeking treatment for an eating disorder should talk openly to their therapist about the people in their lives who can be part of their support system. Is someone close to them a pillar of support when they need it? Is someone in their family causing them setbacks and problems in their recovery? If there are people in their lives who are greatly affecting them one way or the other, clients should discuss those individuals.

In order to be as helpful as possible and to provide the most thorough recovery plan, the therapist needs as much information as possible. The more an eating disorder therapist knows about their client, the more they can fully support them on the path to true recovery. The same is true of a support system. If there are individuals in the client’s life that can provide positivity and support, they should remain in the client’s life. Clients and therapists can work together to explore individuals in the client’s life who are causing stress, anxiety and other problems and work to appropriately distance themselves from these individuals

When working with a therapist or any mental health professional, the more details provided, the more a therapist can understand what is truly at the heart of some of the issues the client may be facing. People in the client’s life often greatly affect them, and knowing how much of an effect they have and how the client feels about them is well worth considering when providing that client with therapeutic help for their eating disorder.

The Truth     

Above all else, the most important factor for someone seeking help is to be completely honest with their eating disorder therapist. This may be difficult as the client may fear judgment or wish that they had done something differently in their past. Hiding the truth does not help the therapist get a complete picture of how to help the client. Because of that, a client who avoids the truth or withholds important parts of it does not let the therapist help them as much as possible. In short, hiding or withholding information will only hurt the client.

Therapists who work with people seeking help for eating disorders understand what to listen and look for, and what kinds of questions they should be asking in order to get a more complete picture of the client and their disorder. Those who are the most open to sharing everything with their therapist may be able to move along the road to recovery faster than those who are more guarded with their information.

Fortunately, the therapists at Monte Nido are dedicated to helping their clients attain full recovery. They want to see their clients have positive and fulfilling lives, free of the eating disorder.


A Glimpse Into the Soul: Keesha Amezcua, MA, LMFT, CEDS

Monte Nido & Affiliates Vice President of Clinical Programming Keesha Amezcua, MA, LMFT, CEDS shares her personal journey to joining Monte Nido & Affiliates. Keesha shares what inspires her and what she loves about being part of this organization.

What first attracted you to want to work at Monte Nido & Affiliates, and what of those things still inspire you today?

I was first attracted to Monte Nido because of the space and philosophy that Carolyn Costin created. When I first walked up the steps of original Nido, I could feel that there was something deeply healing and incredibly special about that place. Continue reading…


Seven Ways Professional Eating Disorder Treatment Helps With Binge Eating Disorder Recovery

There are a number of reasons someone may develop an eating disorder and a number of ways they can receive help. For patients who are interested in seeking binge eating recovery options, there are facilities that can help them. They may not be quite sure what will work, or what they need to succeed, but there are dedicated professionals who know the type of eating disorder treatment that may be the best option.

Treating the entire person and helping them build their emotional and physical health and positive coping skills can make a big difference in supporting a client toward being fully recovered.

Emotional strength, confidence and the ability to utilize positive strategies can all be learned through treatment for binge eating disorder.

1. Reducing the Urge to Binge

One of the areas binge eating disorder recovery will focus on is helping the patient reduce the urge to binge eat. There are emotional mechanisms influencing the binging behavior, and exploring those root causes is an important piece on the path to recovery. Eating disorder therapy provides an opportunity to explore the causes of the disorder, as well as self-awareness, mindful eating and developing a set of skills to cope with urges to binge eat. The coping skills learned are vital, and they can really make a difference on the path to recovery.

2. Working With Professionals Who Can Help

Recovery from an eating disorder should not be done alone. Working with experienced professionals can provide support and the ability to explore, challenge and replace negative eating disordered thoughts and behaviors. These professionals know what to say, what to do and how to help, so they can provide the client the best chance of becoming fully recovered. The most effective eating disorder professionals will help patients tend to their soul as well as their body.

By connecting with professionals, the patient can receive the support they need to begin on the path to recovery. By finding experienced professionals who understand the journey the patient is on and who are dedicated to supporting them on the path to true recovery, the patient will be able to move forward after treatment confident in the skills and tools to live a healthy life, free of food and weight preoccupation.

3. Focusing on Progress in a Supportive and Structured Environment

Among the ways binge eating disorder treatment and binge eating disorder recovery can help a patient is by providing a supportive and structured environment. This environment can be provided in residential treatment, and is also important for patients who attend binge eating treatment centers that offer outpatient or day treatment programs. A structured environment is important as it diminishes outside stressors and triggers. The skills learned during the time in treatment will allow these patients to leave this type of structured environment and better handle the triggers of the outside world.

Tending to the soul and body is an essential part of total recovery from binge eating, and it is one of the main components recovery centers for eating disorders directly address. That is often why some patients choose residential treatment; in order to fully recover they are provided a safe and structured environment allowing them to focus on explore and challenge the eating disordered thoughts and behaviors and develop more positive coping skills and tools to use when leaving treatment.

4. Using Therapeutic Tools to Restore Comfort and Security

The use of therapeutic tools and learning recovery skills in binge eating treatment centers is a very important part of the overall treatment process. The right tools and skills help a client succeed on the path to recovery..

If binging brought a patient comfort, finding new ways to feel comforted will naturally reduce the binging urge. Restoring what a recovered person feels they lost through their disorder is rewarding for both the client and their family.

5. Learning Coping Skills for Difficult Times

An important piece of binge eating treatment is the development of appropriate coping skills. Following treatment, a patient may utilize their coping skills to feel less vulnerable and more centered during stressful or triggering times. How these triggering issues are addressed outside of treatment is an important part of relapse prevention.

In short, people in recovery must develop alternative ways, other than binging, they use to deal with challenges that may arise. The more coping skills they have, the easier it will be for them to stay fully recovered once treatment is complete. A fully recovered and/or experienced staff can explore and teach clients coping skills that will work for them.

6. Understanding the Value of Every Person

One of the most important things an eating disorder treatment center will teach a patient is self-worth. There is value in every person, and value in every experience. Each individual has the potential for a bright future, a future of true recovery.. Their disorder may have convinced them a happier and recovered life is not possible, but as they move through treatment and toward recovery they can learn to truly value themselves.

A person-centered approach that views a patient as more than just their disorder, Monte Nido treatment centers can help clients realize their intrinsic self-worth. Tending to their soul as well as to their body sends them on a journey of healing and wellness, toward recovery.

7. Having Confidence in Abilities for the Future

Looking toward the future in a positive light is a part of what an eating disorder treatment center will encourage in their patients. It is about moving toward being fully recovered in the present, but it is also about remaining in that space in the future. Starting to set goals during recovery is important, as the patient has more to look forward to and a plan for what they are going to do when treatment is complete.

The development of confidence is about more than becoming fully recovered, and about more than simply setting goals. It is about gaining the confidence they can succeed at the things they put their mind to. The urge to binge lessens as they find meaningful experiences and relationships in their lives. Eating disorder treatment can support patients on the path to recovery from their disorder, and can also allow them to begin to focus on the positive options for their futures.

People are complex, and when they are seen and treated with kindness, compassion and confidence they can thrive on the path to recovery. Reducing fear and worry, along with building confidence and a good skill set, is part of what a recovery center will provide to patients who are seeking binge eating treatment, guiding them on the path to true recovery.