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.
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.