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How do I get Eating Disorder Counseling?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 19 December 2017
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There are a number of ways to find and obtain eating disorder counseling. It’s scary to admit having a problem of this nature, but it is an excellent first step in getting help to overcome that problem. A few ways to address this immediately include attending a support group, speaking with a family doctor or trusted school counselor, or checking into a hospital that treats eating disorders.

Sometimes, starting at a hospital is the best place. When a disease is seriously advanced, people may require medical care first to bring their bodies to a healthy weight or to end destructive behaviors. Getting eating disorder counseling at a hospital can be done in different ways. First, people can approach their family doctor, disclose that they have an eating disorder and get a referral for a treatment program in this manner. They can also go directly to hospitals that offer eating disorder counseling, but getting a recommendation from a doctor first may be the better method. It might also assure that any hospital chosen will take a person’s health insurance.

In certain circumstances, a person may have an eating disorder that can be brought under control in an outpatient setting. One way of getting this care might be to obtain personal counseling with someone who specializes in eating disorders, or some people are able to work in group counseling settings. It should be noted that many people pursue group and personal eating disorder counseling for the most benefit.

Again, a family doctor could be a great resource to get a recommendation on personal or group eating disorder counseling. Sometimes people don’t feel comfortable with this. A high school counselor or a counselor in college could also be a good source of information on this topic. People should still plan to have a medical exam to be certain an eating disorder has not created dangerous health problems, however.

There are group counseling opportunities that are widely advertised in a community. It may be possible to find out about these in local newspapers, on the Internet, or though large counseling associations that employ many therapists. People may even find eating disorder counseling online, though it has been suggested that face-to-face counseling has a higher rate of success.

In a lot of mid-sized communities, more than one group is available. People might want to first look for those groups that are counselor led instead of peer led, especially at the beginning of treatment. Counselors who may lead these groups are typically very useful in recommending other forms of eating disorder counseling to participants, include referring to personal therapists that may help more extensively explore this issue and to hospitals that can become involved when a person’s health is at serious risk.

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