In order to become an anorexia therapist, you must first obtain the appropriate qualifications to practice therapy in the area in which you live. Focusing on eating disorders and body image problems during school may help you to gain expertise in the area, but it is equally important to build connections with other anorexia therapists and eating disorder services in order to best serve future patients. Once you are qualified to become an anorexia therapist in the eyes of the state, the next step is to either find a position that meets your goals or to create a private therapy practice. You then fully become an anorexia therapist.
Different areas require different qualifications to become an anorexia therapist. In most cases, some type of advanced degree is required, usually in psychology or a similar field. While qualifications may be considered sufficient in a wide variety of areas, some type of licensing is usually required in addition to the degree.
The primary feature that differentiates a general therapist from an anorexia therapist is focus. By being specialized, an anorexia therapist can become extremely talented at treating people with eating disorders. If as an anorexia therapist you cannot offer potential patients anything that represents specialized knowledge, you will not be any more appealing than a general therapist. For this reason, it is best to develop a clear and concise philosophy concerning eating disorders that can be communicated to potential patients. This philosophy should also outline how your therapy sessions work with other resources, such as family and rehabilitation centers, to offer support.
Most of the time, a person who wants to become an anorexia therapist has a personal connection with eating disorders either through experience, personal connections, or an emotional resonance with those who suffer from the disorder. Examining how this personal connection will help a potential patient overcome the disorder is often a good strategy when seeking new patients. A therapist must be someone whom the patient can trust, and trust is often built on personal connections.
While it may be frustrating for a person who wants to become an anorexia therapist to learn other types of therapy during his or her education, a broader education leaves open more possibilities when it comes to practicing therapy. If you cannot immediately land a position as a therapist who works exclusively with eating disorders, then it is certainly a good idea to build up some experience working in other therapy fields and increase your knowledge about eating disorders. Persistence is key when attempting to attain a highly desirable position as an anorexia therapist.