Due to the medical and psychological complexity of eating disorders, effective treatment involves the collaboration of clinicians from different health disciplines. Below we briefly describe each role to illustrate how the team works together to help patients and families achieve recovery.
Our dietitians monitor patients to ensure they are receiving adequate nutrition and educate both patients and families about proper meal planning and how to make dietary adjustments based on physical activity and body requirements. During an appointment, families can discuss how to prepare food that provides the necessary nutritional requirements based on the unique needs of their child or adolescent.
A nurse will assess the unique concerns of each patient’s medical history and help determine the appropriateness of receiving eating disorder treatment.
Physicians will monitor the medical status of each patient and assist with stabilization. They help families and patients understand the consequences of eating disorders and set recovery goals. When setting recovery goals, the physician will pay special attention to the medical issues of malnutrition, re-feeding, physical activity and purging. During a physician appointment, patients will receive a thorough medical assessment, discuss medical concerns and determine medical stability.
A psychiatrist will manage any psychotropic medications and address psychiatric issues including medical and mental health safety. During an appointment with the psychiatrist, patients and families will discuss the benefits and side effects of various medications and receive any prescriptions or refills.
Therapists provide evidence-based psychotherapy (therapy practices that have been researched, and the research supports their use as being helpful) in various forms including individual, family and group therapy and make recommendations for behavioral changes. During an appointment with the therapist, patients and families can expect to receive a thorough psychological assessment, create an individualized treatment plan and discuss the challenges and successes associated with recovery.
Family members are an important part of the care team. Love and compassion facilitates recovery, and family members are included throughout the treatment process. They attend appointments and serve as the “expert” on the child or adolescent. Family members understand what is best for their family and can inform the eating disorders team of what treatment is helpful and not helpful.