The treatment of eating disorders and disordered eating often requires an intensive level of therapy.
People seeking intensive outpatient eating disorder treatment at Turnbridge start with a thorough medical and psychological assessment to establish an accurate baseline upon which to develop an individualized care plan, which includes a specialized combination of mental health care, physical health care, and education.
The psychological component of treatment helps clients understand and address the underlying experiences, beliefs, trauma, or other factors that may be triggering and perpetuating disordered eating. Psychological assessments are used to explore the root causes that may have led to the development of the eating disorder and to diagnose any co-occurring mental health disorders that may also require treatment.
Medical and psychiatric care address the physical effects of eating disorders on the body, monitor progress toward health goals, and manage any necessary medications. Sustained lack of nutrition and weight loss can sometimes lead to heart arrhythmias, electrolyte and hormone imbalances, gastrointestinal problems, and other serious health risks. Vital signs, blood tests, EKGs, urinalysis, weigh ins, and other medical tests give care providers important insight into the physical health implications of eating disorders on the body.
Clinical dietitians at Turnbridge develop meal plans and educate clients on restoring and maintaining a nutritious diet and healthy eating behaviors. Therapeutic meals provide an opportunity to practice proper nutrition in a supportive environment. Participating clients bring healthy meals to group therapy sessions. Dietitians use these opportunities to introduce “challenge foods” — often carbohydrates and sugars heavily avoided by many eating disorder sufferers — to help clients relearn good eating habits. Sharing a meal with peers and supportive and experienced care providers helps clients address the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of his or her eating disorder while learning how to restore proper nutrition and better health.
As individuals make progress toward health goals, the level of treatment intensity can be safely reduced by the care team over time.