Is your teenage daughter or son overly preoccupied with food? Does she obsess over calorie-counting, become overwhelmed at meal times, and isolate herself from her friends and social activities? There are many signs that could indicate either a preoccupation with food and weight or an eating disorder. Getting help sooner rather than later can make all the difference in your child's wellbeing.
While most teens are concerned about their looks and how they are perceived by peers, teens with eating disorders go above and beyond in their efforts to alter or try to control their already changing bodies. For some teens, they may be watching their caloric intake to prevent weight gain. Others may become very picky about which foods they eat, creating unnecessary dietary restrictions that make it difficult to eat during family mealtimes or with friends. Additionally, some exercise excessively, and feel the need to "make up" for the pizza, ice cream, or other foods they eat, especially if perceived of as "bad" or unhealthy foods. This can lead to significant mood changes, reduction in socialization with peers, and potentially harmful behaviors in efforts to modify shape and weight.
As a parent, you feel helpless. While you want to give your child the independence and space they need as a developing teen, you know something is wrong. Psychotherapy for your child with eating disordered thoughts and behaviors or an already diagnosed condition can be instrumental in helping your teen reconnect with their lives in a healthy manner. I collaborate with other professionals (registered dietitians, psychiatrists, and pediatricians) to provide comprehensive care for your child. I engage you and your family in your child's treatment with the understanding that your child's eating disorder impacts the entire family system. I utilize evidence-based treatments tailored to your child to help them return to a healthier mindset and behavior patterns with food, body image and exercise. Reach out to schedule a free phone consultation to see how we can work together to help your child get well.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) – A skills-based approach to eating disorder symptom management, DBT helps to increase mindfulness around hunger and food intake, increase ability to tolerate distressing situations that may trigger restricting/bingeing/purging cycles, help to regulate strong emotions that may trigger eating disordered thoughts and behaviors, and improve relationships patterns.
Enhanced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT-E)– A structured treatment that helps one to understand the underlying beliefs that maintain their eating disorder. Through the CBT-E process, effort is made to change underlying beliefs or schemas by targeting them individually. The practice of self-monitoring, an evidence-based way to increase understanding of one’s emotional experience while eating, is used and reviewed throughout treatment.
Family-Based Treatment (FBT)– Also known as the Maudsley approach, Family-Based Treatment was developed at the Maudsley Hospital in London and is an empirically proven method used to reduce eating disorder symptoms in adolescents with eating disorders. FBT engages the whole family, especially parents, in helping their child recover from an eating disorder. Parents learn to support their child during mealtimes in efforts to restore regular eating habits.