What To Look For in an Eating Disorder Specialist

Seeking a specialist who understands, has training in, and may even have personal experience with recovering from an Eating Disorder is important. Not all professionals really understand the complexity of an Eating Disorder. However, the most important aspect to your recovery is finding someone you like and can learn to trust. Here are some other points to consider when speaking with a provider:

  • Does the provider primarily treat Eating Disorders and what experience does he/she have?
  • Can the provider help with other co-occurring disorders that might be important for you?
  • Is the Eating Disorder specialist accredited or licensed?  Degree accreditations/licenses for Eating Disorders therapists and counselors to look for may include an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor), LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) or LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker). Psychiatrists and physicians should hold a medical degree.
  • You may want to work with a provider who is not yet licensed but is working toward licensure under supervision with a provider who is licensed and specializes in Eating Disorders. This can be a good option if you need lower cost counseling as many will offer a sliding fee.
  • What is the approach the professional uses? This is often less important than a feeling of trust and safety with the specialist. Yet working with someone who addresses the Eating Disorder in a way that makes sense to you, may be important.
  • Does the specialist already work with a team of other professionals who also treat Eating Disorders, such as those mentioned above?

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