Our Approach to Eating Disorder Treatment
We are dedicated to providing the highest quality, evidence-informed care for our patients.
It is important to us to integrate the latest science and neurobiological research into our practice. Our clinical experts have received specialized supervision and training in eating disorder treatment.
We actively involve family/supports in all of our programs, educating them to be part of the treatment team and giving them the tools to know how to help.
We approach food as “medicine,” providing individualized meal plans and educating clients and families/supports on how to “dose” food based on macro-nutrients.
Movement and yoga are incorporated into all of our programs.
Brains are extremely complex systems, containing billions of neurons making pathway connections, or wiring, based on thoughts, emotions and experiences. Continuing similar responses strengthen and reinforce the wiring, rendering it an automatic response, or simply put, a habit. However, with intentional effort and the consistent repetition of new habits, neural pathways can be rewired. Unhealthy habits can be replaced with healthier ones. Eating disorders are mental illnesses that can be treated using these scientific facts about the amazing neuroplasticity of the brain.
Our nutrition philosophy is that food is medicine for eating disorders.
Any food can fit into a healthy way of eating.
The correct balance of the three macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and endurance fuels/fats) needs to be consumed.
Meals and snacks need to be consumed regularly.
Strive for a balance of flexible structure vs. intuitive eating based on brain neurobiology.
REGISTERED DIETITIAN VS NUTRITIONIST
Meal plans at The Center are individualized for each client by registered, licensed dietitians (RD, LD). Why is that important? "Nutritionists" are not regulated; anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, with no formal training. A dietitian, on the other hand, is regulated. A registered dietitian has a minimum of a bachelor's degree from an accredited university with specific coursework in nutrition sciences, has had a minimum of 900 hours of supervised clinical practice, passed a national examination and receives ongoing education to maintain the registration/license. Additionally, dietitians at The Center have received advanced training specifically for helping people who struggle with eating challenges. Nutrition is the foundation of treatment for an eating disorder. You can be confident in the individualized care you receive from our team of extensively trained and compassionate dietitians.
Individuals seeking to receive only nutrition services at The Center will need to also be actively seeing a behavioral health clinician in the community and have a primary care physician. We will require a release of information for both.
MEAL PLAN OR INTUITIVE EATING?
Intuitive eating is listening and responding to the body and its signals in a way that provides both physiological and psychosocial health with food. Due to misfiring of signals in the brain, individuals with eating disorders often do not get hunger and fullness cues, making it difficult or impossible to incorporate intuitive eating into early recovery.
Our dietitians create individualized meal plans for clients which are based on "proper dosing" of macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients. When appropriate, intuitive eating is introduced in the recovery process based on each individual’s treatment goals.
SPECIFIC DIETARY CONSIDERATIONS
Our dietitians are able to incorporate specific dietary considerations into individualized meal plans after completing a thorough nutrition assessment. Documented medical necessity, along with value/religious/spiritual based requests are part of these considerations.