If you are looking for support with an eating disorder and would like to find an eating disorder therapist to work safely with you through recovery, here are some top tips to consider:
How to find an eating disorder specialist
1. Firstly, ask the therapist about their training in the field. The best eating disorder specialists are trained in a form of therapy, nutrition and will have recognised qualifications for specific eating disorder therapy. This can be found on their website or information page.
2. Secondly, find out what approach they use for eating disorder recovery. Finding an eating disorder specialist is important so that you find the right practitioner as well as the right recovery programme suited to you. Your therapist should be able to outline clearly the process and type of work they will do with you.
3. Thirdly, do they have a personal experience of suffering from an eating disorder? Many in this field do, making them extremely passionate about the work. Asking this can be incredibly supportive and will allow your therapist to have a much deeper understanding of the illness. It is important to note that it will only be helpful if they themselves have truly recovered. They should be able to talk about this openly and honestly to you.
4. Another thing to consider is what books they can recommend to you. If they are a specialist, they will have recommendations they can share. Any eating disorder specialist will have a bookshelf filled with recovery books and textbooks. Keep reading to see our top book recommendations below.
5. Next, consider if the therapist has any specialist training in trauma therapy. For example at Natural Food Therapy we use Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and Neuro-Linguistic Programme (NLP) to safely work with trauma. Not everyone who suffers with an eating disorder will associate themselves with having experienced past trauma, however trauma comes in many forms. Through recovery we often need to work through difficult experiences and memories as safely and gently as possible.
Important questions to consider when choosing your eating disorder specialist
6. After speaking to the practitioner, ask yourself the following:
Do you feel understood by them?
Did they communicate well with you, or just ask you multiple questions?
Did they take notes and want to learn about your personal experience of the illness?
Would you feel safe and comfortable working with them through recovery?
7. Lastly, ask the eating disorder therapist what happens after you finish your time with them.
Does the programme or therapy have an end date?
If so, what happens at the end?
Our clients gradually reduce their support with us when they are ready, and then have the option to join The Natural Food Therapy Community. The Community offers you connection with others who are at a similar stage of their recovery. This is so that when you are ready to be part of a support system, it’s there for you.
Overall, we hope these tips have helped if you are looking for support with an eating disorder. You deserve to take your time, make an informed decision and find the right eating disorder specialist for you. If you’re interested in speaking to one of our specialists you can get in touch here.
Some of our must-read books on eating disorders
An Apple A Day: A Memoir of Love and Recovery from Anorexia, Emma Woolf.
A compelling, true story that recounts the author’s biggest challenge of her life; to beat anorexia. Particularly helpful for anyone affected by eating disorders and for those who want to gain some insight into what a loved one may be going through.
Hope With Eating Disorders: A Self Help Guide For Parents, Carers and Friends Of Sufferers (2nd edition), Lynn Crilly.
Hope with Eating Disorders is a practical, supportive guide for anyone helping or caring for someone with an eating disorder.
Life Without Ed: How One Woman Declared Independence From Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too, Jenni Schaefer.
Inspiring, compassionate and filled with practical exercises to help you break up with your own eating disorder. This book combines the author’s own insights and experiences of an eating disorder with a therapist’s guide for success. A must-read to support you in your recovery journey.
Overcoming Binge Eating: The Proven Programme To Learn Why You Binge and How You Can Stop (2nd edition), Christopher Fairburn.
A supportive book sharing insights into why binge eating happens and how to find peace with food.
I Can Beat Anorexia!: Finding the Motivation, Confidence and Skills to Recover and Avoid Relapse, Dr Nicola Davies.
A self-help book with workbook style exercises to support those recovering from anorexia. Aimed at supporting recovery to feel less overwhelming and provide readers with the skills they need to stay well in the long- term.
Skills-based Learning for Caring for a Loved One with an Eating Disorder: The New Maudsley Method (2nd edition), Janet Treasure, Gráinne Smith and Anna Crane.
Essential for carers to gain the skills needed to support those suffering from an eating disorder. This book enables the reader to draw on evidence- based research, the authors’ personal experiences and practical support skills.