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How do I Become a Bulimia Therapist?

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  • Written By: Maggie J. Hall
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2016
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To become a bulimia therapist generally requires a minimum of a master’s degree to qualify for licensing as a professional counselor or therapist. Many students begin bulimia therapist training by acquiring a bachelor’s degree in psychology. They then go on to a graduate program, earning a master’s or a doctoral degree. Someone who wants to become a bulimia therapist may also have a background in nursing or social work, acquiring additional education to become a licensed eating disorder (ED) therapist.

Generally, a student who wants to become a bulimia therapist begins by pursuing a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in psychology. A student working towards a B.A. degree studies psychology and takes various general studies classes. This curriculum typically provides the student with a foundation in a variety of fields in addition to psychology. Coursework for a B.S. degree prepares students for a career in clinical psychology and involves more math and science classes than a B.A degree as well as applied psychology and research.

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Specializing in EDs or bulimia intervention requires individuals to explore various means of obtaining knowledge and experience related to the condition, and becoming a bulimia therapist requires a combination of classroom lectures and clinical training. After acquiring a bachelor’s degree, students have the option of applying for volunteer work or an internship position at a bulimia help facility. These opportunities provide further knowledge and hands-on experience in working with persons having EDs. Students learn the various methodologies employed by therapists involved in professional bulimia support.

Students learn the causes and origins of EDs along with the condition’s impact on interpersonal relationships, self-esteem and self-perception. Bulimia often accompanies other mental disorders, including anxiety or depression, and effective bulimia treatment often requires resolving other mental health issues. Persons desiring to become bulimia therapists learn to diagnose and treat emotional and mental disorders as part of dealing with the various aspects of EDs. Therapists generally possess keen communication and listening skills, which are necessary for accurately assessing and designing treatment plans.

In addition to a bachelor's degree, 60 credit hours of study for a master’s degree and 12 to 24 credit hours of supervised clinical training are required to become a bulimia therapist. Clinical training hour requirements vary from state to state. During this time, budding clinicians conduct supervised counseling sessions involving various types of therapy including cognitive behavioral therapy and art therapy. Prescribing medications requires medical training as a nurse practitioner or a psychiatrist.

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