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How Do I Choose the Best Psychiatrist for Eating Disorders?

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  • Written By: A.E. Freeman
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2016
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The best psychiatrist for eating disorders should be someone you feel comfortable confiding in as a patient. Ideally, the psychiatrist will specialize in eating disorders and have an in-depth understanding of the various psychological and physical factors that contribute to an eating disorder. Consider the type of therapy the psychiatrist for eating disorders uses as well. Some therapists use cognitive behavioral therapy, while others use group therapy or therapy that focuses on the patient's family.

Your comfort level with a psychiatrist for eating disorders is of primary importance. If you do not feel safe with your therapist, you won't be able to open up for healing and therapy. Before officially beginning therapy with a psychiatrist, you should have an initial visit. During this visit, the psychiatrist will ask you about your eating disorder as well as more general questions about your health and family history. Use the initial visit to determine whether you want to continue working with that doctor or if you want to find a better match.

The method of therapy a psychiatrist for eating disorders uses is also important. Many people who suffer from an eating disorder benefit from undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). During CBT, a patient learns to recognize the emotions that trigger a response, such as avoiding food or binging. The patient then learns to cope with those emotions and respond in a different way. As a part of CBT, some psychiatrists teach patients about diet and nutrition too.

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If you are a parent of an adolescent who suffers from an eating disorder, the Maudsley method of therapy from a psychiatrist for eating disorders may be a good option. The Maudsley method puts parents in control of the eating disorder. You would work with a psychiatrist to regulate what foods your child consumes. While the parents are put in control, they are not blamed for the eating disorder.

Some patients benefit from undergoing group therapy with a psychiatrist and other patients who also have an eating disorder. Attending group therapy may not be for everyone, though. You may not feel comfortable sharing your thoughts or experiences with a group of people. Some members of the group may be at different spots in the recovery process. A person who isn't ready to begin healing may attempt to sabotage your healing, for example. As with any situation involving people, there may be personality conflicts or clashes.

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