Our primary mission is to empower our clients to take control of challenging/ difficult areas in their lives through the use of skill-based, present-focused, goal-oriented, and scientifically-proven treatments.
Disordered eating and body image concerns are problems that impact millions of individuals around the world. Eating disorders are serious psychiatric disorders that have many co-occurring issues (i.e., depression, anxiety, perfectionism, etc.) and related medical complications. The continuum of disordered eating treated at CHH ranges from compulsive exercise, continuous dieting, and emotional eating to diagnoses such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge-Eating Disorder, and General Disordered Eating & Body Dissatisfaction.
Many who experience eating disorders identify with feelings of shame, hopelessness, and frustration with prior treatment. Adolescents are often unaware that the problem exists, and many parents experience worry and confusion about the next step for their child. All too often, these variables lead to ambivalence towards recovery and reluctance towards treatment. The clinicians at CHH believe that eating disorders ought to be taken seriously and treated with the most cutting edge approaches. Our approach to treatment has been proven effective with a breadth of scientific research.
Anorexia Nervosa (AN)
Anorexia Nervosa is diagnosed when patients are significantly under the normal healthy weight expected for their height, age, sex, developmental trajectory, and physical health (Please Note: this implies that one does not necessarily have present with an objectively low BMI to be diagnosed with AN). Hallmarks of AN include limited food intake, fear of being “fat,” problems with body image or denial of low body weight, and sometimes an absence of menses. Individuals with AN do not maintain a normal weight because they refuse to eat enough, often exercise obsessively, and sometimes force themselves to vomit or use laxatives to lose weight.
Bulimia Nervosa (BN)
Bulimia Nervosa is diagnosed when patients engage in recurrent binge-eating episodes followed by compensatory strategies (e.g., self-induced vomiting, laxatives, fasting, water pills, etc.). Although they may frequently diet and vigorously exercise, individuals with BN can be slightly underweight, normal weight, or overweight. Accompanied with binges is the experience of being out of control, as if he/she truly could not stop eating. Binges often result in shame, embarrassment, stomach pains, and the fear of weight gain, all of which lead to some type of compensatory strategy immediately after the binge.
Binge-Eating Disorder (BED)
Binge-Eating Disorder is diagnosed when people have repeated episodes of binge eating in which they consume very large quantities of food in a brief period and feel out of control during the binge. Unlike BN, individuals with BED do not try to “get rid of” the food by inducing vomiting or by using other unsafe practices such as fasting or laxative abuse. A concern for body image is sometimes, yet not always, present in individuals with BED. Those with BED can be of a normal weight but are often overweight.
General Disordered Eating and Body Dissatisfaction
Many individuals struggle with problematic eating behaviors, chronic dieting, drastic weight fluctuations, exercise behaviors, and body image. Some of these individuals do not exactly fit into one of the previously mentioned diagnosable eating disorders, but still seek professional help to aid in barriers to a healthy, balanced relationship with food, body image, and exercise. Additionally, the specific medical diagnosis Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) can play a role in one’s ability to be successful with weight control, which can impact eating behaviors and body image. Treatment for this diagnosis also involves dietary changes that can be difficult to manage healthfully and successfully, often leading to some disordered eating patterns in many individuals.
We treat most eating disorders with Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy-Enhanced (CBT-E) and components of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). For a specific sub-type of adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa, we utilize principles of Family-Based Treatment (FBT) or “The Maudsley Method.” Our treatment plans provide clients with a scientific rationale, targeted goals, collaboration, and individuality. Our mission to empower individuals to regain control over disordered eating and live a fulfilled, healthy life shines through the treatment provided at CHH.