There are various treatment routes that can be used effectively to help treat eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. Finding the right treatment for your child will depend on a few factors including:
Your child’s BMI – those with a very low BMI (15 or less) are likely to need inpatient care. We always advise seeking care for your child as quickly as possible if they have a low BMI).
Outpatient care – if your child’s BMI is above 15 (and stable), attending regular therapy sessions may be an appropriate treatment route. The therapeutic approach will depend on your child’s individual requirements.
Psychiatrist assessment – it’s very common for people with an eating disorder to also have another co-current mental health condition like anxiety, OCD or depression. A full and thorough assessment, by a specialist Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist will identify if your child has a comorbid condition that needs treating before or alongside their eating issues.
Even when they feel motivated and committed to recovery, the entrenched thoughts and anxiety, guilt, shame and other strong emotions that come with an eating disorder can make change slow and difficult.
Research repeatedly shows that early intervention is one of the key factors in ensuring recovery from an eating disorder. We know it is often incredibly hard for parents to know what to do if the suspect or know their child has disordered eating behaviours – if your child will not engage in treatment themselves, you may wish to have an appointment on your own with a Psychiatrist or Psychologist to talk about what can be done.
Around 75% of those with an eating disorder will recover partly or fully
It can take huge courage to seek help for an eating disorder. It’s common for children and teenagers to say it is just a phase and that they will get better once they have overcome a period of stress. As a parent, we don’t want to push our children or upset them, but getting help early on really does make a huge difference. Eating disorders are incredibly powerful, so getting the right support to help your child can make all the difference.
We also know that the sooner treatment begins following an individual coming forward to ask for help, the better the outcome – it’s very common for eating disorders to become a lot worse whilst on a waiting list to start treatment1.
The whole experience was so helpful, we really felt listened to and never felt judged at all. Our daughter gets on really well with her psychologist and always seem calmer and happier after a session.
How can Clinical Partners help?
We believe in treating the individual. It’s vitally important for your child or teenager that they receive personalised care and that is why we make sure that the treatment plan is personalised to their individual needs.
The most effective treatment plans will consider:
Individuals’ needs and preferences
Family, social and work circumstances
Other mental health conditions
They will provide some flexibility in their approach, as recovery from eating disorders isn’t a standardised or linear process.
The first thing that will happen when you call Clinical Partners is that you will speak to one of our triage team. They are all trained mental health experts and understand eating disorders well. Their job is to make sure that the service our clinicians can offer is right for you or your loved one. If we don’t think we can help, or that another organisation would be better, we will tell you.
The triage team will ask you some questions about the concerns you have for your child.
If you and the triage team decide that Clinical Partners is the right organisation for you, we will arrange an appointment for your child or teen to meet with a senior Psychologist who specialises in eating disorders. You will need to be present for some or all of this appointment – the Psychologist will advise you on this.
You may decide, following our advice, that an appointment with a Psychiatrist is the first step – this can be particularly important if your child is struggling with other conditions or you suspect they have ASD or ADHD.
The Psychologist / Psychiatrist will advise on what therapeutic approach and treatment might be best, based on your individual needs. This might include; - Therapy – for example CBT or DBT - Family therapy - Psychiatry - Nutrition advice
Once you have agreed with the Psychologist that you wish to continue treatment, we will arrange for your child to meet regularly with your therapist or psychologist (weekly, fortnightly or monthly appointments are available).
You don't need a GP referral to see an expert
Private psychiatry, psychology and psychotherapy for adults and children, face-to-face and online nationwide.