Miami Children's Hospital
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Eating Disorders

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Therapists’ Treatment Philosophy

Therapists' Treatment Philosophy, Our multidisciplinary team approach is designed to help restore the individual to physical and mental health and normalize eating patterns. - Image of Eating Disorders Team Our multidisciplinary team approach is designed to help restore the individual to physical and mental health and normalize eating patterns. This involves gaining insight into the nature of their eating disorder, learning healthy alternative coping skills, and facilitating the recovery process. A multi-dimensional approach is most effective, as eating disorders not only affect the individual physically, mentally, and socially but also affect their families. Treatment focuses on helping the individual and family identify underlying issues contributing to the eating disorder, become more aware and express their feelings, and use more healthy ways of coping. Through support of nutritional counseling, supervision, and therapy, individuals learn to work through food fears and move towards more normalized eating patterns. Individual and family therapy are an integral part of the treatment, as both the individual and the family must learn new coping skills on their way to a healthier way of life. Through therapy, other mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and trauma are addressed. During the early stages of treatment, when eating symptoms are out of control, the adolescent may require a therapeutic environment to provide structure and self-regulation. Inpatient hospitalization becomes necessary when life-threatening behaviors need to be monitored and interrupted. The length of time an individual remains in treatment varies and is dependent upon the severity of the illness and the individual and family’s motivation in the treatment and readiness to change.

Individual and Family Therapy

Individual and family therapy is an integral part of all levels of care. During inpatient hospitalization, the child/adolescent will have individual therapy with the psychologist at least 4 times per week. Individual therapy will focus on reducing anxiety related to normalizing eating patterns, food and weight fears, and underlying issues maintaining the eating disorder. A variety of treatment modalities are available and are utilized based on the particular needs of the individual. In addition, family therapy is an integral part of treatment and will be scheduled several times a week. Family therapy will focus on the dynamics within the family system, providing psycho-education, assisting the family in understanding the nature of the eating disorder, and helping the family provide support to their child. 
 
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