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Eating Disorder Recovery

Eating Disorder Recovery

Individual Therapy
At the Catalyst Center, we know getting started can be the hardest part. You can count on us to walk with you on this journey. If you’re here, you might realize that this isn’t going to be a quick fix. We will treat you with compassion and dignity. You didn’t do anything wrong. You aren’t wrong. We will help you understand your options.

We believe that full recovery is possible.

We do NOT believe that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach promotes healing or growth. Instead, we treat clients individually, and create a uniquely tailored plan to help them toward recovery. We are careful to consider all aspects of your life, not just the most obvious symptoms of an eating disorder. We also believe that an integrative approach and a supportive environment are critical, and without these things recovery is next to impossible.

Many people, including family members and loved ones, hope for a fairly quick recovery with no setbacks. But we’ve learned that recovery is a journey, with ups and downs. We’re very aware of the reality of eating disorder recovery and invested in supporting you throughout the process.  It takes time, but a healthy relationship with food and your body is very much possible.

Therapy with Our Clients is Guided by These Core Beliefs:

Individual Therapy

Collaboration

The most important element of effective eating disorder treatment is a collaborative approach. Because an essential part of recovery and therapy is the relationship between a psychotherapist and their client, we believe that trust and safety are essential. Know that we see you as a whole person and will honor your perspective and goals in life. Together we will determine what treatment approach and goals will be the most effective for you. We strive to meet you where you are by listening and exploring what fears you may have. It’s important to us that you don’t feel judged, that you don’t feel pressure to move faster than you are able to, and that our relationship is one of compassion, trust, and collaboration.

Consistent, Gentle Support

Instead of telling you what to do, we believe the role of the psychotherapist is to be there for you in a stable and consistent manner, throughout your journey to recovery. Sometimes that means guiding a person if they don’t know where to go. Other times it means nudging them along. During your therapy, know that we’ll remain calm (even during stressful times), maintain perspective, hold onto hope for you, listen and not judge, and be honest—even if that honesty is sometimes hard to hear. Since we believe that every person is inherently resilient, we also believe in a ‘strengths-based approach’. Rather than focusing solely on perceived failures and slip-ups, it is important to recognize your internal strengths.

Address Core Issues

Eating disorders are complex illnesses that are often a result of interplay between biology, predisposition, cultural influences, and interpersonal relationships. Because they are so complex, we believe one must understand and address the core reasons behind an eating disorder. Although stabilizing a person is important, and may even save their life, solely addressing symptoms and behaviors will not bring about long-term recovery. Therefore, it is important to explore and understand what led to the eating disorder. By addressing the root cause of the eating disorder, sustainable recovery is possible.

Willing & Ready

Although a deeper understanding of the eating disorder is crucial, a person needs to be both ready and have the confidence that they can live without the eating disorder. Feeling ready to make change can be difficult given the ambivalence that most sufferers experience. Understanding this ambivalence in a non-judgmental way is key to making steps toward recovery, as well as preventing a relapse. Being confident that you don’t need the eating disorder anymore comes after learning a different set of tools and skills to manage distress and triggers.

Tools & Skills

Sustainable recovery requires a different set of tools and healthy coping skills. Because there is no one intervention that works for all sufferers, we aim to find out what helps each client. We have found a combination of the following to be beneficial for most of clients: Mindful self-compassion, EMDR, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Internal Family Systems, and Family-Based Therapy for teen clients and their families.

It Takes A Village

Because eating disorders are complex, even  life-threatening, and affect the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being of a person, a team approach is necessary. We closely collaborate with many different providers, such as dietitians/nutritionists, medical providers, psychiatrists, school personnel, and others. During our work together, we will coordinate with the rest of your team to ensure that you’re receiving integrated care. If you have yet to find a team that you feel is a good fit, we can aid in helping you put one together.

Treatment Focus and Specialties

We specialize in the treatment of eating disorders, trauma, disordered eating, body dissatisfaction, compulsive exercise, and co-occurring depression and anxiety. We work with both adolescents and adults in all stages of recovery. We believe in full-recovery, but are also willing to work within a harm reduction model if appropriate. You might be struggling with body image, you might have had an eating disorder years ago, you might be in the early days of recovery, or perhaps have been suffering for decades. Whether this is your first time seeking support if you’ve been to treatment multiple times, we would love to work with you.

 

We work with all kinds of eating disorders and disordered eating. The following are some areas that we are most passionate about in treating:

  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Long-term eating disorders (Severe and Enduring Eating Disorders)
  • Binge Eating Disorder
  • Co-occurring eating disorders and trauma
  • Eating disorders in pregnancy and postpartum
  • GLBTQ
  • Active duty military and veterans
  • Supporting family and loved ones
  • Grief and loss

What to Expect

If you haven’t been to therapy before, this can be an intimidating step. You’re probably not sure if you want to see anyone, or whether it’ll actually work. You’re skeptical and probably a little bit afraid.

Here’s what you can expect from our first session:

Logistics & Paperwork

Either before or when you first arrive, you’ll fill out some paperwork. This is fairly standard, but an important step should we want to continue the therapeutic relationship. You’ll supply information like your age, some basic medical history, and your desired result from therapy. You’ll also supply a method of payments.

Introduction & Initial Session

In our first session, we’ll talk more about what you’d like to get out of this experience. We’ll talk more about what therapy can look like and what is possible for you, as well as what you’re worried about. We’ll also make sure you fully understand your rights as a client, confidentiality, and our approach. From there, we’ll figure out how to best move forward together.

Welcoming Environment

In addition to a safe and calm office environment, you’ll step into a welcoming environment. No one is going to force you to do or say anything you don’t want to. It’s simply a space to get to know one another a bit more, so you can decide if this is the right next step for you.

Moving Forward

If it seems like a good fit for you, we’ll keep working together, so you can have a guide and support on your journey of health and healing. 

Meet Our Eating Disorder Recovery Team

Sarah Long, PsyD, CEDS

Sarah sees her role as walking alongside her clients on the journey towards greater health, meeting you where you are now and helping you take the next step in your journey when you are ready.

Allison Kalivas, MFTC

Allison’s is not afraid to be in a tough place with you. She knows that coming into therapy can be a vulnerable experience. She will be your co-pilot, sitting with you in your experience and motivating you to focus on your goals.

Adrienne Long, PMHNP

Adrienne is a board-certified, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). She provides Medication Management. She is dedicated to collaborative, evidence-based, and integrative care for adults, adolescents, and children.

Our Eating Disorder Blog Series

Eating Disorders: Common Myths

Nearly 50% of the population in the United States either knows someone who struggles with an eating disorder, or is a sufferer. Despite eating disorders being widespread, complex, and life-threatening, there is a ton of misinformation out there. These misconceptions can lead to shame, lack of recognition by helping professionals, school personnel, and even loved… ...

College Series: Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship with Food

Starting college, transferring to a different school, or returning after summer break are all significant transitions. Attending college can be an exciting time, and like any transition, it can also bring uncertainty, stress, and even emotional overwhelm.  As a therapist who works with clients struggling with their relationship with food, I am often asked “what… ...

How Can I Support My Child/teen with Who is Struggling with Food and Weight?

The complexities of parenting continually change as your child enters into different developmental stages, especially when your child has the added component of struggling with an eating disorder. First, it is important to recognize the eating behavior and  to understand that it may be your child’s vehicle for expressing emotion, not always the physical. For… ...

What is Body Image and Why is it so Important?

‘Poor body image.’ ‘Body Positivity.’ ‘Body neutrality.’ ‘Body image dissatisfaction.’ These days we are constantly being bombarded with all kinds of messages and terminology related to our bodies and how we view them. This can be confusing and might even lead a person to wonder what does body image really mean and why is it… ...

What is Emotional Eating?

The term ‘emotional eating’ is pervasive in our current culture. It can also feel very vague! Simply put, emotional eating is defined as eating for reasons other than physical hunger. It’s important to recognize that emotional eating isn’t necessarily a negative thing. Food has long been incorporated into social events or rituals and can be… ...

Common Myths around Eating Disorders

Nearly 50% of the population in the United States either knows someone who struggles with an eating disorder, or is a sufferer. Despite eating disorders being widespread, complex, and life-threatening, there is a ton of misinformation out there. These misconceptions can lead to shame, lack of recognition by helping professionals, school personnel, and even loved… ...

Eating Disorders and Pregnancy

When I began my training as an eating disorder therapist, I assumed most of my clients would be teenagers or college students. After all, that was what I had seen in the media. I quickly realized this was not the case. It’s actually quite the opposite and eating disorders can show up in a person’s… ...

Eating Disorder Recovery during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The last two weeks, and much longer in some places, have left people around the world reeling. Within days our lives changed in many ways, some obvious and some not immediately noticeable. Under the best of circumstances, eating disorder recovery is difficult. Add in factors that are inherent in the current COVID-19 crisis our nation… ...

The Process of Eating Disorder Recovery

“What does recovery look like?” “How do I get rid of the eating disorder?” “If I mess up, does that mean I’m a failure, or that I won’t get better?” Common themes in therapy include: what eating disorder recovery is like, what is possible, and how to ‘get there’. Eating disorder professionals do a great… ...

What Can I Do To Encourage Positive Body Image In My Child?

While sitting with my clients and their families, I’ve seen time and time again the pain and havoc an eating disorder can cause. In these moments, I’m reminded of the importance of prevention. Although eating disorders and disordered eating can be triggered by lots of different things, negative body image is a major predisposing factor.… ...

Eating Disorders: Common Myths

By Sarah Long, PsyD Nearly 50% of the population in the United States either knows someone who struggles with an eating disorder, or is a sufferer. Despite eating disorders being widespread, complex, and life-threatening, there is a ton of misinformation out there. These misconceptions can lead to shame, lack of recognition by helping professionals, school… ...

Helping Eating Challenges with EMDR

By Sarah Long, PsyD Facts About Disordered Eating Eating disorders are known to have high relapse rates and lengthy treatment times. Even though a person might be “in recovery, they continue to struggle with body image and disordered eating. Individuals with bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or any binge eating have significantly higher rates of… ...

Let's Get Started!

There are two easy ways to connect with us. Call our office at 720-675-7123 and press “1” to be connected. Fill out the contact form to request an appointment or to learn more.