Why the “Recovery Model” works for treating an eating disorder!

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“Recovery is Possible!”

“No one needs to suffer or die from an eating disorder.”

These statements are far easier to make than to actually accomplish.  However, no matter how extremely difficult the tasks of Recovery is, it can happen.

No, Recovery is not achieved but is a state that is always in process.  At any time a relapse can occur!

So, what is the truth?

If you ask some clinicians they will tell you that the Recovery Model is the most effective model for the treatment of an eating disorder.  However, if you ask others, they will suggest that the Addictions Model has been around for a long time and that it is the model of choice for stabilizing eating disorders.

Like others therapists that work with eating disorders, I have a bias as to which of the models I believe is most effective for helping those who struggle with Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating Disorders.   And It Is…………………………..

The Recovery Model

Basically, this model adheres to the concept that eating disorders do not develop in a vacuum but result from a combination of issues that have evolved over a period of time.  Many times these issues involve situations that contributed to an individual beginning to believe that they were inadequate and perhaps unworthy.   Issues vary from person to person, so in order to provide a comprehensive picture of the development of an eating disorder we would need to provide many examples.   But even one example might help create somewhat of an understanding.

I once worked with a young woman who was told by her gymnastic coach that no one would want to continue “spotting” her if she continued to gain weight.  She began to cut back on her daily food intake and added walking a mile a few days a week  to her workout routine.  Over a period of time she lost some weight and as a result received positive feedback from her coach.  This pattern continued with increased walking and more restrictions with her food intake; this contributed to more weight loss with more positive feedback.   Eventually, the young woman developed an eating disorder and the consequences caused by the eating disorder led to her being dropped from the gymnastics team.  So, as we can see, this situation contributed to the onset of the eating disorder but not necessarily to the cause of the eating disorder.  The coach made an inappropriate statement but is not to blame for the eating disorder, however, neither is the young woman.

In fact, no one is to blame for the creation of Anorexia, Bulimia, or Binge Eating Disorders.   Yet, there are factors that contribute to the vulnerability of individuals that open the door for an eating disorder to flourish.  These include but are not confined to:

Messages from society about perfectionistic trends for females and males.

Family messages that often are innocently given, such as “that B is great but maybe next time you can work harder and get an A”.   Or more profound statements such as “No one is going to want to take you to the prom if you don’t lose weight”.    Again these statements did not cause the eating disorder but rather punctuated the doubt of worth that may have already existed.

Biochemical imbalances contribute to depression, anxiety, tendencies to be perfectionistic, and obsessive compulsive ways.  These reduced levels of neurotransmitters make it difficult to reality test and further complicate things for the eating disordered individual.

Traumatic events and unhealthy relationships are unfortunate contributors to the troublesome mood state and low self esteem for many, again leaving them susceptible to the onset of an eating disorder.

At Canopy Cove, we carefully assess for these and other significant issues and work towards their resolution.  The negative impact leaves scars but the wounds can often heal allowing these victims to live the life God intended for them.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, allow Canopy Cove to help! Call us today to speak to a caring, qualified representative!

1-800-236-7524

Confidentiality will be respected at all times.

~Lynda A. Brogdon, Ph.D., C.E.D.S., C.E.A.P.