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Eating Disorder Specialist, Expert, or Something Else?

Eating Disorder Specialist, Expert, or Something Else?

When someone is looking to get help for an eating disorder there are so many thoughts, emotions, and questions running through their mind. One of the more critical questions usually pertain to finding the RIGHT providers, so knowing what you are looking for is crucial. Recently, I came across an article titled, “Is Your Eating Disorder ‘Specialist’ Really A Specialist?” written by Alli Spotts-De Lazzer, M.A., LMFT, LPCC, CEDS and Lauren Muhlheim, PsyD, FAED, CEDS-S. They discussed the importance of working with a Certified Eating Disorder Professional and pointed out that when someone ‘treats’ eating disorders it very well could be only one of several focus areas. Consequently, more times than not, this can be an indicator that they might not have the intricate experience needed to treat this insidious and extremely unpredictable disease.

So often I am asked what the difference is between professional designations and how to really know what to look for. The following questions that Alli and Lauren provide in their article are what I plan to share moving forward and I hope this will help others to gain more knowledge in helping themselves and those they love get the help they need to recover.

  1. What qualifies your designation of treats/treating, specialist, or expert/specializing in eating disorders?
  2. Who/which organization are your certified by?
  3. If you are not familiar with the person or organization, you will benefit by asking, What qualifies the person or organization to provide an advanced eating disorders designation?
  4. What is your treatment philosophy?
  5. Do you utilize/include current evidence-based practices that have been sanctioned as mainstream and efficacious? If so, which?
  6. How long have you been treating patients with eating disorders?
  7. What percentage of your practice is the treatment of eating disorders?
  8. What year and what was the last eating disorder-specific conference you attended?

What other questions have you asked when looking for a provider?

*The information in this post is from the March 21, 2019 article written by Alli Spotts-De Lazzer, LMFT, LPCC, and CEDS-S and Lauren Muhlheim, PsyD, FAED, CEDS-S on kantorlaw.net/blog titled “Is Your Eating Disorder ‘Specialist’ Really A Specialist?” 

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