The eating disorder therapist is a growing area of expertise and has become a point of interest for many psychology students in recent years. The eating disorder therapy career deals with issues of teenage and adolescent individuals who struggle with inappropriate eating patterns.
Professionals in this field play a very important role in helping society function and progress. They encourage patients to partake in healthier eating habits.
What Eating Disorder Therapists
Eating disorder therapists use a variety of techniques and approaches to reduce or probably eliminate inappropriate behavioral patterns that involve food.
Usually, an eating disorder patient may be asked to treat patients who are experiencing anorexia, morbid obesity, or bulimia. Also, They may be required to conduct family therapy to determine where the patient’s bad eating habits stemmed from.
Additionally, Some forms of treatment that an eating disorder therapist might use include sensorimotor therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or psychodynamic therapy.
Eating disorder therapists generally work with a very diverse group of professionals ranging from psychiatrists to dietitians. As such, these professionals can deliver the best possible care for their patients.
Besides, As an eating disorder therapist, expect to work in either an out-patient (where you go to see the patient) or an in-patient setting (where the patient comes and sees you).
Thus, As you become more experienced, you might be asked to participate in research studies or even work at a research facility. Upon retiring, some eating disorder therapists go on to teach at community colleges and universities.
To know more about an eating disorder, check out How To Become Anorexic Very Fast: Best Tips
How to Become a Certified Eating Disorder Therapist
Eating disorder recovery is not just about body image. It results in more deaths than any other mental health condition. Hence, When you become an eating disorder therapist, you will work with many patients at the crossroad between life and death.
If you are thinking of becoming an eating disorder therapist, then please keep reading because the qualifications required of eating disorder therapists might surprise you.
As you dig into how to become an eating disorder therapist you will discover that for most patients eating disorder recovery involves working with a team of practitioners and these practitioners. They include:
- Eating disorder therapists
- Registered dietitians
- Medical specialists
Eating Disorder Therapists Required Skills
Just like every other type of therapist, eating disorder therapists need to be attentive, empathetic, and able to see beyond a patient’s symptoms. They must also be compassionate yet firm because many of these treatments for disordered eating require patients to abide by strict boundaries.
They should also have some expertise in areas like anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, the impact of abuse, and sexual assault. All these often go hand-in-hand with an ED diagnosis.
Eating Disorder Therapists Professional Qualifications
All eating disorder therapists must begin their professional journeys by earning a bachelor’s degree. Hence, You should choose a psychology degree or a social work degree if you are serious about pursuing this career. Therefore, Look for opportunities to join classes on topics like:
- Abnormal psychology
- Body image
- Clinical psychology methods
- Family therapy
- Personality disorder
- Psychoanalytic therapy.
Once you have earned a bachelor’s degree, your next steps will involve one of four paths. You may:
Enroll in a master’s degree program in psychology: While most states require a doctoral degree for psychology licensure, some such as Alaska, Kansas, and West Virginia don’t. You could technically become a licensed clinical therapist and work with ED patients with just a master’s degree
Enroll in a Ph.D. in Psychology or PsyD program: Both of these doctoral programs will prepare you to become a counseling psychologist. PsyD programs will typically involve much more clinical work, while Ph.D. programs may involve more research
Enroll in a Master of Social Work degree program: You can practice as a clinical eating disorder counselor with an MSW, and it’s possible to find MSW programs that don’t require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in social work.
Enroll in a Master’s in Counseling Program: You might earn an MA in Health Counseling or an MS in clinical mental health counseling, and then go on to practice in a state that grants licenses to therapists with master’s degrees.
You might want to check out 10 Best Schools for Psychology: Rankings, Tuition, Acceptance, and Graduation Rates.
Best Eating Disorder Therapist In The World
- Good therapy San Diego
- Marianne Miller, PhD, LMFT
- Debbie Wagner, LMFT
- Jennifer Shapiro, Ph.D – EveryBody Behavioral Health
- Katie Brooks, LCSW
- Bright Mind Therapy
- Sanctuary By The Sea Counseling Services
- Insight Therapy San Diego
- Montecatini Eating Disorder Treatment Center
- CFC Therapy Group
- Abigail Natenshon’s Treating Eating Disorder
Certified Eating Disorder Programs
According to statistics compiled by the national institute for mental health, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of diagnosable mental illness in the United States.
Hence, Eating disorders are one of the largest undiagnosed and untreated problems facing mental health and medical practitioners today, yet training specific to eating disorders is extremely rare.
Besides, The Eating Disorders Certificate program at Lewis & Clark is the only graduate program in the country devoted to the topic and the only program in the Pacific Northwest.
Additionally, the ED certificate program at Lewis and Clark takes an inclusive, weight-neutral, Health At Every Size approach that challenges harmful systemic bias directed at larger bodies.
Given lifetime prevalence rates of eating disorders, disordered eating, and associated co-occurring disorders, it is inevitable that professional mental health practitioners across a wide array of settings will be faced with clients presenting with these problems.
Lewis & Clark Eating Disorders Certificate Program
The Eating Disorder Certificate program is an 8-credit course of study that provides the comprehensive knowledge base required to work professionally with clients experiencing eating disorders.
Therefore, Participants join with practitioner faculty in small classes for discussion, study, and field experience. Also, This program is appropriate for graduate students completing master’s degrees in therapy or counseling. Furthermore, it is useful for mental health and addiction practitioners or medical personnel working in the field.
Although, The certificate is only issued for students who have taken either all courses for degree-applicable credit or all courses for graduate-level continuing education credit.
Nevertheless, Courses may be taken in any sequence, each course is offered for one hour of degree-applicable or continuing education credit.
How to Become An Eating Dietitian Fast
If helping people eat well is important to you, then you might be curious about how to become a dietitian. These professionals support people’s nutritional needs so that they can regain the strength they help to manage chronic conditions. Furthermore, they help to improve patients’ athletic performance.
The primary credential for clinical nutrition professionals is Registered Dietitians (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). These two titles are interchangeable.
Becoming a Registered Dietitian is a process that has multiple steps that can take several years to accomplish. Below is a general overview of how to become a registered dietitian;
- Earn an accredited degree in the field
- Complete supervised practice
- Take the exam
- Fulfill state requirements
- Keep up with your credentials
- Consider specialization
#1. Earn an accredited degree in the field
Currently, either a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree will qualify. Shortly, only people with graduate degrees will be able to become registered dietitians.
Whether your program is at the undergraduate level or the graduate level, it should be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
#2. Complete supervised practice
It’s necessary to earn 1,200 hours of supervised work experience. This can be done in conjunction with your college if you enroll in a coordinated program. Alternatively, you can match separately with a dietetic internship site if you choose a didactic program instead.
#3. Take the exam
After completing the educational and dietetic internship requirements, it will be time to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) exam. Passing this test is a requirement for becoming a registered dietitian.
#4. Fulfill state requirements
In many states, you will apply for a license once you have passed the CDR exam.
#5. Keep up with your credentials
To stay a certified RD, you’ll earn continuing education credits regularly.
#6. Consider specialization
As a practicing RD, you may want to pursue an additional credential. These include Specialists in Oncology Nutrition or Specialists in Pediatric Nutrition.
Although, these steps involve hard work and perseverance. However, each one is essential if you want to reach your goal of becoming a registered dietitian. So now you know if you want to become a nutritionist, it’s essential to earn a respected degree.
Becoming an eating disorder therapist and working with people with eating disorders is about more than helping them develop healthy eating habits and reach a healthy weight.
Education on eating disorders is often minimal in many professions. Therefore, it may be helpful to do a rotation or internship if possible.
After completion of an undergraduate degree, most professionals will need to complete a minimum of a master’s degree in order to practice as an eating disorder specialist.
Earn an accredited degree in the field Complete supervised practice
Take the exam
Fulfill state requirements
Keep up with your credentials