Anorexia and bulimia require treatment by a psychologist or psychotherapist who has specialized knowledge and training in eating disorders.
These are questions you can ask a therapist to determine if they are an eating disorder specialist:
Have you had specialized training specifically in eating disorders?
- What kind of training
- How long
Have you ever trained or worked in a hospital eating disorders program?
- How long
- What was your position
Do you have any credentials showing you are an eating disorder specialist?
- What are they
- Through what certifying organization
Do you currently have a supervisor who is an eating disorders specialist?
- Who is it
- What are his/her credentials as an eating disorder specialis
- How often do you review your cases
What professional eating disorder associations are you a member of?
NOTE: The major associations are:
- Academy for Eating Disorders
- International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP)
- National Eating Disorder Association
What eating disorder journals do you read?
NOTE: The major journals and newsletters are:
- International Journal of Eating Disorders
- Journal of the Treatment and Prevention of Eating Disorders
- Renfrew Perspectives
- IAEDP Connections
- Eating Disorders Review
- Health At Every Size
What continuing education have you received or taught on eating disorders in the past two years?
NOTE: Therapists should attend seminars or conventions or engage in self-study for continuing education credits to continue their professional development on a regular basis.
If a therapist does not have any training, hospital experience or credentials, then the minimum expectation would be that they have a current clinical supervisor who is an eating disorders specialist. If a therapist has no formal eating disorders training, hospital experience or supervisor, it would be advisable to find a specialist with appropriate qualifications to help you.
Therapists with formal training, hospital experience in an eating disorders program and/or specialized certification will be able to provide effective treatment. Those who also belong to professional associations, attend continuing education and stay current on the latest research and literature are likely professionals who are very dedicated to the eating disorders field and have the highest level of knowledge and specialization.
Dr. Lees is a recognized expert that maintains a strong commitment to providing high level, quality treatment for eating disorders.