Eating Disorder Therapy

Eating disorders can lead to significant emotional and physical problems. Thankfully, there’s hope. Effective treatment options are available to help people overcome eating disorders. These encourage developing healthy habits to build a life you love in recovery.


Understanding Disordered Eating

Struggling with food and your body image can be a sign of an eating disorder, which is a serious mental health condition. These disorders can cause big problems with health and mindset if left untreated.

Genes, low self-esteem, a deep desire for perfection, pressure to look a certain way, and mental health problems like anxiety or depression are factors that can cause eating disorders. For instance, someone with low self-esteem might equate their worth with their weight.

Different eating disorders elicit different emotional responses. They also require different approaches in therapy, making personalized eating disorder treatment plans crucial for successful recovery. Some disorders include:

  • Anorexia Nervosa: Gaining weight is a major fear for those with anorexia, regardless of body weight. The anxiety around this results in severe food restrictions and a belief that they’re physically bigger than they are.
  • Bulimia Nervosa: This involves binge eating a lot in a short time and then trying to get rid of it by purging (throwing up, using laxatives, or exercising excessively).
  • Binge Eating Disorder: This includes eating a lot of food quickly without purging. While eating, they feel out of control, followed by shame. Overall, these feelings often cause distress.
  • Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED): This is for people who have an eating disorder but don’t exactly fit the criteria already mentioned.

Eating disorders have consequences that range from short-term to even life-threatening. Typically, poor electrolytes and digestive problems can occur due to insufficient nutrition and purging. Other issues that can arise are malnutrition, heart problems, and even organ failure. Thus, getting help early and sticking with treatment can help prevent long-term health issues.

Treatment for Eating Disorders in Massachusetts

At Aftermath Behavioral Health, we have a team of experienced specialists who understand eating disorder treatment. We offer personalized outpatient therapy for eating disorders in a safe and caring space at our treatment center in Massachusetts. Our regular outpatient therapies and intensive psychiatric outpatient programs cater to individual needs.

At Aftermath Behavioral Health, we have a team of experienced specialists who understand eating disorder treatment. We offer personalized outpatient therapy for eating disorders in a safe and caring space at our treatment center in Massachusetts. Our regular outpatient therapies and intensive psychiatric outpatient programs cater to individual needs.

Our specialized therapists have found success in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) as part of eating disorder treatment. CBT focuses on helping you identify negative thoughts and behavioral patterns. With this treatment method, we can support you in having more positive thoughts related to food and body image.

We combine various therapies in our approach to treating eating disorders. We use evidence-based treatments, nutritional counseling, and therapies that focus on general well-being. This helps inform an eating disorder treatment plan that’s best for you and will sustain lasting recovery.

At our treatment center, we believe a multi-layered approach to eating disorder treatment is best. This can include services like:
  • Individual Therapy Sessions:

    One-on-one therapy helps address underlying contributors and develop coping mechanisms.
  • Eating Disorder Group Therapy:

    These encourage you to connect with others who understand what you’re going through.
  • Holistic Therapies:

    Activities held at our treatment center like yoga, mindfulness, and art therapy can help develop coping skills. Educational Workshops: Interactive workshops can teach you about nutrition, body image, and other topics related to recovery.
  • Medication Management:

    Although we don’t offer medication-assisted treatment (MAT), we can connect you with psychiatrists who do.

What to Expect From Eating Disorder Therapy

Eating disorder treatment at Aftermath Behavioral Health is a collaborative process between us and you. We work with you to provide a supportive space to explore what contributes to your eating disorder. Specialized treatment plans and tailored, flexible support are core aspects of how we help you maintain lasting recovery at our Massachusetts treatment center.

The Typical Duration of Eating Disorder Treatment

Treatment durations can differ, depending on how severe your eating disorder is. Your specific needs and how well you progress in therapy also contribute. Some people see significant improvements within a few months, while others may need continued support and treatment for longer.

Eating Disorder Assessment: Measuring Progress

Throughout treatment, our team regularly checks progress and adjusts your treatment plans as needed. We use tools based on evidence and work with you to set recovery goals so we can track your progress.

Preventing Eating Disorder Relapses

Recovery from an eating disorder is no walk in the park. Preventing relapse is a big part of our treatment approach. Therefore, we help you identify your triggers. This helps inform an eating disorder recovery meal plan and identifies tools to help you maintain a healthy relationship with food long-term.

Signs and Symptoms of Eating Disorders

The specific signs and symptoms of eating disorders aren’t one-size-fits-all. Some common indicators include:

Remember, these are just a guideline. But if you or someone you know is struggling with weight or food, professional help can pinpoint whether treatment is needed.

Although the goal for many eating disorders is connected to body image, there are lingering effects that may be unseen until later in life. Some of these include:

  • Malnutrition: Leading to health problems like muscle weakness, fatigue, hair loss, and impaired immunity
  • Osteoporosis: Weaker bones and an increased risk of fractures
  • Kidney Problems: Damage to the kidneys, leading to kidney failure in severe cases
  • Heart Conditions: Disrupted heart rhythms and an increased risk of heart attacks
  • Death: The highest mortality rate of any mental illness

As with any mental health condition, it’s best to seek concrete information to better your understanding. For instance, myths about eating disorders can be harmful. Misinformation like eating disorders being a fad or choice creates a stigma for those who struggle with them. This can prevent individuals from seeking treatment or hinder their road to recovery.

Plus, anyone can experience them. They’re not bound by age, gender, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background. Interestingly, eating disorders affect millions worldwide. Many of these millions also deal with co-occurring conditions. This includes depression, anxiety, substance abuse, or other mental health conditions. At Aftermath Behavioral Health, we offer full support and tailored treatment for dual diagnosis.

How to Support Someone With an Eating Disorder

Supporting a loved one through eating disorder recovery can seem like a monumental challenge. But as much as it’s difficult for you, your loved one is also struggling. You never know where someone’s battle stems from. For some, eating disorders can stem from trauma as a way to cope with the emotional pain.

Therefore, always try to be gentle and empathetic. Criticizing their appearance or eating habits could impact their recovery negatively. Rather educate yourself on eating disorder treatment and the recovery process. This will allow you to encourage your loved one to seek professional help because you have a deeper understanding.

It might be difficult for you to see those you care about struggling. However, always try to be patient. Resources are available to help you talk to someone with an eating disorder in a caring way. These tools can also guide you to supportive communities of others who are also on a journey of helping loved ones in recovery.

Body Image and Eating Disorders

Negative body image and societal pressures to conform to certain standards are significant contributors to eating disorders. Social media, with its flurry of filtered and edited images, is often a major culprit.

Some ways in which social media can negatively impact body image and contribute to eating disorders are:

Unrealistic Beauty Standards:
Online images can highlight people with heavily edited appearances. These images can create a distorted view of what a healthy body looks like, leading to feelings of inadequacy and dissatisfaction.

Focus on Appearance Over Health:
Many social media posts emphasize weight loss and specific body types. This focus on appearance detracts from the importance of healthy eating habits.

Social Comparison: 

It’s easy to compare one’s body to others online because of the volume of images on social media. But this can lead to feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem.

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out):
Feelings of missing out can crop up if someone doesn’t feel their body measures up to the ones they see on social media. This can trigger unhealthy eating behaviors in an attempt to achieve that perceived ideal.

It’s important to be aware of how social media consumption can impact your body image and relationship with food. Instead, try a few healthy tips for extra support in recovery. These include following body-positive accounts instead, limiting social media exposure, and focusing on connecting with your real-life body and those around you.

Thrive in Recovery From Eating Disorders

At Aftermath Behavioral Health, we emphasize that recovery from an eating disorder is possible. Not only that—individuals can flourish on their journey toward a healthier and more fulfilling life. To achieve this, we focus on overall wellness, family involvement, and personalized treatment. This allows for a safe and well-supported space for recovery. 

The experienced team at our treatment center in Massachusetts prioritizes high-quality care and support throughout the eating disorder recovery process. So why not take the first step towards healing? Contact us today and embark on a transformative path toward lasting recovery.


Disrupted eating patterns, too much focus on food and weight, and a distorted body image could be signs of an eating disorder. However, we recommend a professional medical evaluation before starting any treatment.

Eating disorders can impact anyone. This means millions of people on a global scale struggle with these and the need for effective treatment is quite high.

Genetics can influence the development of eating disorders. However, these mental health conditions are complex. Other factors include biological predispositions, psychological makeup, and social pressures.

Well-known eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. However, there are various ones, like OSFED, that don’t perfectly fit the major categories’ criteria.

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