Eating Disorders Program
Our comprehensive outpatient program provides state-of-the-art assessment and treatment services to children, adolescents and adults with a broad range of eating- and weight-related problems.
We treat patients with:
- Anorexia nervosa
- Atypical eating disorders
- Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID)
- Bariatric surgery candidates
- Binge eating disorder
- Bulimia nervosa
- Purging disorder
Treating eating disorders requires an interdisciplinary approach to care and treatment. Our team includes therapists, psychiatrists and medical staff who work together to provide individualized patient care that is informed by the latest advances in eating disorders research.
Our care program provides comprehensive outpatient services to children, adolescents and adults with eating disorders, including:
- Diagnostic evaluations
- Individual and/or family therapy
- Parent participation in the treatment of children and adolescents
- Medical evaluations and follow-up
- Medication consultations and management
Because eating disorders can have serious medical consequences, we need to ensure that symptoms can be managed safely on an outpatient basis. All patients complete a thorough diagnostic assessment and medical evaluation before starting treatment. In some cases, ongoing medical monitoring during treatment may be needed.
The goals and length of outpatient eating disorders treatment depend on the needs of each patient.
Adults typically are treated using cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which focuses on normalizing eating behavior, eliminating unhealthy methods of weight control — such as excessive exercise, self-induced vomiting, laxative misuse — and decreasing the degree to which concerns about eating, weight and body shape affect the way patients feel about themselves.
Our program focuses on self-monitoring of eating behavior, as well as thoughts and feelings related to eating, weight and body shape. Treatment also includes re-introduction of avoided foods, techniques designed to challenge negative beliefs about eating, weight and body shape, and regular weighing. For patients with bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder, treatment typically is short term, approximately 20 sessions. For underweight patients, treatment lasts longer, approximately 40 sessions.
Child & Adolescent Treatment
Children and adolescents typically are treated using family-based treatment (FBT), an evidence-based psychotherapy that puts parent(s) temporarily in charge of helping to reduce the control that an eating disorder has over their child's life.
The first stage of FBT focuses on weight restoration and reducing eating disorder symptoms. As treatment progresses, parent(s) return control over eating back to their child and help him or her with normal developmental tasks. This program typically addresses eating disorder issues in 20-25 sessions over the course of 10-12 months.
No-Cost, Confidential Assessment & Referrals
In order to quickly respond to your needs, a trained mental health professional is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You can make an appointment by calling:
- Ingalls Memorial at 708-915-6411
- UChicago Medicine at 1-888-824-0200
Our assessment and referral staff assesses each individual to determine his or her behavioral health needs and makes referrals based on those needs.
To speak to someone directly, please call 1-888-824-0200. If you have symptoms of an urgent nature, please call your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.
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