Eating disorder treatment

The following treatments are offered in various combinations for young people in out-patients or the eating disorder intensive service (EDIS). Patients in the EDIS need to receive these interventions more frequently.

For all treatments we try to offer flexible appointment times and can often offer young people in exam years (years 11, 12 and 13) early or late appointments, eg 9am or between 5pm and 6pm, to reduce potential impact on school.

Nursing and dietician reviews

Regular nursing and dietician reviews to monitor weight and meal plans.

Nursing key worker sessions

Young people on the ward in our EDIS will have regular meetings with both of their nursing key workers. These meetings serve as a useful preparation for future individual therapy.

Psychiatry reviews

Eating disorders rarely occur in isolation, so your child will have regular meetings with a psychiatrist, your consultant and/or a trainee psychiatrist, to assess, monitor and treat any other related conditions eg depression, self-harm or OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).

Family therapy

Research suggests that family therapy is the most effective treatment for young people with eating disorders. This works on the assumption that parents and families are the solution and never the cause of a child’s eating problems. Family therapy aims to discover how resources or strengths in the family can be developed to help young people recover from their eating difficulties. It also helps to consider the impact of the eating disorder on the whole family or the family’s caring on the young person.

Parents skills based group

A parents skills based group is usually offered as a preparation for family therapy and offers parents a range of skills, techniques and knowledge to help them support their child with their eating difficulties.

Individual therapy

Individual therapy offers young people a private space to discuss their thoughts and emotions associated with their eating disorder. We offer two main types of therapy: cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or psychodynamic psychotherapy. Both have been specially adapted to help young people with eating disorders. We find that both treatments are equally effective.

Groups for young people

We currently offer a creative group to help young people use art materials to find an alternative outlet for emotional expression. We also have a ‘food and me’ group which seeks to use mindfulness and relaxation techniques to reduce some of the anxieties and stresses associated with eating. Other groups are being planned.

Core team reviews

You will have regular reviews with the consultant psychiatrist coordinating your child’s care and any other members of the team that are also involved eg nurse, family therapist and individual therapist. The purpose of these meetings is to review and refine treatment plans.