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This week has been Eating Disorder Awareness Week (EDAW). With the highest mortality rate of all mental health disorders, and affecting around 1.25 million people in the UK, it has become even more crucial for health professionals to receive adequate training on recognising early symptoms and providing support to families impacted by ED’s.
Eating Disorders pose a tremendous threat to both the sufferer’s physical and mental wellbeing and are usually a source of grave concern to friends, family and professionals alike.
This year ED charity BEAT continues its campaign to have all medical schools implement compulsory training for all students – something which has come about from realising that the average GP will get 2 hours training on ED’s across their medical degree, and ⅕ of medical schools do not provide any training at all.
Training For Therapists
The psychotherapy field has for many years had a more robust approach to ED practices, acknowledging that specialist training is necessary to ensure clinicians look at the full range of eating disorder presentations, moving away from a medical model which recognises that many individuals present in ways that don’t perfectly fit any one diagnostic category. Qualifications to provide treatment for ED must address the complex historical causes of an individual’s eating disorder, which may cross over with other diagnoses such as complex PTSD and Personality Disorders. Curricula for additional qualifications or CPD training for therapists working with clients struggling with ED, are designed around evidence-based psychological theories and psychotherapeutic approaches. These include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; Interpersonal Psychotherapy and Family Therapy.
Training courses instil a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the nature and course of eating disorders, how to assess each individual holistically, and how to undertake risk assessment and management in keeping with NICE guidelines. Importantly, excellent supervision with highly qualified supervisors can help practitioners ensure the fidelity and effectiveness of their practice whilst providing them with a space to manage their own personal resilience in the face of this challenging work.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or affected by someone with one, we have therapists at InsideOut with expertise in the trainings mentioned, who can support you via 1-2-1 sessions. Please know that you are never alone. If you already have a subscription, you can book these via the app, or get in touch if you would like any additional information: [email protected]
Authors: Dr Rebecca Lunson Southall, Chief Therapist & Content Contributor at InsideOut and Holly Hutchinson, Customer Success Manager at InsideOut